Review: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

It is a very exciting decade for book to movie adaptations.

So many books are getting so popular that they can become movies. Which in turn is feeding back to the popularity of books.

It is really cool to see teenagers reading again. Even if it’s just so they can understand the popular movies made from them. It is a step forward as far as I am concerned.

Now of course the two biggest success of this new fad are the “Twillight” and “Harry Potter” franchises. They are huge and made money hand over fist, continuing even too this day. But the third is just as intense in its fan base.

I am referring to the Hunger Games Trilogy.

A series that is based in a much darker world then the others. A series that is not only a teenage love story, but a social satire. It is a poignant series that builds a feeling of hopelessness, and does not pull any punches.

It is also super-mega popular.

So of course the big wigs decided that this needed to be  made into a movie. It was a guaranteed money pit, and though I disagree with those kinds of tactics, they do work.

The first hunger games made 6 million worldwide, making more than 8 times more money than it took to make.

The funny thing is though…..the first one was only “okay”.

It suffered from some serious flaws with the camera work and presentation. The fight scenes are actually un-watchable to me at this point. They look like it was filmed through a tumble dryer.

Add in some dodgy CGI and slightly flat main characters, and it is a 5/10 in my book.

It could have been a lot better. If only they had made the fights easy to watch, get the camera off the caffeine drip. Maybe make the emotional part of the story come across better? Actually make us understand how horrible the district really is? They could even use a touch up on the social satire portion. Ahhh, if only that had been what we got.

“Wait what was that?”

“Yeah I know they are making a sequel, but how different can it be?”

“Huh?”

“Wait, they did?”

“That too?”

“But that is spot on to the book!”

DID YOU HEAR THAT! THEY F***ING FIXED IT!

Oh yes they did! The second movie is basically the first, but with everything I hated about the first one totally removed. The fights are in full stable glory. The emotional moments are actually emotional. People in my theater cried!

The secret to their success is….build up!

Things happen as a payoff to other things. The story and relationships actually have some level of time to exist. A lot of little looks and glances that actually make it seem like these people are……wait for it……actually alive!

Oh sure they are still the stereotypical characters that they always were. But damn it, I cared for the cardboard. I was chocked up when Rue was brought up.

The actors may not have much to work off of, but they did their best to make it work.

The sets and designs are also better. You get to see a lot more of Panem, which though not the prettiest place to look at, is at least large enough that we can understand just how huge the Capitol is. This goes a long way towards making us actually feel hatred towards the capitol in a more sub conscious way. Which then makes the clearly evil things they show them do, more powerful.

The movies greatest weapon in fact, is it tone. The movie creates just a feeling of deep dread, and despair.

Which means the movie can also then create another emotion. That is used sparingly, but hits hard.

Once in a blue moon. They use hope.

I have to take a second to also take about what most people who saw it will say.

Yes it is very accurate to the book. Possibly the most accurate to a book movie adaptations so far.

Which yes is a good thing. But it does make me worry.

Because the next book is Mockingjay.

“I’ll be in my office……bring some coffee ice cream and the cutest puppy you can find…*sniffle*….”

Score: 8/10

Rewatch Value: Medium

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2 thoughts on “Review: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

  1. Pingback: Trailer Talk: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 | Coolerbs Reviews

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