'The Hunger Games' Review By ejk1

A filling morsel...
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Directing
  • Visuals
I had the day off from work, so I decided to take in a few films. The first was 21 Jump Street. It was as funny as I hoped it would be, with two of the most hilarious scenes I have ever seen in the theater. A completely enjoyable film that I recommend (that's all the review you're getting from me on that film, so enjoy!). After that film, I used the lavatory, refilled me soda cup and bought some popcorn, and got comfy in another seat to watch the main event of the day, The Hunger Games.

Now right off the bat, let me say that I have not read the book nor its sequels, but perhaps I will this summer (after The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest and A Dance With Dragons). So I had no real impression of this story, because I wisely disregarded any notion that this film was like Twilight. Listen, just because it has a love triangle in it does not mean it has anything to do with the "sparkle-sparkles." Love triangles in films have been around literally forever. Hell, they go back to the written word with ancient Greek plays. Also, there's a huge difference between the female leads. Katniss Everdeen beams with life; Bella whatever-her-last-name is depressing, perhaps because she sleeps with dead people. Don't know the reason, don't care. I do know that these two stories have nothing in common, and for anyone to compare them is a disservice to each tale. They each bring something different to the table that many, male and female alike, have eaten up by the gravy boatloads.

So now that I've dealt with that misperception, let us now concentrate solely on The Hunger Games. Now I've read what some people have written on MW about this film, particularly the negative things. Some of it is closer to being on point than others--the handheld camera thing that started with the Bourne series needs not to be stopped, just fixed. These handheld cameras give the audience angles that the regular cameras just don't, but there is a great problem when with the shakiness. Get people with steadier hands, Hollywood!

The one major problem many have is the whole "it cuts some things out from the book." Duh. Of course it would. If they tried to put everything in there, it be like an eight hour film. But I do understand this problem, and feel that there is only one way to analyze this predicament. Did the film adaptation do damage to future films in the series? For example, there are many changes in the Harry Potter franchise, such as in Chamber Of Secrets, as Professor McGonagall tells the class about the Chamber in the film, yet in the book it was the ghost professor, whose name escapes me at the moment. Anyways, HP didn't suffer greatly from these changes. Then take Green Lantern, which did suffer greatly from the changes, as the film took three or four great possibilities out of the equation, including the very popular Blackest Night arc. So did the changes made when going from book to film hurt The Hunger Games? Honestly, I can't answer that yet.

So what did I think of the movie? Well, if you bothered to look at the ratings, you'd know, you dumbass :P Ahhh, that was fun. But seriously, I did like the film. However I would be remiss if I didn't tell you that my actual rating falls at around 4.25-4.3, so I rounded up. The main culprit of negativity is the shaky camera. It annoys at times, not so much the fighting parts, because those scenes should have a hectic feel to them, but definitely when the calm exposition is taking place. Nothing like watching people have conversations while it looks like the screen is having a seizure, am I right?

The story was good, very good. Yeah I know the riff: "but ejk, it's not original!" Let me tell you something my Writing Fiction prof told my class: "Every story has been told and retold. It's a matter of how you do it now." He's right. And The Hunger Games tells a story that has played out not only on screen, but in the gladiatorial arenas of ancient Rome two millennia ago. But they did it well. The Hunger Games felt fresh from the beginning to me.

Now what helped the story along was the acting, particularly of Jennifer Lawrence. There are two scenes that were so good and tense, I shuddered. One especially, when she was about to enter the field of play, the tension was so real and the emotion so raw, that I felt it in my core. I was nervous for her. Incredibly well done. Ms. Lawrence has quickly become a favorite of mine, and could easily reign over Hollywood for the next decade or so.

The other acting jobs were somewhere between very good and good. Woody Harrelson as Haymitch was very good, as was Josh Hutcherson as Peeta. Elizabeth Banks as Effie was interesting to say the least, and I am very pleased that Lenny Kravitz did not embarrass himself as Cenna. Now the one gripe I have in the acting is with Donald Sutherland as the President. I just don't find him to be menacing at all. I blame Animal House. No matter what film I see with him, he will always be the pothead teacher that banged Karen Allen.

The Hunger Games film was very good in my opinion. I do wonder if my opinion will change after I have read the book, but I like to think not. Perhaps some changes will seem to me to be good, and some may not. Whatever. One can't ask for all things in life. The Hunger Games did accomplish one important thing as far as I'm concerned. It intrigued me enough to make me anticipate the sequels, and that is great news.

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Comments (25)

  1. Corey W.

    Awesome review, man.

    3 years agoby @coreyFlag

  2. ejk1

    @ChiRep-1 21 Jump Street was funny throughout, and it had two parts that just made me lose it. The bathroom scene and the supplier trying to recoup what was lost at the end where just hilarious, classic scenes.

    3 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  3. ChiRep_1

    @ejk1 Yeah no problem hah I haven't read the book either so we naturally had similar views. How about 21 Jump Street right? My favorite comedy since Superbad

    3 years agoby @ChiRep-1Flag

  4. ejk1

    @ChiRep-1 Me, an opinionated review? To hell you say :P Thanks for reading dude.

    3 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  5. ChiRep_1

    Quite the opinionated review you have here @ejk1 =P But good review, couldn't have summed it up better (especially the parts about the shaky cam) 4.5 stars for me.

    3 years agoby @ChiRep-1Flag

  6. moviegeek

    @dan1 lol. 10 year drop.

    And thank you for clearing up my numbers :P

    3 years agoby @moviegeekFlag

  7. Dan


    3 years agoby @dan1Flag

  8. ejk1

    @bawnian-dexeus hmm...I would have guessed younger.

    3 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  9. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @ejk1 Before he erased it, I read 25

    3 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  10. ejk1

    @bawnian-dexeus how old is he?

    3 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  11. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @ejk1 Basically there is a warehouse used that I commented on seeing before in a previous movie. To which jottley responded as and I quote word for word "Its a film set on Paramount :)"

    Seans response: "You mean it a film set a at Paramount studios ?"

    After that me and J had a little fun, we found out how old Sean is, and dropped it. We weren't in the mood

    3 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  12. ejk1

    @bawnian-dexeus What happened? I've been ignoring Avengers articles.

    3 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  13. Dan

    @bawnian-dexeus Do I even bother to read?

    3 years agoby @dan1Flag

  14. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @dan1 Today was the worst on an Avenger's article. But I won't get into that

    3 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  15. Dan

    @ejk1@bawnian-dexeus Damn guy and his bad habits rubbing off.

    3 years agoby @dan1Flag

  16. ejk1

    @dan1 tsk tsk.

    3 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  17. Dan

    F*ck. re-reading my last comment, it felt like I pulled a Sean/Captain Obvious.... sorry... lol

    3 years agoby @dan1Flag

  18. Dan

    @moviegeek She did say near the end after Peeta asks what they should do then that they should just try to forget about it, and he said he didn't want to. Maybe that could have been stretched out a bit more, but I was good with that. We do still have 2 more movies to go at least, and well, you know how their story plays out. It's only the first part, it'll feel more whole once they've made all 3(4) movies.

    3 years agoby @dan1Flag

  19. ejk1

    @moviegeek Thank you, sir. Yeah, I try to put little jokes in there. Some hit, some miss. I'm glad you liked that one :)

    3 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  20. moviegeek

    @dan1 One thing I heard some friends mentioning that was left out the movie that leads to the sequel was with Katniss/Peeta. When they arrive back at District 12, Peeta starts to realize that Katniss wasn't really in love with him. She was just acting. That's key, and I didn't realize it was left out. I'm glad they kept the romancing low key, but I feel that's an important transition that they didn't take advantage of.

    @ejk1 It's nice to hear an opinion from one who hasn't read the book. Refreshing read. I think you'll like the book more, but I don't think it will change your opinion of the movie at all.

    Oh, and this line makes me laugh.

    "So what did I think of the movie? Well, if you bothered to look at the ratings, you'd know, you dumbass :P Ahhh, that was fun."

    3 years agoby @moviegeekFlag

  21. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @ejk1 Of course. I agree about the whole twilight comparison. Just people finding a reason to hate what they know is at least average to good for them

    3 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  22. ejk1

    @dan1 Nothing like Twilight. Any and all comparisons must cease and desist. That is all.

    And thanks for reading. Same to you, @bawnian-dexeus

    3 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  23. Dan

    @ejk1 Well, you asked in your review if any changes/things removed could hurt it in the future with the sequels.. there is a tidbit that describes the mute servants you saw in their rooms (if you caught that) that are called Avoxes. They really just breezed over those. But they did show the rioting in District 11 (which wasn't in the book, but a very welcome addition in my opinion), which did a more than serviceable job of hinting at bigger things to come (see also Haymitch's comment about not being safe, and the final shots of Sutherland sauntering off).

    Anyways, glad you enjoyed it, it was pretty much everything I hoped it would be, and thanks for the bit about it being nothing like Twilight. Such a f*cking annoying argument...

    3 years agoby @dan1Flag

  24. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    You'll notice the changes, but the adaptation was great still in my opinion. Great review. Glad you enjoyed it.

    3 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag