Movie Review: The Hunger Games

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The Hunger Games Movie Poster

4 Stars

I know that we’ve all heard plenty of opinions on The Hunger Games movie and I’m sure I don’t have anything new to add. But this is what I feel like writing. So there. 😛

I really, really, really liked it. I can’t bring myself to say that I loved it, but it was close. I think it helps that it’s been years since I read the first book, so the details have gotten a little hazy for me. Almost everything that I did remember made it into the movie.

I was mostly impressed with the casting. I really liked Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. She caught that inner fire very well. That spark of temper, the caregiver, the girl who manages to always do exactly the right thing by just being herself. I was very happy with Lenny Kravitz as Cinna and Amandla Stenberg as Rue. Donald Sutherland captured President Snow well, I just thought he should have looked a little more…polished. Gale. Wow. I’ve been Team Gale all along but Liam Hemsworth made sure that I will never change my mind. I feel like a cradle robber saying this, but, man, what a hottie! The two that I’m not quite buying are Peeta and Haymitch. Someone pointed out that Josh Hutcherson was the kid in Journey to the Center of the Earth and I couldn’t really move past that. He just seemed too young in comparison to Katniss and Gale. They’re all supposed to be about the same age, right? Woody Harrelson as Haymitch? Eh. It kind of worked. He did what he could. I just thought Haymitch would be older and heavier. Not goofy Woody. Some actors will never be able to leave some roles behind, no matter how they try. Woody Harrelson is one of them.

The filming was excellent. I loved the over-the-top sets for the Capitol. I was pleasantly surprised by the flaming costumes. Those could have looked horrible, but they were really pretty awesome. All of the weird makeup, hairstyles and clothing–it was even better on screen than I imagined. I was a little worried about the violence. If I don’t want to picture something while I’m reading, I just don’t. I don’t really have that option when watching a movie. But it was handled very well. We knew exactly what was happening, but a lot of it happened off screen, or else so quickly that you got more impressions than details. I even caught myself tearing up in that one scene, and I knew darn good and well what was coming! And I’m not a crier!

I got a huge kick out of seeing my part of the world on the screen! We show up in a lot of movies, believe it or not, but it’s still fun to try to guess where scenes were shot. District 12 scenes were shot within 5 minutes of my friend’s house. Some scenes were shot in a forest fairly close to my family’s land. I don’t know all their locations, but it was still fun to think that I possibly recognized a view here and there.

I’ve heard that people who haven’t read the books pretty much don’t like the movie. I was a little concerned that the friend I went with wouldn’t enjoy it for that reason. But she said she liked it, and she really seemed to! She asked me a couple of questions during the movie to make sure she understood what was going on, but otherwise it was a hit with her!

I highly recommend it if this is your cup of tea!

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s, my local independent bookstore located in beautiful downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.

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  1. I read an article that said when Jennifer Lawrence left Asheville, NC she cried! So that's definitely kudos to you friendly folks!!


  2. I've been reluctant to see the movie because I loved the books. I'm always worried that a bad movie will ruin my impression of the books. But we are planning on seeing it finally- this weekend!

  3. I loved the movie and that is pretty cool that it was filmed near you! I teared up a little too while I watched the movie. I am glad I've read the books because I do think that it makes the movie experience so much richer. I have a friend who went to see the movie without having read the book and then she read the books because she liked the movie. She ended up loving the books more. Hopefully those who didn't like the movie because they didn't read the book will do the same.

  4. I think they did an awesome job with the casting for this. Like you, I liked it but didn't love it and couldn't help but thinking that the best movie out of the trilogy will probably be the 2nd one. Wish they had given Gale a little more to do in Hunger Games than stand around and look gorgeous (not that there is anything wrong with that!).

  5. Wow! That's cool that is was filmed near you! I did the same thing when watching John Carter, lots of Utah places in that movie. I too am still not sure about Peeta… I mean, I think he did a great job, but he just doesn't fit what Peeta was like in my head. Gale was awesome though, I agree. 🙂

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