I haven't been excited to see a movie in a l-o-n-g time so I was surprised at how I felt as I waited to go see The Hunger Games movie. I took my thirteen year old daughter (my oldest is too cool to be seen with me and I respect that since I was the same way at her age) and made the afternoon special. We had lunch out, talked, and arrived at the theater early. After sitting through commercials (which reminded this film buff why I DON'T go out to theaters that often anymore) and previews (how many were there....seven?) the movie began.
I will say director Gary Ross and everyone involved did a wonderful job. The cast, their acting, the sets, the scenery, all were commendable. I loved the series, especially the first two, and liked the last, and seeing how faithful the script was to the original material was heartwarming. Madge giving Katniss the pin was one scene I did miss but seeing Lenny Kravitz as Cinna made me a true believer. Jennifer and Josh were excellent (though I wish their scenes together lasted a little longer).
There have been many a book I adored or really liked but hated the movie version. Somewhere during the trip from paper to film, the 'heart' of the story was either lost, lessened, or transformed so the impact was lost. That did not happen here.
The Hunger Games was a really good movie. Exciting, gritty, colorful (wow, those Capitol people are some bunch) and touching--I liked it. I may not have found it great but what I do find great are the number of kids reading this series and hopefully, others. With so many being app-crazy, dealing with the amount of new video games and You Tube sensations, Facebook, tweeting, and let's not forget the demands of school, extra curricular events and for some, work, kids have tons of things fighting for their time. Seeing them with an actual book, iPad or ereader is what's important. My own kids are surrounded by books, I share my Kindles with them, and I do gently nag when I hear an occasional "I'm bored" with a curt, "Well, you could read."
So excuse me if I stand by the wayside and let the hoopla surrounding The Hunger Games pass by. Since Harry Potter, waiting for the next big kid's book/eventual movie franchise has become a part of the norm. As a parent, I'm happy to see books being read and as a writer I'm ecstatic and hopeful.