Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games
Director: Gary Ross
Stars: People who did a fine job but I still think were wrongly cast; and a bunch of other people I thought were going to be fine and ended up being pretty perfect.

Because I've been so hesitant to see this film I thought it'd be cute to include a picture of my movie ticket from yesterday afternoon to prove that I saw it.

Foiled again, y'all
Apparently I paid to see The Lorax and not The Hunger Games.  Plus I was alone so I have no one to corroborate my story.  And I paid in cash so we can't track my movements through my bank account either.  Conspiracy?  Perhaps.  How many other people wanted to go see The Hunger Games but were sold tickets to The Lorax instead?  Idiocy?  More likely.  The ticket person was talking her coworker/friend whilst processing my request so I'm guessing it was a mistake.  You are just going to have to take me at my word.  I actually saw The Hunger Games yesterday.  Guess what else?  I liked it.  This was what I wanted to happen.  I wanted to hate it on the way into the theater but like (not love) it on the way out.  I was never going to love it.

Overall I was pleased at the book-to-film adaptation.  They got the story and the essence of the book onto the big screen.  I was scared that they wouldn't be able to nail the scope of the book.  They did.  I was scared that the essence of the characters weren't going to come through.  They did...for the most part.  I was scared that Gary Ross was going to be a sucky director.  He was.  So thanks for that, Gary.  But aside from some awful directing choices I was happy with the film.

First I'll get my issues with Gary off my chest.  Gary, Gary, Gary.  About a week ago I read an interview on about your use of my two most hated movie-making techniques...shaky, hand-held camera and tight shots.  I hoped it would be used sparingly.  It wasn't. My friend Michael suggested that he should have used it during the games and at no other time.  Michael, who claims to be right about everything, was totally right about that.  Other than that, and incorrectly shooting a movie is big, I was pleased with his work.  All of the actors did a great job with portraying their characters.  I want to think that was due to his direction and that he's better with acting choices than camera technique choices.  Ok, I've beaten this dead horse enough.

Jennifer Lawrence played a very flat Katniss but then Katniss is kind of dead inside anyway and Jennifer Lawrence is good at dead inside.  She's not effervescent in life or on screen so I now get the choice.  Also I kind of get wanting to cast someone in their early twenties to make the kissy stuff not icky.  Had someone younger been kissing on another actual teen I might have been creeped out.  I still think casting actors in their early twenties takes away from the shock value of teen-on-teen violence but I'm finally letting that go.  Until the next installment when our stars are in their mid-20s.  Then it's very possible I'll be bringing all this up again.

Josh Hutcherson is a good actor.  I'll say this again.  Josh Hutcherson is a good actor.  He just doesn't do it for me. And the hair.  Oh, the hair.  Don't people, and by people I mean hairstylists, know that blond isn't all over one color?  People with naturally blond hair have tones and highlights.  Sorry, I'm ranting.  But he was very good as Peeta and played it just right.  I just need to get past the hair.

As far as the supporting cast goes I think they all did excellent jobs.  I still don't understand Woody/Haymitch's hair either but he was great.  I was happy to see Wes Bentley in a decent role again after spending some years in obscurity.  The other tributes were good, especially the creepy chick from Orphan who played Clove. I must say, how good was Lenny Kravitz?  He was sweet and supportive but restrained...just like Cinna.

Speaking of, I need this to happen at some point in my life but preferably not with me heading off to my possible death:

Be like me and go read Tracy's review on  I make it a habit to not read her reviews before I write my own and it was especially true this time around because she and I had many of the same issues heading into the theater. I'm totally excited to read what she thought and you should be too.

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