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I Saw The Hunger Games On Opening Night and Survived!

March 23, 2012

So, I know what you’re thinking. Who disappears for months and then shows up to write about how awesome they are because they saw The Hunger Games on opening night? ME. That’s who. Well, not necessarily how awesome *I* am but more so just a general review of the movies because, guys, guess what! It totally didn’t suck! I mean, the book was better but when is the book NOT better than the movie? The answer to that question is never. Also, the other answer to another question asked tonight is, NO, this movie is not about an Ethiopian bobsled team. (Don’t ask. Just know that was what Mike insisted on telling me that’s what the movie was about.)

Let me start out by saying that I LOVED the book. However, I actually had high hopes for the movie because I’m a dreamer, ok? A DREAMER. But this time, I wasn’t disappointed. Well, not all that much. How about a list of pros and cons? (SPOILERS LIE AHEAD. If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, leave now.)

WHAT I LOVED:

Katniss Everdeen: I should probably say Jennifer Lawrence but you get my point. I was worried we wouldn’t really get an idea of exactly how Katniss was feeling throughout the movies. With the book, we’re constantly stuck inside her head and we know every possible thing about her feelings in the moment. Plus, Katniss is kind of an asshole in the books. I mean, she sort of has a right to be but I distinctly remember thinking while reading the books, “GIVE IT A REST, BEEYA.” But Jennifer Lawrence? She’s downright likable!

Haymitch Abernathy: I never really liked Haymitch in the books. Sure he got Katniss and Peeta what they needed when it came down to it, but that was just it! He never went beyond the call of duty and look, pal the kids are MURDERING EACH OTHER. Give them a little glimmer of hope! In the movie? He’s really only annoying for about ten minutes but then he’s pretty obvious about caring for the kids. It even shows him going out and campaigning for Katniss so she can get her burn salve. Plus, I’m a big Woody Harrelson fan.

Peeta Mellark: So… yeah, I could’ve just said “The Main Characters” and grouped these all together but I didn’t… and nobody said this was going to be a short post (because it’s not.) Everyone was throwing SUCH a fit over Josh Hutcherson playing Peeta with cries of outrage, “He’s not right!’ “That’s not Peeta!” and then people took to the streets with pitchforks and torches and there was MASS CHAOS! Or not really. But there was a general grumbling of the internets and I was sorta like, “Meh… I liked him in that one movie about playing that board game and going to space.” But he really turned it around. Well, minus that first ten minutes where he seriously made the stupidest face I’ve ever seen and I was all, “OH PEETA. I HATE YOU.” But he quit! And he was so sweet with Katniss! And I loved him… and well, I’m now Team Peeta. (Not that I ever wasn’t. That just seemed dramatic so I said it.)

The Lack of Muttations: Sarah and I were concerned about the mutts. How would they do it? If it’s PG-13 how are they going to make them as terrifying as they need to be?? Also, how are they going to make them look like the tributes but also terrifying?? Turns out, they didn’t need to. You know how in Jaws you didn’t really see the shark but you still knew it was there so it was still scary? That’s SORT OF like what they did here. But it was more along the lines of, we’re not showing you too much because that would be ridiculous and ruin the movie. Good call, Gary Ross. Good call.

The Extra: They didn’t cut a lot from the movie and they didn’t add a ton either, but what they did add? It was great! I was impressed! I won’t tell you but I feel like it helped people who had never read the books. That was one of my concerns with the movie. That book has a lot going on in it so I wasn’t sure how that would translate onto screen but it honestly did a great job. I mean, there could’ve been more along the lines of how close Katniss and Peeta got or even how precious her relationship with Gale and Prim were but they were working with a limited amount of time so I understand. Mike has not read the books and when we left I looked at him and said, “So, did you understand it?” to which he promptly replied, “Do you think I’m a moron?” Got it.

WHAT I DIDN’T LOVE:

That Lack Of Violence:  I know that sounds terrible and not like I love a super gory movie, because I don’t, but come on, Mr. Ross. I feel like the games could have been a lot more nerve wracking if he didn’t resort to quick cutaways and just the vague reference to something terrible going on right off screen. I don’t know… Wasn’t The Grudge PG-13? It was still terrifying… (Don’t get me started on the PG-13 rating anyways… Or the abundance of ten-twelve year olds watching the movie with their parents in the theater. Hey, morons, this is a movie about teens murdering one another in the most brutal of ways. Think this is something your ten year old littler girl needs to see?)

The Arena: I was really excited to see the arena for the games. The way it was described in the book was pretty much a forest but there were so many interesting creatures and plants… I was just hoping for more. The Tracker Jackers were pretty puny… the Groosling was never seen alive… and I DON’T KNOW. I did have high expectations for this and well, boooooo.

The Tributes: Obviously we got to know the tributes a little better in the book, but I didn’t really connect to any of them all that well (besides Katniss and Peeta) so I sort of just felt blah when they were killed. I was a LITTLE sad when Rue bit the dust but it wasn’t NEARLY as sad as when I read it in the book. Me reading Rue’s death involved tears running down my face. Me seeing Rue’s death on the big screen involved me looking at Michael and giving a shrug that sort of said, “Yeah, you win some, you lose some.”

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie. All two and a half hours of it. I had forgotten how much I hate going to opening night movies though… I don’t like my arm touching the stranger’s next to me! I can’t stand noisy candy openers! Loud soda slurpers! There’s a menagerie of people I dislike in a movie theater. The girls behind me that insisted on announcing what was going to happen two minutes before it actually did had me clenching my jaw. The girl walking out who said, “That movie was TOTES AWESOME!” had me clenching my fists. But I guess that’s the price you pay for insisting on seeing the most popular movie out right now on opening night…

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 24, 2012 12:21 am

    Your writing is engaging, and made me laugh a little… especially in the arena section where you said, “I DON’T KNOW. I did have high expectations for this and well, boooooo.”….lol… Also I agree with you on all your points except for ‘The Extra’ section. If interested, you can check out my post as it does touch on the whole discussion of the added scenes (http://writewronginbetween.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/movie-review-theworldwillbewatching-thehungergames-and-jlawrencefan-as-po_katniss/). …Anyway, just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your post, and thanks for sharing your take. And your last paragraph is basically a description of myself. lol.

  2. March 24, 2012 12:32 am

    Thanks for reading! I’ll be sure to check out your review!

  3. March 24, 2012 12:40 am

    And the Rue part… TOTALLY agree with…

  4. March 24, 2012 10:37 pm

    Okay, so I felt basically no connection to Rue while she was alive, and felt they rushed her parts too much, BUT I must admit that I actually cried a little when she died, and when K put the flowers around her and then they did the cut to District 11. A tear actually rolled.

    Everything else, I think we are pretty much agreed on. I was VERY happy with it!

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