Friday, March 23, 2012
The Hunger Games Review
Some of us last night got to watch the first installment in The Hunger Games series and for the most part we have to admit that the direction they took was brilliant. The movie isn't perfect, if you are an avid lover of the books then you might be annoyed at some elements that they chose to leave out from the overall story, and though some of these were important in the books they did not take away from the overall experience of the movie, books will forever have more detail then their movie counterparts, that's just a fact that will never change. Let's begin by addressing some of the brilliant moves the director took in order to make this movie the success that it is.
It's no mystery that this movie's theme is a dark one, and it's no surprise that this book has been accepted by both guys and girls in a variation of ages, specially high school. Which brings us to the "motion cam" usage within the movie, this was a brilliant move for it answers the question of how does one create a movie about high school students killing each other and not make it rated "R". If the director had sought to follow the book to a T then yes there would have been no way for this movie to be anything other than "R", but doing so would leave out a good half of the audience that loves the book thus the inclusion of the motion cam is a brilliant move for all fight sequences are masked and though while watching you are aware of the gruesome nature of what is going on, you are not being faced with all the gory details.
Another brilliant move was the soundtrack, the whole movie is either accompanied with an instrumental track or no track at all, in fact there are periods in the movie where there is no background music, just the awkward sounds of real life. What this does is make you nervous, it makes you understand the density of the story, it makes you feel uncomfortable a little thus giving off the very real emotion of "this is wrong" that this movie should give while not relying on shock factor or violence to bring that emotion about. Plus its so nice to have a movie that doesn't have a cheesy pop song in the middle of it, it would have taken away from the whole experience if they had included one in there.
Another huge deal was the casting for this movie, the casting director should be awarded a medal here the picks were brilliant, well except for Cinna, but even there we all fell in love with his character midway through the movie. Jennifer Lawrence was magnificent, she portrays Katniss perfectly, the nervous girl who gets thrown into a nightmare but rises out of the ashes through willpower and courage. In some sense Katniss is the anti-Bela, she doesn't need a guy to save her, she is independent, she is a hunter, a loyal friend, she holds to her morals and so forth, we could write a whole essay on this topic alone. Woody Harrelson proved to us again why he's amazing and should be in more movies, he plays the role of Haymitch perfectly. There was concern about the casting for this movie when we first heard who was picked, but after seeing the movie we have to admit that the director knew exactly what he was doing.
This was not a perfect movie, in fact many of the critiques going around about it are valid critiques, while some critiqued the "motion cam" use we found that to be brilliant, that and the soundtrack did not bother us but enhanced our enjoyment of the movie, but if we could critique one thing though we would talk about the the fight scenes. Though we understand the need to keep them PG13 in order for high school students to be able to see the movie as well, we felt like there needed to be more emphasis on the combat, some of it felt forced and did not hold the impact that it should have held, we don't know how one would go about doing that without going to an "R" rating, but some kill sequences just felt lacking in some ways. This is something that could be perfected by the next movie's release.
The scene with Rue was the one we were the most nervous about (no spoilers promise), it is a delicate scene and a very important one, here we felt the director struck gold. The movie slows down quite a bit during this whole sequence and we feel the whole impact of what is going on through this relationship, the whole construction of this scene was brilliant. We specially liked the fact that they kept switching from "the games" to behind the scenes commentary, to Haymitch and others responses and so on, this was a great addition to the story and made the whole sequence in the arena a fluid one, and filled everyone that did not read the books in to important details in the story.
"The Hunger Games" is not an easy book to adapt to a movie, and this end result is more than most could have achieved, thus we cannot help but give this movie an B+, there is room for improvement for the sequels that's for sure, but the overall experience was dense and fantastic, the story telling was fluid and the gruesome nature of the story is told without there being tons of gory details along the way. Overall we were satisfied with the end result and look forward to the other two additions to this series, we can't wait to see how they adapt those two to the big screen.
We recommend that you check this movie out, this might just be the best movie that has come out this month, in fact we would say that yes this is the best movie of the month. We hope your week went well and pray that this coming weekend might be a good safe one for you.
Love from your humble blogger,