5 Facts About ‘The Hunger Games’ Movie for Those Who Haven’t Read the Books

Published 2 years ago by , Updated August 9th, 2013 at 6:18 pm, This is a list post.

The Hunger Games 5 Facts Movie Books The Hunger Games is the hot-ticket item at the movies right now; It's already sold-out record numbers of advanced showings, and earned strong reviews from critics (click here for our official review). The film is looking like a big success for Lionsgate (a sequel, Catching Fire, is already on the way) - but that doesn't mean that everyone is sold on seeing it. In fact, there is a considerable portion of the larger moviegoing public that hasn't read any of Suzanne Collins' novels and is wondering what all the hubbub is about this film and if it's worth a trip to the theater. So, for those who have not yet been bitten by Hunger Games fever, we've compiled 5 things you should know to help you better make your decision about whether or not to see the film.

5. There is Action and Violence

The Hunger Games Action Movie Contrary to what The Hunger Games trailers would have you believe, this film is about more than just the drama surrounding protagonist Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) trying to save her sister, Prim. There is actually, you know, a brutal tournament that takes place. Admittedly, the studio has taken a risky step by leaving footage of the deadly melee that is the actual "hunger games" out of any preview materials. Having read the book, trust us when we say that the film offers plenty of action (and some pretty horrific moments) once Katniss is on the playing field fighting for her life. Dangers include mutated beasts, video game-style traps - and oh, yeah, the 20+ other young combatants looking to murder one another. If you're worried that this film looks boring and/or sappy - don't. There are plenty of thrills and chills to be had.

4. There's No Soapy 'Twilight' Romantic Stuff

The Hunger Games is like Twilight Those unfamiliar with The Hunger Games have taken one look at the two male protagonists in the film trailers - Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) - and immediately leapt to the conclusion that the film would emulate the soapy teen love triangle of The Twilight Saga. While we can see the similarity, that assumption is still an erroneous one. Katniss Everdeen is not the type of girl to get hung up on boys. Author Suzanne Collins created a unique heroine whose only focus is survival, period. The two boys in her life are only there because they help with that survival goal - whether at home in the forests hunting for food (Gale), or during the public relations campaign that precedes the games (Peeta). No sappy love story to see here, folks. Once the games begin, Katniss' concern is keeping herself alive. Any love or affection she shows is all part of the game...

3. It's Not Just a Clone of That Film You Saw Before

The Hunger Games is like Battle Royale The Running Man Even as The Hunger Games nears its theatrical debut, there are snarky individuals who like to drop comments about how the film is a recycled version of earlier films like The Running Man, or Japenese cult-classic Battle Royaleor (to lesser extent) deathmatch films like The Condemned. However, these so-called "insights" lack, well, insight into what The Hunger Games is truly about. Sure, there are obvious shades of influence all over Suzanne Collins' work, but the fact is that Collins succeeded in creating her own unique characters, narrative, and thematic angles - as well as a world and mythos that is all her own. While The Hunger Games does intersect with other, similar, stories at certain points, it is also more modern and topical than any of the aforementioned films it's being compared to. Genre movies often share similar premises - it's all about the uniqueness of the story that's crafted within that premise. In the case of Hunger Games, that story is one worth exploring.

2. Director Gary Ross has Skills

The Hunger Games Director Gary Ross Director Gary Ross may not be a director whose name you're immediately familiar with, but the man has definite skills. The Hunger Games is only the third feature film he's directed, but the other two entries on that list are Pleasantville and Seabiscuit - both of which received multiple Oscar nominations and are loved by their respective fans. Did we also mention that Ross is a screenwriter who has worked on the scripts for each of his films, including Hunger Games? Oh, and before directing his own work, Ross wrote scripts for little films like Big, Dave and Mr. Baseball. You may have heard of them. That's all to say: The Hunger Games has been crafted by a man who very much knows how to make a film. And if early reports are any indication, Ross has taken the book and not only translated it to screen intact - he's improved upon it in some ways.

1. The Cast Has Skills Too

The Hunger Games Cast If you look at the cast of fresh young faces that are starring in The Hunger Games and assume that they aren't seasoned enough to deliver a compelling movie, you'd be wrong. The movie has celebrated veterans like Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci (Devil Wears Prada), Toby Jones, Elizabeth Banks (Zack and Mirir) and Woody Harrelson all elevating the material, and  the young actors are just as talented. Star Jennifer Lawrence broke into the mainstream with a 2011 Best Actress Oscar nomination for her role in the indie drama Winter's Bone. Co-star Josh Hutcherson played a major role in The Kids Are All Right, which was also nominated for multiple 2011 Oscars. That combination alone should tell you what kind of talent Ross and the studio snagged for this film.  Even the cast of supporting characters has some proven acting talent, including Orphan star Isabelle Fuhrman and rocker Lenny Kravitz, who earned respect for his role in Precious, and may be a case of pitch-perfect casting as Katniss' enigmatic stylist, Cinna. In terms of acting talent, The Hunger Games cast is far from amateur hour.

The Hunger Games Movie Faqs Ultimately it's up to you whether or not to see The Hunger Games. Our only hope is that some of the questions (or misconceptions) you may have once had are now put to rest. If there is anything else you'd like to ask about the film - or if there are concerns you want to voice - please do so in the comments (we'll try to provide NON-SPOILER answers). Otherwise, enjoy these Hunger Games promotional materials: The Hunger Games will be in theaters on March 23, 2012.
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  1. Love it and cannot wait for tomorrow!!!

  2. Go see John carter instead such an amazing movie

    • no that great

      • at least in john carter you could actually ”see” the action scenes unlike the hunger games where thers a 50 camera man angle strong orgy, seriously it changed angles every .5 seconds i couldnt even see whats going on
        i mean come on just pan out already for just a few seconds please. other than that its a good plot with good actors

        it just was’nt shot right i give it a 6/10

        HG director…learn to shoot please

        • I understand where you are coming from but you have to remember all the action scenes that involved violence between to characters was violence between children and teens. They where all between 12 and 18 and not many people are alright with seeing children/teens being killed point blank. The multiple camera angles were a device to make viewers more comfortable with the fact that the people dying were young people. Also the reason other parts of the movie*that did not involve violence between children and teens* had the angle switching was most likely done for the sake of being consistent throughout the entire movie. Over all, I think the action scenes were all done in good taste considering the age of those involved.

          • That is why the mind-blowing Battle Royale is mentioned as a inspiration to the book-movie of hunger games.
            Japanese are all right with this kind of children violence and is is shown quite right in movies and is suitable enough (in manga even more). Just put ESRB 18+ (or whatever is used in movies), but if they what to make in mainstream well here is the result.
            To my mind there is too much influence from the Japanese successor to give people a reason to say that this is ripped off (future, death games, children, violence etc), but i won’t say anything before i see it myself.

            • Personally, I liked the way the action scenes were shot. It was as if we were actually there, being confused by all of the movements and fear. I thought the movie was quite awesome.

              Haven’t seen John Carter yet. Looks really goofy.

    • ehh i didnt reallyl like john carter and i find the hg movie was terrible (i didnt read all three books) but i just REALLY hated the movie

      • Boaring movie.

  3. i am afraid that 2 of the bits of info dont match the title of ’5 Facts About ‘The Hunger Games’ Movie for Those Who Haven’t Read the Books’: the cast and the director … i expected facts about the story found in the book but possibly not disclosed in the movie or the shorts which is what the title implies … integrity pls :-)

    • The lead actors and director all have Oscar nominations for their talents. So to me, it’s a “fact” that they have skills. You want to debate the Oscars and if it’s a signifier of talent or not, feel free. I’ve actually seen their work onscreen in various films and stand by my assertion.

      “Facts” sounded better than “Things” in the title. The intro paragraph clearly lays out our intent for this article. So questioning our integrity is a little funny.

      FInally, as I write this we ARE launching a Hunger Games post detailing the differences between book and movie.

  4. This movie was good and bad. Some scenes unnecessary. Some of it was a bit boring, but it better than the drama of Twilight. I am sure the books are better than the film of The Hunger Games. Great cast except Dennis Quid son Jack.

  5. Seriously, do you work for Lionsgate or something? You laid the lavish praise on a little too thick.

    Ollie

  6. I have to say that the movie is really great. I’ve already seen him like 2 days ago, and let me say it’s worth the wait :D

  7. I wish they didnt change anything but overall it was well the worth the wait. Well done movie

  8. *Spoiler* it is twilight esq but they hase too be to lead into Catching Fire and mocking jay both twilight with a whinier Bella

    • You’ve now confirmed that you haven’t actually seen the film or read the novel(s). At least in terms of STORY, STRUCTURE, DESIGN, and CHARACTERS, the two series bear exceedingly little resemblance to each other. Yes, they both have teenaged protagonists and are considered young adult series. Yes, they have both males and females of the human species. Yes, they have forested areas and interesting buildings. If those are your only required elements to claim they are clones or that one is ______esque when viewed in relation to the other, you might as well say “Star Wars” and “Highlander” were also “Twilightesque”.

      Sheesh.

      • Sorry Archeon, but notthatjc isn’t completely wrong. While THG isn’t Twilightesque, Catching Fire and Mockingjay certainly are or at least they have strong elements of that Twiglightesqueness. The ‘love triangle’ is a big part of both books two and three. It’s not the only thing but it is a big part.

        The question is will the movies play up that part as much as the books did.

        • Sooo…any story/film/book that involves a love triangle is Twilightesque? By that logic we can call The Dark Knight Twilightesque. Love triangles are a commonly used plot device in LOTS of things. If Collins had slapped all 3 books in to one giant one and filed it under the Adult Fiction section, I don’t think anyone would be having this conversation. People see “young adult novel” and “movie adaptation” and they immediately think Twilight. While reading the books, I got the sense that Katniss could take or leave either of them. They were important people in her life and she didn’t want to lose either, but trying tip-toe around both boys’ general butthurt, being a tool for a revolution, and dealing with the emotional trauma of being forced to murder people took it’s toll on her, I think. By the end of Mockingjay, she’s too devastated, morose and drugged out to function. She’s not pining or contemplating suicide(like Bella) because they boys aren’t paying attention to her, she’s been through some reaaaallll s***, man.

        • RickJM…

          I must respectfully disagree. I do this for one reason above all others: You, yourself, point out this reason…”[The 'love triangle'] is not the only thing but it is a big part.” In the first book, it actually is NOT important…to Katniss, at least not initially. Katniss is a strong female lead in both the book AND the film. Bella is NOT in either…spoiled and demanding, yes. Strong, no. The romance element (with some skillful tweaking) could be significantly lessened in HG. In “Twilight”, there is no story without the romance, whether perceived or real. In HG, the brunt of the story (dystopia, totalitarianism, the corruption of power, etc.), though colder and less interesting to teenie-boppers, would easily survive and thrive. They have some similarities, yes, but HG is definitely NOT “Twilightesque”.

          Responding to your final statement, I can say that the film DOES contain a romantic element (although I suspect the sequels will widen its importance), but it SERVES the story, as it did in the novel.

          Very “UN-Twilightesque”, wouldn’t you say?

          • I almost forgot…

            You point to the sequels as your evidence: I agree (as I presume above about their filmic counterparts) that the romance quotient does increase, BUT for the most part, that romance STILL serves the story as opposed to BEING the story, as in the TWILIGHT series.

    • could you please learn how to spell thanks!!

  9. @screenrant
    the fandango ad in the corner is not letting me click next!!!
    its getting really annoying!!!

    • We’ll take a look at it.

  10. I think the #4 the part about it being like Twilight needs a caveat. While The Hunger Games isn’t Twilightly, the next two books play up the ‘love triangle’ significantly more – even being essential to the main plot of Catching Fire.

    • But they are also not talking about the whole series, they’re talking about The Hunger Games. In the first book the love triangle is insignificant, Katniss is trying to survive in her district and the Games.
      And it’s only typical that the love triangle would grow throughout the series because it is a factor in the first book, but doesn’t matter as much once Katniss is in the arena.

  11. Did someone call me snarky?

  12. Being a huge Hunger Games fan myself I scoured the web and pulled together ALL of the best Hunger Game stuff on the net into one place.

    All of the best Hunger Games Top 10 Lists, the best fansites, blogs, reviews and much, much more including Hunger Games Polls and the Ultimate Fan Quiz. From the best Hunger Games baby names to the Top 10 Hunger Games Quotes, if its not here, its not on the net lol. Plus we are giving away $100 for the best fan submitted Hunger Game Art.

    http://thetop10.squarespace.com/the-top-10-hunger-games-page/?SSScrollPosition=2245

  13. Read the books!! Then go see the movie. I am sure the books will answer all your questions!

  14. I was not really into this movie due to the trailers,but after reading this I have a change of opinion, tho I may still wait for it on DVD.

  15. Well first, I would say the writer of this piece has a strange sense of how the trailers look to people who haven’t read the books. It is clear from the previews that the battle to the death is the story. Violence is expected and it is extremely mild considering that subject. I’m no fan of movie gore, but I question whether this series needed to keep the PG-13.

    The director is no talent. The filming style in the early scenes is extremely pretentious, almost to the point of getting in the way of the storytelling.

    The cast is competent, although Woody Harrelson is the only one who breaks through the pretention of the early material and gives his scenes a pulse.

    Not having seen Twilight, I had no assumptions about the teenage sap romance quotient. There is certainly nothing in the film that would drive sane non-tweens from the theatre, but there really isn’t anything to rivet their attention either. There is a romantic triangle of sorts, if you think two boys stuck on a girl who cares only for herself is a triangle.

  16. it was ok they left a lot of s*** out though. Especially Petta not getting his foot chopped off xD. Also theres no way u can compare sparkling vampires and juiced werewolf to the hunger games

  17. Im still not convinced…The movie is about kids killing each other period…the fact the film is marketed toward, and is popular with, teens is frightening. Other movies mentioned regarding the cast: the kids are all right was only nominated for an oscar due to political correctness not quality so that says nothing for Hunger Games. Winter’s Bone however is much more appealing!

  18. someone PLEASE..
    that arrow is going nowhere, i bet my house on this.

    (facts 5 of 5)

  19. thresh shoulda had a rock.
    otherwise, one of the best film adaptations of a book and that is a small community

  20. Suzanne Collins has said her inspiration for this book was the myth of Theseus, the Athenian who successfully navigated the labyrinth and slayed the Minotaur. Specifically, the King of Minos chose 7 tributes (male and female) from Athens to be sacrificed to the half man-bull creature. That’s what this story is based on not some cult movie with similarities. Katniss is the female Theseus in this story.

  21. The movie turned out to be a great accurate version of the book in my opinion. In a recent article I read by Daniel S Levine, he stated that “The Hunger Games” earned 19.7 million at midnight screenings, which is most ever for a non-sequel. I say that is pretty impressive.
    Resource: http://thecelebritycafe.com/feature/2012/03/hunger-games-earns-197-million-midnight-screenings-most-ever-non-sequel

  22. I havn’t seen the movie yet, but this makes me excited. I read the books and I have to say if these points where about the book I’d have to disagree with quite a few of them. Particularly the sappy romance bit, it’s in there, and it’s in there in legion. I felt like the games actually took a back seat to this by the final third of the book. This isn’t to say I didn’t still enjoy the book I just wanted and was expecting more of the actual fight. Also to claim it doesn’t intersect any of those other movies/books you mentioned…come on. I agree it’s a different story and it’s certainly different enough to not be plagiarized but to deny that it is anything but some eerily similar plot points and character development makes me wonder if you’ve seen or read any of these other novels/movies.

  23. Downloaded from this link http://fastyshare.com/TDGYCaPWOI

    Looking forward to see this movie released in my country!

  24. *Even as The Hunger Games nears its theatrical debut, there are snarky individuals who like to drop comments about how the film is a recycled version of earlier films like The Running Man, or Japenese cult-classic Battle Royale – or (to lesser extent) deathmatch films like The Condemned. However, these so-called “insights” lack, well, insight into what The Hunger Games is truly about.*

    I am not a critic by any sense of the imagination but you are clearly a BIG fan and lack any real depth (in relations to being neutral presence) or knowledge of either movie you mentioned above.. You are clearly an apologist with snarky opinions (Biased I might add)of his/her own.. I saw this movie today after watching a commercial thinking it looked interesting.. I will admit it wasn’t bad, not great, but not bad either.. I can tell you that 30 minutes in my first real thought or critique of this movie was that it bared an unmistakable resemblance to… YES, you guessed it, The Running Man… Not in a snarky way, not in a *these iffin fools stole a movie idea* or MYTHO’s.. The ideology is there though for all the world to see.. It’s not a bad thing, it just is what it is though and for you to label it as Snarky is a tad juvenile and contrite.. Basically your assessment is far worse than the truth, the movie was ok, you article however is horrible..

  25. Will wait for the Mortal Instrument movie than watching this movie

  26. “4. There’s No Soapy ‘Twilight’ Romantic Stuff”

    I stopped here. This movie > It is very much The Lottery->Battle Royale and add a bit of twilight

  27. The book is really amazing. But i can’t wait to watch the sequel of this movie. i just love..

  28. This movie was good and bad. Some scenes unnecessary. Some of it was a bit boring, but it better than the drama of Twilight. I am sure the books are better than the film of The Hunger Games. Great cast except Dennis Quid son Jack.

  29. great post and useful information

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