All this killing is making me hungry!
Forgot to post my review of The Hunger Games. I read and enjoyed all the books so I've been looking forward to the movie ever since it was announced. I'm still amazed that something that is actually . . . good has managed to inspire a frenzy equal to the dreaded Twilight. Aside from the advantage of much better source material, the movie also benefits from good scripting, good direction and - gasp - even good acting!
It open with an interview between Caeser Flickerman (the delightful Stanley Tucci) and head games maker Seneca Crane (Wes Bently, who really should work more) that nicely sets the stage. Then we meet Katniss (the divine Jennifer Lawrence) in some low key scenes that set up her character and the grim environment of District 12 that she lives in.
The film actually takes it's time to get to the games themselves, giving us opportunity to actually care about the characters and understand what is at stake. When the games do arrive they are just brutal enough to maintain a PG-13 rating without sugarcoating it. All the cast excel, with Josh Hutcherson being surprisingly good in the difficult role of lovestruck contestant Peeta and Woody Harrelson perfect as the drunken mentor Haymitch. Lenny Kravitz as fashion designer Cinna and Donald Sutherland as the Clumsy Waiter . . . er evil President Snow are also memorable. Hell, the whole cast gets to shine. The emotional aspect of the book, particularly the fate of Rue (the excellent Amandla Stenberg) was also conveyed well. There are minor criticisms (a few plot elements get glossed over and I could have done without the constant shaky cam in the fight scenes) but overall this is one of the best starts to a franchise in recent memory - thought-provoking, superbly entertaining and deserving of all its success. If it's the final nail in the coffin of Twilight fandom, that's just a bonus.