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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, Liam Hemsworth
Runtime:
2 hours, 22 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Science Fiction, Adventure, Action
Director Gary Ross
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson
Supporting actors 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 Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Darth Maciek TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 22, 2012
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
I admit that “The Hunger Games” was a surprisingly good film, considering that it's based on a fantasy novel for teenagers, and I'm not *that* young anymore.

I haven't read the novels, but the film reminded me of “Running Man”, with its parody of staged reality shows and violent entertainment. “Running Man” was made in 1987. It seems nothing has changed in the entertainment industry! Besides, the next logical step in reality TV probably is a gladiator contest. I mean, the networks are running out of ideas with a shock factor...

But, of course, “The Hunger Games” goes deeper. The story probably works best if you see it as a caricature of today's society: elite groups out of control, super-exploited subjects in outlaying districts, and “panem et circenses” for the stupid masses. “The Hunger Games” is a weirdly believable futuristic scenario. I can almost see it happening.

Let's hope those mockingjays will be around to save us!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As a movie goer I saw this film for the first time at a pal's place and I can tell you now, this moved way to fast, it didn't give enough details to the story and how we came to be where we were because this reality is a very extreme example of a reality and there was just a sense of confusion and frustration at how little time was spent actually explaining why the Hunger Games existed and while no one ever rebelled.

I know many people will see this as an eye rolling statement but seriously the book was a thousand times better because it took the time to explain things. I understood FULLY what was going on where as when I saw the movie I could hardly get my damn head wrapped around this universe. They left out very very key things that came into huge character development pieces and the characters in the movie are left feeling very very hollow by comparison because they just were not given enough. They simply weren't given what they needed which was more detail. People would have sat through a longer movie for one of the highest grossing books to have come out within the last 5-6 years I promise.

In general it was okay. Again I saw the movie first before reading the books and it just left a sour taste in my mouth because the ideas were not handles well. I felt little attachement beyond basic empathy and bitterness for the situation rather than all the people involved. In short, I would still say you can watch it, probably should if you are a casual Hunger Games fan, but in general it was okay at best.
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