The Hunger Games, Gary Ross, Lionsgate, Action/Drama/Sci-fi/Thriller, Jennifer Lawrence/Josh Hutcherson, PG-13, 142 minutes.
Synopsis: In a not-too-distant future, North America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcast throughout Panem. The 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss' young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives.
*fan poster from http://hungergames.tumblr.com/*
My thoughts: From a Christian perspective, this movie had me once again second-guessing what I would do in Katniss' position. Would I resort to killing to stay alive, and bless my district? It was hard to think about. So, I simply sat back and watched. Katniss and Peeta do most of that sort of thinking for you, but it makes you wonder about your own convictions if put into such a situation.
The filming was excellent, for the most part. Near the beginning, and a few times later on, the camera shook so much that it nauseated me, and I couldn't tell for the life of me what was happening. The broad contrast in colors from District 12 to the Capitol was really cool, and that leads me to my next observation.
The Capitol really showed off its pomp and reliance on style. There were so many crazy and absurd ways of showing off their "beauty" that it made me sick. It starts just by wanting to get noticed. Reminds one of hollywood, eh? *chuckle*
The gore was not very prevalent, which is good. In some cases, though (such as the death near the end), the violence is implied very intensely. That really bothered me, but it's a story to make you bothered at The Capitol. It did it's job well.
Peeta and Katniss' characters were done well. Peeta didn't seem to show much depth, however, while Katniss did. Her reaction to her sister was chosen as tribute was heartbreaking. Judging from her excellent work in X-Men: First Class, she will go very far.
In respect to the novel of the same name, it did very well! The slight few things that differed, improved the film. Seeing the book on the silver screen worked wonders, no matter if we knew the story already or not.
The length of the movie, nearly 2.5 hours, was actually quite necessary. The preparation for the games required lots of attention, as did the games themselves, obviously. The time spent in each area was well-determined.
I am pretty glad they didn't make this movie 3D. While it may have made it neat at times, there just wasn't enough reason to justify it.
My rating: 9 stars