hunger games reviewYou guys. I saw Hunger Games last night, and I feel like I got a peek at your Christmas present. You are going to LOVE IT. They got this movie so, so right. Whether you're already a fan of the books or you're completely new to the story, this movie is hot, thrilling, lavish, and deeply emotional. It's been a long time since I've seen a movie this much fun.

And before I get too far into this, I should disclose how big a movie reviewing poser I am: I bawled my eyes out through half this movie. I totally lost it. Maybe you will, too.

For the fans, I'll say this much: The film changes a few things, but they kept the details that mattered most, in my opinion. Anything that got dropped or tweaked actually made for a better movie. The story is a bit tighter, and the visual impact is stronger. And I was impressed at how they worked the expository details (yes, I'm using a word from your seventh grade English class) in smoothly. The movie stays true to the spirit of the book.

The one disappointment for me is that we don't see Katniss enjoy food as much as she does in the novel. But that's a minor thing, and really, I think the movie is better for skipping that bit.

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Anyway, those of you who are new to The Hunger Games will love this just as much. This is on-the-edge-of-your-seat, forget your popcorn, pure movie bliss. I was completely swept in and went full white knuckle -- even though I totally knew what was going to happen because I'd read the book! And as exciting and heartbreaking as this movie is, there are also big, thoughtful themes at play if you want to spend time pondering, say, The Power of Media, How Dictators Oppress People Through Hope, and Entertainment as the Opiate of the Masses. (This movie gets so meta, I can't even tell you.) I just created a film discussion seminar for you. You're welcome.

As for the actors -- do I really need to tell you how kick ass Jennifer Lawrence is? She was phenomenal in Winter's Bone (which you should see if you haven't already). She takes that same electric combination of toughness, determination, nurturing, and charisma to bring her character, Katniss, to life. She carries this movie like a champ, but everyone else is definitely keeping up with her. Josh Hutcherson is good, all of the kids are amazing. Woody Harrelson shines, Lenny Kravitz smolders (quietly), Elizabeth Banks is hilarious, and Stanley Tucci is so much freaking fun.

And I haven't even told you about the music! Honestly, I feel like I have to stop before I totally lose it and start wallowing in fangirl blubbering. Speaking of which, you know that whistle you hear at the end of the trailer? I'm pretty sure I'm going to hear teenagers doing that whistle all summer long. And that will be totally okay with me. I may join them.

Are you planning to see The Hunger Games?

 

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