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OFFICIAL REVIEW: The Hunger Games

Sunday, March 25, 2012

On a whim I decided to go to the movies last night. As I browsed Fandango looking for something to watch, I noticed the overwhelming amount of press that The Hunger Games was getting. Intrigued, I headed to the theatre to see what all the hubbub was about.

It was about 5:50PM when I hit the ticket booth after deciding not to pay Fandango's extortion charge. The original plan was to squeeze into the 6:15 showing, but alas, it had sold out as I approached the counter. I opted for the next showing at 6:45.

A smart idea.

After a brief visit to the popcorn stand it was time to head in. Much to my amazement this movie was so popular that the theatre management had set up cattle corral rope fencing to maintain a line into the theatre. After standing in line for about 20 minutes they finally let us in, and I was thankful that I was at the front of the line. Again the show was sold out and as I sat in my seat munching on my popcorn I watched as every seat filled up and couples were left having to sit away from each other as only single seats were left.

Ok, ok, on to the movie.

The film is set in the future where the world is torn between two distinct classes - The very rich and the working class. Not a stretch these days either. Apparently there was some type of uprising about 100 years prior that forced the government to wage a battle against the lower class. Now as we fast forward to "present day", the Government holds and event every year called "The Hunger Games" where one man and one woman are selected from each district to fight in an epic battle to the death in the woods, which is of course completely controlled by government officials.

That's as far as I'm going with a synopsis, as I hate people who give away spoilers. From the sounds of the rumblings in the audience though, it sounds like this was a very popular book, and I wouldn't be giving secrets away to many.

I feel that it merits mention that our lead characted, Katniss Everdeen, should have been named Hawtness Everdeen, because she is quite possibly the most beautiful woman to hit the screen in a long time. Her beauty is only surpassed by her acting ability. Don't agree? Watch her reaction as she's about to enter the game arena. I felt terrified for her, I was genuinely convinced that she was scared almost to death.

The movie started out a little, well, quirky. They try to set up the premise for the movie for those of us that didn't read the book. How did they do this? With the dreaded lead-in text. Usually when I see the dreaded lead-in text it leads to a movie I wish I had saved the $10.50 on. Fortunately, after the slightly disjointed start, it was off and running.

Cinematically it was shot in a sort of "COPS-Style" point of view, like there were professional videographers thrust into a fast-moving environment and forced to adapt to the movement around them. Occasionally this makes for some slightly dizzying movie watching, but I have to say it kind of added to the fight scenes, making the outcome of the fight a mystery until the last moment.

At first I raised an eyebrow over the costume design for the "Upper-class", as it had a very Fifth Element feel to it. I'm not quite sure why some of these filmmakers feel that the future is full of drag queens in garish colors, but after a few minutes of exposure to it I got used to it. Speaking of costume design, I'll just say that Katniss' black latex and leather outfit was AMAZING, but only because it was on her. Yes, I've officially got a thing for Jennifer Lawrence. She might even make my list.

I happlily say that this was a movie well worth the 2:20 I had to sit in a packed theatre. It's not often that I really feel that I got my money's worth from a movie, but this was a night well spent. It's not a chick flick, but it is girlfriend friendly as it's not overly bloody and not super violent. From what I've read and heard the movie was tamed down from the book version in order to get their PG-13 rating so they could get the younger crowd in there. I was a little afraid it was going to turn into a twilight-style movie when I saw a few teens walking around in their homemade Hunger Games T-shirts, but again, pleasantly surprised.

Thanks to the filmmakers for making a futuristic movie that doesn't feel so completely out of touch with reality. Go, watch this movie. Skinde gives it 4 out of 5 sheep. Bring a date. Get some popcorn. Get out of the house once in a while.

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