Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games: a televised competition in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to fight to the death.
Katniss Everdeen is in District 13 after she shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta and a nation moved by her courage.
In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she's Divergent and won't fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it's too late.
In a dystopian future, the totalitarian nation of Panem is divided into 12 districts and the Capitol. Each year two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, brutal retribution for a past rebellion, the televised games are broadcast throughout Panem. The 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors while the citizens of Panem are required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss' young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart, Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives.Written by
In the early scenes depicting life in District 12, an homage to Dorothea Lange's iconic Depression-era photo is seen in the shot of the lady looking out the window with her fingers on one cheek. Later in the film, the Reaping scene features images of the same grand neo-classical architecture, 1940s style microphones, and red birds of prey banners that were all part of the Third Reich. See more »
After Katniss blows up the stockpile of goods, in all future shots of the same clearing there is no indication that an explosion took place or that the mines have been dug up. See more »
I guess I'm just not in sync with popular teenage culture, because I kind of liked this film, but, based on the number of negative user reviews, you'd think everyone would have dismissed this thing as the next "Gili". Well, it is a teenage action adventure romp that skews female, so there's bound to be some disappointment among young male audience members.
But, to the film. One wonders if Miss Collins, author of the series, ever read Frederic Brown, or watched classic Star Trek in the late 1960s or during its syndication run in the 70s and 80s, because the basic bulk of the story is taken right out of "Arena" (which also saw reincarnation via an issue of "Adam Strange" in Detective Comics). Which is okay, because it's not a clone of the story, but uses the basic plot and story written by Brown, and adds many young person and female flourishes to comment on contemporary TV watching habits, and societies' imperilment of becoming addicted to a certain type of bloodletting entertainment.
The film is nicely paced, and seems to be riding a fine line of trying to be edgy, real, and young person's fair all at the same time. I think it achieves this for the bulk of the audience whose dollars they're trying to capture, but the rough and tumble sci-fi gamer who is used to blood and gore via an online gaming server (and I'm talking pre-teen boys here) might probably get little impatient with it. But, the young ladies in tonight's audience, seemed to really connect with the film.
Some critiques here; in the original "Arena" we had Captain James T. Kirk pitted against a very fake looking intelligent lizard-captain, with the goal being for said starship captains to finish each other off in a "more civil" manner, as opposed to creating a mess in space via starship combat. In "Hunger Games" the main characters must fight for a dystopic world, again to avoid a messy war. And that's my biggest critique; the backstory, and the setting; because I didn't get a whole lot of logic to what exactly the Hunger Games represented. There seemed to be some kind of starvation component, but it really wasn't made clear in the film, just inferred that food might be in short supply. Yet one was hard pressed to see starving citizens, and with such lush green forests, one wonders why crops aren't planted to feed the people if food is indeed in such short supply. But, that's kind of the premise of the film, so you have to buy into it to really enjoy the film itself. This verse Kirk and the Gorn who were fighting over territory.
There's some symbolism going on in here. There's a hearkening back to ancient Greek heroes and gods, as well as an Asmodeus like TV producer calling the shots for the Hunger Games. Woody "let me tie up traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge some 12 years ago" Harrelson makes an appearance as an aged vet of the games (as I digress bitterly), who relays what wisdom and beneficence that he can to the selected champions of his district.
There's romance, there's intrigue, there's hand to hand combat, there's MTV like shaky-cam cinematography, some girlish moments, and even some pyrotechnics (a rarity for any film). In the original "Arena", or rather the Star Trek adaptation of Frederic Brown's short story, Shatner gave another sterling speech at the end to the Metrons who had been pulling his strings the entire time. "Hunger Games" does the same thing, only more cinematically, and, unlike my beloved Star Trek, does it with a female bent. Which is better, or which do I prefer? I'm not really sure. Being a starship and phaser kind of guy, you'd think I would lean towards Kirk and crew, but I think I kind of like Katniss's challenge at the end. Kirk uses a Prometheus like solution, where Katniss sticks true to Artemis' ways, even to her ultimate act of defiance to the TV producers and audience. I would ask anybody who reads this to watch Star Trek's "Arena", and compare Kirk yelling up at the sky near the end of the episode with Katniss's gesture and solution.
Technical notes; the editing is slow (thank goodness), and there're few jump cuts, which makes watching this film easy on the eyes. No digital cinematography here. This is pure film making. The costumes were interesting, and the makeup fell into the same category; trying to look appealing to young audiences while at the same time being edgy and flashy. All in all respectably shot.
Not a super sterling film, but, using recycled material from a variety of sci-fi sources, with a gripping narrative, and polishing the package with a pink female bow, makes the film an interesting watch.
Check it out.
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