‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Review

Published 11 months ago by , Updated October 17th, 2014 at 9:30 pm,

The Hunger Games Catching Fire Reviews starring Jennifer Lawerence Josh Hutcherson Liam Hemsworth and Woody Harrelson The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Review

Lawrence and Lawrence prove to be winning team, and like Panem itself, this franchise is just now catching fire.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire transports us back to the near-future world of Panem and the saga of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence). At the end of the first film, Katniss and her teammate/love interest, Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), made groundbreaking history by defying the rules of the deadly Hunger Games to emerge as the first-ever dual victors of the tournament. Now living in luxury within the dystopian District 12, all would seem well for Katniss and those close to her; but in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

The tyrannical President Snow (Donald Sutherland) has not forgotten Katniss’s open defiance – nor will he ignore the tiny spark of hope Katniss and Peeta have ignited amongst the downtrodden citizens of the various districts. Under the advisement of new game master Plutarch Heavensbee (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), President Snow coerces Katniss and Peeta to use their victory tour as a propaganda campaign, all while hatching a truly insidious plan to use the 75th anniversary of the Hunger Games to get rid of the famed District 12 lovers – and other Hunger Games victors who may stand in the way of the capitol.

Jennifer Lawerence and Josh Hutcherson in The Hunger Games Catching Fire1 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Review

The first Hunger Games was an inspired (if flawed) adaptation of Suzanne Collins’s bestselling novel; however, with a bigger budget and a switch in directorial approach (Seabiscuit‘s Gary Ross being replaced by Constantine director Francis Lawrence), the result is a bigger and better blockbuster movie experience. Everything a sequel should be.

Former music video director Francis Lawrence is known for delivering vividly-realized and solid movie adaptations (Constantine, I Am LegendWater for Elephants) but it’s fair to say that his work has been under-appreciated, thus far. That trend will officially change with this film. As if adhering to a playbook that was drawn from every negative comment about the first film, Lawrence does major technical course-correction in just about every area of the film possible. First and foremost: gone is the hand-held “shaky cam” perspective, replaced by more traditional mis-en-scene framing and blocking (thank god for steady-cam shots at medium distances).

The set pieces are better, the cinematography and overall tone feel more grounded and balanced – something the first film failed at, while trying to bring a world of 19th century poverty, futuristic splendor and a video game-style death arena all together in one world. Simply put: Lawrence nails it on all fronts and creates cohesiveness where the first film had disparity – though again, obviously a bigger budget helps when it comes to visual effects and such…

Liam Hemsworth as Gale in The Hunger Games Catching Fire The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Review

Liam Hemsworth in ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

Having Oscar-winning writers penning your script also makes a big difference, and Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) and Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) certainly live up to their prestige. Catching Fire‘s first half is a  compelling and even deeply touching elevation of Collins’s material; free of the simple survival tale of the first installment (and all its Battle Royal comparisons), Arndt and Beaufoy go right to the heart of the story – Katniss’s hardline survival instinct giving way to realization of the worldly issues surrounding her – creating sequences and scenes that push the drama to heights one does not expect from this sort of genre fare.

There is more wit, spacial awareness and movement – and most importantly, this time around the writers make smart use of a film’s widened perspective, giving us scenes the book never did (but probably should have), that nonetheless feel natural and logical in the narrative of a film. That understanding and confidence – that film is not the same as book – makes all the difference. There are plenty of Easter eggs and hod nods for hardcore fans, but this is first and foremost treated as a movie experience, and is that much better for it.

Woody Harrelson and Phillip Seymour Hoffman in The Hunger Games Catching Fire The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Review

Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Woody Harrelson in ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

The downside is that this time around, the second half of the movie (the actual death tournament) pales in comparison to the political drama that preceded it, causing time to feel long (and at nearly 2.5 hours, it can feel very long) and interest to wane. This is not entirely the fault of the screenwriters, however; Catching Fire is the middling installment of a three-book set, and like so many middling chapters, its climatic hook is actually disguise for an unresolved narrative.

In this film, the Hunger Games feel more like a Hunger Games scrimmage, before the intricate and subtly woven story dumps things at a cliffhanger that feels like it was torn straight from The Matrix Reloaded. Still, even with a lukewarm finish, Catching Fire successfully sets the stage for the two-part finale to come, selling the audience on the political theater that is slowly but surely becoming the dominant story thread of the series. Less video game gimmick, more earnest character study and socio-political commentary; this film pays the toll for crossing that bridge.

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games Catching Fire The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Review

Jennifer Lawrence in ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

Jennifer Lawrence now has blockbuster franchise filmmaking under her belt (and an Oscar, to boot), and she is clearly more at ease in the skin of the iconic Katniss Everdeen – this time getting some much deeper and complicated character material to work with (psychological trauma, raw panic, moral and philosophical quandary) – all of which she knocks out, seemingly effortlessly. By her side is Hutcherson as Peeta, trusty as ever with his boy-next-door charm, while Liam Hemsworth’s Gale is sure to give young ladies (or older ones, who knows) the exact kind of heart0-swell they paid for.

Other returning players like Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci and Tobi Jones are equally settled into their roles, and can therefore have more ownership and fun with their performances. Lenny Kravitz’ Cinna makes a brief (but effective) appearance as well. The gang is back together and better than ever.

Jeffrey Wright in The Hunger Games Catching Fire The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Review

Jeffrey Wright in ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

Catching Fire no doubt benefits from shedding the fresh-faced child actor roster in favor of a more adult lineup of good character actors in supporting roles. Jeffrey Wright (Boardwalk Empire), Amanda Plummer (Pulp Fiction), Lynn Cohen (Damages) and Phillip Seymour Hoffman (The Master) – all of them are strong in their own right, and all of them are welcome additions that bring quality acting to ground a lot of the more fantastical and silly elements of the film. Even the fresher faces of Sam Caflin (Snow White and the Huntsmen) and Jena Malone (Sucker Punch) are well-suited to their respective roles of fan-favorite characters Finnick Odair and Johanna Mason. With strong support and returning vets working at top form, Catching Fire delivers as much on the human level as it does the spectacle level.

In the end, this is a much-improved sequel whose only real drawback is that it’s a middle chapter with a somewhat thin payoff – but that’s often the nature of the beast in a post-Empire Strikes Back world. Thankfully there’s more substance to care about, characters who are easier to care about, and a better-constructed world to draw us in. Lawrence and Lawrence prove to be winning team, and like Panem itself, this franchise is just now catching fire.

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is now in theaters. It is 146 minutes long, and is Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some frightening images, thematic elements, a suggestive situation and language.

Want to discuss the movie without SPOILING it for others? Go to our Catching Fire Spoilers Discussion. The Screen Rant editors will also be discussing the film – check out the latest episode(s) of our Screen Rant Underground Podcast.

Want to know more about the next film in the series? Check out our coverage of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay

Follow me @ppnkof

Our Rating:

4 out of 5
(Excellent)

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TAGS: catching fire, the hunger games

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  1. Level with me…

    …do I need to see the first one to understand what is going on? I was never interested in this until now.

    • The trailers made it look too similar to the first one for me.

    • You DEFINITELY need to watch the first one, otherwise you will understand NOTHING that is going on.

      This isn’t like Harry Potter 1-5, or Spiderman 2, or The Dark Knight, or whatever else.

      This is like The Two Towers or Deathly Hallows Part 2. It’s not a different story. It’s a continuation of the first story. The CONSEQUENCE to the first story.

      • yeah…right…story in the first one…come again?

      • You haven’t seen Harry Potters 1-5 or TDK then because they definitely continue plot threads from previous entries. Then again, you said The Hunger Games had a plot, meaning you assume it wasn’t a pre-teen ripoff of Battle Royale.

        • Good thing that “The Hunger Games” DOES have a plot…and a very interesting and timely one, at that. Compared to “Battle Royale”, it’s also a much more fulfilling viewing experience.

          See? People can do that on BOTH sides of the discussion.

          • Neither one of those movies have much in the way of plot. To say battle Royale has a better plot (I disagree, I’m not a huge fan of either) is like saying Antz is miles above A Bugs Life. It’s basically the same movie. I would argue Hunger Games is more fleshed out.

            • I disagree with half of your response, since THG does indeed have a very well-developed plot.

        • If were gonna be honest with ourselves both are a rip off of “The Running Man”…which is in turn an updated rip off of the seminal novel “The Most Dangerous Game”. There are no clear originals in this genre.

    • If you read the review you’ve gotten everything you need to about the first movie. First really was quite a shallow adaptation. Your comments about it bringing out more of the political side and giving more depth to the world intrigue me though so maybe I will give it a shot.

      • The first captured the essence of the excellent novel quite effectively and entertainingly, actually.

    • Just watch it. I hear this one is much better (haven’t seen it yet), but the first one was a undoubtedly a decent flick. Worth a watch.

    • I would highly recommend watching the first before going into the second. That being said, you can watch it halfheartedly while doing homework, reading a book, playing with the kids, etc. The major beats and 4-5 characters are all you need, there is nothing that needs to be scrutinized to understand. The characters do have some interesting changes coming up, which are put into perspective by the first movie.

    • The first movie was my first exposure to this franchise, and it really soured my perception of the whole thing. I decided an hour in, that I had no interest in these characters or their world. I was told it was a poor adaptation, but the bad taste in my mouth wouldn’t allow me to give the book a chance.

      That said, this review has somewhat convinced me to give it a second chance. If it’s as good as Kofi says it is, then it might be worth it for you to catch the first one for no other reason than to get some insight on past motivations and enhance your enjoyment of the sequel. If you don’t have a couple hours to spare, you can probably find a nice summarization of the first book somewhere on the Internet.

    • Yes you do.

    • Yes you do need to watch the first movie or you might be totally lost. The plot is a very complex and political stand point and you might have some confusion. I even have friends that after wacthing the first one are still confused because the book reveals so much more. That’s why I loved reading the series because not only was it a wonderful read, it also give me an advatage against those you haven’t read it. Still I think in both movies they did an incredible job staying on point with the book.

    • You probably need to watch the first one, but my advice: Have low expectations. I heard such good things of the first one before I watched it and after I watched it my only sentence was ‘That was horrible!’. Not because of the plot or the fighting or anything, just it wasn’t very entertaining to me. I think it is definatley one of those movies where some will like it and some will not, and I believe that is up to your expectations.

    • Nope watch the trailer, done, wish I had. I thought the later films would improve, not because the first film wasn’t very good but after the first made money they could put more in to the sequels.

  2. Is anyone else bothered by the fact that the films still have not actually shown a mockingjay or jaberjay on screen? In the arena in this film they are shown in a swarm flying very fast and high, but not clearly shown. They keep calling Katniss a Mockingjay yet they never really explain what it is. I read the books so I know what they are, but why cant we have just one scene with a jabberjay or mockingjay perched on a branch singing and somebody mentioning it. Or they could have done what they did with the tracker jackers and have Caeser Flickerman explain it. It just bugs me because they are important to the story and the title of the next film is Mockingjay.

    • just wait for the 3rd movie, i read the book and i think they will show there the mockingjay…

    • Katniss’s pin that she wears in the arena is a Mocking Jay, and Rue whistled to the Mocking Jays in the first movie to pass a message to Katniss, both the symbol of the Mockingbird and the whistle (movie invention I think)which became symbols to the revolutionary movement right.

      To me it has been very obvious, but then again I have read the books so perhaps it would be less clear to those who haven’t read them?

    • Katniss and Finnick are literally attacked by a flock Jabberjays in Catching Fire.

  3. I watched this yesterday and I was liked, WTF?!!! this is just amazing… The whole movie is really by the book… Jennifer should win an oscar for her performance,. the reactions on her face, the acting.. superb.. Jena Malone’s potrayal of Johana is amazing as well. Im still not sold about Sam being chosen for the role of Finnick, it should have been garret hedlund but he did deliver.. you’ll have a goosy at the last 5 seconds of the film.. really, jennifer is worthy of another oscar.. I just can’t figure out that the 3rd book will be the one who’ll be split into 2 since it’s very boring.. but overall, this movie is worth my penny..

  4. Holy cow Jeffrey Wright is in this? Who does he play?

    • he played Beetee, the brainy victor.. he’s astonishing..

      • Awesome! This just went from a “want” to “must see”!

    • I didn’t know he was in this. The cast is great.

      • The cast is great and I was surprised to see him in it. I couldn’t recognize Jena Malone so I looked her up on imdb and was shocked as I thought she was great. Can’t wait to see the next one.

    • Felix Leiter.

  5. This movie Sucks!!!

    • Please go back to IGN.

  6. First one surprised me. By surprise I mean I was initially reluctant to give up my time to what I assumed would be a generic teen orientated and marketed unnecessarily cynical piece of cinema that was too clean and too safe to warrant merit. Sure, elements of that existed but it had a hard edge to it and crucially, it didn’t try to con anyone into believing itself to be something it wasn’t.

    I will be a lot more open armed then with this then. On an unrelated note, someone give Jeffrey Wright a lead role, huh?

    • Agreed. It is Dystopian-lite, it knows it, and doesn’t pretend it isn’t. I can respect that, and it it gets teens interested in that genre, then good job. The “love triangle” was a factor I thought would be too Twilight inspired, but they actually take a realistic approach to it, and manage to include some commentary about teen love triangles in the process…

      (spoilers) Peeta and Gale are crazy for her, and she is basically just like, ffs leave me alone there is more important stuff going on here.

      • Well put. It had balls. I did not expect balls. In a world where teenage girls are painted tragically one note, this was something of a rarity.

        Coincidentally, I am finally getting around to playing ‘The Last of Us’. The very fact Ellie is another rare example of a convincing teenager with more than one trait pushes me more towards this movie itself. Serendipitous in its timing then.

  7. I think I’m just gonna go and get my Running Man DVD and watch an adult version of this story. I’m not a teenager anymore so this doesn’t appeal to me.

    • That reads better with a hint of sarcasm than it does if you were serious.

      If you are serious, I feel sorry for you.

    • You say “Running Man”…the Arnie flick…and “adult version” in the same sentence. Really?

      Wow.

      I truly hope hope you were kidding.

      • I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume “Running Man” is the name of some obscure independent film I’ve never heard of and this guy isn’t talking about the movie where Conan the Barbarian goes on a game show and battles his way through a gauntlet of 80′s WWF rejects.

        • Are you sure you want let him off the hook THAT easily?

          ;)

  8. I saw this last night and it was surprisingly good. I am glad they got rid of the shaky cam and this felt a lot more connected to the actual book with a few twists here and there. The overall flow to the movie was great and it didn’t feel like the actual time of the movie which was a great thing. The acting was great and Jeffery Wright was just awesome. I thought this was better executed than the first HG film. I would give it a 4/5.

  9. “Catching Fire is the middling installment of a three-book set…”

    Seriously? Personally I feel that Catching Fire is the best film in the trilogy. It’s the one where the stakes are not only raised, but the characters come across as more real and makes for a much more exciting installment since the story lives up to the potential of its dystopian setting.

    If anything, the middling installment is the finale Mockingjay which has Katniss going from an active character to a passive one where everyone makes her decisions for her and she’s out of the action for 80% of the novel.

    • I can assume they will change all that for the movie franchise. I hardly see them putting her on the side line for 2 more movies.

    • Agreed. Best of the books. This is the one movie of the series I was looking forward to. The last book is a mess. I will watch it, but hope they change a LOT.

    • Very true. Mockingjay felt like one mental breakdown after another (with respect to Katniss’ character)

    • i think they did put her little aside because she turn into a protective mode to protect peeta, as the movie end, we know peeta was captured, now she is going to do what is need to be done, “Fight” for freedom. then Love.

      i love that idea…

      good movie!!

  10. Is Mockingjay really going to benefit being split up into 2 films?

    • I think it could actually (unlike the Hobbit). Everything in that book felt rushed.

      BOOK SPOILERS They went from Katniss being a wreck, to infomercial star, to brave public speaker, to actual combat unit in the blink of an eye. Wouldn’t mind that being parsed out a bit.

    • $$$$$

  11. Kofi, yes! Seeing this tonight super pumped about the 4 star rating!

  12. Heavy 4 maybe 4.5 for me. The first and second acts of the film were flawless. The 3rd however was less intriguing to me. Despite some awesome performances from beetzee and finnick

  13. Amazing movie, not just great effects and action, but great perfomances and story, Lawrence owns the movie, she’s a fantastic actress and delivers a breathtaking perfomance…

  14. I had chills down my spine every five minutes during this movie. It was splendid!

  15. Trying not to fall in love with Jennifer Lawrence…..

  16. Just skip these movies and watch Battle Royale

    • Agreed.

      Sorry but these films just don’t do it for me when i saw it much better in Battle Royale and its sequel in the late 90s as a proper social commentary.

      • Disagreed.

        First of all, people act like Battle Royale is the only movie/book of its kind, when there’s a bunch of other stories that use similar set-ups. The same tiresome argument is always made in saying Avatar sucks because it’s plot was similar to other movies. But sorry, newsflash for everyone, execution is far more important than having an absolutely different plot for every movie (which would be impossible, as there’s only a finite amount of different stories that can be come up with).

        And if you think the execution of the Hunger Games series is the same as Battle Royale’s, then you’re ignorant to what the franchise is about. Having an opinion on who did it better is absolutely valid, but don’t act like The Hunger Games is automatically terrible just for having a similar premise to another work of fiction. It just seems like fans of Battle Royale think it’s “the cool thing to do” to bash Hunger Games just on this sole fact. What’s so wrong about liking both too? I love Battle Royale, but I also love The Hunger Games. Why should I skip Hunger Games just to watch Battle Royale when they’re both entertaining for different reasons?

        • Avatar did pretty much suck. So did the first Hunger Games movie.

          • Well, you’re welcome to your opinion…as am I. I disagree with you completely.

        • Why not just read “The Most Dangerous Game” thats what all these books & movies are based on.

      • Disagree
        HG and BR both provide entertainment and perspective far different in each other. BG gave us violent blooded thriller survival entertainment, while HG is teen romance style with soft toner of killing game and focus more about scratchy of inequitable social and politics.
        I love BR and nothing wrong that I love HG too.

    • …or, maybe, people might want to see an interesting, engaging film about a dystopian near-future that reflects many of today’s concerns quite well. In that case, definitely watch THG and this beautifully done sequel. Afterward, you might watch BR for an alternative (though not in the slightest better) take on the concept.

      This is a response to those deciding whether or not to see THG:CF. DO see it.

      This is also a comment to benefit both Anthony and Dazz, who need it.

      :;)

  17. So is Katniss more ‘aware’ of what is going on around her and that she is being turned into a figure head? That was the big failing in the second and third book where Katniss unknowingly lost control of her life and became a pawn. And a much less interesting character to me, dragging the series down because of that.

  18. Just came from it and I agree with Kofi, 4/5. This one, IMHO, is much better than its predecessor. At first, I didn’t like the way it ended but after thinking about it, since this will be a trilogy, I like the ending. Looking forward to seeing the 3rd.

  19. Anyone else get a Matrix: Reloaded vibe from the end of the film? With the focus on her face and everything? Even though, unlike The Matrix: Reloaded, the second film of this franchise is far superior to the first. THG:CF is an 8.7/10 film in my opinion.

    • Yes. I knew it reminded me of something.

  20. This is no better than the first one…
    weak villains and very weak dialogues…

    • The first one was excellent, and this one is at least as interesting and effective..

      There was one movie I’ve seen this year that had no villain. There was one other that underutilized its seemingly main villain (though it still proved to be infinitely better than the other). THIS film, on the other hand, showcased its corrupt, fascist government. The villain was NOT weak in the slightest. As for the dialogue, it was effective. The only reason I can see you not finding it so is that you did not like the source material. In THAT case, I would have to ask…WHY are you here in the first place?

      • Im here because I didnt like how the sequel developed. period. I did like the source material.
        I repeat. for me, there were many non-smart cheesy dialogues.
        Donald Sutherland SUCKED at being a bad ass villain. The real deal was the newcomer Phillip Seymour but!! apparently he wasnt a baddie after all?

        So yeah, this one is not bad but not as good as the first one… for me.

        • I think to state the first was ‘excellent’ requires a level of fandom that will just accept anything half good. I feel this way for some things too i.e. I like Tarantino’s Grindhouse movie and defend it. However, to say objectively the hunger games was excellent is really a subjective response. Objectively it was actually quite weak due to stereotypical ‘hero of a thousand faces’ tropes coupled with shakey dialogue compounded by poor direction. Whilst of course it kind of looks to some big ideas such as fascism and freedom. It hardly examines them in a strong intellectual sense that says anything particularly special or moving. But rather is made somewhat shallow by it’s mass market campaign.

          These are not bad movies, but are they up there with Apocolypse Now – tier films. Certainly not.

          • Rooster…

            All of your supposed objectivity is simply your own subjectivity couched in pretty terms. Your opinion is no more valid than my own (or than ANYONE who enjoyed and appreciated the film). I found the presentation of the thematic material, the characterizations, and even the science fiction (and overall film) tropes presented in an intriguing, effective, and well-produced manner. As for the direction of both the first film and this sequel, I found the two styles worked confidently and properly for the two different films being directed. I will say that, although the shaky cam in the first film worked perfectly for me, I can understand why many viewers would be happy that it was not employed in the second.

            …and shallowness? I experienced no shallowness from either of these first two films. I found an appropriate amount of depth for the material (a YA novel adaptation) being covered.

            If you, with a straight face, can actually attempt to compare every film you watch to “Apocalypse Now” and its ilk, you will almost always be horribly disappointed and might wish to stay home instead of visiting the theater.Compete against your friends in some chess matches…learn to crochet…read.

          • Oh, and I, because of the reasons I listed, DID indeed find THG excellent. If you did not, fine. You can have your OPINION, just as I have mine.

        • Well, Hyoga, we shall simply continue to disagree…which is fine.

          • I think excellent objectively is an over-reaction yes. For you it might be excellent for what ever reason it just so happens to resonate with you. I enjoyed both films. I think directorial styles have certainly improved, but I don’t generally speaking have a problem with a little bit of shakey camera work (Children of Men and even Breaking Bad both used it even though BB did so in a very limited restrained manner). My ‘pretty terms’ are used so as to be very clear, and if you don’t understand them just google it so you catch my meaning.

            Obviously I don’t go into every theatre expecting Apocolypse Now. But I think to call something excellent, groundbreaking ect. yes – that’s exactly what I expect. I find the lack of character complexity in the bad guys to be the most detrimental aspect of it and possibly what prevents it from being anymore than just very good.

            You’re clearly a bit of a fanatic – which means you’re going to love it no matter what. That’s fine.

            I think the HG represents a general upward trend of YA work that will hopefully continue.

            I think the fact that this series has a great deal of complex issues and themes and isn’t presented as such is the most disappointing factor for me. Because I really think if written right (because that cast is superb) they could have delivered something truly – top tier – 10/10 – excellent.

            • Unfortunately for all the arrogant blather you seem to enjoy spouting, you are NOT being objective. You are just as subjective as anyone else here…I’m a fanatic because of my perceptions of these films as being well done and entertaining? Really? You think “excellent” and “groundbreaking” are in any way interchangeable as descriptors for films? Really? I found THG excellent for the elements I mentioned above…precisely the elements most people use (among others, of course) to qualify a film. You, yourself, did the same thing. Whereas I gladly acknowledge that MY rating is subjective (after all, it is NOT mathematics, no matter HOW much you want it to be), you deliver your viewpoint with all of the indefatigable certainty of a commencement address. Unfortunately, it comes across as laughable.

              You are the epitome of pomposity…which is a shame as I think you have some intelligent nuggets in your overblown soapbox preaching on cinematic standards. Concentrate on THOSE, and stop kissing your own butt. You will make MUCH more worthwhile arguments…you will make much more sense.

              Good luck in returning to Earth.

              • You can call me pompous and arrogant all you wish but you still haven’t really addressed any of the issues/criticisms I or any others have mentioned. I’m certainly not preaching either. At least I’m actually giving reasons for my view point rather than just saying outright it’s pure s*** or the extreme that it’s genius.

                You speak of worthwhile arguments and yet you have presented nothing more than personal attacks. Which I will not do to you. I have not laughed at your view point and I think a true fan is someone willing to criticize and expect more. I quite frankly don’t see how I’ve offended you so greatly.

                • I only had to call you pompous once…that was more than enough to make the point. I f you would simply stop assuming you are absolutely right even though you are expressing just another opinion, there would be no issue. As for what I presented, I gave you the list of reasons why I said the film is excellent. I’m not sure how you missed them. Read your comments again a bit more carefully to see why your delivery might be considered a little off-putting…hopefully, you’ll catch on.

  21. this summed up everything i’m feeling right now.

  22. >writes cliched young adult/teen series
    > written with poor dialogue / poor-decent vocabulary
    > grossly similar to battle royal and its sequel.
    > Relies on stereotypical teen novel ‘hero of a thousand faces’ plot / love story
    > “But she’s not in love with peeta” – i.e. Twilight or any other teen fiction ever.
    > Recieves praise for seminal novel series that is ‘ground breaking’
    > Uses non-complex dichotomies to establish right and wrong.
    > Cliched orwellian bad guys
    > ‘groundbreaking’
    > Logic/10

    I love the fact that a pre-teen novel can discuss so successfully such important ideals, and I think that it is a phenomenal achievement. However to praise it as fantastic writing or anything more than just clever marketing is really just a bit un-true. Obvisouly this is more thought-provoking and clever than Twilight. And I would agree that the story has substance – but it’s limited. I’ve studied extensively both the Russian and Chinese Revolution and as an academic have no qualms stating that none of the leaders were fully good or bad. But rather flawed individuals tasked with impossible obstacles for which they reacted with violence and coercion – sometimes for the greater good sometimes for their own. To paint such a picture of black and white is so very untrue and just not compelling.

    Without trying to sound elitist and bourgeois I must say that Hunger Games is not particularly clever in anyway, but is over-hyped by people who generally speaking don’t read. The use of language is of course adequate, but nothing special (I’m thinking hemmingway/ Mccarthy), I can understand this as a family piece but it’s sincerely nothing more than mediocre for adult readers. Younger people of course this perhaps is better for. But it lacks complexity.

    To be honest I don’t really care so long as the children go on to read better things. Not just the book of the minute, which is really just marketing which is really ironic considering the series ‘revolutionary’ message.

    • Your two responses are the DEFINITION of “elitist and bourgeois. I would add obnoxiously arrogant to that mix.

      • guys, your fighting over the god damn hunger games, why is this even worth your time.Rooster is getting at it, the cliched orwellian bad guys and under developed characters are a huge problem for a series with so much praise, here we have a strong female lead, that presents a fantastic image for young and teenage girls, that is washed under movie troupes and bad direction. Stop trying to be edgy and face the facts, this movie series has serious issues.

        • fileserv…

          You can agree with Rooster as much as you desire…all that means is you share his OPINION.

          Feel free to do so. That is simply one view.

  23. After I watched Hunger Games on Netflix, I raced out and bought the dvd version. Hunger Games has an old school science-fiction tone, which asks you to dig deep into the human psyche.

    Hunger Games is about the consequences of living in a utopian society. If I had to pick an old school counterpart, I would say it matches Fahrenheit 451. I can also see some The Catcher in the Rye.

  24. Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter.

    ERNEST HEMINGWAY

  25. Good movie…I really enjoyed myself and I have to say…I really connected with Katniss, especially when she found out she was going back to the Hunger games. Thats how I felt when I was going back to Iraq the second time. The movie was very good…Ive never read the books, although I own the first movie and I have to say I enjoyed it alot.

    I have loved Francis Lawrence since “Iam Legend” which CGI aside I thought was a flawless & emotionally powerful movie…I look forward to buying this on DVD in the eventual future.

  26. This movie is terrible. I’ll never understand the attraction to crap like this or Twilight, Harry Potter etc. This is just a recycled version of THE RUNNING MAN with Arnold Schwarzenegger except its designed for brain dead millenials. There is Nothing profound or epic about this film. It robs themes from other films like STARWARS and Ben Hur. Hunger Games was confusing enough. Good Movies don’t need PRIOR disclaimers, instruction manuals, books, comics, cereal boxes, action figures or any of that crap to explain what is happening to the audience. One should be able to identify a clear plot, story character motivation etc. within a simple 3 act structure WHY SO LONG? Both films can be condensed. This is a mediocre genre… Teeny bopper Girl Power chick flick. MEN: ONLY SEE THIS MOVIE IF SHE GUARANTEES FELLATIO

    • Dude, calm down. You’re one of those people who expects ‘Citizen Kamr’ every time they see a movie, aren’t you? You obviously haven’t given this genre any credit.

    • You couldn’t identify character motivation? Were you sleeping through both movies?

      Please don’t follow this with a “yes I was because it put me to sleep” type comment. You know what I meant.

      This movie was incredible.

  27. Great movie although it makes me want a reboot of the first installment now that I see how much more it could’ve been.

  28. This trend of splitting into two movies is really not new. Books adapted into movies have been split, it just that those movies didn’t have part 1 or part 2 from their titles. Movies way back were split into two movies. because their book series were big, like over 500 pages long. I honestly don’t get why The Hunger Games trilogy will be split. the third book is literally just a little over 300 pages long or even less. All i know is the third book was not as big as the 2nd book. Money? most likely my guess. but come on. i want a trilogy movie, not 4 movies from the Hunger Games. it just makes sense to have one last movie for the Hunger Games. the tradition of what a trilogy should have. I will really like to point out about the “love triangle” in the trilogy. There’s hardly any of it. At least from my point of view. both from the books and the movies. While the 2nd one does indeed have the love interests, but it’s nothing. again at least to me. Yes, i don’t like love triangles. so stupid and so predictable. without reading the 3rd book i already know who she’ll be with. okay my little rant is over, anyway i will see catching fire, but later, so that i will avoid annoying movie goers.

  29. I technically looked at the third book from size and even the last pages at the bottom. don’t worry i didn’t read the last ending at all. Anyway, I’ve only read 1 and 2 at the moment. college can be tough at times.

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