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THE HUNGER GAMES: an Opening Weekend Review

It was just after midnight. No, not on the Thursday night midnight showings. No one could make it with me then. SO I waited for the Friday night opening day. I walked out of the theater from my 9:50pm movie with a smile on my face, more than glad I spent the $12 and 2 hours and 22 minutes on something done right.

This is how you adapt movies. This is one of the best book adaptations since Lord of the Rings. Better than the Twilights, and better than half of the Harry Potters, and I loved the Harry Potters. I stand by these claims.

On its’ opening Friday, it set a record with $68.25 million in one day for a non-sequel movie. No movie has ever done that one a Friday opening. None of the super-hero films, Avatar, Batman, or LOTR: Return of the King. No midnight shows have done these numbers either, including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2… and some of you know how big that was. I was there.

It is the first “Must See” of 2012. Anything changed or left out was not missed or made sense. Anything altered was to improve the story. Anything added was to enhance the tale. The best part is: not much had to be changed, and the book you read was really, really close to this movie. Bravo for real.

Techically and artistically triumphant. Excellent tone setting and camera work. Incredible sound design, editing, costuming, and cinematography. Taut, chilling, cold, thrilling, and atmospheric. Really went above my expectations. Anybody will like this movie whether you read the book or not. Pushes the bounds of PG-13 and actually got my adreneline up and bumped up my temperature at parts with frothing anticpation.

Aside from little details, this screenplay hit the nail on the head, and is just as good as Collins’ novel. I did not go into this thinking I would support it like this, but I am. I’m on this for the long haul, and considering the second and thrid novels were frustrating reads for me, I have all the confidence in the world that the next two films WILL out-do the books. There are thing s to iron out, alter, and change in the coming two films. The first installment needed the least change-ups. What will be neat is still around the corner. This thing has just, just begun.

Exceptional direction and set design, truly. Bring on the 75th Hunger Games! Please, please, please!



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“The Hunger Games” by S. Collins: a quick reaction

“The Hunger Games” is a rare, unbalanced book for three big reasons:

1. The book is in three “acts”, as I assume each book might be. In this first installment, while starting slow in the first part, the second part is better, and the third part is great. While the editing job and breadth of vocabulary has room for improvement and expansion respectively, there is a great story here, complete with constant emotional climb that will likely have you wanting to read the next book a.s.a.p. — “Catching Fire.” I didn’t think I would wanna jump right into book two for nearly the whole time I read this, but I did once I got into part three “THE VICTOR.”

2. Me being picky about how it was marketed: — The novel, while being “young adult” is hardly for anybody under 16, and yet, given the gore and heavy subject matter, I’m surprised it didn’t go further. It was like some one really wanted this to be for kids just because there are kids in it (?), but that’s a weak reason. This artistic choice does a disservice to the potential of the series and it’s adult readers. Being edited “down” for teens (possibly), I’m left with is wanting more realism, blood, sex, and want questions answered (probably coming in book TWO). I felt like Katniss knew she was telling “us” a story and kept some of her emotions at bey. It’s one thing to keep her emotions from the other characters, and while she was honest with us, I wanted more. You cannot make this tale “children-friendly”, so why not market it as just a dark novel and have it aimed at everyone? There should have been sex in the cave scene, language all around, and more descriptive nightmares about what Katniss, the main character, has seen. We get a sense of these torments, but them seem “PG-13-ified.” Make it R-rated. Hell, make it X-rated.

3. There are some big set-ups in this book, and the unanswered questions the reader has at the end will make them curious to continue the series. As a stand alone book, it’s a solid start, but as part of a trilogy, this is only the beginning of (hopefully) a worthy series of all it’s insane buzz!!! While i respect the series right now, “Catching Fire” is going to be the “make it or break it” installment that needs to answer some questions and make me fall in love with Panem and the characters. The really interesting stuff is going to come after the games. I can tell. I just hope it’s written and edited well. Let’s get epic, please. Time to get political, and time to start that love triangle.

p.s. this is a visual story that can write itself as a movie. If you’re not a big reader, see the movie when it comes out. You’re not missing the book of the year or anything. If you like survival and paranoia and a bit of mystery, read this, but don’t expect Twilight or Harry Potter. This is neither.
My take on it: (7.9/10)


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