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Forums - Movies & TV - The Hunger Games Early Reviews Are In: So What Are the Critics Saying So Far?

If the early word is any indication, Hunger Games is no Twilight.

On the contrary, filmmaker Gary Ross' adaptation of the first entry in Suzanne Collins' postapocalyptic young adult series of novels is actually receiving high praise for, you know, actually being good as it chronicles the tale of 24 teenagers chosen by lottery to compete in an annual gladiatorial-like TV spectacle in which only one will survive.

Here's a quick roundup of some of the first critiques of The Hunger Games, which as of press time has earned a 98 percent "fresh" rating on film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, though it's still too early for a complete consensus.

Todd McCarthy, chief critic for The Hollywood Reporter, lavished praise on star Jennifer Lawrence as 16-year-old archer Katniss Everdeen, whose illegal hunting skills help her survive in this sci-fi dystopia.

"As she did in her breakthrough film Winter's Bone, Jennifer Lawrence anchors this futuristic and politicized elaboration of The Most Dangerous Game with impressive gravity and presence, while director  Gary Ross gets enough of what matters in the book up on the screen to satisfy its legions of fans worldwide," gushes McCarthy.

He noted, however, that since Lionsgate is marketing the flick as the next Twilight in order to harness the former's box office magic, the filmmakers aimed for a PG-13 rating, whereas "a film accurately depicting the events of the book would certainly carry an R."

"That said, Hunger Games has such a strong narrative structure, built-in forward movement and compelling central character that it can't go far wrong," McCarthy adds.


While acknowledging The Hunger Games will satisfy fans of the best-seller, Variety's Justin Chang suggested the mission to make it palatable to a PG-13 audience may have stripped the movie of some of its more subversive elements, notably the "morality of violence as entertainment and the brutality of pitting children against each other."

"What viewers are left with is a watchable enough picture that feels content to realize someone else's vision rather than claim it as its own. Any real sense of risk has been carefully ironed out: The PG-13 rating that ensures the film's suitability for its target audience also blunts the impact of the teen-on-teen bloodshed, most of it rendered in quick, oblique glimpses," writes Chang.


Here are a few more critics' takes:

• "This is a gripping, impressively mounted action movie—but its adherence to finicky details in the novel means that there's not enough time to fully explore Collins's complex world or the characters who inhabit it," opined TimeOut London.

• "Sadly, there's a sense of familiarity that The Hunger Games can't completely shake off. Recalling everything from Lord of the Flies to A.I. to The Running Man to the cult Japanese thriller Battle Royale, the movie feels more like a solidly crafted amalgam of disparate influences than a wholly original vision," offered Screen Daily.

• "Despite its well-worn ideas and themes, Gary Ross's provocative, pulse-surgingly tense adaptation couldn't feel fresher, or timelier," said London's Telegraph, delivering up some of the best raves. "The Hunger Games is an essential science fiction film for our times; perhaps the essential science fiction film of our times. Whatever your age, it demands to be devoured."

The Hunger Games unspools worldwide on March 23.


What is it about?

Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the evil Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which "Tributes" must fight with one another until one survivor remains. Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she's ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love. THE HUNGER GAMES is directed by Gary Ross, and produced by Nina Jacobson's Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. Suzanne Collins' best-selling novel, the first in a trilogy published by Scholastic that has over 16 million copies in print in the United States alone, has developed a massive global following.

 

Why did I have to go through 30 youtube videos before I found one that is not Embed disabled? What a load of Crap!


 

http://www.eonline.com



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As a huge fan of the books, I'm quite looking forward to this :)

My only trepidation is the lack of an R rating. The books are very graphic and disturbing, and they'll have to work some serious cinematic magic to make certain scenes have the same poignancy with a PG-13 rating.

The trailers look very promising, though.



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thekitchensink said:
As a huge fan of the books, I'm quite looking forward to this :)

My only trepidation is the lack of an R rating. The books are very graphic and disturbing, and they'll have to work some serious cinematic magic to make certain scenes have the same poignancy with a PG-13 rating.

The trailers look very promising, though.


I have not read the book or seen the trailer until today. But everyone on this site and a few critics are saying it is going to be a top notch movie. So I will be checking it out.



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Gonna go see it tonight. Decided not to read the book before the movie.



It's actually at 100%, not 98% like the article says!



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Looking forward for this one. I do hope this ain't no Twilight.
Never heard of the books, might pick them up if I like the story.



pezus said:
It's actually at 100%, not 98% like the article says!


What would an evil nun know about percentages whilst looking for Shirley Temple videos on skynet?



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spurgeonryan said:
pezus said:
It's actually at 100%, not 98% like the article says!


What would an evil nun know about percentages whilst looking for Shirley Temple videos on skynet?

Is that the Community woman?



Movie looks great. Makes crap like Twilight seem even more crappier if possible. Also Jennifer Lawrence :)



I keep hearing about these books but I am too much of a pussy to try to read them and then find out they're Twilight 2.0.
and thus wasted a good time on reading crap and buying a book.