This page has moved to a new address.

< $BlogItemTitle$>

The Cinematic Katzenjammer: April 6: The Hunger Games


April 6: The Hunger Games

"Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister's place for the latest match."

   Let me make it clear that I have not read The Hunger Games book, nor do I really care to do so. The story is set in a dystopian society, where every year 24 boys and girls are selected to partake in a battle to the death, all for entertainment purposes. The film follows Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and her attempt to survive and win the games in place of her younger sister. Along with Katniss, a boy named Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) is selected from her district and the two become close as the games continue. The movie is good, but could have been so much more. I am strictly reviewing the film as a film, and not an rip-off of Battle Royale adaption of the book. 

I see what you did there...

   The Hunger Games has a lot going for it and a lot going against it. The cast is excellent, especially Lawrence, who brings depth, courage, and strength to a performance that could have easily faded into the forgettable (*cough Kristen Stewart*). Woody Harrelson and Stanley Tucci, of course, are both excellent in nearly everything they do and add a lot of charm and much needed comic relief to a film with such a dramatically dark story. All of the supporting characters have their moments as well, but there is very little back-story and depth to anyone that's not Katniss. This is troublesome, as each death comes with very little emotional impact, because you just don't really care. From the start you know it's all about Katniss, and with two more movies on the way, you know she's the one to survive, eliminating even more suspense. Not to mention that the film is obviously tailored to the teenage audience, and the toning down of the violence and bloodshed takes away a lot from the story. It's almost as if the film is already edited for TV and all the good, gory, bloody chunks have been removed. 

Yippee Kai Yay, Mr. Falcon

   Another complaint of The Hunger Games is the camerawork. It's constantly shaking or zooming in and out, as though a kid's playing with a new expensive toy his daddy bought him. It's especially bad during the action sequences, and one can't help but think it's another way to hide the violence. It's insanely distracting and once you notice it, you can't ignore it. Along with the jittery camerawork, the visuals could use much work. The dystopian buildings and large sets scream green screen, and the contrast with the natural wooded setting of the Games makes it all look even worse. 

A lot of it looks like a straight-to-DVD cheesy sci-fi flick

   Overall, I would recommend The Hunger Games strictly on the fact that I think you should see it in theaters, or not at all. I feel if I were at home watching the movie from the comfort of my couch, I would be even more frustrated with the flaws of the film, and nitpick it even more. The film is entertaining and does have its moments, but you can't stop thinking about how much better it all could be. It desperately needs more violence and character development, and can't rely on all of us already knowing about the characters from reading the books. Also, I am a huge fan of the Japanese film, Battle Royale, and after seeing The Hunger Games, I am insanely upset at how much was blatantly stolen from the film. The games, the fact it's all filmed, and even the ending and lead up to a second film is just too similar to the Battle Royale films to not call it a rip-off. I don't care what any fans of the books will say, The Hunger Games is not an original story and needed a hell of a lot more depth if it wanted to be seen on its own. 

The Good:
the cast, led by Jennifer Lawrence 
The Bad:
a PG-13 take on an R-rated story that takes a lot of the badass-ness out of it
The Ugly:
horrible, distracting camerawork and at times, awful special effects

Overall: 5.8/10


Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home