I’m not going to name any names – let’s just say that I have been disappointed in the past by movies based on books I really enjoyed. I’m not saying it’s an easy job to turn a beloved book into an equally awesome movie - I’m sure that it is an unimaginably difficult task that I am in no way qualified to comment on. But what can I say? My emotional connection to certain books makes me feel quite justified in judging the movies.
Plus, it’s just fun to talk about movies you’re really excited to see. What else have we got to do for the next 21 days? (Again, not that I’m counting!)
Here are my preliminary thoughts on the movie, based purely on the promotional materials I have seen. Please feel free to argue with me, agree with me, applaud my brilliance or call me out for being silly. In fact, to encourage you to do just that, I will be giving away a copy of The Hunger Games: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion to the author of my favorite comment left on this post.
To win: leave a comment below, along with your email (or some other way of getting in touch with you, in case you win!), telling me why you agree/disagree with something in this post. The comment that strikes me as the most awesome (for whatever reason) will win the Movie Companion! (BTW, I’m flipping through it now and it’s pretty dang cool – just saying). The contest will end this Sunday, March 4, at 10pm EST and the winner will be announced on my personal blog on Monday, March 5. (Click HERE to get to my blog)
Ok, so my thoughts on the movie:
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss – I have not seen Winter’s Bone or X-Men: First Class, so I don’t really know much about her as an actress. But she definitely seems to look the part, doesn’t she? And, according to the Movie Companion, Suzanne Collins apparently sat in on her audition and gave her the thumb’s up, so that’s got to be a good sign!
Gale and Peeta - When I first saw this picture, I assumed that the person who wrote the caption got the two guys mixed up – surely he/she meant to say that the blonde guy (Josh Hutcherson) would be playing “Gale” and the brunette (Liam Hemsworth) would be playing “Peeta”? That was how I saw them in my head – in fact, Josh Hutcherson is the spitting image of the “Gale” from my imagination (literally down to the bone structure). I have no idea why this is – my head is a weird place. (By the way, I know that at least one other Indelible Author shares my opinion on this – so I’m not the only weird one!) This perceived reversal really threw me at first, but I’ve gotten used to it now and I am fairly confident that I will not spend the entire movie wondering how in the world Gale ended up in the arena instead of Peeta.
Lenny Kravitz as Cinna – My initial thought here was, “What? Cinna doesn’t sing.” But this photo makes it pretty clear that he and Jennifer Lawrence nailed the emotional connection between Cinna and Katniss (which was one of my favorite parts of the book), so I am now fully Team Kravitz.
Amanda Stenberg as Rue – First of all, how cute is this little girl? Second, I was surprised that some people were shocked when Rue was “revealed” to be black (see HERE, for a discussion of race and The Hunger Games). I pictured Rue as black when I read the book, although I do have to admit that I sometimes pictured her and Prim interchangeably. For me, they were essentially the same character, representing the innocence that other characters went to great (and inevitably futile) lengths to protect.
Donald Sutherland as President Snow – I’m pretty sure I was actually picturing Donald Sutherland in this role while I was reading the book, so I’m very happy with this choice. No one can play elegantly crazy like this man!
Woody Harrelson as Haymitch – The Haymitch in my head was older and fatter than Harrelson, but I’ll bet he has the wit to pull this off. I enjoyed his relationship with Katniss in the book and how they grew to really understand one another, so I’m looking forward to seeing how that is translated onto screen.
The Wacky Capital Fashions – If the awesomely crass outfit of Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) in this photo is any indication of what is to come, I can’t wait to see more of these.
The Look of District 12 – District 12 was not a nice place inside of my head, but I was still surprised by the stark images of the central square in the latest trailer. The District 12 in my mind's eye was a bit wilder and dirtier, with everything sort of sprinkled with coal dust. In the movie, District 12 appears more reminiscent of a concentration camp (particularly with the clothing worn by the residents). But I think I actually like this change – it’s more uncomfortable than the generous images in my head, and thus more powerful.
(Sorry I don't have an image for this one, but you can watch the latest trailer HERE)
Anyway, those are my thoughts! Few books have captured my imagination lately the way that Hunger Games did, so I am really looking forward to being captivated all over again by the movie. What about you? Do you agree or disagree with anything I’ve said here? Did I miss anything? Don’t forget to leave your comment for a chance to win a copy of The Official Illustrated Movie Companion! Cheers!