Welcome To My Blog

Ever wonder what it's like to be in that moment between struggling artist and published author? Read on and find out.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Movie Review: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games  $$$ 1/2

142 Minutes

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, and Woody Harrelson. 
Director: Gary Ross


            That is the word that kept coming to mind while I watched Hunger Games. I haven’t read the books (yet), but I can tell you that someone sure knows how to tell a story. Based on the comments from those who have read the books my bet is that Suzanne Collins, the author of the novels, is the one responsible for putting together such a gripping tale. 

            In the future, after a devastating war, a strong government has emerged that keeps the population under control through a brutal contest known as The Hunger Games. A boy and a girl are selected from each district to participate in the games. They are loosed in an outdoor setting where they fight to the death until only one remains. To the winner goes fame and fortune and the rest received the honor of having died to represent their district.
            Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers for the games when her twelve-year old sister is selected during the lottery. Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) is drawn as the boy from district twelve that will participate in the games. They are taken to the Capitol and prepared for the event.
            I want to recognize the performance by Woody Harrelson who plays Haymitch Abernathy. He does a great job as the trainer who must train Katniss and Peeta to survive the game, knowing that the best he can hope for is only one of them to return.
            This story is filled with wonderful dramatic tension. Peeta has previously been kind to Katniss. There is also a young girl whose participation in the game draws a parallel to Katniss’ sister. How can Katniss bring herself to kill either of these other children.
            The cinematography complimented the story being told. At times it was bleak to emphasize the poverty of the people in District 12. In other places it was brilliant and vibrant to display the decadence of the rich citizens of the Capitol.
            There is a drawback to this story. It is brutal. I don’t mean that they have fountains of blood painting the landscape with red gore. The scenes of children killing children were a bit much for me. The film editors did a wonderful job of splicing some choppy action scenes that really brought out the viciousness of the battle at the start of the game.
            I gave The Hunger Games a three-and-a-half rating, but I think that deserves further explanation. I have a very hard time watching scenes of children being hurt. The mental and physical anguish of children is at the very heart of this story. I understand that this is meant to be a precautionary tale and it does not glorify the violence. For those who are less squeamish than me consider this a full four cinema bucks film. It is a powerful story that I encourage people to see. Just be warned that you can expect some heart-wrenching scenes of children dying.

            Randy’s Rating System

$$$$   = Full Price    See this movie right away and pay full price, it’s worth it.
$$$     = Matinee      Catch this as a matinee or other discounted showing.
$$        = Discount     Wait until this movie reaches a discount theater near you.
$          = Rental         Wait until this movie reaches your local video rental outlet.
0          = No Sale       Don’t see this movie at any price.


  1. The Hunger Games has as much to say about oppressive politics and the bloodthirsty, heartless media as it does about the internal struggle among the combatants. Still though, everybody here is great, especially Lawrence in a star-making role, and definitely has me pumped up for the sequel. Good review Randy. Check out my review when you can.

  2. Indeed it does. The internal struggle appeals to me more and I tend to keep my reviews on the short side. Thanks for the comments and I'll check out your review.

  3. Very interesting assessment, Randy. I had assumed that anyone who had not read the book would not be able to appreciate the emotion in this story as much as someone who had. I was wrong.

    Now, speaking of squeamish... I was telling my 12-year-old about parts of the book since she said she probably wouldn't read it anyway. But when I got to a particular part of a child being hurt, I literally had to stop because I was about to cry. We were on our way to a store when this happened. And when we got to the parking lot, I had to sit for a minute to pull myself together. I don't think I'll watch this movie at the theatre. It'll be too humiliating to break down and cry in front of all those people. :)

    1. Thank you. Please, keep in mind I went to the movie with an eye on watching for what made this story work. So, I don't know that I deserve any credit for being especially observant.

      Hey, I can't believe you'd let me be the only one who goes and cries at this movie. I think you should go too.

  4. It's good to read a review from the perspective of someone who hasn't read the book. Judging by your review, the film seems to have done a good job at getting the struggles across.

    1. Thanks.

      Based on what I've heard/read from the people who read the book, I think you are correct. The movie seems to have done a good job representing the book.

  5. I haven't heard a bad review about this one yet. I don't expect to. My daughter is begging me to see it. :)

    1. I hope you and your daughter enjoy it.

  6. I loved the books and can't wait to see the movie.

    New follower...

    1. Welcome, New Follower. I love when that happens. Hope you enjoy your visits here.


  7. Thanks for this review. :) I haven't read the books, so I'm going to wait until I read at least the first one before watching the movie.

    1. You are welcome.

      I prefer watching the movie first, because the book is normally better and I'm not disappointed when the book turns out different from the movie. But that's just me.