Saturday, March 24, 2012

Movie Review: Hunger Games (2012)

I have seen the Hunger Games and I loved it.

As a refresher, I wrote about the book last year, having been alerted to its awesomeness by Crispy of Cambridge. I liked it like cake, so I went ahead and finished the rest of the trilogy. Book two, Catching Fire, was also great; whereas reading the last book, Mockingjay, was like biting into a delicious fried chicken and finding out that it was still bleeding. You feel slightly ill but finish it anyway, dismissing possible damage to your body because you and this chicken have faced so much together and only one of you can complete the journey to your stomach and it's gonna be the damned raw chicken.

What was I saying? Oh, yes, the Hunger Games trilogy -- well, two out of three ain't bad. (Said the person who has never written a novel.)

The movie is an excellent adaptation of the first book. Set design: District 12 is appropriately gloomy, the Capitol perfectly garish, and the arena suitably death trap-y. Casting: JLaw, as Katniss, is brilliant, so all is forgiven for not casting Saoirse Ronan as the poster girl of many an aspiring archer. Oh, let's face it, I would watch this movie for Stanley Tucci's blue hair and Wes Bentley's evil facial hair alone. Oh, and Elizabeth Banks as Effie and Woody Harrelson as Haymitch? Lo-o-o-o-vely!!! But the main reason I would volunteer for the Hunger Games, of course, is to be caught helpessly between Peeta and Gale. By the way, a middle-aged woman was wearing a "Team Peeta" shirt at the 10 am showing today. How dare she, and where do I get that shirt.

Only a few details are altered or left out -- the source of the mockingjay pin, the captured rebels, Katniss' cutthroat 'tude under her rich internal monologue of angst -- but crucial scenes between President Snow and Seneca Crane are created that makes sense for the movie.

I won't spoil it further, except to urge y'all to watch it. I secretly wept a couple of times, despite Boyfriend stage-whispering, "TRAP!" every thirty seconds when the Games started. If you read the book, you know exactly which scenes I'm talking about. Wah.

Also: vision is now 20/20.