DVD & Blu-Ray Reviews

BLU-RAY REVIEW – ‘The Hunger Games’

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From the original theatrical review:

The Hunger Games exceeds expectations at nearly every turn, bringing the book to life in magnificent fashion. The performances here are astounding, especially from Lawrence, who embodies Katniss with the same heartfelt compassion and fierce determination as her literary counterpart, creating one of the most positive female role models to come out of Hollywood in a very long time.

Director Gary Ross does a remarkable job of bringing The Hunger Games to life and convincing the viewer that this dark future could very well exist within the confines of our own reality. It’s an epic, emotional tale that should resonate with audiences of all ages and backgrounds, and will drag you breathlessly from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other.

Without a doubt, The Hunger Games is the most important release of the year for Lionsgate, and this Blu-Ray delivers the goods in a big way. The video transfer is stunningly, jaw-droppingly gorgeous, with bold colors during the Capitol scenes that allow the viewer to appreciate the diversity among its citizens, and a more subdued but equally impressive palette for scenes in the poverty-stricken outlying districts.

The 7.1 audio mix is arguably more impressive than the video transfer, taking advantage of the additional two channels to create a fully immersive listening experience. Directionality is brilliantly utilized, especially during the start of the Games where Katniss flees deeper into the arena while the other Tributes give chase, or when she and Rue use mockingjay signals to communicate. Dialogue remains well-balanced and clear throughout the experience, ensuring that nothing goes unnoticed.

Lionsgate was every bit as generous with the supplemental features as they were with the rest of the disc, with the centerpiece being The World is Watching: The Making of The Hunger Games. This eight-part, two-hour documentary chronicles the film’s production from start to finish, and contains plenty of information for hardcore and casual fans alike. The remaining special features include a conversation with Ross and series author Suzanne Collins, as well as a look at some of the changes that went into the adaptation, and a collection of trailers and other marketing materials for the film.

With a fully loaded set of supplements and one of the best transfers we’ve ever seen, The Hunger Games not only lives up to the hype around its theatrical release earlier this year, but also raises the bar for what to expect from home video releases. Much like the film itself, this Blu-Ray release exceeds expectations at every turn, and certainly belongs in every fan’s collection.

 

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