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4.4 out of 5 stars1,532
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 4 November 2012
OK - first up, I'm a dad with older teenage daughters and had never heard of Hunger Games. My 18 year old badgered me into going to see the film and I'm so glad she did. It beat all my expectations so much so that I bought the dvd and we've watched it a couple of times now. I had not read the book so had no pre-conceived ideas about how characters should look or behave. As far as I'm concerned the look and feel of the film is spot on and yes, some of the high 'fashion', and the counterpoint between the opulence of The Capital and the outlying districts is a bit silly but the whole thing works well. Think of a blend of Big Brother, Roller Ball and throw in a dash of 'I'm a Celebrity...' for good measure.
So, on the back of the film I read the books. The first book - Hunger Games - is pretty good but it hasn't changed my view on the film one bit - the book and the film co-exist very well. The second book is OK but I was really disappointed by the third. As a trilogy it seems to loose it way and everything gets a bit mushy so it will interesting to see how these translate to film.
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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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on 8 June 2013
The product arrived well-packaged, safely and quickly.
I have not spent much time looking at the companion disc, as the film itself is so compelling, however I have had a watch and there is some interesting material there. Particularly the cast information and the 'Making of...' parts as these do delve a little deeper into the film as a whole.
Basically it is a superb film, very honest to the book and extremely well-filmed. The product does exactly what it says on the cover!
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on 14 September 2012
I loved the book the hunger games and this is one of the films i havent been disappointed in after reading the book. There were scenes missing and they did downplay the Katniss and Rue relationship, the secondary characters werent as developed as they were in the book but i still enjoyed it. I think you just have to remember how long a book is and that has to be condensed into a shorter film. Jennifer Lawrence play's her part extremely well. If you havent already seen it DO!
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on 13 July 2013
I heard very mixed reviews about this, with some people who enjoyed the books as much as I did saying it wasn't that good.
Personally, I really enjoyed this film. It stays true to the majority of the book and follows it rather well.
With it being a film, there are bits missed out, and for the sakes of not being so brutal, some of the more violent scenes from the book are made a little less so.

It's a good buy for anybody who's a fan of the books.
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on 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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on 22 June 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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The film version of the first book in a hugely popular trilogy of young adult science fiction dystopian novels comes to dvd, after a hugely successful cinema release.

For those who haven't read the book:

Near future America. Now called Panem. Somewhen after a devastating war. The country is divided into twelve districts. Some of which are richer than others. All provide vital resources. And all are ruled over by the capitol. Ever since the war, by way of punishment, each district has to send two teenagers to the capital every year for the hunger games. One male. One female. Twenty four competitors. They go into a sealed environent. Fight to the death. And only one can come out.

It's reality tv taken to the extreme. The stylish residents of the capital love the hunger games and betting on who will win.

Impoverished mining district 12 has only ever had one winner in all the years of the games. But when Katniss Everdeen, district 12 resident, a girl who helps support her family via hunting, since she's a crackshot with a bow, has to volunteer to take part in the games in order to save her sister from them, her world will never be the same again. Katniss is a loner, but she has to get used to the world of the capital. Working with other people, from her would be mentor to fellow competitor Peeta, a boy she barely knows. And she will have to fight to survive if she ever wants to see her family again....

The world of the hunger games sees people hooked on questionable reality tv. It sees a privileged and wealthy elite ruling a world where the poorer people feel ever more disenfrancished. And it sees a girl learning to trust and work with others and to do the right thing. It has lots of themes. Plus an excellent and strong central character. Someone who doesnt have superpowers, but is a credible and believable creation thus someone you can relate to. This is why the books are so popular.

Near future science fiction is a tricky thing to get right because, as they say, the one thing you can be sure about in regards to the future is that it won't look anything like we expect it will. But there's some excellent design work here which does go a long way towards creating a credible future society. From the impoversished mining area of district 12 to the bright fashions and futuristic buildings of the capital.

Jennifer Lawrence is perfect casting in the lead, bringing Katniss superbly to life.

Since the book was written entirely in first person present tense, the movie opts to focus on Katniss via lots of moments when she has no dialogue and moments of violence being done via fast moving handheld steadicams. It's an approach that succeeds, thanks also to the strength of the character and the portrayal.

It also opens the story out somewhat by having scenes that Katniss doesnt appear in. This being a change from the book. But these succeed because they show more of her world and add extra depth to some of the characters. There are two whom readers of the book might think differently about come the end as a result.

The casting of all the supporting characters is also good, Donald Sutherland in particular making President Snow a credible creation and a good three dimensional character.

In order to get a certificate that would allow younger viewers to watch, this is somewhat toned down from the book, all the violence as mentioned being fast and blurry and there being no blood. Even so this and the themes of the story mean a twelve certificate is about right and it wouldn't be ideal for anyone younger.

Readers of the book will find some minor changes but those are there to make it work as a movie, and it does that very well. If you really want to know all the differences then an internet search will bring up a lengthy articles that detail all of them But there's really nothing too major.

Half the film is the build up to the games. The other is the games themselves. Despite this the pace of the first half never drags. There are quieter and slower moments in the second half so it's not quite as pacy but that's down to there being some quieter moments during this period.

This is a very good adaptation of a strong novel, and a fine bit of science fiction for our times as well. And it's worth five stars.

The disc has the following language and subtitle options:

Subtitles; English.

Languages: English.

It begins with a few trailers but you can skip these via the next button on the dvd remote.

This is also a dvd of the kind they hardly make anymore. A two disc edition, the second disc being laden with extras.

Game Maker: A thirteen minute long feature about the origin of the book and it's popularity. Featuring lots of contributions from readers and fans and publishers. Book writer Suzanne Collins is a bit conspicuous by her absence though.

The world is watching: a two hour long making of documetary. This can be watched all at once, or in one of eight shorter sections. These range in length from nine to twenty minutes. This is a great feature for budding film makers as director Gary Ross is an excellent contributor, going into great detail about all sorts of creative choices and matters.

Letters from the Rose Garden: a nine minute long feature about Donald Sutherland and how he got the role of President Snow. It features him reading an email he sent Gary Ross with his thoughts on the character, which is superbly written and very well read. Thus this feature is highly recommended viewing.

Controlling the games; a five minute long feature, with more from Gary Ross, all about the design of the games control room.

A conversation with Gary Ross and Elvis Mitchell. A fifteen minute long chat between the director and a film critic, the latter asking some interesting questions about a few of the issues the movie raises. A lot of the running time of this is simply clips from the film, but the rest is thoughtful viewing.

Propaganda film: a two minute long feature, showing the film that you see in the movie which tells the origin of the Hunger Games.

Marketing archive; two short galleries of all the various posters for the film and stills from it's production.

Great movie. Great extras. Excellent Dvd as a whole.
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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 1 November 2012
This is a good movie, and overall I felt a very accurate representation of the novel.
However, the lead actress was unconvincing physically as Katniss, despite giving a thoroughly enjoyable performance. At 5'9" and "well-built", the image of a small, starvling child was difficult to conjure up - without having read the novel first, I'd have been hard pressed to reconcile the film with it's title. Little "Hunger" in evidence.
I also forsee some difficulties arising in the sequels as this rather tougher character will be difficult to give a convincing breakdown, and while Woody Harleson's character was entertaining, he had none of the edge of a man driven to despair by the loss of family, and of mentoring 25 years of unsuccessful tributes - where was the tragedy of 50 childs lives in his hands? Played too much for laughs for me where a darker tone would have been welcome.
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