Ypulse Staff at The Hunger GamesYpulse was lucky enough to host an advance screening of “The Hunger Games” yesterday, and the response from the crowded theater was unanimous — the film is amazing!

As many readers would be, I was nervous to see one of my favorite books of recent memory made into a movie. But there on the big screen was the world of Panem exactly as I’d pictured it, from the rolling hills outside District 12 to the Easter egg-colored citizens of the Capitol to the cave in the arena.

The movie is a fairly faithful adaptation of the book, but with a few adjustments that work to the film’s advantage. Without all of the internal monologue that Katniss shares throughout the book, there is far less focus on the love triangle as Katniss tries to sort out her feelings for Gale and Peeta. There are fleeting hints at the complicated nature of their relationships, but nothing that would drive guys away from theaters or push girls to form ranks as Team Gale or Team Peeta.

Another change that will suit guys is the sideline role of fashion. While the book goes into lengthy detail about each outfit Katniss wears, the film simply shows them. Girls still get a fashion feast of amazing clothes, makeup, nail art, and accessories that guys can ignore.

The movie also has an advantage over the book because we get a behind-the-scenes look at the arena control room. Seeing the staff manipulate the tributes and salivate over ratings adds a new twist to the story that is largely absent from the book.

On the other hand, some nuances of the book are lost — like the difficulty of securing sponsors because of the cost of sending a silver parachute and the origins of “muttations” — because exposition doesn’t fit in film. Still the film perfectly portrays the complex world of Panem and its annual tradition of “The Hunger Games.” The scenes in the arena are riveting — impressive fire balls, knives slicing across the screen, and a tracker jacker swarm had everyone on the edge of their seats, as if to propel Katniss along as she raced through the forest. The film captures the violent, urgent nature of the games presented in the book, but restrains itself from being over-the-top or unnecessarily gruesome.

Ultimately, “The Hunger Games” movie left us with the same feeling we had when we closed the book: we can’t wait for the rest of the story! Maybe it’s time to re-read “Catching Fire”…