Friday night maegwynn suggested we go to Mission Valley to see the film The Hunger Games. I was willing to see it solely for Jennifer Lawrence - after her brilliant Oscar-nominated performance in the modern day Appalachian noir Winter's Bone I'd watch her in almost anything. Summary: the trailer represents the film pretty well - if the trailer looks like a film you'd like (or doesn't), that's what you'll be getting. It's well-done.
So, Jennifer Lawrence is great. Stanley Tucci is a perfect Dick Clark show host of the reality television show event that is the Hunger Games. Donald Sutherland is menacing just standing there: he doesn't have to shout, but his mildest remark needs careful analysis. Lenny Kravitz is quite good. Woody Harrelson does well. The film score is a mix of synth-heavy for the decadent Romanesque / French aristocracy-feeling 1%, and mostly acoustic folk-sounding for the 99% of the rural districts (Jame Newton Howard and T-Bone Burnett, respectively). There's a very nicely done "fall on your sword" moment that ups the Roman Empire echoes for me, too.
As I'm already tired of people telling me the story is a ripoff of Battle Royale, I say a) Yawn, and b) read this. Also, get back to me after you've read Battle Royale. The Hunger Games bears more resemblance for me to Death Race 2000, the film adaptation of The Running Man, and Robocop for the over the top exaggerated than it does to Battle Royale.
It's PG-13 for violence but a hard PG-13: not the "That's not R? What was the ratings board thinking/how big was the bribe?" reaction we I had with the Spielberg/Tom Cruise War of the Worlds adaptation, and not quite as badly with The Dark Knight.
* Snow White and the Huntsman - Looks amazing. Summer.
* The Host - Stephanie Meyer. 29 March.
* What to Expect When You're Expecting - Soon-to-be-dad hangs out with dads with babies. Beer coolers mounted in strollers, and so on.
* Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 - 16 Nov. TWO Meyer film trailers in front of the same film? Come on, really?