Movie Review: The Hunger Games

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Oh Hunger Games, you had me…until the very end.

Let me back up a bit. I tend to be really nitpicky when it comes to books-turned-movies. So before I saw The Hunger Games in theaters, I mentally prepared myself for all the changes that were likely to be made.

And of course, there were plenty of changes. Such as: the mockingjay pin was given to Katniss by her sister, Prim, rather than the mayor’s daughter, Madge, Katniss’ nails weren’t painted, Peeta’s leg wasn’t amputated, and so on. I was willing to overlook all of these little things because I really enjoyed the enhancements that were made to the film.

The book is told from the point of view of Katniss, but the film gives you a well-rounded look at the Games. You get to see President Snow and Seneca Crane talking, Haymitch convincing sponsors, Ceasar Flickman narrating the Games, and my favorite part, a behind the scenes look at how the Games are produced. I thought these additions were a brilliant idea to give the viewers insight into what is going on outside of the arena, while also making it easier to follow for those that were seeing the movie without reading the book.

My biggest issue with the movie came at the very end. Katniss’s affection for Peeta in the arena was mainly for show, and a way for them to get sponsors and ultimately stay alive. In the book, as they are on the train back to District 12, Peeta, who genuinely cares for Katniss, learns of this deception and betrayal. This was such a crucial part of the book and part of the reason why I quickly started reading Catching Fire. It would have made for an amazing finish to the movie as well, instead of the anti-climactic ending that we got.

As with all the other books-turned movies, The Hunger Games movie did not live up to the book. I liked seeing the Capitol, the ridiculous outfits that everyone wore, and the Games/arena itself. I just wish they had spent a bit more time developing Peeta and Katniss’s relationship as it is central to the trilogy, especially in Catching Fire and Mockingjay.

What did you think of the movie?

Movie Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

My thoughts on books turned to movies are quite clear – but once in a while, a movie comes out that lives up to the book’s hype.

I saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo over the holidays. I had no real expectations of the movie; my sister-in-law and I wanted to see it because we both read the books. But once I began looking for showtimes and came across the ratings (4 stars average) I began to get excited. Maybe this movie won’t be awful!

We were not disappointed. A few scenes were quite graphic and disturbing (I could barely read those paragraphs in the book, so you can imagine my state in the theater). The movie itself was a bit long (2 hours and 40 minutes), as they tried their hardest to fit all the details of the book. Of course this meant a few things were changed in the movie, but that is to be expected.

The real star of the movie was the girl with the dragon tattoo- Rooney Mara. She played the role of Lisabeth Salander so incredibly well. From the make-up to the acting, she was the shining star. I think she is well on her way to becoming one of the best actresses in Hollywood.

Did you see the movie? What did you think?