Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Review Part 2

Hunger Games Movie Review- Part 2

This is going to be another long one. Sorry about that, but I figured I'd better go in depth or just sum up in two sentences. I've realized a lot of stuff that I'm mentioning is actually positive- which is a major change from how I felt after the first viewing. So when I do have some critique moments, I'm trying to be respectful towards the creators of the movie and the actors.

Part 2- Covering the Capitol through the Countdown

Even though this might technically belong in the Train category- I loved the first look at the capitol. I’m pretty sure that the Capitol would be somewhere in the Rocky Mountains (if someone knows for sure- let me know!), and I liked seeing the city situated among the snow covered peaks.

The first time I viewed the movie, I was very unimpressed with the appearance of the Capitol Citizens (From here on out they will be called CCs). They all looked like Avant-Garde NY Fashion week victims/Lady Gaga wanabees. The Second time around- they still looked like that, but I had read an interview article of the woman who did the make-up and I understood the choices that they made. Since I had the new understanding, the garish and out-there costumes worked a lot better. It’s not exactly what I pictured, but for such a large amount of people the idea was a good one to carry off the gaudy CCs.
Two notes towards make-up/hair. I loved Seneca’s beard. It was possibly my favorite make-up/hair thing in the movie. Actually- scratch that last comment, it was my favorite make-up/hair thing in the movie. Second note- I could see the wig coming up off of Caesar Flickerman’s head just behind his ear. Nit-pick, but I did notice that.

I missed the prep team, but I understand how they would have taken up too much time and weren’t really necessary to keep the movie moving along. I hope they’ll be given more time in later movies.
Now onto Cinna- Fantastic. That’s about all I have to say- he was pretty much the way I pictured him and that gold eyeliner was great! He was very cool and friendly and I wish I knew a person like him in real life so I never had to go shopping ever again. I hate shopping- but we can post about that some other time!
Back to HG!

My first impression of Pres. Snow was that Santa had become evil. I pictured Snow as a tall lean man with short but groomed white hair and ice blue eyes. However, Pres. Snow’s acting (Sorry I’m not using actor names for everyone because it’s easier to use character names) made me totally believe him and even after the first viewing I was thoroughly impressed! I’ve always thought that Pres. Snow was a brilliant villain (spoilers- not really!) and that totally carried through the movie in a subtle way. I loved the subtleties that Pres. Snow has in the movie. I will mention them throughout the review. He is a man who knows his power.
The Chariot scene was great. The costumes of the Tributes made me laugh. Very nice gladiator-esc stuff going on. The hand holding between Peeta and Katniss was well done for not having Haymitch give them a signal.
I will say one thing- Cato looked like a taller and leaner version of Peeta. It was an interesting comparison for me to think about and I think it worked. I definitely envisioned Cato differently, but I liked this take on him.
I did not like the penthouse, I excepted it to be a continuation of the Train and I was disappointed at how “today” it was. I’ve seen magazine pictures with that exact type of room and furniture. Second time seeing the movie I just brushed it off with a “oh well,” but I wish they had made the apartments a bit grander and less sparse. I got the impression of plushy rounded edge type stuff from the book and I got bang your hip and get a whopper of a bruise stuff in the movie.

Onto the training stuff!
I liked the woman who “de-briefed” the tributes in the training room. Really good job there, and I don’t remember if that was in the book (once again I will restate that I lent my book to my best friend Bombie and don’t currently have it on my shelf to reference).
Quick Costume Nit Pick- Why did the tributes have the same costume in training, but different costumes in the arena? In the book everyone except Peeta and Katniss look different in training, and then they have a boy/girl version outfit for the Arena. That bugged me. Really- how hard would it have been to switch that back to the original idea?
Other than that note- I really like all of the training sequences. They were done very well. I especially appreciated the look Thresh had on his face when Rue nicked Cato’s knife. It added a sort of “big brother” side to his character towards Rue and made him more of a relatable character.
The pig shooting was awesome. I laughed. Especially in the scene afterwards when Haymitch gives Katniss the thumbs up.

I’m just going to cover all of the scenes between Seneca and Pres. Snow right now- they were well done for something that wasn’t in the books. I appreciated those scenes, even if I wish that they had cut down on them to show more of the stuff that happened in the arena. But the scenes in the rose garden were very good. Seneca came off as a very brilliant, but naïve man. Snow left me smiling at how subtle and powerful he was. I don’t get chills I just start smiling weirdly. Go figure.

Now for the interviews! Overall they were good. I wish they had given Rue wings and Glimmer should have had a better dress. I also wasn’t too much of a fan of Katniss’ dress either. I think it could have spun out more, but that’s just personal preference. I loved the shoulder sequins.
Peeta’s whole “Smelling like roses” routine was funny. Made me laugh both times.
I also really liked Haymitch’s “It’s a television show!” line to Katniss. Haymitch constantly brings up how the Hunger Games is just a big show, and the showier you are the more likely you are to survive. I felt that was a really good thing to hammer into the audience, because you can almost forget why the CCs watch the Games. For them, its entertainment that they can help to tip in favor of one tribute or another in the way of sponsorship. The more they like a tribute- the more likely a tribute is to survive. It was done very well.

For being done by a window- the roof scene was good and if it wasn’t book verse, it was pretty dern close to the book. No more comment on that.

The pre-countdown stuff with the Gamemakers was fine. I personally think that there was too much Gamemaker stuff (they had six scenes), but I’ll get to that in the next (and final) post of my review.
I liked how Cinna hid the mockingjay pin in Katniss’ coat, but I thought they could have done the whole “You get one thing from your district.” It wouldn’t’ have taken more than a few seconds and it would have been one less minor change for the movie.

We’ll get to the actual games in my next post. Thanks for putting up with the in depth review!


  1. I thought the whole interview with Katniss could have been done in a more "true-to-the-book" fashion. In the book, I got the impression that Katniss was very silly/giggly during her interview, and so she does the whole "I'm an airhead, look at me spin, ain't I pretty?" thing. Which she did almost none of in the movie. In fact that whole sequence seemed very awkward. The other thing that I missed in that scene was that Katniss was off stage when Peeta drops the bomb - ergo no one sees her reaction (which wasn't great). And since the cameras didn't capture the reaction for the CC audience, Katniss herself won't be able to see it later. (of course, they also cut out the whole "let's watch a recap of the games you were just in" part...oh well...probably not necessary)
    On a different note, unfortunately, I don't share your image of Cinna or Snow. I pictured Cinna as white... Although, I will agree that they did the gold eyeliner perfectly!
    Snow I pictured as looking almost exactly like Lucius Malfoy from the HP movies. So, I was a bit disappointed. If this actor does a good job in the next two movies (he didn't do that much in this one), then I'll forgive the casting.
    Good second post. Can't wait for the final one!

  2. They had the scene where Katniss is offstage when Peeta "drops the bomb." Then it kind of cuts to where she starts beating him up. I agree with you "true to book" comment referring to the interview scene in general. They could have gone by the book more without taking away from the movie.

  3. Ditto on the interview scene. I actually pictured Cinna as a younger "Devil Wears Prada" Stanley Tucci, but as book people in my head are rather fluid unless they're my own, I was fine and even appreciated the Cinna they cast. Also, it would be much harder to do gold eyeliner on a white man. It just wouldn't be very visible, just a thought. I actually found Pres. Snow overt as opposed to subtle, but that may just be a difference in how we perceive things. On to the next post!