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  1. #1
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    "The Hunger Games" Film Talkback (Spoilers)

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    The Hunger Games
    Release Date: March 23, 2012 (2D and IMAX theaters)
    Studio: Lionsgate
    Director: Gary Ross
    Screenwriter: Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins, Billy Ray
    Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Wes Bentley, Toby Jones, Alexander Ludwig, Isabelle Fuhrman, Amandla Stenberg, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland

    Plot Summary: Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the evil Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which "Tributes" must fight with one another until one survivor remains.

    Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she's ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make
    impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

    "The Hunger Games" is directed by Gary Ross, and produced by Nina Jacobson's Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. Suzanne Collins' best-selling novel, the first in a trilogy published by Scholastic that has over 16 million copies in print in the United States alone, has developed a massive global following.

    Comments?
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  2. #2
    Neo Ultra Mike's Avatar
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    .... You know I was expecting this to have....at least ONE review of it up already. I mean this is the biggest non sequal opening of all time in the U.S and yet no one on TZ has made a review of it? Well I'll change that and as per usual of my reviews it's long, rambly and talks at length about the movie so I'm putting it in spoiler tags.

    Spoiler:
    I admit I should probably read more books then I currently do as I've never really read the Hunger Games. I've heard of it before and heard the buzz the movie was getting but I only really saw one review of it that described the plot about the world in which teenagers are put in some kind of game show where they have to kill each other. Which if you describe it like that, sounds rather silly and ridicolous. But put it in an alternate world, give a reason why such a sport and why such an event would exisit and focus it either on the social commentary of our own world or on the actual characters competting, and there is a good sense of legitmacy towards it. And hey nice to see more big fantasy series (well more sci-fi then fantasy if you think about it) where the books are about a STRONG, physically and mentally female protagainist. And hey even if I never read the books I still enjoyed a good amount of the Harry Potter movies so why not try the same thing here right? Yeah okay I at least knew a good deal about Harry Potter before going to see a movie and only knew the plot and a couple of the big names here but hey that's the fun of going into something fresh: you see if it works for you in one medium and see if that maeks you want to check out the other. Either to see how it could of been popular in another form or enjoying the story so much you just have to see it's original interpration.

    And The Hunger Games is a good movie... though IMHO there are a few problems with it. I'm guessing there was probably more focus of this in te book and maybe it's not even the point but for a supposed gigantic reality show kind of series, we barley get to know any of the contestants. Sure there's Katnis and Peeta, but who else of any actual importance did we encounter before or during the games? The only ones I can think of were Rue, Foxface (if only to see someone else's style of competting and having those posion berries on her), a couple of the alliance's group for the battles they had with Katniss. And heck, even Cato is severly underdeveloped. And he's the main antaonginst here (that our heroes can at least deal with) and all we know about him is he likes killing, he has pride being a part of District 1 and... dosen't like getting eaten by weird CGI mutant wolves. I always thought you built up reality shows by having various contenstants to root for and not just focusing on a pair because it makes it a lot more obvious whose going to win. Even the created reality shows usually do this. And it can't just be written off as the series tring to make a point either about this kind of barbeic idea becoming so popular millions of people tune in around the world to watch it either. Why? Because barley any time in the movie even really uses the satire. Maybe some of the first half with the interviews and getting to see everyone in professional attire and the talk of sponsors, and a few bits of the staff altering the landscape to make things more interesting but it really isn't build on any. Maybe that happens in the other two books/movies, I don't know but it didn't really happen at all here. It was pretty much what you see is what you get, and what I got was 50 percent of the "sacrifices" being automatically expendable and only learning a grain here or there about the others. Which really isn't the way you do it as even some of the worst examples of the "ultimate reality show where someone hunts others to kill them" did more with the group then the Hunger Games did.

    And they weren't the only characters shorthanded. I know there's more to this story and thus more to them later but a lot of the side characters in this series didn't really do much. I know that Effe i suppose to be comic relief in being such a pampered brat she dosen't realize the horrors of the game and just goes on about manners and being proer and isn't trying to be mean, and there were some good scenes of her trying to interact with Katniss and Peeta and being told to shut up but then was just automatically shoved to the side line again. Haymitch the two's guide fared better and I liked how at first he was just there for the free food and only later bothered trying to train the two but he still didn't wind up contributing much. Yeah sending supplies but that was still only indirectly. Guess that was the point since he wasn't part of the games anymore but really felt like he had a story worth exploring and we never got any of that. Same with Cinna who seemed cool but I didn't even get why he was even so much on Katnis side since he didn't see her tough exterior before being so gung ho about her. And again someone who fainted to the background at the end of the movie. Same kind of goes for the other big bads Snow and Crane. I guess just having Snow appear a few times here makes sense since we're sure to get more of him later on as he's the chief antagonist and at least we got his solid enough reasoning on why he has the game. But really Crane didn't do that much: I guess as the host he was trying to give the people what they wanted and give the best spectacle and wasn't really as heartless as Snow but that didn't come across too well due to how limited appearences he had. Maybe if he was more of a constant threat then just the enviorment his dead would of actually made an impact. And finally there was Ceaser Flickerman, the talk show host of the event (and I guess the commentarors but I don't think those guys even had names). He seemed fun but again you didn't see much of him really since there was only a couple of interviews. Really they should of fleshed him out by showing at least some bits of itnerviews with other important characters but guess this was the Katniss show and everyone else had to get pushed more for the side. And yeah I know main character but really it does bug me in movies that have so many superflorous seeming characters who could serve more of a point if they were at least given something more to do. Espiecally when I know if we got more from them it would of made the movie better.

    I think my last major complaint about this movie was how it stretched certain scenes out. I get the big funeral service for Rue and how much Katniss broke down about that, but what about all the fake outs of her shooting the arrow? Was it to show that she messes up at first and then gets it right? Didn't everyone say before she always gets it right so what's the point of that changing here? to show the seriousness of the situation since that dosen't work if she just makes the next shot regardless. Also the various flashbacks of Peeta and Katniss meeting for the first time could of also been trimmed. Espiecally since I think just making them a couple kind of cheapens their relationship: he had a crush on her but she grew close to him more as a friend and importantly an ally she didn't want to see get hurt which felt much more real then the whole "I 'love you" talk they did. Yeah I know teenage fantasy novel so there has to be romance in it but I believed more of a connection from when the so called relatonship was just being played up and she wasn't seriously macking on him. Also since it kind of just makes Peeta seem more the boyfriend character. When more could of been explored about his hole "I want to change the system around me and bring it down" which was brought up a couple of times and then ignored. Same with his lack of confidence since we never see him gaining that. Maybe you could argue he does at the fight at the end but I still don't really see the journey he went through making a full circle. And that just reminds me how Gale also didn't do much either besides have a scene with Katniss at the beginning and then appear in reaction shots whenever we focused on her home town. So yeah add yet another kind of not given enough time to develop properly hero to the mix.

    However do all of those things totally sink the movie? No there's a lot working for it. And yeah though a lot of characters get the shaft, I guess if the focus is put on Katniss and her struggles then the movie defintley a good job with her. Like her anger against the capitol coming out in trying to get their attention by shooting an apple out of Crane's mouth and then later saying "screw having to fight each other. We'll kill each other instead and see how much entertainment you get out of that". And showing that though she could be rather short tempered, bitter and not exactly have the best social interaction skills, she was still incredibly likeable. From her devotion to her sister and then passing that on to Rue when she was taking care of her, to learning from the mentors and wanting to put on a show with the charioti and the flame dress, her grit in knocking down the wasp's nest and her own strategies lie taking out the alliance's supplies and ultimatley saving Peeta from Cato. And though romance played a big factor in her character it wasn't the only one as she also learned to trust in her abiltieis and relations with others more. And Jennifer Lawerence defintley delievred the powerful emotional moments like offering her mother advice, Rue's funeral and even snuggling up close to Peeta. If this is what Katniss is like in the book to a tee then I can see why so many people were keen on the Hunger Games if it was mostly told from her point of view.

    And that's not the only thing I liked. Though I would of liked more of the history and to see more of the compettitors I do like the set up of the games. Why they have a victor instead of just sacrifices as well as how invested everyone can get into them. The set ups is very nice: having them train first and them having the weapons and supplies for them to take and having to fan out throughout the forest to try and kill one another. And though sometimes a bit too fast and quick the actual action scenes were exihilrating, from the alliance chasing down Katniss, to her shooting one of them in the chest, to that one girl being taken out by Rue's partner to the big climax battle at the end. Well the CGI wolf beasts were kind of a silly addition but the rest was very solid. Plus it does at least do one thing about reality shows justice: showing the drama from every angle as well as capturing the pahtos and pan in someone's face when things go wrong. And of course the suspsne of what's going to happen to Katniss next when it seems like everything around her could take her out. Plus spending a good amount of time (though not enough) on training and interviews shows even more on why these things are a big deal when every step of them seems so either massive or dramatic or lush or over indulgent or even psychotiic but it just getting everyone's blood pumping.

    And yeah the visuals and audios were top notch (even if the fighting could be pretty confusing at times I still got the general enough gist to appreciate it). That Taylor Swift song worked a lot better then I thought it playing in parts of the movie (though mostly in the credits) and the design of the warship and the city and the forest locations were all pretty good. So don't think I'm hating on tis movie which I'm not. There are a good amount of flaws that detract from my enjoyment of it but it's far from a bad movie. Maybe kind of on the lower ends of ones I reviewed but it does make me want to see more from this series and where it could possibly go from Katniss and Peeta winning the game. I'm sure something about them having to fight Snow in some form but guess that's in the next or last movie. This one though: not a perfect first adpation but could be if the character limit was either shortened and more had time to develop or there was more focus just in general put on everyone but Katniss's characters for once instead of just the other way around.
    Instead of just using this new signature to celebrate a thousand more post, let me list of all the great things you can expect of me on this board for 2012:

    ...... The same talkbacks you saw me do last year but with new episodes.

    .... What are you doing still reading this? Move to the next post already! .

  3. #3
    ABrown's Avatar
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    I went with my wife to see this on her birthday. She was all excited about it cause she's read the books, I have not. I thought that it was a good production, but I really didn't like the story. Here's the thing, and my wife gets upset with me about this because she says that it's part of the story. I really didn't like how the people get all excited for the games like they're watching American Idol. I felt that people should've viewed the games as evil. But like I said, my wife says that's part of the story. Anyway, that's what I didn't like about the movie. Otherwise, it wasn't bad. So had everyone viewed the games, and the people involved with the games, as being evil I might've really liked the movie.

  4. #4
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    I want to see this. It kinda sounds like an American Battle Royale, with a little The Long Walk mixed in.
    Here's the deal, I'm the best there is. I wake up in the morning and I urinate excellence. And nobody can hang with my stuff. I'm just a big hairy American winning machine.

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  5. #5
    The ShopSoldier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABrown View Post
    I really didn't like how the people get all excited for the games like they're watching American Idol. I felt that people should've viewed the games as evil.

    Anyway, that's what I didn't like about the movie. Otherwise, it wasn't bad. So had everyone viewed the games, and the people involved with the games, as being evil I might've really liked the movie.
    You just pointed out while watching this, I was waving my fist at the screen. This movie made me think about where America is going in the near future - that's how much it touched me.

    This movie is awesome because it doesn't make a political statement in a forced manner - you know it's there in how oppressed those having to participate in this pocket genocide are with how they act, dress, and emote!

    This movie IS our current generation's cautionary tale and should be viewed as such - that's how good it is.

    So yeah... EAT THE RICH!
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  6. #6
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    I thought this movie was alright. I wish that it would've focused more on the actual Hunger Games and less on all the setup and talks of sponsors and all that.

  7. #7
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    bigddan11 is offline Justice must be served!
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    Well I finished all 3 books within a 48-hour period earlier this week, so I went and saw the movie this afternoon. I'm going to be honest about it. This is one of the most faithful book to movie transitions I have seen. In terms of the games and the deaths I only saw 1 major change. However I will be honest when I say they used too much money to get all the different camera angles. Honestly have we forgotten the simplicity of the T-Rex in the original Jurassic Park breaking through the trees? Have we forgotten the simplicity of Indiana Jones when he runs from the rock to avoid being smashed? Usually no more than 2 camera angles are used in some of the greatest movie suspense angles. We didn't need 7 different angles of Katniss running through the forest.

    Also, while it is one of the most faithful book to movie transitions, you won't have any idea what is going on unless you have read the book in advance. Personally I would have liked to see a little more of the backgrounds. Cinna made a lasting impression on me in the book. Here Cinna's greatest line is "I feel sorry that you have to go through this." Peeta's stylist isn't shown at all. I was very upset they didn't include the death of Katniss's dad more than they did. Sure, they showed him going into the mine and then it exploding, but we don't really get to connect that it was his death that made Katniss go out and hunt. It was his death that made her and Gale friends because of having something common. It was his death that put her mom into a state of depression. And why the heck did they have the Cinna/ Petta bread sharing scene appear to be within the past year when it was supposed to be 6 years earlier? For that matter why the heck didn't we get to see the scene where Peeta's dad comes to Katniss? Some people would say these are small things that aren't needed. However every one of those scenes I mentioned could have fit within the movie if they made it just 15 to 20 minutes longer, and it would have made it where the Games didn't feel as rushed. I was also upset that they didn't have the thunderstorm in the cave scenes, but they did want to try to keep it no higher than PG-13. Still, it's those scenes in the cave that tie Peeta and Katniss so close to each other to where they want to take the berries in the first place.

    Overall I won't say this isn't a good movie, but I'm only giving it a 4. We didn't need to see the rebellion start in this first movie. We didn't need to see President Snow leaving the berries for his Gamekeeper. They didn't enhance the movie. Sometimes sticking with the book all the way, even if it means you need to make it a 2-part movie, is the best way to go. All the little scenes left out would have only enhanced the movie and certainly would have made it easier for those who haven't read the books to understand.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigddan11 View Post
    Well I finished all 3 books within a 48-hour period earlier this week, so I went and saw the movie this afternoon.
    I couldn't do that it if my life depended on it .
    Last edited by Hanshotfirst1138; 04-06-2012 at 10:49 AM.
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  9. #9
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    I saw this on opening day and apparently just forgot to post about it, haha. I've been looking forward to the movie since the movie rights were sold.

    My only complaint was that some of the shaky cam stuff was a bit too much, making my stomach turn. I know a fair amount of the film was shot with handhelds but there were certain points I would have preferred the screen just to be still.

    But otherwise I loved it (as much as you can love a story that's so grim). I was absolutely exhausted after seeing it; I can't remember the last time a film emotionally wrung me out like that. I went with my mother, who had just read the books the week before (I'd read them the summer before Mockingjay came out so it's been awhile for me) and we sat in the car after for a silent minute before going, "Wow. Just wow."

    It hit all the notes I hoped it would and then some. I was very near sobbing at Rue's death scene, doing my best to keep my crying quiet, haha. I loved how it was inter-cut with the first rumblings of rebellion. That was one of the instances that really did a good job of showing us things that we could never see in the books since they were from Katniss' point of view but were important events.

    The cast was stellar. Stanley Tucci was a standout as Caesar Flickerman. I loved Lenny Kravtiz as Cinna more than I expected to. Donald Sutherland was properly creepy as President Snow--looking forward to seeing him as the role expands in the future. Woody Harrelson was not how I pictured Haymitch but he really got the character. Elizabeth Banks was fabulous as Effie. And her costumes? Wow. Liam Hemsworth didn't have too much to do as Gale just yet but is definitely a good fit for the character. Again, looking forward to seeing him as his role expands.

    Josh Hutcherson was wonderful as Peeta. I like that they didn't try to make him tougher than he was in the books. After all, he's the baker's son, not a hunter like Katniss or Gale. He's strong and smart and has a silver tongue, but he's not a survivor.

    And Jennifer Lawrence was incredible as Katniss. She was strong, smart, and tough. Katniss is not a people person, but she's a survivor. The combination of her and Peeta works well because they fill in each others' weaknesses. It's so refreshing to see a strong heroine on the big screen. I love the scene when she shoots the apple in the pig's mouth in the training center. One of my favorite parts of the book and it worked so well on screen.

    Overall, so great. This is what a proper book-to-film adaptation looks like.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigddan11 View Post
    Well I finished all 3 books within a 48-hour period earlier this week, so I went and saw the movie this afternoon. I'm going to be honest about it. This is one of the most faithful book to movie transitions I have seen. In terms of the games and the deaths I only saw 1 major change. However I will be honest when I say they used too much money to get all the different camera angles. Honestly have we forgotten the simplicity of the T-Rex in the original Jurassic Park breaking through the trees? Have we forgotten the simplicity of Indiana Jones when he runs from the rock to avoid being smashed? Usually no more than 2 camera angles are used in some of the greatest movie suspense angles. We didn't need 7 different angles of Katniss running through the forest.

    Also, while it is one of the most faithful book to movie transitions, you won't have any idea what is going on unless you have read the book in advance. Personally I would have liked to see a little more of the backgrounds. Cinna made a lasting impression on me in the book. Here Cinna's greatest line is "I feel sorry that you have to go through this." Peeta's stylist isn't shown at all. I was very upset they didn't include the death of Katniss's dad more than they did. Sure, they showed him going into the mine and then it exploding, but we don't really get to connect that it was his death that made Katniss go out and hunt. It was his death that made her and Gale friends because of having something common. It was his death that put her mom into a state of depression. And why the heck did they have the Cinna/ Petta bread sharing scene appear to be within the past year when it was supposed to be 6 years earlier? For that matter why the heck didn't we get to see the scene where Peeta's dad comes to Katniss? Some people would say these are small things that aren't needed. However every one of those scenes I mentioned could have fit within the movie if they made it just 15 to 20 minutes longer, and it would have made it where the Games didn't feel as rushed. I was also upset that they didn't have the thunderstorm in the cave scenes, but they did want to try to keep it no higher than PG-13. Still, it's those scenes in the cave that tie Peeta and Katniss so close to each other to where they want to take the berries in the first place.

    Overall I won't say this isn't a good movie, but I'm only giving it a 4. We didn't need to see the rebellion start in this first movie. We didn't need to see President Snow leaving the berries for his Gamekeeper. They didn't enhance the movie. Sometimes sticking with the book all the way, even if it means you need to make it a 2-part movie, is the best way to go. All the little scenes left out would have only enhanced the movie and certainly would have made it easier for those who haven't read the books to understand.
    Speaking as someone who saw the movie but didn't read the books I was able to follow just fine. The movie definitely didn't need to be any longer and if anything should've trimmed 15-20mins. And if this was a two-parter I definitely wouldn't have watched it. Or maybe I would've just watched part 2 for the Hunger Games. Movie adaptions shouldn't slavishly stick to every word in the book to appease the book fans and should focus more on capturing the spirit of the book. After all books and movies are two different mediums and stuff that works in one won't necessarily work in the other.

  11. #11
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    They wimped out by not showing Peeta kill, though.
    Here's the deal, I'm the best there is. I wake up in the morning and I urinate excellence. And nobody can hang with my stuff. I'm just a big hairy American winning machine.

    I'm very humble, too.

  12. #12
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    This movie was absolutely fantastic, I loved it. Unfortunately I didn't arrive to the movie until the chooisng of tributes from district 12 : It definetely not as gory as I thought it was gonna be, to be honest I thought I was gonna close my eyes the whole time in the actual games part.

    And,

    Spoiler:
    Rue's death was really sad and district 11 rebelling because of her was heartbreaking. The Capitol manipulating the games shows that they are pretty darn evil...


    Overall, I was at the edge of my seat. Encore! encore! Can't wait for the next movie.
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  13. #13
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    I've read all three books, and I thought it was really good. The shaky cam got annoying in some of the action scenes, but otherwise, I really liked the sets, costumes, and the cinematography. The music was okay, it didn't impress me.

    The acting was overall really good. Liam Hemsworth is the only actor who didn't really impress me here, but then, his character didn't actually do much here at all.

    The ending was a bit.....sudden, I guess, but it could have definately been worse.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Hopkins
    They wimped out by not showing Peeta kill, though.
    Did he kill in the book?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by suss2it View Post
    Did he kill in the book?
    Just the girl that lit the fire I think.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by suss2it View Post
    Did he kill in the book?
    Yeah, in the book he goes back to finish off a wounded tribute, the girl at the campfire. They "Greedo shot first" this one a bit.

    I still need to go see this movie. Might try to check it out tomorrow night.
    Here's the deal, I'm the best there is. I wake up in the morning and I urinate excellence. And nobody can hang with my stuff. I'm just a big hairy American winning machine.

    I'm very humble, too.

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    Spideyzilla is offline Senior Member
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    I never read the books, and I thought of this as another Twilight. But I finally saw it, and was surprised. Oh wow, is this a good movie. I love the social satire. The whole talk of "cheer for your favourites, boo when then die" reminded me of American Idol and other shows a lot. The Games struck me as something that I can see a government like this putting in place and I can see these people accepting it. They've convinced them that they committed this terrible wrong in those revolutions, and they could be destroyed at any time. But instead they give them this as a "gift." The class system was great, very much like Brazil (the movie, not the place) I just loved the story, and it made sense to me. There was tons of action. The Games never dragged and had me at the edge of my seat. I do wish there was less shaky cam, however. It worked well building up tension, but made some action scenes unwatchable. Now, the love story, the thing that made me stay away. I thought it was well done. I saw the first Twilight movie, and this was a million times better. I cared about these two characters, and I wanted to see them get together. The slow upbringing of their relationship was well done and believeable. Jennifer Lawrence amazed me with her acting. She is one to watch. I'm not a fan of Josh Hutcherson, but he was really solid here. The whole cast was good, with Elizabeth Banks in particular doing a good job and making her unrecognizeable. Overall, a great movie that for me will be the surprise of the year. It really feels good to gush about a movie I thought would suck, but this one deserves it. I can't believe I'm saying this, but Avengers has a tough act to follow this week!

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