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The Hunger Games (2011)

 DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10,374 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10,374 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003EYVXV4
  • Learn more about "The Hunger Games" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Building on her performance as a take-no-prisoners teenager in Winter's Bone, Jennifer Lawrence portrays heroine Katniss Everdeen in Gary Ross's action-oriented adaptation of author-screenwriter Suzanne Collins's young adult bestseller. Set in a dystopian future in which the income gap is greater than ever, 24 underprivileged youth fight to the death every year in a televised spectacle designed to entertain the rich and give the poor enough hope to quell any further unrest--but not too much, warns Panem president Snow (Donald Sutherland), because that would be "dangerous." Hailing from the same mining town, 16-year-olds Katniss and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson, The Kids Are All Right) represent District 12 with the help of escort Effie (an unrecognizable Elizabeth Banks) and mentor Haymitch (a scene-stealing Woody Harrelson). At first they're adversaries, but a wary partnership eventually develops, though the rules stipulate that only one contestant can win. For those who haven't read the book, the conclusion is likely to come as a surprise. Before it arrives, Ross (Pleasantville) depicts a society in which the Haves appear to have stepped out of a Dr. Seuss book and the Have-Nots look like refugees from the WPA photographs of Walker Evans. It's an odd mix, made odder still by frenetic fight scenes where it's hard to tell who's doing what to whom. Fortunately, Lawrence and Hutcherson prove a sympathetic match in this crazy, mixed-up combination of Survivor, Lost, and the collected works of George Orwell. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1,051 of 1,358 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
"Hunger Games" is certainly the best film I have seen since many many months, and it is a very successful adaptation of an excellent book.

In my personal opinion, both the book and the film are much deeper and much more ambitious, than what most critics and reviewers would make us believe. After reading the reviews in "New York Times", "Le Monde" and on "Msn.com" (to cite only few) I was surprised that they mostly missed everything that is important in this film. With a kind of amused superiority, which people from Capitol in this movie would immediately recognize, the "professional" reviewers pointed at the obvious allusions to gladiator fights, the reality shows, the importance of trashy entertainment in today's TV, the search for a new franchise able to replace "Twilight", etc., etc.

But they almost entirely failed to see, that this film is first and above all about much more important things: how to keep hope, not lose the courage and preserve humanity and dignity under a totalitarian oppressive regime.

I believe that almost everybody now knows that when writing "Hunger Games" Susan Collins attempted basically a modern (even futurist) retelling of the old Greek myth of Theseus and Minotaur. According to this ancient tale, after losing a war, every year the city of Athens had to send a tribute of seven young men and seven maidens to the king of Crete. Once there the young people were locked in the Labyrinth, to be devoured by the monster Minotaur. This yearly punishment and humiliation lasted until Theseus, crown prince of Athens, volunteered to be one of the tributes and once locked in the Labyrinth he defeated and killed the Minotaur.

In "Hunger Games" what was once United States (and I think also Canada) is now called the Panem.
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232 of 316 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Director Gary Ross's version of Suzanne Collins's HUNGER GAMES manages to sanitize the entire concept of kids-killing-kids in order to produce a PG-13 blockbuster that's sure to rake in the big bucks. But what was devastating and heart-wrenching in the novel is glossed over and prettified here, leaving me feeling none of the emotional impact I experienced in reading the book.

[**SPOILER WARNING** I'm assuming readers are familiar with the novel, so some plot elements will be discussed in this review.]

Don't get me wrong, this is a slick and well-made film, with plenty of action and a sensational performance from Jennifer Lawrence as heroine Katniss Everdeen. The settings are well done, especially the Capitol in all its crazy-colored chic-ness and over-the-top luxury. District 12, the poorest district in Panem, is believably presented as well, complete with starving people dressed in rags and walking like zombies to their depressing jobs. The scene of the "Reaping" is chillingly done, and the scenes of Katniss and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) getting primped and trained in the Capitol hit perfect satiric notes (it's all so "reality TV," which is what makes it all so believable).

What doesn't work are the scenes of the Games themselves. From the start, Ross misses the mark. When the Games are seconds from beginning, the 24 teens are standing in a semi-circle, staring down at weapons and backpacks strewn about around the Cornucopia as they wait for the countdown to hit zero. We need to feel what they're feeling. We need to feel their terror, their horror, and yes, even their excitement. But Ross doesn't let us feel any of that.
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25 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hungry for more Hunger Games Movies! May 4, 2012
Format:DVD
I RARELY, if ever, hand out five stars to movies. But this movie was far deserving of it. A great adaptation of the superb series by Suzanne Collins. Obviously some things have to be left out, as all novels to film go, but they did a wonderful job regardless. I do however understand, that if you have not read/or you did not enjoy the books, that you probably will not enjoy the film as much as an avid fan like myself.

Even critics (not that I take their opinion into consideration) who hate all the good movies, gave it a good review. It was refreshing to see an excellent and extremely unique movie for a change, with all the static of junk movies out there. I only have one negative thing to say, the camera work was extremely jumpy(either due to style, an attempt to tame the violence, or both) The actors for Katniss, Peeta, and Gale were perfect.

Prepare for; violence in a fight to survive, the effects of war on children and their families, valor and heart, a bit of romance, maybe a few tears, and struggles from the oppression of a totalitarian Government. I can't wait to see the other movies in the trilogy. This is a must see! You don't have to own it as I will, but I would watch it at least once to form your own opinion. Know this- It is a sensation for a reason. Even if it wasn't their favorite movie, I have yet to meet a single person that has regretted watching it. Maybe you too, will be left hungering for more!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great action flick January 17, 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Book characters well matched with actors/actresses. Quick changes in settings and action. Kept my interest, only draw back was I felt movie was a bit too long.
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DVD/Blu-Ray release date?
ETA: Never mind my earlier long-winded analysis because I'm wrong. The date is August 18th.
May 6, 2012 by shelly v |  See all 4 posts
Hunger Games movie blows.
OK. It wasn't Oscar material but I thought it entertaining. There were many ways to improve it I think. The book was more into the revolutionary aspect whereas the movie was more into explaining the bloodthirsty crowds of the Capitol and the "reality" TV game show -- almost like The... Read More
Mar 28, 2012 by Scotman's Critic's Corner |  See all 7 posts
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