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“The Hunger Games”

The last time I heard such hype about an upcoming movies was several months before the first episode of “Harry Potter” debuted.  Critics and those that “know” in the Movie Industry are already calling this as yet unreleased film the next “Blockbuster.”  Since I have yet to see the movie, as have most of you, I will reserve my judgment of the above statement till figures of the weekend Box Office are in.  But if all the hype is to be believed I would buy my tickets early….if you still can.

According to the website IMDB the movie is set…

“In a not-too-distant future, North America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcast throughout Panem. The 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss’ young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives.”

Sound familiar?  It should this is a theme Science Fiction writers have used for decades….”Roller Ball” and “the Running Man” are two other movies in the same vein which immediately come to mind.  But as we say in the “Industry” it’s not the story that’s important but how you tell it.  And if the critics are right most agree that this story has been told exceedingly well.

“The Hunger Games” began as a “young adult” science fiction novel penned by Suzanne Collins and published in 2008; the first book of a trilogy.  It was the popularity of the book that first drew the attention of Hollywood producers.  The film is directed by veteran director Gary Ross best known for his work on “Pleasantville”, “Seabiscuit” and “Big”.  The screenplay was written by Ross, Suzanne Collins and screenwriter Billy Ray.

Twenty One year old Jennifer Lawrence leads the cast as the tough and determined Katniss Everdeen with nineteen year old Josh Hutcherson, of “Bridge to Terabithia” fame completing the pair as Peeta Mellark with Liam Hemsworth as Gale.  One of my favorite all time actors, Stanley Tucci, has been cast in the role of the Capitol TV’s game show host Caesar Flickman.

Will this movie surpass the expectation of the critics and Lionsgate Productions…that’s up to you the audience to decide.  But from the look of all the ticket presales I would say its well on its way.

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