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Old 03-29-2012, 06:21 PM   #51
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I agree. The shaky cam was at its worse at the start of the film. But afterwards it was no longer an issue. For me, anyway.
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:00 PM   #52
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With most shaky cam scenes (Quantum of Solace, Bourne Supremacy) it's coupled with quick cuts as well, compunding the distraction. In The Hunger Games, the shots were much longer than usual so you could at least get your bearings.
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:04 PM   #53
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Yeah. Here, the only time quick cuts were used was to tone down the violence. So, while those moments may have been a bit chaotic, atleast you knew what was going on.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:36 PM   #54
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On buses, in stores, and in libraries, you’ve seen them being read. The Hunger Games is becoming something of a phenomenon. Like Twilight, it is manufactured primarily for young adults (or YA) and does its best to deal with ‘serious’ subjects. But this is precisely where I find both of them to be disturbing and completely unnecessary. The Hunger Games, for those uninitiated, is about a post-apocalyptic future where adolescents and teenagers are pitted against each other for a battle to the death. Indeed, Battle Royale did it before, but there’s a big different between what the latter did and what The Hunger Games is doing right now. In the case of The Hunger Games, we have an author and filmmaker who are seeking to sell this pasteurized, ironed out science-fiction world, where all of the real disturbing nature of what’s actually happening has been cleaned up and removed so it can be sold easily and digested by young adults and 20-somethings alike.

Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence (blander than she’s ever been before), lives in complete poverty in a district ominously named District-12. She resides in a future-world named Panem, what was once North America. She does her best to take care of her mother and younger sister with the use of her terrific hunting and marksmanship with a bow—and like in all futuristic societies, there’s an overbearing, almost totalitarian regime that does their best to keep all of the districts in line and impoverished. The Capitol— the hub of the rich and well-off— host an event called The Hunger Games. It’s an annual event that brings together all of the districts, as two contestants are selected from each one. Katniss’ younger sister is chosen, but in order to save her from the games, Katniss nominates herself instead.

Director Gary Ross gives the film a gritty, handheld aesthetic that works for the most part, considering the rugged, earthy tones while in District-12. And the world is indeed very believable, especially the districts. But the problems are the cast of characters we have here. Katniss, indeed, is a strong female protagonist. However, she proves herself to be completely without personality, right alongside everyone else. A majority of the contestants in The Hunger Games event prove themselves to be faceless, nameless people merely set in place for the kill. One of the best examples is the band of one- dimensional, ‘evil’ teenagers. Cato (Alexander Ludwig) is the alpha-male leader by default. They are never given much sympathy. In fact, they are almost completely deranged. And yes, there are several others characters whose names they share with people of the Ancient Roman Empire—as if the symbolism wasn’t heavy-handed enough.

It doesn’t get much better. Katniss slowly falls for her fellow District-12 member, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), who loves her dearly. This is where it starts to show its teeny-bopper roots. Unbelievable and underdeveloped, the romance works as only a gimmicky way for us to show some sympathy towards the two. It could have benefited from some extra breathing room for the characters to bond. There’s barely any time for that. The Hunger Games does flow well, though. It moves at a brisk pace despite the long running time (142 minutes). It does commit a few faults, which include numerous deus ex machina. Katniss, of course, is miraculously saved time and time again by the author/screenwriter rather than her own skills and abilities.

Okay, well, I’ll admit, I’m being very harsh towards it. It’s not a bad film—it’s well-made and the sense of foreboding and suspense are certainly there. It also shows some signs of intelligence. Katniss illustrates her warm-hearted nature by refusing to kill, and when she finally does, she expresses her anguish by attempting to wash the blood from her hands. Does this make up for the rest of the bloodshed? What about all of the other teenagers who were needlessly killed, manipulated and discarded for no reason? Katniss expresses her sadness when a loving, sweet character dies—but what about everyone else? Gary Ross and Suzanne Collins, as good as their intentions may be, created a film that exploits and relishes in the fight to the death of innocent kids. And I realized, as I looked around the theater and as the ‘games began’, that people were— ironically enough—excited about seeing the bloodshed. This can’t have been what they wanted, right?

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Old 03-29-2012, 10:53 PM   #55
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Your review doesn't sound like 1 out of 5 stars.

BTW, I think the point is that they're NOT in love.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:57 PM   #56
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I don't think I'll ever give out 0 stars, just out of being nice. Unless, you know, it's something like an Adam Sandler movie.

She seemed like there was something more behind her feelings then what they did for show.

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Old 03-30-2012, 06:13 AM   #57
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I think Justin and PG Cooper are afraid to admit they like a "chick flick" because their criticisms are very flawed. Cooper complained about the shaky cam, which we all explained wasn't as bad as in other movies. And now comes Justin with two main criticisms that anyone can pop holes into. He says Jennifer Lawrence has no personality which is the most ridiculous claim anyone has made about this film. Then he complains that most of the contestants lacked development. Well, with 24 characters I think that was expected. The filmmakers focused on the characters that mattered.
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:24 AM   #58
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I think Justin and PG Cooper are afraid to admit they like a "chick flick"
Yes, that must be it. No one in their right mind could possibly dislike The Hunger Games.
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:03 PM   #59
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Like JBond said, you gave it 1 star and yet it didn't sound like a 1-star review. So yes, I believe there is a little denial in you.
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Old 03-30-2012, 01:22 PM   #60
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I'll admit my 1-star was harsh, in fact I went back and upgraded it to a 2.

Again, I'm not in denial. I know how I felt about the movie, and that's it. It's flawed and the supposed 'message' is BS, twisted, and pretty ironic. Dispute my review all you want, since the only one in denial is you. I didn't like it, deal with it.

Jbond made his point clear enough. I also said that there was a lot of suspense and it was well-made (among other things). This doesn't sound like a person who just wants to hate something for the sake of it. I gave credit where it was due, but that's as far as it will ever go.

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Old 03-30-2012, 02:11 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Neverending View Post
I think Justin and PG Cooper are afraid to admit they like a "chick flick" because their criticisms are very flawed. Cooper complained about the shaky cam, which we all explained wasn't as bad as in other movies. And now comes Justin with two main criticisms that anyone can pop holes into. He says Jennifer Lawrence has no personality which is the most ridiculous claim anyone has made about this film. Then he complains that most of the contestants lacked development. Well, with 24 characters I think that was expected. The filmmakers focused on the characters that mattered.
Yeah, that's it. We're afraid to like chick flicks. It has nothing to do with the fact that there were elements of the film that didn't work for us.

I don't see how you proved me wrong? You expressed why you thought the shaky cam worked, I still don't think it did.

Also, I had more criticisms than just the shaky cam. I didn't think the costume design and make-up worked at all. I thought the film lacked strong, well-developed villains. I also felt the cast could have been better and that Katniss herself was an under-developed villain.

I understand you liked this movie more than I did, and good for you. You want to disagree? Cool. Challenge my review? By all means. But don't tell me that I'm in denial or something stupid like that.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:19 PM   #62
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Hmm... i think you guys are criticizing reviews like it's a bad thing someone didn't like. It's really not as good as you guys are making it out to be... Nor is it as bad as someone is making out to be either...

I find it mildly enjoyable but I can see how someone can not enjoy it or love it.
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:40 PM   #63
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I'll admit my 1-star was harsh, in fact I went back and upgraded it to a 2.
Yeah... after we pointed out how much B.S. it was. Fact is your initial reaction was to give one star which is just ludacris and then claim that Jennifer Lawrence had no personality as if you were describing Kristen Stewart or something.

So far neither you or Cooper have made a strong argument as to why the movie is "bad". You guys are picking straws. Shaky cam. Costumes. Make-up. It's borderline nitpicky.

I think the stigma of this being a Twilight follow up is why you guys are being so reserved. Afraid to give the movie 3 stars because you won't be considered legitimate critics.
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:10 PM   #64
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Neverending... take a step back from the keyboard, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and then post.
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:08 PM   #65
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Did I hurt someone's feelings again?
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:11 PM   #66
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So far neither you or Cooper have made a strong argument as to why the movie is "bad". You guys are picking straws. Shaky cam. Costumes. Make-up. It's borderline nitpicky.
I didn't say it was bad, I said it was a C+. That isn't a bad score.
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:27 PM   #67
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C+, to me is average, like say, a run-of-the-mill movie. B- might have been more generous. But whatever.
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:46 AM   #68
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Yeah... after we pointed out how much B.S. it was. Fact is your initial reaction was to give one star which is just ludacris and then claim that Jennifer Lawrence had no personality as if you were describing Kristen Stewart or something.

So far neither you or Cooper have made a strong argument as to why the movie is "bad". You guys are picking straws. Shaky cam. Costumes. Make-up. It's borderline nitpicky.

I think the stigma of this being a Twilight follow up is why you guys are being so reserved. Afraid to give the movie 3 stars because you won't be considered legitimate critics.
I still stand by what I said. Actually, I'm not the only person who thought she was completely bland (check Manohla Dargis' review; she says the exact same thing). My one star was mainly for the horrible, manipulative and commercial nature of something that's pretty gruesome and shouldn't be for kids in the first place. But Collins has to make some money somehow, right?

My argument is quite strong. I made an entire review based around it and I've also given my reasoning for my many criticisms. None of which, by the way, are nitpicking. And you must be talking about PG's review (sorry, PG, I have yet to read it, I'll admit), since none of those "nitpicks" are in mine.

I'm not being reserved. I was actually quite excited that maybe The Hunger Games would put that Twilight nonsense to rest. It just wasn't very good. At all. I was sorely disappointed. If you want to keep questioning my logic and critique, go ahead, I'll just keep responding with the same rationale I used for dissecting the movie.

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Old 03-31-2012, 02:42 AM   #69
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Works for me.
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:46 AM   #70
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shouldn't be for kids in the first place
It isn't for kids. It's for young adults, you know, the same people reading Shakespear, 1984, and the Great Gatsby in high school. While the Hunger Games may not exactly mature up to those literary classics, atleast it is something they can relate to and make them think a bit more. Plus, most importantly, it has a strong and heroic female lead which is something that's very much lacking in Hollywood. If the success of this film opens the door for more movies starring butt-kicking females then I give it my salute.
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:53 AM   #71
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It isn't for kids. It's for young adults, you know, the same people reading Shakespear, 1984, and the Great Gatsby in high school. While the Hunger Games may not exactly mature up to those literary classics, atleast it is something they can relate to and make them think a bit more. Plus, most importantly, it has a strong and heroic female lead which is something that's very much lacking in Hollywood. If the success of this film opens the door for more movies starring butt-kicking females then I give it my salute.
Not really the point. Imagine if in the end of Brave New World, the orgy was entertaining and softened for the sake of the reader. Would the message have the same resonance? I don't know about the book, but the movie was made easily digestible. That's exactly my point: there's nothing to think about. I found more people interested in the 'action' and the actual games than I did in the disturbing reality of the world they inhabited.

And yes, I agree with you. It was nice to see a strong female lead that doesn't require the help of some alpha male. I support that fully.

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Old 03-31-2012, 03:02 AM   #72
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entertaining and softened
So, you wanted Hunter Games to be a hard-R with brutality and darkness and depression and something that left audiences not wanting to re-visit the film? The film is entertaining, sure, but so what? It still got the message across. Gary Ross still gave audiences tear-jerking moments like the death of a certain character who shall not be named. And, Katniss playing by her own rules can be inspiring for younger viewers. So, entertainment, emotion, and fist-pumping moments mixed in with "the message" did not bother at all.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:09 AM   #73
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So, you wanted Hunter Games to be a hard-R with brutality and darkness and depression and something that left audiences not wanting to re-visit the film? The film is entertaining, sure, but so what? It still got the message across. Gary Ross still gave audiences tear-jerking moments like the death of a certain character who shall not be named. And, Katniss playing by her own rules can be inspiring for younger viewers. So, entertainment, emotion, and fist-pumping moments mixed in with "the message" did not bother at all.
It's a world where kids/teenagers are brutally murdering each other in order to survive, while their families are starving to death. That isn't depressing and dark? I don't see how this could be lighthearted and full of chuckles and still be true to itself.

For the record, I gave Gary Ross credit for not making Katniss one of the pack. It is inspiring, which is why I said it was one of the few intelligent choices on Ross' (of Collins') behalf.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:16 AM   #74
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It's a world where kids/teenagers are brutally murdering each other in order to survive, while their families are starving to death. That isn't depressing and dark? I don't see how this could be lighthearted and full of chuckles and still be true to itself.
The movie you wanted to see would have been R-rated. And the book would have been for Mature Audiences. The film is as dark as it could be without becoming inappropriate for young viewers. It got the message across and entertained them in the process. Think of fairy tales. Not the Disney fairy tales. But the actual Grimm Brothers tale. They were dark and twisted but still had a whimsical element to it. Why? Because it's a morality tale for kids. Red Riding Hood for adults would be a completely different story. But for kids you add the silliness with the whole, "oh, grandma, what big eyes you have." Hunger Games is a great tale for teenagers, but it doesn't cross the line. It isn't a Sam Peckinpah gore fest.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:25 AM   #75
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The movie you wanted to see would have been R-rated. And the book would have been for Mature Audiences. The film is as dark as it could be without becoming inappropriate for young viewers. It got the message across and entertained them in the process. Think of fairy tales. Not the Disney fairy tales. But the actual Grimm Brothers tale. They were dark and twisted but still had a whimsical element to it. Why? Because it's a morality tale for kids. Red Riding Hood for adults would be a completely different story. But for kids you add the silliness with the whole, "oh, grandma, what big eyes you have." Hunger Games is a great tale for teenagers, but it doesn't cross the line. It isn't a Sam Peckinpah gore fest.
But this is not a fairytale. This is very, very, very different. There's no magic, nor is there a talking wolf; it's far closer to reality, at least the potential for this becoming a reality is there. Kids are killing kids all over the globe, especially here in the States it's a huge problem. Violence in schools is a huge problem. I think it speaks for itself when the audience is found rubbing their hands together in excitement for the bloodshed to begin. The Hunger Games says a lot about our culture, more ironically than anything else. It's pretty telling.

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