In exactly one week, “The Hunger Games” movie will hit theaters (well, less than one week if you’re going to the midnight showings Thursday, March 22, which I am, because I’m crazy but also AWESOME).
The movie, based on Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novel, is highly anticipated and projected to make between $70-$100 million its opening weekend (and those are conservative estimates). As a fan of the trilogy, I don’t even think I could have predicted the hype and numbers for this movie–though, let’s be real, the book is uhhmazing, and the movie deserves every bit of the hype. Even early reviews are positive and encouraging.
In case you’ve lived under a rock this past year and have no idea what “The Hunger Games” is about or refuse to acknowledge it as anything more than a fluff tween piece, here are the reasons why you should go see this movie (and, also, read the book, you illiterate bastards).
The protagonist is a kickass heroine
And really, if the world were fair, this would be the only reason needed. Movies these days have far too few lead female characters–who are strong-minded and strong-willed, at that. Katniss Everdeen isn’t a girl who’s concerned about who her boyfriend is going to be; she’s a girl whose motivation is protecting her family, who risks her life to support them and those who matter to her. Basically, she’s the opposite of Bella Swan, whose existence and will to survive thrives on some sparkly, abusive vampire boy and whether he deigns to acknowledge her that day. Vomit.
Katniss is no damsel in distress. She is a hunter, and she utilizes a bow and arrows and climbs trees like a boss. She leads a revolution and stands up to a brutal totalitarian government and its ruler–because it’s the right thing to do, to liberate a beaten-down, disenfranchised people. Spartacus only wishes he was that badass. And looked this good in leather.
Veteran actors lead the casting
In addition to Jennifer Lawrence, relative newcomer who plays Katniss and who was nominated for a 2011 Oscar for a similarly gritty performance in “Winter’s Bone,” the cast for this movie is rounded out by superb actors such as Woody Harrelson as Haymitch (a sloppy, self-deprecating drunk), Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket, Donald Sutherland as President Snow, Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman and Lenny Kravitz as stylist Cinna (OK, so I have no idea how good an actor Kravitz is, but he has some sweet swagger).
If the big names aren’t encouraging enough, something should be said for that fact that director Gary Ross and producer Nina Jacobson went for a lesser known actor for the role of Peeta Mellark, Josh Hutcherson, despite the outcries of rapid fans who championed other–ahem–more attractive (and taller) actors such as Hunter Parrish. The casting choices seem to demonstrate a predilection for substance rather than style, selecting actors who best embody the spirit of each role. I still can’t explain the casting of Liam Hemsworth aka Miley Cyrus’ boyfriend as Gale Hawthorne though, but I guess they can’t all be winners. I kid; possibly, I’ll be impressed…or, at best, apathetic.
And also: Seneca Crane’s beard–great casting:
It’s got a little bit of everything
If there’s anything this movie is not, it’s “Twilight.” Please stop calling it “the next ‘Twilight,’” you stupid media. Sure, it’s got the teeniest, tiniest of love triangles in the sense that there are two guys pining for the heroine, but Katniss is too busy kicking ass and taking names to think about taking on gentlemen callers. Beyond the tiny, minuscule love triangle (really, it’s more of an acute triangle if anything) to appeal to the romantic projections of some ladies, this dystopian movie is all about politics and social commentary, and when it’s not making you second guess your own complicity in the entertainment-dominated reality of society, it’s pitting children against each other in gladiator-style duels with crazy science-fiction elements.
The action, the intelligence, the wit of such a premise and story should be enough to engage any skeptical viewer.
Also, the protagonist is a kickass heroine
‘Cause I think it needs to be said twice. I mean, come on. Katniss Everdeen, the girl on motherfuckin’ fire. Can I get a hell yeah?