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"The Hunger Games" Movie Review

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Caught in the aftermath of political rebellion, two-dozen teenagers enter the competition, but only one may leave.

These are the rules that have defined the Hunger Games for the last 74 years.

Based on Suzanne Collins’s book by the same title, “The Hunger Games” movie follows the journey of Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, into the competition known as the Hunger Games.

For the few of you that haven’t read the grossly popular young-adult series, the story is based in a gloomy, futuristic society. The Hunger Games are a required competition for two young adults from each of the 12 districts to battle to the death.

The Games are not only a source of entertainment to those in the Capitol city but also a reminder to the districts of a failed rebellion and a warning to dissuade any future rebels from testing the Capitol’s power.

Accompanied by Peeta, a boy from her hometown played by Josh Hutcherson, Katniss travels to the Capitol to promote and train for the Games. They both make friends and enemies along the way and ultimately discover whom they can trust.

The two youngsters team up with other characters such as Miss Manners Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), the drunken disaster Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), and the cool and crafty Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) on their melancholy yet slightly comical journey through the Games. There are moments when you want to cry, laugh or scream along with the characters.

Unfortunately for the plot, the visual relationship between Katniss and Peeta was not developed enough, most likely due to the lack of chemistry between Lawrence and Hutcherson. Hopefully, the actors can work on their on-screen presence for the sequel, which is due in theaters November 2013.

If you easily get motion sickness, I would suggest sitting in the back of the theater, as the camera work is shaky throughout the movie. It’s hard to keep track of everything happening in the scenes, even the ones that are not filled with action.

Setting records in its debut weekend, the film earned an estimated $155 million, marking it as the third-best debut in North American box office history according to an online CNN report. The two movies that beat out “The Hunger Games” were “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” and “The Dark Knight,” which were both sequels.

We should expect the next installments of “The Hunger Games” to continue breaking records.

The most disappointing part of the movie wasn’t about the actual movie at all, but rather the reaction toward casting decisions.

The novel described Rue as having “dark brown skin and eyes,” yet Twitter was ablaze with comments criticizing why Rue and two other characters were played by black actors, according to an article on Jezebel.com.

A shocking amount of racially-biased comments were written all over the Internet. Situations are no longer sad when the characters are of a darker complexion, according to one Twitter account member. Another expressed a refusal to see the movie because of the casting decisions.

Despite these hateful remarks, “The Hunger Games” has achieved and will continue its success breaking box office records.

If you have a chance this week, I would recommend grabbing a few friends and catching the next showing of “The Hunger Games.”

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"The Hunger Games" Movie Review