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Hypable

As an avid fan of the books, I was thrilled to sit down in my plushy seat at midnight and watch The Hunger Games for the first time. Now, after processing what I saw in an excited, albeit sleepy, haze, I can say I truly loved the movie. The cast was incredible, the sets surpassed my wildest dreams, and the film overall gave me the same feelings I had while reading the books.

Having said that, I had one major qualm with the movie: the editing.

At times I understood Gary Ross’ desperate attempts to make the audience feel as uneasy as Katniss and the people of Panem. However, large chunks of the film felt shaky and out of focus. Every once in a while it is ok to give your audience a wobbly shot of people walking or to have primary focus on Katniss’ braid, but the more this inane editing continued throughout the film, the more frustrated I became. I wanted to see the people of District 12′s faces. I wanted to feel the fear from the faces of the tributes without being distracted by motion blur. More than anything I wanted Gary Ross to stop jump cutting from one shot of people walking to a slightly different shot of people walking.

I understand the concept behind the erratic editing. I even agree with Ross’ decision to make the audience anxious with the editing. The problem for me was that it went on for too long. A few jumpy, unstable shots to set the tone would have been more than enough. As a viewer, I wanted to be able to fully take in the immensely detailed images I was given, and I truly feel that I was robbed of the great work the different designers on the film worked so hard to create.

I love these books, and I really do love this film. I plan on seeing it several more times and will be the first person buying my midnight ticket for Catching Fire. But please, Gary Ross, spare us fans the nausea and let us enjoy the richness in the film that begs to be seen.

Remember: Submit your own reviews!

  • Guest

    agree. the jumpy shots just made me so sick after awhile. The nausea made it hard to enjoy the movie

    • 7Starrchasers

      i felt the same..BUT having said that…when you watch it a second time..which I JUST did today…it is LOADS better…I actually enjoyed it a lot more than the first time I watched it!

      • http://twitter.com/ericasbrain Erica

        I actually agree, the shakiness was still there but it was much easier to watch a second time. 

    • Liderc

      I didn’t have a hard time watching it, it was just boringly slow at the beginning and then the fight scenes were so jumpy that you could barely tell who was fighting who.  

      • akacj18

        i agree that the whole first part before the games was a little slow, and i think this was compounded by the fact that the majority of the teaser footage was of the pre-Games so we felt like we had an idea of the feel of that part.

  • RussellTurner

    Yeah i agree. It was a love/hate thing for me. Some parts it was awesome and others it was too much. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/feliciamgrogan Felicia Grogan

    I had the exact same thoughts the whole time. I like the shaking editing, but it wasn’t necessary for that much of the film. 

  • Kyndall

    Couldn’t agree with you more. The shaking and blurry picture made me extremely nauseous that has continued into today for me.

  • Ssahrishkhan08

    I completely agree! The shaking gave me a headache and made me feel nauseous.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCJSDSEDKYOBEKWGIXCDB2QPYA Henry

    i loved everything but the action. Jennifer is amazing.

  • http://twitter.com/rachaellowa Rachael

    I agree too. It made me feel uneasy and quite dizzy sometimes.

  • KatnissLovegood

    THANK YOU. I completely agree. I found the editing especially frustrating in the arena, specifically on the Cornucopia at the end with Katniss, Peeta, and Cato. Here are these actors who have had months of combat training, and I can’t even appreciate the combat that is happening, because it’s all just a big blur. *grrr face*

    • Liderc

      Agree, I was expecting to see a lot more fighting and we really don’t see much at all.  The big fight scene was a huge blur and then a sad piece of dialogue trying to convince us that Cato wasn’t so bad after all, but it was like ugh, who cares.

  • Chaz

    I loved the shayness to it. No problem from me. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=531808242 Courtney Gibson

    I didn’t have any problem with it. It was different, and I love when filmmakers take the risk to try something new, and in my opinion it worked out amazingly. I think it brought the ‘page turner’ quality of the book with this editing. And it did one thing I’m not sure I’ve witnessed watching any other film, and I’ve seen a lot. I literally felt like I was in the film, not watching it. I felt the pain of the wounds, the nerves of the tributes, and just how horrible it really is on reaping day. That is something I never experienced or grasped while I was reading the book. During the reaping scene I felt like I was there, I could feel the emotion from start to finish of this film. I know that has partly to do with the incredible acting, but the editing has a huge part in the feel of the entire film, and I think it captured it so incredibly well.

    • jakem111

      I have to agree with this. Although I thought the shakiness and editing could be a bit excessive at times (the few times where for 1 or 2 short seconds I literally had no idea what was going on) I REALLY enjoyed the cinematography of the film. I thought it not only created more tension and excitement, but also, as many others have said, made the games and emotions seen in the film actually come to life. I don’t know about you all, but I never have really felt intense fear or danger or sadness at a theater before. Not until this movie (the reaping, the fight on the cornucopia, etc…). Everything felt so real, and it’s all because of the cinematography. I was extremely pleased with this film and thought it was incredibly well done!

    • Alex Anderlik

      I also agree, although I see where people are coming from.  I don’t get nauseated very easily, and I love documentary-style filming, so this movie was PERFECT for me.  The point was to get across that this is not an ordinary Hollywood-style steadycam movie.  It really makes the whole film feel real and gets an idea of the confusion of the whole situation. 

  • Alice

    One of my friends puked from motion sickness.

    … seriously

  • Monica

    The shaky camera worked for the combat sections and the tracker jacker part, but definitely not at the beginning. I don’t mind a bit of wobble, but it frustrated me that I couldn’t focus on anything. 

  • Kat

    My dad said it was rather shaky for the first 15 minutes then he said it was excellent. I was so thrilled that I didn’t even notic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000008061767 Justine E Woodard

    OMG I LOVED IT!!!!!!!! THE CAST WAS AMAZING!!! But yeah I totally agree, it one point, in a forest seen I was thinking ‘ugh stop it!!! I can’t see anything!!!!’ haha 

  • Lucia

    I thought it was really interesting just how many film ‘guidelines’ they broke making this, yet it still worked out great! As for the shaky stuff, I can totally understand from a film perspective – if it’s too shaky for us to see properly, then they don’t have to worry so much about every action within it being perfect. Might seem lazy or whatever, but other films do it with rapid editing all the time, they just took it to a new level this time.

  • Rdh014

    The number one thing people complain about action movies is the shaky-cam. They did with the Borne movies as i recall. To this I say: THE POINT IS TO MAKE YOU FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE. I have never had a problem with nausea and I understand completely why directors do it: battles/fights are confusing and rushed and quick and “shaky”. They are meant to put you into that reality. I see nothing wrong with them. 

    • Laura

      So because YOU don’t feel nauseous, everyone else should just sit back and take it? We all know why he did it and we agree and appreciate it to a certain extent. But to the point where fans get sick and even throw up? Excessive. 

      • Becca

        I think people just look for whatever is wrong with a movie based off of something they love so much, and I think blaming the camera-work is one of those things. 

        • Spellingbee10

          I liked the movie better than the last two books.  I wasn’t trying to find anything wrong with it, and I liked it better than my friends did.  But the shaky cameras did make me feel dizzy.  Half the time, I couldn’t focus on anyone’s faces.

          • sxottie

            Yes, i too got sick from the camera scenes. I always hate watching movies based on a favorite book, as they cannot possibly pack the details that your imagination creates from reading, but this followed the story line almost to a T.

        • Laura

          So being sick equals to being nitpicky? Wow. 

        • http://twitter.com/ericasbrain Erica

          I was not looking for something wrong in the movie, I really enjoyed it as a film. Having said that I found that the shakiness and focus bothered me. Overall I would say it was  a great film, I have already seen it twice, this was just something I felt about the film. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=51500624 Lindsey Ferguson

      I think the fact that it’s teenagers fighting to the death is enough to make you feel uncomfortable. And the contrast between the Districts and the capitol is enough to make you feel uncomfortable. The fight scenes in themselves are going to be quick, rushed, without being shaky.  I want to watch the movie, instead I couldn’t watch the movie because my eyes couldn’t take it.

  • Amanda J Taylor

    Agreed. I was so annoyed that they didn’t put the focus in the right places at times. It’s a minor complaint but I still felt that the shakeyness could have been taken out. I hated watching the all grapple about with the camera jostling about too. The opening bothered me too. They didn’t need the hand held camera’s.

  • Bridget

    Personally, I loved the editing. As one who wants is studying film and new media and wants to go into post-production, I nearly had a heart attack with how brilliant it was. I think yes, it walked the line of brilliance and epileptic, but if it didn’t walk that line, the film wouldn’t have had the tone it needed to have. 

    I think they needed all of this to add to the tone of the film. It’s a very edgy style, and not clean cut. To have the shaky-cam added to the District 12 mentality. If it was clean cut, it would make it seem like it came from the Capitol. At least in my opinion. 

  • moonshoespotter1712

    I’ve heard about the shaky camera technique in this film. :/ I’m not a big fan of the shaky camera, for example in the Bourne films. I hope it’s not too bad or distracting.

  • Mad

    I really liked it, though I think it takes a while to get used to it, because I did feel sick at first. I saw it a second time and was much better used to it, so it didn’t feel so bad.

  • http://twitter.com/Factuality Factuality

    I really enjoyed the movie, but I did feel a little queasy after seeing it in IMAX. However, I think the shakiness enhanced the desensitized scenes like when Katniss was being interviewed (one of my favorites in the whole film).

  • Bob

    i completely agree. it gave me a headache, especially the second time i saw it and it was really distracting

  • Jason

    I actually liked it! It really set a tone, especially with the jumping back and forth between the Capitol and District 12 and the games. It made it a lot more raw and really highlighted the realism of it for me, as well as the perversity of the captiol that the film makers were trying to get across.

  • Tcporter21

    oh i thought i was the only one who started to  feel sick during the movie lol

  • Liderc

    This didn’t help the movie at all and it wasn’t good to begin with.  Was really hoping this would be the start of a new franchise but I was about to fall asleep before they even got to the capitol.  The games themselves were half Katniss sleeping in a tree, then some teenagers ganging up on little kids.  This movie flopped big time, only the young tween girls were saying good things when we walked out, every guy and adult looked like they were in disgust.  I’d even take a Twilight film over this boredom, which is crazy to think about.

    • 7Starrchasers

      apparently you and I didn’t watch the same movie =)

  • TheOneAndOnlyCliche

    Some comments here make sense. Some people just genuinely found it a bit daunting to sit through, for real reasons.
    But I am eternally baffled by the people who were obviously just expecting a popcorn movie. If you ever thought this would be anything less than a thinking movie, a movie about the wrongness of it all – then YOU were wrong.
    Personally, it was fatastic. The script, the way they adapted it, the dierection…Gary Ross is a genius. For me, it was great.
    For others, it didn’t work.
    But if you were expecting a loud, popcorn fare a la Michael Bay, it’ s your own fault.
    This was truly a well made movie.

  • http://about.me/dshana Shana Debusschere

    I loved the editing. I feel they did it exactly right. 

  • Jen

    The way the cameras panned around like that was to give you the impression that you were looking through Katniss’ eyes. Personally, I thought it was AMAZING.

  • omgitzTHG

    Wtf..the editing was perfect, go take some pepto and suck it up.
     the point of the shaky cam was to bring a different tone to the movie and it worked out perfectly.

  • http://twitter.com/LuckeMasse Lucas Mass

    The line “May the odds be ever in your favor” was so overused and always felt forced everytime I heard it, the rest of the dialouge was weak compared to the book, the entire filmed lacked so much with it’s complete disjointed feeling and horrible music. There is not a single moment to remember, nothing stood out at all so I can’t remember any moment that I liked it in. It ended with a complete cop-out and a deus ex machina. Rue was in the film for 5 minutes and never had any character delevopment at all but we are then expected to cry about her for 10 minuter after she died. Infact none of the characters had any developmet, I didn’t care about any of the characters in the entire film.

  • http://twitter.com/fabulousjoshie Joshua Harris

    I thought it was just me but I feel like this is the new way of filming these days. I noticed it in Salt and even some in american horror story. I wish they would quit this reality tv style shooting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=51500624 Lindsey Ferguson

    It doesn’t help that most of us saw it for the first time at midnight, after a long day, when you’re already tired and having trouble focusing. I know that’s part of the reason it bother me so much. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1277735552 Arena Thompson

      I didn’t think of that, but that explains a lot from the midnight showing. 

      • Charlotte

        I wonder how many people watching might have imbibed a bit before going to see it.

  • Smoresluver13

    agreed, the jumpiness gave me a headache, not something you want when you’re trying to concentrate at midnight!

  • EmilyZitterkopf

    I have to be honest, I didn’t even really notice the shaky camera that much.  I was too engrossed in the film.

  • MJW

    I have to agree about the editing, but nevertheless, The Hunger Games was the best book-to-movie adaptation I’ve ever seen, bar none. Harry Potter doesn’t even compare (sorry, but it’s true, and I say that as a huge HP fan).

  • Rose

    Yeah, you’re right. At points I felt smothered, like I just needed a wide shot so I could breathe.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.rex Andrew Edward Rex

    I thought it was pretty brilliant to be honest. I don’t mind that style of editing though, because in the right movie it sets the entire movies tone (similar to Cloverfield). Obviously, Gary Ross mentioned it was intentional to make the film appear more real, like a documentary. I’m glad he did it that way. I thought it connected the audience better with the movie, and gave us a visual interpretation to just how intense these games are.

  • GinnyWeasley002

    Yes, the jumpy shots probably went a BIT overbaord at times, but I have to say, I LOVED it, and loved how that jumpiness portrayed everything. The action, the intenseness, the fear, etc. The point was to make you feel like you were IN there, not just watching. And, also, so that it could have an excuse to distract from the blood and gore for the sake of a PG-13 rating.

    All in all, I think it was an amazing adaption, editing and all.

  • Jacob

    At first I was like, “Whoa, slow down there, hotshot.” But then my eyes became acclimated to it and I was able to enjoy the film. I think it enhanced the feel of the movie to what the book sort of felt like, but I understand it might not be for everyone. 

  • Kelly Barker

    I thought it was the perfect amount of shakiness. It’s from Katniss’s perspective, so of course it’s going to be shaky and make people sick to their stomachs. It’s not like Katniss was totally stable the whole time while she was in the arena. I thought it was a very understandable and very creative stylistic choice. But to each their own.

  • Missalyssa804

    I loved the style, but I agree with the reviewer. I don’t get motion sickness or anything, so it didn’t bother me, but my friend actually had to close her eyes and stop watching for five minutes because it was making her so nauseated. So knowing that it affects some people like that, I agree that they could have done with just including some shaky parts.

  • Justin

    This is why I hate hypable. Not one positive review on the site from the fans. Just a bunch of negativity.

    • http://twitter.com/ericasbrain Erica

      I meant this review positively. I really truly enjoyed the movie, in fact I have already seen it twice… I just really felt that it was hard to watch at times for those who get motion sickness or who wanted to be able to focus in on details. 

  • Taylor Rayne

    Especially during the fight scenes, it was hard to see what was going on, who was on top of who. Even though it made me feel like I was in the games or the Capitol, it was also distracting and honestly made me a little dizzy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1277735552 Arena Thompson

    Totally agree. I held on to the very end but as soon as the credits rolled I darted to the theater bathrooms to dry heave for a good 10 minutes and when I made it home I had a full blown migraine. I have never had this reaction to a movie, especially a movie that I love! I want to see it again but am worried for the same reaction. 

  • Maggie

    I thought it fit really well! Yeah, at some points I felt like I was going to have a seizure, but looking back it really fit with the tone of the story.

  • LivetheFire

    at least this confirms that it wasn’t my headache causing my eyes to go out of focus. But of course because I assumed it was just me, I kind of saw it in a different light. I did my best to ignore the camera and found that the artistry and beautiful production of the film as a whole greatly outshone something like bad filming. 

  • Mayaconsuelo619

    I loved the movie but someone should tell Gary Ross to not make the same mistake when editing CatchiIng Fire. I completely agree with you and I just hope this doesent turn into another Batman Begins. But the movie was AMAZING just saw it this morning. :)

  • Dreamer

    I agree to an extent. The film style took a while to get used to and at first I was going crazy trying to follow everything, I felt like my eyes were zig zagging all over but by the time we got to the capital i was used to it and was able to fully enjoy the movie. I think the shaky camera and jumpy shots work especially well in the arena. I thought Rue’s death and the few scenes after were especially well done.

  • DP

    I just came out of it with three friends and we all had the same exact complaint. When thinking back on it, there is little about the movie I would have changed. But I definitely would have cut down on the jump cuts. Most of the time it seemed completely unnecessary (District 12) and it did give me a headache. I think if the editing had used less of the shaky camera work the movie could have gone from “good” to “great”. 

  • http://twitter.com/sarahjackett Sarah Jackett

    Thank you.  As someone who is devoting their life to video production, I can completely understand the use of unsteady shots.  Having said that, there is a point where it just becomes too much.  I do think it got a bit better after the first half.  And honestly, I can’t think of one shot that truly looked like it was on a tripod.  Every shot had some sort of movement.  It is ok to use a steadicam!  

  • moonshoespotter1712

    I just watched the film and thought it was great, but the the shaky cam was a bit much and a little distracting. Overall I thought it was all very well done, the set-up in the Capitol especially, and the romance was fine. Great performances all round.

  • mpgw97

    ya i personally liked most of what they did for filming.
    for the scene where she is stumbling around the forest, it was important for them to show the world moving strange and blurring, because otherwise she would just look dumb stumbling around in circles for what would appear to be no reason.
    but i found the filming for the last scene with cato confusing because the camera was constantly switching views and moving around to catch all the action, and it was good relief when they when out to a “birds’ eye view” shot because you could see what was happening. However, having the filming like that, gives you that disoriented felling that helps you to be able to relate to the characters and how they feel, and makes you feel stressed out for the character even though you know what will happen. (hope this makes sense)

  • GleeHaterExceptForDarrenCriss

    i thought the shakiness was perfect! it made the film seem so raw and harsh and real

  • akacj18

    i was in the 2nd row of the thearter, so my view was already a little scewed, and i agree, the motion blur was a little excessive. i like the visual style, and i’m not saying chuck it altogether, but certain scenes would have been slightly better served had we been given a few more seconds of steady footage. example: katniss and clove’s fight at the end WAS SO BAD @$$ but the footage was so shaky i wasn’t sure who had the upperhand at ay given moment during their tustle. overall though, no complaints. great film. almost exactly how i imagined it.

  • Vajackster

    It was because he wanted to make a slaghterfest for the whole family, so he made the violence incomprehensible and sacrificed the book’s impact for a bunch of stupid money.

  • Yskousen

    I almost walked out because I was getting so sick. I had to close my eyes and rest my head on my husband’s shoulder just to get through some parts in the movie that were so shaky. I hope Catching fire is less shaky : ( or Ill have to wait till i can watch it on a small screen.

  • katie

    Set a wonderful tone..but too much of it made me dizzy. not good.

  • Ninfuc

    It felt like Blair Witch

  • Ninfuc

    It seemed to be filmed by a drunk crackhead running through the woods with a HD camcorder following the characters.  Great movie though!

  • ABBYEA

    just saw this movie for the 2nd time. after the first time, i had a horrid headache for 10 days. i NEVER get headaches. i didn’t link the film to the headache. saw it again and came home in a fit of dizziness. stiff neck. felt like i was going to barf. hope i am not stuck with another 10 dayer. HORRIBLE !!!

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