The Hunger Games appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. For the most part, this became a satisfactory presentation.
Overall sharpness seemed appealing. Occasional wide shots felt a smidgen soft, but those failed to pop up with any frequency, so the majority of the flick brought solid accuracy.
I saw no signs of jagged edges or moiré effects, and the movie lacked edge haloes. No print flaws appeared either.
Most of the movie opted for a semi-dingy teal sensibility to lack the grim circumstances, but the scenes in the Capitol conveyed brighter tones. All felt accurately represented in terms of the desired production choices.
Blacks usually worked fine, though they could crush a little on occasion. Shadows seemed well-rendered and smooth. All in all, the image seemed very good.
Even better, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack excelled. With plenty of action on display, the soundscape earned many chances to shine.
It filled out the various channels in an active, involving manner that placed the viewer within the spectrum. Different components showed up in appropriate spots and moved/meshed well to form a solid sense of place.
In addition, audio quality excelled. Speech remained distinctive and natural, while music showed good range and clarity.
Effects fared best, as they seemed accurate and dynamic. The soundtrack fit the film and added to the experience.
Disc One opens with ads for Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Otherwise, we get all the set’s extras on Disc Two, and these start with a documentary called The World Is Watching. It runs two hours, two minutes and includes comments from writer/director Gary Ross, Lionsgate President of Production Alli Shearmur, producers John Kilik and Nina Jacobson, publisher David Levithan, writer Billy Ray, casting director Debra Zane, costume designer Judianna Makovsky, makeup designer Ve Neill, VFX supervisor Sheena Duggal, production designer Philip Messina, stunt coordinator Chad Stahelski, executive producer Robin Bissell, additional VFX supervisor Scott Farrar, editor Stephen Mirrione, sound designer Lon Bender, reviewer Drew McWeeny, and actors Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Isabelle Fuhrmann, Alexander Ludwig, Dayo Okeniyi, Wes Bentley, Leven Rambin, Jack Quaid, Jacqueline Emerson, Willow Shields, and Amandla Stenberg.
“World” covers the source novel and its adaptation, story/characters, photography and storyboards, cast and performances, makeup and costumes, concept design and effects, set design, stunts, weapons and action, locations, editing, music and sound, and the movie’s release.
With more than two hours at its disposal, “World” offers plenty of room for information related to the film. More of this leans toward happy talk than I might prefer, but “World” still presents more than enough useful material to work well.
Six featurettes follow. We find “Game Maker” (14:05), “Letters from the Rose Garden” (9:08), “Controlling the Games” (5:50), “A Conversation with Gary Ross and Elvis Mitchell” (14:31), “Preparing for the Games” (3:00) and “Propaganda Film” (1:34).
Across these, we hear from Ross, Levithan, McWeeny, Banks, Emerson, Sutherland, Shearmur, Jacobson, Duggal, Messina, Bentley, Mirrione, critics Amanda Belcher, Megan Scott and Pauline Hughes, English teachers Sarah Wolf and Joe Koetters, school administrator Barbara Wagner, high school student Samantha Newby, and co-producer Bryan Unkeless.
In the featurettes, we get info about the source novels and their path to the screen, Sutherland’s reaction to the project, the Games Center design/creation, and Ross’s approach to the material and general thoughts. “Propaganda Film” also shows a President Snow-narrated piece to convince Panem citizens of the need for the Hunger Games.
After the broader strokes of “World”, the six featurettes focus more on more specific domains. They do so reasonably well, though some – especially “Maker” – can feel fluffy.
Within the “Marketing Gallery”, we get three trailers. We also locate a Poster Gallery (11 images) and a Photo Gallery (75). Both are decent, though the pictures seem too small and don’t take up enough of the frame.
Back in 2012, The Hunger Games became a massive hit, one that launched Jennifer Lawrence toward super-stardom. I can’t say the movie impresses greatly, but it provides a fairly engaging action-adventure. The Blu-ray brings strong picture and audio as well as a useful roster of bonus materials. I don’t think Games excels, but it becomes a moderately entertaining effort.