Isn't it a relief when a movie you sincerely want to be good doesn't disappoint? But I admit, I wasn't worried about "The Hunger Games". I've heard good reports, although nothing too raving. I estimated my grade for it before I saw it. Amazing, right? I guessed a "B". Was I off? Yes.
For the most part, I can't complain about this adaptation. The cast is great, and I'm impressed with Jennifer Lawrence. I'm happy that there's a young actress out there who is talented, capable of carrying a role like this, and likable. And Katniss is not a character you want to miscast. I feel as if we need more strong female heroines who save the day, rather than a man always being the hero. So, I'm happy to say that she was right to play Katniss. I also like that Katniss is not perfect, and that she, like everyone else, needs help. She saves people, but they also save her, and that's the way it should be. Never forget to be realistic, eh?
Since the book is from Katniss's point of view, you don't get to see what's going on outside of the arena when you're reading it, so I enjoyed getting glimpses of Haymitch, Districts 12 and 11, President Snow, and the sadists controlling the games, etc. in the movie.
One of the things I wished was different: more Rue. She's one of the best characters, and there were more than a few pages dedicated to her and Katniss spending time together, but her screen time was cut a bit too short. I'm expecting a nice, extended edition of this movie when it's released on DVD. There better be a boatload of extra scenes! ;)
Of course there have to be changes from the book, and I don't really mind that. Some were quite noticeable, and I'm willing to bet people took issue with some of them, but it didn't bother me that much. More time could have been spent on certain scenes, aspects, they could have put this or that from the book in there, but you know what? They did a more than adequate job with this movie. I don't think most fans will be disappointed. They put in what makes the story flow, what makes it good, and that's what counts the most.
Overall, great cast, including Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, and Lenny Kravitz. Do I need to mention the ever-evil Donald Sutherland? Of course I do! He's, um, evil, and good at it. And the girl who plays Rue is effing cute. Seriously, she better have more scenes when the DVD comes out.
Okay, so when do we get part 2?
My grade: A