Movie Break: The Hunger Games

This post titled, “Let the Games Begin” is from Mr.Joseph’s Blog, RamblingBlackMan

A few weeks ago, I sat down and read The Hunger Games trilogy, and I was excited to see how well it would translate to the big screen.  I got my chance to find out today as I went to the 9:30 showing of the first book, The Hunger Games.  The dystopian science fiction action-drama film – which is rated PG-13 for intense violent thematic material and disturbing images – stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland.  Book to film translations are always a mixed bag; for every Harry Potter, you get a Percy Jackson (I’m only assuming, because I’ve never read any of the Percy Jackson books).  This film has the benefit of having the author of the series serve as one of the writers of the film.  Does the impact and import of Suzanne Collins overrule whatever Lionsgate Films would want to do with her property, or does she stand firm?  Only one way to find out…

The movie begins with an explanation of how the Hunger Games came to be.  Somewhere in the near future, North America as we currently know it no longer exists; instead, what’s left of the continent is divided into thirteen Districts, with all of them reporting to the Capitol.  Sometime later on, the Districts revolted against the Capitol’s regime.  The Capitol eventually won, but they forced the other twelve Districts (District 13 being a casualty) to send up a male and female child from the ages of 12 to 18 to serve as “tributes” and participate in an annual ritual known as The Hunger Games.  The film then switches to 16 year old Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and 17 year old Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) hunting in the forbidden area outside of District 12.

All goes well until they notice a ship flying above them.  The ship signals the beginning of the “Reaping”, where the Tributes are chosen.  Katniss and Gale have their names listed several times, as they receive enough grain and oil to make it through a year by doing so.  Katniss’ sister, Primrose (Willow Shields), is also up for her first Reaping, but the odds are slim that she will be chosen.  The time for the Reaping begins with a flourish, thanks to Effie Trinkett (Elizabeth Banks), and the first tribute is chosen: Primrose Everdeen.  Katniss volunteers in her behalf, and the male tribute – Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) is chosen.  They are whisked to the Capitol, where they meet their mentor Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), and Katniss meets her stylist, Cinna (Lenny Kravitz).  Eventually, the time comes for the Games to begin, and the movie takes off from there.

Read more of this wonderful review here HERE