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“Hunger Games” director steps aside

Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Katniss, in a movie still

Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Katniss, in a movie still

Director Gary Ross and “The Hunger Games” movie franchise evidently have parted ways.

Ross said in a statement that his schedule would not permit him to work on the next movie, “Catching Fire,” to be released next year, although Entertainment Weekly noted speculation about disagreements between him and Lionsgate.

We’ve interviewed a number of cast members recently who all had positive things to say about Ross. Liam Hemsworth, who played Katniss‘ friend Gale, talked about Ross’ “positive energy.” Sharon Morris, who played a game master named Lucia, noted that her character didn’t officially have a name until Ross came up with “Lucia” because it sounded like something out of ancient Roman times.

“He’s a very excitable type director,” she said. “He came up with the name on the fly.”

Steve Coulter, who also plays a game master, said Ross’ enthusiasm sold him on the part. After he auditioned, he said, Ross opened his arms and said, “Do you want to be in my movie?”

So, Ross was a big hit with the cast. And the movie’s box office success has been extraordinary. But the reviews?

“The Hunger Games” is pretty much a disaster—disjointed, muffled, and even, at times, boring, wrote The New Yorker. “Ross shoots in a style that I have come to despise. A handheld camera whips nervously from one angle to another; the fragments are then jammed together without any regard for space. You feel like you’ve been tossed into a washing machine.”

We have to agree. Five minutes into the movie, it already had taken on a certain “Blair Witch” quality. When it wasn’t jerking around the camera felt THISCLOSE to the actors’ faces, which seemed to cheat the audience out of the sweep of scenery at times.

What did you think? Did you love how Ross directed “The Hunger Games” or are you looking forward to a new look in the next film?

- Jennifer Brett/The Buzz/jbrett@jac.com

4 comments Add your comment

Get a real life

April 11th, 2012
8:36 am

The movie was good, bottom line. It seems some people have nothing better to do than criticize and complain. To hell with “The New Yorker”. Get a life why dont you?

JAMIE PARRISH

April 11th, 2012
9:19 am

I LOVED THE BOOKS. I FEEL LIKE THE CRITICS FROM THE NEW YORKER WOULD EXPECT A STORY TYPICAL OF THE “NEW YORKER” INNTELLECT DEMOGRAPHIC. THEY ARE TOO UPTIGHT TO APPRECIATE THE SIMPLICITY. OVERALL, PRETTY DECENT JOB…BUT THE BOOKS WERE BETTER.

JAMIE PARRISH

April 11th, 2012
9:20 am

I MISSPELLED INTELLECT LOL

Ashly

April 11th, 2012
7:26 pm

The books and the movie were fantastic! Ross seemed like he knew what he was doing. Suzanne Collins was there to help so that’s makes it better, people shouldn’t nit pick everything were humans nothing is ever perfect!! Good Job Ross… can’t wait for Catching Fire it’s worth the wait if people expect it to be good!