This past weekend the first movie in the series came out and of course we bought tickets the day they went on sale a month ago. I worked very hard to keep my expectations in check (no one wanted another Breaking Dawn fiasco) but I couldn't help being uber-excited all day Friday. Thursday night I raced over to Marissa's house and made myself a new ultra-nerd shirt to wear. Honestly I looked like the Hunger Games marketing team mated with a DIYer and their child puked all over me.
"My Patronus is a Mockingjay" shirt, Katniss side braid, Mockingjay necklace, Hunger Games Electrify nail polish by China Glaze, and my "I shop the Hob" bag.
At the theater they had costumes from the movie.
Our group afterwards:
And of course, I couldn't resist the super cute necklace they were selling.
So my review is going to be in three parts. SPOILERS GET MORE IN DEPTH THE FURTHER YOU READ SO BEWARE. I didn't watch any trailers because I like to go into movies with a clear mind. If you'd prefer to know nothing about it stop reading.
For those who haven't read the book or seen the movie.
Go read the dang books!! They are amazing. Obviously the movie was not as good as the book but I must say they did a really good job of capturing the spirit of the book and the personalities/emotions of the main characters. Unlike the Twilight movies they found actors who could convey emotions. There was a ton of action, a little romance, and a handful of comedy. I really enjoyed the movie. My friend Sarah who has not read the books LOVE it and picked up on some of the more subtle ideas that I thought would have been hard to grasp if you hadn't read the books first.
For those who have read the books but haven't seen the movie.
Go in with LOW expectations. Let's all be honest with ourselves 99.99% of the time a movie is never as good as a book. It just can't be. With time limitations, the inability to be inside a character's head, and the limitations of special effects books will almost always win. With that said this movie stayed true to the message, theme, feel, direction, everything of the books. Yes there were changes, yes there were things left out, but overall it was wonderful.
For those who have read the book and seen the movie or don't care about spoilers.
A few things I didn't like. The opening scene was completely made up. I HATED it while watching the movie but have come to terms that it was an acceptable way to introduce the Hanging Tree song. I was and still am really annoyed that they completely ignore the food issue. "District 12 where you can starve to death in safety." Yet on the train to the Capitol she completely ignores the food. I thought that was an important part of the story that was completely left out and could have easily been added with very little time taken up. I didn't expect a metal cornucopia and I was sad but understood why they didn't do the mutts' eyes. I feel like there was something else that really bugged me but I can't remember now.
What I did like. I really enjoyed the behind the scenes with the gamemakers and with the conversations with Snow. The actors were excellent, but we needed more Cinna. I totally cried at the Reaping and when Rue died. I appreciated that they didn't make it as gory as they could have but still conveyed all that violence and devastation. Stanley Tucci was PHENOMENAL as Caesar!!! I thought the end scene between Snow and Katniss where they discuss the pin was great, I can't remember if that was in the book or not, but it really started to bring the Mockingjay into focus. There was as good balance of action, character development and plot. And of course the most important to me, it stayed true to the books.
What other's hated but I didn't mind. How the pin came into the story. Everyone who I talked to who didn't love the movie was put off by the way they introduced the Mockingjay pin. In my opinion it wasn't necessary to introduce a new character just to give her the pin. But my sister and friends were annoyed that she was given the pin by a vendor in the Hob instead of just already having it. They were also annoyed that Rue wasn't developed more, but I would almost argue this as people who didn't read the book and watched the movie still felt affection for her just maybe not as strong. Everyone will forever compare YA books/movies to the Harry Potter series which I think will never be a fair comparison but that's a topic for another time.