What really kept me connected with the story were the quick shots that followed Katniss's sight of crowds and the competition. I felt like I was there with her and it definitely got my heart beating with nervousness for her. The slow breathing archery shots really did it too.
The Districts, the Capital, and all the characters were artistic and definitely similar to what I had pictured in my head, but even better. I was blown away by the uses of wild color in the people of the capital, juxtaposed with the people of the districts.
Though like any book made into a movie, I have my own projections of what should have happened. I believe that Peeta's real love for Katniss should have been more evident since it came off as if he were just acting for the camera and that was it. And likewise, Katniss should have fought his love and the Capital a tad bit more.
And of course, I would have loved to have seen more brutality. I will say though, the blood bath at the beginning of the games was blood thirsty fighting at its finest.
All in all, the movie certainly held up to my high expectations.