WARNING #1: SPOILERS. Duh. (Also spoilers for Catching Fire and Mockingjay.)
WARNING #2: I’m running on five hours of sleep. Just... keep that in mind.
First off, I would just like to say that I am so glad that Harry Potter taught me (eventually) to separate the book and the movie. I mean, I will compare a little, but you really can’t get away from that, can you?
The movie was fantastic. Off the bat, everyone has been criticizing the camera work. It was rather shaky, especially at the beginning. It did almost get to the point where I was feeling sick, but I liked the effect that it had beyond that. The loosing control feel. So the camera work was a good concept just taken a little too far.
Sadly, it turns out I’m spoiled by only having gone to Harry Potter midnight showings (and Eclipse to make fun of it). Turns out the Harry Potter fans have a lot more respect for their fandom than The Hunger Games fans. Or maybe this was just my theatre. But, seriously, every other midnight showing I’ve gone to (yes, even Eclipse), the respect in the audience... you could cut it with a knife. This audience? Laughed at every intense moment in the cave. I seriously was about to go on a killing spree. I decided that they were all awkward kids who’d never been kissed before and therefore had no idea how to react in intense romantical scenes. GUH.
I loved what being a movie added to the story. It meant that we could see outside of Katniss. We could see outside of the Games and to the rest of Panem. And, because of that, it made the Games seem so much more sick. There were a couple of times when Caesar and Claudius were commentating and they did it so it was like they were commentating to us. That was cool. There was a scene with Haymitch watching a couple of Capitol children playing as if they were in the Games. Sick. The scenes with Snow. He’s scary. And, worst of all, the scenes with the Gamemakers during the Games.
I think the worst moment with them was when the lady has the image of the mutant dog and Seneca’s looking at it and they’re both just smiling like “Yeah... That’s cool... I like it...” Shudderingly sick.
Going along with the outside the Games scenes, it was interesting to see how some of the things in the Games happened because of what happened outside of the Games. Like how Snow executes Seneca with the nightlock. Like the rule change to allowing two victors if they’re from the same district? It was because Haymitch convinced Seneca not to just kill Katniss because of the riot in District 11 because of her actions towards Rue’s death.
Speaking of. I knew I was going to cry. I knew it. For Rue’s actual death, one big fat tear went down my cheek. And then they show the riot in District 11. Headcanon says the guy who started it there was Rue’s father. Headcanon says. I was a mess. Shaking, gasping sobs. So. Good.
They hit every single one of the important points in the story. They changed a couple of things (like Peeta’s leg makes a full recovery... but let’s be honest, that would be really hard to keep up through two more movies), but nothing really big. The only things that I really missed from the book were the little bits here and there that just added to the emotion. We never got to see the trauma of the afterwards (such as when Katniss first wakes up after the Games and freaks out because she doesn’t know where Peeta is). Because of this, there was something lacking in the emotion compared to the emotional giant of the books.
Jennifer Lawrence was perfect. Perfect in a way that made me not realize, during the movie, that she was perfect. I look forward to watching her go crazy in the next two movies.
Liam Hemsworth is not in the first one enough for me to really give an opinion on him. I’ve never understood why people love him so much: I feel like we never, ever, throughout the entire trilogy, get to know Gale as much as we know Peeta. So how the heck am I supposed to ever love Gale as much as I love Peeta? Seriously.
Woody Harrelson as Haymitch... He could’ve been drunker at the beginning, but once he sobered up? Perfection. Definitely the kind of Haymitch you can fall in love with. Oh, my goodness. Flail.
Lenny Kravitz as Cinna. Now, Cinna is my favorite character in the books. By far. Sadly, he wasn’t in the movie as much as he’s in the book (which is understandable), but you still fall for him. The way he treats Katniss is perfect and the instant connection between them... So wonderful. Loved it.
Stanley Tucci is also known as perfection. I mean, end of story. What the heck. Caesar was phenomenal. Wow.
Willow Shields... The duck tail. The freaking duck tail. And her eyes. Holy goodness. What else can I say? She used those eyes to her advantage. Wow.
The tributes were all fantastic. Clove was terrifying, especially since she’s so adorable. I wanted to punch Marvel in the face. Cato... Cato was... Wow. THRESH. I LOVE THAT MAN. And, of course, Rue. I want one. I want a pocket Rue.
And, last but not least, Peeta. Josh Hutcherson. Also known as the epitome of Peeta. WOW. I mean, I love Josh. He’s adorable. Watch any of his interviews on youtube and you just sit there grinning because he’s adorable. And then you make him Peeta and you’re floored. Wow. Wow. Wow. ...I’m so excited to see him lose his mind in Mockingjay. So. Excited. Because Josh is perfect as the Peeta we all know and love... But I want to see if he can also pull of the Peeta who isn’t Peeta.
So. Overall? Fantastic movie. Felt a bit rushed, but that probably was just because I’ve read the book. Really did a great job showing how sick the Games are. The actors were fantastic. I laughed. I cried. I can’t wait to see it again.