Soooooo…The Hunger Games movie made over $152 million in its opening weekend domestically, has earned over $220 million globally so far, and smashed or ranked high on several box office records.
I saw the movie. They made some minor changes from the book, not all of which I agreed with, but overall delivered on the story and info needed for the overall story of the series with skill. The use of herky-jerky camera work, with split screen images, etc., for parts of the film didn’t always work ideally, especially at the beginning, during the non-high-action Reaping sequence. It was visually interesting but too distracting at times. It worked best for presenting flashback fragments. (They tone it down for later parts of the film.) The very beginning was also a bit awkward, using text background info that then was unnecessary because they went to a talk show host gambit that gave you that info anyway — it was probably a bit confusing if you didn’t read the book. I chalk it up to that unnecessary nervousness that “regular” people will have trouble following a post-apoc dystopia, even though they’ve been fed post-apoc dystopia films for decades. The actors were ideal. (And extra huzza to Elizabeth Banks for running with the film’s best lines.) The emotional punch of the story was not subtly done, but was not overwrought either. They were helped by just being able to use Collins’ dialogue from the book a lot of the time. The main scenes were sharp with great use of facial expressions and set details and terrific use of color and lighting. The kid who played Cato was perfect and when he does his speech at the end, which twists the whole thing, it summed up the story nicely. The pacing was fast but not non-stop and the action was good and consequence filled (although again occasionally impaired by the herky jerky camera action style but that’s pretty much required these days.) The parts added to the movie, outside of Katniss’ pov, worked pretty well overall — watching Donald Sutherland do President Snow was nearly worth the whole ticket price. Thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend if you’re inclined to weep at films (as I am,) bring tissues. The second movie, Catching Fire, should, well, catch fire, I suspect.
If Kristin Stewart’s Snow White and the Huntsman also does well this summer, it’s going to up-end Hollywood on its little head for a bit. Erosion is a wonderful thing, especially when it floods. They’ll dismiss it as simply teenage girl obsessions, but the damage has been done.