I had high hopes for this movie. I jumped on the bandwagon early (I thought I was late, but realized I read this book less than a year after coming out), so it's been a long wait for the movie. For me it had highs and lows. I didn't love it, but obviously didn't hate it either. Would I see it again in the theater, probably. Will I buy it...absolutely.
The beginning. I actually teared up when Primrose's name was called and Katniss volunteered.
The capitol and it's people. I know my husband was surprised by the colors, etc. But, I thought it was perfect.
The gamekeepers, Seneca, Claudius, and Caesar. I love the whole behind the scenes of the games stuff. It's something we don't see in the book but worked really well on the screen. It showed a different aspect in how the games worked.
Cinna - I wasn't sure how Lenny Kravitz would do with this but he surprised me.
Katniss and her raw emotion moments. She hides them so well most of the time. Her outbursts were perfect. I loved how she grabs on to Gale, her uncontrollable shaking before she enters the tube to the games, her crying after Rue dies. I especially loved her salute to district 11 (another moment I teared up).
President Snow - He's not in the book hardly at all. But, I loved his inclusion in the movie. Also loved how quite a few of his scenes happen in his rose garden.
The screenplay - I love the Suzanne Collins got to help with this. It really felt like the book in most places.
What was So-So
The movie overall was really slow. I thought the beginning might be. It didn't drag, but it definitely wasn't fast paced.
The games as a whole. I was expecting it to be toned down to get the PG-13 rating. But the games seemed a little...well boring. Katniss doesn't almost die from dehydration. Peeta's knife wound doesn't seem as bad as it was in the book. The water doesn't dry up to force them to the lake. There were a few things that I felt could have been done differently.
The romance between Katniss and Peeta. It feels all contrived for the games, and I didn't buy it at all. We know Peeta actually is in love with Katniss and we know that Katniss is acting but feels it too. On the screen the romance seemed barely touched on when its a big part of the story and it felt fake.
The ending felt off to me. I missed the stuff that happened right after the games (in the hospital).
The mutations at the end. I was afraid of those being off. But, I didn't expect them to look like the dogs from Ghostbusters. It was disappointing.
I know in the book Katniss and her mother have issues, but I never felt like she hated her. In the movie it was like she down right despised her.
The story of the bread. I wish they would have put it all in one place. I didn't like the mini flashbacks. It took almost the whole movie to piece together that one little scene.