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People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Thursday June 20, 2013 01:10AM EDT
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- April 02, 2012
- Vol. 77
- No. 14
Picks and Pans: Movies
First Look: The Host
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth PG-13 |
Katniss Everdeen's life was difficult enough before she was forced to try to kill 23 other children on national television. Fatherless and starving in District 12, the mining center of dystopian future world Panem, Katniss (Lawrence) takes the place of her little sister Prim (Willow Shields) as a tribute, fighting to the death in an elaborate spectacle broadcast as a reality show. To add poison to the sting, Katniss is expected to kill her own teammate Peeta (The Kids Are All Right's charming Hutcherson), a sweet boy who has a crush on her.
Yes, The Hunger Games is feral, but its unwillingness to coddle its young audience is what made author Suzanne Collins's trilogy a hit. The movie sticks close to the first book, with detail-perfect renderings of the districts, the Capitol, the arena-and certainly of Katniss. Lawrence, an Oscar nominee last year for Winter's Bone, is a fan's dream. With her soulful eyes and innate grit, she gives skilled hunter Katniss equal doses of complexity and appeal. Forget Twilight's insipid Bella Swan. This is a literary heroine girls can cherish.
Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks and Lenny Kravitz have lovely supporting roles, but the film isn't always as strong as its stars. Its subtleties may get lost on viewers new to the story. Still, it's so fiendishly engaging, the even darker sequels can't come fast enough.
That depends. Did they read the books? If they're mature enough, kids 12 and under should experience the Games on paper before they see the film's kid-on-kid brutality. The film isn't gory, and the violence is central to the plot. But even if the death scenes aren't the stuff of nightmares, the idea of children hunting each other may be.
Twilight's Stephenie Meyer Goes Sci-Fi
So long, vampires; greetings, aliens? In The Host, Twilight author Stephenie Meyer's 2008 novel, space invaders have taken over the minds and bodies of nearly all Earth's population. "Stephenie was very involved" in the film adaptation (due March 29, 2013), says director Andrew Niccol. Actress Saoirse Ronan, 17, takes on dual roles: Melanie, one of the world's last remaining free spirits, and Wanderer, the alien who assumes control of Melanie's soul. "Melanie is split down the middle," Ronan says of the bizarre love triangle between Wanderer, Melanie and Jared (Max Irons). But how will "Twi-hards" react to the bloodsucker-less new world? "It's a love story on a grand scale," says Niccol. "[And] it's maybe the first love triangle that's between two bodies."
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