The Hunger Games
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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
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Top customer reviews
I've watched the movie several times and enjoy it each time. I'm looking forward to the next two in this trilogy.
The only thing I'm not thrilled about has nothing to do with the movie itself, but rather Hollywood's insistence on squeezing a few extra dollars out of consumers by jacking up the price and including a DVD I don't want or need, and an ultraviolet copy I don't want or need. I'd pay $20 for just the blue-ray disc that I do want, but if this wasn't a gift for someone who really, really wanted this movie in blue-ray (and the fact that i couldn't find just the blue-ray disc), I would never pay $30 for three copies of the same movie, in two formats I won't ever use. I could rent this ten times on blue-ray and it would have still been cheaper.