The Hunger Games (*****)
A girl on fire
Kids battling against themselves
As good as the books
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD: As you might know, I am a huge fan of The Hunger Games book series, so I've been waiting with baited breath to see how the movie adaptations turned out. Suffice it to say, I've not been super excited for nothing—the movie was wonderful.
One of my main points of worry prior to the movie's release was the Peeta and Gale casting. Neither Josh Hutcherson (Peeta) nor Liam Hemsworth (Gale) really fit the image of the guys I had in my head while reading, but Josh blew me away—once he finally shut his mouth. (Poor boy was very shocked by his name being called at the Reaping.) I like the fact that he's not the most typically attractive guy; Peeta in my head was always a little pretty and a little "soft-looking," which is why I felt like he surprised everyone with his strength. (Besides, Matt Lewis has a pretty firm grip on my attraction in the under-25-year-old-men-who-star-in-book-adaptation-movies category.) Liam wasn't really in the movie enough to make an impression, favorable or not. I've always been more on Team Peeta, however, so his lack of impression isn't a bad thing.
Jennifer Lawrence was pretty dang brilliant as Katniss, too. Also, not the most typically pretty lady, but she's got a strength that shines through. Much more than the guys'—which I think is a direct takeaway from the books that was done really well.
The rest of the characters were pretty awesome, too, particularly Stanley Tucci's Caesar Flickerman—those teeth!—Lenny Kravitz's Cinna and Donald Sutherland's President Snow. We didn't get to see too much of the last one, but the small parts we did see him in, he had a "too-quiet for comfort" vibe going on that laid great groundwork for future incidents. Not exactly up to my standards? Woody Harrelson's Haymitch. I could have actually used a little more slovenly drunkard-ness.
I could continue to wax about all the things I liked about the movie, but I'll just leave it at: I think it's one of the best book adaptations I've ever seen.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
P.S.—I liked it so much I made a wallpaper for my computer at work.
I call it Katniss and her Mens.
I scaled it for a 1680x1050 monitor, but if you'd like to use it and need a different size, I'd be happy to make you one!