Experiencing a tv show or movie a week later than everyone else has its advantages. You meet a work after the hype cycle deflates.
In the case of The Hunger Games, the early reviews tempered my (admittedly stratospheric) expectations. End result: true love was ever in my favor.
Unfortunately, the hype cycle didn't totally pass me by. In fact, I was more than a little flummoxed to see so much attention paid to something that I personally adore. It's not like when a band goes mainstream, as they've usually changed their sound by the time that happens. A TV show either reboots or evolves. A novel (or film), on the other hand, remains in-state forever (George Lucas notwithstanding).
Being a lifetime geek-of-all-trades, I'm not so accustomed to so much attention being paid to something I love for what it is. These circumstances must surround every over-hyped event, but it's the first time it's happened with something I love.
And I'm still surprised how much ugliness that attention inspires. The racism around the casting of Rue and Cinna, the misogyny from even the most blue-striped reviewers, the total lack of interest in understanding why a phenomenon becomes a phenomenon. The whole "I don't care what statistics you show me, I don't want to read this book, therefore it must be a romance, read by evil female tweens."
It's difficult to engage with the speakers of these words, because all evidence to the contrary exists in the text. Rue's dark-skinned, the story's a brutal dystopian action thriller, and Katniss is a goddamn superhero who's only interested in romance as a tool to help her win this most gory of reality shows. Again, all in the text (and by text, I mean both the movie and the novel).
I'm not saying you have to like the Hunger Games. Plenty of people hated the novels, for legitimate reasons (too much violence and brutality, mainly). But if, as a reviewer, you choose to attack the fans rather than explicate why it's a good or bad movie, I wish that you find a swarm of tracker-jackers in your bed.
Finally, after reading so much carping about world-building, about neutered violence, about Twilight for some reason I've yet to understand, I'm left with just one question. Does anyone really have a problem with staring at Jennifer Lawrence's face for 2.5 hours?