Oooh a list! Haven't done one of these in a while.
Alrighty here, I know I initially said I really liked the adaptation of The Hunger Games to the big screen, but the more I've really scrutinized the film, the more I'm less enraptured with it. So here are some ways the next installment could make some improvements.
10. Lose the shaky cam. I cannot tell you how much this bothered me. I waited months and months for this movie, and when I get there, I get a shaky view of the action. Also, it made a lot of people feel sick or get a headache not from the cruel injustice of the Captiol, but because shaky cam messes up your equilibrium.
9. Better dialog. One thing that is largely absent from The Hunger Games film is the snarky dialog of Katniss, Haymitch's bleakly comic brutality, and Peeta's sweetness. I mean, there isn't even a whole lot of dialog on the character's parts in Hunger Games either, so that might be helpful. I mean, maybe I think that because the book was narrated by Katniss, so we get her inner monologue. But I felt the dialog present in the movie didn't capture the inner workings of these characters correctly, although it was a lot better than say, the Potter films.
8. Speaking of Katniss' narration, could we maybe have some of that? Just in different places or for short amounts of time, because I usually cannot stand full time narration (there are exceptions, i.e. The Princess Bride), but I really like Katniss as a character, and I feel like she's the most interesting version of herself in terms in of narration in Catching Fire. Quote a passage from the book every now and then, that would make a lot of fans happy.
7. More time in the arena. As much as I don't like blood and guts, we didn't get to the actual Hunger Games part of The Hunger Games until about the one hour point in the movie. There isn't a whole lot of fascinating stuff at the beginning of Catching Fire, save for the District 11 and Capitol stops on the Victory Tour. This would be an excellent to employ a nicely cut montage with some of the excellent music I know must be in store for Catching Fire.
6. Aforementioned excellent music. I liked the score for The Hunger Games, but felt it borrowed too much from other things. For example, the track that plays over (SPOILERS) Seneca Crane's death scene and the other last few bits of the movie is a track from an action movie called Hanna, composed by the Chemical Brothers. While that score is one of my favorite movie scores of all time, and the track is used nicely, the rest of the score felt like almost too minimalist for me. I like all the music in the District 12 scenes, but otherwise, it felt very lacking, although Rue's Farewell and the train scene were well done too. I don't know. I'm just iffy on the score. And you could do so much for a movie like Hunger Games in terms of score.
5. Character development. Let's look at Peeta. If you try and graph out the character development for Hunger Games, a la my English class, you'll see Peeta, and most of the characters really, don't develop like they did in the book. And this is in part because Katniss' narration is missing, but there are so many ways they could have done this. But as I mentioned in my original review of the film, there wasn't a whole lot of time for that, and they did the best they could with what they had. However, I felt Peeta especially was veeeeery underdeveloped. He's more than just a sweet little blond kid.
4. I NEED MORE HAYMITCH. I felt like Woody Harrelson's excellent portrayal was vastly underplayed. Haymitch is easily one of the most interesting characters in the whole series, and I really can't wait to see them delve into his character, as I hope they will. It would make my year to see this happen. The same could be said for Cinna as well, but SPOILER SPOILER he doesn't last very long SPOILER SPOILER.
3.Alright. I haven't mentioned Finnick. I'll mention Finnick. And this is something that has worried me ever since they released the promo pics for Finnick. I really hope they know when to make Finnick a real person and not a sex symbol like in the book. I just really hope they develop him like they should, or otherwise, that character will be nothing.
2. Make me care more about the tributes. It seemed like every tribute besides Cato and Clove were downplayed, even Rue and Thresh.