Wednesday, August 29, 2012

PCP on DVD - The Hunger Games

Typically when a movie comes out that is based on a book, I have read the book first.  I did this for all of the Harry Potter movies, The Lord of the Rings, the Twilight franchise, and many others.  Sometimes, like LOTR or HP, I enjoyed the books and the movies.  Sometimes, like Twilight, I read and watched them to see what the fuss was about.  The Hunger Games is the first film in a long time that I have seen where I have not read the book first.  Eventually I'll get around to reading the book series, but I just haven't done it yet.

The Hunger Games - 2012, rated PG-13.  My rating:  8 out of 10.

The Hunger Games is the film adaptation of the first book from a trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  In the story, set in the future, 2 children are chosen as "tributes" from each of 12 districts to compete in a reality-TV type program where they have to fight to the death until only one remains, so basically it is a cross of Survivor and ancient Roman gladiatorial games. 
The heroine of the film, Katniss, volunteers to represent her district in the competition, to prevent her younger sister from having to serve instead, as the girl would have quickly been killed.  She and her fellow district representative, Peeta, go to the capitol city where they train and get makeovers before the games begin.

As befits a movie where the fight is to the death, obviously not all of the 24 chosen tributes will survive, thus making this PG-13 movie have a high body count.  A majority of the deaths happen off-screen though, leaving the viewer to imagine what has happened.  In the end though, the good guys prevail and the viewers are left awaiting the inevitable sequels.

As with any literary adaptation of a 374 page book, some things have to have been cut from the film.  I am not sure what exactly was cut, but the film felt like there were parts missing.  I'm not sure if this was due to bad storytelling or if maybe the screenwriters had expected all viewers to have read the books?  Either way, there were some gaps in the explanation as to what exactly was going on, and some of the jumps in time seemed relatively jerky or abrupt.  Overall though I did enjoy the film very much, and I probably would have liked it better had I read the books, but even without having read the books the film is still worth watching.

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