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  #441  
Old March 25th, 2012, 6:44 am
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Re: The Hunger games

Well, after eagerly anticipating this film for the past year it was so nice to finally be able to see it. Overall, I thought it was a well done book adaptation. Jennifer Lawrence really nailed it as Katniss. I had my doubts when she was first cast but the critics were right, she was incredible. Considering that most of the book is katniss' internal monologue, I thought JL did a great job conveying the entire spectrum of emotions that the character goes through and really carried the film well. In fact, all the actors were pretty good.

The reaping was done perfectly. I was pleasantly surprised by the actress who played Prim. You could hear sobs throughout the theatre during that scene.

The main weaknesses of the film are the ones many of you have already mentioned which is disappointing in the sense that it was easily fixable.

1.) the shaky cam- since so many of you had warned me about it, I made sure we sat at the back and fortunately I didn't get dizzy or nauseous. I agree though that it was unnecessary.

2.) I think they should have devoted more time to the arena. It definitely felt rushed at the end, especially when compared to the amount of time that was spent at the capitol to prep for the games. The climax in particular felt very rushed and really left quite a bit out that could have made it much better especially during that final faceoff with Cato.

3.) There should have been more development of the relationship between Rue and Katniss. Even just one more scene and a couple of lines of dialogue about their alliance, Rue reminding Katniss of Prim, etc. would have made it so much better. Rue's death was still sad and I could hear gasps from the audience when it happened, but it would have made Katniss' reaction to it make more sense.

4.) Finally- the weakest part as the critics have said- was unfortunately the romance. I definitely felt shortchanged there. I just didn't think there was enough development to explain Katniss' complex feelings towards Peeta.
One minute she could care less about him, and the next it looks like she is in love with him. When she said "damn you" after she thought he died while looking for the berries people in the audience started laughing and snickering. It reminded me of how people reacted to twilight.

I think part of the problem was they never really explained the flashback properly when Peeta threw her the bread- how he rescued her from the brink of starvation, intentionally burnt the bread so he could throw it to her even though it meant a beating from his mom, how katniss felt like she owed him ever since, etc. They also didn't really show how he got stabbed by Cato when he was trying to protect her from the careers after the tracker jacker scene. That was when she really started to realize he was trying to help her the whole time and his alliance with the careers was just a ploy. I was also waiting for Peeta to pull out his knife right after they announce there can be only one winner, katniss misinterpreting it as an act of aggression and pulling her bow, and then of course her feeling guilty again as he throws it in the water.

But, that is just the purist in me. Overall, I still thought the movie delivered.


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  #442  
Old March 25th, 2012, 7:04 am
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Re: The Hunger games

So...just got back...and I know this might be a knee jerk reaction but...The Hunger Games is my new favorite movie of the decade!!!

It was fantastic. Pitch perfect acting, real hard hitting emotion with not a single cheesy moment, and some really great adaptation choices. Really the only flaws have all already been mentioned. The shaky cam I was so concerned about was really effective at times and completely inappropriate at others (like before the games start) Also on the visual side of things for a film that is going to rake in so much dough some of the special effects could have been better. Oh, and yes, of course some things in the novel were left out but I think the film would have dragged if they had focused too much on life in the districts and not condensed the games and romance a bit (though the romantic in me would have been just fine with more of Katniss/Peeta! ) On the other hand, as I said there was some really great adaption decisions that fleshed out the novel in certain ways and made the film work even though it wasn't all first person pov like the novel was. Also quite frankly I think a lot of scenes play out better on screen then they read. For instance the feast at the Cornucopia and the final showdown with the mutated mutts in which Cato even displays a hint of some underlying humanity. And the ending didn't outrage me like the book; just pumped for the inevitable uprising to come! Oh yeah, and the old fart Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences better take notice!


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  #443  
Old March 25th, 2012, 10:03 am
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Re: The Hunger games

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Originally Posted by RikuStark View Post
I was aware of it, and I only noticed a shaky cam once and it didn't really bother me. Then again I wasn't really looking for it. I think it just depends on the viewer.
Same here. I only noticed it once in the movie and thought it was appropriate there. But then I am also not a person who pays attendion to this kind of things. Same like I couldn't say if I like the score, I don't even remember if there was any music during the whole movie.

Back to shaky cam. My impression was that they used the effect during the fight scenes (esp. the bloodbath) to be able to keep the rating down.


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  #444  
Old March 25th, 2012, 11:04 am
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Re: The Hunger games

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Originally Posted by Tenshi View Post
Same here. I only noticed it once in the movie and thought it was appropriate there. But then I am also not a person who pays attendion to this kind of things. Same like I couldn't say if I like the score, I don't even remember if there was any music during the whole movie.

Back to shaky cam. My impression was that they used the effect during the fight scenes (esp. the bloodbath) to be able to keep the rating down.
Yes, I have no doubt that was one reason behind the decision and that was fine but it was also quite pervasive at times it should not have been. Even so, I feel I should retract what I said before about the director cause everything else was so well done. Such a gripping picture.


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  #445  
Old March 25th, 2012, 1:18 pm
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Re: The Hunger games

I had my doubts when I heard they were making the Hunger games into a movie(IMO, often a book series is ruined when made into a movie, Twilight), After seeing the trailer I really wanted to see it although I still had some doubts. But after finally seeing the movie yesterday, I just have to take all my doubts back. It was Amazing!!I think it's one of the best movies that's based on a book or book series. The cast was great, and it was just a great movie.
I do understand why the shaky camera and the blurry footage might have bothered. But I think it was a way to show the chaos at the arena.
Can't wait for the next book to come out as a movie...


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  #446  
Old March 25th, 2012, 2:10 pm
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Re: The Hunger games

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Originally Posted by captain Sparrow View Post
I do understand why the shaky camera and the blurry footage might have bothered. But I think it was a way to show the chaos at the arena.
Can't wait for the next book to come out as a movie...
The point some of us have been trying to make is that should have been saved for the arena. It was very unnecessary and distracting in the beginning of the film. Aside from this however, it seems to me Gary Ross clearly has some good sense for how to draw the audience in and make them feel like they are a part of the action as demonstrated by his use of sound distortion and other auditory and visual effects.

I think I must agree that it's one of the best book to film adaptations I've ever seen, though it did "play it safe" a bit and as one review pointed out, in the hands of a director like Fincher, Cuaron, Ridley, etc it could really have been a masterpiece, but you know what? That doesn't bother me or play against me suggesting it's my favorite film of the decade...probably largely because I've read the book so I had the gory detail and all of Katniss' thoughts to draw from while watching. I definitely think reading allows for a richer film experience.


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  #447  
Old March 25th, 2012, 3:51 pm
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Re: The Hunger games

I loved how they used the camera and sound to make you feel like you are actually there or are Katniss. For example, when the mines explode everything gets very muffled and you start to hear a ringing (like you would in your ear after being exposed to a loud noise). Another moment of this is the hallucinations after the tracker jacker attack.

Glad you liked it LC!


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  #448  
Old March 25th, 2012, 5:32 pm
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Re: The Hunger games

Box Office News
Initial reports put HG at a stunning $155M. Insofar as I am aware, this film is strictly 2D: which means that we are talking about a 20M ticket opening weekend. (For comparison, Hallows 2 would have made "only" about $151M in 2012 2D ticket sales). This film could have good legs, too. It seems to be getting very good audience response and it has generally strong reviews (87% positive at Rotten Tomatoes). As a non-sequel, people will use these rather than their impression of Hunger Games 0 to decide whether to see the film. So, a $300+M box office and maybe better is not out of the question at all. (For comparisons, look at Spider Man: it opened with the same ticket sales, similarly good critical and audience scores, and sold over 60M tickets.)


Review
My wife and I just saw the film. My wife had not read the books, and although the book has sold over 11M copies, the franchise's fate will depend largely on what people like my wife think. She thought that it was great: she had no problem at all picking up on the story about changing rules or what the general background was. This was due, I think, to my conclusion: it really is an excellent adaptation, fairly deftly providing numerous cinematic analogs of patently uncinematic narrative in some parts of the book.


So, let's get down to brass tacks. The Hunger Games book tells story about Changing Rules. Like Harry Potter, the book is told from the viewpoint of a single protagonist, Katniss Everdeen. (It goes a step further, using first person subjective rather than 3rd person subjective.) Who/what is Katniss? 10 years ago, my wife told me something that several other women have told me: women liked Legolas not simply because Orlando Bloom was hot, but because they wanted to be Legolas. I.e., graceful yet deadly, potent yet not brutish. Legolas, meet your long lost sister Katniss. Much credit has to go to Jennifer Lawrence and Gary Ross here: they succeed in creating a vivid character who has turned her despair of ever changing Dystopia into a single-minded desire to protect her younger sister; through the use of well-placed flashbacks and even hallucinations, we see the anger and resentment that both motivate and blind her.

This aspect of Katniss' character creates one of the biggest challenges in the film. Katniss is not Superwoman in all regards: she's a survivor, she's a huntress, and she is clueless. She's not so much naive or sheltered as she is devoid of any hope for anything pleasant, and thus unable to see things like how boys see her. This hopelessness comes through immediately in Lawrence's and Ross's depiction. However, this sets up the big cinematic challenge: there are things that are obvious to the reader and that are impossible to hide from a viewing audience that Katniss simply does not understand. (Anything to do with Boys is frontmost on this list!) So, the film does not waste it's time trying to hide them. However, the film also makes it clear that Katniss is a bit oblivious: and whether Katniss has any "special" feelings for either of the two young men in her life (Peeta and Gale) never is clarified: my wife was left thinking that the girl was confused, not that the presentation was bad.

It took me a little bit to warm up to Josh Hutcherson's Peeta. However, upon reflection, that is how it should have been, as it takes Katniss a while to warm up to him. Again, having read the books, I'd forgotten that he's a little bit of an enigma at first. My wife's reaction was that Katniss is an idiot is she's still thinking about Gale after this. I reminded her that Katniss is supposed to be 16, to which she replied "good point." (We do not all forget!) His role serves both story and theme very well, emphasizing his hope to remain unchanged, when the point of the games is to reduce people to savage killers.

On this topic, we do see a lot more of Gale than we get in the book. This might be to build up a triangle, but it should be noted that we see a LOT more of everyone than we do in the book: the shots we get of Gale are in sequences including Prim, Katniss' mother and reactions at the other districts to what happens. I will single out one in particular because it represents a great case of cinematic adaptation.
Spoiler: show
Following Rue's Death, we do not get a care package from District 11. Instead, we get to see the reaction in District 11. Katniss gives a 3-fingered kiss/salute (which we see at the beginning after she volunteers) to a camera; but now we see the people at District respond in kind. And then they explode. I am sure that "purists" will disagree, but this was vastly more powerful than re-enacting the book.


Another difference is that we see the machinations behind the games. Again, this simply heightens the story about Changing Rules and also the theme about the power of hope. In the book, it is tacitly understood that the Capital does not want rules to be changed. It is much more explicit and much more calculating here: the point of underdogs is to provide false hope that they might succeed, but then to crush it as reminder that a little hope is all that they can ever have for anything. Ker-blam!

Finally, I would add that the deviation in narrative style helps keep the film moving. Despite it's 2.5 hours, the film never feels long, and even when scenes are "slow," the pace itself is contributing in some way (e.g., tension, loss, etc.). The Arena might run a little long: my fear was that this could be an analog of "The Camping Trip" for some viewers. Also, let's face it: this has been done before and done very well before. I think that it hit just the right balance: right when the suspense started to ebb to ennui, something happened.

The differences between the books leads to one amusing anecdote: as we were sitting there watching the credits and exchanging views, my wife and I overheard a small back of fanboys/girls complaining (bitterly in one case) about all of the changes, calling them pointless and unnecessary. Their anoetic litany probably was correct - I do not remember the specifics of the book well-enough to comment - but as always, never once did they mention whether the story or its themes were intact. Yes, the purists will howl about trivial differences, just as they did for Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings and just about every other adaptation of a widely-read book. However, this story is a literary shark that made it to land as a full-fledged theropod. Every change that I recognized repackaged important plot, thematic and even story elements into cinematic packages.


Relative to other adaptations with similar fan bases, I would say that this ranks very highly, both as a film and as an adaptation. It is not as good as Lord of the Rings, but Rings did not fact the challenges of getting the thoughts onto the screen. It is better as a movie and an adaptation than any of the Harry Potter films except Prisoner: I would put it on par with that. The less-popular "Children of Men" might be the most apt-comparison: and I thought that Hunger Games was every bit as good as that.


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Last edited by Wimsey; March 25th, 2012 at 6:15 pm.
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  #449  
Old March 25th, 2012, 8:54 pm
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Re: The Hunger games

And Children of Men....well, I liked the movie much better than the book. The movie took drastic leaps away from the book. I liked the Hunger Games movie. My biggest fault with it was the same as my fault with the books...feeling dissatisfied with the premises of this dystopian world. How this world came to be, what the point of these games are, how this society works and so on.


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  #450  
Old March 25th, 2012, 9:04 pm
Midnightsfire  Undisclosed.gif Midnightsfire is offline
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Re: The Hunger games

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wimsey View Post
Spoiler: show
Following Rue's Death, we do not get a care package from District 11. Instead, we get to see the reaction in District 11. Katniss gives a 3-fingered kiss/salute (which we see at the beginning after she volunteers) to a camera; but now we see the people at District respond in kind. And then they explode. I am sure that "purists" will disagree, but this was vastly more powerful than re-enacting the book.
I thought that was an awesome moment, which seemed touched with despair.

Despite the amount of attention paid to the character of Katniss, the other half "Peeta" deserved an equal amount for quick wits.
Spoiler: show
When he's on stage talking about a lifelong crush on a girl, a girl that he'll never get a date with since she was the one he came there with...That was another moment, emphasized by Haymitch's comments; "He did you a favor. He made you desirable."


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  #451  
Old March 25th, 2012, 10:14 pm
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Re: The Hunger games

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Originally Posted by ajna View Post
And Children of Men....well, I liked the movie much better than the book. The movie took drastic leaps away from the book. I liked the Hunger Games movie. My biggest fault with it was the same as my fault with the books...feeling dissatisfied with the premises of this dystopian world. How this world came to be, what the point of these games are, how this society works and so on.
heh, well, that becomes a never-ending set of requests! Civilization as we know it collapsed: the exact how and why is not important. The film gave us the basics of the history that was pertinent: i.e., that the games are punishment for a failed rebellion. This certainly rings true with history: after all, who provided much of the fodder for Rome's Colosseum? In any story, an author needs to provide us with the basics to understand the plot and story elements. However, although a certain subset of readers crave the details, most readers find extraneous details to be, well, extraneous details. The guns shown in the opening act must be fired before the final act: and the History of Panem is a wall for mounting guns, not a gun itself.

As for Children, yes, the narrative details were much different, but the story was the same. Again, the cinematic lungs replaced literary gills there. This film did a similarly good job of that.


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Originally Posted by Midnightsfire View Post
I thought that was an awesome moment, which seemed touched with despair.

Despite the amount of attention paid to the character of Katniss, the other half "Peeta" deserved an equal amount for quick wits.
Spoiler: show
When he's on stage talking about a lifelong crush on a girl, a girl that he'll never get a date with since she was the one he came there with...That was another moment, emphasized by Haymitch's comments; "He did you a favor. He made you desirable."
That actually was another big challenge for the film. In the book, Katniss is a difficult person to like. The reasons for this are understandable and revolve around her absolute hopelessness.

But this is a challenge: what do you do with an unlikable protagonist? They did seem to tone down her innate distrust of everyone. Of course, that also is much more difficult to develop on screen: in the book, we constantly read her: "what is he/she really doing?" thoughts, but without a dreadful voice-over narration, the film could not do that.

As it stood, I think that it was a good compromise. Katniss comes across as tough and unyielding, but not belligerent and suspicious.

That being said, the film did a great job of making Peeta a very likable character: and that was very much the case in the books, too.


On the Box Office front, it will be very interesting to see what happens next weekend. As a "new" film, it will not suffer anything like the rapid decays of, say, recent Harry Potter films. However, adaptations of popular books tend to have steeper decays than completely novel films: a big chunk of the audience was people who had read the books. (Again, though, twice as many tickets as copies of the book were sold.) Moreover, the audience was heavily skewed towards women: it was over 60% female. That is the reverse of the first Lord of the RIngs film: and like Lord of the Rings, it probably reflects a heavily skewed "core" audience albeit in the opposite direction. I think that something similar might happen here: this series will appeal to the "other" sex, too, and I can see the demographics shifting towards 50:50. That will make the series a prime candidate for increasing box offices for Catching Fire. Also, this makes the film a good candidate for having good legs: the lack of "anticipation" front-loading the sequels have should give it pretty good legs. 45+M ticket sales surely is not out of the question. (My best guess would be to double what it has by the end of this week: a "half-life" of 7 days seems reasonable.)


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  #452  
Old March 25th, 2012, 10:55 pm
Midnightsfire  Undisclosed.gif Midnightsfire is offline
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Re: The Hunger games

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Originally Posted by Wimsey View Post
That actually was another big challenge for the film. In the book, Katniss is a difficult person to like. The reasons for this are understandable and revolve around her absolute hopelessness.
*nods* Most of us want to be liked. But the whole "kill or be killed" situation discourages that desire to say the least.
---------------------------

Box office report: 'The Hunger Games' posts third-best opening weekend ever with $155 mil

Well, that’s one way to make an impression. The Hunger Games surpassed the wildest industry expectations to debut to $155 million, according to studio estimates.

That’s the third-biggest opening weekend ever, behind only Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 ($169.2 million) and The Dark Knight ($158.4 million). It’s also the best debut ever for a non-sequel, crushing 2010′s Alice in Wonderland ($116.1 million), and it represents the top opening weekend for any picture outside the summer movie season. And, yes, it must be mentioned — The Hunger Games opened stronger than all four Twilight films.

----------------
I suspect the sequel is already being worked on.


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  #453  
Old March 25th, 2012, 11:18 pm
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Re: The Hunger games

In addition to the Box Office numbers that Wimsey and Midnightsfire have mentioned, the audience demographic (while skewing female) is quite impressive too for something that was originally being billed as "the next Twilight"-
Quote:
While a majority of the audience for The Hunger Games were women (61 percent), the fact that it did have some appeal to men as well surely helped it get as high as it did. In comparison, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1's crowd was 80 percent female. The Hunger Games audience also skewed slightly older (56 percent were 25 years of age and up), and they awarded the movie a strong "A" CinemaScore.
source- http://www.boxofficemojo.com/news/?id=3401&p=.htm


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  #454  
Old March 26th, 2012, 1:28 am
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Re: The Hunger games

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Originally Posted by Midnightsfire View Post
*nods* Most of us want to be liked. But the whole "kill or be killed" situation discourages that desire to say the least.
It goes even beyond that: it's the whole hopelessness of her life and her possibilities. It's not just for herself, but really, her entire world. In a lot of ways, Katniss does not care about being liked: she simply has bigger concerns. But the opening scene statements also give us an insight: she has zero desire to continue that world by bringing kids into it. That's not the talk of a career-minded young lady: it's the talk of someone who cannot see the point in goals of any sort, other than "wake up tomorrow."

I thought that the film did a good job of communicating that, despite the limitations that cinema presents.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnightsfire View Post
Well, that’s one way to make an impression. The Hunger Games surpassed the wildest industry expectations to debut to $155 million, according to studio estimates.

That’s the third-biggest opening weekend ever, behind only Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 ($169.2 million) and The Dark Knight ($158.4 million). It’s also the best debut ever for a non-sequel, crushing 2010′s Alice in Wonderland ($116.1 million), and it represents the top opening weekend for any picture outside the summer movie season. And, yes, it must be mentioned — The Hunger Games opened stronger than all four Twilight films.
The audience also was a lot older than the early HP films or the Twilight films. It was a lot more male than the Twilight films, and a bit more female than the HP films. CineScore is reporting an audience grade of A, although I'd take that with some grain of salt: this audience was disproportionately made up of fans of the book, and how "fanboys" rate a movie and how Joe & Jane Public rate a movie can be very different. (See Potter, Harry, and Rings, Lord of the..... )

However, there usually is a good correlation between how critics rate a film and how non-fans rate a film. Thus, the fairly strong critical reviews bode well for the audience for Catching Fire. We'll probably have a better idea of the audience response in a month or so: movie scores on IMDB will start to asymptote, and as this is an "original," the legs of the film will give us a good idea about word-of-mouth.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnightsfire View Post
I suspect the sequel is already being worked on.
Catching Fire is scheduled to premier on 13 November 2013, with the same writers and director. I think that I read that the cast was signed on for the sequels conditioned on the studio approving them. So, we basically have a 20 month wait. I suspect that will be quick enough of a turn-around time to take advantage of the good vibes for the film: sequels can be up to 3 years old and still very well predicted by the box office X popularity of the prior film.


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  #455  
Old March 26th, 2012, 1:36 am
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Re: The Hunger games

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Originally Posted by AccioHP View Post
I loved how they used the camera and sound to make you feel like you are actually there or are Katniss. For example, when the mines explode everything gets very muffled and you start to hear a ringing (like you would in your ear after being exposed to a loud noise). Another moment of this is the hallucinations after the tracker jacker attack.

Glad you liked it LC!
I remember that ringing part. It hurt my ears.


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Old March 26th, 2012, 1:56 am
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Re: The Hunger games

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heh, well, that becomes a never-ending set of requests! Civilization as we know it collapsed: the exact how and why is not important. The film gave us the basics of the history that was pertinent: i.e., that the games are punishment for a failed rebellion. This certainly rings true with history: after all, who provided much of the fodder for Rome's Colosseum? In any story, an author needs to provide us with the basics to understand the plot and story elements. However, although a certain subset of readers crave the details, most readers find extraneous details to be, well, extraneous details. The guns shown in the opening act must be fired before the final act: and the History of Panem is a wall for mounting guns, not a gun itself.

As for Children, yes, the narrative details were much different, but the story was the same. Again, the cinematic lungs replaced literary gills there. This film did a similarly good job of that.




That actually was another big challenge for the film. In the book, Katniss is a difficult person to like. The reasons for this are understandable and revolve around her absolute hopelessness.

But this is a challenge: what do you do with an unlikable protagonist? They did seem to tone down her innate distrust of everyone. Of course, that also is much more difficult to develop on screen: in the book, we constantly read her: "what is he/she really doing?" thoughts, but without a dreadful voice-over narration, the film could not do that.

As it stood, I think that it was a good compromise. Katniss comes across as tough and unyielding, but not belligerent and suspicious.

That being said, the film did a great job of making Peeta a very likable character: and that was very much the case in the books, too.


On the Box Office front, it will be very interesting to see what happens next weekend. As a "new" film, it will not suffer anything like the rapid decays of, say, recent Harry Potter films. However, adaptations of popular books tend to have steeper decays than completely novel films: a big chunk of the audience was people who had read the books. (Again, though, twice as many tickets as copies of the book were sold.) Moreover, the audience was heavily skewed towards women: it was over 60% female. That is the reverse of the first Lord of the RIngs film: and like Lord of the Rings, it probably reflects a heavily skewed "core" audience albeit in the opposite direction. I think that something similar might happen here: this series will appeal to the "other" sex, too, and I can see the demographics shifting towards 50:50. That will make the series a prime candidate for increasing box offices for Catching Fire. Also, this makes the film a good candidate for having good legs: the lack of "anticipation" front-loading the sequels have should give it pretty good legs. 45+M ticket sales surely is not out of the question. (My best guess would be to double what it has by the end of this week: a "half-life" of 7 days seems reasonable.)
Well, it wasn't just the movie; I felt it in the books....it just was all too vague. I realize that that wasn't really what the books were about, so, it only needed to be alluded to, but, throughout the books and the movie, the reasoning for these games is a nagging thought. And as for Children of men, well, I don't know what book you read, but I found the screen version (which I liked better) to be quite a leap away from the book. Thematically it was the same, but story wise, for me, it was unrecognizable.

What I did like about the movie was that they kept a pretty strong thematic link going to Peeta's refusal to be changed. In the book it isn't as strong, but in the movie, this theme seems to be strongly linked to Katniss also. That they are in the games but not of the games. They own themselves. Katniss never knowingly makes the first move in any kill she makes. They always defensive kills. She owns herself and Peeta in the end with the eating of the berries. This takes on a feeling that she has grown, that she has taken on a higher purpose that she seems to absorb from Peeta.



Last edited by ajna; March 26th, 2012 at 2:09 am.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 2:31 am
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Re: The Hunger games

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I didn't like it much.

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Firstly, I hate hand-held camera, and especially when it's done for no reason at all, like in this case. From the very start, when Katniss is still hugging her sister and interacting with Gale. Completely pointless and very annoying. Same goes for battle scenes - if you can't see what exactly is going on in the battle, it doesn't have much of an impact, and the impact of teenagers murdering each other is the whole point of the story.

Secondly, the whole film felt jagged, drawn out at places and rushed at others. It didn't feel seamless or smooth as the book did. I think they should have spent more time on Rue, for example, for her death to have an effect.

As for acting, Jennifer Lawrence, who was absolutely fantastic in Winter's Bone, was predictably brilliant, but I didn't really feel much for the rest of the characters. Woody Harrelson was surprisingly stiff and underwhelming, in my opinion.

I liked the added viewpoint though - the POV of the Capitol and the Gamemakers, I think it did a great job in adding some flesh to the whole setting by contributing to the atmosphere of oppression and paranoia pervading Panem.
Completely agree.


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Old March 26th, 2012, 2:45 am
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Re: The Hunger games

I have a question and I'm actually particularly curious what Wimsey's thoughts are (but I believe he has me on ignore) so I'd appreciate it if someone could quote and respond to this...

How did you feel about Katniss drugging Peeta being omitted from the film? I get why...but was this a good adaptation choice or not? Personally I feel like it leaves out one of the most thought provoking moments in the book which added a layer of complexity to the story.


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Old March 26th, 2012, 2:58 am
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Re: The Hunger games

I saw the movie today and thought that it was a very good adaptation of the book. The Reaping was extremely emotional and I thought that they did an excellent job of showing how horrible it was to get picked to be a tribute. They did a great job of telling the story and the message of the book.

I saw the movie with two of my sisters. One of them had just read the book and the other one hadn't. I read the book about a year ago. The one who hadn't read the book said she didn't have any trouble understanding the story. The one who had recently finished reading the book really liked the movie, too. I avoided rereading the book because I didn't want to spoil the movie by comparing it to the book.

I was very worried about the use of the shaky cam for this movie, since I tend to get motion sickness when things move around too much. And this movie did have a few spots where the shaky cam was really annoying. The opening when they were flasing back to the past would have been a lot nicer if it was smooth rather than bouncy. The battle scenes were much too chaotic. I think they were trying to prevent it from being too gory, but instead of conveying the horror of the murders, they conveyed confusion over what was happening and who was doing it. I thought that the book made the Hunger Games seem a lot more dangerous and horrible than the movie did.


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Old March 26th, 2012, 3:06 am
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Re: The Hunger games

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I thought that the book made the Hunger Games seem a lot more dangerous and horrible than the movie did.
True, in the film Katniss didn't nearly die of dehydration and there wasn't a sense that she was practically starving at times during the game even though she could hunt...but these things would have taken time to convey and that would have made the film drag I fear, so I think it was ok to omit/condense. It is true that it wasn't as much of a survival film as I'd expected, like say Into the Wild's adaptation for instance.
Ultimately though I think The Hunger Games were horrible enough to get the book's messages across and that's what really matters, right?


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