Okay, so this was the year the Oscars got on my nerves for announcing ten Best Picture nominees. (And judging by what was included in those ten, I think we can all agree that I was right to be irked, which is some vindication, at least.)
I, like the majority of the western world, saw The Hunger Games on opening weekend. It had been nearly a year since I’d read Suzanne Collins’ book and I hadn’t yet started on the sequels. (I’m doing that now — and at the moment, I’m on Team Finnick. Sorry, Peeta! This is subject to change, though.)
I enjoyed the movie quite a bit, though I came away with slightly mixed feelings because the anticipation had been so great. Mostly, I was just relieved that it was so, so much better than that damn Twilight. (You’d think, sometime after passing the billion-dollar mark at the box office, they might actually try and make them at least a little bit good. But then again, why bother?) I came away feeling like I needed to see it one more time to be certain of my opinion.
And now I’ve done that.
Event movies are rare these days. Most films that studios would have you believe are “events” are anything but — sheep in wolves’ clothing. They hardly give us a reason to go to the theater at all, let alone line up opening night.
The Hunger Games, however, is an event. Certainly 2012′s first, and unless you count the final installment of Harry Potter —which, by the eighth film in the franchise, held very little surprise for its audience, since we all knew exactly what to expect — it is the first true Event Movie to come along since… oh, Inception, maybe? Avatar? (As a rule, I don’t think straight-off sequels really count as Events, unless there’s something truly novel about them — a la The Dark Knight with the late Heath Ledger as the Joker. In addition to drawing crowds, an Event Movie needs to have a palpable excitement surrounding it, an expectation on the audience’s part for the film to deliver, have an impact. The Transformer movies may be huge, but no one expects or even desires much from them. They play, minds shut off, and eyes glaze over.)
Not the case with The Hunger Games.