8 Crucial Moments of The Hunger Games - Mania.com

Hunger Games

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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. 


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. 

The Music


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 Violence


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. 

Josh Hutcherson


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. 

The Creatures


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. 

The End


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.



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vitieddie 3/21/2012 2:34:39 AM

I decided to just skim the paragraphs ... want to reserve judgement til I see the movie ... hope its much better than Twilight.

jedibanner 3/21/2012 5:51:51 AM

the fear of the ''tween'' aspect of this movie is almost enough for me to not see this.

And it's Mania's fault for bringing the similarities to the movie ''Battle Royale'' Vs THG because BR had reality, no tween aspect, lots of violence and less hollywood FX in the mix.

Sure the stories aren't exactly the same but the premise is.

And now I aim not sure i want to see this kid's movie...not sure at all.

ElBaz13 3/21/2012 5:53:06 AM

I'm currently in the middle of book 2. I could see Gary Ross cut the movie at the same point of the ending of the first book. I don't see why he would start taking stuff from book 2.

Based on the fact they are best sellers, I think the studio knew they would make more than 1 movie. I believe the second film is already green lighted based on the advanced ticket sales.


ElBaz13 3/21/2012 6:14:30 AM


Don't discriminate the movie/franchise because articles like this compare it to the Twilight franchise. I wouldn't call this a "kids" movie. Sure it has some "teen" issues but the premise is still dark. The idea of teens fighting in an arena to death is not kid friendly. Some of the deaths in the book are brutal and can be covered in a PG 13 rated movie. My 9 year old said she wanted to see this movie but we will not take her because of this.

The only thing that's 'Twilighty" in this series is the love triangle. Otherwise you have a good, simple story that has elements of classic sci-fi like Running Man, Logan's Run, Soylent Green and Death Race 2000.

I would also take the trio of actors over the crappy Twilight ones any day. Jennifer Lawrence is great. She no doubt got this role because of her Oscar nom for Winter's Bone (Katniss is very much like her character in that movie). Josh Hutcherson is getting better and a step above Rob Pat or Taylor what's his name.

The Taylor Swift thing is kind of annoying though. Can't stand her.


Wiseguy 3/21/2012 6:36:33 AM

All I know is that there were a bunch of tweens, mostly girls crying and hollering over the stars yesterday in Manhattan. The line was more than 1 block. I quickly took evasive action and got the heck out of the area. All these girls crying really makes skeptical and start believing all the Twilight comparisons.

Not to mention a couple of reviews which seem to confirm that.

I'll more than likely see it but it won't be opening weekend

monkeyfoot 3/21/2012 8:37:53 AM

I have no current plans to see this in the theaters. I haven't read the books and only know the story from what people I know have told me or from the media. It looks good but the tween fears kind of give me apprehension. I still haven't seen a Twilight movie.

Maybe I'll see it later on but not opening weekend. I'm saving my squealing like a schoolgirl geekiness for The Avengers.

shac2846 3/21/2012 8:52:48 AM

 Even if the movie played up the teen angle which I doubt. Right now Hunger Games is sitting at 90 percent of RT with just over 70 reviews in. The highest any Twilight movie ever got was 49 percent. So it seems IMO that even if it were a "tween" movie it is probably a good movie none the less. 

jedibanner 3/21/2012 11:21:10 AM

There is no doubt that this is not 100% targeted for the twilight fans, I agree to that.

The teen aspect of the movie does create an appeal sense to the teenagers in love put in situation that shapes them into adults.

MY only concern is that, after seeing Battle Royale, I can't seem to shake the comparason to HG and it just seems to me that this HG is more made for teenagers and less for adult.

It has a sense of a Disney special but rated PG-13 which shows a bit of violence but more angst and drama then reallity and blood.

I'm sure there will be violence and serious drama but nowhere near what battle Royale has projected (again, this your fault Mania).

Now I just learned Mrs. Jedibanner wants to see this....I might be able to say more once it's done.

gauleyboy420 3/21/2012 1:28:03 PM

For all of you who REFUSE to quit comparing this to twilight without ANY knowledge of HG it's your loss if you don't A. read the books, and B. see the movie (I hope it's good)

It's not twilight...

I just watched Battle Royale last night, and it's not BR either... I think it's better. BR wasn't "realistic" as some people claim. It was good and while there were a few similarities the differences are abound. Especially the relationships between the tributes, and the entire premise of the games in the first book, and the plot in the trilogy as a whole.

Again, if you're too manly to watch what is incorrectly labeled a Teen Girl story, just because of a strong female lead, it's your loss.

akiraakobus 3/21/2012 3:18:37 PM

Well I usually don't care to much about critic reviews, but the movie has like a 90% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which means yeah it is a good movie.  Also with $100 million budget the film is basically money in the bag due to its popularity alone, heck ticket sales online have supposidley been close to Harry Potter numbers.  As for a sequel, I read online one is supposed to start filming later this year and will probably come out next Summer or Winter.  So yeah since Harry Potter is over and Twilight will be soon, this is going to be the new Epic Book-to-Film craze for the next few years a least.

Also to the writer of the article, there is nothing wrong with Hot Topic, they have some pretty cool stuff, my only complaint is they don't carry that much Anime stuff anymore, but then again nobody does as Cheap Fans, Illegal Downloads, and The Douche Bags who run Adult Swim basically helped kill the Anime industry in the U.S.

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