Lionsgate is having a happy Hunger Games so far. Not only is the film on its way to demolishing the box office, but it has now racked up a number of fresh reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Variety says, “Proficient, involving, ever faithful to its source and centered around Jennifer Lawrence's impressive star turn, this much-anticipated, nearly 2 1/2-hour event picture should satiate fans, entertain the uninitiated and take an early lead among the year's top-grossing films.” Empire gives it four out of five stars and says, “There have been a number of big-gun literary series brought to screen over the past decade. This slays them all.”
Boxoffice Magazine notes, “The cast are good-to-excellent—Stanley Tucci's grinning and grim emcee is a standout—while Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth spin their stock love interest parts into nicely-tuned turns.” As for Jennifer Lawrence’s work, HitFix describes it as “a pure movie star performance, and Lawrence rises to the occasion.” Of Gary Ross, The Playlist says, “He’s produced an engaging, thoughtful, populist piece of entertainment that transcends gender, genre or source material.”
So, how about it Hunger Games fans? It looks like our dreams are actually coming true and Ross and co. did the source material justice! While I do have a feeling I’m going to love the film just as much as the critics that have seen it thus far, keep any eye out for the March 21st Hunger Games Countdown to read my full thoughts.
But, in the mean time, there’s still tons of pre-release material to keep you busy, namely this brand new clip from the film. For those who’ve read the book, not only is it clear that this moment isn’t in it, but it’s also pretty easy to figure out where it’ll fit in, suggesting that in the film version, we really will be seeing quite a bit of what goes down outside of the arena while the Hunger Games are in progress. This clip also signifies the push to make both President Snow and Head Gamemaker Seneca Crane have a bigger presence, something that’ll greatly affect subsequent films – I think for the better.
We’ve also got a new TV spot (see below) that offers up a few never-before-seen looks at the Capitol and they’re pretty incredible. It’s got a very realistic city-like feel, but at the same time still alludes to the futuristic era. When you’ve flipped through every frame of that, it’s onto the massive helping of interviews ranging from Stanley Tucci’s appearance on Chelsea Lately to Reelz Channel’s “The Hunger Games: Inside The Arena” series to Elizabeth Banks’ fan Q&A session and so much more.
In the realm of industry news, there’s also talk of Lawrence running into a conflict with Catching Fire and the X-Men: First Class sequel. Apparently Lionsgate and Fox are going to have to go head-to-head when it comes to planning their shooting schedules. Lionsgate wants to film Catching Fire this summer and Fox wants X-Men in production by the fall. No, it doesn’t seem like a direct conflict, but those timeframes do run the risk of coming very close to one another.
According to a THR insider, Fox has the edge and “their option trumps Lionsgate’s option.” Then again, the article wraps by noting that the studios say there is no conflict and both will accommodate her. Regardless of how this Catching Fire/X-Men situation does pan out, this is Jennifer Lawrence we’re talking about here; with her newfound monumental stardom, the odds most certainly will be in her favor – whatever that means for the two films.