Today! Because….uh, I believe we have a volunteer –
The Hunger Games (2012)
Directed by Gary Ross
Starring Jennifer Lawrence (x2), Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson (x3), Elizabeth Banks (x3), Donald Sutherland (x3), Wes Bentley, Stanley Tucci, Paula Malcomson (x2), Toby Jones, Lenny Kravitz, Willow Shields, Alexander Ludwig
The rare YA novel that completely succeeds in the transfer to the big screen, The Hunger Games is a blatant rip-off of the Japanese movie Battle Royale from 2000, yes. However, that movie has sat on my Netflix queue unwatched for years, so I don’t have anything to go on besides the internet howling of Japanese film fans. But does Battle Royale have a drunken, bewigged Woody Harrelson cavorting through it though? Then shush.
It’s such an instantly iconic movie, and the capital is so cartoonish, that glancingly people might forget how gritty an action movie this film is. The murder! There are only a handful of movies I can think of where more than one or two kids die – this one slaughters loads of children. That’s a tough sell! And yet, Hunger Games works through the fairly tasteful framing of scenes in the arena, and the totally committed performances of the leads. Jennifer Lawrence had done X-Men: First Class at this point, and really broke onto everyone’s radar with 2010’s Winter’s Bone, but her balls-to-the-wall, 100% Katniss Everdeen will obviously go down as her forever role – no matter how many times she Mystiques it up. Hell, she won an Oscar for a different movie this same year and you don’t hear it talked about much anymore (Silver Linings Playbook is perfectly fine).