I finally saw The Hunger Games.


This entire post is about The Hunger Games movie. If you have not read the book or seen the movie and don’t want the experience to be spoiled, this is your moment to exit and I’ll see you tomorrow. Hugs and waves and stuff!!!

The rest of you guys, let’s talk.

I turned in the edited manuscript for Perfectly Unique on Tuesday [a week ago today, to be precise] and then my brain needed a break so I went to see The Hunger Games, at 4pm, totally alone.

By totally alone I mean, I WAS THE ONLY HUMAN IN THE THEATER.

It was surreal.

And then about five minutes into the movie two other girls came in and I yelled, “Good! Now I feel normal!” Proving once again that I am, in fact, absolutely NOT normal.

I have read all three books of the series and I love them. Love love love them. I was worried the movie wouldn’t show me the story I had already seen in my mind’s eye, as tends to be the problem with books that become movies.

But truthfully, overall, I think they nailed it.

Favorite parts/thoughts:

- I love the costuming. I love how District 12 looks just how I picture West Virginia circa 1920. I think the Capitol outfits are amazing. The contrast between the two is visually shocking, isn’t it?

- I’m on Team Gale. Always have been, always will be. He’s a man.

- I appreciate how they handled the severe violence of the story. You knew what was happening [i.e- children killing each other], but you didn’t have to SEE it much. I know that was a big worry for lots of us going into the film. So I’m grateful for how they handled that.

- Jennifer Lawrence. The girl playing Katniss. My. Word. She was BORN for it.

- Woody Harrelson. Slam dunk. [Or should I say "Slam Drunk"? YOU ARE WELCOME.]

- Stanley Tucci. Stop it. But don’t. Ever. You’re too good.

[so what I am saying is the casting director needs a bonus check of a gazillion dollars.]

Truthfully, this list could go on and on. The scenery was beautiful, the camera work, the computer graphics, all of it. Suzanne Collins has to be pleased- the movie mirrored the book beautifully in so many ways. The soundtrack is stellar, the emotions are there in this. Y’all. I just loved it.

 

Least fav parts/thoughts:

- Peeta. Ehh. Not overly impressed. Never have been.

- One of the most moving parts of the first book is when District 11 sends bread to Katniss for her care towards Rue. I was sad this was left out of the movie.

- I feel like the depth of friendship between Katniss and Cinna wasn’t grown the way it was in the book. They tried to show it but without the details it looked rushed.

 

Overall? Yes and yes. Worth the read first, though, for sure. In fact, I regret not re-reading The Hunger Games before seeing it.

I do not, on the other hand, regret going to see a movie by myself. No one judged the size of my coke icee or made me take my feet off the chairs in front of me. So, I win. The odds were ever in my favor.

. . . . .

Have you seen the movie? Read the books? What was your favorite part? Least favorite part? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

  1. Samantha says:
    May 01, 2012 at 5:45 am

    Team Peeta all the way! (Even if he was a little shorter than he should have been…)

    Reply

  2. May 01, 2012 at 6:14 am

    I read the books. (Loved them except for the last one.) A friend said the movie wasn’t as good as she had hoped and it discouraged me. Now? I may have to go see it. I mean you were right about Wicked so I can trust your judgement. I was pulling for Gale, too.

    Reply

  3. kathleen says:
    May 01, 2012 at 6:32 am

    I liked book Peeta better than movie Peeta. I thought it was a great movie, but I spent a good bit of it curled up in my seat FREAKING OUT…especially at the dog scene…

    Reply

  4. Jennifer says:
    May 01, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Loved the book. I, too, wished I had reread it before the movie. Got a few things confused here and there (was that in the first book? book two?)

    I took one of my WyldLife teenagers, who hadn’t read the book, so that was an interesting experience, and we had to have a debriefing session round the kitchen table when I took her home. (Those are always good, though).

    I agree that the friendships weren’t as developed as I wish they would have, but I also understand that it’s just not always possible in a movie, so overall I was pretty pleased with the movie. You basically stole all of my favorite parts- capitol clothing, District 12… loved the reaping- very well done.

    And as an aside, once my roommate and I went to see a mid-afternoon movie, and there was only one other person in the movie theater. It was so nice, until halfway through the movie his cell phone rang and he answered it. Are you kidding me?

    Reply

  5. Autumn says:
    May 01, 2012 at 7:52 am

    Um,I had read all three of the books in one week the week before. And I loved the movie! Loved loved loved. I thought the soundtrack was amazing for what was not there too…the use of silence was really powerful. Loved Woody Harrelson which made me love Haymitch whom I hadn’t really resonated with in the book. Most disappointing was probably the scene where they enter and the outfits were on fire…didn’t really nail the effects there.

    Also Effie? I thought she was the most jarring part about the movie. Seeing her so happy and drawing the kids names!?! I felt like every time she was on screen it was a jarring contrast. Well done.

    I do hate the team thing though. Gotta be honest. I love the Gale character but we didn’t get to see much of him in this movie. (Catching Fire? Yes please!) But it’s not like there was anything wrong with Peeta. I liked Peeta in the books and the movie but in both he was just a slightly flatter character.

    Lenny Kravitz as Cinna….how can the odds not be in your favor? Hello.

    And now I will cease to be a fan girl. The end.

    Reply

  6. May 01, 2012 at 8:16 am

    I agree with everything you’ve said, a billion-gajillion percent! Walking out of the theater, the thing I really missed was the bread from Rue’s district. I also missed the friendship between Katniss and the mayor’s daughter, as her source of the mocking jay pin. Other than that, YES to all the positives that you said! I loved the entire “game show” feel happening, and I loved the behind the scenes with the game makers, which we really didn’t get in the book. Yes, yes, and more yes!

    Reply

  7. merideth says:
    May 01, 2012 at 8:22 am

    OK, I only read part of this post in case you mentioned any spoilers. I haven’t read the books or seen the movie yet, but really want to. Question for you, though. Do you recommend reading the book first, or seeing the movie first? I have so far decided to see the movie first. The reason being that every other time I have read the book before seeing the movie I notice all the discrepancies when I do see the movie(what they left out, etc.), and that distracts me. No matter how good the movie is, I still pick it apart. I did this with the first half of the first of the lord of the rings movies(I had only read half of the book when I saw the movie). It makes it really hard to enjoy the movie that way. But, I’m wondering if it’s easier to follow the hunger games movie if I read the book first. What do you think?

    Reply

  8. Whitney says:
    May 01, 2012 at 8:39 am

    I mean, the best part of the movie to me, the most poignant and perfectly done was Katniss volunteering for Prim. Even though it was in every preview I saw, I still teared up in the movie. Ah.

    I like the contrast of the sounds in different spots. Sometimes the movie was so quiet, absolutely no background noise, and other times it was much more full. Random, I know.

    Also, TEAM GALE FOR LIFE. I’m glad to finally have some commraderie in this.

    Reply

  9. sarah says:
    May 01, 2012 at 8:41 am

    i read all the books in a week a few weeks before the movie came out, so it was all very fresh in my mind. i thought they did a great job transforming the book into a movie, especially since the books are all just katniss’s thoughts and that can be hard to translate into movie-form. (have you seen the disaster that is the twilight movie saga?)

    anyway, i agree with kathleen – the book peeta was better than the movie peeta. but if you’re team gale, i guess it didn’t make a difference. but i like peeta and there were some parts they cut out of the movie that were my favorite. for example, when katniss hears that two can be victors if they’re from the same district, she yells peeta’s name in the book. in the movie, she kind of just makes a face and whispers his name. not sure why they changed that detail, since it seemed pretty significant to me.

    but overall, i thought it was great.

    (to merideth, i’d say read the books first. definitely.)

    Reply

  10. kara says:
    May 01, 2012 at 8:57 am

    I rewatched it Sunday, after re-reading the book. I am still and will always be Team Peeta. And though I didn’t like him short, I still think he was the perfect Peeta.

    I agree with you on the rest of the negatives, I was sad to see the bread scene left out after Rue’s death and wished they could have shown more of the relationship build between Cinna and Katniss. Because it had been a year between my initial read and watching the movie the first time I didn’t really notice, but with it being so fresh this time it bothered me.

    Loved Stanley Tucci. Loved him. Perfection.

    Now I can’t stop imagining what they’ll do with Catching Fire. I so want them to cast Finnick and Beetee and Johanna correctly. This must happen.

    Reply

  11. Elizabeth says:
    May 01, 2012 at 9:51 am

    I loved the books and the movie. I thought the movie was very well done. I agreed with almost everything you said. Except, I love Peeta. Though, like others have said, book Peeta is way better than movie Peeta. I missed the part, like Sarah said, where Katniss yelled Peeta’s name. Also, I didn’t love in the movie, how Peeta kind of forced her to hold hands with him because he thought the people wanted to see it during the parade when they were on fire. The hand-holding in the book was much more innocent and sweet (and Katniss kind of liked it a little).

    One thing I thought the movie NAILED was in the end, when Katniss looks from Peeta to Gale. Jennifer Lawrence completely conveyed Katniss’ confusion and emotions with one look.

    Reply

  12. Aimee says:
    May 01, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Hmmm… West Virginia circa 1920′s. I’m intrigued. I haven’t read the books, nor have I seen the movie. I’ve heard about the districts and WV…. I just don’t know about children killing children. I know there’s more to the story than that, but it’s a high hurdle for me to get over.

    Reply

  13. Dana says:
    May 01, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Loved the movie, but I hated that the random lady in 12 gave Katniss the Mockingjay pin and not Madge. That was important!

    Reply

  14. May 01, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    So glad to see someone else on Team Gale. He’s such a strong, manly man character. I’d want that kind of guy on my side. (And all that aside, have people even SEEN him in the movie? Way hotter than Peeta. For real.)

    Reply

  15. stephanie says:
    May 01, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    hi. but might i add this: i felt like they didn’t really build the love TRIANGLE between katniss/gale/peeta. in the book, you feel way more tension about them. at the end of the movie it seemed fairly obvious that SHE was team gale. maybe it’s just been awhile since i read the books, but i kind of was like “that was weird.”

    also the hunger games are obviously closer than we realize because lady gaga is effie trinket in real life.

    Reply

  16. Erika says:
    May 01, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    I also was SO MAD that they left out the bread from District 11. Party foul, movie producer people. But I’m going to have to disagree with you about Gale– now obviously, he is way hotter (and *ahem* taller) than Peeta, but that isn’t enough to make me go Team Gale. I think if you re-read the books a few (hundred) more times, you’ll come to the right conclusion. And maybe movie Peeta will hit a growth spurt and not make me feel like such a cradle robber for the next movie.

    Reply

  17. May 01, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    I am Team Gale all the way! I didn’t like (obviously) how you couldn’t know Katniss’ thoughts, and how her initial love for Peeta is very false and deceiving.

    Reply

  18. Danielle says:
    May 01, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, and Lenny Kravitz were right on!

    I’m Team Peeta but really, I think you’re supposed to like them both, right? I mean, that’s what makes the situation so hard. Both are stand-up guys. And Peeta of the book is better than movie Peeta, I agree.

    What makes adapting this book to screen so hard is that SO much happens in her head. All her motivations for everything. And it’s just so hard to get that on the screen. That said, I think they did a great job.

    THe one thing I didn’t like is how I think they made the end less dramatic. By shortening the awful last night listening to the dogs chomp away (didn’t mind that), making them not even put the berries in their mouths (adding to the suspense of the moment), not taking off Peeta’s leg and showing the physical aftermath, and taking out that last conversation between Peeta and Katniss that creates emotional separation all made the end less impacting. Less dramatic. Less “can’t wait to see the next movie.” Too bad.

    Found you through a link on Boundless’ facebook page today. Had to chime in on this discussion because I LOVED the books and wrote a bit about the impact it had on me on my own blog.

    Reply

  19. Becky says:
    May 01, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    I totally did it backwards. I had the first book but was dragging my feet to read. Basically because I had just finished reading the entire Harry Potter series and was mourning the loss of those characters in my life. The Hunger Games movie came out and my nephew invited me to go with him and his girlfriend, so I went. Since I hadn’t read the book yet I had no idea what to expect. You can imagine my surprise at some parts! But I loved it! I left the theater, went home, and read the first book in one day…then book 2 in one day…then book 3 in one day. :) I think they did a great job conveying the book in the movie. Probably the best novel to movie adaptation I have ever seen. I really want to go see it again! And I’m waiting impatiently for the final two movies… :)

    Reply

  20. Lisa says:
    May 01, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    LOVED the books! Read 10 hours straight last weekend to finish book 2 and 3 (didn’t even stop to eat)! Favorite parts:
    - Sets
    - Costumes
    - commentary offered during the actual games
    - 3 fingered salute (made me tear up both times)

    Least favorite parts:
    - minimal character development (and since this was such a huge part of the book, made the movie feel VERY lacking)
    - Peeta (not only for his physical appearance, but his lack of internal strength – he’s supposed to be the “best” of them and instead he was a bit boring)
    - changing the mockingjay pin gift
    - not seeing Katniss really struggle physically (I mean – she almost died in the book) and then seeming overly emotional when one of her repeated strengths is her ability to mask her emotion

    Gotta say, I really hope they make a movie out of 2 and 3 (for the fan in me) but hope they do a MUCH better job with their character development and try not to change anything.

    Oh, and did anyone else make the connection between Peeta the baker and “pita bread”???

    Reply

  21. reeve says:
    May 01, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    oh my goodness, I’m so glad someone else is AS obsessed as I am. I read all three books in the three weeks leading up to the movie and then went to see the movie at midnight the night it came out. And then had to start rereading them again after. Yes, WAY too much Hunger Games, I had nightmares…it was bad.

    I too thought the movie was fantastic. Loved all the casting. I thought Peeta was great, I don’t think we are really supposed to like him much in book one, so I thought he was spot on.

    Also was disappointed to not have district 11 sending in bread. That part made me cry in the book and I definitely missed it.

    I think you are refreshingly normal btw, but then again, even my mom calls me odd;)

    Reply

  22. May 01, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I am really looking forward to it. You were the first person who told me about the books and even though I trust your taste 100%, I did not believe you. I could not imagine for one second that they would be good. I was SO WRONG. And I am SO GLAD. :)

    Reply

  23. Elizabeth says:
    May 01, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    1. Love that this post is all about the games!
    2. Movies alone are the best.
    3. Kinda loved the movie, missed the inner dialogue and all the detail. Oh the detail, it’s what I always miss in adaptations.

    Reply

  24. Faith says:
    May 01, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    I have not seen the movie–they’ve already taken it out of the theater hear. I haven’t read the books either, but they sound great. I guess I need to get on the ball! :)

    Reply

  25. WBH says:
    May 01, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Ummm, I disagree. You know I love you, so here’s what I’ll say>

    - For $80 MILLION DOLLARS (really more than that with the tax incentives), it looked like garbage. LionsGate has an incredible story to tell, and the next two had better be more well directed.
    - Direction: don’t get me started. Awful.
    - The only part that felt like I envisioned was the actual Hunger Games portion. Real woods are easy to shoot. This part did look great.
    - The Capitol was not nearly flashy enough for me. The wardrobe felt like Miami in the 1980′s with more flair I guess. Same for the train.
    - Lawrence, Harrelson, Kravtiz and whoever played Rue were awesome. Aside from that… Meh.
    - They left out too much from Book 1.
    - Katniss & Cinna? A little over-sexualized for what I thought they would be.
    - Snow: great casting. Looking forward to Sutherland.

    These next two books are more difficult. The political discussions that should be built on these movies won’t happen because I’m afraid they’ll be so awful…. sadness

    Reply

  26. erin says:
    May 01, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    LOVE the series, love the movie! I too missed the bread scene you mentioned. I am not on a “team” per se, but I like book Peeta better than movie Peeta. I think the actor who plays Gale should have been cast as Peeta. He’s more like how I pictured Gale. Jennifer Lawrence was fantastic as Katniss, though. I thought Harrelson played Haymitch a little funnier than he came across in the books, but I liked him overall.

    I think one thing I would have liked is if the movie had included voice-over narration by Katniss. That way we could still get that internal dialogue that was so essential to the books.

    Reply

  27. Tammy says:
    May 02, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Hey Annie!
    Loved your review here! I did not read the books…. my 17 year old Emily read them and told me they were not for me. But when my older daughter decided she did NOT want to attend the midnight opening with Emily during spring break, it was Mom to the rescue. I waited in the line for 90 minutes with the tickets we had purchased weeks in advance. I admit, it was kinda fun being surrounded by all those crazy fans. I was not sure how I’d feel about the movie, but I loved it and would definitely recommend it! The scenery, the costumes, the actors… all amazing. I too am on team Gale…. but my daughter is a Peeta fan (really?).
    Sounds like all is good in your world… glad to stay connected through FB and your blog! :)
    blessings,
    tammy

    Reply

  28. May 02, 2012 at 7:03 am

    Congrats on sending off the manuscript, you’re the man! Except that Gale is the man, loved the movie. I just had the most realistic vision of your book becoming a movie. I’m going to spend all day figuring out who should play who.

    Reply

  29. Julie Carpenter says:
    May 02, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Glad to see there is one post that I can agree with. Aimee, I’m with you. “I just don’t know about children killing children.” Aimee, that is the story line. And “it is too high a hurdle for me to get over.”

    Reply

  30. May 02, 2012 at 11:29 am

    here’s a fun fact: suzanne collins helped to adapt the screenplay. that’s one of the only reasons why i was okay with them adding scenes in that weren’t originally in the book.
    i loved it.
    also i love peeta.

    Reply

  31. Melodee says:
    May 03, 2012 at 2:23 am

    Read all three books for the second time in preparation to watch the movie. And tomorrow, I’m going to see the movie again. :)

    Reply

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