The Hunger Games (BLU-RAY)

The Hunger Games

On Blu-Ray: 
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Running Time: 
2 Hours, 22 Minutes
Bonus Features

Game Maker: Suzanne Collins and the Hunger Games Phenomenon, Preparing for The Games: A Director’s Process (Blu-ray Exclusive), Propaganda Film, and more

North America is not what it used to be, where once many thrived, now there is the rich and powerful that rule in the Capitol of the Nation of Panem and the poor and starving that live in the 12 districts. When the districts formed an uprising against the Capitol and lost, their punishment was being forced to play in the Hunger Games. An annual game that pits a boy and girl between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district against each other in a battle to the death where only one can live. Whoever that one is in the end will become rich and famous for surviving the games. When 12 year old Primrose Everdeen (Willow Shields) is chosen during her first Reaping, her older sister Katniss (played by Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take her place to fight in the 74th Annual Hunger Games where she will be forced to kill 23 other teens, including the boy from her own district that helped her and her family.

I now get the appeal of the Hunger Games and why so many people enjoy this movie. It's a good underdog movie with a lot of fighting, death, romance, heartache, and best of all, rooting against the system. Before watching it I couldn't quite understand the reason why people where liking it so much because the trailers didn't look too spectacular. As one who didn't read the book all I saw in the trailers was a girl who was running around a lot with a bow and arrow while some of my friends who read the book was seeing footage of a character they already knew and liked come to life. So that's why I didn't go to the theater to watch it but now that I have watched it on Blu Ray I realize that I should have.

This movie has some good action and even some decent acting but there are a few blotches on the surface that if fixed would have helped the movie. One is the responses of the people in the outlying districts when their children are being picked to go fight to the death. Maybe they are used to it considering this is the 74th set of games but I'm used to waking up early to have 13 hour work days, I don't like them, I will complain about them at times, but these characters are being sent to their potential deaths. Where is the anger, the fear, the sadness, and uncontrollable grief that a parent would go through when their child is going knowingly to a brutal death at the hands of another child on a television show? I just think there would have been more emotions being shown, even if they couldn’t act out on those emotions, where was the crying, the screaming, the shouts of no? I also didn't get why the age range of 12 to 18 year olds. I get the older end, especially for 18 year olds because it fits with the draft signing, but the younger ones was odd to have in there. It's almost as if the age of the younger kids where put there just to illicit more anger towards the people of the Capitol.

Jennifer Lawrence does an excellent job in portraying her character Katniss as someone who is tough yet is still scared out of her mind with what's happening to her but she was carrying a movie that seemed to be more focused on the action scenes rather than the moral issues. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the action scenes, they were shot well, they got me emotionally attached to the characters, even the ones that where being killed off in seconds, but the ball was dropped in having some quality dialog on what this society is doing. When the movie started and they where choosing the kids for the games I didn't see anyone protesting it, maybe a parent who lost their child or both in the previous games lashing out because of it, but instead all I got was little Primrose crying over her sister taking her place. The Hunger Games is a good movie, has good action in, it's able to get the viewer to root for the underdog while not liking the people of Panem, and it has some decent acting, but it got a little long and drawn out in some sections and lost the moral story of how brutal this society is.

Like the actual plot of the movie, it has good aspects while having a minor bad one. In this case the good was how the movie looked on my HDTV with it's beautiful colors, the sharpness of the picture. There was so much detail being shown in the quality of this Blu Ray, in some cases a little too much detail where I could easily see how much make up was being used on Elizabeth Banks. Boosting the good side some more was the audio levels, which on my set where good but I imagine if I had surround sound I would have enjoyed the experience a lot more. Though what I liked the most about this Blu Ray was the amount of bonus features that are included on the second disc. This is what bonus features should be, not a trailer, not just previews of other movies, that belongs to movies that where made 30 years ago, movies made in the last 15 years should all come with bonus features like this. Now for the aspect I didn't like, there was no DVD included with the set. Nothing to really do with the quality of the Blu Ray itself but it's always nice getting that DVD along with the Blu Ray for the times that I take my laptop with me and I want to watch the movie.

Lee Roberts
Review by Lee Roberts
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