Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Hunger Games Review Edition

Welcome back to the Entertainment Guru News and Views page, where this week I will continue the trend of reviewing a recent movie I watched. You may have heard of the movie I saw last week with my girlfriend Lord called "The Hunger Games".

First, I thought I would break down the cast a little bit. I didn't want to just do a standard movie review this time around. So I thought I would talk about the cast a little to get started. The main character is Katniss, played by Jennifer Lawerence. I had only seen her in one movie prior, and she wasn't exactly a lead in it. That would of course be X-Men: First Class, but let us not forget she is an Oscar Nominee for Winter's Bone. Then we have Josh Hutcherson, who was a child actor (of sorts) that grew up before our eyes. These two were basically the leads. I honestly love what they did as far as casting goes. I personally think movies like the Harry Potter series casted the same way. Add a few young actors (mostly no named actors) and give them the best possible supporting cast possible. In Potter, it was the teachers, etc. Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, John Hurt, etc. In Hunger Games, we get people like Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz and Wes Bentley.

You may have noticed I left out two people that are shown in the trailers and commercials. However, Liam Hemsworth and Elizabeth Banks, while fine actors, are not exactly showcased in the movie. Hemsworth has one big scene, and the rest of the time he is silent and just brooding. Elizabeth Banks has more scenes then that, but she disappears half way through the movie and isn't needed again. Donald Sutherland does his evil best as President Snow, the man in charge of the Hunger games. He is one step away from being Emperor Palpatine. You would never expect a nice sweet old man to be that callous. But he is. Stanley Tucci plays Ceaser Flickman (which is an awesome name, can I tell you?) who is basically the David Letterman of the Games. He interviews everyone, right before they go out and kill people. Lenny Kravitz plays Cinna, the Tim Gunn of Panem. He is the stylist that will make it work! Wes Bentley (while probably the less known of the actors) plays Seneca Crane, the man who calls the shots of the games. He will create fire to get what he or President Snow wants. He is the Game Maker, and in charge of creating everything the 24 Tributes will deal with while trying to survive. Then you have Woody Harrelson who is perfect as the mentor Haymitch. I had read the book first, and I think they changed his character the most of any of them. I think there are things that could have been said about him to make him more of a sympathetic character like I found him to be in the book. But Woody still does his best. Harrelson has definitely come a long way from playing Woody Boyd on Cheers, my first exposure to him.

My only concern with the movie was there was a lot of shaky camera work. There are times that it makes sense, but there was times it just seemed unneccessary. But if that is my only complaint, you know it's a good movie.

It has alot of different elements going for it. Action? Check! Drama? Yup! Romance? For sure. The movie is almost 2 and a half hours long, but it no where near feels that way. The movie just zips by, and very few moments are spent wasted on useless stuff. It definitely isn't for the young children. It basically is kid on kid violence. But they even do a good job of limiting the gore and blood. There are sometimes it is inevitable, but this is no where a blood bath like it could have been.

I do highly recommend the movie, especially if you liked the books.

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