The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

By on November 26, 2013
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

Run time: 146 min
Rating: 8.3
Genres: Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
Director: Francis Lawrence
Writers: Simon Beaufoy, Michael Arndt
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Trivia: Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem.
Storyline
Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a “Victor’s Tour” of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) – a competition that could change Panem forever. Written by Bianca Capetillo
Plot Keywords: competition, political satire, second part, sequel, teenage pregnancy
Details:
Country: USA
Release Date: 22 November 2013 (USA)
Box Office
Budget: $130,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $158,074,286 (USA) (22 November 2013)
Gross: $158,074,286 (USA) (22 November 2013)

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4 Comments

  1. iamstark

    November 26, 2013 at 1:19 am

    The odds are definitely in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire favor in terms of box office and reception. I am a huge fan of the book and when I heard about the movie I just got excited as anyone could possibly get. Of course I still had some doubt. Every time I heard someone say it would be the "next Twilight" my heart would drop because Twilight is by far not anywhere close to the standard set by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. However, I went into the movie with an open mind and was absolutely blown away.

    The cast that were chosen for the film was perfect. Jennifer Lawrence played Katniss with exceptional strength and even grace that made me completely buy her as being Katniss and could not imagine anyone else as the strong heroine. Woody Harrelson portrayed Haymitch with a respect for the character in terms of how the character truly feels about the Capitol and showing him as a man made bitter by his life, which in my opinion was pretty much what Haymitch was. And Donald Sutherland as the vicious President Snow was absolutely terrifying in the role. He brought on the same aura of malice and hatred that the character was easily able to create in the books. This is just the first movie and I cannot wait to see what else he brings to the table in future installments. Now I could go on and on about how superb the cast was because it is true. Everyone brought something great to the table but it was Jennifer Lawrence's portrayal of Katniss that held the movie very high up. The action and violence was also pretty gruesome and done just right so that it didn't go overboard but was faithful enough to the book that the violence wasn't undermined. The outcome of having Suzanne Collins (author of The Hunger Games) work with director Gary Ross to write the script for the film version was probably one of the best things to happen for this film. It is superb filmmaking at it's finest.

    In closing, The Hunger Games is a faithful film adaptation to a great book that is superbly written, performed, and directed to create what will probably be one of the best films of the year. The action and suspense will have you on the edge of your seat throughout the film as well as surprise those of you who have read the books. This film is about two-and-a-half hours long but the pacing matches that of the book so that when it's over you'll feel like its only been an hour-and-a-half. It never drags on but is always on the move to something more exciting than the one before. This film will stay with you for years to come and will make you think a little more about what direction our society is going in.

  2. iamstark

    November 26, 2013 at 1:19 am

    If you love Suzanne Collins, you know what to expect. Her novels are brutal, poetic, tragic, and artistic, with splashes of very grim humor. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is clearly Collins's style, and I loved every second of it, from the cinematography (every shot is gorgeous and creative) to the story, which blends Shakespearean tragedy, murderous love, Gothic horror, and layered character drama. The characters are complex and there is plenty of moral ambiguity to go around. Even the most sociopathic character evokes sympathy. The direction is restrained and the performances are nuanced – like CHILDREN OF MEN, there are too many subtleties to take in on the first viewing. Suzanne Collins is an intelligent, bold, consistently surprising novelist. It's unpredictable – scenes go from brutal and heart-wrenching to laugh-out-loud hilarious in an instant. This is closer to the classic scifi's of yesteryear than any modern-day CGI-fest as far as being over-the-top brilliant, and it's incredibly rich, thought-provoking, and rewarding.

    If you like beautifully told dystopian stories (CHILDREN OF MEN) or are a fan of Suzanne Collins, seeing The Hunger Games: Catching Fire should be obvious. Easily one of the best films of 2013.

  3. thegeekgurl

    November 26, 2013 at 1:19 am

    Some stories are built on passion, some on courage and some on hope. Very rarely do you come across a love story that encompasses itself around a life-or-death contest. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire introduces us to the world of Katniss Everdeen, who mirrors the most innocent of sentiments which lie locked up within the depths of our heart. She wins us over in the first frame, because she is one among us. It is not her heroism which makes her a heroine, but her vulnerability which makes her endear-able. The audience falls in love with Katniss because she is scared of the unknown just like us. What makes her a hero is her conviction and spirit, which makes her embark on a wide-spread journey for the search of love and faith. It is somewhere in that journey, that you no longer root for Jennifer Lawrence and her victory, but for Katniss and her belief, which makes The The Hunger Games: Catching Fire a winner right from the opening credits.

    Her name is Katniss, Katniss Everdeen. Brought up in an unforgiving society, Katniss battles the alternate evils of racial profile and scornful peers with equal focus, trying to make sense of the world that burns homes, bullies people at school and make a false show of sympathy. She goes by the doctrine of the Mockingjay, which teaches her that there are two classes of people in the world, those who are good and would offer a lollipop and those who are bad and would point a sharp stick. There is no caste, creed or religion but just people who shape the world. It is this philosophy which Katniss carries forward in her love and faith, painting her journey in a collage of alternate light and dark emotions, shadow plays of human nature which guides her to the world or perhaps, guides the world towards her.

    The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is appreciable because of its brilliance, acceptable for its nobility and unquestionable in its integrity. Suzanne Collins weaves in a tale of love, faith, strength and humanity within a cinematic frame of timeless minutes pulling out a riveting and compelling human drama of innocence poised against the system, through the filtered sensibilities of a patient suffering from the effects of unjust society, one who cannot understand the world, but love it enough to change it. The keynotes of each frame, drenched with subtle social comments and complex emotional undertones makes the movie an amalgamation of the colors of hope and persistence, with layered textures of unspoken bonds. With Katniss Everdeen, Collins succeeds in bringing the system on trial through the eyes of one who cannot bias herself on any ideology, making her emotions pure and though provoking, which touches the innermost chords of the heart, moistening the eyes and serenading the senses.

    The story is filled with emotional subtexts which move at breakneck speed throughout the length of the film, constantly switching gears between the palettes of emotions. The dialogs exude class and confidence holding grip of the story yet laced with the finesse that allows for emotional drama combined with spiritual uprising, casting a dark satire on the entire system and its treatment of identities. The script penned by Collins is one of par excellence, allowing the audience to blend into Katniss through her smiles and tears, laugh in her joy and cringe with every blow dealt to her. The screenplay drops hypocritical moral ambitions to make scathingly relevant comments on modern outlook of the world, making it rise several notches above anything attempted in modern-day Hollywood.

    In the end, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire becomes the experience it is because of Katniss and Peeta, essayed flawlessly by Lawrence and Hutcherson. Lawrence exudes the spirit of Katniss in every breath and pulse of the film, putting in a performance that is beyond any benchmark of excellence. She controls every single emotional nerve of the audience with vacant stares and dimpled smiles, towering like an illusionist conjuring up a magical performance of a lifetime. She breaks every stereotypical mould attached to her to rise like a phoenix from the ashes with Katniss, who reigns over the audience in a sweeping wave of emotions, establishing a bond that scales beyond the arc-lights of the 70mm screen. She is complimented by Hutcherson whose very presence lights up the entire room with just a flashing smile. He balances the sensitivity of love and charm with the emotional conflict of a ravaged heart with effortless poise. The interactions between Hutcherson and his merry company form the highlights of the film, filled with the cackling chemistry of a uninhibited passion, captivating the audience in the mesmerizing spell of the couple. Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy delivers a matured and restrained performance while Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne blends in simplicity with sensibility in a performance that comes straight from the heart. Donald Sutherland is exceptional as President Snow in his mannerisms while the supporting cast all deliver credible performances including Jena Malone in a dazzling cameo.

    There will always be movies that enchant us with their magic, but there will hardly be a journey that goes beyond cinematic borders to deliver the experience of a lifetime. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is undoubtedly the new face of global cinema that enthralls with each passing frame, healing the hidden scars of the heart with its message of a better and humane world. There might be superheroes, but there will never be one Katniss Everdeen, who takes pride in being ordinary and yet changes the face of her world.

    Earlier time scales used B.C. and A.D. to mark important events. After 14th December 2012, the scales of humanity would mark the world before and after the release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

    My Rating- 10/10 (Exceptional!!)

  4. jarvismethis

    November 26, 2013 at 1:19 am

    I was lucky enough to be able to watch the movie one week early, since it opened here in Brazil one week before the release in the US, and I must tell you this fellow The Hunger Games fans, even though my English is not even that good: Catching Fire is a GREAT experience, and one that improves over the first film in nearly every possible level.

    When I first read the books, I thought that they were not only incredibly addicting and fun, but also with an important message for the youngsters (and every other person, age is not important) who read it, and that made it different from some of the other uninteresting YA books around. I really liked the trilogy, and when I watched the first adaptation, I was disappointed with some aspects and routes they went with it. It was not an horrible movie, at all, but it was not very faithful to the book and lacked the impact I found in the novel.

    With that in mind, I kept my excitement in close watch with Catching Fire and went expecting a good movie and nothing more. I was welcomed with an excellent surprise: the movie followed the events of the novel whenever possible and brilliantly so, while managing to keep me on the edge of my seat, even though I knew what was going to happen the entire time.

    I won't go into details about the plot of the movie, some fellow reviewers already did it probably better than I'll ever do and the chances you're familiar with it are high. So I'll go right into the review and my opinions on the picture.

    Francis Lawrence was nothing short of an excellent choice for the director's chair: gone are the shaky camera action (one of my major problems with the first film) and welcome are thrilling and pumping action scenes that expertly convey the tension and ferocity of the moment. He managed to keep the violence and shock without ever crossing the line, and whoever read the books know how important this is; it's part of the plot, of the criticism and one of the main elements that make the whole point of the film. He keeps you interested and invested in the story even when nothing bombastic is happening, and that is a great achievement, something that really sets this sequel apart.

    But Francis is not alone on making this movie special. His young and talented cast, lead by the always amazing Jennifer Lawrence, is ferocious and eager to invest in their characters, making you an ally (or an enemy) while watching everything unfold. Lawrence shows us again why she was the perfect choice to play the now iconic Katniss Everdeen: she makes you root for this young, brave lady every single minute of the struggle; with her sad, hopeless stare that pierces your soul to her ability to convey admirable strength when everything seems to be out of reach are phenomenal and she deserves the praise she gets.

    The rest of the cast is uniformly good, but I have to highlight Jena Malone, who plays the explosive Johanna: her presence makes the screen on fire whenever she's in, mixing the perfect amount of attitude and humor. A particular scene involving an elevator and a fancy dress is at the same time hilarious and shocking, just like her character. Donald Sutherland also shines as the menacing president Snow, in a restrained performance that doesn't need too many words spoken to make you think twice on how dangerous he is.

    The set pieces are also vastly improved upon: bigger, more ambitious and work perfectly in sync with the action to make for some really unforgettable moments. The arena looks beautiful and foreboding, hiding it's dangers behind the shining green water. So does the bizarre Capitol and the Districts, full of sadness and fear, two dichotomies in every aspect.

    But what I really liked about the movie was that they didn't shy away from the political aspects from the novel and conveyed the despair and oppression imposed by the Capitol over the rest of Panem. It makes you think that all of this is happening around the world, in one way or another, maybe masquerade, but it is. It's sad that many teenagers are only in this ride for the hot action and beautiful people (some screaming girls in the movie theater I went only confirm this. They were not the majority, it was packed and most people were also extremely annoyed by it too – every time Finnick appeared it was a screaming hell). It has so much more to offer.

    The Hunger Games: Catching Fire not only improves vastly upon it's predecessor: it's a great cinematic experience by itself, touching on important topics about the modern day society without losing it's thrilling core. It's not perfect, but what it does right it goes right into the bullseye. Don't let the hype or the teen fury on this fool you: it is entertainment at it's best.

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