If you've seen the new header on my blog (and if you're reading this, I'm going to guess that you have), it's sort of obvious that I'm a huge Hunger Games fan. I read the first book in 2010 and have been addicted ever since. My expectations for the film adaption were quite high after watching the trailer, and, fortunately, they were met.
There were so many wonderful performances in the film, but the star of the show is clearly Jennifer Lawrence. She was everything I wanted Katniss to be, and even more, capturing the role of a strong and moving heroine. A few other actors I was impressed with (I wish I could discuss them all) were Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz, Wes Bentley and Isabelle Fuhrman. Liam Hemsworth only has a short amount of screen time, so I don't feel that I can fairly judge his acting skills until Catching Fire is released.
You don't have to read the novels before seeing the film, but I would suggest it, for two reasons: One, while the film is mostly faithful to the books, they can't work everything into the film. And two, the film is clearly made for those of us that have read the books and are so familiar with the story- I could see why someone that hadn't read them could be a bit confused with some scenes.
Overall, The Hunger Games is worth your time, both the books and the film. And, in case you're wondering, it's nothing like Twilight.