Hoo boy. Where to start....
First, it is a good movie. Some will obviously rave over it while others will shun it.
The premise of the film is a future where America, after a major war, is re-established into 13 districts and a Capital. there was an uprising of the districts which ended with District 13 being demolished and left in ashes as an example and a yearly tournament is now held where each district provides a tribute; a two children/teens between the ages of 12-18, both a boy and a girl. Our hero, Katniss Everdeen, comes from the poorest district, District 12.
I will start with what bugged me most. The camera work. This film has worse shaky camera action than Blair Witch Project. Even when there is no action, the camera is moving around and constantly cutting to different angles. And the camera is always real close to everyone's faces and the action. And from what I could tell, the action really was not that well choreographed either.So with in close footage of the action and being shook around with it, you really cannot see what is going on. I actually think the people who edited the previews for the movie did a better job than those who made the end result.
The only real problem with the movie is not too bad and more nit picking due to having read the book. They could and should of done a lot more with some of the ways the Capital was presented. Now, there was some serious cuts from the book like taking away entire characters and scenes but I really had no problems with this. What they did take away was the mystery and the overwhelming threat of that the Capital had. The story was made a bit too simple for all viewers to easily follow and understand. I actually thought that the hard part for them was going to be the literal forced romance but what they did not accomplish was impose the dread and true tyranny the Capital and President Snow had in the books. Particularly how they abuse people with their feelings and emotions. Even within the Hunger Games tournament itself, there really was not a looming threat. My guess is they toned it down for a PG-13 rating within writing the script itself and got watered down as an end result. I honestly think it would of gotten a rating of PG if not for rating politics these days.
So whats good you ask? Even with all the watering down, missing characters, and scenes, they did a good job in capturing the overall look of the world that the book presented. Much like how the animated film 'Watership Down' had left out entire stories and characters from the book but still was able to faithfully tell the main story, this one does too. There is even a sequence added to show some of the happenings that take relevance in the upcoming sequels.
The acting and characters were great. They really showed how the culture within the Capital and the districts differentiate and thankfully did not pull a 99% which they easily could of done with this story. Some minor characters were evolved into bigger roles and it helped to explain to those who have not read the books of what is going on. Prime examples would be Caesar Flickerman(played by Stanley Tucci) who in the books was just a charismatic and funny interviewer is now also a play by play announcer as well and the Game Master Seneca Crane (played by my own hometown's local celebrity Wes Bentley) who has more scenes now to show the control they really have over the happenings in the games and the politics involved with it.
Overall, I say its worth seeing and my only true complaint is that I wish the director and/or cinematographer and editor had done a better job and not use such poor camera use.
3 out of 5 stars
Update: Just saw other reviews and seems most everybody hated the shaky cam. Hopefully this will lead to them to do better camera work in the follow up movies. And I know that my 3 out of 5 rating did surprise some and I admit I was going to give it a higher rating but I felt that the loss of obvious potential that could of made this film so much better with the shaking and blurry camera effects did hurt this film from being a truly great movie. I would explain the potentials missed but it will involve major spoilers. If you really want to know, send me a PM and I will tell you
6 years, 8 months ago
25 Mar 2012 00:16 CET