Saturday, April 7, 2012

Film Review - The Hunger Games (20112)

Sooooo... I don't really have much to say about this movie. I liked it. I had fun. I'll prolly buy it on DVD... prolly won't splurge for the special edition Blu-Ray. It was entertaining. At no point was I totally lost and lamented that I had never read the book. The problem I'm having is that I just don't have enough thoughts nor do I feel strong enough about this move that I have a lot to say. And fuck, at this point, has anyone not seen it? So instead of the usual review, here are a series of thoughts.  (More after the break)

- I mostly enjoyed the acting, but it seems like the adults (namely Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, the menacing Donald Sutherland, and Lenny Kravitz) outshone (the red squiggly line tells me "outshined" isn't a word) the kids. Happy to say that I was NOT bored by Jennifer Lawrence. My previous exposure to her was X-Men: First Class. In that movie, she sucked the energy out of every scene. Here, she was totally believable in an unbelievable situation. That is hard as balls to pull off. (Terrible simile...) Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth were fine. The kid that plays Rue... She coulda been a better acting-wise but just acting-wise.
- Sidenote... The whole controversy about Rue's ethnicity or whatever... I don't get it. Her death was sad. It could have been sadder with more character development and more of an apparent relationship between Katniss and Rue, but it was still f*cking sad. In the movie, you get the sense that they just met and helped each other out a couple times. They coulda stressed that she saw her little sister in this kid.
- In the movie, the Peeta/Katniss "romance" was played as though it was just Katniss's way of gaining support and sponsors. I've heard that, in the book, it was more genuine for them to fall for each other. I wish the film played it more like that. The whole "I'm rubbing medicine in your open wound" thing... That was not romantic or sweet. I've been in a couple romantic situations in my life, but I've never thought that rubbing medicine into a person's open wound was a pre-cursor to love.
- Ya know what else didn't help? The cinematography was bad. It felt like the entire movie was done in close-ups and tight shots. I know exactly where Jennifer Lawrence's moles are.
- Peeta is really a terrible name. Just terrible. Peeta. The whole Peeta disguising himself as trees? That seemed silly to me.
- I felt some things could have been explained better. How were things generated into the place where the games were played? How can digitized things actually exist as poison or food? If you can create things like food and animals and trees, why can't you just always do that? Why not make a billion fake squirrels and feed the poor? Or is this answered in the sequel?
- Otherwise, I think the story was crafted well, and the vision of the future was done extremely well.

Overall, The Hunger Games was good. Really good. Great? Ehhhh... Really good. I feel like I saw it because it felt like the first must-see movie of the year, and I walked away from the theater happy that I did.

We give it 7.5 poisonous berries

We saw it at the new Alamo on Slaughter Ln. Though I love that the theater exists in south Austin, I found it to be too... clean. Too sterile. It doesn't have that lived-in, dirty yet homey feel yet. It's located in the suburbs (a 5 minute drive from where I went to high school. Go Bulldawgs!) which just seems so strange to me. The theater we were in didn't have the big long tables but small tables aimed for two, and we sat close to the front. (Seriously, Jennifer Lawrence's mole was all up in my face.) My favorite item, the steak sandwich, wasn't on the menu. (Got a mostly delicious Philly Cheese steak instead). The Fried Pickles were probably the crispiest fried pickles I've ever had. Overall, it felt very... new. Not bad. Just... new.

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