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The Hunger Games: Complete 4-Film Collection (TheaterByte Blu-ray Review)

hunger-games-4-film-coverThis complete 4-Film collection brings together the entire on-screen saga based on the Suzanne Collins trilogy of YA novels. The Hunger Games started things off by introducing the world to protagonist Katniss Everdeen as portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence (Best Actress, Silver Linings Playbook, 2012) and started the story of the star-crossed lovers Katniss and Peeta, who would eventually go on to be taken prisoner in the capitol city of Panem and brainwashed by the ruthless President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Over the course of the four films, Katniss and her band of friends break free from the brutal hunger games, unite the various districts that have been pitted against each other by the wealthy elites in the capitol, and launch a rebellion against Panem, with Katniss at the head as a symbol, the so-called Mockingjay, for the “plebs” as it were, to rally around.

Many, young and old alike, have rallied around Collins’ novels as an apposite symbol of the state of our culture the-hunger-games-mockingjay-part-2-katniss-stilltoday, of warfare, of the divide between the rich and the poor. While the films do not necessarily capture these grievances given their abundance of special effects, teen melodrama, and often superfluous violence, they can still be an entertaining set of popcorn movies. And Jennifer Lawrence is without doubt the Hollywood “it” girl of the moment.

The films contain young and veteran who’s-who Hollywood actors including Jennifer Lawrence, Donald Sutherland, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Julianne Moore.

The Video

the-hunger-games-mockingjay-part-2-still-1The Hunger Games films are digital productions, for the most part, shot in 4K and presented in a 2.40:1 framing, except for Catching Fire, which has a variable 2.40:1 and 1.78:1 framing for its IMAX sequences. Each disc is encoded in 1080p AVC and they each look very, very good. The image is clean, detailed, and pretty much what you would expect from such a big budget contemporary franchise on Blu-ray such as this. You won’t be disappointed by the color reproduction, special effects, and nuance in the shadows. This collection, as good as it is, is a prime candidate for the new 4K formats, but if you’re not eager to jump into a new format anytime soon, this will suit you just fine.

The Audio

The audio mixes are excellent all around on this Hunger Games set, but only Mockingjay Pts. 1-2 get the the-hunger-games-mockingjay-part-2-still-2newfangled Atmos mixes (backwards compatible with Dolby TrueHD 7.1). The previous films all have, if not quite as engulfing, certainly just as entertaining and dynamic DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mixes that are just as aggressive, atmospheric and dynamic, with clear dialogue, solid effects in the surrounds and deep but well handled (read: not unwieldy) low end. The Atmos mixes make good use of the additional Atmos channels, of course what individuals hear will vary depending on how many channels and where you have them placed.

The Supplements

the-hunger-games-mockingjay-part-2-katniss-2This set comes stuffed with bonus material. Some of the extras from the individual releases is repeated on the Bonus Disc, which seems an odd waste of space, but there is also a lot of new material, like never before seen deleted scenes and featurettes.

Catching Fire

  • Audio commentary with director Francis Lawrence and producer Nina Jacobson
  • Surviving The Game: Making The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (1080p/24; 02:24:55)
  • Deleted Scenes (2.40:1; 1080p/24; 00:04:35)

Mockingjay Part 1:

  • Audio commentary with director Francis Lawrence and producer Nina Jacobson
  • The Mockingjay Lives: The Making of Mockingjay Part 1 (1080p/24; 02:14:19)
  • Straight from the Heart: A Tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman (1080p/24; 00:11:03)
  • Songs of Rebellion: Lorde on Curating the Soundtrack (1080p/24; 00:08:10)
  • Deleted Scenes (2.40:1; 1080p/24; 00:11:18):
    • Katniss & Boggs Walk Through District 13
    • Katniss Leaves District 12
    • Beetee Reaches District 8
    • I’m Not Asking
    • Hummingbirds
    • Face of a Revolution
    • We’re Still in the Game
    • Snow Sees Propo
    • Cressida Preps Katniss & Gale
  • Lorde “Yellow Flicker Beat” Music Video (2.40:1; 1080p/24; 00:04:05)

Mockingjay Part 2:

  • Pawns No More: Making The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 02:21:45)
  • The Hunger Games: A Photographic Journey (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:10:17)
  • Cinna’s Sketchbook: Secrets of the Mockingjay Armor (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:09:22)
  • Panem on Display: The Hunger Games: The Exhibition (1.78:1; 1080p24; 00:01:57)
  • Jet to the Set (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:41:58)

Four-Film Collection Special Features Bonus Blu-ray Disc

The Hunger Games:

  • The World is Watching: Making The Hunger Games (1080p/24; 02:01:43)
  • Featurettes:
    • Game Maker: Suzanne Collins & The Hunger Games Phenomenon
    • Letters from the Rose Garden
    • Controlling the Games
    • A Conversation with Gary Ross and Elvis Mitchell
    • Preparing for the Games: A Director’s Process
    • Propaganda Film
    • Stories from the Tributes
    • Casting the Tributes
    • Tribute Video Diaries
    • Photo Album
    • Stunts of The Hunger Games
    • Capitol Couture: The Styles of Panem
    • Weapons of the Arena
    • Effected: The Visual Artwork of The Hunger Games
    • Feast and Famine: Creating the Food for The Hunger Games
    • On the Black Carpet: The Hunger Games Premiere
  • The Hunger Games: Blu-ray Menu Easter Eggs
  • Deleted Scenes (Never Before Seen!):
    • Prim! Nightmare
    • The Rules of the Game
    • Katniss Witnesses Defiance
    • Girl on Fire
    • Peeta Struggles During Training
    • “We’re Even”
    • Gale Teaches Prim to Hunt
    • Meet the Other Tributes
    • Katniss’ Flashbacks
    • Katniss Befriends Rue
    • Katniss Finds Water
    • Bread From District 11
  • Marketing Archive:
    • Theatrical Trailers:
      • Sneak Peek
      • Theatrical Trailer
      • Second Trailer
  • Biographies:
    • District 1 – Glimmer
    • District 1 – Marvel
    • District 2 – Clove
    • District 2 – Cato
    • District 5 – Foxface
    • District 11 – Rue
    • District 11 – Thresh
    • District 12 – Katniss
    • District 12 – Peeta
  • Poster Gallery
  • Photo Gallery

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

  • Featurettes:
    • The Alliance: Returning Cast
    • Friend or Foe New Cast
    • One Vision: A Faithful Adaptation
    • The Look of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
    • The Quarter Quell Cast
    • Bringing Panem to Life
    • Taking Aim: Stunts & Weapons
    • The Quell: On Location in Hawaii
    • Battling the Clock Arena
  • Coldplay “Atlas” Music Video
  • Capitol Cuisine (Never Before Seen!)
  • Inside District 12: The Hob
  • Deleted Scene (Never Before Seen!) – Roof Top

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

  • Featurettes:
    • Rubble and Ashes
    • Utilitarian Chic
    • The Propos Team
    • Combat Zone
    • Katniss Propo Video
    • Picturing Panem (Never Before Seen!)

The Final Assessment

While I am not a great fan of The Hunger Games films, I can admit they have had an impact on the younger generation of filmgoers and may have the sort of far-reaching effect that a franchise like, say, Harry Potter has had on some. Its biggest impact is putting forth a strong female character that did not have to be masculinized in order to become a hero or be considered strong. So, score one for the younger generation of women.

Review 0
4.6 / 5 TheaterByte Rating
{{ reviewsOverall }} / 5 User Rating (0 votes)
PG-13Rating Certificate
LionsgateStudios & Distributors
$64.97MSRP
2.40:1| 1.78:1Aspect Ratio
AVC 1080pVideo
English DTS-HD MA 7.1 | English Dolby AtmosAudio
The Creative Content
The Video
The Audio
The Supplements
Summary
The Hunger Games Complete 4-Movie Collection delivers fantastic value and entertainment with excellent picture and sound, and a boatload of bonus content.
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