Escape to the Movies: The Hunger Games

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The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games makes its way to the big screen.

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Not too surprised how this all turned out. Thought the book wasn't half bad, but kinda of obvious it wouldn't live up to all this hope and hype. I sadly still smell sequel with them doing Catching Fire if this still banks enough money.

Oh boy, it's going to be Eragorn all over again.

you were clearly having too much fun with making fun of those names. The only time you should eccentric names is when you're in fantasy, hard sci-fi, or an videogame. Speaking of which, my DVD of Battle Royale should be coming soon

I'm gunna go out on a limb and say he hasn't actually read the books.
Still it looks like the Hunger Games are a little...

*puts on sunglasses*

Starved for Substance

Saw this last night at the midnight showing, had the additional context of having read the books.

I feel like there were two movies here: a dramatic movie that worked well (Gary Ross is good at directing actors) and an action movie that just didn't work. The worst part is that the action scenes failed to have any real impact when they should have -- some of that is the PG-13, but some of that is also the lack of a tripod or Steadicam. If the action sequences had an actual impact and you could tell what was going on, then that would've added to the more dramatic parts of the movie, not detracted from them.

Smart move with the flame suit and iron bunker there Bob.

Never read this book, doubt I'll see the movie but the alternate names for the main character you kept coming up with were funny.

[sarcasm]
Well, at least it's not another movie with CGI wolves and sparkly vampires.
[/sarcasm]

canadamus_prime:
Oh boy, it's going to be Eragorn all over again.

At least Eragon had the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy motif to fall back on. This is just an inferior copy of several much better ideas.

With this movie, as with many others based on a book series for kids, we are able to see the people who watch movies purely for entertainment, and those who watch movies for the experience and the art.

I said the same thing with Harry Potter, and people in the former category still get into fights with me to this day about those movies.

It's a shame, really. There is a huge difference between a "good" movie and an "entertaining" movie. People don't seem to realize that.

Ummm, I don't agree with you this time Bob. The movie has some pretty great acting and I found it to be genuinely enjoyable. However, I was able to predict everything you were going to complain about before watching the review, not because they particularly annoyed me, but because I know you hate them (shaky cam etc.). The settings thing, well, it was exactly how I pictured it while reading the book for whatever that's worth, though I imagined the forest in the games to be a bit more dry and the city to be a bit more advanced. The clothes could have been more outrageous I suppose, but it got the point across. As for the fight scenes and lack of blood, I didn't mind it that much. Considering they were trying to make a PG-13 movie so that the target audience wouldn't be unable to watch, it was surprisingly graphic. I'll admit the fighting scenes were kind of dull.

Can't say I thought it looked anything more than an attempt to grab to post-Twilight fans.

And can people please stop talking about "well in the books..."? He's a film critic, and he's reviewing the film, not the book. Just because the book might be better, doesn't mean that the film should be given an easy ride.

So basically, the only thing bad the target audience might notice is the pacing? I really wish critics, in addition to doing everything Bob just did, would give "summary for this audience."

Edit to add: My son wants to see this, and I don't care as much about what I'll get out of it as what a 13 year old kid will get out of it.

Most of the things you said about the movie, the running through endless forests, the weird rules about the games, the fakey romance... they are all problems inherent to the BOOKS, and not just the movie. From what you said, it seems like a fairly faithful adaptation XD

Rotten Tomatoes couldn't disagree more!

But, I can't say that I'm too surprised by this. Things were going to much toward the Twilight way of doing things.
Huge hype, books everywhere, sell outs.
Mocking Jay is already booked. That's before the film came out!

Good thing I was right about the movie.
Whenever friends kept linking me to trailers for the movies I would always respond with:
"The trailer is telling me nothing about the movie, and the total lack of them putting in scenes from the movie makes me think that the production value of the movie really isn't that high.

Revnak:
-snip-

To all: Allow me to point out that Revnak has been seen defending THG on the forums repeatedly.
From this we can conclude that he is a reader of the books so take what he says with salt.
Thank you for your time.

In all seriousness dude, it kinda seems like you were caught up in the movie hype and you're going to be prone to defending the movie no matter its faults.

Bob: Thank you for Catfish Jellybean and for once again pointing out that the way Avatar did things (using a familiar storyline as the skeleton, fleshing it out with fun worldbuilding, and polishing it to a mirror shine) is perfectly acceptable.

I haven't seen this movie or read the books, but everyone I know is insisting that I do both. And I might still; I don't know yet. It depends on how bored I am.

But yeah, it's weird to do a review of an adaptation. It's like you have to do two reviews: one on how it compares to the source material, and the other on how it stands on its own merits. It sounds like it did a terrific job on the former, but falls flat on the latter. (People who want adaptations to be exact word-for-word, scene-for-scene replicas of the source material, take note. Some things just work better in your imagination.)

As a fan of the books to a point, the last book just gets comically tragic to the point of loing its impact. I was worried from what I had saw of this, its obvious that they are pitchingt this ONLY for people who read the book as things the book had time to set out and explain just have not been dealt with by the looks of it.

My pre-review (and obv pre-watching) issues were maionly small nitpicks. This book to me seemed like what the Twilight series could/should have been a pseudo-fantasy novel pitched at teen girls but with wider appeal, containing an honestly flawed but undeniably strong female lead who manipulates the men around her more than they manipulate her. I'll prob go watch it with friends who also like the books but not going to break the door of the cinema down

As for the naming issue, its dealt with in the book for the odder names, but most are pretty 'normal' for North America and names in use change over time, how many Alberts, Godfreys or Eileens do you see in Generation Y, Z or even X? Although I appreciate the ZP style twisting

Frank_Sinatra_:
Good thing I was right about the movie.
Whenever friends kept linking me to trailers for the movies I would always respond with:
"The trailer is telling me nothing about the movie, and the total lack of them putting in scenes from the movie makes me think that the production value of the movie really isn't that high.

Revnak:
-snip-

To all: Allow me to point out that Revnak has been seen defending THG on the forums repeatedly.
From this we can conclude that he is a reader of the books so take what he says with salt.
Thank you for your time.

In all seriousness dude, it kinda seems like you were caught up in the movie hype and you're going to be prone to defending the movie no matter its faults.

It was really good. The books are average. The movie has an 86% on Rotten Tomatoes and is not just an average movie. I wasn't even planning on watching this movie until Monday I realized I wasn't going to be able to watch the Borrowers. I have three friends who went with me that thought it was a good movie, one of whom hadn't read the books and another of whom hated them. This is not a bad movie. This is a very good movie. And I will once again admit that the action scenes and shaky-cam were annoying at best and downright terrible at worst.

Also, I couldn't sleep so all I've been doing is commenting on the forums and waiting for this review to come up to see if I was right about what I thought he would complain about. I was right.

canadamus_prime:
Oh boy, it's going to be Eragorn all over again.

Oh christ! I hated that film, my sister enjoyed the books and the slowly deteriorating look on her face as that bloody movie went on depressed the hell out of me. I mean the guy had a two week long swordsmanship course and gained the skill to leap off a swooping dragon, land on a firey bat demon and slay the warlock guy riding it... I mean bloody hell I just about learn't how to use photoshop in three weeks!

I actually watched the Nostalgia Chick reveiw for this last night and she seemed to enjoy it although I suppose shes more in its target demographic. Its good to have variety.

Catfish Jellybean, I wee'd a little Bob! Expect my cleaning bill.

"Catfish jellybean". If I ever watch this movie, that's the one thing I'll never get out of my head. But being that it's in the same vein as Twilight, that's highly unlikely. I'm simply not the demographic for teenage romgoth tripe.

Okay, so here's what's going to go down May 4th, 2012. Chipman is either going to
A. Scream and bitch so intensely that it'd make his Transformers 2/Green Lantern reviews look civil and professional

OR

B. Go into denial and somehow praise it despite its glaring and undeniable flaws in a delusional fit like he did with Other M

OR

C. Be so pleased with the movie that his his spunk will be flowing out of the computer screen the instant I hit the "Play" button.

Revnak:

It was really good. The books are average. The movie has an 86% on Rotten Tomatoes and is not just an average movie. I wasn't even planning on watching this movie until Monday I realized I wasn't going to be able to watch the Borrowers. I have three friends who went with me that thought it was a good movie, one of whom hadn't read the books and another of whom hated them. This is not a bad movie. This is a very good movie.

This is called being subjective and having different opinions, it is a case of you considering it good movie but that does not make it an objective reality, regardless of the anecdotal evidence and the calls for majoritarian authority you use. If you consider it a good movie, great, that's cool, but critical opinions on it are just as valid.

I'll be seeing the Hunger Games tomorrow with my girlfriend, she's a big fan, hopefully the movie will be ok, I'll hold off my opinion til then.

Ha, I like that he refrenced the infamous South Park cripple fight when mention how badly choreographed the movie was. Bob, please tell me you know that the cripple fight was a scene for scene remake of the fight scene in They Live. You know, our two protagonist arguing over putting on those specks? I'm serious, if you have you to screens, be it one monitor or tv, que up that episode of south park, and that scene from They Live, and it's a blow for blow remake.

Blind Sight:

Revnak:

It was really good. The books are average. The movie has an 86% on Rotten Tomatoes and is not just an average movie. I wasn't even planning on watching this movie until Monday I realized I wasn't going to be able to watch the Borrowers. I have three friends who went with me that thought it was a good movie, one of whom hadn't read the books and another of whom hated them. This is not a bad movie. This is a very good movie.

This is called being subjective and having different opinions, it is a case of you considering it good movie but that does not make it an objective reality, regardless of the anecdotal evidence and the calls for majoritarian authority you use. If you consider it a good movie, great, that's cool, but critical opinions on it are just as valid.

I'll be seeing the Hunger Games tomorrow with my girlfriend, she's a big fan, hopefully the movie will be ok, I'll hold off my opinion til then.

I guess I am coming off a bit strong about all this. The sleep deprivation does that to me sometimes. I just wanted to throw my opinion out there. Then the person that quoted questioned the validity of my opinions, so I threw out that comment. Bob did make some excellent points, specifically when it comes to the fight scenes. Those were pretty bad at times.

From everything I've seen, this looks like it has lower production values than an episode of Game of Thrones. That's not good for a movie this hyped and backed by a studio.

What Bob has said is pretty much the exact same criticism I have heard from all of the other reviews I've seen or read. I'm kinda dissapointed, in the movie that is.

Can't wait for cabin in the woods.

My first reaction "Oh Battle Royal for the west.". But I did not know it was targeted at younger female audiences. Thanks Bob for sitting through whatever they show you.

I was wondering what made it different from all the other movies of it's kind that came before it... The answer was, very little.

Remind me again how the filthy rich (of the future) get to treat the rest of humanity like a human chess set?

Is it supposed to be a commentary on the way today's governments say "Go forth and fight" and the people say "OK then"?

Yeah, after reading the books while bored (they are really short to some one with any sort of decent reading speed) this film was doomed from the outset since it had fuck all chance of being as actually brutal as it needed to be.

I'm still on the fence about this one. I love the Battle Royale concept, but a bad movie is still a bad movie. Might watch it.

I kind of distrust Bob when he calls a movie 'mediocre' and 'ordinary.' 1) He sees A LOT of movies as a critic so naturally he sees this stuff more than the ordinary viewer, so your 'ordinary' millage may vary. 2) He said 'Captain America' was one of the best Marvel movies ever, and that couldn't have been more boring and cliche.

I'm gonna be completely honest: I saw this movie at midnight, and I'm probably going to go see it again with friends tonight.
I thoroughly enjoyed it, but Bob's review has given me a good dose of perspective.
It doesn't change my opinion, but it will encourage me to look at the film from a more objective angle.

First time I've heard anything about the plot.
So, what IS all the fuss about?

canadamus_prime:
Oh boy, it's going to be Eragorn all over again.

Not true, the movie followed the books extremely well.

Pretty much every other review I've seen for this has said it's amazing. Hopefully, I'll get to see it soon and can form my own opinion. Of course, I was pretty sure Bob wouldn't like this back before it came out. I'm sure Amazing Spider-Man will be the same way. I like critics I disagree with, but I hope everyone doesn't just blindly follow his opinion.

For a second take, I'd suggest HitFix or io9's review of the movie, don't just take Bob's word for it. I see that kind of thing way too much on his and Yahtzee's videos.

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