Sorry, sorry, I couldn't help myself. Thanks to the midnight screening of Hunger Games last night, I am totally sleep deprived, which always makes me think that I'M THE MOST HILARIOUS BEING ALIVE. But we're not here to talk about how
funny tired I am, we're here to talk about THE HUNGER GAMES MOVIE!
Have y'all seen it yet? Have you have you have you?!!! Well, let's make like a plate and dish! (<-- See what I did there? Ok, wow, yeah, time for more coffee.)
Before we get into our various rants and opinions, don't forget that we're compiling a post for Monday profiling YOU GUYS and your Hunger Games experience. So please send us your pictures from the screening you attended! Maybe you wore an FYA shirt! Maybe you attended with yr book club, and everyone snuck in flasks and things got OTC! Or maybe you dressed up like these fabulous ladies:
Anna Marie as a Capitol citizen, Alix as Glimmer, Lee as Dead Rue
Whether you dressed up like a crazy person or not, we hope you had a blast at the movie-- the FYA gals certainly did! Especially because we went to a theater that serves alcohol! So we got our Haymitch on!
I posted my review of the film on Wednesday, and you can check it out here.
Now, for Erin's take!
Let's talk about casting, y'all!! It was the subject of much debate and teeth-gnashing from us leading up to the movie, and in some ways our expectations were right on the money.
Elizabeth Banks is so good that I want to rewrite the book series to be called The Tale of Effie Trinket and Her Two Sadsack Tributes. Like, seriously, can we petition Suzanne Collins to re-release Catching Fire and Mockingjay to only focus on Effie? She's SO good, you guys. Absolutely stole every scene she was in and made me wish that they never had to go into the Arena.
Jennifer Lawrence is, frankly, too good for this movie. I mean, I love the Hunger Games more than I love vodka, but it's not exactly Oscar-worthy material, you know? But try telling that to JLaw, who fucking wipes the floor with pretty much everyone she shares a screen with - including seasoned actor Woody Harrelson (more on that in a bit), to say nothing of her two male costars.
Lenny Kravitz continues his two-movie streak of being really surprisingly great! But! You guys! Was it just me, or was his chemistry with Katniss THROUGH THE ROOF? I mean, obviously, he's Lenny Kravitz, aka Sex in Leather Pants, so you'd pretty much have to be clinically dead to not have chemistry with him, but that scene right before Katniss goes into the Arena? I totally thought they were going to make out. Someone tell me I'm not the only one.
Donald Sutherland is freaking CHILLING as President Snow. I can't wait to see his role expand in the next two films.
My favorite tribute? Clove. I have a lot of love for Isabelle Fuhrman (Orphan is seriously one of the best, most original horror films I've seen in years; go watch it) and I really enjoyed every scene she was in. But it was still super satisfying watching Thresh kill her.
And last but not least, Stanley Tucci was amazeballs. He was exactly what I pictured Caesar Flickerman to be: showy, preening, gossip-loving yet swayed himself by the image he helps to create. Loved, loved, loved him. I would pay cash money for a DVD commentary where he narrates the entire movie AS Caesar. "Oh, yes, this is the scene in which Gale has four reaction shots. I HEARD it took them all day to film this, poor little lamb."
And now, for the Not So Good:
Good Lord, y'all, Liam Hemsworth CANNOT ACT AT ALL. Watching him was actually painful - I found myself wincing all during his scene when he tries to convince Katniss to run away to the woods, and not because I was worried they'd be captured and turned into Avoxes. Actually, it'd be great if Gale were turned into an Avox. Technically, he pretty much is one through 80% of this movie.
Josh Hutcherson, on the other hand, isn't that bad of an actor, but he can't hold his own against Jennifer Lawrence. I actually really enjoyed his scenes with other people - his reaction to Effie and Haymitch, his interview with Caesar - but he just looked weak against JLaw. And his face is so freaking stupid looking; I can't even.
As mentioned by Posh earlier, I didn't super love Woody Harrelson as Haymitch. He definitely sold the funny part of it, and was good at sarcastically calling Katniss "sweetheart" but where was the bitterness? Where was the anti-Capitol rage? I really hope he works on Haymitch before Catching Fire, because that really is Haymitch's time to shine.
But the person I was least impressed with? Wes Bentley as Seneca Crane. His beard was amazing, obvs, but they expanded his role so much for this movie and he just fell totally flat for me. Like, I didn't love him, I didn't hate him - I just wanted him to go away.
It was definitely better than I expected it to be. I thought it made a solid (though too long) movie from a book that spends a lot of time in the Main Character's head, and apart from the score, I thought it was really well made. There wasn't enough violence/gore, though. This is a story about children being forced against one another for the amusement of a favored few. If you take away the gore, you take away the spectacle. You need the spectacle - you need your actual audience to be mostly horrified but just a little bit thrilled, so that they can understand and relate to the Capital citizens. There were some scenes I would have changed the focus of slightly - I actually thought they spent TOO much time on the District 11 uprising. I would have preferred seeing the unrest and discontent build and then cutting the scene right before the boiling point. Shooting it the way they did, it made it seem like District 11 were a mob of thugs, you know? And they aren't! They're just super brave!
Overall though, I liked it a lot! It was definitely faithful, made changes where they made sense, and told the story well. One thing I did notice is that I'm not sure the word "Panem" is ever actually mentioned in the movie. I could be wrong (probably am) but I think they avoided calling the country by any name. Which was a little weird?
Ok, enough of us blabbing about our opinions. We're dying to hear what you guys thought!!!! Let us know in the comments, and again, don't forget to email us your Hunger Games costume photos or post 'em on our Facebook wall!