I knew this going in, and as I said fairly predictable for an adaption. However what most reviews missed, including the esteemed Ebert, was the I hope Zenith of what David Bordwell calls intensified continuity, a narrative trend towards quick cuts, hand-held cameras, and camera movement. A great example would be the third Bourne movie where there were reports of people throwing up in the theaters, with an average shot length of under 3s.
The Hunger Games lacks the clarity of the Bourne film in terms of framing though. As I said, expected the story to have trouble with fidelity, but I was always hopeful that at the very least I would be able to SEE a beloved series in live action.
Instead, all I can really remember were a few master shots, some blurry trees and Jennifer Laurence's face. They make up 90% of the 2,500 plus shots in the film. All the action, probably for PG-13 rating, is so closely framed and quickly cut that any comprehension of who is actually doing what to who is retarded.
I hear Ross is on for Part 2, so I just rented Battle Royale, and hopefully that can salvage my disappointment. I will say I thought the Trailer was really cool, and the few times you do see Panem, the costumes and make up were spot on. No real complaints with the actors either, they did the best with the screen time they had, even if most of their emotions are unjustifiable without having read the book because the film makes no effort to explain or validate whats going on.