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Blu-ray review: 'The Hunger Games'

Turning a global literary phenomenon into a movie is never an easy task, but director/co-writer Ross obviously put a great deal of thought and care into his handling of Suzanne Collins' sharp dystopian tale.
Oklahoman Published: August 31, 2012

Katniss volunteers to take her sister's place, and her classmate Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), the baker's son with whom she has a complicated history, is drawn as the male tribute. Katniss and Peeta are whisked off to the Capitol, where they are beautified, battle trained and literally paraded about for the benefit of the rich and privileged.

There's a lot of setup involved in building this franchise, but Ross keeps the plot economically unfurling. Once Katniss, Peeta and the other tributes enter the arena and the Games begin, he ramps up the action to a near-breakneck speed, but he still is unable to quite keep up with page-turning pace of Collins' cliffhanger-per-chapter novels.

Still, the director gets the most important part right: He never turns “The Hunger Games” into your standard slick action vehicle, the kind of movie that makes violence look kind of cool or at least exciting. Adopting a cinéma vérité shooting style, taking the PG-13 rating to the hilt and continually pushing his stellar cast to find the humanity in their characters, Ross brings to the screen an adaptation that is faithful not only to the letter but also the spirit of Collins' books.

Bonus features: While it doesn't offer the usual director's commentary — unfortunately, Ross won't be helming the sequel “Catching Fire” — the two-disc Blu-ray includes a comprehensive two-hour, eight-part making-of documentary, along with several behind-the-scenes featurettes, photo and poster galleries, trailers and a full version of the propaganda short film seen in the movie.

— Brandy McDonnell

by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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