Catching Fire

Hello, I’m a unicorn. The Hunger Games book series is extremely popular with adults and kids my age. What is my opinion of it? It’s okay. It has been a while since I read the books, but I remember that they were entertaining, even the third one, aka the first book that actually got me angry. I really liked the first book. I almost wish Suzanne Collins had stopped right there because the climax of the second book is essentially a rehash of the first book, albeit done somewhat better. The third book is another beast entirely, and a rant for another day. Now let’s talk about the first movie really quickly. I liked it better than the book, but it had its flaws. For example, they overused the shaky cam, even in scenes where there wasn’t any action. It got to a point where the viewer had trouble telling what was happening. Other than that, it was a really good adaptation with great acting and a scene that actually made me tear up. I don’t usually cry at movies, so I consider it a feat when a movie makes me get choked up. Now, it’s time to get to the point. Catching Fire was wonderful, much better than the first movie and the book. Since there isn’t anything awful in this, I’m going to break it down to the good and the meh. Also, beware of spoilers.

The Good: Oh great Krypton, where to begin? This movie takes the plot, which, like I said, is a rehash of the first with a few new twists, and makes it much more interesting than the first movie. The acting was excellent, especially Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. One of the things that bothered me about the character in the book was that she sometimes came off as annoying. Why I found her annoying can be summed up in four words: I don’t do angst.

Technically, that’s five words.

Not if it’s a contraction. Anyway, the casting of  Lawrence as Katniss was perfect, because she is talented enough to pull off  all of the conflicting emotions our heroine has without coming off as overly angsty. Donald Sutherland was perfect as the creepy President Snow. The scene between the two in her house was chilling. Josh Hutcherson was great as Peeta, and given much more to work with than in the first movie. Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy and Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket were entertaining as always.  The stakes were much higher in this movie than in the first, with her family and friends threatened by the president and a revolution brewing.

You say you want a revolution, baby, well, you know, we all want to change the world.

Thank you, Textbox. That was necessary.

Always at you service.

As I was saying, I really have to applaud the director, Francis Lawrence. Er… no relation to Jennifer from what I can find. I guess it’s just another one of those weird coincidences between director and the film he’s directing. Kind of like how The Amazing Spider-Man’s director is named Marc Webb.

Was there a point to your rambling?

Right, sorry. He did a brilliant job, and ended the film perfectly with a shot of Katniss going through an insane range of emotions before ending on her determined face. This got me hyped up for the third movie, which is no small feat. I was seriously considering skipping the third installment, but not anymore. I now believe that he can improve upon the book I liked the least. I hope that Mockingjay can be a great movie.

The Meh: Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence had no chemistry. They’ve only shared a few scenes in the movie, and we are expected to believe that they are in love. This could be problematic in the third movie because the focus of the third book is the love triangle between Katniss, Gale, and Peeta. To be honest, though, in this movie, I don’t mind that the two spend so little time together. I usually can’t stand love triangles, especially when it takes up the majority of the plot. This love triangle, along with Katniss’s constant (but completely justifiable) angsting made me dislike Mockingjay.

Overall, this is definitely worth a watch and much better than the original books and movie. The acting was excellent, the cinematography vastly improved, and the stakes much higher than the first. So what are you waiting for? Watch it now and may the odds be ever in your favor.

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