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Showing 1-10 of 8,660 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 13,403 reviews
on May 28, 2017
In Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" (1948), regarded as one of the most famous short stories in American literature, someone in a small rural town is selected by lottery to engage in the center of a yearly ritual which will cleanse the town of its sins. "The Hunger Games" presents a similar compelling premise. In the world of Panem, there is one Capitol and 12 districts. Before the events of the story, there were 13 districts which eventually rose up in rebellion, led by District 13. The Capitol was able to put down the rebellion, and District 13 was razed to the ground. However, the rebellion was not the end of the story, and the current dictator of Panem upholds a yearly tradition to remind the remaining districts of their violent past, called "the Dark Days".

As punishment for the rebellion and as a reminder of who's "in charge", the Capitol hosts a violent pageant every year. Twenty-four young people of pre-college age are chosen by lottery to participate in the pageant; one boy and one girl from each district. The plot is a dark take on reality television contests: the pageant, called "The Hunger Games", requires the 24 tributes (they're not called contestants) engage in a fight-to-the-death contest in a wilderness-like arena controlled by unseen technicians in a war room of sorts. Only one tribute can be declared the winner at the end of the games, essentially requiring the other 23 tributes to perish. The games are broadcast on large screens so members of each district can watch the fates of their representatives. The event is hosted by a television game-show host/MC, Claudius Templesmith (Stanley Tucci), who makes Richard Dawson (of Family Feud fame) seem like a high-cultured gentleman. "And may the odds be ever in your favor!" is the motto of the Games.

Of the 12 remaining districts, District 12 is the poorest, made up of primarily miners and other blood-and-sweat workers. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is a teen girl who has self-taught herself to use the bow to hunt for game and sell in the town. On Tribute Day, all the youth from age 12 to 18 are brought to the town square where Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), a resident of the Capitol who, like many of her colleagues, enjoys wearing garish and flamboyant outfits, hosts the lottery ceremony. She picks Primrose Everdeen (Willow Shields), Katniss' sister to participate. Katniss, stunned, offers to volunteer for the Games in her sister's stead. Since this is the first time someone has ever volunteered, the proposition is accepted by the State. The other tribute from District 9 is Peeta Mallark (Josh Hutcherson).

Katniss and Peeta are chaperoned by Effie Trinket to the Capitol on a bullet train. There they meet their mentor, Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), a winner of the Hunger Games many years previously. He is there to help train and instruct Katniss and Peeta, but his highest priority seems to be drinking and snoozing. Eventually, Katniss and Peeta with interesting finesse convince Abernathy that they are worth helping.

Once at the Capitol, they are paraded in front of the elite residents who cheer and decide which tributes they wish to root for. The tributes are then brought to a training facility, being told not to "hurt" any of the other tributes. They say there will be plenty of time for violent engagement relatively soon! They are treated like celebrities about to embark on a fashion pageant, being given beautiful outfits to wear during interviews. Of course, everyone knows the outcome of the pageant means 23 of the 24 tributes will not survive. Eventually, on the fateful day, the 24 tributes are transported to the arena-wilderness area where food and weapons are strewn about which can be used to better someone's chances. We also learn that the game is also "rigged". The control room doesn't just monitor the tributes but has power to influence situations. There are also "sponsors", Capitol residents, who can aid tributes they like. This story has become more relevant with the rise of "fake news" and distrust of television journalism with distorted media.

Overall, a well-done and impassioned view of a bleak future which rings of Orwell's "1984" and the 1970's cult classic "Roller Ball". In "Roller Ball" two teams donning skates battle each other on a rink. In the final game, players can only leave the game if they're killed, which is essentially the same idea as "The Hunger Games". The film finds a good balance between the heartlessness of the competition (if competition it can be called) and the emotions of the characters. At one point, Katniss befriends a young African-American girl, Rue (Amandla Stenberg), who is obviously too young to be part of the games. They become allies to help each other defend against another "gang" who desires to kill them. One of the most touching and poignant moments of the film is their friendship and Rue's fate.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon April 2, 2014
"The Hunger Games" is a superb movie, which is a film adaptation of the first novel of the brilliant trilogy written by author Suzanne Collins. The script of the movie follows the story line of the novel very closely, and it provides excellent plot and character development. In her leading role, Jennifer Lawrence is absolutely spectacular with her portrayal of the intrepid teen warrior Katniss Everdeen. The entire cast is sensational, and it includes an impressive assemblage of supremely talented actors. In addition to the great script and cast, the set and costumes are also fabulous, and they definitely contribute to the surreal atmosphere of this chilling dystopian tale. "The Hunger Games" is certainly one of the best movies that I have seen in recent years, and I give it a five-star rating, along with my very highest recommendation.
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on September 17, 2012
The Hunger Games was NOT a movie I was interested in seeing, having somehow made the wrong assumption regarding what kind of movie I thought it was. I thought it was one of the current, endless dark, violent, plot-weak/less "shallow" movies that rates way up there for teens. Despite the number of people who rated it, and the near 5.0 star rating from so many, I was not going to watch it.

I changed my mind when my husband told me he believed "Katniss Everdeen" was, in real life, a professional archer (as is Geena Davis.) And am I ever glad I did watch it! I bought the movie, in fact, after seeing it for the first time 2 weeks ago or less, and since that first time, I have already watched it over 10 times.

It's hard to put a finger on "specifically" what made it such a pleasant surprise, but there's no doubt...physically, physiologically, mentally, emotionally...I was GRIPPED to the point I wouldn't even pause it for a 15 second bathroom break.

Using a list, here are the following elements that made me rate this a 5-star movie:
1. An original storyline and plot
2. Quality of the acting performances, by both leads, and supporting actress/tor
3. Jennifer's exceptional loveliness: she is beautiful inside and out. (read bio)
4. Excellent Directing; steadily growing from the start, never losing focus
5. Dynamite special effects without sensationalism. Used sparingly, but INTENSE!
6. The moral...very well defined without forcing the point: purity of goodness overcomes the adversity of the corrupted in power, who cause suffering.
7. Last, and yet the most influential - the power of being stunned by the unexpected, and original "points/actions", etc...that spring up here and there in the movie, causing the RARE (for me) "rabidly gripped attention." The closest example I can offer is the "husband-who-is-unapproachable-because-he's-on-the-edge-of-his-seat, body-leaning-far-forward, eyes-riveted-to-the-puck/football, head moving-without-control-as-eyes-follow-what-they're-glued-to" kind of gripping attention, see?

But that's MY opinion. *grins*
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I thought the movie closely followed the book with very little deviations. Perhaps the most glaring: the person who gave the Mockingjay pin to Katniss and Katniss's prep team, who have very minor roles here. I won't summarize the movie since there are some really good ones here but would like to address the actors who portrayed the characters. Jennifer Lawrence is perfect as Katniss, as is Liam Hemsworth as Gale. At first, I wasn't sure Woody Harrelson fit the part of Haymitch but he won me over. As did Josh Hutcherson, who seemed too small for Peeta, but he does a great job in this role. There couldn't have been a better person to play Cinna than Lennie Kravitz as well as Donald Sutherland as President Snow - he's the very person I envisioned while reading the book. Excellent acting, a suspenseful, fast-moving plot, and great special effects.

I've watched the movie several times and enjoy it each time. I'm looking forward to the next two in this trilogy.
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on February 14, 2014
In a post-revolution North America, a feisty archer-girl named Katniss Everdeen saves her sister from death by volunteering to take her place in the televised annual “survival of the fittest” (and luckiest) called the Hunger Games. 24 contestants begin the games, and only one will come out alive. We watch Katniss hunting for food before the games, see her waxed and styled and given fighting tips from a Games survivor, and then watch her run and jump, and empty her quiver as others die around her. The story-line, settings and costumes are re-hashed from films like “The Running Man, “The Most Dangerous Game,” ”Logan’s Run,” and even “The Wizard of Oz,” but it will still be widely popular with this new generation of film-watchers.
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"The Hunger Games" is a surprisingly good adaptation of the best selling novel, The Hunger Games (Book 1). We missed it in the theaters, so was happy to find it on Amazon Instant Video.

No plot spoilers from me; the story follows Kitness (Jennifer Lawrence), a resident of District 12 and next "tribute" to compete in the The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games are a yearly event set up in retribution for an uprising of the 13 Districts against the Central Government, and requires each of the surviving Districts to send two representatives, between the ages of 12-16 to compete in a fight to the death as "tributes". The acting was very good, with Lawrence being the standout in the lead role, Woody Harrelson was excellently cast as the mentor, and Donald Sutherland as the president. The special effects ranged from fair to outstanding and it was good to note that they were not the focus of the movie.

This did have some moving and occasionally disturbing scenes (it is about kids killing kids), but it was generally handled tastefully and without a lot of gore. I had to pretend to not noticing my wife tearing up in a place or two.


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on December 16, 2013
The film delivered, from the very moving scene when Katniss volunteers in place of Primrose, to the scene I cried during, when Rue was killed. It was action packed, accurate to the book's detail (including the insane looks of people who live in the capital). It even had a lot of subliminal detail that stood in for things that came out in the book, but didn't work into the dialog of the movie, such as the food in the capital, and the scene where a family in the capital bought their child a fake sword so he could pretend like he was in the hunger games, even though people in the capital never had to put their children's names in the lottery. These details don't get explained in the movie the way they do in the book, but it is nice they are there to remind you. The trip to the capital is a prelude for the adventure to come, but reminds readers of the grand spectacle of seeing the Capital for the first time. The training scenes are very well done, even though in movie form there is no way to explain all the stations and skills, they worked in most of them, and where the contestants spent most of their time. Katniss' character, her family, and Cinna were the most well done. They even managed, to squeak in back story about Katniss' dad, who died from coal mining. My only criticism is they made Peeta way more likable right away, than I felt he was in the book, because in the book Katniss is the narrator, and it's her perspective we get (her thoughts about not being as into him, and not really getting what he was doing to protect her)-but in the movie, you can see it more from an outsider perspective, and how truly clever and loving Peeta is.
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on July 25, 2016
I read all of the books before watching this movie. I think if I had just watched the movie first I would be giving it a 4 or 5 star rating. Movies are never as good as the book and so much gets lost/left out when moving from book to movie; however, I felt there was a lot of missed opportunity to expand and add back stories in the movie. Overall, it was a good movie. My husband who had never read the book really enjoyed it.
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on November 2, 2013
The movie sync's perfectly with the book to bring this story about love to life. Jennifer Lawrence IS Katniss Everdeen, Gary Ross's vision creates a visual world that is both hypnotic and horrifying. I have watched this movie more times than I care to admit to yet I keep continue to be fascinated by it. As a fan of both science fiction and dystopian future genre's, for me, this movie ranks with the all time greats. Even thought the move is over 2 hours long the pacing keeps it moving so that there is never a dull moment or feels as if it is dragging. While some have expressed disappointment with the use of shaky cam I feel it was perfect for this movie. I can only hope the remaining 3 movies in the franchise are equal to the groundwork this film has laid.
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on November 23, 2016
In the beginning I was feeling a little bit queasy because of the shaky camera movements, so either it calm down or I did and then I was able to enjoy the movie! I love any movie depicting "Girl Power" and women's empowerment. So obviously, I loved this aspect of the movie. I definitely think we need more Action/Adventure films with female leads. I think my memoir Waterski Girl Wonder: A Journey of Perseverance. might be one of these type of movies. I hope Hollywood will consider adapting it someday. And... it all really happened.
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