So, we finally got to The Hunger Games, and only the second weekend it's out - pretty good for us. And the movie was just as awesome as I expected - and I expected a lot!
My number one question was how they were going to film the violence in a PG-13 way, without watering down the impact. The answer: Very well, thank you. The bloodbath scene at the cornucopia is just as horrifying as I imagined while reading, but without obvious gore. It carries more of an impact that way; with the quick cuts, you see just enough to imagine the worst.
The young actors show some serious acting chops in roles that not only call for emotional depth, but are physically demanding as well. This movie would have completely fallen apart if the young leads weren't up to the task, but they not only make the audience care, they bring us right into the arena with them.
The movie isn't a word-for-word remake of the book - that wouldn't have worked - but it captures the spirit. A few minor things are changed, scenes added or moved around to keep the story flowing naturally. Of course, the story had to be condensed, but I think the scriptwriter's choices of what to take out and what to leave in were spot on. I saw the movie with three people who hadn't read the book, and they had no trouble following the story.
Obviously, I really, REALLY liked it - best movie I've seen yet this year. (OK, I've only seen three movies this year, but still...) Whether you've read the book or not, whether you like sci-fi or not, I can't imagine anyone not liking this movie. I won't say "enjoying," that's not the right word for a movie as dark as this one, but you'll be thinking about it and discussing it for a long time.