I think if they hadn't tried so hard to get the Twilight demographic and had instead focused on the true themes of the story, they would have done just as good at the box office, and would have made a far better movie. IMHO
The film was ok. It gets compared to battle royale a lot and between them they cover the bases. The hunger games kind of covers the reason behind the slaughter, I think the emotional connection between characters was better but in battle royale they nailed the survival aspect, individual character motives were believable and because it didn't focus on a central character then it worked a lot better as a survival film. The qualms I had with the hunger games: *spoilers for the film*
What was with the fireballs and the dogs? I get that it was to bring the characters together so that they can fight but dude. The dogs ruined it, they actually killed a guy. Not only would it ruin the betting system because there was an internal control over the outcome that was exercised but more than that... WTF? I was hoping the guy/guys/gal/gals that got killed by the dogs would be in some fight at the end but nope. Cheated out of a fight scene. I don't get it...
What was with them just going round together in a group, I think the HISHE bonus scene expresses me the best
The fireballs and the dogs were covered more extensively in the books but I get it that not everyone reads them so I'll try to explain it.
The fireballs were just like you said, they were created to round up the characters so that they fight. Since it's broadcasted, people expect a certain amount of danger and excitement but if there's characters running away, they do stuff like fireballs to "direct" them towards other characters.
The dogs are "mutts" or mutations of the other dead players. They combined the DNA of the dead players with either dogs or wolves to create the creatures that appeared at the end of the game. I guess it's more of a psychological thing of seeing the eyes of dead players but the creatures are ferocious so they can kill players too. Supposedly in the movie you could make out all of the other dead players but I was only able to notice Glimmer (blonde girl at the bottom of the tree that died from the Tracker Jackers) and Rue.
That's what I remembered from the books. I haven't read them in a couple of months so my information could be off but that's what I remembered.
That's pretty much it. They kind of glossed over the mutts in the movie, but I like how they showed exactly how much control they had over the entire environment, including the exact path of the fireballs.
I just didn't like it, it sounds like it was covered much better in the books but with the film I felt cheated. I don't really like the control of the environment. In Battle Royale (this isn't a spoiler, it's a rule of the royale) the neck collar explodes if you enter a forbidden area of the island, they add in forbidden areas to close them together which is much better. I think I was just more into it for the survival aspect and when they did that I just felt kind of cheated like I say.
The thing with Battle Royal is that it isn't much of a story, especially one that covers three books. So BR could really focus on the deepness of the battle and the little aspects that make it work. Where the Hungary Games, on the other hand, is still trying to tell a story. So there is less about the actual battle and more character development.
That is exactly right and it's the exact feel I got after I left the Cinema from the hunger games. I thought that they covered all the bases together. Battle royale really covered the survival aspect but it kind of lacked the background and quite a lot of character depth and the Hunger games was the other way. I really didn't like the survival part I mean, who has the time to camouflage. Just hide in a godamn tree. There were some good character connections and there was a good backstory too. Like I say, I have problems with the premise for both films and they both have +'s