The Hunger Games



I saw The Hunger Games this weekend.  I did not read the book prior to seeing the film, but here’s the short of what it’s about.  Jennifer Lawrence plays Katniss who’s from the mining District 12.  Ever year each district sends a boy and a girl to the Hunger Games where they battle it out and whomever is left standing at the end is the winner.


The good; for knowing nothing about this world, they did a great job in creating it and making it believable.  It’s a future world where a terrible war/event ravaged the people and to maintain unity/obedience among the survivors they created the hunger games, which take place every year.  And there’s this wonderful tone and atmosphere around the lottery where the kids get picked at random, almost like a draft, some foreboding spectre that hovered and consumed all those kids.  Just well executed.


*SPOILER* when we get to the capital city… Capitol you can tell the difference in wealth and how displaced it is among the districts.  The color palate changes once we’re in Capitol, not just in the sky and the buildings, but in the clothes.  It worked very well for me. *END SPOILER*


The movie runs about two hours and twenty minutes, at no point during the movie did I feel like looking at my watch, this movie utilized its time well and I appreciate it for that.  When you’re able to engage me for that amount of time and have me solely focused on the film, that’s an achievement.


The bad; I hated the beginning in District 12, the movie opens with useless hand held shots.  Lock the tripod down, it’s the beginning of the film, I want to soak in the ordinary world, let me look around and see what’s going on and how it’s going on.  Why is it that they chose the documentary style??  Totally unnecessary.


I have this beef with most films, and how they cover action sequences… give me a medium or a wide shot.  Would it kill you do pull out just a little?  I want to see and understand how they’re fighting, if I had that I would appreciate the why of their fighting all that much more.   It seems today that all action has to be covered by someone who’s fighting there with them… I don’t want that.  Especially in the climactic moments of the fight, I want the frame to breathe.  A good example of something done well is the climax of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly…,
and I’m sure there are discrepancies with the book, but I don’t know them yet… so yeah.  Those are my big two gripes.


Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this film.  The emotional beats were placed right and they built up to them.  When characters die you feel for them, that’s good movie making and great story telling.  The film garnered $153 million opening weekend, and $20 million from midnight sales alone… if you don’t believe my opinion of the movie, take a look at the numbers.
Another thing I enjoyed about this movie is that it made me want to read the novel, anything that makes you want to read afterwards can’t be bad, those entities are few and far between these days…


2 thoughts on “The Hunger Games

  1. Danny

    I agree that most movies nowadays have a poor way of displaying action sequences. They make it too much shaky cam or are in too tight on the action (one example are the recent Batman movies). However, I think in this case, they are playing for the PG-13 rating and had to mask the violence that occurred. They at least showed the results of the violence, but I do understand what you are saying.

    Overall, I enjoyed the movie too. I hadn’t read the book yet, so I did check my watch at one point, because I wanted to know if they were going to end the movie early and not show much of the actual Hunger Games, and just do a “to be continued” deal.

    *Possible Spoiler*
    But the ending didnt seem to lend that much to a sequel. It leaves some open questions as to what happens next, but it doesn’t quite make me want to know what’s next.
    *End spoiler*

    I do want to read the book though, as I want to know the significance of the three finger salute. In my juvenile mind, I’d like to think it’s a throwback to the old “read between the lines” expression. And I’m sure the book will elaborate more on the characters and their backgrounds.

  2. Eugene Post author

    Thanks for your thoughts. It seems as though the shaky cam and close up shots of covering an action scene is something that’s become a trend. I can’t pinpoint when I first saw it, but I want to say The Bourne Identity… anyway, nowadays it’s been used to cover up the fact that the actor(s) don’t have combat training experience. It was either Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly (or both) that only had wide shots of their dancing, and for good reason, to display their dancing ability. So that’s what it feels like in films today, directors and filmmakers want to hide the actor(s) lack of combat training.

    But overall, excellent movie, worth watching for sure.


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