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Dalton’s Cinema Spot- The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Daltons Cinema Spot- The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

PG-13, 146 minutes

Starring- Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth

4/ 5 Stars

What an unbelievably vast improvement over its predecessor. Catching Fire picks up right where The Hunger Games left off with Katniss (Lawrence) and Peeta (Hutcherson) struggling to continue a fake romance under the glare of The Capital, all the while riots begin to break out across Panam. Just as the pair feel that they are safe from the vicious claws of President Snow (played with gleeful villainy by Donald Sutherland), the 75th Annual Hunger Games commences, and Katniss and Peeta are thrown back into the ring to duke it out, only this time they’re facing previous champions.

I am not alone when I say that the first Hunger Games film was sub-par and overall a tragic book adaption, I gave the film 2.5 stars. So walking into Catching Fire I had low expectations. I was floored by the gravity of improvement I saw. Being a voracious reader of the books, I was overcome with joy at seeing the vastly improved character development, primarily between Katniss and Peeta. The story is still largely kept intact, the arena looks just as how I’d imagine it would, and finally we see more and more people standing up, preparing to revolt in a climactic conclusion.

The directing is perfect with beautiful, not horribly glaring visuals like the first one (Wow, this time the clothes actually kind of look like they’re on fire!) The acting is superior with a strong performance given by Lawrence who has given nothing but gorgeous portrayals after her Academy Award winning turn in Silver Lining’s Playbook. The story is fast paced with heart pounding music to keep the thrills alive and the eyes enjoy a new collage of colors that aren’t overwhelming and aren’t too drab.

The major flaw about this film was  that the beginning and end felt terribly rushed. The viewer is abruptly immersed into the world of The Hunger Games. You better have either read the books or just recently watched the first movie as the first half hour or so is a doozy of information.

Many people, myself included, felt that the book sequel to Catching Fire, Mockingjay, was the weakest link of the series. So for now, imagine in the movieverse that Catching Fire will probably be the high point of the series that will never yield as stellar of films as Harry Potter, but, at least they aren’t the Percy Jackson movies. The Hunger Games- Catching Fire has found the spark of thrilling excitement to create a great film.     

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