Today you get a twofer: a preview of Bo Ssam, a recipe we’re saving for a special occasion, and also our first movie review. The Hunger Games! (Spoil free, of course).
If you’re not familiar with Bo Ssam, read this and know that it is much cheaper to make than to buy. You can buy all the stuff for around $40, and it will feed you forever. It looks like this when you’re done, and if you’re fancy, you can pick up some desserts from the local french bakery.
And now, for the Hunger Games! Start with the trailer and we’ll meet up after.
So what can you make out of such a lack luster trailer? Not much, so here’s what the flick is about: in a dystopian future there are 12 districts of mostly poor citizens. Every year each district is forced to send 2 kids to fight/kill each other Battle Royale style until only 1 kid remains. So 24 enter, 1 leaves. It is basically the exact same plot as Battle Royale, but with a Zenon twist of PGness. Katniss, the main character, has to figure out how to survive the games while also coming to terms with the ethical consequences of murdering her fellow teens. Also she loves this guy, but maybe this other guy, and there’s stuff about dresses. Whatever, just ignore that stuff and let’s get on with the review.
Lets start with the acting. Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss) plays her part well, and does a good job at portraying a range of emotions, even the subtle ones privy to those whom have read the book. There’s a great scene where Katniss is lifted out of her squalor and steps into an exquisite room full of fine dining and items she has never encountered. She brushes her hand on a marble tabletop and pauses for a second, letting you fully understand her awe of touching such a fine surface for the first time ever. She may be a little too attractive for the role however, as I doubt a half-starving wild game hunter would be nearly so busty. But she get’s the job done and makes everything but the fight scenes seem realistic. The guy who played Peeta could have been anyone, and wait… was that Lenny Kravits?
Holy shit, it is! Why is Lenny Kravits is in this movie? Oh well, back to the… WOODY HARRELSON?
Haven’t seen him since Zombieland… anyway, the acting is fine for the most part, but the casting does seem a little… weird. Woody’s character was supposed to be much older, and I was expecting someone like Jeff Bridges to play the part. Woody does well (as always) but I’m not sure if he’s the right guy. Some of the “bad kids” are dull, and the guy with the stupid mustache should have been John Leguizamo. A- for Katniss, B for the rest.
The scenery and costumes were mostly fine, if not a bit thrown together. It is reminiscent of a 70’s futuristic movie, but it kind of works in its own way. Except for the cops:
Seriously, what’s with this goober? The dystopian military guards look like they walked away from the 70’s version of Battlestar Galactica and got a role in this flick. If you ignore them, the rest of the costumes are pretty legit: the peasants look like Pennsylvanian’s from 100 years ago, the dignitaries look like Harujuku models, but it sort of fits into the world.
The main themes of this movie are oppression, survival, and love. Basically love can save the day and break the oppressive chains of
America Panem, and the authoritarian state will learn a lesson after messing with Katniss. The survival aspects are interesting, and it is refreshing to have a strong heroin as the lead. She’s basically a young Ripley from the Alien movies, but is somewhat a little less arrogant.
I didn’t even notice the music, so let’s assume it’s fine. It didn’t distract, but it didn’t make recollect the first time I saw Jurassic Park either. One thing to note is that the camera is always too close and shaky. I’m not sure why they did that, but it is a little annoying.
What you expect: Tron meets Twilight. I mean, look at that trailer, what else could it be? Maybe it’s a good thing Jeff Bridges wasn’t casted after all. I was expecting The Hunger Games to be a PG version of Battle Royale much like the book, and it sort of was. The only difference is that the focus here is less on blood, more on survival and teamwork.
What you get: a well made family-friendly movie that lives up to the book. Sure they f-ed up a few things (where she got the Mockingjay pin), shortened stuff (the chapters about dresses, thank God!), and skipped some stuff (fight scenes, dialogue, etc), but it’s rather close to the book. If you liked the book, you will like the movie.
If you didn’t read the book you might miss some stuff, but you should still be able to enjoy it. You will not step into unknown territory, as much of what’s in the plot was ripped straight from Battle Royale, and doesn’t require a high school diploma to understand. Similarly, the movie will not inspire you, but you will be entertained and glad that you went to see it anyway. I’d endorse it with a B+.