I'm going to use one of my familiar methods of reviewing media; bullet points of what I didn't like and why:
~ Effie's hair wasn't the colors it was supposed to be at the different times. Now obviously, this isn't going to matter to someone who's never read the books. Just something that made me hate.
~ The Cornucopia looked ugly and nothing like it was supposed to. It was gold in the books, and in the movie it was some awful military-like color and shaped nothing like a Cornucopia at all.
~ They took out an important character, Madge, who gives her the Mockingjay Pin. Instead, she buys it from some hag in the Hob.
~ During the feast in the arena, Katniss is supposed to put Peeta asleep with medicine before she goes. In the movie he just falls asleep.
~ The sponsored gifts had messages in them, which wasn't allowed to happen in the book; the mentors are supposed speak through the gifts they send. However since Katniss wasn't narrating the story, it would have been difficult for the Average Joe to interpret what the gifts meant, so while it's not canon I let this slide.
~ When Katniss is sneaking out of the District 12 fence to hunt, they stressed that the fence was charged with electricity, however she just slips right in. I feel like it wouldn't have been too much to have her listen to the fence like she does in the book to see if it was on, which it normally isn't.
~ The Tracker Jacker hallucinations were done almost completely wrong.
~ They put little to no emphasis on the werewolf mutations that chased Katniss and Peeta; they were supposed to look like each of the tributes, and later on it effects Katniss's mental state. In the movie they were just huge random wolves.
I saved this one for last simply because it was the worst possible thing they did to the whole movie
***SPOILER ALERT, I TALK ABOUT THE ENDING, SO IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BOOKS OR SEEN THE MOVIE PLEASE DON'T READ!!!!!!***
When Katniss and Peeta climb onto the Cornucopia, they face Cato, as is canon, and when they're climbing onto the Cornucopia, Peeta is supposed to get a really bad leg wound due to the dogs biting him, which pretty much makes him useless in the fight against Cato. This is where it all went badly in the movie; yes, he does get attacked by the dogs, but no leg injury is acquired. Cato was also mauled and shot outside of the Cornucopia, which is insignificant but had me a bit irked, because he's supposed to be inside. When they climb off, Claudius makes the dramatic announcement of the previous new rule being revoked. At this point, Katniss is supposed to raise her loaded bow to his chest, and he drops this weapon, making this an important character-building moment. Oh, and by the way, Peeta should be laying down by the lake and Katniss should be kneeling next to him, and in the movie they're both standing. Instead, she half-asses it, and has her bow loaded but not exactly pointed at Peeta ... and then she's supposed to feel like a bitch. Another small thing that had irked was when they're about to eat the Nightlock berries, and Claudius tells them to stop; they're supposed ask whether each other ate any berries, which didn't happen. The whole scene where they're picked up is different because Peeta isn't missing a leg, and he's supposed to have to have it removed, but that doesn't happen either.
The biggest part that made me rage was at the very end because it's going to mess up the sequel. On their way back to District 12, Katniss is supposed to talk to Peeta about how she really doesn't love him and how she basically used him to survive in the games, which obviously upsets him because he's really in love. I cannot stress the importance of this moment because it sets up a huge love scandal for the rest of the trilogy. The director, however, decided butt-rapping the ending was a better idea, and the conversation never takes place. I was so angry because it took away from the suspense of the books; that was something that was supposed to make you want to continue so you could see what happens. And they simply just removed it like it was no big deal.
Other than the horrible non-canon ending, the movie was really good; for the average movie goer who's never read the books, this movie will be a hit. However I think it went terribly wrong for fans of the books; personally, I was expecting something a lot more accurate. The actors, however, were phenomenal and portrayed their parts with mastery and accuracy. Even if the ending is the worst, you should go see it, whether you read the books or not. It's going to be a huge movie series and I can't wait for the movies to gain more momentum and fans; maybe boat-loads of money will convince the director to film the correctly.
Peter, The SteamWorks