|Gary Ross Director||previously directed Seabiscuit|
In a post-apocalyptic world, one boy and one girl from each of the 12 districts are chosen to fight to the death in a televised broadcast as a way to demonstrate the government's power.
The rioting scene was shot by Oscar-nominated Director Steven Soderberg! (Soderberg did not direct the rest of the move. That was done by Garry Ross).10 More Trivia
|Jennifer Lawrence||Katniss Everdeen|
|Josh Hutcherson||Peeta Mellark|
|Woody Harrelson||Haymitch Abernathy|
|Liam Hemsworth||Gale Hawthorne|
|Elizabeth Banks||Effie Trinket|
|Wes Bentley||Seneca Crane|
|Donald Sutherland||President Snow|
|Stanley Tucci||Caesar Flickerman|
|Willow Shields||Primrose Everdeen|
|See Full Credits|
Katniss Everdeen lives in a dystopian future nation called Panem. Her village--District 12--is very poor, and she must poach to make a living and find food for her family. Accompanying her in these hunting trips is her lifelong friend Gale Hawthorne, who like her is seventeen. Gale dreams of a revolution overthrowing the tyrannical Capitol that controls his district as well as twelve others. Katniss believes this is impossible and is too busy to think of such things as she must raise her pre-teen sister Primrose (Prim) because her mother can drift into a cataconic state due to the stress of seeing her husband die in a mining accident.
The villagers are assembled in the town square for the Reaping, an annual event where one boy and one girl from each of the twelve districts is selected to enter a televised gladiatorial combat in a massive, miles-wide arena as punishment for a failed rebellion seventy-four years before. This event is called the Hunger Games. Despite the odds, Prim's name is chosen in the raffle. Katniss volunteers to take her place.
On the train ride to the Capitol, Katniss is approached by the male tribute from her district, Peeta Mellark, and the only winner District 12 has ever had, Haymitch Abernathy. Haymitch explains that the key to success in winning the Hunger Games is to get people to pay exorbitant fees for supplies to be sent to you during the fighting.
In training, Peeta and Katniss form a semi-friendship, despite Katniss's cold demeaner. Katniss reflects on how Peeta saved her life several years earlier by leaving her bread when she was starving (he was punished by his parents for this action). Peeta's surprising strength and Katniss's skill at archery (which she proves by shooting an apple out of the hands of Sennecca Crane, the game's designer) earns them attention. Theyare at a distinctdisadvantage, though, since the biggest districts have volunteers who have trained from a young age to compete in the Games. Helping Katniss to get attention is Cinna, a costume designer who creates impressive regalia that burns artificial flames. This earns Katniss the monicker "The Girl on Fire"
In the final interview before the game--hosted by Caeser Flickerman--Peeta reveals that he has had a crush on Katniss since a young age and laments the fact that he must combat her. Katniss believes this is a trick to get sponsors, but doesn't dispute it for fear it will loose her donations.
When the games begin, Katniss grabs a survival pack left nearby her and flees. She hides in a tree for sleep, and while there sees Peeta has joined a group of volunteers who are hunting for the weaker contestants together before fighting one another. Katniss spends the following day getting as far away from the action as possible. Sennecca stops this by firing fireballs at her to make her approach the other contestants. Katniss's leg is badly burned in the process, and the pack of volunteers (with Peeta) find her hiding in the water. She climbs a tree, but they surround the base. After losing precious arrows trying to shoot her and failing miserably to pursue her, the volunteers agree to a request from Peeta that they camp at the base of the tree for the night and wait until the injured Katniss falls out. Haymitch, using money from donations, sends a package of medicinal cream to Katniss on a parachute.
At the following dawn, Katniss is contacted by a very young tribute called Rue in another tree, who shows her that a nest of tracker jackers is poised at the end of one of the branches of Katniss's trees. The film then shows Caeser Flickerman, who is also game announcer, explaining that tracker jackers are genetically engineered wasps that stings can cause intense pain, hallucinations, and death. Katniss climbs out to the branch and uses a knife a volunteer threw at her to cut the limb off, though she sustains several stings in the process. The tracker jacker nest hits the ground and the wasps assault her opponents, one of which dies. Katniss climbs out of the tree and attempts to flee, but is confused by hallucinations and pains. A blurry image of Peeta appears trying to help her, but Katniss is unsure of whether it is actually him or a figment of her mind. She passes out after finding a hiding spot with Peeta's help. She wakes up a good time later to find she has been nursed to health by Rue.
Katniss and Rue develop a friendship. Rue explains to Katniss that the volunteers have all their supplies surrounded by landmines. They devise a plan for Rue to light fires to distract them so Katniss can go destroy the supplies. This works, as Katniss triggers the mines with an arrow (since she got a bow and quiver from the body of the volunteer killed by the wasps). However, she reunited with Rue just as the latter is impaled by a spear of a volunteer. Katniss kills the assailant, but is too late. Rue dies, but not before Katniss sings a song that is then picked up by Mockingjays, a unique type of songbird that inhabits the arena. This causes Rue's home district to have a revolt, where several Capitol officials are killed and dozens of villagers are slaughtered.
President Snow, who controls the capitol, tells Sennecca Crane to manipulate the games so as to prevent any more rioting, and implies that failure will result in death. Haymitch then tells Sennecca that he should give Katniss and Peeta a chance to be together so as to unite people and stop the fighting. Sennecca agrees and broadcasts a new rule throughout the arena: Two tributes may win, so long as they are both from the same district.
Katniss finds Peeta, though he is badly injured from a battle and has only survived by using excellent camouflage. Katniss makes romantic advances towards him to gain more sponsors. Katniss and Peeta hide in a cave, but Peeta's wounds are slowly killing him. Another announcement is made: Supplies needed by each district's tributes will be left in the center of the arena at the following dawn in a metal structure called the Cornocoppia. Peeta begs Katniss not to go, because she could die getting the medicine she needs. She agrees, but after he is asleep goes anyway.
Katniss manages to get the medicine, but then is attacked by a well-trained volunteer. The volunteer overpowers Katniss and brags about how much fun she will have killing her, but is then killed by Thresh, the other tribute from Rue's district. Thresh says that just this once he will spare Katniss because of her alliance with Rue.
Katniss goes to the cave and the medicine works wonders. Peeta is mostly healed. After Peeta accidentally makes food with the poisonous hemlock berries, a tribute who was following them and stealing their food eats it and swiftly dies. This leaves only two other contestants--Thresh and a volunteer named Cato.
Sennecca uses holograms to cause the arena to experience night and then releases a pack of vicious genetically engineered bear-wolf hybrids. The monsters eat Thresh, but Peeta and Katniss find shelter on top of the Cornocoppia. Unfortunately, for them Cato is there too. After a lengthy battle, Cato holds Peeta over the edge and says that if Katniss shoots him he will jump, causing both of them to be eaten by the monsters. Cato then laments the fact that he was tricked: The game was not fair, and the rules have been changed repeatedly so as not to favor him. Katniss then shoots his hand, at which point he is off balance and Peeta pushes him to the monsters. The monsters begin to slowly eat him and Katniss fires another arrow: A mercy shot to end his suffering. The monsters then leave and the arena turns back to daytime.
It is then announced that the rules have been changed again and there can now only be one winner. This is presumably so as to not give the districts hope, as a victory for both Peeta and Katniss could trigger a revolution. Peeta and Katniss refuse to kill each other and then decide that, as an act of defiance against the Capitol, agree to use hemlock berries to commit suicide. A hovercraft then appears and an announcement is hurriedly made saying they both won.
This event has triggered a huge reaction from the district and there is now a very real threat to the Capitol of revolution. President Snow has Sennecca Crane executed by forcing him to eat hemlock berries.
Katniss then, while talking to Haymitch about the event, lets slip that she faked some of her love for him so as to get sponsors. Peeta is horribly hurt and insists that he really did love her. Haymitch then explains to them that the Capitol will execute their families if they don't pretend they were going to kill themselves out of intense love rather than rebellion. Katniss and Peeta will now become spokesmen for the Capitol to try and crush hopes of a rebellion.
For the British theatrical release of the film, Lionsgate made several edits in order to secure a more family friendly rating. Among them was to digitally remove the blood from four scenes. Seven seconds of the picture were completely deleted.
Due to the intense popularity of the books, anticipation for the movie was high months before its release. The ad campaign's budget was only about half of what an average tent-pole picture gets, but it was used effectively. The commercials showed very little of the actual combat and spent a great amount of time showing the set-up. After early reviews were positive, THE HUNGER GAMES opened big. It got $150 million in the US on its first weekend and did almost as well overseas. It stayed in the number one spot domestically for a month and even out-grossed the final HARRY POTTER film in the States. It has now grossed more than $600 million worldwide.
THE HUNGER GAMES was a big hit with critics. On RottenTomatoes, it had 84% positive reviews (to qualify as "Fresh" a film needs only 60%). On Metacritic, the movie got a 67 out of a hundred, which gave it the highest color (green) and the category "Generally Positive Reviews." 35 of the Metacritic critics really liked the film, 7 gave it mixed reviews, and only 2 gave it outright negative reviews.
The DVD & Digital Copy release date for The Hunger Games was scheduled for midnight of August 18, 2012.
Both the Blu-Ray and DVD copies were available in 2-disc volumes that contained a multitude of additional material including:
* “The World is Watching: Making of The Hunger Games” – an eight-part documentary covering the “making of” the film in all aspects from the pre-production process all the way through the theatrical release and fan reactions
* “Game Maker: Suzanne Collins and The Hunger Games Phenomenom” featurette
* “Letters from the Rose Garden” featurette – insights from Donald Sutherland on the development of his role as President Snow
* “Controlling the Games” featurette – stories and concepts behind creating the control center
* “A Conversation with Gary Ross and Elvis Mitchell”
* Propaganda Film (in its entirety)
* Marketing Archive
In addition, the Blu-Ray 2-disc set contained a making of short called "Preparing for the Games: A Director's Process."
Due to the phenomenal success of The Hunger Games, Lionsgate decided to follow through with plans to adapt the second book in the series into a movie as well. The sequel was titled The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Trailer 3: The Hunger Games
After reading these books, I'm curious as to how they're going to faithfully adapt the gorier portions into a PG-13 movie, but I guess we'll find out in March. They're certainly not showing much in these trailers.
Trailer 2: The Hunger Games
Running Man with kids? This movie is basically everything I've ever wanted.
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