After my third viewing I finally felt I could commit something to writing. From the opening shot of Caesear Flickerman, perfectly characterized by Stanley Tucci and Senaca Crane, rocking the sculpted facial hair and managing to make those white slacks work, I was sold.
I'm one of those obnoxious people who thinks it matters more what I think of the movie because I read the books first. And don't get your panties in a twist because I couldn't possibly have read it first, I just mean that I read it hot off the press (because another author online made a recommendation) and had to wait the long years between releases instead of in some whirlwind sleepless weekend. And if you're still offended, whatever, I'm sure you can feel superior later when I discover something you've loved for years. Back to the movie, though, I started out heated up about the casting, convinced it was all going to be wrong (aside from Josh as Peeta and Woody as Haymitch). But then the propaganda got to me and I decided to take a more relaxed approach to the movie. I'm pretty sure my blog-side ranting wasn't going to start a revolution so I decided to go with the flow and enjoy what was good about the movie instead of trying to figure out ways it wasn't going to work. And I was so overall impressed that I refuse to nit-pick about the few things that were off, I think aside from turning it into a six-hour BBC movie it was about as perfect as a book to movie could translate. Some of the highlights for me were:
1. Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman. Without taking anything away from the tone of the movie Tucci added a comical but perfect portrayal of Flickerman. I loved the over-the-top expressions done in a way that was funny without being cheesy and seemed completely in sync with the spirit of his character in the book.
2. The music. As a rule I hate it when a soundtrack or song is released from a movie and when you actually see the movie the songs are missing completely or show up in the credits, but this is exactly what happened in the Hunger Games and I don't care. The entire mood of this movie was so perfectly set that I can't complain about the exclusion of any song. And to be fair, when the soundtrack was released, it was labeled as songs from District 12 and beyond, which to me suggested a playlist inspired by the movie rather that a soundtrack from the movie, which is exactly what it is. And even so, with no real connection to the movie (aside from two in the credits) it does manage to embody the tone of the movie really well. I particularly like Maroon 5's contribution, which doesn't have an official video but this youtube version at least lets us spend a few minutes basking in Adam's glory.
3. Woody Harrelson as Haymitch. I like him even better than the book Haymitch. Book Haymitch was on Katniss' team but I always wondered if he really liked her. Movie Haymitch was the perfect tough love version, crusty but definitely in her corner.
4. When Katniss attacks Peeta after his declaration and Effie's blurts out "Manners", I love this. Hunger Games can be pretty heavy stuff so I really appreciated the appropriate moments of light.
5. When Katniss is shaking like a leaf before going up to the games, I have no idea how Jennifer Lawrence pulled it off, but that was so amazingly realistic. (not that I in fact have any idea what a 'realistic' reaction would be for being thrust into an arena to fight to the death) Anyway, it seemed legit.
6. Gale. I have always firmly planted myself in Peeta's corner (I'd say Team Peeta but I'm afraid someone might call me out and say I've aged out of teams, and I'm super sensitive about my age) Anyway, I was completely against Liam Hemsworth as Gale, part of that may be on grounds that I doubted being able to take serious anyone who has dated Miley Cyrus. But in his limited screen time he won me over, not so much that I'd abandon my Peeta loyalty but enough that I was sympathetic to his character and could absolutely see why there was a triangle at all.
7. I loved finding out that all this time I wasn't saying anyones names wrong in my head. Peeta really was pronounced like the pocket bread. It's always awkward to see a movie and feel like the characters are completely different just because you were hearing their names different when you read. Maybe this is weird to mention and number as a highlight, but it was oddly reassuring to me.
I'm pretty sure I could keep the numbered bullets going infinitely. I haven't even touched on Josh and Jennifer and major plot points, but to me it was all the little nuances that made the whole awesome.
I know that Hollywood and the entire Hunger Games community isn't all that worried about my support, but I give it wholeheartedly, nonetheless!
|Me and Crystal at the midnight showing!!!|
|Now you can see both victims of my flying elbows!|
PS. If you go to a midnight showing dressed up like people from the capitol you might feel like people are looking at you. When I thought about dressing up in bright wigs and outrageous eyelashes I just thought it would be fun, only once there I felt like a spectacle and I realized I'm much more comfortable blending in, and when you are wearing an untamable neon purple wig and turquoise feathered eyelashes it is hard to blend. Just an FYI if the thought crossed your mind......