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8 Crucial Moments of The Hunger Games
Will the Mockingjay sing
By Robert T. Trate
March 21, 2012
The Hunger Games arrives this week and a lot of pressure is on the film to live up to the book. Like many best selling novels, the film adaptation falls under a particular kind of scrutiny. Those that discovered the book before the film was announced hold their impressions and imaginations up to what can’t be done in the real world. The results can be disastrous for fans or, on occasion, completely rewarding. In the wake of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and yes, even Twilight Hollywood thinks it has found its next big thing. Could “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins be it? Mania has decided on 8 Crucial Moments from Collin’s novel that will make or break Gary Ross’ film.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
Twilighting up The Hunger Games
All one has to do is look at all the crap at a Hot Topic and know The Hunger Games is there next Twilight cash cow. Already the final trailer for Twilight is being paired with the premiere of The Hunger Games. This might comes as shock but the story, plot, and themes have little resemblance to Twilight. Tying it to another bankable property is understandable. Yes, Twihards (Twilight fans) have some muscle behind them. However, their insanity just might be enough to keep other people away.
There is already a Taylor Swift song for the film playing on whatever passes for Music Television these days. We understand the beast of Hollywood and the cross promotions. Rue’s (Amandala Stenberg) Song becomes a crucial plot device to “The Hunger Games”. Not just in this story but the next one, as well. James Newton Howard and T-Bone Burnett really have to step up to give the film something that resonates with you long after it’s over. It has to be more than a song. It has to be an anthem.
The Hunger Games has received a rating of PG-13 by the MPAA, which is understandable as the studio will want to bring in as much money as possible. The Hunger Games itself is a violent act of suppression keeping the conquered Districts of the capitol in check. It is a violent game played out on television to all of the citizens of Panem, signifying its control. To whitewash that may hurt the film. On the other hand, it could open the door to incredible acting possibilities by the film’s stars. One key moment in particular will have to be shown. That moment alone means everything and a turning point for the readers and the characters.
Who? Despite starring roles in both The Bridge Terabithia (2007) and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island Hutcherson isn’t a recognizable name, let alone a face. Terabithia displayed his ability to handle the emotional side to Peeta Mellark. In Journey 1 and 2 he showed his physical side. Sadly, it is Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (2009) that revealed his darker side and cunning. This wasn’t a good thing. A lot rides on Hutcherson in The Hunger Games. After all this isn’t just Katniss’ story. It is his, too.
Lenny Kravitz as Cinna
The Capitol is full of colorful characters (literally) such as Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) and Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci). With an incredible twist in casting one of the 90’s most flamboyant rockers, Lenny Kravitz has been cast as Cinna. However, as Katniss’ stylist, Cinna is the one of the most reserved citizens of the Capitol. Kravitz’s biggest acting role was in Precious (2009). His next acting credit back is for The Rugrats Movie (1998). It is a hefty role and one that carries over to the next book. Can Kravitz pull it off or are we going to be looking at Rock Star trying to act?
Gale and Katniss’ Relationship
There has to be more than lovelorn looks and Twilight moments of wanting between Katniss and Gale (Liam Hemsworth). There has to be an understanding and unspoken love established right and quick. Their relationship is one of the key factors to the story. Slow pans of his dreamy eyes and perfect hair have nothing to do with this kind of story. Hemsworth isn’t going to have a lot of screen time with the leading lady to establish that.
Don’t the Werewolves in Twilight suck? They are quite possibly the worst rendered CGI creatures of all time. Even Jar Jar Binks can hold his head up (and that was 1999) next to these guys. Please, Gary Ross, don’t spoil the film with bottom of the barrel, rendered-in-some-one’s- garage-a week-ago creatures for the arena.
It is very difficult to describe the end of The Hunger Games without ruining it. The best way is to relate it to another movie. In this case I’ll use genre favorite, The Last Starfighter. Alex Rogan saves the day by defeating Xur in an impossible space battle. When it’s all over, Alex returns to Rylos and is greeted with a victory parade. He then has to go home and see his family telling them his decision to either stay on Earth or return to Rylos. This is a lot to take in. There was no sequel, but clearly the filmmakers wanted to set one up. For The Hunger Games there is a second story, “Catching Fire”. Where and when Gary Ross decides to end the film will be interesting. Will it be exactly like the novel or will it cut it in the hopes that the second film is green lighted?
Robert Trate writes three weekly columns for Mania: the DVD Shopping Bag, the Toy Maniac, and The Geek Life. Follow Robert on Twitter for his for Geek ramblings, Cosplay photos and film criticisms.