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4.4 out of 5 stars1,444
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 7 October 2012
For starters I haven't read the books. I have too much of a backlog of books to read that there was no point before the movie came out. I have put them on the end of that backlog now....

I have to admit I didn't expect much from this movie. I have heard mixed reviews and a lot of people (not everyone) that HAD read the books were saying this was pretty bad compared to the books. Not surprising because movies adapted from books rarely are as good as the books. My perception of this movie was that it was going to be aimed at teens (as a 42 yr old the one sure way to put me off a movie is telling me it's cast are mainly teenagers). Many teen movies are sub standard and I've learned to avoid them. This movie though was based on a series of critically acclaimed books so I had to give it a go and I'm glad that I did. It has a brilliant cast (mainly not teens) but a round of applause for Jennifer Lawrence. She was fantastic and as the lead she drove the movie forward was charismatic, mature, sympathetic, exciting ... just plain excellent.

I am glad I got the movie, look forward to the sequels and those books are now on order to fit somewhere at the end of my long backlog (they might jump the queue a bit)....
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on 3 August 2013
All science fiction futuristic societies are written to have a message about the current day. This is normally contained within the text, or a line someone speaks. The movie starts giving us some background for the games, but we don't know why there was a rebellion in the first place, something that is in the book. The rebellion resulted in a lottery where teens from the various districts must now compete in a survivor battle to the death, all for the entertainment of the audience. Early in the film we hear, "If no one watches, we won't have a game." In other words if we stop watching reality TV shows, they will be taken off the air...not exactly a bad thing.

In those other films the evil of society had been either, capitalism, socialism, the super rich, corporations, religion, or science. The irony of the film/book is that it makes fun of the viewer/reader for enjoying it. They are the problem with today's voyeuristic dummy down society, which like the movie can be divided into two groups" Those who see the movie/games as entertainment. And the intellectuals who realize the metaphor contained within. I'm loving it! (Pardon my pop culture response, but it seems apropos.)

There is a stark contrast in wealth and dress between those who participate in the games and the society who runs them. However, it is those who participate who ultimately empower those who run them, just like with war, the second message of the film which dates from Homer "War is old men lying, young men dying."

Jennifer Lawrence, who I thought was Oscar worthy in "Winter's Bone," immediately becomes our heroine when she volunteers to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games. We don't expect her to die anytime soon. As the fighting begins I kept wondering if they were going to simply fight for everyone's entertainment or are we going to get a Captain Kirk/Agorn moment when he has defeated his opponent and refuses to kill him shouting, "You are going to have to get your entertainment elsewhere!" Or maybe we could end it like "Death Race 2000" where Frankenstein kills the president...but I am getting way ahead of myself.

The victims, or tributes as they are called, are paraded and cheered having done nothing...similar to reality show TV "stars." (Yes I mean you talentless Snooki.) People wildly cheer because...they can. Woody Harrelson helps to bridge the time from when Jennifer Lawrence is selected until the fighting begins. Donald Sutherland appears as an unrealistic unlikeable President Snow, a composite character representing the evil of society. There are interviews and pageantry prior to the games during which time we get to know more about Jennifer and very little about the other contestants. It would have been nice to have known some of the quirky combatants and have them killed in ironic ways to their character, but maybe that was too much to ask about a film about shallow entertainment.

Jennifer, with her honesty and rebellious attitude has become the fan favorite and our favorite because she is the only contestant that we know. She lacks the killer instinct...until she must. Alliances form and everyone wants to get the fan favorite aka Rambette Jennifer Lawrence, who did an excellent job to give girls a heroine being both a compassionate woman and a huntress. Like all reality TV shows, when the drama starts to fade the program directors add an element to push it in the direction that they want.

No f-bombs, sex, or nudity. "Safe" for kids to watch.
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on 13 September 2012
Ok, I'll admit I read the book before the movie and was entering into the movie theatre with a lot of expectations. But I'm not going to be overly critical in my review, as it was really well made and they hit up on the most important parts of the book.

My only let down is that while the most vital scenes were in it, there were smaller parts I would have liked to have been included, such as in the book, the wildcats that we're sent after Katniss and Peeta were actually the dead contestants brought back and mutated?

(I'm positive I remember this being in the book, and I really think it should have been a scene)

Other than this, I loved the scenes between Katniss and Rue. Perfectly adapted IMO.
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With few decent releases on over Easter, my 16 year old daughter and I succumbed to the hype and went to see The Hunger Games. Not having read the books we went in cold and with hopes fairly high but left slightly non-plussed to be honest.

I found it difficult to engage with the pouty and aloof lead character Katniss, played by the too-old-for-18 Jennifer Lawrence. We were fed small scraps of information regarding her background as the film proceeded but by the end we still only knew that her father was a dead miner, she had a younger sister and was good at shooting squirrels with a bow. Her sector partner Peeta was a nice guy but a charisma free zone and there was a distinct lack of chemistry between them. It was left to Woody Harleson to provide the talent as their eccentric and maverick mentor Haymitch, but we have seen this character from him far too often for it to be novel and entertaining anymore.

The game itself was just ok to be honest but lacking in real tension despite lives at stake and survival at all costs. There were some pretty lethal blades on display but being a 12 rating, the violence was toned down and blurred out which reduced the impact of a group fight to the death. The producers must have deliberated over this as the books were written for teens but I think the average 14 year old would have been a bit bored to be honest and scenes often dragged. I certainly didn't sense much excitement in the cinema audience on our visit.

Outside of the games, things were a bit better with some excellent and far out costumery worn by the "beautiful people" in a kind of modern day Rome meets Dangerous Liaisons but it was a pity that imagination didn't stretch to the anorak-clad contestants' garb who looked like modern day kids on their Duke of Edinburgh scheme. Too much was also made of getting sponsors to like and help the competitors (in the excellent interview parody scenes) only for this thread to play no further part in the plot. Katniss and Peeta were only parachuted in a bowl of soup and some meds from Haymitch himself despite her being rated as an "eleven" in the public X-Factor style build-up. I was hoping for some skulduggery to add twists and turns to the contest but none was forthcoming sadly and the forming of teams was slightly weird in an event that could only have one winner.

Future death match games have been done better before (Running Man/Rollerball etc) and the director was obviously hampered by the 12 rating here but as this is the first in the trilogy I will be interested to see how the plot and characters develop in Catching Fire. Just not on the edge of my seat...
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on 18 September 2012
Ok first I would like to say it came quickly so I was happy with that. Ok now on to the actual movie. I loved it! I was lucky enough to watch the movie first THEN get the books lol which Im glad I did. There is obviously a lot more detail in the books but thats expected. As for the movie I dont feel like it quite shows the love triangle that really does go on between Kat, Peeta and Gale but all in all the movies great. The books are great. The storyline is interesting and I actually surprised myself by how much I enjoyed it. Get it. You wont (shouldnt be) disappointed :)
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on 26 December 2012
Panem is what is left of Earth. One continent, one government but a broken people. 12 districts populate Panem from the paupers in 12 to the richest aristocrats in 1. Katniss Everdeen lives in District 12 and is called upon to take part in the annual Hunger Games ceremony where 2 children from each district will battle each other to the death and only 1 can survive. The odds are against her but Katniss will do all she can to win the Hunger Games and try to get her friend Peeta Mellark out alive with her.
An amazing story of love, hope and heart pounding action.
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on 16 September 2012
I try to always read the book before watching the film in cases like this. It makes for a much better understanding and that may have been very true in this case. Having read all three books I found I was having to explain things more thoroughly to my husband when the explanation in the film was either weak or fleeting. Even having not read the books, he enjoyed the film but I think I got more out of it. I really hope they plan to make the rest of the trilogy. This was one of the better book to film translations I have seen. Really enjoyed it.
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on 7 April 2013
This film is 5 stars along with the book. It practically replicated the book just as I personally imaginated it. I think the casting was good and the actors resembled the character descriptions in the book. There were some things overlooked in the film such as, the mutations in the book supposedly have the eyes of the dead tributes and their district on a tag. Also Peeta gets a prosthetic leg after his injury from Cato, I belive this is quite important, but it was missed out. Loved it and would recommend it to anyone
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on 16 August 2013
I rated The Hunger Games 5 star, because it is one of the very few films that have actually taken what has happened in the book. I expected it to be, Katniss gets chosen and then she wins by herself, killing Peeta on the way. But it didn't. My favourite film by far.
You must read the books first. They are always better than the films. Read them, and then watch. You will notice that they have very few differences.
I would recommend this to teens and above. A bit too much for those under 12 years of age.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 4 September 2012
Firstly I have read the books and I loved them. They were brutal, funny, tragic, romantic and heartwrenching. Everything a good adventure novel should be.
So it was I was waiting eagerly for the film. I never got the chance to see it at the cinema; but based on the numerous good reviews I preordered the blu-ray. I really enjoyed the film; but as with many other reviewers I felt that the book was better.
The book spent much more time establishing characters and relationships and I really liked that. Obviously, with the book being in first person, everything was from Katniss' perspective - but that only serves to makes you sympathize with her predicament and those around her more. Her relationships with Peeta and Rue go much deeper in the book and I felt the film foolishly downplayed these moments. Likewise, the other contestants in the games seemed vastly under utilised in the film; and as a result they either became unimportant or impotent. Cato was a fierce and imposing killer in the book - but reduced merely to a brooding bully in the film (albeit one with a sword).
Don't get me wrong - I enjoyed the film and I'm glad I bought it, but I just wish it been a little better. However, I am sure when I watch it again - knowing everything that's changed or omitted - I will enjoy it much more. I felt the same way with Twilight - hated it on first viewing.
I look foward to Catching Fire and Mockingjay!
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