I know that we've all heard plenty of opinions on The Hunger Games movie and I'm sure I don't have anything new to add. But this is what I feel like writing. So there. :-P
I really, really, really liked it. I can't bring myself to say that I loved it, but it was close. I think it helps that it's been years since I read the first book, so the details have gotten a little hazy for me. Almost everything that I did remember made it into the movie.
I was mostly impressed with the casting. I really liked Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. She caught that inner fire very well. That spark of temper, the caregiver, the girl who manages to always do exactly the right thing by just being herself. I was very happy with Lenny Kravitz as Cinna and Amandla Stenberg as Rue. Donald Sutherland captured President Snow well, I just thought he should have looked a little more...polished. Gale. Wow. I've been Team Gale all along but Liam Hemsworth made sure that I will never change my mind. I feel like a cradle robber saying this, but, man, what a hottie! The two that I'm not quite buying are Peeta and Haymitch. Someone pointed out that Josh Hutcherson was the kid in Journey to the Center of the Earth and I couldn't really move past that. He just seemed too young in comparison to Katniss and Gale. They're all supposed to be about the same age, right? Woody Harrelson as Haymitch? Eh. It kind of worked. He did what he could. I just thought Haymitch would be older and heavier. Not goofy Woody. Some actors will never be able to leave some roles behind, no matter how they try. Woody Harrelson is one of them.
The filming was excellent. I loved the over-the-top sets for the Capitol. I was pleasantly surprised by the flaming costumes. Those could have looked horrible, but they were really pretty awesome. All of the weird makeup, hairstyles and clothing--it was even better on screen than I imagined. I was a little worried about the violence. If I don't want to picture something while I'm reading, I just don't. I don't really have that option when watching a movie. But it was handled very well. We knew exactly what was happening, but a lot of it happened off screen, or else so quickly that you got more impressions than details. I even caught myself tearing up in that one scene, and I knew darn good and well what was coming! And I'm not a crier!
I got a huge kick out of seeing my part of the world on the screen! We show up in a lot of movies, believe it or not, but it's still fun to try to guess where scenes were shot. District 12 scenes were shot within 5 minutes of my friend's house. Some scenes were shot in a forest fairly close to my family's land. I don't know all their locations, but it was still fun to think that I possibly recognized a view here and there.
I've heard that people who haven't read the books pretty much don't like the movie. I was a little concerned that the friend I went with wouldn't enjoy it for that reason. But she said she liked it, and she really seemed to! She asked me a couple of questions during the movie to make sure she understood what was going on, but otherwise it was a hit with her!
I highly recommend it if this is your cup of tea!
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