The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

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Murdoch
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:59 pm
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The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#1 Post by Murdoch » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:42 am

So is the Hunger Games just Battle Royale with white people?

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Cold Bishop
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Re: The Films of 2012

#2 Post by Cold Bishop » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:47 pm

Murdoch wrote:So is the Hunger Games just Battle Royale with white people?
You know what? I have to admit the movie looks a lot better than I was expecting. Gary Ross certainly seems to be giving it a much better treatment than the trendy tiger-beat one you'd expect from Hollywood (and Lionsgate). Frankly, I'm okay if this turns out be Hollywood's next big franchise. It looks to have a grasp of nuts-and-bolts cinematic storytelling, it's not drowned in CGI, and it doesn't have the puritanical creepiness of Twilight.

I still don't know if I'll see the damned thing, however. :D

Calvin
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Re: The Films of 2012

#3 Post by Calvin » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:46 am

The Hunger Games may appear to be a Battle Royale rip-off on the surface but there's a lot more to it than that (at least, if it's a decent adaptation of the books). It's about revolution, power and downfall more than kids killing each other. That said, I really didn't like Battle Royale.

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colinr0380
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Re: The Films of 2012

#4 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:00 am

Oh, so it is like Battle Royale II then? (You've got to love the audacious, ideologically jaw-dropping Afghanistan set coda of that one!)

Film4 in the UK is running a small season of Hunger Game-themed films at the moment to coincide with its theatrical release including The Running Man, Battle Royale and the extremely underrated Series 7: The Contenders.

Calvin
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Re: The Films of 2012

#5 Post by Calvin » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:16 am

Can't say that I've seen Battle Royale II. It's a shame that Film4 aren't screening The Tenth Victim, I've wanted to see that one for awhile.

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colinr0380
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Re: The Films of 2012

#6 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:38 am

I agree - that would be a great one (and The Most Dangerous Game too!)

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warren oates
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Re: The Films of 2012

#7 Post by warren oates » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:43 am

Gotta say I agree with Colinr0380 about Series 7, which is extremely underrated in part because of its status in America as an orphan of USA Films. Strangely enough IMDb indicates that the Japanese title is actually not Series 7: The Contenders but Series 7: The Battle Royale.

And what about Figures In A Landscape?

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Jean-Luc Garbo
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Re: The Films of 2012

#8 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:20 pm

colinr0380 wrote:Film4 in the UK is running a small season of Hunger Game-themed films at the moment to coincide with its theatrical release including The Running Man, Battle Royale and the extremely underrated Series 7: The Contenders.
Thank you for the reminder about Series 7. I saw it years ago and really loved it. I still remember the ending. I keep hoping that Hunger Games will be an update of sorts of Punishment Park, but I've read the first book so I'm not holding my breath.

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The Fanciful Norwegian
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Re: The Films of 2012

#9 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:44 am

Garbo already mentioned Punishment Park, but another even more direct predecessor is Watkins' The Gladiators, sadly (but unsurprisingly) absent from the Film4 series. Luckily it has a very good R1 release from Project X.

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zedz
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Re: The Films of 2012

#10 Post by zedz » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:03 pm

colinr0380 wrote:Oh, so it is like Battle Royale II then? (You've got to love the audacious, ideologically jaw-dropping Afghanistan set coda of that one!)

Film4 in the UK is running a small season of Hunger Game-themed films at the moment to coincide with its theatrical release including The Running Man, Battle Royale and the extremely underrated Series 7: The Contenders.
Have they really overlooked Peter Watkins' The Gladiators? Or is its exclusion just another media monoform conspiracy?

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colinr0380
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Re: The Films of 2012

#11 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:04 pm

The last Peter Watkins film I can recall being shown on UK television was Culloden back in 1996 on BBC2 (and that I think was only because it was the 250th anniversary of the Battle of Culloden!)

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MichaelB
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Re: The Films of 2012

#12 Post by MichaelB » Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:37 pm

colinr0380 wrote:The last Peter Watkins film I can recall being shown on UK television was Culloden back in 1996 on BBC2 (and that I think was only because it was the 250th anniversary of the Battle of Culloden!)
BBC4 last showed Culloden in September 2009, complete with a making-of documentary. I know BBC4 isn't what we used to call terrestrial television, but surely pretty much everyone in the UK could receive it by then?

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colinr0380
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Re: The Films of 2012

#13 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:57 pm

Really? That's very good news, but sadly I must have missed it (it may have been because we only had one main family television converted to digital with a Sky box at that time at a 'test' of digital - you couldn't get Freeview through set top boxes in Derbyshire until after the analogue signal was switched off, in November 2009, with the signal then getting boosted. It was something to do with our area signal being very weak due to being provided through a very minor sub-transmitter (we were previously never able to get Channel 5 on analogue, for example, so it has always been a rather problematic area!). So if it was shown at primetime I wouldn't have been able to override my parents wishes in order to see it on the 'main' television!).

What was the making-of documentary like?

Calvin
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Re: The Films of 2012

#14 Post by Calvin » Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:15 am

I was pleasantly surprised by The Hunger Games last night. It's certainly infinitely superior to the other "tween" adaptations we've been inundated with the past few years (think the mediocre Harry Potter, the plain bad Twilight) but certainly, other than the fact they're aiming at the same audience, there is no relation whatsoever. I thought it was pretty great, with any faults that are present vastly more apparent in the book - other than the CGI which I thought was shockingly primitive in 2012.

eerik
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Re: The Films of 2012

#15 Post by eerik » Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:10 pm

I, on the other hand, disliked The Hunger Games quite a lot. It lacked of needed backstory, characters, emotions. Everything was built on purely typical clichés.

And was I supposed to believe that "the games" were the biggest event of the year when
SpoilerShow
half of the children got killed within the first five minutes or so and the rest just sit on a tree or hide in a gave until they eat poisoned berries or get killed by silly CGI monsters?

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Jean-Luc Garbo
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Re: The Films of 2012

#16 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:24 pm

The handheld cinematography didn't help, either. Was there a focus puller on this production? Jennifer Lawrence was alright, but somehow Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks ended up being much more interesting. The pacing and focus also could have been much better if they'd cut a reel or two.

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knives
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Re: The Films of 2012

#17 Post by knives » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:26 pm

I think you ended up answering your own observation with the names.

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Jean-Luc Garbo
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Re: The Films of 2012

#18 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:31 pm

Ha, I don't normally like them so I was rather surprised. Especially as the characters in the book never appealed to me whereas Katniss did.

Calvin
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#19 Post by Calvin » Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:59 am

I thought that the handheld cinematography conveyed the experience as you would see it as a contestant.

wattsup32
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#20 Post by wattsup32 » Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:21 am

My theatre was filled with very young girls. When the "Breaking Dawn, Part II" trailer came on, they booed. It was great! I mean, why should a young woman want to be Bella, when she can want to be Katniss instead?

But, to the point: The movie was far more cinematic than I expected it to be. There were solid choices made throughout and they begin early. The opening sequence begins with an interview of the gamemaker. The set and the wardrobe immerse the audience in the world right away, especially as that scene transitions to Katniss's house where the pallet and style is starkly contrasted in an intentionally jarring edit. The edit is pretty brilliant because the interview ends with:
SpoilerShow
a question asked of the gamemaker about what his trademark is. Then, the scene abruptly cuts to Katniss's district which is visually shocking because of how different it looks than the Capitol. But, the jump is punctuated an absolutely piercing and unsettling scream. So, we get an answer to the question about the gamemaker's trademark (terror) and are immediately visually and emotionally a part of the Katniss's district.
The handheld camera work is used to convey varying states of emotional and political stability. In a very early scenes we get two-shots of Katniss and her little sister where the frames composed to emphasize the sister are are much shakier, but the frames that emphasize Katniss are far more stable handheld work.

The score is used very well, too. Early on, it is used almost exclusively to transition scenes. So, much of the film is unscored (at least early). That choice adds a great deal of authentic emotion to the story. This is especially brilliant in the scene where:
SpoilerShow
Katniss volunteers to take her sister's place.
This scene could have easily been overwrought and bilked of any actual depth, but because it was unscored it was very forceful.

People who have read the books will, no doubt, take issue with how some of it played out. But, I thought it worked much better for me as a movie than as a book (which surprised me as much as I was surprised to like the books in the first place).


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matrixschmatrix
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#22 Post by matrixschmatrix » Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:40 pm

Jean-Luc Garbo wrote:Really, internet racists?
The best way to keep racism alive is to talk about racism.
Hahaha, wow, this is what I've been accusing people of thinking for years, never thought I'd see someone cop to that view

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knives
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#23 Post by knives » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:43 pm

So anybody else think that the biggest problem with the film is the main character who is so passive throughout in regards to the game (I can only think of two instances where she took an active role in the story) and never does any killing that reflects the horrors of the game?

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#24 Post by matrixschmatrix » Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:16 pm

Yeah, I've brought that up elsewhere, that it seems somewhat of a cheat to set up a game whose point seems to be how cruel it is to force innocents to murder one another and then a.) put in characters who are not innocent (sure, they're children, but evidently they're baaaad children) and b.) never put the lead in a place where she is forced to kill anyone who doesn't 'deserve it' in one way or another.

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knives
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#25 Post by knives » Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:22 pm

To be fair on point A there is really only four 'bad' children and they're given a fairly reasonable explanation for their psychosis. It also seems like at the last minute that they were trying to humanize the boy though it is clearly too little too late. I get the feeling that I would have liked the film immensely more if it had ended with that last scene between Lawrence and Kravitz.

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