Originally Posted by MrONegative
Now for me...the first 15 minutes of the Hunger Games
almost perfect. A part of it was me not realizing how hyped I was for
the movie until it started and just sort of being amazed at this rural
There Will Be Blood town being painted in front of me. Because mind
you...Suzanne Collins, the writer, kinda sucks. Kinda didn't put too
much thought into a lot of things and hid it by just not talking about
them or brushing over the details or just having Katniss go to sleep, or
eat a meal and obsess over every bite. But that's the book...lemme try
and keep this on the movie.
And as I say that...in the book, Prim wasn't really a character. More
like a symbolic motivation. A human Livestrong bracelet. But in the
movie, they really made her flesh and blood. They got across so much
about the way they live, through her. More than Jennifer Lawrence did.
And mind you, I really liked it when I heard she was casted, good for
them, she can act. And then reading the books, I loved the idea of it,
because I saw Winter's Bone and this is that same strong, well deserved
Oscar nominated, character that she played, so there should be no
worries. But seeing this movie...seeing District 12 actually rendered as
a real place of hardship...and even seeing District 11, I get
it...Jennifer Lawrence was the wrong person for this. And I hear that
people are saying she's too fat to play the role. That's not fair, but I
get that. And she's not fat, but for once they actually needed an
emaciated actress for the role. Prim gets so much across about what it's
like to live there in minutes, but Katniss...Katniss looks like she
eats good and the fact that this film is allergic to any type of
sensible flashback and can't bother to ever pick the right perspective
in any moment, says she needed to look that way.
You have a big story to tell...tell it...or make it small and personal
and only through her eyes...like the book...sure...but don't pick both.
Hell, this movie picked neither. There's a lack of nuance in this film
that's just blatant trolling, because the least bit of effort would've
given it so much more depth or just clarity on what the hell you're
trying to say. I'll explain that in a second.
Before all that, I can't express how well the 3 (kinda 4) real actors
did in this movie. Woody Harrelson wasn't what I pictured in the book,
but did a great job. I barely even recognized Elizabeth Banks but she
killed every scene too. Effie was a pretty flat character in the book,
but she breathed life into it. And then Stanley Tucci...perfect.
Caesar's interesting in the book, even though Collins does that trick
where she kinda sorta describes dialogue without writing it or being
Those banners with his faces behind him, though.
They each brought something special to the role, better than they were
written. And then Donald Sutherland was really good in a role that
didn't really exist in the first book...and the little twist at the end
was a nice touch. All of them worked.
Outside of them, that guy they got for Cato (big baddie) was well casted
and I loved Prim, liked Rue, Foxface (the ginger), that blonde chick
who got stung made me hate her in short time, the chick with
knives...all did good enough. Gale and Peeta were OK and Jennifer
Lawrence owned a couple scenes...and that fire was well done...gamemaker
I think those are all the nice things I have left to say about the movie.
Now let's get into the budget, and by extension the studio. Budget
shouldn't mean that much, because look at District 9 and even Chronicle
(even though the cgi wasn't too great). But I accept that $80 million
for a movie like this is about half what they should've spent. Why go
there? All Lionsgate makes is crappy horror movies and just bad movies
for people who like bad movies. How thirsty studios are to make books
with big followings...whatever. Collins could probably care less where
or for how much it was made, long as she gets paid. It is what it
is...what if Chronicle had double the budget? That shouldn't affect the
quality of the movie this much.
Why did they shoot it like The Bourne Supremacy? Not even...that movie
had nuance. The DISTANCE of the camera...it feels like every shot is the
same distance from the face...there's no nuance or rhythm to it, and
that makes the movie feel small, makes the arena feel small, makes the
games feel short, dulls all the emotions and acting and action. You
shouldn't notice that. In the director's commentary of this movie called
George Washington, the guy says you gotta pull tricks sometimes to tell
your story...when you're working with non-actors, you give them less to
say to hide that. Well when you've got a director who can't direct the
movie he's been hired for, he shakes the camera around, sticks it way
too close to everyone's face and just lets the actors freestyle it.
There's no composition or mastershots that work anywhere. And then I
find out the dude hasn't made a movie in a decade...
That explains why this movie, except for the cgi dogs, looks like it was made in 1998.
But besides how the movie was made technically...just the storytelling is bad. What matters is the flashbacks
incredibly important ones...one of Katniss' dad blowing up in the coal
mine and the other maybe a week after that of a an 11 year old Katniss
starving, looking for food in the streets for her sister and mother,
ready to die when Peeta throws her bread that he burnt on purpose so he
could be allowed to 'throw it away.' These two moments are vital, they
open the world up and the characters up in a way that nothing inside of
the games could. They're both handled so terribly it's disgusting.
The coal mine...they decide not to show it like a flashback dream during
one of the however many times she goes to sleep in the arena. No, they
randomly show it while she's in a trackerjacker hallucination where I
guarantee you anyone who didn't read the book just thought it was her
going crazy or not that big a deal. I mean they just show him in an
elevator, random explosion and now half their house gets blown up? What?
It'd only cost a couple minutes and vision or some kind of real
(modern) understanding of storytelling, to just try and make this a
moment. Nope. But that was fine, that can be what it was, because as
long as you stick the other one, you're fine...
How do you +%## that up? They only use two flashbacks in the book...it's
not like Game of Thrones with a million callbacks or something. I
almost laughed when I saw it. All they manage to show you is Jennifer
Lawrence randomly laying down in the rain outside of Peeta's place like a
creep..and it literally looks like it happened a week or 2 before the
games, because they for damn sure look the same age as now (16) and not
11. Then Peeta comes out to feed the pigs and oh...there's another pig
over there...lemme throw her some bread too. The end.
How do you +%## that up?
The story is that her dad dying was supposed to be a big deal. Somehow
in vague (I don't like thinking things through--I can't write dialogue
or talk in pictures--what do you mean I ripped off Battle Royale
'Suzanne Collins') wording Katniss watches her dad blow up in the coal
mines and between that and what happens next, that's why she's the cold,
kind of unlikeable person that she is. And when it happens her mom
practically goes comatose. She's struck with grief and won't do
anything...won't go to work, won't talk, won't move, won't take care of
her two daughters, and really soon the food runs out and they're
literally starving to death. Because in District 12, it's not even that
uncommon...just something that happens. And there's no neighbors or
friends to ask for handouts, because everyone is just barely surviving.
(That's why Katniss, illegally, sneaks out of the electric fences the
cop dudes in white forget to turn on and hunts to trade or feed her
family...but at 16, now when she was 11) So they reach the point where
if she doesn't find something quick, they're gonna find bodies in her
home in a day or 2, so she goes out in the rain looking/begging
everywhere, finally gives up and gives in to how weak she feels and lays
there ready to die, when Peeta sees her...burns bread on purpose
(because even the bakers don't have enough food in District 12 and have
to live off whatever goes stale) and goes out and throws a burnt loaf to
her. And that gave her hope and saved her and her sister's lives, but
she never had the nerve to talk to him about it until now that they're
in this situation. And suddenly there's this real, strong connection
with this person who might be trying to kill her soon.
It would've taken a few short minutes to just try to get that across...but no.
Act like that isn't more important than most of the whatever they showed.
I mean the letdowns were early and often. Woody Harrellson and Elizabeth
Banks owned every scene they were in, even though there wasn't enough
of them and they completely left Woody in the sticks when it came to
sponsors and parachutes. It was so simple to solve too, explain how
inflated the price of sending anything into the arena is and that
'sponsors' meant as much as just getting the richer people in the
Capitol to love your character on this Big Brother type show and
basically vote to help you stay on the show. The book has something
(only one thing) well thought out and meaningful to say about reality
television and that need to control your persona to appeal to and
manipulate the audience...none of that gets across...it literally just
sounds like Haymitch passed around a collection plate and instantly got
them whatever they needed.
And the parachutes, not at all what I imagined. What if I told you that
every time a person dies in the arena, the cannon is supposed to go off
instantly. And then a hovercraft (like the one from the beginning of the
movie) is supposed to de-cloak or appear outta nowhere and grapple the
body up. Even grapple a few times if the body is in pieces. Every time.
Apparently that would've cost too much, so they just didn't do it. But
even Doctor Who could fake that on a TV budget. That makes the reality
of the situation so much more intense and serious and just cinematic. If
you kill someone, people will have an idea where you are soon, so run.
Instead the parachutes, for some reason have a chime that lets you and
anyone in earshot know that it and
you are there. Really? And the speed that the parachutes come to Katniss' aid undercuts the tension so badly.
The worst part about this movie is the fact that at no point whatsoever
do you ever ever ever fear for Katniss' life. I get it that we know
she's gonna make it, but nothing says she's gonna get out in one piece.
And what about Peeta? What about all the kids who aren't the Careers.
Maybe for the first few minutes you feel any kind of fear, but then
what? It just feels like she's hiking around, having an OK time and
climbing trees. Are we supposed to worry about her with the fire? Sure.
But right after she runs into the Careers, climbs a tree and then say
'welp, let's just go to sleep right here.' Is the girl with the knives
supposed to be scary? Cuz 2 seconds later Thresh guts her and says
'hey...I was watching everything that happened back home on my TV, so
I'm all caught up...you can go Katniss.' Were the dogs who get made up
outta nowhere and just send them to the roof supposed to be scary? Cato
who looks half dead when they find him?
The Hunger Games are supposed to be this constant state of paranoia and
thirst and loneliness and fear, but the director has no idea what nuance
is at all. He just stuck them out there and said yea ok, just walk over
there...look around...ok just sit in that tree real quick...ok run run,
let's go. That Mike D'antoni school of direction. It's so
I mean let's take the plan at the Cornucopia for instance. She joins up
with Rue (...and who doesn't love Rue?) says hey let's trick them into
going over there and mess with their stuff, cuz that sounds like a plan.
But we're supposed to understand how ridiculously hungry and thirsty
you can get in the arena by now. It's supposed to be ingrained in every
scene that dying of thirst or starving is a reality, and the careers
don't know how to hunt or find food, they've just been training on how
to kill. We were supposed to know by now that the Cornucopia was stacked
with food and that they've been eating good. So this masterplan is a
big one...you get rid of the food and suddenly you don't need to be
bigger or stronger or roll deep like them. You just need to hide and get
food for yourself. That levels the playing field. But nope...none of
that. And then, they don't even manage to make the place look like
anything special at all. The Cornucopia sucks
it? That looks like a Raiders tailgate...How do you make an open field
look so ugly and worthless? The Real
World/Road Rules Challenge has better production value. Lost's
forest>> And the landmines...it just looks like some stupid @*!
gopher holes. And they don't bother to have a 60 second show-me that
explains that the kid left guarding the food, was the one who moved the
landmines and that's the only reason they kept him alive...because of
that AMC budget we get no info, so who knows where the bombs even came
Then the apples dropping looks straight out of Walker, Texas Ranger.
how shoddy the direction was, it looked to me like Katniss was plain as
day standing right in front of the Careers and no one noticed her.
But I'll admit, they did really well with the Rue scene, but that scene writes, acts and directs itself.
can't tell you how disappointed I was with Thresh though. The did dude
so dirty. Just bad blocking, directing, editing, storytelling,
everything. The way we saw it, the girl with knives attacks her, almost
kills her, Thresh kills knives girl, then tells Katniss she can dip...in
the book most of that's the same, except while he's got knives girl
she's screaming for Cato, because we were supposed to understand that
she and him are from the same District, so that whole 2 people can win
thing, only applied to those two beasts and the District 12 kids. And
Cato is screaming her name from the woods getting closer, and after
Thresh kills her Katniss tells him what she did for Rue, all the while
Cato is running towards them. Thresh says you get 1 pass and we're even
half because he cared about Rue (everyone now would care more about the
other person from their District since they could've both went home) and
half because he knows Katniss is a small fish, the big game is coming.
So in the background of her running is this Battle Royale of the 2
strongest guys in the game. That's why Cato looks half dead when they
find him on the roof. But of course, the director %%+** that completely.
Just the Careers in general. they shortchanged the training so bad. and not even in length...they
didn't much explain anyone. How do you shrink 22 people trying to kill
you into, 1 guy, a couple **+$!$% and a bunch of redshirts? The Districts
...at least make an effort to try and keep track of
who's still alive...at least, no? couldn't change anything? we didn't
bother introducing them so why bring it up now? cool cool cool ...The Training
+%## outta here. You know when someone lets you
mess with a piano or drums or w/e and you realize just how badly you're
never gonna be worth anything at it. That's all the training montage
was. Uncreative storytelling, simple scenes that only have one dumb
thing to say. The cgi at the chariot scene
That's Spartacus first episode ever bad. The fire dresses were important because blah blah they didn't have time, whatever
I almost forgot the trackerjackers...whatever, I just looked at how
much I typed...I don't even care anymore. They shoulda been bigger and
had more of an effect? Sure, why not. And that girl who got killed by
Katniss, the campfire girl...If i'm not mistaken, she was only half dead
and Peeta went back and killed her...that would've at least gave you a
shot at thinking OK, he's with them. But nope...then they change the
perspective to basically have him wink at her like, hey it's cool. like
cmon man...you're not even trying. [insert other random stuff I didn't
Oh...ok yeah...Cinna. Lenny Kravitz. Lenny did fine, but that's not
good enough. *puts on Hogwart's hat* In the book he's sooooo much
better. Yeah, whatever...why did I get suckered into writing all this?
But yeah, Cinna's on Haymitch's level in the book. These...surrogate
fathers Katniss is collecting. He's supposed to be the window that
bridges the Capitol people with the District people and explains their
%$%+%+ up lifestyles, perspectives and priorities. He explains how such
decadent, dignified people could enjoy something so ugly and terrible. I
thought they were gonna do some really profound things with him in the
next books, but nah, they don't do much...except for a really really
strong scene in the next movie. Unless they mess that up too. Lenny was
fine, but he didn't make that lasting impression he needed to. And
wasn't given much of anything to say or do.
Like Gale...and Peeta. I laughed my @*! off when I saw him by the river...just as stupid looking as it read it in the book.
done. I'm tired of typing...it's just not a well done film. There's no
nuance and so many oppurtunities lost. The action isn't well directed,
the tone isn't consistent, the writing isn't much good, the acting feels
like the director didn't give them any real direction and just thought,
let's get this over with, and the first 15 minutes promised a movie
that never showed up.