Blu-ray Review: THE HUNGER GAMES
Published: August 17, 2012 - 10:11pm
The motion picture event that set the world on fire is poised to become the home entertainment event of the year when Lionsgate releases THE HUNGER GAMES on Blu-ray, DVD, On Demand, and Digital Download on August 18, 2012.
Though at times off with pacing and lacking a bit of adrenaline-fueled action beats, The Hunger Games appears to be the best cinematic interpretation of the popular novel we could have gotten. Deep yet whimsical characters play in a dystopian landscape of rich colors and suspenseful drama to create a wonderful mythology that opens the summer movie season with gusto. The film also offers audiences a strong and grounded female protagonist played with the perfect balance of composure and reckless abandon by Jennifer Lawrence. Other cinematic characters of this age lack the quiet depth and visceral intensity Lawrence brings to the role.
The Hunger Games offers its fair share of thrills while exemplifying its character driven story, but keep in mind that if you're coming here for non-stop action you will be sorely disappointed. It's a damn good crowd pleaser and great entry for this franchise. Hopefully, the stakes are raised and the few missteps can be avoided in the sequel.
Special Features Breakdown
The World is Watching: Making of The Hunger Games - This documentary is split into eight parts touching upon every major aspect of production from conceptualization of the film to its release. There's even a fan reaction portion that's a nice addition to a featurette that, while detailed and thorough, becomes a bit repetitive.
Game Maker: Suzanne Collins and The Hunger Games Phenomenon - My favorite featurette of this home release, here we have a pretty candid look at how author Collins feels very swept away by the overwhelming fanaticism over her books.
Letters from the Rose Garden - Donald Sutherland guides viewers on the thought process behind his representation of President Snow for the film. One of the last war horses of his generation, it's an absolute delight to hear how much heart and fun Sutherland puts into his roles.
Controlling the Games - Here we see how the Games' control center was put together incorporating everything from cast input to notes from author Collins to treated the room as character all it's own.
Preparing for The Games: A Director’s Process - Director Gary Ross explains his reasoning behind implementing massive CG scenes, utilizing the (rather poorly received) shaky camera filming effect, and guiding the young cast to perform under pressure. Ross offers an in-depth analysis of how he chose to transition the story from page to screen.
The Hunger Games is the first in a trilogy of books published by Scholastic that has already become a literary phenomenon with over 36.5 million copies in circulation. Set in the future, one male and one female from each of the twelve districts of the nation is forced to participate in the annual competition called The Hunger Games, which is broadcast live throughout the country for the entertainment of the Capitol’s wealthy residents. Sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) volunteers in her younger sister’s place to enter the games, and is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy when she’s pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives. If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Directed by Academy Award® nominee Gary Ross (Seabiscuit), The Hunger Games, starring Academy Award® nominee Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone), features an ensemble cast that includes Golden Globe® winner Donald Sutherland (Citizen X), Academy Award® nominee Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones), Academy Award® nominee Woody Harrelson (The People vs. Larry Flynt), Lenny Kravitz (Precious) and Emmy® nominee Elizabeth Banks (TV’s “30 Rock”). The film also stars some of the industry’s brightest up and coming actors such as Josh Hutcherson (The Kids Are All Right) and Liam Hemsworth (The Expendables 2).