March 27, 2012

The Hunger Games (2012)

I had no preconceived notions or expectations going in to see The Hunger Games. I haven't read the books and knew little to nothing about the details of the story, other than the general storyline (from the film being compared to other similarly themed films, and from watching the trailers). Other things I have gathered are: that this movie is based on a series of popular tween books, and that the theaters will be packed with giggling schoolgirls. Sooooo... with that in mind, I made the decision to get dressed in my hat, sunglasses, trench-coat and fake mustache, get in my unmarked white van with tinted windows, and head down to the local cinema.

Now as you may probably know, I'm a huge supporter of films and stories with female leading characters. I don't really care if they're strong, weak, becoming, or just plain Bella... Ever since I was a baby, I always had a thing for chicks. And I've got the hots for Jennifer Lawrence, who plays the lead girl Katniss, there's no denying it. She may look similar to Emily Browning, but just different enough that I can justify stalking them both. Not that I need to justify anything. I think she is a great choice for the lead in this film (and series), and actually, am very happy for her that she'll no doubt be like, totally famous after this! Then there's Isabelle Fuhrman, who plays the character of Clove. Dark lord... what have you done!? This girl is absolutely beautiful! And she's getting more and more gorgeous each year that goes by. Not only that, but she's shown in this, and in her previous roles, that playing an evil little bitch is what she was born to do.

Clove's eventual and surprising fight scene with Katniss was intense, insane and horrifying. Naturally, it brought a smile to my face. This has to be my favorite scene from the whole film. Isabelle is sick as hell when it comes to portraying pure fucking evil and I drown in every second of it. Some may say "Oh, she's not evil, she's in the same situation as Katniss...". Yeah, I don't fucking think so. She's totally getting off killing and maiming things with her throwing knives. My second favorite scene from the films is Clove tossing her throwing knives into that lizard. That shit caught me by surprise. I never thought I would see something like that in a mainstream US film that's rated PG-13. Real or not. I giggled to myself as I got Argento flashbacks.

Some other things I liked about Hunger Games is that the film really worked building on the tension. It's not exactly horror tension, but it's very close, and rather a feeling that's constantly built up over periods of time before a calmness (sometimes) ensues. The film may not have started off too exciting, but the pacing was just right and even the "boring" scenes were interesting enough and set up the unsettling feelings. I thought that was well done, and the film really built up to the excitement. Midway, when Katniss began hiding in the trees (which was totally necessary and smart) the movie seemed to drag a bit, and some of the other youth actors got their chance to act. Bad move. Aside from Amandla Stenberg who played Rue, the other kids range from pretty horrible to downright atrocious.

I also liked the Adult supporting cast, especially Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks. Woody of course just takes every role he's in to a spectacular place and this film is no exception. Everything he did in this film was total greatness and he stole scenes time and time again. Then again, he always does. As for Lizzy, I really like her. She's a goddess, and a magnificent woman, but I thought she looked gross in this movie with that weird make-up. Donald Sutherland seemed a bit uncommitted and wasted (but it's a trilogy right?). Lenny Kravitz surprised me, since I've never before liked that guy at all in any way/shape/form, by actually becoming an inspirational character with gold eyeliner. He seemed a bit touchy and RAPEish for a while, but I don't know...

The whole look of the film was pretty cool as well. I liked the shaky and unexpected camera work. All of the close-ups of Jennifer were fully appreciated. There were a lot of details that were well thought out and executed nicely. The CGI of the futuristic city and train were very CGI, but when it arrived, the costumes and set designs gave the movie a really interesting and messed up vibe.What a bunch of weirdos at this event! I thought the whole black leather and girl on fire chariot scene was pretty awesome too. Katniss and Peeta looked their coolest... well, as cool as Peeta could possibly look I suppose. I thought the idea of Sponsors sending out help via controlled mini-parachute was a brilliant idea, but a bit underused.

Since I never read the books, I don't really know how much info or scenes are missing from this movie. But it seemed to me like it was missing quite a bit. There were a lot of unexplained things, and a lot of it seemed simplified. Also, I don't know if half of the other kids in the event that got killed had names in the book... but they're lucky they even got faces in this movie. We could have at least got a bit more than a picture bio before they died (most of them offscreen!). Hopefully an extended version will correct this and some other things. For a 2 hour and 22 minute film, the filmmakers probably put a lot of small important details, but I wouldn't know. A 3 hour version would suffice. As long as there's more blood and violence! And groping.

One of the main things that disappointed me about this movie is that it wasn't violent enough. The first half of the film is the set-up, so of course nothing violent happens. And when it finally does, much of it happens far to quick to make sense of it all (think Michael Bay's Transformers). While the violence is indeed brutal, it doesn't leave a lasting affect on the viewer. Only two key characters were given admirable death time. For shame Hunger Games. We must have more time for Death! Overall, I liked The Hunger Games. I feel it has been getting far better ratings than it deserves, especially from horror bloggers. I understand that it exceeded the fact that it would most surely suck, and in fact was a damn fine movie, but it's not perfect score or 4.5/5 to me. I could see it possibly being a 3.5 or 4/5 with an extended cut, if everything was done to my liking, which would never happen anyways. But yeah, I liked it.

1 comment:

Maynard Morrissey said...

Agree with you on the non-violence. There should ave been more brutality, more graphic deaths.
Apart from that, I just loved it. Highly entertaining and extremelxy gripping from beginning to end. I gave it a 9/10

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