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The Hunger Games (2012)

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Released:  Friday, March 23, 2012  
Length:  142 minutes
Studio: Lionsgate
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure
Rating: The Hunger Games is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of AmericaSome material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

Synopsis

The Hunger Games © Lionsgate. All Rights Reserved.
Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. Part twisted entertainment, part government intimidation tactic, the Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains. Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love. THE HUNGER GAMES is directed by Gary Ross, and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novel, which has over 3 million copies in print in the United States alone, is the first in a trilogy of novels which have developed a global following.

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The Hunger Games images are © Lionsgate. All Rights Reserved.


Mockingjay Crew Discuss 'The Hunger Games Experience'  3/8/2016 10:02 AM EST
The Hunger Games series was not just four films; it was an experience. That is never more clear than when watching the behind the scenes features on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 Blu-ray. At a sneak preview of a few of the extras on the Blu-ray (available on March 22) director Francis Lawrence and make-up artists Ve Neill, Glenn Hetrick, and Nikoletta Skarlatos were on hand to talk more ab...  More>>

Are Prequels in the Future for Hunger Games Franchise?  12/8/2015 1:54 PM EST
Lionsgate is looking into extending the Hunger Games franchise, according to their Vice Chairman Michael Burns.During the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York, Burns stated that the franchise "will live on and on."  While he didn't comment on exactly how this would happen, he did say that there seemed to be interest in the arena sequences and that "If we went backwards there ...  More>>

Lionsgate To Unveil Catching Fire With World Premiere In London  8/13/2013 4:42 PM EST
Santa Monica, CA and London, UK August 13, 2013 - With 100 days and counting until the November 22 worldwide launch of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the second installment of Lionsgate's global blockbuster Hunger Games franchise, the Company announced today that it will host a Catching Fire world premiere in London on November 11.Countdown to the release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, with...  More>>

Catching Fire Teaser Trailer to Air on MTV Movie Awards  4/3/2013 3:15 PM EST
"Catching Fire", the upcoming second installment of the "Hunger Games" trilogy, is set for a November 22 release, but you can catch a teaser trailer for the film on the 2013 MTV Movie Awards.On April 14, the show will feature Liam Hemsworth presenting the first trailer to eager fans. However, in case you want a sneak peek, one has become available through MTV.  Below is the 10 second preview of th...  More>>

Danny Strong tapped to write 'Hunger Games' Finale  10/2/2012 3:02 PM EST
Danny Strong, who just won two Emmys for writing and co-exec producing HBO's "Game Change", has been chosen to pen the two part "Hunger Games" finale, title "Mockingjay".     "Hunger Games" has earned more than $685 million worldwide. "Catching Fire", the sequel, will be released on November 22, 2013.     "Mockinjay", the finale, will be released in two parts - the first being Nov. 21, 2014 and th...  More>>

Hunger Games: Catching Fire Begins Production  9/11/2012 8:04 AM EST
Tuesday 11th September, 2012.  Principal photography started yesterday on the highly anticipated sequel to the worldwide blockbuster film THE HUNGER GAMES. THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE will shoot primarily in existing locations in and near Atlanta, Georgia.  The film will subsequently be shot on location in the beaches and jungles of Hawaii before wrapping in late December, 2012. Countdown to t...  More>>

Lynn Cohen Cast in Hunger Games:Catching Fire  8/2/2012 2:37 PM EST
Lionsgate has officially announced that Lynn Cohen has been cast to play the role of Mags in the upcoming film,  "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire".The studio released the following statement:Santa Monica, CA, August 2, 2012- Lionsgate® and the filmmakers of THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE are pleased to announce that Lynn Cohen has been cast in the role of Mags in the much anticipated film adaptat...  More>>

Hunger Games Blu-ray Release Date Set For 12:01 AM 8/18/2012  5/23/2012 1:40 PM EST
SANTA MONICA, CA, May 23, 2012 -Lionsgate's The Hunger Games juggernaut will arrive on home entertainment at 12:01 A.M. on Saturday, August 18, as the first film in Lionsgate's (NYSE: LGF) The Hunger Games franchise, which has already grossed nearly $400 million at the North American box office and is approaching $650 million at the worldwide box office, debuts on 2-disc DVD (plus digital copy), 2...  More>>

Robert Pattinson Being Courted For Hunger Games Sequel  5/23/2012 1:34 PM EST
Robert Pattinson best known as heartthrob Edward from Twilight, is looking for new projects as the series comes to a close.   According to Total Film, it is rumoured Lionsgate wants him for the next installment of the Hunger Games franchise, " Catching Fire" for the role of Finnick Odair, a ladies man and former tribute, who gets himself involved in "The Third Quarter" -- a contest for Hunger Game...  More>>

'I am Legend' Director To Helm 'Hunger Games' Sequel  4/20/2012 1:44 PM EST
Since Gary Ross confirmed he would not be directing the sequel to the hugely popular Hunger Games, Catching Fire, speculation has been rife who his successor would be. Well speculate no longer as it seems Lionsgate has gone with I Am Legend director Francis Lawrence.   There has been a handful of names linked with the project, but Lawrence has been the front runner mainly due to the fact he is not...  More>>

Confirmed: Gary Ross Will Not Direct Hunger Games Sequel, Catchi...  4/11/2012 8:34 AM EST
Over the last week there has been a game of will he won't he being played out on many entertainment website. He being director Gary Ross and whether or not he will be back to direct the sequel to the worldwide box office hit The Hunger Games, Catching Fire. The first rumours that he was to walk away from the second film soon spread globally to the dismay of many fans. This was swiftly followed by ...  More>>

Correction: Garry Ross Not Out of Hunger Games Sequel Just Yet  4/8/2012 11:26 AM EST
In recent days there have been reports on various media sites that The Hunger Games director Gary Ross had withdrawn his services for the much talked about sequel Catching Fire. Now it seems that those stories may have been a little wide of the mark, as it appears that Gary Ross is on a family vacation and he was in no position to be reached, and the stories that were appearing online were wholly ...  More>>


The Hunger Games Series 4K Ultra HD Review


The Suzanne Collins young adult book series The Hunger Games was enjoyed by teenagers and adults alike and became bestsellers.  They spawned four blockbuster movies (the last book was broken into two films) and solidified Jennifer Lawrence (X-Men: First Class) as an A list Hollywood actress.  They brought to life the characters we fell in love with and rooted for during the barbaric annual ritual that had kids killing kids and made audiences see the books in a whole different light. In anticipation of the start of the holiday gift-buying season, the 4K Blu-ray editions of the films are coming to home entertainment this week.

We all know the story.  The Capitol has controlled the 12 outlying districts for the last 74 years after the rebellion failed.  As punishment, the districts must send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to "The Hunger Games".  These 24 young adults then battle it out to the death on unfamiliar terrain until only one of them remains.

Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) volunteers for the games when her younger sister Primrose (Willow Shields; Beyond The Blackboard) is chosen and Katniss and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson; Red Dawn) head to the Capitol to compete.  Along the way, they spark a "pseudo" romance (or maybe it's real) and grab the hearts of the people.  Meanwhile, the outlying districts are tired of the capitol's control and see Katniss as a symbol of their new hope, which sparks another rebellion and, eventually, the fall of President Snow (Donald Sutherland; The Italian), ending the Hunger Games.

The cast throughout the series is excellent.  Besides Lawrence, Sutherland and Hutcherson, there are numerous celebrated actors sprinkled throughout the four movies.  Liam Hemsworth (The Last Song) as Gale is the other young adult vying for Katniss's attention manages to hold his own, but stand outs include Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada), Wes Bentley (Gone), Julianne Moore (The Kids are Alright), Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect), Woody Harrelson (Cheers) and Lenny Kravitz (Zoolander).  The final film was also the last on screen performance of Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote).

The 4K Blu-rays are presented in 2160p High Definition video with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio.  This, of course, makes the resolution fantastic and the colors vibrant and spectacular.  The blacks are pure and dark and the various colors present beautifully across the spectrum.  The audio is Dolby Atmos and is sharp and clear especially during the various explosions throughout the series.  However, the mix isn't the best and there is a sharp contrast in the volume of the special effects and the dialogue that can be frustrating at times.

The Blu-rays offer the same extras as the regular Blu-ray releases from August of 2012.  There are so many of them that it would be time consuming to describe them all but standouts include:

• The World Is Watching: Making The Hunger Games

• Surviving The Game: Making The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

• Deleted Scenes from all four films

• Cinna's Sketchbook: Secrets of the Mocking Jay Armor

• Straight from the Heart: A tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman

While the movies aren't as good as the books, they do a great job of interpreting the novels and staying true to the overall story.  Like the books though, the second film Catching Fire, is the best of the bunch and worth watching over and over again.  Of course, if you plan to buy one of these films you may as well buy all four, as they are incomplete without the others. 

A series like this one is certainly worthwhile and if you have the capability to see in 4K, you should definitely buy it.

Grade: B+

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  • 9/1/2011 6:54 AM EST

    Teaser


    Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the nation of Panem forces each of its twelv...
     
  • 11/19/2011 8:52 PM EST

    Trailer


    Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the nation of Panem forces each of its twelv...
     

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