December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

April 5, 2012

Hunger Games (2012)

 When it’s over, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”  So goes the quote that pulsates through The Hunger Games.  The games is an annual event that pits 24 chosen males and females to fight to the death with one victor in the end.  Jennifer Lawrence is Katniss Everdeen, who volunteers to enter the games on her sister's behalf after her young sister is chosen to fight in the games.  She leaves her family behind to face an unknown fate with much of the odds against her.  However, Katniss’s bravery and compassion helps to tip the scale in her favour by winning the support of the viewers.  Part reality show, part fashion show, and part media propaganda, Hunger Games uses all three aspects to create a society governed by the privileged and a nation on the verge of collapse.  Adapted from Suzanne Collins’s bestselling book, the film does a faithful job in bringing to life the characters and the world Collins envisioned, and this has much to do with the fact that Collins chose to be one of the film’s executive producers, giving her some control over how the film would play out on screen.  Smart lady.  Two reasons why I think The Hunger Games works - One, the filmmakers took the time to lay down the foundation – the setting, the characters, the circumstances.  The first 45 - 60  minutes were devoted to setting up the story, and after that, it was all about weaving those elements into the action.  The pacing was fantastic, never a dull moment; and Two, Lawrence truly carries the film.  Without Lawrence, the film would have gone in a very different direction.  I first saw Lawrence in A Winter's Bone.  She was amazing, unflinching and tough to the very end, and when I heard she would be casted as Katniss, I knew she would bring good things to the film, and she certainly does.  Lawrence is followed by a strong supporting cast including, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Wes Bentley, Lenny Kravitz, and Elizabeth Banks.  Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth would not have been my ideal choice for Peeta and Gale, but they fared decent enough.  Let’s see how they sum up in the second film, Catching Fire.

My rating:  4 out of 5



  1. This is faithful to the book but for some reason, it's less violent on screen. I would have wanted to have seen more of the districts, how they look like. It's supposed to be post-apocalyptic but I didn't feel that from the film. District 12 looks more like just an ordinary poor neighbourhood. I can't even feel and taste the sweat of the coal workers and the market sellers. I did like the setting of their metropolis, and the clothings of the citizens there, very over the top. Jennifer Lawrence is such a good actress.. she's the perfect pick for Katniss character, not sure about Gale and Peeta though. Somehow I don't see teenage girls going gaga over them.

  2. Good review - I thought that the movie was pretty faithful to the book too. Peeta - yup, he's a bit too moody looking and I had a hard time accepting his character's dramatic switch to polished, jovial, confidant, playing-the-crowd interviewee, considering his humble life and the trauma they were going through. Gayle - too smooth looking - why does he not already have ten girlfriends? They need to pick real looking people for these movies - just look at the kid who plays Ron Weaseley. Question for you (I work with your H so I know your background) - what do you think of the fact that my 11 year old is banned from bringing the HG books to school because they are too violent?

  3. In response to your question about the book being banned from your child's school... Well, I don't agree with the banning. I've read all three a couple years back, and can say that there are alot more young adult books out there that are far more violent than The Hunger Games, such as Shipbreaker and The Maze Runner trilogy. I think HG is just getting a lot of publicity and press at the moment, so it's constantly under a microscope. Banning the book will only make kids want to read it more, and the media frenzy around this certainly doesn't hurt film and book sales. I think the key is to help your children understand the material they are reading. There is no censorship in books, so parental guidance serves to be a better method than banning a book.