The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
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In the thrilling sequel THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, Katniss Everdeen and fellow tribute Peeta Mellark have barely returned home after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games when they are whisked away once again by the Capitol. Forced to leave her family and best friend Gale, Katniss is dispatched on a victory tour of Panem with Peeta, where rebellion is seething in all 12 districts. The Capitol is enraged and ready to strike back... as President Snow prepares the most diabolical edition of the Hunger Games yet.
When it comes to blockbuster franchises, the first sequel frequently offers pumped-up versions of the initial thrills--to diminishing results. Catching Fire, however, the second adaptation drawn from Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games trilogy, defies that trend with more finely drawn relationships. With the 74th Games in the history books, Katniss (Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence, as comfortable in warrior garb as in designer couture) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson, better than ever) set out on a victory tour across Panem with Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) and Effie (Elizabeth Banks). Despite her best efforts to feign romance with her co-competitor and to keep posttraumatic stress at bay, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) fears that Katniss's defiant nature will incite rebellion, so he takes a tip from new gamemaker Plutarch (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and launches a Quarter Quell in which past champions, such as the hilariously bitter Johanna (Jena Malone) and the deceptively arrogant Finnick (Sam Claflin), will fight to the death. Not all tributes are quite so young, like Mags (Lynn Cohen), a senior citizen who suits up for battle and establishes a touching bond with Finnick (Jeffrey Wright and Amanda Plummer play the craftiest teammates). Until the cliffhanger ending, director Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) serves up an array of splendors, from killer baboons to the ever-amazing outfits of Effie and Caesar (Stanley Tucci). Most significantly, the script from cowriter Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) strengthens the bonds between Katniss and Peeta and Gale (Liam Hemsworth), who prove themselves more worthy than ever of Katniss's affections. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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In this run, Jennifer Lawrence's character is ...Well...on fire! It was just as I imagined. The quarter quell finds Katnis and Pita in a huge dome resembling a tropical forest surrounding an island lagoon. At the center of the lagoon is an island. There is where the weapons are stashed for the brutal contest to come. The capital city has lavishley created a set like no other. All of the former winners of the games are pitched against one another upon this extravagant stage.
Lightning storms! Fogs of acid! Maniacal killer baboons! Tsunami gushing floods! All, Circle the inside of the dome causing mayham and death... seeming random at first. But the clever group that Katnis has drawn together to better their odds for survival, find that the random catastrophes are not so random. And together they begin to form a plan to use the events to their advantage. They desperately need help to fight the stronger and more vicious other group that hunts them relentlessly. For they know Katnis is by far the most popular and leathel among the contenders. She must die if one of them is to leave the dome alive!
To be honest, whether it be the first installment, this one, or the next, I will always have doubts regarding how true-to-the-book and how well the directors will be able to bring this original book series to life, but I was blown away by Catching Fire! The Capital, the districts, the reaping were somewhat how I imagined it, and a WHOLE lot better. I would even say that it surpasses the first film by far. The games were more thrilling and had me on the edge of my seat!
The movie starts off with an eerie background music, and a scene of Katniss spending time in her district before the victory tour--that usually takes place after the games, and you really get to see how badly the victors are scarred from its experience. Jennifer Lawrence was amazing ... Not much to say about Josh Hutcherson and his character, Peeta Mellark, but how as equally fantastic they are. The actors, in fact, were all enticing, they really brought life to the characters they portrayed.
The training scene was surreal! I litterally had to stop the movie and rewatch it again and again. Like I said, way better than the first film.
The plot. Before Catching Fire was out in theaters, there were rumors that it will be split into two parts, I was not happy with that, which is why I am glad the directors and screenwriters decided to make it all in one film. With such a complex story, you would think how impossible it is to cram the events and details all together in a two hour or so project, but it worked! There are people who complain about "this detail was not in there!" or "why did they not add this or that scene?!" Well as I see it, the film has most of the important details and you have to keep in mind that not every single detail will be able to fit into the time frame, directors have to make the story make sense, as well as satisfying the different types of viewers, get over it.
Can I watch Catching Fire without watching The Hunger Games and still understand the story? Sure, why not? In this film, there are flashbacks of the previous installment, so even if you did not read the books or watch The Hunger Games, you will still be able to enjoy it. My family did! Though, by watching the the first film, you will be able to better relate with the characters, which makes the events much more emotional and thrilling.
Not much more to say. Simply, I Loved it and it was one of the best movies I have watched, in the YA genre, for a while. Cannot wait, for third installment, Mocking Jay! The ending of Catching Fire really has fans amped up!
Read all three of the books several years ago and was very happy with first movie. This second movie was mostly just as good and followed ( again, mostly) the book BUT I had trouble viewing the night scenes - they were too dark to see on my HD screen/download. As an actress, Jennifer Lawrence has a difficult role to play but most people will not realize that she is actually doing an excellent job. Shows great promise as she matures and if she gets the right scripts. One to watch for.