The Hunger Games
This is the much-awaited part one of the trilogy of the young adult novels. This one stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, Liam Hemsworth as Gale, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch, Elizabeth Banks as Effie and Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, with Stanley Tucci being the emcee, who’s fabulous, and Donald Sutherland playing President Snow. I’ll tell you the good news and the bad news about this. The good news is Stanley Tucci is fabulous. The good news is Josh Hutcherson is adorable. The good news is Woody Harrelson is continuing his assault on Hollywood cinema by being fabulous. The bed news is — well, Jennifer Lawrence I’m not sure is much of an actress in this, kind of one note. She doesn’t really show much emotion and that’s part of the part here, I suppose, but the real bad news is that this is a really violent movie of kids killing kids. And somehow, with the headlines being what they are, that makes my stomach hurt a little bit. Is it going to make a lot of money? Very likely. Is it brutal? Yes. I would call this, I suppose, Dancing with the Starved. Oh, I know, terrible. But it is sort of an odd combination of The Bachelor and Twilight and Robocop — I don’t know, it seems very derivative, but my real complaint with it is that it’s just very violent, though somewhat haunting. The audience is teenage girls who will be thrilled with Katniss’ strength and courage. For those of us who are adults and worry about the effect of violence on our kids: Two and a half stars… Actually, upon further reflection, I’ll give it three stars.