This movie is everywhere! I may be late; but better late than never right? The movie is The Hunger Games, directed by Gary Ross (Seabiscuit). It stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson and Lenny Kravitz. The movie is about a future government that forces 24 boys and girls to fight to the death, as millions watch on live television. One boy, and one girl are selected as "tributes" from 12 districts, to make up the field of fighters. The movie is the first in a trilogy of books, written by Suzanne Collins. Let's go.
What I liked about the film:
The rest of the cast is great as well. Josh Hutcherson plays the love interest and a contender in the tournament. Stanley Tucci plays a TV personality and is so animated in doing so. Elizabeth Banks is barely recognizable in her role. She, Woody Harelson and Lenny Kravitz play mentors to Lawrence and Hutcherson.
Granted this is an adaptation from a novel, but the movie did a good job of character arcs. Each of the main actors had enough material to work with and progress their characters. I like the way the mentors were treated in the movie. They had heart and cared about the young contenders.
The Future / Special Effects
When I say I liked the way the future was portrayed in the movie, I don't just mean special effects. The implications of the future are something to really think about. The government is using propaganda to justify kids killing each other. What had to have happen for people to be ok with that notion? And what becomes of hope in times like that? The movie touches on the power of hope and how it can spark something that brings down an entire government. How relevant is that, in a decade that has already seen the demise of 3 dictators in the Middle East? Hope.
What I didn't like about the film:
The Cinemotography / Fight Scenes
Tom Stern was doing, didn't work for me! The shaky cam is something a lot of movies use, but few use it well. And this movie was another example of poor use of this technique. It's used so much that I had to look down a few times to stop myself from getting dizzy.
Another negative that came from Tom Stern are the terribly shot fight scenes. He gets so up close to the actors you can't tell them apart, much less what is going on. It was really hard to watch this movie.
The Chemistry (SPOILER ALERT)
There is absolutely, positively, undoubtedly, no chemistry between our two main actors. I love Jennifer Lawrence, but I didn't buy, for one second, she was interested in Hutcherson. To be fair, I've never read the books, and this COULD serve a greater purpose. There are a few moments in the film where I felt Lawrence was playing to the crowds and didn't really have feelings for Hutcherson's character. And why the hell would she have feelings for him, if earlier he was leading a pack of tributes to kill her? What the hell? So stupid.
Good when it could have been great