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Monday, November 25, 2013

Movie Review - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire   $$$$ 


146 Minutes
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, and Woody Harrelson.  
Director: Francis Lawrence. 

            I made the mistake of being in the theater on opening night for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It was a madhouse. Young people packed the halls and excitedly talked about the film. Some were dressed in Capitol City styled costumes that evoked memories of the rich and decadent citizens in the first movie. Even after we walked into the auditorium to see Thor, the noise of the crowd penetrated the walls.
            Fortunately, I only had to wait until the following morning to see it myself and didn’t have to sit on the floor for hours to do so. If I were young, I have no doubt that participating in an opening night rush would have been a highlight of my month, maybe even the entire year.  

            Katniss (Jennifer Lawrenece) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) embark upon their victory tour, traveling through all twelve districts giving speeches to the masses and attempting to smile as they do. This should be a joyous time for our winners, but it isn’t. The government has cracked down on the population in order to crush a rebellion before it has the chance to get started. Katniss wants to run off into the wilderness with Gale (Liam Hemsworth). Peeta wants to be with Katniss regardless of where that might be. And the people want hope.
            For the people, Katniss represents hope.
            For President Snow (Donald Sutherland), Katniss represents trouble. Snow announces an unprecedented move to hold a special hunger game with the previous winners. This promises to be the most dangerous game ever.  

            The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is an excellent movie. I gave it my top rating of 4 Movie Bucks and feel that this is sequel that will not disappoint fans of the original film.  

            1. Fun – The beginning of the movie moved a bit slower as Katniss and Peeta work through their victory tour, but I enjoyed the character development that happened during this part of the film. There are plenty of tugs on the emotional heart-strings. I give it a full MB for solid entertainment throughout.  

            2. Story – Superb. The plots are nicely developed. I especially enjoy the romantic subplot that makes it so easy for us to tell Katniss to stay with the boy she’s with—in that scene. When she’s with Gale it makes perfect sense that she should stay with him. And when she’s with Peeta that seems right as well. I’m not normally much on the romantic triangle aspect of a story, but find myself enjoying this one. I found the writing to clever and powerful. I gave this element of the film a full MB.  

            3. Technical – Top notch. Special effects were great. The director, Francis Lawrence, put together a seamless story that hit on all the right notes. I gave this aspect of the film a full MB.  

            4. Acting – Tremendous. I can’t think of any role that wasn’t performed well. My only disappointment was that Woody Harrelson did not capture my attention with his soul-weary former champion as he did in the first film. It was still a good performance though. I give a full MB for acting.  

            That amounts to a perfect score of 4 Movie Bucks for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. This film will certainly give Ender’s Game a run for its money as my top pick for the year. Go out and catch this movie at your favorite cinema and experience in all its cinematic glory. 

                        Randy’s Rating System 

$$$$   = Full Price    See this movie right away and pay full price, it’s worth it.
$$$     = Matinee      Catch this as a matinee or other discounted showing.
$$        = Discount     Wait until this movie reaches a discount theater near you.
$          = Rental         Wait until this movie reaches your local video rental outlet.
0          = No Sale       Don’t see this movie at any price.



  1. Good review.... curious, you already picked a movie of the year? I'm thinking the hobbit will possibly be the best this year.

    1. The funny thing about that is that I've been writing movie reviews for about three years now and it only just occured to me on Monday that I should pick one as the best for the year. I'll wait until January and write a post highlighting the top choices and select one as the best.