As the fog clears (it's now 10:30am) the more I think about it, the more I think that every emotion I had while watching the movie was associated with my memories of the book, rather than anything the movie was able to evoke. Actually, the movie was a pretty big MINUS when set against a book that drew me so quickly into a new world with characters who were well defined almost at the very start.
The movie loses all of that. We miss out on Katniss' internal turmoil as she begins to allow herself to care for Peeta, because her only objective was staying alive for her sister. We miss out on the fact that Peeta had any edge to him at all, he is reduced to Katniss' love interest and only that. We miss out on who exactly is Effie Trinket and her motivations (in fact, another blog pointed out that no one ever says her name. Is that true???). We miss out on why the people in the Capitol are so ridiculous and how Cinna's minimalism is therefore a rebellion. We miss out on Rue's resourcefulness - we hardly get to know her at all. And most importantly, as many have already pointed out, we miss out on the hunger aspect of the games. The fact that the Capitol withholds so much from the districts that daily life in itself is its own Hunger Games. And there's just so much more that was missing.
Not to mention - I'm not sure anyone who hasn't read the books would fully grasp what the whole thing was even about. Poorly, poorly done.
That being said - stylistically, the movie was pretty gorgeous. And, I must absolutely give credit to ALL of the actors. They were each EXACTLY what I had in mind for everyone in the book. I just wish they'd been given more to work with.
Read this: Everything the Hunger Games Move Left Out (Contains Spoilers)