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The Hunger Games

A film directed by Gary Ross based on the book by Suzanne Collins

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'The Hunger Games' 'Two Jews On Film' Go To Battle Over This Futuristic Dark Fantasy (Video)

  • Mar 21, 2012

By Joan Alperin Schwartz

I'm sure by now almost everyone is familiar with the story of 'The Hunger Games'.  The book was the first in a trilogy written by Suzanne Collins and all three novels have been on the bestseller list for several years.

But for those people unfamiliar with the story of Katniss Everdeen, the 16 year old girl who competes in The Hunger Games...

The time is...the future.
North America is no more.  Instead we have a nation known as Panem...which is broken down into 12 districts...These districts exist to provide goods for the wealthy people living in the Capitol.  The Capitol is run by a heartless dictator, President Snow (Donald Sutherland). His only goal is to keep the people of the districts in line..aka enslaved.

Apparently 75 years ago, give or take, the districts rebelled and as a punishment, the powers to be got the brilliant idea to create...The Hunger Games.  So...

Every year, on Reaping Day, the 12 districts are forced to hold a lottery where they pick two teenagers who must fight to their death until...only one remains.  These teenagers are known as 'Tributes'.

Think 'Survivor' meets 'Gladiator'.  

When Katniss Everdeen's (Jennifer Lawrence) younger sister, Primrose (Willow Shields) is picked for the games, Katniss volunteers to take her sister's place.

 Instantly, she and her new co-Tribute, the baker's son Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) are whisked to the Capitol where they are thrown into a glamorous world which includes...

A total makeover, new 'do', new wardrobe, lots of delicious food, a luxurious hotel suite and...
 Hours of gruelling training...How else does one become a warrior?  

And most importantly...an appearance on live TV where Katniss and the other 'Tributes' introduce themselves to their public/potential sponsors.  Sponsors are very cool to have because they'll send youstuff during the game that could save your life. 

All that said, 'The Hunger Games' is the story of one girl who must try to survive using her sheer wits and in the process, she comes to realize, that there is more to fight for than just herself.

Jennifer Lawrence is the perfect choice to play Katniss.  She embraces Katniss' strengths, her fears and in the end...her heart.

As I mentioned in our video, my only criticism of the film has to do with the fightning scenes.  I think in going for a PG rating, the director Gary Ross, edited them in such a way that you can't tell who's fighting who...and by making the battles for the most part bloodless, it takes away some of the emotion and sense of horror that we'd experience watching teenagers fight to their death.

But I'm sure that 'The Hunger Games' will not disappoint fans of the book as well as those who haven't read it. 

The supporting cast is excellent...Standouts are...Woody Harrelson as the rarely sober Haymitch, the victor of the 50th Hunger Games and now mentor to Katniss and Peeta; Elizabeth Banks (Effie) the Escort/PR handler, Stanley Tucci (Caesar), TV host and probing official interviewer and Wes Bentley (Senecca) the appointed Gamemaker who has the power of life and death over the 24 young Tributes.  

I gave 'The Hunger Games' which opens in theatres Friday, March 23, 2012, 4 out of 5 bagels.  Check out our video to see John's thoughts and find out how many bagels he gave this excellent film.
'The Hunger Games' 'Two Jews On Film' Go To Battle Over This Futuristic Dark Fantasy (Video) 'The Hunger Games' 'Two Jews On Film' Go To Battle Over This Futuristic Dark Fantasy (Video) 'The Hunger Games' 'Two Jews On Film' Go To Battle Over This Futuristic Dark Fantasy (Video) 'The Hunger Games' 'Two Jews On Film' Go To Battle Over This Futuristic Dark Fantasy (Video)

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April 04, 2012
Great review
March 21, 2012
Hi, Joan, I am skimming all reviews until I post my own tomorrow night or Friday. I will be back to comment more once I've posted my own take. Thanks!!
March 24, 2012
Ok, John is twisted...I like it! LOL! I have to admit, the movie was decent, and even good. It just missed a lot of things and it definitely was watered down. I wanted to like it, but the third act really became so...how do you say it? ...it was weak. I gave this 3.5/5 in my review.
March 21, 2012
Nice review. Sounds like ideas from Rollerball or the Running Man but with teenagers. Thank you for letting me know that the violence is toned down because I don't think I could watch teenagers fighting if it was brutal.
More The Hunger Games reviews
review by . March 23, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Decent...But I Liked This Premise Better When It was Called
“The Hunger Games” had been getting a lot of press and ‘hype’ when word had gotten out that Suzanne Collins’ novel (published in 2008) was going to be adapted into the big screen. Director Gary Ross adapts this dystopian world along with screenwriters Suzanne Collins and Billy Ray into an action-drama. I have to admit the book had garnered quite a following, and this film has been heavily anticipated. I have seen several threads about the controversy due to its similarities …
review by . September 16, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
** out of ****    "The Hunger Games" is based on the first book in the best-selling young adult self-titled trilogy of books written by Suzanne Collins. I have never read any of the three - "The Hunger Games", "Catching Fire", and "Mockingjay" - and the film really does me no favors. Based on fan feedback, I will not for one second believe that this adaptation reflects the quality and depth of the novel; because the film falls short in both departments. But as always, I'm here …
review by . March 23, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
The Hunger Games is the first of three books written by Suzanne Collins, the other two being Catching Fire and Mockingjay. With a huge opening weekend predicted there is little doubt that the studios will green light the other two movies to have them made as soon as possible. For those who have not read the book I suggest you do as not only is it a quick read but frankly this movie is made more for fans of the book than it is for someone going in knowing nothing about the series. …
review by . March 23, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
There were few novels as striking and unique as The Hunger Games when it debuted.  When I first read the book a couple of years ago I'd have never thought it would become a phenomenon... much less become a movie.  Not only did I ever think it would become a movie (my first thought was, "How would they do it?") but I certainly didn't think it would become one of the finest films I've seen in some time.  It is a movie that tackles big themes.  Asks big questions.  …
review by . March 21, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
THE HUNGER GAMES Written by Suzanne Collins and Gary Ross Directed by Gary Ross Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth   President Snow: Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.   Having just finished reading the incredibly addictive Suzanne Collins novel, and having fallen completely in love with the heroine, Katniss Everdeen, in the process, I could barely breathe before seeing Gary Ross’s film adaptation of THE HUNGER GAMES. I was downright giddy …
review by . March 24, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         That The Hunger Games is so timely and intelligent is precisely the reason why it’s also so frightening. It depicts a time and place in which the failures of mass society are exploited for the entertainment of the privileged few. In this case, it’s in the form of an annual competition to the death, one that’s captured via hidden cameras and aired for the rest of the world to see. Whatever they call it in this alternate reality, …
review by . April 21, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
      There's something about this movie that makes me like it more than I should. I don't know what... but I know it's there. I've never read the books so when I saw it I had no idea what to expect. Fortunately for me I was pleased with the product and it's like it became one of my guilty pleasure movies.      The Hunger Games strives away from the usual and synthesizes elements that are rarely common in movies like these. The story serves …
About the reviewer
Joan & John Schwartz ()
My husband (creator of the cult classic films FACES OF DEATH) andmyself (actress/screenwriter) are ex New Yorkers, see alot of films and usually disagree. So our friends decided that we need a review … more
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  • The Hunger Games
  • Opened March 23, 2012 | Runtime:2 hr. 22 min.
  • PG-13
    Intense violent thematic material and disturbing images - all involving teens
  • Information for parents: Common Sense Media says Iffy for 13+. Read More
  • Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the 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. Sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen volunteers in her younger sister's place to enter the games, and is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy when she's pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives. 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.
  • Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland
  • -fandango.com
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    Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama

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