Tuesday, April 10, 2012

H is for Hunger Games High



If you tuned into my Hunger Games Hype post or my Team Peeta post or any other number of posts through which I gushed about my anticipation of The Hunger Games movie, you know I’m not a typical fan of book-to-movie (BTM) adaptations. They’ve always ranged from disappointing (any Nicholas Sparks BTM) to what were you thinking ? (Twilight) The book is always WAY better (Percy Jackson) because well, they just can’t squeeze three four nine hundred pages of awesomeness into a two hour movie!

Cue Hunger Games BTM, one I was weirdly NEVER skeptical about. My excitement started last summer when I talked about production with friends. In October I told my kids I was going to the midnight premiere and was going to get a hat or cape or SOMETHING that would make me look like I was on fire.

Then came the trailers—trailers I watched more times than can possibly be acceptable—every time tearing up, my heart stopping, sometimes full-blown out shakes and sobs.

Then the heightened blogosphere buzz, the red carpet premiere. Twitter talk and Facebook shares.

Most people who know me would think I was setting myself for a big disappointment. But I never even thought that. I just knew this movie would be so amazingly awesome and true to the story.

And it was.

Are there things I was disappointed in? Yeah. But overall, this movie did what most BTMs fail to do—capture the essence of the story and portray it in a way that tugs at my heart and brings all emotions to the surface—just like the book. Most major plot points were there, and if they weren’t, I understood why not. So, I’m not going to tell you what I didn’t like.

I’m going to gush about those things I LOVED.

1) Casting—you can’t…CAN’T expect a BTM to succeed without casting a strong actor for the leading role. It’s why I like the Harry Potter movies and why Twilight failed. I know what you’re thinking—an epic movie does not one person make, but a leading lady can KILL it. JLaw was BOMB. She nailed Katniss—has from the moment I saw her in released trailer #1. And I CAN’T WAIT to see her in Catching Fire.

And the rest of the casting choices—BRILLIANT. No, really. Every single one of them—Josh Hutcherson, Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci…EVERYONE. They brought the characters to life on the screen like Suzanne Collins did on the page. If there was anyone I was disappointed in, it was Liam Hemsworth, and only…ONLY because he made me feel bad for Gale (he made me actually like Gale, but only a little). Something I didn’t ever feel in the books.



2) Contrasts—the poverty of District 12—the Seam, the Hob. Everything looking so pre-colonial. Everything rustic and earthy and bland. Everything quiet. And then as soon as you hit the Capitol—hoo boy. Pump up the volume and cue the eccentric. PERFECT.

3) Seneca Crane’s last scene—won’t say any more than that



4) If you’ve read The Hunger Games, you know that we only see things from Katniss’ point of view. I enjoyed the behind the scenes Capitol action—seeing conversations between President Snow and Seneca Crane, Haymitch’s pleas to the sponsors, the Star Wars like “game room” where key moves were made for what happened in the arena.

5) The emotional intensity—Teaser trailers are often just that—teasers. They get me pumped for the big screen, and a lot of times those intense, emotional moments that get me hyped fall short in the actual movie. Not so much with Hunger Games. I joked about needing twenty boxes of tissues—no joke. The Reaping, the interview, Rue’s death—they all got me *fists chest* right here.

6) The tracker jackers—they weren’t as big as expected—but the scene was pretty epic.

7) Haymitch—yes, I would’ve loved to see more of his drunk side, but he was so good, SO GOOD.


8) The lead up to the Games - the parade, the interview. Caesar - the PERFECT Hunger Games host

9) Cato, Clove—casting I was worried about because I just pictured them bigger, butchier. More lethal looking. Uh-uh. They were BRILLIANT. Have I mentioned how GENIUS the casting was?

10) Peeta/Katniss - yes, the cave scene needed to last longer. Yes, I would have loved to see more of the Katniss/Peeta relationship developed. Yes, I pictured a much thicker, stockier Peeta, BUT those things are SO minor in comparison to why I could really GUSH about them all week long: Peeta won my heart from the moment the camera shot to him in the Reaping. My heart still skittered in my chest when he revealed his crush . And Katniss—when she went to bat for him at the dinner table and in training. In that moment we knew she was FINALLY falling for him. When she thought she lost him. When he touched her braid. I could prattle on. Love him. Love them. The boy with the bread definitely deserves the girl on fire.

So. There’s my Hunger Games gush. Have YOU seen The Hunger Games? Are you still on a Hunger Games high? What was your favorite part?

31 comments:

  1. Haven't seen it yet but his is the second blog review on it. So far so good. Hunger Games fares well in the blogosphere. Great review.

    Shelly
    http://secondhandshoesnovel.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Shelly! You must see it! Go, go, GO!

      Delete
  2. Yeah, I was so ridiculously impressed by this movie, even despite some of the things they left out.

    And I totally <3 the part where Peeta touches Katniss' braid, too :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was just done SO WELL. And that braid thing is still in my head. LOVED THAT PART!!!

      Delete
  3. I am so glad you loved it. I saw the previews and thought: Oh no. This looks off.

    I haven't seen it yet, but the hubs is on book three and we will hopefully go next week. This blog got me all riled up again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tell the hubs to HURRY UP! The odds are definitely in your favor that you will find it AMAZING!!!

      Delete
  4. "The boy with the bread definitely deserves the girl on fire"...This sentence made me all mushy inside and go "awwww!" :D
    Great review, Alison!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I just saw it over the weekend! Unfortunately, we got there late so I had the WORST seats in the house: front row, bottom left corner. The cinematography was a bit too "Blair Witch Project" at times, but I also think that was the director's way of capturing the first person present tense tone of the book. I'd like to see it again, this time from a normal viewing location! But overall, yes, I really enjoyed it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no! I was so fortunate both times I saw it...and I'll probably venture out for a third. Hope you get better seats next time!

      Delete
  6. Do you think I'm the only person on this planet who hasn't read the book or seen the film? But, thanks to you, I'm just about to put that right! Going onto Amazon now (read the book first, that's my motto). Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Holy crap! We do have nearly identical opinions! You're so brilliant, Alison. :) Now I'm wishing I could have seen this movie WITH you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, just hop on a plane and fly out east then! I'll see it again!

      Delete
  8. Hi...I'm hopping over from the A to Z challenge. Lovely blog...good luck with the challenge!

    Donna L Martin
    www.donasdays.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. i know exactly what you mean! I wrote several posts on the hunger games as well. Loved the film!
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com
    Happy A-Zing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll have to check them out! I love hearing everyone gush!

      Delete
  10. I did see the Hunger Games and I enjoyed it as well. I think all of the points you made are valid. I admit, I was skeptical about the casting choices for Katniss, Peeta, and Gale from day one. But none of them faltered in bringing the book to life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There were quite a few roles I would have cast differently, but I had faith. And man, did they surprise me!

      Delete
  11. Now I want to go see it again! Thanks for the great recap. I agreed with you on everything! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go see it again! (and again and again!) I may have to!

      Delete
  12. There is definitely far more to gush about than to criticize in this BTM. So, so good. I know I mentioned few things I thought were missing in my HG post, but overall I was just blown away by how good it was. I LOVED Josh Hutcherson as Peeta and Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. I forgot to mention in my post how I liked that little snippet of Peeta touching Katniss' braid toward the end. So sweet and a nice little addition.

    I'm thrilled with what they did with this movie, even with the teeny tiny grievances I mentioned in my post. Can't wait for CATCHING FIRE!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! And the braid thing gets me. Every. Time.

      Delete
  13. I loved The Hunger Games! I agree with many of the points you made, including how well cast the movie was. Like you, I'm also on Team Peeta- woot woot! I also blogged about the movie- there's a trailer of Peeta revealing his crush at this link: readisthenewblack.blogspot.com/2012/03/fess-up-friday-im-giddy-over-hunger.html
    Oh, and here's a link to my Sad Songs Blogfest where I posted the soundtrack of Rue's Farewell:
    readisthenewblack.blogspot.com/2012/03/fess-up-friday-i-like-sad-songs.html

    I read somewhere that Catching Fire isn't going to be out until November 2013. I can't wait that long!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha - I think I shared every single trailer here and on facebook. And I don't even think production starts up until summer so I can understand the delayed production date. Agreed - that will be a long wait!

      Delete
  14. I'm right there with you on your feelings for this movie. I want to go see it again! (For the third time...haha)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! I took my husband and son to see it last Friday, but I'm addicted! Need. To. See. It. SOON.

      Delete
  15. this was a good post! i'm still talking about it and may i add, every time i even think about it, EVERY TIME, i still cry because its just so awesome. I'm getting the books soon. That will be my new addiction for the summer:)

    ReplyDelete
  16. lovely and interesting post for that letter

    do check out my letters at GAC a-z

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think I'm probably the only girl at my school who didn't read the books, so when I went to see the movie I knew vaguely the characters and what happened (I read too many YA blogs for my own good - darn spoilers!) but not much else. I LOVED it though - I thought JLaw was great, and Peeta was hot, and the settings were epic. One thing, though - I know Peeta was a baker, but neither him, Gale or Katniss looked like starving waifs - they all looked pretty strong and healthy to me ;)

    ReplyDelete

Yay! I LOVE comments!