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The Hunger Games [DVD]
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Gary Ross directs this sci-fi action film based on the best-selling novel by Suzanne Collins. Jennifer Lawrence stars as 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, a citizen of the totalitarian post-apocalyptic country of Panem, formerly the United States. Every year, the all-powerful ruling agency known as the Capitol selects one boy and one girl from each of Panem's 12 impoverished rival districts to fight to the death on live national television in a contest known as 'The Hunger Games', in which the winner is given food to feed their entire district for a year. When her younger sister Primrose (Willow Shields) is selected as a contestant, Katniss steps up to take her place in the match. Under the tutelage of inebriated former champion Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), Katniss goes into training for the fight of her life.
Building on her performance as a take-no-prisoners teenager in Winter's Bone, Jennifer Lawrence portrays heroine Katniss Everdeen in Gary Ross's action-oriented adaptation of author-screenwriter Suzanne Collins's young adult bestseller. Set in a dystopian future in which the income gap is greater than ever, 24 underprivileged youth fight to the death every year in a televised spectacle designed to entertain the rich and give the poor enough hope to quell any further unrest--but not too much, warns Panem president Snow (Donald Sutherland), because that would be "dangerous." Hailing from the same mining town, 16-year-olds Katniss and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson, The Kids Are All Right) represent District 12 with the help of escort Effie (an unrecognizable Elizabeth Banks) and mentor Haymitch (a scene-stealing Woody Harrelson). At first they're adversaries, but a wary partnership eventually develops, though the rules stipulate that only one contestant can win.
For those who haven't read the book, the conclusion is likely to come as a surprise. Before it arrives, Ross (Pleasantville) depicts a society in which the Haves appear to have stepped out of a Dr. Seuss book and the Have-Nots look like refugees from the WPA photographs of Walker Evans. It's an odd mix, made odder still by frenetic fight scenes where it's hard to tell who's doing what to whom. Fortunately, Lawrence and Hutcherson prove a sympathetic match in this crazy, mixed-up combination of Survivor, Lost, and the collected works of George Orwell. --Kathleen C. Fennessy --This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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!
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.Read more ›
The storyline is somewhat cliched but well done. This first film introduced many of the characters well, and we knew enough to want to know more, with the lead being quite effective.
One dislike in one of these films was the line when KitKat called a cat stupid: "stupid cat". I thought, no, don't say that!
Also, there is surely a line even in fiction-writing that separates social commentary from propaganda, and because the release date for these Hunger Games films coincided uncannily with a certain ongoing conflict in a particular area of the world, consequentially, the plot didn't resonate on any deeper level, other than seeming inescapably naive.
So I simply treated the films as light, fun, Sci-Fi, which they were.
You'll be in for a roller-coaster ride if choosing to get 'snowed' in to brave a binge-watch with the complete set.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I think this was a great story & a very good ending good acting but would not like anyone to in real life go through thatPublished 1 day ago by conker
My ten year old son ploughed through this book series before watching it on film. ExcellentPublished 17 days ago by Laura TV