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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SPOOFS REALITY TV SHOWS
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...
Published 16 months ago by The Movie Guy

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BLOODLESS COPY OF "BATTLE ROYALE" FOR CHILDREN
REVIEWED VERSION: 2012 Lionsgate 2 Disc US DVD
(Wal-Mart Edition, extras may vary from regular retail version)

Director: Gary Ross

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Wes Bentley, Liam Hemsworth

Production: US 2012

SYNOPSIS

In the future America is a...
Published 20 hours ago by Caligula II.


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SPOOFS REALITY TV SHOWS, 3 Aug 2013
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BLOODLESS COPY OF "BATTLE ROYALE" FOR CHILDREN, 18 Dec 2014
By 
REVIEWED VERSION: 2012 Lionsgate 2 Disc US DVD
(Wal-Mart Edition, extras may vary from regular retail version)

Director: Gary Ross

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Wes Bentley, Liam Hemsworth

Production: US 2012

SYNOPSIS

In the future America is a military state called Panem, ruled by dictator President Snow. Every year the Hunger Games are played, a televized fight to the death in which two contenders from each of the 12 Districts of Panem are randomly chosen to compete. The sole survivor gets to live.
When Katniss Everdeen's (Jennifer Lawrence) younger sister Primrose (Willow Shields) is chosen, Katniss volunteers in her place to protect her.

THE PROS & CONS

THE HUNGER GAMES is based on the first novel of Suzanne Collins' trilogy of the same name. It was hugely successful, grossing $691,247,768 at the box office with a budget of $78 million.
THE HUNGER GAMES is not a bad movie, but it is very unoriginal. The featurette about author Suzanne Collins claims she had the idea for THE HUNGER GAMES while zapping through TV channels, yet what seems to be more honest is, she had the idea after watching BATTLE ROYALE and Schwarzenegger's THE RUNNING MAN, the two movies that THE HUNGER GAMES rips off (not necessarily in a bad way).
My main criticism is the lack of violence in THE HUNGER GAMES and therefore the lack of realism. BATTLE ROYALE is clearly the better of the two movies, as it shows the social aspects as well as the violence in detail. When people fight to the death things are gonna get bloody, and to make a PG-13/ BBFC-12 movie out of this subject is just ridiculous - it simply downplays the gruesomeness of this act.
The film, while being very tame due to its PG-13 rating, was trimmed even more for the UK release to assure the 12 Certificate from the BBFC. It retained the cuts and the rating for the UK DVD release, but the 15 Certificate Blu-Ray is the fully uncut PG-13 version.
What THE HUNGER GAMES does do right, is the story depth and the great (!) actors, especially the fantastic Jennifer Lawrence who is perfect as Katniss Everdeen - a perfect casting decision! Donald Sutherland IS the diabolical President Snow, a superb role for this great actor, and Woody Harrelson is always a delight to watch.
Gary Ross did a decent job as both, screnplay writer and director, but the film could have used a little editing for pace in the beginning. Personally I could have done without (or at least with less) the love story between Katniss and Peeta.
Overall THE HUNGER GAMES is a decent movie, adults will prefer BATTLE ROYALE though. THE HUNGER GAMES' sequels CATCHING FIRE and MOCKINGJAY are better, so it is actually worth watching for those movies alone.

ON A SIDE NOTE

- THE HUNGER GAMES is the first film not released by the "Big Six Studios" (Fox, Disney, Paramount, Warner Bros., Columbia or Universal) to gross over $400 million in the United States

- Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson were both born in Kentucky

- Chloë Grace Moretz, Mary Mouser, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, Lyndsy Fonseca, Jodelle Ferland, Saoirse Ronan, Emma Roberts, Kaya Scodelario, Emily Browning and Shailene Woodley were all considered for the role of Katniss

- Isabelle Fuhrman originally auditioned for Katniss

- Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Josh Hutcherson, Lucas Till, Nico Tortorella, Alexander Ludwig, Evan Peters and Hunter Parrish were considered to play Peeta Mellark

- Jeremy Irvine was offered the role of Peeta Mellark but turned it down

- Second unit director Steven Soderbergh shot much of the District 11 riot scenes

DVD DETAILS

Feature running time: 142:27 mins. (uncut)
Rating: PG-13 (MPAA) / 15 (BBFC)
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 / 16:9
Audio: English 5.1, English 2.0, Spanish 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Extras: Suzanne Collins Featurette (14:15), Making The Hunger Games 8-part documentary (121:44), Letters from the Rose Garden (9:07), Controlling the Games (5:48), Interview with Gary Ross and Elvis Mitchell (14:28), Propaganda Film (1:32), Marketing Gallery (3 Trailers, Poster Gallery, Photo Gallery), UV Digital Copy
Region: 1 (locked)

Picture quality: 4/5
Audio quality: 4/5
Extras: 4/5

Good picture and audio quality, along with almost 3 hours of extras on DVD No. 2. A solid DVD version.
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126 of 152 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Four-Star Film of a Five-Star Book, 4 Sep 2012
By 
Pantheon (Boston, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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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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119 of 145 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a movie that follows the book!, 22 Jun 2012
Having read all the Hunger Games books I could not wait for this to come out in the cinema but part of me was worried that making such a complex book into a movie would not be possible (lets face it most books are miles better than the movies due to the simple fact they can go into a lot more detail)but I have to say I did not need to be worried in the slightest, I loved it that much I ended up going to see it twice!

The film is set in the future in an american nation called Panem which is split into districts. Each year the capitol of Panem forces each district to volunteer up a boy and a girl to compete in the annual "Hunger Games" as punishment for rising up against the capitol many years ago.
As the 74th Hunger Games is about to start Katniss Everdeen finds her 12 year old sister is chosen to compete, knowing she would never make it out alive Katniss offers herself in her sisters place and from then on is put into the arena with all the other tributes to fight for her life.
However there is one slight problem - Peeta Mellark, the boy who once saved her life is in the arena with her and how can she bring herself to kill him when she just might be falling in love with him.

This film does the book justice and it actually follows the majority of the book down to the very lines spoken.
The acting is amazing from everyone in the film, it is without a doubt Jennifer Lawrence's best movie yet!

I can't wait to own such an amazing movie, I'm sure it is going to be one I will watch again and again!
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315 of 397 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece! An excellent film about courage, hope and human dignity facing the all powerful totalitarian tyranny!, 22 Mar 2012
By 
Darth Maciek "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
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« Hunger Games » is certainly the best film I have seen since many many months, and it is a very successful adaptation of an excellent book.

In my personal opinion, both the book and the film are much deeper and much more ambitious, than what most critics and reviewers would make us believe. After reading the reviews in "New York Times", "Le Monde" and on "Msn.com" (to cite only few) I was surprised that they mostly missed everything that is important in this film. With a kind of amused superiority (like people from Capitol in the film), the "professional" reviewers pointed at the obvious allusions to gladiator fights, the reality shows, the importance of trashy entertainment in today's TV, the search for a new franchise able to replace "Twilight", etc., etc.

But they almost entirely failed to see that this film is first and above all about much more important things: how to keep hope, not lose the courage and preserve humanity and dignity under a totalitarian oppressive regime.

I believe that almost everybody now knows that when writing "Hunger Games" Susan Collins attempted basically a modern (even futurist) retelling of the old Greek myth of Theseus and Minotaur. According to this ancient tale, after losing a war, every year the city of Athens had to send a tribute of seven young men and seven maidens to the king of Crete. Once there those young people were locked in the Labyrinth, to be devoured by the monster Minotaur. This yearly punishment and humiliation lasted until Theseus, crown prince of Athens, volunteered to be one of the tributes - then, once locked in the Labyrinth, he defeated and killed the Minotaur.

In "Hunger Games" what was once United States (and I think also Canada) is now called the Panem. It is a country divided in twelve Districts remaining under the control of the Capitol central metropolis. There was once thirteen Districts, but when they rebelled against the central power, the Capitol destroyed completely the District 13 with all its population and then defeated and submitted again the twelve others. In order to remind to its subjects how absolute is its power, the Capitol claims a yearly tribute - one girl and one boy of ages from 12 to 18 from every District. The tributes are then send to an arena and forced to fight, until only one remains alive. This yearly event is called the Hunger Games and it is shown live on TV to all the population of Panem. This film tells the story of what happened at the 74th edition of Hunger Games...

For Capitol the purpose of Hunger Games is to remind yearly how powerful is the central metropolis and how dire can be the consequences of its wrath, but also - and even more importantly in my opinion - to humiliate and degrade the people of the Districts by forcing them to become accomplices (even if under duress) of a barbarian custom in which some of their own children are send to the slaughterhouse. And as all bullies and abusers know, it is much easier to oppress, abuse and brutalize victims who lack self-esteem...

Well, in this film we can see how one of the tributes from District 12, an exceptional young girl named Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), manages to turn the tables on the Capitol and by allowing people of Panem to regain some of their dignity she will be the pebble which starts the avalanche. The exact way in which she does that will not be revealed here, but both in the book as in the film it is described in a very intelligent and very moving way...

This may seem a rather improbable thing that a 16 years old child can do something that will ultimately bring down a seemingly invincible and all-powerful tyranny, but let's not forget that in the real world, the great wave of revolutions of Arab Spring began on 18 December 2010 with a desperate gesture of a dirt-poor 27-years old Tunisian street vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, who set himself on fire after having been robbed and beaten by the corrupt local police one time too much... Less than two years after, the oppressive regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya already collapsed, the seemingly eternal dictator of Yemen had to resign and the Syrian brutal regime is now facing a massive armed rebellion..

Bottom line, this film is first and before all a story about how even a seemingly powerless person can horribly hurt a tyrannic regime with a magic potion made of lots of courage, an ice-cold determination, a great personal dignity, a little compassion, a handful of flowers, a couple of tears and one defiant and powerful challenging gesture...

The powerful message and excellent scenario are not the only reasons why I consider "Hunger Games" as a masterpiece. Actors were selected very carefully and they perform very well. Jennifer Lawrence is simply perfect - there is no other word to describe her performance! However, after seeing her in "Winter's Bone" and "X-Men: First class" I didn't expect anything less.

But the real surprise in this film comes from Josh Hutcherson who plays Peeta Mellark, the boy tribute from District 12. His character is more difficult to play, because Peeta is in the same time more limited but also more complicated than Katniss. Josh Hutcherson could have very easily fall in one of the many traps which are build in Peeta's character. By overacting or underacting he could have make him a wimp or a passive follower or an immature kid, but he avoided those snares with grace and his Peeta comes out of this film as a surprisingly complex and also a very likeable character. He is certainly not a hero and a fighter like Katniss - but until the very end he preserves his honor, in a deadly place where he shouldn't ever be send...

A special mention goes to little Amandla Stenberg, who plays 12-years old Rue, the youngest of all the tributes. Her character is both secondary and in the same time incredibly important - and this little cute pixie played it perfectly!

Other, more known actors contribute to the success of this film. Woody Harrelson is excellent as Haymitch, the only person from District 12 who ever won in the Hunger Games and is now an advisor to Katniss and Peeta (and this is a high praise coming from me because I usually do not like this actor at all). Lenny Kravitz portrayed a perfect Cinna, the man in charge of image (clothes, haircut, make up, etc.) of tributes from District 12 in all public appearances before the games begin. And finally there is the giant figure of Donald Sutherland, who plays the supreme ruler of Panem, President Coriolanus Snow. He is purely incredible. There is a moment in this film when he says to somebody "I like you" - and I believe that I have never heard such a terrible and deadly threat in one short sentence since the famous Schwarzenegger's "I will be back" in "Terminator"...

I also absolutely adored the using of the cameras. In some moments of this film we have the impression of going after the characters with a camera, like a war correspondent following the fighters (this style was also very skillfully used in "The Shield" series). Of course not all the film is turned in this way, but mixing this kind of scenes with more conventional ones gives here an excellent effect.

The games themselves are very skillfully described and are a very dramatic tale, full of surprises and twists. I found them much much better than "Battle Royale", to which this book and film are often compared. The games are deadly and brutal, but there is only limited gore - I think this film is suitable for young teenagers, although not for children younger than 12. There is also absolutely no nudity, sex or strong language and I for one found it a most excellent thing.

There are still many more good things to say about this film, but I believe you should discover them by yourself. One more thing however about the book - it is of course possible to see and greatly enjoy this film without reading the book, but I believe that reading the novel first is a good idea. If reading the whole book is out of question, I would advise to read at least the first hundred pages. It will not reveal much about the games themselves, but it will allow for a better understanding of some of the key elements: the strength of the bond between Katniss and her younger sister, the history that Katniss shares with her hunting partner Gale, the complicated relation between Katniss and her mother and last but not least, the mysterious bond existing between Katniss and Peeta Mellark.

About this last point: if you did not yet read the book I do not want to spoil the pleasure of discovery so I will say just this - Katniss and Peeta lived for 16 years in the same village, but they never spoke one to another (except for an occasional "Hello") and they never touched one another in any way. And still, they share a secret as big as life and death, a secret which both bonded them together and in the same time separated them deeply... If you want to know the solution of this riddle you have either to watch very very carefully every scene of the film or simply read the book...

Conclusion: this film is a masterpiece! I loved it and I am going to buy the DVD as soon as it is available. And I am SOOO going to see the second part, as soon as it opens!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised, 14 Sep 2014
By 
wolfers "bluesman" (uk) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Having never read the books I came to this movie with an open mind after seeing Jennifer in the amazing film Winters Bone.And I have to say I really enjoyed it and found it very entertaining throughout. I couldnt help but see other elements of various other films such as The Running Man( the game itself),Fifth Element(the costumes of the sponsers),and even Deliverance(survival in a outdoor environment).Come yo this with an open mind and I feel, like I did, that you will be entertained(a pun there on Gladiator, another spectacle for the masses).I look forward to watching the follow ups as a result.Not fantastic but certainly very good movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for the Mockingjay, 17 Sep 2014
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This review is from: The Hunger Games [DVD] (DVD)
Happy Hunger Games!
May the Odds be ever in your Favour.

I love The Hunger Games!
The dystopian nation of Panem consists of a wealthy Capitol ruling twelve poorer districts. As punishment for a past rebellion and as a way to demoralize the districts to quell social uprising, each district must provide two "tributes" - one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 selected by lottery (the "Reaping") - every year to compete in the televised Hunger Games; they must fight to the death in a vast arena, with the sole survivor rewarded with fame and wealth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Read the books then watch the movie., 23 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Hunger Games [DVD] (DVD)
Good family movie, if you have read the books like i have you will realise that it missed a whole loads stuff from the book. I',m Not a big fan of the film.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Sorry - is it me?, 25 Nov 2014
By 
Dr. Michael J. Atkins (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hunger Games [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this to see what all the fuss is about. The first problem was the lack of Dolby stereo and then the low film quality - was this a poor production copy? Then I tried watching the film - oh dear! Wobbly cameras are no substitute for good cinematography. The low budget feel and semi 1984/Running Man film echoes just do not work. Why it was so popular escapes me. I was kindly given a refund by the vendor - thank you. As always, it is a matter of taste. It has made big money but it is rubbish.

Update - got the Dolby to work. Gave the DVD to a charity shop.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars battle royale but boring, 24 Jan 2014
Ok im just gonna say it the hunger games is a sloppy bad directed terrible dialogue movie it tries to do battle royale in its own world but fales miserably if you wanna see teenagers fight to the death then watch battle royale the hunger games is twighlight with killing
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