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. I thought it was a great movie, that and at least the twilight faver has a cure now. I loved the movie so much that I will see it again in theaters!!!

    • Twilight fever had a cure once Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt 1 & 2 came out. Hunger Games and Twilight are crap. If you want to read better books, the Harry Potter series (always good), the Lord of the Rings trilogy + the Hobbit, and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

      • Crap? CRAP? It was so good! You made an incorrect statement, Jimmy. Wrong.

    • i havent got to see it i herd it was really good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Geez man, I think some of your drool got on me! The author obviously loves the movie. I just wish he would have mentioned the awful, nausea-inducing shaky camerawork. Sure wish I’d known about that before I went.

    • The shaky filming was supposed to indicate how katniss felt.

  3. Point 5 of 5 made me want to see the film and read the books even less than I did. I have a very low tolerance threshold for violence.

    • Ignore what they said about the violence. There honestly isn’t THAT much violence and gore in the books, or in the movie. I usually despise gore and violence, and the books are some of my absolute favorites. I think the movie made the violence a little more in-your-face to intice people, but it’s really not that bad. I really suggest reading the books, even if you want to skip the movie due to the violence. While there is violence in the books, it’s more “This happened”, not a horrifically detailed picture of it painted to make you throw up.

  4. WOW the hunger games is the best movie ever i saw it 14 times and I wanna go again, can’t wait for the sequel!!!!!!!!!!! :D

    • Read the books. They’re even better.

      • They are so great

    • wow you have no life

  5. Hunger Games book and movie: Over-rated…..over-rated…..over-rated…..

    • You can say the movie is over-rated, if I had not read the books I probably would have passed.
      The books on the other hand are compelling and well written. Granted they aren’t up to the standards are all-time greats, but name a popular book that is.
      What I liked about the movie is it gave a visual to some of the things that were difficult to imagine. But like pretty much every movie made from a book it is a condenced story that only gives you a view from the outside, as opposed to the books in which you get deep details about what Katniss is thinking and feeling. I liked the way they re-wrote Haymitch for the movie, but the movie never gave you the sense of desperation you got from the book both before and during the games. They have a few flashbacks which never get explained, Katniss’ words to Gale and a few stats are mentioned before they got shot off into the arena, but that is it really. When Katniss describes what it means to feel “hollow” in the text it almost lets you feel what she is supposed to be feeling. In the movie you have a few clues as to what life was like in Distict 12 in general and specifically for Katniss, but that is where the movie falls short. I also disliked the out of focus camera work for the first 10+ minutes of the movie although they way they filmed the opening melee of the games was probably the only way to tellthe story AND get a PG-13 rating.

      • Name one popular book that is up to the standards of the all time greats? That’s easy. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Critically acclaimed and is one of the world’s all time best selling books (I think somewhere in the top 20. Don’t forget any of the Lord of the Ring’s books. Simply Marvelous. Read the Hunger games after reading that, you’ll think “this book is crap” and chuck it back in the dustbin where it belongs.

    • Who the hell r u to say they’re overrated? I hate all u dirt bags who think something is stupid just because it’s famous !! If u hated it so bad why r u reading this article?

  6. i for one believed the movie to be simply marvelous. though fans of the book would love the movie i believe the book is better with more vivid pictures running through your mind

    btw im 14 and read the trilogy in 7th and 8th grade so thank you

    • Oh I get it. You’ve never read Harry Potter before.

      • well, i would say that people had not and have read the harry potter books over the past few years, so i would just give them a chance to read them, so that they can actually just watch them on tv or buy them.

  7. Watched the movie with my daughter with no clue what it was about. Was prepared to be bored like Twilight but instead was very, very impressed. Have gone back to watch it 3 times since.

    I rate it at the top of all movies I have seen in over 40 years of watching movies. In a class with The Godfather (1 & 2) and above The Lord of the Rings and definitely mcuh better then the Harry Potter series.

    I then proceeded to read all 3 books upto MockingJay. The books are all right but the film is definitely better. This movie is class thoughout.

  8. Obviously, the author of this article is a lover of the Hunger Games. Please do take that to mean anything in all respects, especially negative ways. By writing this article, he has removed some misconceptions, and implanted others, all heavily biased towards the film. I’ve read the book and seen the film and honestly they aren’t that great compared to a lot of books and films.

    • Take this in negative ways! You r a JERK! Who cares if they like the hunger games? So what !!

  9. havent seen the movie still reading the book

  10. I have seen the movie and I have only started to read the books and I love them all!!!! The hunger games is one of my most fav movie thats out so far.

  11. yeah I read through 3/4 of two harry potter books and gave up because they were progressing so slow. dont get me wrong I LOOOOVVVVVE reading!! and i have nothing against those y=who do like harry potter books but i could not get into them. The Hunger Games on the other hand, grabbed my attention imediately (although i am not a fan of the 3rd book very much) and I honestly sat in one spot for 4 hrs reading it until I realized it was 9 p.m and i still had homework. To be perfectly honest I didnt even understand why everyone was so obsessed with the series until i finally gave in and read them. Now, I am a complete fan of The Hunger Games. The movie did for sure screw up with important things however, such as how katniss got her pin, and the mutts were supposed to resemble the other tributes, but I for one still think it was an awesome movie :)

    • your probably right, my guess is that i would just read the hunger games book and watch it and see what happens in the next past few years. so that people would just drop their mouths’s and stand up and say: WOW THIS IS SUCH AND EPIC MOVIE I REALLY LOVED IT SO MUCH!!

  12. i would definetly read the book and see what happens in the story, and once your finished reading the book, then you can see what actually happens in the movie!!…seriously i would just watch the movie, cause i’ve never seen it before….IT’S TO DIE FOR!! LOL

    • i know right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. thiswas such a great book and i wanna see the movie yet

  14. i love the hunger games i havent got to see the movie i want to though i love catis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. i read the book and it was really goooooooood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, i want to see the movie!!!!!!

  16. I READ THE BOOK I REALLY LIKEED IT I WANT TO SEE THE MOVIE

  17. they have a website just like this but it for justin bieber!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. hey the hunger games i love kattisss shes pretty and cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. omg my cousin hates the hunger games

  20. i don’t like kattisss she not cool and not pretty i hate that moive is not god!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i hate the hunger games

    • Hate the hunger games? Well let’s say I don’t like you! ( ok I lied HATE)

  21. The hunger games was the best book I ever read! I reread the trilogy alot of times! It never bores me.

  22. Honestly I have:
    read/seen all the Harry Potters
    read/seen all the lord of the rings
    read/seen all the hunger games(so far)
    read/seen all the twilights (so far)
    And I can say Hunger games books were very up to my standards, I read a new book series about every week. (vampire acadamy, forest of hands and teeth, interview with a vampire) And as for someone who reads many books Hunger Games was in my top favorites, accually right after harry potter. twilight wasn’t up to my standards at all, book or movie. Hunger games movie I thought was good, not as great as the harry potters, only because it ranged to far from the story, such as haymich not being as much of a drunk, because him being drunk and acting the way he did shows a signifigance of what happens to all the victors. I think if I had not read the books I would have loved the movie. But I find the books to be better.

  23. I totally think the Hunger Games are the best books ever! (I have read Harry Potter and I think it is also very awesome. :)

  24. i loved the movie and the trilogy i saw the movie twice=) i cant wait til they make the other sequels.

  25. First things first: I love the books. They’re amazing, wonderful, and beautiful, and I was deeply touched by them.
    The movie, though, was one of the worst film adaptions of a novel I’ve ever seen (The only worse one I can think of is “My Sister’s Keeper”). I understand that, for the most part, they stuck to basic storyline, and they did it in a way that would be expected (Though, cutting out Madge was unnecessary, and getting rid of the Avoxes and Cinna’s Prep Team was just ridiculous), but the story did not PROGRESS. If I hadn’t read the books I wouldn’t have the slightest clue who any of those characters were. Where was the friendship developed between Katniss and Cinna? Where was the bonding between Rue and Katniss? Where, aside from a single, confusing flashback, was Katniss’s father mentioned? What did you learn about the Boy with the Bread? When did you learn that Peeta actually loved Katniss? There were so many things that were, I suppose, in the movie, but they were never explained, never described. And if you don’t tell the audience what the hell is going on, then you can’t expect the audience to enjoy the film.

    • You and I must have seen very different films. I thought the reveals and explanations/flashbacks/descriptions were beautifully done and, coupled with the actors expressions and performances, gave viewers more than enough to follow the storyline(s) and understand the characters throughout the film. Yes, the novel was (for the most part) much better, but isn’t that usually the case, anyway?

      • Sigh…that should be: “coupled with the actors’ expressions…”.

  26. I loved the book/s, I just didn’t like how they made the movie. I mean, they left out so MANY parts. Like the pin and Madge. In Catching Fire the pin is related to the 50th Hunger Games, Haymitch and his ally, Maysilee Donner (Madge’s aunt and a friend of Katniss’s mother) who died like Rue- Haymitch not being there to save her. Like why Katniss hated her mother. How Gale and Katniss met. And I hated the flashback where Peeta was there giving her bread, but it was-just-confusing. Same with the flashback of Katniss’s father. And Katniss’s prep team. They left them out, too. Every single detail of a book is important, and leaving them out in film adaptations- well, that movie is going to be BAD.

    And people, stop hating the Hunger Games and choosing Harry Potter. Both of them are great. I read all the 7 books of HP and all the 3 books of HG. They’re completely different, but they’re both epic.

    I personally think the theme of Hunger Games is adult. Survival, the things that you have to do and sacrifice… yeah, well, I’ll go on, but this is supposed to be a comment and its getting too long.

    I’m Filipino, 12 years old and my name is Jewel Elizabeth. I live in the Philippines.

  27. i have never read this book is it good

    • Yes, it is excellent.

  28. i have never read this book

  29. greatest movie ever

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