Director: Gary Ross (also known for directing Seabiscuit, Pleasantville)
Screenplay: Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins, Billy Ray
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark)
"The Games Will Change Everyone."
"The World Will Be Watching"
"May the Odds be Ever in your Favor"
WHAT I LIKE:
The first scene grabs your attention: it's different, it has this gritty realistic close-to-the-book feel, and it's just not what I expected for a movie that tagged itself as "The next twilight series" -- barf. It has a promise of substance and it's not your typically manufactured eye-candy popcorn movie. The shaky camera work didn't even bother me, I think it added to the film's realistic feel. If you wanna complain about that, try watching films by Lars Von Trier.
Despite the lack of plot and character build-up, the cast was good enough for it to be the center of the film. Jennifer Lawrence was great in here. They say she's a miscast and she's dull? I disagree. She portrayed her character very well and she's the reason why this movie is not as crappy as other teen flicks in the same genre. I love Effie Trinket and how I wish I was watching Helena Bonham Carter in that character. But Elizabeth Banks did great. I was surprised to see Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland in this movie and tbh that added an extra oomph to the movie's credit. Those guys are awesome, although I hate to say that Woody Harrelson didn't do much to his character Haymitch. A bit forgettable. :/ I also imagined a different Cinna but I came to like this one - and I feel stupid for not recognizing the actor portraying him until the credits. Everytime i see Cinna, i rack my brain trying to recall who the hell that guy is..... and then credits roll.. Lenny Kravitz. O_O ugh. Silly me. I need vitamins.
I love those "credits songs".
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:Story/plot/characters are underdeveloped, but then again so is the book.
There are some scenes (like the parade of the tributes) which felt like crappy CGI work. But I decided it's just part of the dystopian look, and i let it go.
The relationship of Katniss and Rue is also underdeveloped that it made Katniss' reaction seem unbelievable. That partnership in the book was one of the more important highlights for me, and I didnt see that in the movie. Disappointing.
While it's okay for the book to have only mild violence, it's different when it comes to movies especially if you packaged it as an action sci fi movie. Audiences will expect violence, fast-paced action, and a bit more blood and gore. They're kids so I guess the tone-down is a must.
I appreciate that the movie pretty much stayed close to the book, but they could have turn this average novel into something substantial and kick-ass. They didn't. What a shame. What they did is they adapted an average book with a somewhat unique plot into a mildly interesting average movie with a somewhat unique plot.
The cast and the visuals categorized this movie as a somewhat serious dystopian sci-fi flick, but it retains the young adult feel of the story. The plot is not something to boast about and I blame that on the writers (the author and director both wrote the screenplay) for sloppily handling it. 2 hours and 20 minutes is more than enough to infuse some substance and they didn't do much about it. But i did enjoy it, it's fast-paced enough albeit lacking in action, and the cast gave this movie spine.
MY RATING:3/5 - I enjoyed it. Although I'm not sure if the reason why I enjoyed it is because I read the book - seeing the scenes/narratives come to life was part of the entertainment I got.
So is this movie entertaining for those who have read the books and those who haven't?
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