It’s over for The Hunger Games, and it’s epic

(From IMDb.com)

(From IMDb.com)

Talk about war and peace.

Katniss Everdeen rests.

The fourth and likely finale in the Hunger Games franchise that started with the girl who fired an arrow into the hearts of so many in 2012 landed in America’s theaters this pre-Thanksgiving weekend with its snowballing success and great expectations for star Jennifer Lawrence and the cinematic work of director Francis Lawrence and script by Peter Craig and Danny Strong

And for 137 minutes, the couple-dozen people at the Regal Cinemas’ Shoppingtown complex theater for a late Friday matinée soaked it up quietly, groups of teens perhaps already taken by The Hunger Games novels of Suzanne Collins, and certainly women of various ages there to admire the strength, intelligence and emotional range of the leader of the rebels, Everdeen.

The story does not disappoint, putting Katniss and her tight and dwindling group in enough dastardly dystopian situations as they wind their way through the dark future world toward the mansion home of President Snow. Donald Sutherland smugly smiles his way through the battles as he attempts to remain in control of Panem, mind-controlling the factions as Everdeen and rebels attempt to finish the mission of President Alma Coin. Julianne Moore is equally assured in her own way, leading her panel that includes small but significant roles from familiar faces played by Woody Harrelson, and even bittersweetly the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Out in battle, the rebels face scary black ooze thrown at them by snow and an internal battle unleashed by events and mind games. But the most frightening scene comes underground, with startling beings that make ‘gators look like cute and friendly puppy dogs.

Through it, Katniss also has to deal with matters of the heart, family wise and romantic, too, as actors Josh Hutcherson as Peeta and Liam Hemsworth as Gale again take turns helping her really and haunting her thoughts.

If you haven’t read the last book, the ending is nicely twisty.

OK, the studio could, down the line, try to bring Katniss back, considering Jennifer Lawrence’s rising star and if this fourth part continues to cha-ching …

Do you think a movie franchise should end with the books from which it came, or be extended with new scripts if it successful? If you’ve been part of ‘The Hunger Games’ craze, what drew you in? What’s your favorite Jennifer Lawrence movie, and why?

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35 thoughts on “It’s over for The Hunger Games, and it’s epic

  1. I’ll be seeing this movie at some point. I hope they don’t try to extend the movie franchise beyond the books.
    Jennifer Lawrence was brilliant in “Winter’s Bone”–maybe her first movie? I don’t think that many people know about it, but it was a wonderful movie, and she was great (as was John Hawkes).

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  2. Okay, so the kids brought back mediocre results in comparison, Mark. They had all read the book and I think already formed the opinion that the plot line wasn’t as strong as the first. One of the friend’s defined it as ‘some great scenes in an otherwise mediocre movie’. They were going on quite a bit at what I can only imagine could be the startling beings in the battle though. Anyway, just sharing the opinion of 13-14 y.o.’s.

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  3. Yep, Merrildsmith nailed it, “Winter’s Bone”. As she mention it is not as well know as the “Hunger Games” but it is the first movie in which Jennifer was recognized for her talent. It is a great movie worth watching in its own right albeit disturbing.

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  4. My family has been to every HG movie since they came out! I think there probably won’t be many movies which will unite us as a family going forward for the next few years as the boys go through their teens like this series has. Jennifer is a great role model for young girls and indeed younget men… she plays a great female lead, strong but not kickass, emotional but not weak, and while beautiful, is a real womanly shape, not unrealistically stick thin with fake… um . .. enhancements! Thumbs up all round, and sorry it’s over, but no… leave it as is, creating more stories around it would just weaken it in my view.

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  5. I finally read this trilogy over the holidays – I had to finally know what all the hoopla was about. I really enjoyed the books & can see why it is so hugely popular. My husband & I watched the 1st movie, the evening that I finished the book (read it in 1 day) – which was pretty cool except seeing it right after reading it, I couldn’t help but point out the differences to my husband, like where the mockingjay pin actually came from – that seemed like a weird detail to change . . . and he told me we are not allowed to watch movies together of books I have just finished reading LOL!! Looking forward to seeing the rest of the movies, if nothing else to see the special effects, & so my husband can see how it ends, as he got no spoiler alerts from me 🙂

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    • I always like the book better, Sadie. Well, almost always. The same day, though, that would be weird. If we lived near each other, I’d love to pick a book/movie combo we’d both not read nor seen, and read it and watch it on the same day together, and both write a blog about the experience. Would the friendship survive? As Paul would say … Ha!

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