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The Hunger Games 2012 PG-13 CC

THE FIRST FILM IN THE HUNGER GAMES FRANCHISE. Based on the best-selling book, 16-year-old Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games.

Starring:
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson
Runtime:
2 hours, 22 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Science Fiction, Drama, Adventure, Action
Director Gary Ross
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson
Supporting actors Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Wes Bentley, Toby Jones, Alexander Ludwig, Isabelle Fuhrman, Amandla Stenberg
Studio Lionsgate
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'm such a great fan of this series of movies that I took my daughter and granddaughters with me for an archery class. My mother was pretty good and taught me when I was a child. I wanted them to experience too, just how hard it was to always hit the bullseye. Can't wait for the last installment.
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Format: Amazon Video
I understand that with any adaptations from books to movies, you lose a lot of the background & character work. It's difficult to really interpret the author's written words on screen. I think there were a lot of wasted opportunities here to layer more of the background underneath the scenes. Too much & it drags the pace down. Too little & the characters become more shallow, less layered. You want to care about the majority of these characters & I really was drawn in by them in the book. The movie left me wanting. While the action of the movie is important, it's not the most important part of it. I feel as if the whole premise of the books was lost in trying to ramp it up with action & with the action not even occurring where I really wanted it to be.

I wanted to like this movie more & had I not read the book first, I probably would have. However, reading the book first provides so much back story that you can actually follow what's going on & understand the 'why's & 'how's that I think are, for the most part, lost in the movie.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the movie, but not as much as the book. In my minds-eye, Katniss had a lot more going on in her mind than was apparent in the film. She appeared a little "dead behind the eyes" -- and I thought the character in the book read much sharper than she appeared in movie. Some of my favorite small ideas and scenes from the book did not make the movie (but that is often the case; there's just not time). I did feel the Hamich character was under-developed in the movie. His motivations were clearer in the book. But overall - entertaining! Look forward to the next one.
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