Stanley Tucci (above) and Elizabeth Banks (below, left) seem barely serviceable here. And the less said about the pointless, tiresome "costuming," the better.
Woody Harrelson (below, left) chews the scenery impressively, but since he has barely a character to speak of, this amounts to little.
Jennifer Lawrence (above left and elsewhere above) nor Josh Hutcherson (above, right), packs much punch. In Winter's Bone Ms Lawrence got away with minimal acting (she actually registers a bit more strongly via her smaller role in Like Crazy), but she seemed stilted and ill-at-ease in X-Men: First Class. In Hunger Games that uncomfortable quality takes over and it prevents the kind of large-scale performance that might bring the movie home.
Gary Ross (shown below) on Pleasantville, and somewhat less on Seabiscuit, I suspect he was simply used as a conduit via which the "brand" of The Hunger Games might be allowed to surface in the most prosaic, one-size-fits-all manner. Well, they got it.
RottenTomatoes.com. Well, that's not true, either. The RT site refuses to count any review as mixed -- even though a large percent of those for The Hunger Games definitely are. So, being a shill for the movie industry, as the site most definitely is, it counts many mixed reviews as positive. Read these reviews in their entirety and you come away thinking -- Boy that was mixed. But not on good old RT. Those ripe, juicy red tomatoes just keep on comin'! Just as Netflix used to serve its clients and public much better by allowing a rating of "just so-so," the company now makes us either like a film or dislike it. No middle ground. This is good marketing, of course. But otherwise, it's plain bullshit.
Lionsgate Films, an unconscionable 142 minutes long -- and, according to those that loved the book, they still left out most of the good parts -- is playing just about everywhere. And next door to there, too. To find a theater near you, go to the film's web site, click on GET SHOWTIMES - BUY TICKETS in the upper right hand corner of the screen, and enter your zip code. Watching this film, however, will soon convince you that, to paraphrase the line heard ad infinitum during this silly, puddle-shallow movie, the odds will be never in your favor.