Saturday, March 24, 2012
The Hunger Games Needs To Lose Some Weight
Since Hollywood seems unable to make a movie devoid of burp-n-fart humor, anything with a plot at all will be greeted as a blockbuster.
I read The Hunger Games and found it tolerable, but not good enough to make me pursue the other parts of the trilogy that were sitting in my Kindle. Basically I considered it silly. Maybe because it was written on a sixth grade level (graduate school for those in the government system) the book seemed kind of flat. It lacked the character, background and plot development I usually complain about.
I actually found the movie much better than the book. The movie created the atmosphere that supported the story. The main problem was that, as usual, Hollywood sanitized the characters. It's like real people make us too uncomfortable; we have to give them the "palm beach look" while they are living in apocalyptic squalor. Believe me, I lived in District 12 and the people there didn't look like MTV. Jennifer Lawrence was too old and too fit for her character. She did a good job as the heroine, but she didn't bring the emotional wallop of her performance in Winters Bone. Her partner in the games seemed more like her little brother than a serious romantic contender.
The movie did begin to drag in the last hour. Twenty minutes of scenery and dramatic pauses could have been cut or better yet, devoted to character development. Obviously you can bet on a body count of at least 23 participants; nevertheless the gore was handled tastefully.
I give it four stars. With all the schlock that comes out of Hollywood, anything that doesn't send you reaching for the barf-bag, running for the fire-exit, or feeling you need a bath gets two stars. Hollywood has trouble with apocalyptic movies these days. They seem to mirror reality. It reminds me of the way Hollywood used Elvis to transform romantic movies.