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Carl the Critic: Reviews "The Hunger Games" [Caution: May Contain Plot Spoilers]

Updated on April 11, 2012

"The Hunger Games"


"The Hunger Games" Trailer


I've been super busy with school to watch a movie let alone review one that I almost lost hope that I would never be able to review again. That is until last Saturday when I actually had the opportunity to finally see "The Hunger Games".

From what I understand about "The Hunger Games" it is a well written novel by Suzanne Collins that deal with issues of feminism, politics, reality T.V., and kids killing kids. I haven't read the novels myself you see, but my friends certainly had, and I think I understand the basic story.


In a post-apocalyptic future, America has been divided into 12 ghettos- I mean "districts", that are being punished for rebelling against the capital city of "Who-the-hell-cares city" because... who the hell cares. As a result of the rebellion children from each district, between the ages of 12-18, must submit their names into a drawing to be picked to represent their district at this years Hunger Games, an event that I can best describe as "American Idol" meets "The Most Dangerous Game". One boy and one girl must be picked from each district, and once in the Hunger Games the objective is to not die, and kill the other kids.

We follow the life of Katniss Everdeen, a girl who was named after some sort of vaginal disease. "Kactus" has a little sister, Primrose, who just turned 12 and is scared that her name is going to get picked at "the reaping". "Katnest" assures her little sister that her name will not be picked, and five minutes later... we watch some propaganda video, and THEN Primrose's name is picked to represent at this years Hunger Games. "Katchest" then volunteers as "tribute" or the players of "The Hunger Games". With Katniss is a boy named Peeta Mellark, who was probably a bastard child considering that his parents gave him such a ridiculous name. Peeta and "Katmess" are then taken to the capital and meet their mentor Tallahassee... Oh oops I mean Hatmitch Abernathy, who was once a winner of the Hunger Games. From here Katniss and Peeta embark on a terrifying journey that might cost them their lives.


Now I understand that many critics have been complaining that the hand-held camera work on this film was just awful, and I admit that it was very distracting, but if your are going to make a film about kids killing kids, it only makes sense that the camera is constantly jerking so that we don't see the actual killings. In addition to that, it wasn't like the camera was handheld the entire time like say "Insidious", however the cinematography was still pretty bad in this film. The editing was very weird, one instant "Kactus" was walking from left to right but in the next cut she was walking from right to left, then the next cut she was climbing a tree, then the next shot there was Stanley Tucci as a representation of how celebrities work... wait where was I going with this again?... Ah yeah, so at times the editing was kind of crazy.

Other critics feel that the film feels a little too long, and I can agree with that, mostly because for me there was a lot of drama. Every few minutes there was either the reveal of something that I knew was going to happen, or someone was on the brink of death, or the film's "star-crossed lovers" were about to kill themselves, or Rue dies, or Wes Bentley sends his CGI dog-pigs-lion-things after Katniss and Peeta and it all feels very cluttered. Oh and before I forget Katniss has a boyfriend named Gail Hawthorne and she never tells this to Peeta even though she knows that he really likes her, which doesn't seem fair to either boy and it's frustrating because if you have never read the books, you might begin to wonder "what is the point of Gail in this movie? He only shows up like 5-6 times and has very few speaking lines, and he doesn't really do anything in the film." All of this is true, but assuming you HAVE read the books you know this builds up to more drama in the future films where Katniss has to choose between- you don't care any more do you? I didn't think so.

Any way, other than that which I have just complained about, I love "The Hunger Games", it has great atmosphere, acting, music, and a great use of color. I found the film to be very interesting, memorable, and definitely worth my time.


So in conclusion, check it out and see what you think. I can't guarantee you will love the film but it's worth the two hours and twenty two minutes of your time. I give "The Hunger Games" an 9.1 out of 10

What about you?

If you've seen "The Hunger Games" what did you think?

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    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 5 years ago

      LOL I hope you enjoy it. It is a good movie but like you said it's not as good as the book. :)

    • pedrn44 profile image

      Sandi 5 years ago from Greenfield, Wisconsin

      My son is reading the books now and is making me want to read them as well. I find that the books are always better than the movies but you have made me want to see the movie with this critique and I hope I'm not disappointed. Thanks, Carl:) Voted up!

    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 5 years ago

      Okay Rob, well thank you for your honesty, and it's a shame that you wont see it. It is still a great film, but I understand. Thanks for the comment and votes :)

    • Robwrite profile image

      Rob 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      Hi Carl; I really can't stand it when action films use that hand-held "shaky cam" thing. It really ruins the film for me when I can't get a good look at what's going on. so, I probably won't be seeimg this film. But thanks for the review, it was helpful.


    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 5 years ago

      @Amaya31: Yeah that does tend to happen, but it was still enjoyable even if you didn't read the book. Thanks for your comment Amaya31, I can't wait either :)

      @Lesleysherwood: I'm not a fan of "Cloverfield" but if you liked the camera work in that you'll LOVE the camera work in "The Hunger Games". If you do get around to it, I highly recommend checking it out. Thanks for stopping by, commenting, and voting :)

      @Garlonuss: Thanks for the comment man, and I really like your review of "The Hunger Games" as well :)

    • Garlonuss profile image

      Garlonuss 5 years ago from Saratoga Springs, Utah

      Hey, good review man. I agree that the shaky camera serves a good purpose here. The kid-on-kid violence is harsh enough in concept without giving us clear shots of it all. I only think they end up shaking a bit too much in some scenes where it becomes more distraction than anything else. Otherwise, (and aside from my complaint that some characters could definitely be developed more strongly) a great movie.

    • profile image

      Lesleysherwood 5 years ago

      Carl, from reading your review I have a desire to watch this movie, especially with your rating as I trust your judgement. Whether I get around to it.....mmm, I lack time, always.

      I don't like it when I can feel the camera crew and acting. I like to get lost and forget I'm watching a film and I really don't like hand held camcorders... But in saying that I'm still curious and did enjoy the film called Cloverfield, it stayed in my head for a week which in my opinion it has then achieved its goal!

      I Vote well and truly UP Carl

    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 5 years ago

      @krsharp05: I'm glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for the comment :)Hope you enjoy the books.

      @John Sarkis: Hey John,

      Well you know what you like and that's okay. You can always wait for it to come out on Netflix or some rent-able format just in case you change your mind. It's a film primarily directed at teenagers, but I felt that it was intelligent enough to be enjoyed by anybody who would give it a chance. I appreciate your honesty and will strongly consider looking into "Casa de mi Padre" when I can. Thanks for your comment and recommendation :)

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Great hub Carl!

      I didn't watch this film. I don't think I'd like this movie, because, I usually like parody and comedy to be fused into the narrative.

      You should do a review of "Casa de mi Padre" it's so funny - I was couldn't stop laughing throughout the film.

      Take care - voted up


    • krsharp05 profile image

      Kristi Sharp 5 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      I was sure the movie was going to be just "good" because my preteen children have read the books and loved them and I'm not a preteen book lover. However, the movie was fantastic. I would recommend it to anyone. I'm now going back and reading the books!

    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 5 years ago

      @THEHuG5: Actually according to a friend the characters from District 12 are named after flowers, but I'm not entirely sure about that. The relationships were indeed better developed in the books from what I understand, especially between Katniss and Rue, which made Rue's death kind of akward, because Katniss and Rue had really only known each other for one day and Katniss was just too sad for someone that she barely knew. In the books however it seemed clearer as to why, because Rue was the same age as Primrose, and therefore Katniss saw Rue like a sister, and that made sense as to why she acted the way she did in the film, but the film doesn't explain that so it felt a little strange for that scene. Same is said about Peeta and Katniss, but again I think they aren't really bf and gf, for Peeta they are "real" but for Katniss she's still bf's (or at least close friends with) Gail. Thanks so much for your kind words, votes, and support. It really is great to hear from you :)

      @Sunshine625: I was at first until I learned more about it. I never read the books either (I'm sure they're better than the film) but one of these days I'll get the audiobook on iTunes or something. Thanks again :)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I know there's more to it, but she lost me at the kids part. One day.

    • THEHuG5 profile image

      THEHuG5 5 years ago

      "...event that I can best describe as "American Idol" meets "The Most Dangerous Game"." Really good comparison Carl it reminded me a bit of American too. I thought that the characters names were silly but I just assumed that they just give kids weird names in the future. Heck, celebrities do it now so who knows...

      The film wasn't perfect and they're rarely as good as the books they're based on but I thought the film used its time wisely. The editing was kind of weird though like you said and the relationship between Peeta and Katniss seemed kind of random. It was like "I guess you're okay, lets be bf and gf now." They should have developed that relationship more and maybe waited until the next movie for them to "hook up."

      It always amazes me how well written your reviews are. Very funny and an enjoyable read overall. Glad you wrote this review I've been waiting to hear your take on it. Voting all the way up and shared :)

    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 5 years ago

      It's actually more than just kids killing kids. It's about a world where the government is oppressing the people by forcing kids to kill each other and going a step further. Obviously it would not be the success it is today if it was just about kids killing kids. Definitely give it a try. Thanks for stopping by :)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I haven't seen the movie or read the books. My daughter has been trying to get me to read them for a few months. It's just something about kids killing kids that just doesn't do it for me. My daughter argues that fact. It took me over a year to read the Twilight series, maybe one day I'll get around to it. I enjoyed your review and I'm glad to see you back in action again!:)