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Monday, December 2, 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Review

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
The latest installment in the Hunger Games Cinematic Universe is Catching Fire. My first impressions are it was the fastest 2 hours and 20 minutes of my life, the movie flew by, and it didn't bring anything new to the table. It was basically the same thing as it's predecessor but with a twist like all sequels should be. 
    This movie is not a perfect one by any means, but it was still hard to find a problem with it. Francis Lawrence did everything to make this movie a great one. It was the way they executed things that was the problem. It seems like the love triangle between Katniss, Gale, and Peta should have been stronger and more distinct. It was hardly noticeable! It just seemed like a missed opportunity to bring something great to the table. They only touched on it throughout the movie, and when they did it seemed like it was at the parts that ruined the mood of the movie. When I say it was the fastest 2 hours and 20 minutes of my life, It is a good and bad thing. Everything just seemed so rushed. They needed to spend more time on the love triangle (like I said before) and everything else. For example, the other tributes. They just could have spent at least 3 minutes for us to meet the other tributes. Characters were underused. Cinna, Johanna Mason, and even Beetee. The characters that were underused were the ones I liked the most. Finnik was underused in a way and they could have used him a whole lot more.  
The main problems were the lack of character development. They didn't expand on characters when they needed to most and when they did it took away the mood or tone from the movie. 

The thing that bugged me they most was the horrible cinematography! When there was 5 people or less in a scene(which is the majority of the time) the camera was held 1-12 inches away from there face! No joke! I know what they were trying to go for by telling a story through facial expressions. I get that. It just didn't have to be the whole dang movie! It was pointless. We can see the facial expressions on their faces when the camera is 3 feet away from them. I thought they would learn from their mistake the made in the first 20 minutes of the first one, but they didn't. They just made it worse. There is no use for the camera being held 3 inches away from their faces. Again, it was poorly executed. It took away from my enjoyment from the film.  Not to mention it took 1 hour and 30 minutes to actually get to the games!
     The one thing I really appreciate they did was the learned from the first. They didn't have any shaky camera. One of the few complaints I had from the first one was when the action was going on, the decided to show the action by shaking the camera rather than letting the actors do their job and act. Catching fire had no shaky camera. The action scenes (for the most part) were clean and not painful to watch. 

As I said above there were characters that were poorly developed. However, there were some that were well developed such as the characters played by Hutcherson, Lawrence, Seymour Hoffman, and Sutherland. Those 4 people were the things that brought this movie back from the dumps. They were the redeeming quality that saved this movie. Lets start of with Phillip Seymour Hoffman's portrayal as Plutarch Heavensbee. He was such a  convincing character. He was a great part of the film. He was not overused or underused, and he did awesome in his role. This was the movie for Josh Hutcherson (Peta) to shine. As we get to experience the trials that Peta faces as he struggles to overcome them brings a welcome depth to his character. Donald Sutherland's portrayal of President Snow made me hate him with all my guts. (It's actually the only thing I hated in it that made it good.) The best thing about this movie (I know this is stereotypical) but I have to say Jennifer Lawrence. She is so beautiful in this movie. Not only that I think she gives a performance of a life time. Is it Oscar worthy, probably not. This is the best we have seen her. She is so beautiful and such a talented actor. I would go see it just because of her. 
     Over all this film was just a little bit disappointing. It did have it's redeeming qualities (I forgot to mention they way they showed the arena and the visuals in the arena were outstanding. That was another awesome part about it) that saved it from the dump. It was a fast 2 hours and 20 minutes, and at times it was hard to enjoy the film. I give it a at 6.2/10.
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  1. Although I do partly agree on the love triangle idea, you were way off on the part when you say it was rushed. I think the movie was well-balanced and it had some great humor!!!

  2. Although I do partly agree on the love triangle idea, you were way off on the part when you say it was rushed. I think the movie was well-balanced and it had some great humor!!!