OK, where to start?
I think it's bad to judge a "book-to-movie" movie after only seeing it once because the first time anyone ever sees it, the only thing they pay attention to is how closely it matches the book. If I were to rate Hunger Games on how well it matched the book, I would give it a 10. I thought they did an amazing job keeping the flow of the book, but it wasn't perfect.
First off, I love action movies. I love seeing cool fighting scenes and awesome blood baths. Hunger Games is a violent book so I expected lots of blood and dark scenes with children killing children. Unfortunately, they played that down a lot. People still died, but it wasn't as brutal as I imagined it (and my mind is pretty altered on that part....). I wanted to see Rue with a spear through her gut, but all I got was a scene with her pulling a spear out and then falling into Katniss' arms. The scene itself was sad and they did a good job making it heart-wrenching, but I never saw the spear actually hit Rue. And then Marvel.... he was suppose to be shot through the neck, but he got shot in the stomach. I wanted to see his crippled body with a freakin arrow through his neck. There are other parts like that where they tone down the brutality, and I understand why they would (since they're catering to a young audience), but I think it makes the whole "fight the evil Capitol" less exciting. I think people need to see how violent and gory the arena is to appreciate why the districts need to fight against the Capitol.
Another thing that bothered me was how they displayed the career tributes. In the book they are portrayed as stone cold killers with their only objective being to kill everyone and win. I think they looked the part (minus Clove... she looks like a wiener), but they showed them running through the forest giggling and having a good time. I can't picture Cato giggling like he did in the movie. Cato lives to kill, not to be buddy-buddy with the other career tributes. I thought they could have made them more blood thirsty and intense to show how brain washed they are by the Capitol. Instead, I had to watch 4 careers skipping and laughing at each other like a bunch of BYU freshmen going on a camping trip for the first time. Ugh.
The last thing that bothered me was how they down played the romance between Katniss and Peeta. I was waiting in anticipation for all the sweet lines Peeta tells Katniss and half of them never happened! The cave scenes themselves were short and over looked. I think the moments when they were together were good and they got some of the chemistry there, but for the most part, I wanted more. I wanted Peeta to lean over to Katniss when she first finds him and whisper, "It's OK to kiss me." But no. Nothing. I wanted to separation between them when they got back home to be more intense and to really display "the boy with the bread was slipping from me". But that wasn't really there either. I wanted President Snow to really show his anger at Katniss for her shenanigans, but he just says a small thing that doesn't really represent how furious he was in the book.
Anywho, in all, apart from the things above, the movie was really good. I want to see it again and just enjoy it for what it is (versus critiquing it according to the book). I think I'll enjoy it much more the second time. I hope I don't deter anyone from seeing it. Honestly, GO SEE IT. I loved it, but I think that if they made some minor tweeks, then it would have been better. It's a dark story and I think they stuck to that to some degree. They should have made this movie darker because I think that having a darker beginning makes the ending so much brighter.
I'm only going to eat sweets once a week. I get so sluggish when I eat sweets.... so I'd rather feel good during the day than enjoy a sweet delicacy. We'll see how long that lasts...