Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Hunger Games Review

"Happy Hunger Games and let the odds be ever in your favor". In a world of Harry Potter and Twilight, being a new book to movie series is hard. The Hunger Games is the new Harry Potter-type movie and book series in the area of fans and greatness, just as you followed the life of the "Boy Who Lived" you will love following the life of "The Girl On Fire".

Many who have read the book before going to the movie will notice some parts of the movie that aren't the same as the book, as I did. Now I don't think that is a bad thing, because I always worry about reading the book before watching the movie or the other way around, this way it is two different takes on the story. In the book you see the story from the view of Katniss Everdeen, in the movie you see both her side and moments of the views of others such as the Capital and Peeta Mellark.

Let's take a moment and meet the people in and outside of the 74th Annual Hunger Games, such as the girl on fire.

First off, let's meet Katniss Everdeen. She comes all the way from District 12, this girl isn't only fast, she is very brave. How she got to the Hunger Games is a heartfilled story (want details??? Hint: Go watch the movie or read the book or both!). Now let's talk about the actress on fire who played the girl on fire, Jennifer Lawrence. The first time I watched Jennifer in a movie it was X-Men First Class, she played Raven/Mystique. Now that wasn't her only role before this movie, she has been in movies such as Like Crazy, Winter's Bone, The Beaver, as well as the TV series "The Bill Engvall Show".  She is one of the top actresses in movies today in my view, her name will be known for years just as others before her. She did a fantastic job bringing Katniss Everdeen to life. When Jennifer says her lines as Katniss, you feel every word as if it was not a movie line. She was Katniss, she was the girl on fire, she was the girl from District 12. She made Katniss Everdeen a real life person, she put a face to the girl on the pages of a book.

Photo Credit: Murray Close

Now on to the boy tribute from District 12, Peeta Mellark. This guy isn't just the son of the baker, he is quick on his feet and strong. There is a great story of Peeta and Katniss and it is all about when... (Okay, did you really think I was going to tell you something that big?). Josh Hutcherson was the face of Peeta, earlier this year he starred along side Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Vanessa Hudgens in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. One of my favorite movies he was in is Bridge to Terabithia, where he worked with AnnaSophia Robb and Zooey Deschanel. He also did a great job bringing Peeta Mellark to the big screen. One of the best parts of what he bought to this movie was how he work well with Jennifer in the Katniss/Peeta scenes, he also did great working with Woody Harrelson.

Gale Hawthorne has been Katniss's best friend for a long time, he is a great hunter and an even better friend. No matter what he always believes in Katniss and her being able to win the Hunger Games, he always has her back. Now Liam Hemsworth first made his start on the big screen in the Nicolas Cage movie "Knowing" in 2009, then in Triangle that same year. In 2010 Liam starred in his third big screen role as Will Blakelee in The Last Song along side his real life girlfriend Miley Cyrus. He will be starring in the upcoming movie The Expendables 2.

Photo Credit: Murray Close

It is hard not to have a soft spot in your heart for the little sister of Katniss aka Primrose Everdeen, you can't help but cry when she worries for her big sister who is heading into the Hunger Games which could mean the life or death of Katniss. This was the very first big screen role for 11 year old Willow Shields, I believe she did an amazing job. She is going to be one to watch as she goes into her movie career. You truly saw how scared Primrose was for Katniss, almost as if Willow was scared for Jennifer.

Now someone has to go to the district and tell the new Tributes who is going, that person is Effie Trinket. Now Effie doesn't have an easy job as most would think, it isn't all putting names out of a bowl. She works along side the District 12 Tributes as they get ready for the games, she also has to put up with past District 12 winner Haymitch Abernathy. The person behind all the make-up of Effie is Elizabeth Banks, who has starred in movies such as the Spider-Man movie series. Now she is a great actress, because it can't be easy to play the nice but sometimes over worried Effie. She really brings life to the role and her voice in the movie fits what I would think Effie would sound like by reading the book.

Photo Credit: Murray Close

If there is a bar near by, you most likely will find Haymitch Abernathy. When he was around the age of Katniss and Peeta, he won the Hunger Games. He has a habit of drinking, but when it counts he can be a great friend. Now there maybe a reason that Haymitch is good with making a drink in movie, that reason is the actor who plays him aka Woody Harrelson. Harrelson knows a thing or two about making drinks on screen from his days as Woody Boyd on the classic TV Series Cheers.

Photo Credit: Murray Close

Cinna is the man who helped Katniss become "The Girl On Fire". He lives in the Captial and works for the head people of the Hunger Games. Now even though that Cinna lives in the Captial and Gale lives in District 12, there is one thing the have in common, they both believe in Katniss. Lenny Kravitz stars in his second live action movie role as Cinna, I have to say I think he and Jennifer work wonderfully with each other in the scenes and bring the Katniss/Cinna story to life in a epic way. He really is the best choice for Cinna because of how he brings the caring side of him to life by talking so soft and nice to Katniss, he just seems like he really does care and is not just acting like Cinna does.

Photo Credit: Murray Close

Rue is one of the youngest Tributes in the games, she is fast and can climb trees without being seen. She is a very loyal friend and one of the nicest people you will meet. Amandla Stenberg brings so much to the role of Rue, she has the look of the sweet young girl as well as the fast tree climbing Tribute.

Just a quick view on what the other cast members bought to the film and their roles.

Donald Sutherland was fantastic as President Snow, his deep voice and being able to keep a straight face were the best reasons for him being President Snow.

Stanley Tucci is great at being a straight face actor as well, but he is also known for his jokes and laughs. That is most of the reason he is amazing at playing Caesar Flickerman one of the hosts of the Hunger Games. During the games his co-host is Claudius Templesmith played by Toby Jones. I think the fact that the cast seemed to get along so well is a main part of how the movie worked as it did.

There were a few scenes not in the movie which were in the book as I said before, but I didn't find that a real issue. When I first saw how Katniss got the pin in the movie and noticed it wasn't the same as the book, I was worried it wouldn't work. I was wrong, the way she gets it in the movie is even more heartfelt and tearful.

Directing this film was Gray Ross, who also co-wrote the movie along side the author of the Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins, and screenplay writer, Billy Ray. The way he bought the story to life and pulled us all into the story as if we were walking along side Katniss makes you love the movie. Special effects were fantastic and really jumped off the screen (No it isn't 3D).

Photo Credit: Murray Close

Now I would like to give a big thanks to Suzanne Collins for writing the Hunger Games book series. I couldn't put the book down. I can't wait to see where Katniss and Peeta go next, I hear that "Catching Fire" the second book will be hitting the big screen next year.

If you are a fan of the book series or just thinking about going to see the film, make your way to your local theater and catch "The Hunger Games".

Again "Happy Hunger Games and let the odds be ever in your favor"

Thank you to ESSEX CINEMAS and T-REX for being the theater of choice for my movie reviews. When you are looking for the best place to check out a movie, make it ESSEX CINEMAS and T-REX at the Essex Outlets Center in Essex, VT!

The T-Rex Theater is AMAZING!!! With the 60 foot curved screen and 124 speakers which is part of 7.1 Digital Surround Sound, there are 401 extra wide luxury seats with memory-foam headrests making a movie theater trip you will never forget! T-Rex stands for “Theatre Real Extreme”

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