- Standard DVD Features
- Exclusive Third Disc
If you’re a fan of Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games, you probably know by now that there are several different versions of the Blu-ray and DVD available to purchase. If you want to read a review on the film, check out Michele’s review here. To see my break down of what you can expect to find in each retailer’s exclusive set, click here. I bought Target’s 3-Disc Deluxe Limited Edition DVD because, to me, that looked like it had enough features to justify the $20.99 I paid for it, and it could fit on my DVD shelf (unlike the other versions with collectible, yet bulky, packaging).
Standard DVD Features
Game Maker: Suzanne Collins and the Hunger Games Phenomenon
For a mini-documentary labeled ‘Suzanne Collins and the Hunger Games Phenomenon’, I was a little disappointed that Suzanne Collins wasn’t actually interviewed. I would like to have heard her take and her reaction to the way The Hunger Games exploded in popularity. That being said, the feature was an interesting, albeit boring in some parts, interview with the publishers about how The Hunger Games book has made an impact in teenager’s reading, and is relevant to today’s society and the times we are living in. If you’re a big book worm or a literature junkie, this feature would probably appeal to you.
The World is Watching: Making the Hunger Games
At two hours long, this is the meatiest part of the bonus features. The documentary is broken up into eight parts:
1. Countdown. This talks about all the pre-production that went into the movie. Director Gary Ross talks about how he went about writing the second draft of the script and had author Suzanne Collins come in to help work on the final draft.
2. Casting. I was hoping this would have audition videos and talk about the process of casting, this was mostly just the other actors and filmmakers saying how perfect everyone was for the part they were playing.
3. Design. Gary Ross talks about the logistics of preparing for a movie of this scale.
4. Arena Ready. In this section, the cast talks about what they did to prepare themselves for the fighting and other stunts they would have to perform.
5. On Location in Panem. This part was really cool to me because I live in North Carolina, where the film was shot, and it was neat to see that they were filming in areas that were just a few hours away from your house.
7. Post Production. This covers everything from editing to scoring the film. It was interesting to see Ross’s editing process and how eliminating a couple lines from the film can change the context of a scene completely.
8. May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor. In this section the cast talks about their experience after the film was completed. It covers their road from press junkets to the premiere.
Letters from the Rose Garden
In this feature, Donald Sutherland reads a letter he wrote to Gary Ross before filming began, about what the role of President Snow means to him. It is a very insightful feature that’s good for anyone who wants to get into acting, because it gives you a look at what goes through an actor’s mind when they start to prepare for a role.
Controlling the Games
This was fun to watch because it shows how many layers went into creating the Gamemaker’s control room. Everything that was on the screens had to be computer generated and every actor in the room had a specific hand movement choreographed before filming began.
A Conversation with Gary Ross and Elvis Mitchell
In this section, Gary Ross is interviewed by movie critic Elvis Mitchell. I have to admit though, this part was a little boring because Ross is mostly just repeating what he had said in the documentary. But if you’re watching the interview without watching the documentary, it’s interesting to hear about the movie making process, and how Ross compares The Hunger Games to today’s society.
This is the entire Propaganda Film shown at the beginning of the reaping in the movie. While we get to hear the narration of the Film, we don’t get to see a whole lot of the imagery that goes along with it because of the crowd’s reaction shots being edited in. The way the Film was shot and edited was very Stanley Kubrick-esque and obviously meant to scare the children at the reaping. Although it doesn’t add anything that was left out of the movie, now you have your own copy of the Propaganda Film to play at the beginning of your own Hunger Games.
This section of the DVD includes the theatrical trailer, poster gallery, and photo gallery. Fans have already seen the trailer and posters, but the photo gallery has production stills and behind-the-scene photos that movie buffs would enjoy.
Target’s Exclusive 3rd Disc
Tribute Video Diaries
After the filming had ended, the seven main tributes in the film were given video cameras to document the build up to the release of The Hunger Games. This shows everything from cast appearances to the premiere of the film, all from their point of view.
Stories from the Tributes
Here, we’re able to find out stats about the tributes in the film. While this is a fun feature to add, not all of the tributes are featured. Out of the 24 tributes, only nine of them got biographies.
Tribute Photo Gallery
This is just a three minute slide show of the cast of tributes enjoying their time in North Carolina. It reminded me of a slide show shown at an end-of -the-year banquet in high school. Yes, it’s a nice tribute to the tributes (see what I did there?), but I think it was made more for the actors and their families.
What Wasn’t Included
Most every movie that is released on DVD or Blu-ray has some sort of director commentary that plays over the film. I am probably one of the three people on the planet who actually watches the movie with the commentary on. I tell myself that what I’m learning during the commentary will win me a lot of money on Jeopardy one day. So I was a little surprised that a movie with the scale and popularity of The Hunger Games didn’t have a commentary on any of the versions that were offered. But I think what would have been talked about in the commentary is covered in the bonus features, so I don’t think I’m missing too much.
Overall Rating 4 out of 5
For the most part, I really enjoyed the bonus features of The Hunger Games. Some of the sections did get a bit repetitive and the Tribute Disc wasn’t all that I had hoped for, but overall, it was well worth the money.
Buy It, Rent It, Skip It
If you are any kind of Hunger Games fan, you need to buy this film. Even if it’s just the basic 2-Disc versions. They are relatively cheap for the amount of content they include. For the eat, drink, and breathe anything Hunger Games fan, go for one of the retailer exclusive editions of the film. Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and Costco each have their own version of the Blu-ray and DVD, so choose wisely, and may the odds be ever in your favor.