The Hunger Games have been popular with people who do not read books. A friend of mine (who made sure to emphasize that he doesn't read) told me that he loved the series and that I had to stop what I was doing to read it.
What is the meaning of this shot? Why end the film there? Certainly, the new Lionsgate-Summit Entertainment conglomerate hopes to continue the tension between these characters to entice us into a sequel; but what is this tension made of?
Our generation is unnervingly quick to pick up their smartphones and write the first thought that comes to mind via tweets and status updates. They either realize it's offensive once its posted for the public to see, or just don't care. Either way, there's a serious problem with these habits.
Any movie that debuts with a $152 million opening weekend and grabs the title of third biggest opening ever is grabbing a place in history with sheer numbers. But I think the film's visuals are what truly make it special and they work on two levels.
Under the extremely watchful eye of author Suzanne Collins, who stands as a producer and co-writer of The Hunger Games, director Gary Ross kept faithful to the book while cutting it down to fit a movie format.
I can't help but wonder if they actually think Lawrence doesn't portray Katniss correctly or if they're upset she doesn't portray the ideal we are all so used to seeing when young women star in blockbuster action films -- that of the quite literally starving actress.
She sits on the ground in a pile of leaves, holds her head in her hands and sobs. It's a devastating moment, but as I sat in the theater screening the film,which premieres March 23rd, all I could think was: "This isn't the Katniss I know."
By focusing on action at the expense of introspection, The Hunger Games misses an opportunity to teach a real lesson about cyclical violence, the role we all play in perpetuating it, and our responsibility to make the right decisions.
This film that will keep viewers, even the millions who have read the books and know the outcome, at the edge of their seats. And if the storyline doesn't grab you -- unlikely as that is -- the special effects and the portrayal of the Game arena is enough to intrigue most.
If we allow the story of The Hunger Games to do what it should -- that is, if it provokes us to ask hard questions and demand change -- then it is a valuable cultural artifact, despite its central concept.