THE HUNGER GAMES is the latest in the
adapting popular current books to movies trend. The movie has performed beyond expectations as it has taken in $155
million in the opening weekend in North America. You will have the fans of the book crying foul or hating the movie
when they cut some stuff out. Movies and books are different mediums. Books can be a very internal medium while
movies are an audiovisual medium. THE HUNGER GAMES does faithfully create an exciting adaptation that has its flaws.
Then again book to movie adaptations are never meant to be perfect. An adaptation is a new version of the
Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is
living in District 12 with her mother and younger sister Prim. Ever year,
one male and one female between the ages of 12 and 18 are picked from each district at the Reaping and then they are to participate
in the Hunger Games where only one out of 24 will survive in this game of death. Katniss
enters multiple times for the Reaping in hopes that she will be selected and not her sister (this is her first year to be
entered for the Reaping). Katniss does all she can do even hunt beyond
the electric fence (that doesn't work) to support her family. On the day of the
Reaping, Prim's name is picked and Katniss volunteers as Tribute to spare Prim. The
male (who is picked) is Peeta, the son of a baker. Katniss and Peeta are
taken to the Capitol to be in the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is a way of
control since they quelled a rebellion decades ago. Katniss must try to
win the Hunger Games, but her actions may start something that is beyond her control.
THE HUNGER GAMES is based on an entertaining
and engaging Young Adult novel (the first of a trilogy) written by Suzanne Collins (who co-wrote the screenplay with the movie's
director). THE HUNGER GAMES film does have a good pace, but they do cut
out a lot of material. The beginning leading up to the Reaping is rushed
and I wish the story was developed for five to ten minutes more to showcase more of life for Katniss in District 12. Her friend Gale is barely featured and it underplays the possible love triangle
in the film. If you haven't read the book, would you care for Gale and his feelings
for Katniss? It is like director Gary Ross and the producers wanted to
get to the Hunger Games and the training leading up to it quicker. That
part of the film is great, but it is lessened by the music score of James Newton Howard (who was a replacement for Danny Elfman
who had to bow out of the project due to a scheduling conflict with another film).
Sometimes the score works and sometimes it shows that Howard isn't my favorite composer in the world. Part of it can be blamed on where Gary Ross wants to place the music in the film too.
Given that THE HUNGER GAMES has taken
in $155 million in the opening weekend, Lionsgate's plans to shoot the sequel (this fall) are going ahead. THE HUNGER GAMES is a faithful adaptation in what time they had for the movie, but they did lose
a few things that some fans are complaining about. My only major dislikes as
described above are a rushed beginning and the music score. Jennifer Lawrence
and Lenny Kravitz, and the girl who played Rue were the best cast in the film.
I hope the sequel is a little bit better and focuses more on Gale. I
also hope Lionsgate doesn't split the third book into two movies. THE HUNGER
GAMES isn't a perfect adaptation, but it is on fire when Jennifer Lawrence is on fire as Katniss, the Girl On Fire.
this movie review is (c)3-27-2012
David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments