Movie Review: Catching Fire

November 22, 2013 Movie & TV Musings 13

I am happy to tell you that Catching Fire was amazing.  It was a major improvement over The Hunger Games film, due, in part to a larger budget, but also to a new director.  I love the story of THG enough that I was able to forgive the film its flaws, but there were some things about that movie, of course.  The shaky cam, of course.  But a much bigger problem was the lack of horror.  There are kids being forced to kill each other!  Why did it seem more like it was just a bunch of bullies out on a camping trip?

Catching Fire corrects all of those errors.  (SPOILERS AHEAD, IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK.)  It kicks off with Katniss and Peeta preparing to embark on their victory tour, and word of sporadic rebellions in the districts has begun to leak out.  Katniss feels pressure on one end to be the face of the revolution, but when President Snow threatens the lives of her loved ones, she must decide if it’s worth it to join the rebellion.  The 75th anniversary is called the Quarter Quell, and to “celebrate,”  Snow decides that this year’s Games would be made up of prior victorious Tributes.  Sorry, Katniss – as the sole female winner from District 12, it looks like you’re up.

Jennifer Lawrence is phenomenal.  She seems to get better with each film that she does.  She’s equally adept at portraying vulnerability, terror, compassion, and ferocity.  Josh Hutcherson is very good, and it’s nice that his character got a bit of a “butching up” this time.  As for Liam Hemsworth… I know he’s nice to look at, but can we agree that he has zero charisma as an actor?

The bigger budget helped greatly with the special effects; there are no laughable mutts here.  The monkeys with their enormous fangs look terrifyingly real, and he poisonous fog was every bit as scary as the career Tributes.

The final shot of the scene, a close-up of Katniss’s face, was probably the best of the film.  In about ten seconds, we see a huge range of emotions on her face, and as it settles into something resembling an almost happy, icy determination, I got chills.  Of course, this is where the Catching Fire story needed to end, but it’s going to feel like an eternity as I wait for Mockingjay.

Let’s chat about Catching Fire!  Have you seen it yet, or are you planning to?  Are there any changes you’re looking forward to from THG?

Also, don’t forget to enter to win my giveaway of The Hunger Games trilogy!

Stephanie

13 Responses to “Movie Review: Catching Fire”

    • Stephanie

      At least he’s not in the movie for a huge amount of time, but I would like to have seen how another actor would have done in the role.

  1. Amanda

    OMG I agree with everythign!! I love love loved this movie so much more than the first, and thats saying a lot because I really did enjoy the first one. I think you are so right, btw, that Jennifer Lawrence got even better, and I actually liked Hutcherson and Peeta this time. I dont mind Hemsworth so much, but I don’t think he and Lawrence do very well with on screen chemistry together. That fog.. I knew it was coming and it was giving me such anxiety waiting for it to happen because Mag’s death is the part of the story that makes me cry the most, but that scene was quite horrific and very well done. Loved this movie, glad to see you agree! Great review 🙂
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    • Stephanie

      I had forgotten about the fog! That was very frightening. Poor Mags. I feel like we barely got to see her in the film.

  2. Adri

    I agree!!! I thought the movie was amazing!!! Definetely better than the first one. And I must agree with you on Jennifer, she is growing as an actress. I love her. 🙂

    Although I liked the first movie, I feel they left out some things from the book and I was so happy that with Catching Fire they stuck pretty close to the book!!!

    I LOVED IT!!! 🙂 loved reading your review. 🙂
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    • Stephanie

      It’s too bad these movies couldn’t be four or five hours long to cover everything from the books. That would make me happy!

  3. Oana

    I can’t wait to go see Cathing Fire on Wednesday! Unfortunately, it’s the only day I’m free in the evening, otherwise I would have gone earlier. I expect it to be better than the first one, because the book was also better than the first. I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who thinks Liam Hemsworth is not that great. 😀
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  4. Nikki

    YESSSSSSS. It was AMAZING, wasn’t it?! Holy crap. About a million times better than the first one, which I still liked despite its flaws, but yeah. This one just blew it out of the water. Except for Gale/Liam, whom I agree has absolutely zero presence on-screen. Jennifer is freaking flawless though. She was great in the whole thing, but like you said, that last scene? Holy crap, ALL THE GOOSEBUMPS. I can’t believe it’s a whole year until just the first part of Mockingjay. I can’t handle it. X_x
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    • Stephanie

      At least it’s ONLY a year. But I’m going to be dying to get my hands on the blu-ray.

  5. Sarah J

    I loved the movie, but I still had some qualms with it. I was really mad about the fact that they left some of my favorite parts out, like the rooftop picnic and the shock of everyone on the train when Peeta left Katniss’s room. I missed those little things. I loved the arena though. It was fantastically done!
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    • Stephanie

      The arena was great. They somehow managed to make the Hawaii set scary. Although, I guess Lost did that first. 🙂

  6. Stephanie B

    I loved this move! And I agree with everything. Liam Hemsworth is okay, but honestly, I was sitting there going, “Go away, Gale. No one likes you.” Haha. It did seem like they just kind of dropped the one scene with them kissing in because they had to. They didn’t really portray the difficulty their friendship was really having, which was a bit of a bummer since I think Jennifer Lawrence would have done it wonderfully if they’d given her the time.

    And Johanna was PERFECT! Or my gosh. Just, perfect.

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