While it's still fresh in my mind, I wanted to share a few thoughts. These are in a bulleted list, because that seems to be the easiest way to go about it.
- The capitol was very close to what I pictured. The costumes and make-up were spectacular.
- The cast did well. Jennifer Lawrence (who played the lead, Katniss) was believable and fun to watch.
- The violence was handled well and was realistic but not overly graphic.
I didn't like:
- I felt like the movie lacked a clear explanation of the world and the characters. Having read the book before the movie, I was grateful to be able to fill in the blanks, but I can see how someone who hadn't read the books might get confused or feel left out.
- I loved Gale in the books. Team Gale all the way! I was sad, then, when Gale wasn't presented in the same light in the movie. Some people have argued that Gale wasn't in the books very much, so how can I like him. To that I say, I don't know, but I do. He wasn't in the movie at all hardly, though, and the shots they did show him in (all three of them) were random. (The row full of twelve-year-old girls in front of me at the theater who kept "awww"ing whenever they showed Gale's face didn't help ease my annoyance one bit.)
- My image of Haymitch from the book was much more of a fat, obnoxious drunkard. Though Woody Harrelson did a commendable acting job, the character in the movie wasn't done as I had imagined. He mostly seemed too helpful and level-headed.
- There needed to be more set-up or explanation to Peeta and Katniss's love story. I knew from the books how confused Katniss was by Peeta and how unsure she felt about how much she was supposed to (or wanted to) act the part of a star-crossed lover. Though I can see how it would be hard to portray this kind of inner turmoil in a film, to me the whole thing felt random--and would have felt even more random if I hadn't read the book.
- One of my biggest issues was that they needed to explicitly state how many tributes were left. This happened only once at the beginning, and it needed to happen more to help the audience understand how far along the games were.