Although I'm not a huge fan of The Hunger Games series as a whole (I rather like The Hunger Games, but I thought Catching Fire was only okay didn't really like Mockingjay), I still saw the movie on opening day. My thoughts on the film, organized in bullet points, because I've yet to master the art of movie reviews:
(No movie specific spoilers, but book spoilers indeed.)
- Despite my lack of enthusiasm for the series I am steadfast in my belief that Gale sucks, but I must say that Gale was a whole lot better in the movie, especially compared to Peeta. Happily, they didn't give Gale any superfluous subplot, but so much of Peeta's adorable-ness was absent in the movie. There was such a lack of emphasis on the faux-mance between Katniss and Peeta that it was difficult for Peeta to seem like Peeta. Perhaps I feel this way since I have not read the book since, like, 2009 and am super fuzzy on the details, but I did feel like something was absent.
- Speaking of the faux-mance: for as much as the game preparation part of the movie focused on the need for the kids to put on a show to be successful, the whole "they want a show" thing was pretty absent while they were in the arena. This did allow the action to be pretty continuous and thus more exciting, but with the future books in mind I think there needed to be more of the Capitol and its unhappiness with Katniss. There were a few scenes near the end that showed President Snow's dissatisfaction (Seneca's last scene? Awesome.) which weren't in the book (I think), but in context of the movie I think they needed to expand upon the Capitol's bad side.
- Aaanad speaking of the the prep scenes versus the arena, I totally felt like this movie was as long as it is. It runs almost two and a half hours and the preparations take so long that it definitely felt that way to me. I would have preferred more time in the arena because the fact that there were tributes dying of hunger and dehydration never really appeared-- they all seemed perfectly fine outside of their physical injuries.
- Now that I believe all my negative opinions are over, I can get to the important business: Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman? Flawless. He totally reminded me of Floop from Spy Kids and that may be why he so amused me, but he's still so goofy and campy that I was near giggles in most of his scenes.
- Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss? Also great. She's obviously super tough but can play vulnerable at the same time, which makes her portrayal pretty freaking awesome.
- I quite liked that there were extra scenes with the Gamemakers, for they helped introduce the shady business going down in the Capitol. Plus, the room they were in was super blue and shiny and therefore always an attention grabber for me.
- The tributes from Districts 1 and 2? Hilarious but still menacing, and thus they are my favorites.
- Overall: I really liked it! I'm curious to see how they will work some things into the next few movies, but this one is full of enough action, nice scenery, and lovely acting that I'm a fan.