Hey Blogger Buds,
I almost wrote this review after I saw the movie on Sunday morning, but I pushed it off in hopes that I would be more coherent after a few days. I am not. (I'm also kind of tempted to go see it again, to catch those little things you miss the first time around. Alas, it was not meant to be. But I might convince some friends to go, and join them... Or, worse comes to worst, I'll rewatch it when the DVD is out.)
I'm doing a pretty detailed analysis, using an overview provided by The Hunger Games wikia and Wikipedia to help me.
Of course, if you haven't read the book, this is spoilery.
Fair Warning: I run out of synonyms for "beautiful," "amazing," "glorious," "fabulous," and "perfect." Sorry, there's going to be a lot of repetition.
If you'd asked me on Sunday morning what I thought of the Hunger Games, judging it by the trailers and clips I got online, I would have told you that it was going to be a terrible movie. I expected to completely hate it.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
I missed the first three minutes of the movie, but it wasn't much, and I caught it later. The best part: Buttercup, Prim's cat, gives Katniss a dirty look. And then there's a lot of walking, giving us a view of the Seam. It could have been better. It could have been worse.
She says a few words in the beginning, but the first thing I heard Katniss say was, pardon my French, "d@mn it, Gale!" (Yes, I did just put an "@," what makes you ask?) It was kind of an eye-roll moment for me.
Gale. Gale, Gale, Gale. I'm going to save Katniss for last, but I'm going to rant about Gale here: I love Gale. Before I was Team Seneca Crane's Beard, I was Team Gale. I imagined him as tall and lanky, with grey eyes (of course). Liam Hemsworth (though he comes equipped with a well-disguised steamy accent) is stocky. Peeta-stocky. Cato-stocky.
We go on, and Effie is awesome. Psychotic, OCD, and manner-obsessed, but awesome. And then she draws Prim, and there's DRAMA. And you stare in shock, cuz you had NO IDEA that was going to happen. And there's a sense of being alone, as everyone steps back, and a little 12-year-old is standing there, frozen in shock, terrified out of her wits and utterly abandoned.
And then Katniss. We've all seen this scene in the trailer, of course. Katniss volunteers, Prim cries, Gale takes her away, and Katniss goes up to Effie, who is wearing awesome shoes. Seriously. Go see the movie, and study Effie's shoes. You only get brief glimpses, but they're frawesome.
District 12's salute of Katniss was fabulous. (I was going to say something else, with a gif, but I'm saving that for last.)
I was a bad person about what happens next. Peeta is called, and I barely contained my laughter. He was about to cry, and I was giggling in my seat. For a while after, he was a nervous wreck.
The beautiful flashback shut me up, though. It was short, intense, and really whet the viewer's appetite. Fortunately, they deliver. But not just yet.
Haymitch was fantastic. I don't remember, but Google tells me that he had black hair in the book. I still loved him. I wish his hair was a bit longer though, his beard a drop scruffier. And, of course, I wanted him to be drunker than he was. ;)
The Capitol was beautiful. Though no one had eyebrows.
Cinna was...better than I expected. I'm still a little disappointed, but he could have been much, much worse.
The parade was disappointing. I was expecting flames. I got...sparks. It was very meh, IMHO.
Caesar Flickerman was every bit as slick as he was in the book. It was perfect. He was glorious.
I will critique the lack of explanation about the whole love-thing. Haymitch only spared it a one-liner.
One scene I didn't quite understand: Cinna dramatically helps Katniss put on her jacket before the games. He then fastens a Mockingjay to her shirt, concealing it with dramatic-jacket, and then he puts a finger to his lips. In the book, Katniss doesn't take the pin into the arena at all, it's forbidden. The pin isn't elaborated on.
The arena is amazing. You really get a feel for it, and it's beautiful, too. The gore in the bloodbath is kept to a minimum, as well. In a good way. But killing an adorable little boy, and a Career one, at that? Not cool, Cato. Not cool.
The cannons weren't very cannon-like, though. It made me sad. I wanted that boom.
Katniss grabs a non-orange pack, and heads towards the border. Bored, the Gamemakers raise the heat a bit. This part was really cool in the book, and I was really nervous it would get messed up. But it was perfect.
The silver parachutes were quite impressive, as well. Very cute. Well-done.
Rue was fabulous, of course. So cute I want to eat her, and a brilliant little thief too.
The tracker-jackers were so scary. And so cool. Katniss's hallucinations were artfully done, and still terrifying. Really sad, as well.
Ah! Rue! I totally teared up.
Am I the only one who thought the announcer would sound like that annoying guy who pops up when you're the millionth person to visit a web page, and says "Congratulations! You won!"?
I was curious as to how Peeta's rock disguise would turn out. In the book, I didn't quite get it. And lolz. When reading that scene in the book, this is pretty much what I pictured, and I was confuzzled.
Seneca Crane. He was amazing. Fo' realz. Wes Bentley is the newest love of my life. I don't think we'd work out though; he'd shave the beard to avoid the fangirls, and I'd leave him.
The cave was amazing. Sweet, soft, sensitive. All the things that Katniss isn't. Though it's sometimes the little things, like the lack of drugging Peeta, that bothers me. There was soup, of course. And they slept side by side. But there was no drugging Peeta to sneak out for his medicine. Which I would have loved. But she goes.
Gale's little scenes were a really great addition. I loved seeing him, his reaction to Katniss-Peeta kissy-kissy.
Katniss sneaks out and we, of course, have scary-killer-Glimmer who doesn't shine. At all.
Thresh was amazing. He was perfect, scary and forgiving both. Though we were missing emo-Cato when Glimmer dies. EMO-CATO FTW! But more on him later.
We only got emo-Katniss at one part. She goes hunting. She hears the cannon. She sees the berries. She flips. I die. (Well, more acurately, Foxface dies. Semantics.)
But past boring emo stuff. It gets dark. There's barking. A scream. Glorious, ferocious, muttations. They're not quite what I imagined, but they're fantastic still.
I don't need to explain to you what happens next, at the Cornucopia. But dfasdkfjadf OMfreakin'G.
Peeta, understandably, doesn't lose any legs in the movie. (Me? Sadistic? Noooo)
Some Things I Wanted to Mention Separately
Katniss isn't as morally ambiguous in the movie as in the book. She kills people, crushes Peeta, does mean things in the book. I've always loved how her first direct kill is to avenge Rue. But besides for that, she mercy-kills Cato and is pretty saint-like for the rest of the time.
Jennifer Lawrence was better than I expected. I was really annoyed, at first, by her lack of expression. Her face is frozen the entire movie. One expression. Like Emma Watson in HP7-2. And then you look at her eyes. And they betray everything. And you decide she's not as bad as you thought. Bonus points if every now and then you almost maybe a little bit forget that she's a 23-year-old Hollywood actress playing a 16-year-old Seam hunter.
Peeta was better than I thought. But J-Hutch (yes, I just said that) had too much hair gel. Seriously.
The CAMERA was TERRIBLE. Yeah, they want me to be as confused as Katniss, have the same rushed tunnel-vision as her. But dudes. I was ready to puke. So glad I didn't see it in IMAX. (I was probably sitting a bit too close, too, but whatever.)
I'm going to avoid pictures, so you, too, can be overwhelmed by the lolz. But it was beautiful. And a bit creepy.
You get a glimpse, and she's the wrong color, but in that moment you really understand her and Katniss's relationship.
It was a very pleasing addition, seeing the Gamemakers. Really cool, and almost fun in a sadistic way.
Katniss vs Haymitch
They do scuffle, like in the books. And I was rolling. I'm not going to tell you they're little pokes at each other, because it'll ruin it, but it's great. Gif-worthy. But I'm getting to that soon.
President Snow + "hope" - evil bloody roses = Dumbledore
You think I'm joking. He just needs to grow his beard a bit.
I think I just ruined the entire movie for you.
Eyebrows and freakishness aside, the Capitol was beautiful.
Another one of those pictures kept under wraps, the Cornucopia was well worth the wait. I was surprised at first, but it's grown on me.
I mentioned above how glorious they were. Glorious. Big, frightening dog-things. The only drawback was the cutting out of the creepy eye thing, but it's understandable.
This is what I was most looking forward to sharing with you. I'm not usually one for gifs, but there are some fantastic ones.
Two describe the movie perfectly:
It's official. In part as an HP-HG crossover and in part because it's awesome, I'm officially replacing every occurrence of "Merlin's Beard!" with "Seneca's Crane's Beard!" Cuz it's awesome.
I don't want to ruin it for you, because this wasn't in the book, but District 11 has a cameo part, and it's fantastic. Utterly incredible. You should see the movie just for this reason, and #1.
Wow. Cato. I've actually heard of Alexander Ludwig, so I figured he was a good actor, as these things don't usually stick in my brain. Cato is seen as partially unstable, a ruthless killer. And then you get to that final scene. And I've been blown away. I still haven't fully recovered from that scene. It was...amazing. Ludwig was fabulous, and you almost cry for Cato, the central antagonist, when he dies. Those last few minutes... *shakes head in a failed attempt to clear it*
Oh, and Alexander Ludwig is very wise, too. He was asked what weapon he would take into the Hunger Games, if he could choose one:
May the odds be ever in your favor,
PS: Thursday I have a THG character doll. Sunday I have a Hunger Games themed song parody!
PPS: Sorry for the late post. This took me hours to write.
Current Music: The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond album (Youtube Playlist)
Current Music: The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond album (Youtube Playlist)