Hunger Games

The Hunger Games – the gazillion dollar box office success story – is set in a dystopian future where an uneasy peace is enforced nearly a century after a brutal civil war in North America. As penance for their part in the uprising against the central power, the districts outlying the Capitol are forced once a year to send two teenagers – one boy, one girl – to a stage-managed arena, where they are forced to battle it out to the death with 22 other unfortunates while the crowds watch it all play out on tv. However, for the 74th Hunger Games, the Capitol makes the big mistake of picking prickly Katniss Everdeen – no slouch with a bow – as the female tribute from District 12, and the kind, clever Peeta Mellark, who’s in love with Katniss and will do anything to protect her, as the male tribute…..

I won’t add more except to say, go see it, absolutely. Read the book too, which is actually pretty damn good; Katniss is as conflicted a heroine as you’ll come across, and Peeta is the kind of charismatic kid I’d have totally been in love with as a thirteen year old. So here’s my easy answer: I completely loved the movie, the casting was spot on, it stuck closely to the book and was evocative, and moving, and thrilling all in the right places.

Hunger Games filmed in North Carolina. Henry River Mill Village, an abandoned ghost town just outside of Hildebran, (about one hour’s drive east of Asheville on I-40) plays the beaten-down mining town of Katniss and Peeta’s home (great depression-era styling there). This whole location is currently for sale by the owner for a cool $1.4 million – which, given the interest in the film and books, and the tourism potential, would completely be a steal. Other movie locations included DuPont State Forest and Pisgah National Forest, Charlotte’s Knight Theatre and the former Phillip Morris Plant in Concord. Part 2 in the Hunger Games trilogy – Catching Fire – starts filming in August.