Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Hunger Games - May the odds be ever in your favor.

Rated PG-13 for intense violent thematic material and disturbing images - all involving teens


Starring:  Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth

I remember first seeing The Hunger Games series floating around the book reviewing blogs and most of the reviews were great.  But, the cover and back blurb didn't really catch my attention, so I put them off.

That is until Christmas of 2010 rolled around.  I thought my eleven-year-old daughter might enjoy the books, so I ordered them up for a Christmas gift.

Curiosity got the better of me and I thought I'd just skim the first book to make sure it was appropriate for an eleven-year-old.  I had all three books read within a few days.  I've been wanting to read the series again, but time just hasn't permitted.

I thought it only fair to the readers of this review that I come clean about thoroughly enjoying the books and actually counting the days until the movie release.  This, I believe, colors my opinion.

The main story is about a future where the U.S. has fallen on very hard times and the states no longer exist.  Instead of states we now have a Capitol and twelve districts.  Katniss Everdeen, our heroine, hails from district twelve.

The Capitol, as a way to keep the districts under control, hosts The Hunger Games every year. The Hunger Games are a brutal, fight to the death competition in which 24 tributes strive to be the last one alive. As if the games weren't horrendous enough, the competitors are chosen from the district's children between the ages of twelve and eighteen.

When Primrose, Katniss's twelve-year-old sister, is chosen, Katniss does the only thing she can do to protect her.  She volunteers as district twelve's female tribute.

 After watching several movies based on books over the years I have decided the only way to enjoy a movie made from a book is to watch the movie as if the book did not exist.

I will admit, I wasn't able to do that with this movie because I didn't need to.  However, I may have taken something entirely different away with me from the movie had I not read the books first.

Of course there is a lot left out and a few changes that were made, but I didn't feel that any of that hurt the overall story.  I knew what had happened behind the scenes (because I'd read the books) but I think the movie could be just as enjoyable if you hadn't read the books.

The rating, PG-13, is quite appropriate as there is quite a lot of violence.  The story, after all, is about teenagers being forced to compete to the death. I brought my eleven-year-old daughter to this one and would allow her to watch it again, and again.

This is one I would definitely recommend for older family members. 

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