Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy!
The Hunger Games (23/03/12)
Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister’s place for the latest match.
Vague disclaimer: I have not read the books. I know very little about the books other than a load of teenagers fighting to the death with only one winner. Very simplistic. But that’s all I knew going into this film.
Right, onto the film. So we have a future world where things ain’t so great for the every day people. But of course there are the city folk who seem to be doing pretty well with themselves. Oh and they look absolutely fabulous. The government’s got the people under their thumb and are doing a pretty damn good job at controlling the people. And then we’ve got The Hunger Games. The chance for the Districts to proudly watch their teenagers fight for their people. To the death. For entertainment.
The Hunger Games brought a couple of films to mind – Battle Royale and The Running Man. With Battle Royale you’ve got the fighting teens and The Running Man’s got the reality TV aspect. Smoosh them together with a bit of a Tween feeling and you’ve got The Hunger Games. But… it just didn’t work all that well for me. Sure, I enjoyed the film and thought it was good enough. But thought there were a fair few things that didn’t work for me in the film.
The whole thing with these kids killing each other for entertainment is pretty damn dark. There were some fairly brutal scenes. But I didn’t think it went far enough. In The Running Man you’ve got the over the top reality TV aspect which was missing here. It was just a by-the-by kind of thing. It wasn’t capitalised enough upon.
The film began to drag a little bit. It is a fairly long film. I’m not adverse to sitting in the cinema for over two hours, but when it begins to feel like more than two hours I start to get a bit ‘eh’. The pacing was great – really snappy, until the games actually got going. Things got slow and I grew a little bored. Well, bored’s a strong word. Restless moreso.
It was hard for me to connect with the characters. Jennifer Lawrence did a great job, but I thought I could feel more invested in Katniss’ plight. I just didn’t. She was just going through the motions. And me watching along with.
The rest of the supporting cast are great. Just wish there was more time spent on them. Though, I guess, it’s not really their story.
There was one point in the film (SPOILER ALERT) when District 12 have their little uprising after a certain death. I didn’t understand why after 74 Hunger Games, after that many deaths, that’s when they really think about things? Really?
I feel like I’m being really hard on the film. Thought it was good. Not great. The fangirls in the cinema loved it, so it must have done a lot of things right. Heck the guy in his 40s sitting in front of me was cradling his head during the last 20 minutes of the film. Just didn’t quite effect me that much.
Read on to see all the films watched this year…