Weekend Watching Plans? Odds are definitely in Hunger Games’ favor

Happy Friday all! 

After a very slow late Winter months, Spring is starting out with a bang in the movies! Hunger Games is here! This is the only major film that opens today, as the Indonesian-based action thriller The Raid (which I talked about here) only opens in limited release. So that means box office-wise, the odds are most definitely in Hunger Games‘ favor. Box Office Mojo is predicting around $200 mil worldwide, which is entirely possible as $15 mil worth of advanced ticket sales are already in the can.

Targeting the young adult crowds seems to be the midas touch for fantasy authors. Hunger Games is already poised to be amongst the three biggest franchises ever, along with Twilight and Harry Potter. Last Wednesday when I went to see Casablanca at a local cinema, there were at least 300 teens waiting in line to an early screening, and just a couple of weekends ago, thousands of them packed the Mall of America (some camped overnight!) to see some of the cast members Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson. And y’know a movie’s HUGE when this morning at a client meeting, my boss actually asked me what I thought of this movie. Neither one of us are really the targeted demographic but both of us have read the first book and I told him that I’m actually quite looking forward to the movie! So clearly the bug of Suzanne Collins’ creation didn’t just bite the young adult crowd, and the positive critical reception (88% on RottenTomatoes) certainly help.

I hadn’t been as vigorously doing the countdown for this movie but just within the past 36 hours, I must say I’ve sort of caught the fever, ahah. My pal Pete from I LOVE THAT FILM has pretty much summed up how I feel about this franchise in this list, but I’ll elaborate a bit on the two main reasons I’m seeing this on opening weekend:

The story

I have a thing for movies set in a dystopian society. Once again Pete made up an awesome list of movies set in this type of setting, most of which are my favorite films like Wall*E, Children of Men, District 9, etc. In Hunger Games, 24 kids between 12 and 18 fight to the death in a televised event as part entertainment and part government intimidation tactics. It doesn’t get more brutal than that folks, the stakes are high and the odds of survival is nil to miraculous.

Oh and of course the fact that instead of the usual male protagonist, we’ve got a kick-ass heroine with a cool name, Katniss Everdeen, who doesn’t need a man to save her or make her complete. Now of course there’s some romance involved, but unlike a certain vampire saga I just reviewed recently, the love story isn’t what drive the whole plot and she isn’t defined by the two guys pining for her. In fact the story is more about survival and Katniss’ devotion to her family, which ultimately is a far more inspirational than a girl who wants to give up her entire existence simply out of her irrational obsession for a boy.

The casting

Firstly, I LOVE Jennifer Lawrence‘s casting as Katniss. Despite being 6 years older than her character (Katniss is 16 in the books), she has the youthful radiance and energy to believably play the role. I think it’s bollocks that some reviewers think she should be skin-and-bones to play a poor, starving citizen in a post-apocalyptic society. She obviously went through a rigorous diet to look the part for this movie but what’s more important is that she captures the essence of what I imagine Katniss to be and I think Jennifer’s got it. I like that she’s got spunk, pretty but with substance and I know with her strong screen presence and acting skills, this young actress can carry this movie with aplomb.

Lawrence with Liam Hemsworth

Liam Hemsworth has that earthly hunky-ness as Katniss’ BFF Gale, though I still have doubts about Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, but I hope he’ll prove me wrong. What I do like is the supporting cast: Donald Shuterland, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks and Wes Bentley. Even Lenny Kravitz as the sympathetic stylist seems like inspired choice. Director Gary Ross doesn’t have a long resume, this is only his third feature film since Seabiscuit back in 2003, but sounds like he did a great job here, and perhaps he’ll be back to helm the rest of the trilogy.

Kravitz, Harrelson and Hutcherson

The film is set at 142 minutes, which is quite long but I think it’s necessary as there are quite a lot of things going on in the first book. I have the attention span as long as the film is gripping enough, and based on the two reviews I’ve read so far on Cinematic Paradox and Front Room Cinema, this one looks to be worth the hype!

So what will you be watching this weekend, all? Or are you camping in front of your cinema already for Hunger Games‘ midnight showing? 🙂

32 thoughts on “Weekend Watching Plans? Odds are definitely in Hunger Games’ favor

  1. I still have my doubts about the film, but I will certainly try to catch it before it leaves theaters. I hate dealing with the impatient teen crowds of opening nights that are typically expected at these giant events, so I usually wait for the craziness to die down a little bit to go see it.

    I think Jennifer Lawrence might be the next big thing as long as she signs up for the right projects. She’s young and already she has been in a critically acclaimed film, a superhero movie of great success and now in this soon-to-be-huge franchise.

    I will tune in for your review. I hope you’re not disappointed.

    1. Ahah, I hear ya about the overzealous teen crowds. I might try to go on Saturday matinee where hopefully there won’t be as many people. I think Lawrence has ‘arrived’ in Hollywood w/ Hunger Games, and yeah it’s amazing she could get into one huge franchise, let alone two! I have high hopes for this but I have a gut feeling I will like it.

  2. Have fun Hunger Game, I know you have been waiting for it 🙂

    My weekend plan is still enjoying Dorama (Japanese TVSeries), I still have 3 dorama to watch and lots material to rewatch. I have been into dorama since Kame died, I dont know why…but for now English speaking movie dont appeal me

    1. Interesting that you’re not into English speaking movie since Kame died, not even a Cillian/Benedict movie Nov? So are you not watching Sherlock anymore?

      1. I will eventually get back to English speaking movie…but for now, I am enjoying my Asian boyfriends with their fun tvseries 😉

        As for Cilli and Ben, I still see them in youtube.

  3. I’m hoping this film raises Furhmans profile. I think she showed a lot of potential in Orphan.

    Anyways, this movie is the main reason i was happy i got Lawrence for my FD.All those points 🙂

    1. I’m thinking it’ll raise the profile of a lot of the younger cast, including Fuhrman. Ha..ha.. yeah, you might end up being the winner of the Fantasy Draft the fact that you’ve got Lawrence in it 🙂

  4. Ted S.

    Can’t say I’m as excited as you Ruth, I’ve never read any of the books but from reading the plot line, it sounds like a combination of The Running Man (the book not the Arnold movie) and Battle Royale (book and film). I do like Jennifer Lawrence so I’ll probably give it a rent.

    I’m sure it will open with a huge box office number, but I wonder how much it will earn in total after all of the fans saw it. I’m wondering if the casual movie goers are interested in seeing it.

    Have fun and hope it won’t disappoint you. I won’t be seeing anything in theater this weekend. I’ll be location scouting for my next short movie.

    1. Yeah I realize this movie’s been compared to those two you mention but I quite like the book and I think it’s a page turner. I’m curious how well it’ll translate to screen but from what I’ve seen, seems like it’s very promising.

      Best of luck in location scouting, for sure you’ll have the great weather for it!

  5. HUNGER GAMES! Been waiting for it for forever. Why I’m not watching it RIGHT NOW at midnight I will never know. Oh I know… work tomorrow and no friends who’d be willing to indulge my craziness.

    1. Ahah, so you’re THAT huge of a fan eh? Well I’m sure midnight showings will be madness anyway. No matter how much I love a movie, I avoid going with the super diehard fans, it’s just too overwhelming. Hope you enjoy the movie, Ryan!

  6. There are definitely some exciting films coming up now. The Hunger Games is the first to arrive. I’m looking forward to seeing it this weekend.

  7. markuswelby1

    indeed the odds are ever in this film’s favor of getting my money tonight! I loved the book, but I know they won’t be able to replicate all the gory details in PG-13. It’s a quite violent story

    1. Yeah, the book certainly has a bunch of gory details but I for one don’t do well with those so I’m actually glad this is PG-13, ahah. I really want to see this tonight, but not sure I can handle the crowd. Hopefully tomorrow afternoon is more manageable.

  8. Yessssssssssssss! You just got me even more excited! Katniss certainly is kick ass and I can’t wait see Lawrence in action! and Rue! Little Rue! Oh man I can’t wait! Loving that movie trivia side bar! And thanks for the shout out! Look forward to comparing notes!

    1. Hi Pete! Those are great articles, man, good job! Yeah, I’m hoping to go tomorrow afternoon. I think Lawrence will do well as Katniss, good for her, she’s so talented. Definitely beats the annoyingly morose Bella Swan!

  9. I’m off to see this tonight and have pretty much zero expectation. Other than being mildly entertained. I know it’s got a lot of hype, but i haven’t been dragged into the hype. Thankfully! Though i was very close to downloading the first book last year onto my kindle.

    1. Hey if you like Three Musketeers, I’d imagine you won’t be disappointed w/ this one 😀 The book is actually very good, I was surprised as clearly I’m not the demographic. But even my boss who’s like 10 yrs older than me also like the book. How’re you liking your Kindle? I haven’t picked it up in a while as I’ve been so busy but I love using it, so light and makes reading such a breeze.

  10. FUNK

    Good day:)
    I’ll be holding off on Hunger Games for awhile, I’m downloading Fukasaku’s “Battle Royale” so will watch that one first.
    Other Movies on tap this weekend are Anatomy of a Murder, Trancers, and War Horse.

  11. I am still pretty indifferent to the whole series/concept, but I will be seeing The Hunger Games tonight. My expectations are low, so I hope to be pleasantly surprised if it is as good as everyone as saying.

      1. Yep, I was able to see it. Thinking about writing a review but not sure when I will get a chance. I liked it for the most part but felt some of the character development was pretty poor. Glad to hear it met your expectations though!

  12. Definitely saw The Hunger Games and looking forward to reviewing the film on my site soon!

    Your words really summed up a big reason I’m such a fan of the books (and now the first film): “the story is more about survival and Katniss’ devotion to her family, which ultimately is a far more inspirational than a girl who wants to give up her entire existence simply out of her irrational obsession for a boy.”

    Couldn’t have put it better. I thoroughly enjoyed the film with only a little complaint here and there, and can I tell you that Josh Hutcherson was exactly how I imagined Peeta. Hope you enjoy him in the role too. Between Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, and Lenny Kravitz’s performances, the movie was such an enjoyable experience. Oh, and of course Jennifer Lawrence. I haven’t had that kind of theater experience with everyone laughing or crying or just mutually enjoying the film all at once in ages. Looking forward to reading your review on the film, Ruth!

    1. All right Kris! I’m glad we’re both excited for this. Looking forward to reading your thoughts on the movie. You are so right that there are a lot to enjoy in this movie, and the performances are all spot on, especially Lawrence.

  13. I just started reading the book Ruth and I quite enjoy it. I will probably try to catch the movie sometime next week after the crowd dies down a bit. Hopefully, it will be worth all the hype 😀

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