Flash Movie Review: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

There is a certain type of person I cannot play with regarding games or competitive activities. You may be familiar with such an individual. Their only reason for playing is to be the ultimate winner, no matter the cost. I played the game charades with a group of people at a party once, where the opposing team had such an individual. During their turn to guess the answer from their fellow teammate, this person’s face turned to a deep shade of red as he yelled out answers. For all the times he jumped out of his chair, you would have thought the seat was bristling with white hot electricity. When the timer ended and his team heard the correct answer; he shouted at his teammate, asking them why they did not do a particular pantomime gesture as a clue for one of the words. I reached my limit when this person tried changing the rules in the middle of our game, telling us the way he played the game was the right way. If there is one thing I cannot stand it is someone who tries to manipulate or change the rules solely for their benefit. For that very reason, I was quickly invested in the story of this action adventure sequel. After wining last year’s Hunger Games; Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, played by Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook, Winter’s Bone) and Josh Hutcherson (American Splendor, Bridge to Terabithia), had to keep up the appearance of being in love as they embarked on a victory tour throughout the districts. If you have not seen the first movie, I suggest you do because it will help you with the story in this film. The other thing you will notice is the improvements made to this science fiction movie. Let me start out with the script; it kept things tight and added a needed layer of depth to the characters that was missing in the first installment. I must admit I have a little crush on Jennifer’s acting abilities. She was the perfect person to play this role and that is without me having read any of the books this franchise is based on. Besides her gifted acting I thought Elizabeth Banks (The Next Three Days, Role Models) as Effie Trinket and Donald Sutherland (Pride & Prejudice, The Con Artist) as President Snow did a better job in exposing more emotions out of their characters. Not only were the special effects top notch but the high caliber of directing produced a seamless series of scenes that kept me completely engaged and entertained. In the game of making sequels; this exciting film is the way it should be done, because I enjoyed this better than the first movie.

3 1/2 stars

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About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on November 25, 2013, in Fantasy/Sci-Fi and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. why 3 1/2 stars? I agree that it wasn’t the best movie, but I would be curious to know what you thought were some of the weaker points.

    • With the actors I mentioned in the review at such a high caliber, the other ones did not rise up enough causing a rift for me. Also, there were a couple of scenes that could have been tighter in editing and deeper into the feelings. Do you mind sharing your likes and dislikes of the film?

      • Yes, of course! I agree with you that some of the acting was off. For example, though I love the character of Effie, you could tell that she had become very popular and was therefore given a larger role in this movie without any real reason. I also agree with you about the lack of insight into the feelings of the characters. I read all three books, and the sense of oppression and scrutiny was overwhelming. I don’t think that the authoritarian aspect was conveyed as well in this film as it could have been. All the “evil” was pinned onto President Snow—almost as a scapegoat, I thought. I did love the design of the arena—it was exactly how I had imagined. And I thought the relationships between the competitors in the arena was well-done.

      • Thank you so much for sharing your insight. I am now eve more curious to read the books.

  2. Definitely better than the first movie.

  3. these books were recommended to me by someone, and I found them to be excellent. You may actually want to pick them up at the library.

  4. i love the hunger games books…

  5. Taking a cue from your earlier post on “The Music Never Stopped”, what do you think of the soundtrack to this The Hunger Games sequel?

    • I felt the soundtrack was effective without intruding into the scene and overwhelming it. What did you think of it if I may ask?

      • I’ve not seen the movie. So I wouldn’t be able to comment on how well the soundtrack fit into the film. I recently got hold of the songs. On first listen I like the set. A different direction from the more folk/rootsy sound of the soundtrack to the first movie, which also I enjoyed.

  6. Not often that a sequel is better than the first film in a series.

  7. I agree with you on each point.the film improves the book as well, by cutting unnesesary detail.

  8. I enjoyed the movie very much as well. I have read the first 2 books and am getting ready to read the 3rd. My daughter had loved the books and she gave me the first DVD. We would have gone to this 2nd movie together if she was still here. But she was there in spirit.

    • I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts regarding this film. The act of sharing is such a powerful tool we as humans have the ability to do; I found the connection this film has between you and your daughter to be so beautiful. Thank you.

  9. wow. See! I knew you would rate this one high!
    Oscar worthy….gonna get my red carpet self party ready….

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