Friday, April 20, 2012

My Hunger Games Movie Review: Part 2

After listing all the things I thought could have been done better in the Hunger Games movie, I felt a little bad. It's not a fair representation to list only the criticism. I guess I embrace the nay-saying comments more strongly because so many people really loved the movie and I don't feel it is deserving of such strong praise. But to balance out my gloomy Gus-ness of yesterday, today I will put a Pollyanna spin on the movie and list the things that were done really well.

1. Behind the scene of the Games. Hands down, this is what the movie did the best. Even better than the book, really, although maybe that's just my imagination's fault. I knew the games themselves were ripe for development on the big screen but was extra impressed with the communication of how the gamemakers manipulated the environment. The creation of the muttations was a highlight for me.
2. The Violence of the Games. A lot of people had opinions about this matter, especially curiosity before the movie was released. How do you show kids dying on screen in a tasteful way? They nailed this. The chaotic music, the screams, the blank eyes and yet only one image that sticks out in my mind as graphic. This was a tough one to balance and I think a middle ground was perfectly struck.
3. Peeta's camouflage. This detail, alone, might be enough rationale to make books into movies and balances out at least half of my negative comments from yesterday's post. The richness of the visual is what movies are all about and on screen this detail really came alive for me.
4. Katniss's dress. Another visual detail that only the big screen can really make you wrap your head around. I appreciated that it was not over the top.
5. Lenny Kravitz. He was just so good to look at. Enough said.

Photo credit to Lionsgate

6. Stanley Tucci. His look, his smile, his interviews. It just all felt right. In fact, I think he was way stronger than either of the leads when it came to the interviews. I absolutely adored when he appeared in the woods in Katniss's hallucination; it was so Willy Wonka-esque. He was over the top in the right way.

As a final note, I can't add Jennifer Lawrence to either list and I think that's noteworthy. Going into the movie theater, I had a lot of doubts about her as Katniss. Having seen her at the premiere and on magazine covers, she didn't appeal to me as an actress as the person to play such a pared down, humble character. She dresses and presents herself as more sexy than I would like a young adult female lead to model for the target demographic. Admittedly, I like the Twilight books and movies, too and feel I have been spoiled by the fact that Kristen Stewart and her character Bella seem relatively interchangeable. But when all was said and done, Lawrence did a decent job with the role and it's not part of her job to appear a certain way outside of filming.

I'd love to hear your opinions about the goods, the bads, and the Capital fashions!


  1. Stanley Tucci was one of my favorite things about the movie. He was even better than the man I imagined him to be when I read the books. I thought they did a good job handling the violence too. Some of my friends thought that Josh Hutcherson, who played Peeta, was too short and wasn't a good Peeta, but I thought he was perfect! If I were a teenager I'd totally have a crush on him!

  2. I like Lenny, and Woody for that matter...not having read the books, I could see depth there that the movie couldn't show...
    I liked Stanley too, he showed the Crazyness of what was going on in a creepy/great way....