Since the Hunger Games raked in an amazing $155 Million this weekend its pretty obvious that I am not the only person who dared the crowd to go see it. Let me start off by telling you it was worth the ticket price, no doubt about it. Coming from someone who just read the books last week I thought they did an amazing job. Of course there were some differences from the book, which I will talk about in a little bit. But even with theses changes the movie was amazing.
If you haven't read the first book or seen the movie yet I will give you a little summary of the story line. The story is set in the far away future where America is no more and has been replaced by a contry called Panem. Panem is divided into 12 districts (once 13) and a Capitol. Due to an uprising, 74 years before, each year all 12 Districts donate 1 girl and 1 boy between the ages of 12-18 for a televised fight to the death. Katniss volunteers as "Tribute" when her younger sisters name is drawn. Also picked as the male tribute from district 12 is Peeta a bakers son. What ensues is a fast paced fight for survival both in and out of the arena.
Jennifer Lawrence did a fantastic job as Katniss. Since there was no talk over monologue what Katniss was feeling had to be conveyed through Lawrences actions and expressions. Not an easy task considering everything that Katniss is put through in the first book. As far as I'm concerned she pulled it off perfectly!
The other characters were equally well cast. Woody Harrelson made a very believable Haymitch. They did tone down his alcholism a bit for the movie as well as add some behind the scenes with him that didn't appear in the book so I believe movie watchers got to see more of the other side of Haymitch.
Josh Hutcherson did a fantastic job as Peeta. I wasn't completely happy with the way they kept flashing back to the "bread" incident. My husband thought Peeta had been mean to Katniss in the past and that's why she seems so touchy with him. Since he didn't read the books I have to assume thats what the script writers were hoping for? Anyways Peeta is much more the Katniss loving self sacrificing character in the movie than he is in the book. Any of the scenes were he was a little snippy to Katniss were cut out completely. I actually didn't mind that because truthfully I have been routing for Peeta since book one! But I do think audiences may be confused once movie two comes out and now suddenly there is a love triangle.
Speaking of Gale... Liam Hemsworth didn't get a ton of face time but I'm sure he made an impression on thousands of teenage girls. I liked the addition of scences showing how he was handling the games. Since we didn't have Katniss narrating her thoughts of Gale it was good to keep him in the storyline.
Now before I went to see the moive I was watching an interview with Wes Bentley, he plays Seneca Crane the Head Game Maker. I was honestly not sure why his character was so important, until I saw the movie. One great addition movie makers added was the view of how things are going from the Capitols perspective. It was cool seeing the behind the scenes stuff, like in the room the Game Makers work in and also Cranes private discussions with the President (played by Donald Sutherland). Let me tell you I wasn't sure if the loathing I had for the Capitol in the book would be brought out by the movie and it was. I actually think I hate them a little more now than from before I saw the movie! That to me says they have done an excellent job.
My only major concern was how Katniss got the Mockingjay pin. It seems strange that the symbol will be so important to the next two story lines and they changed how she received it. I guess I'm just a stickler but that did really bug me.
Either way I am still a huge fan and I might even try to see it again in theaters, which I haven't done since College! At the premiere I even was given a chance to shoot a nerf bow like Katniss and hit my target dead on :) and they handed out free books when you bought your tickets. I will be doing a giveaway for the book After my current giveaway is over so make sure you check back for more info.