The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Year:
2013
Country:
USA
Genre:
Thriller, Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
IMDB rating:
7.7
Director:
Francis Lawrence
Amanda Plummer as Wiress
Alan Ritchson as Gloss
Paula Malcomson as Katniss' Mother
Sandra Ellis Lafferty as Greasy Sae
Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne
Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair
Nelson Ascencio as Flavius
Lenny Kravitz as Cinna
Willow Shields as Primrose Everdeen
Bruce Bundy as Octavia
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen
Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy
Jena Malone as Johanna Mason
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee
Jeffrey Wright as Beetee
Donald Sutherland as President Snow
Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket
Toby Jones as Claudius Templesmith
Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark
Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman
Storyline: Six months after winning the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and her partner Peeta Mellark must go on what is known as the Victor's Tour, wherein they visit all the districts, but before leaving, Katniss is visited by President Snow who fears that Katniss defied him a year ago during the games when she chose to die with Peeta. With both Katniss and Peeta declared the winners, it is fueling a possible uprising. He tells Katniss that while on tour she better try to make sure that she puts out the flames or else everyone she cares about will be in danger.
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Reviews
The crowds stuffing sold-out showings of Catching Fire strongly resemble the Capital citizens eagerly awaiting the latest Hunger Games battle.
After winning the seventy-fourth Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark return home to District 12. They go back to their old routine (kind of; they now live in the Victor's Village, and possess terrific wealth) with Katniss and Gale hunting together, Peeta baking and isolating himself, and Haymitch getting very drunk. Katniss shows major signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.

President Snow pays an unexpected visit to Katniss' house. Apparently, because her and Peeta broke the rules to survive the Games, they have ignited rebellion in the Districts, against the Capital. Snow threatens everyone Katniss loves, and tells her that on the upcoming Victory Tour, her and Peeta need to convince the public they are in love. This will show the Districts that their stunt with the berries was out of love, and not in defiance of the Capital.

The Victory Tour is a disaster. The Peacekeepers are murdering and terrorizing innocents, and Katniss and Peeta can only helplessly watch it all, forced to praise the Capital. When they get back home, the violence and repression against the population only escalates. Then the bombshell: for the seventy-fifth Hunger Games (a special "Quarter Quell" Games is held every twenty-five years) they will reap from the pool of past victors. Katniss and Peeta are both chosen, and so they are going into the Games a second time, in a new arena, with a murderous batch of past winners.

I saw "Catching Fire" in IMAX during a pre-screening, and then again in IMAX the following evening, on opening day. I had been looking forward to the film for months, but I kept my expectations low. I am unhappy to report that "Catching Fire" is not the success that the reviews would have you believe. In the end it was a really, really lousy movie.

When I saw the initial previews for Catching Fire, the teaser trailer and the first theatrical trailer, I was aflame with excitement. But the film itself was flavorless, too tame, too watered down, and too rushed. For a movie about teens locked in an arena, forced to fight to the death... I don't think I saw more than a cupful of blood, drawn by a weapon. This is absolutely unacceptable, because the violence plays a very critical part in the source material's themes: the glamorizing of violence, present day desensitization to violence, and the sensationalism of modern entertainment, among others. But instead of exploring these and other ideas in the film, the gamemakers - sorry, I mean filmmakers - just watered down the politics, and everything else that might have induced too much thinking, to appeal to the widest audience possible. (I was speaking with someone about the film after we saw it, and he put forth the idea that perhaps the thinning of the material was fiscally strategic. He suggested that maybe if the film was too complex, it just simply would not translate well into other languages. Since overseas gross is a gigantic portion of blockbuster film revenue, I thought this was an excellent point, and true to some degree.) Among the other simplifications was the story of the rebellion, and even, just the barbarism of those in the Capital. These two things, detailed extensively in the novel, had barely any depth in the film.

The film was severely brought down by the godawful music, which was very poorly integrated. I lost count of the number of scenes, where it would have had much greater emotional impact without the added music.

"Catching Fire" was overproduced and rushed. The CGI in the film looked very phony. But they filmed on location in Hawaii, and had a massive budget ($130 million-double the budget of the first film) so why are huge chunks of the arena made of obvious-CGI? Other than for, say, the baboon creatures, there is no reason why this film should have the amount of CGI it does. The excessive effects took away from the film's authenticity, and feeling. "Catching Fire" looks like a expensive, overdone Hollywood product.

The same thing that happened with the first film, is happening with "Catching Fire". The first film was highly anticipated, released to critical praise, and made boatloads of cash. Then as time went on, people's opinion of the film went down. People started to admit that it wasn't that amazing. Meanwhile, the studio pocketed the profits, and fast-tracked the sequel. The hype for the sequel was insane, and then it was released. The second film received even more critical praise than the first film, had a bigger budget, and made more money. And I can guarantee, time will go on, and once people are not high on the hype, they will realize that the film isn't so fantastic. But it doesn't matter, because the studio is pocketing the profits, and now pumping out two back-to-back sequels....

Sound like a familiar pattern? Yes. Yes it does. It sounds a little bit like... "The Dark Knight Rises" (2012)? And so many other ballbusters. Sorry sorry, I mean blockbusters. This happens really, really often, and it annoys me.

All one must do to learn the truth about "Catching Fire", amongst all the biased, bought-and-paid-for critics, and the delusional mooing public, is to observe. The truth can be gained from simple observation.

"Catching Fire" is slap in the face to any fan of the book. The sad irony of it all is that the crowds stuffing sold-out showings of Catching Fire strongly resemble the Capital citizens eagerly awaiting the latest Hunger Games battle. Meanwhile, the Capital elite - woops, I mean Hollywood - make obscene profit from it all, doing everything they can to make sure the current system stays in place...

screenplayisles.blogspot
2014-05-04
Remake (particularly bad one) of Japanese Battle Royale 2
Hollywood should NEVER try to be as ambitious to tackle films like Battle Royale 2. American morality eventually gets in the way. Such attempts are cringeworthy. Do not bother watching Hunger Games 2 unless you like talentless 'eye candy' type films. Watch the original instead. What is it with Hollywood anyway? They shamelessly copy from oriental cinema/Bollywood and try to pass it off as their own. You can't help but feel disappointed. It was a massacre of the cultish Battle Royale 2. You have to have a strong stomach to stomach some of the things that happen in Battle Royale. Its like Bollywood was sugar coating the themes in Battle Royale and what do you end up with? A version which your granny can watch with you without feeling too offended. If that was the case then Hunger Games should never have been made. Well it shouldn't have!
2014-11-06
Battle Royale 2: the "Unofficial" Remake
IN A WAY, i am ... annoyed when I see the preview... I'm sure most people are. Do the director not know that Battle Royale 2 is NOT a small but fairly a big recent movie that won awards. Its like remaking Titanic or something. But anyhow... I am glad that this film is made - so that I can see if Francis Lawrence dare to remake the movie the SECOND TIME. Oh yea.. and by the way - all the topic about Quentin Taratino... you just have to admit he does rip off other movies. Not that I don't like him.. but those of you KILL BILL fans, just gotta watch an ancient Japanese movie called LADY SNOWBLOOD (1973). Same shots, same set, same music... i think better story. It even has Cartoon describing one of the character's past. You can not argue that Kill Bill is a complete rip off of this movie even though the huge scale of the story is a bit different. well i don't feel like typing anymore.. good luck you all!
2015-05-20
Stop comparing it to the original! We all know Catching Fire cannot match up!
This one is a Rip off, they changed some things and Americanised the movie. The part the American audiences might find most offensive in the original (Violence) is removed. Jennifer Lawrence is amazing, no one else would have been able to pull this movie off. I'll be surprised if he doesn't win any awards for his performance.

In broader terms The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a doing something very interesting. The nature of the business is such that you cannot ignore the audience. The US audience has matured but not enough to fully appreciate a film like "BATTLE ROYALE". The mass audiences would never accept the disturbing theme. And although The Hunger Games 2 is a rip off, it needs to be argued that movies like these go a long way to introduce the American audiences to a higher level of acceptance of mature themes. The masses would probably reject BATTLE ROYALE today, but maybe in a few years, we might see originals with high octane story lines being accepted by the masses. But what also needs to be considered is that the conventional running around the trees in Hollywood movies don't attract the crowds anymore, audiences want something more and have begun appreciating change. People have started appreciating good cinema, and bold themes like The Hunger Games will go a long way,encouraging directors to make movies that embrace bold story lines.

It is unfortunate that Hollywood ripped off BATTLE ROYALE, but if that is the only way that the Indian audiences would get a glimpse of what the original was like, so be it.

This movie is worth a watch, if not for the soap opera elements, then for the classic its ripping off, if not for the new themes in Hollywood, then for Lawrences's acting.
2013-11-25
The Hunger Games: Catching an Uncredited BATTLE ROYAL II: REQUIEM Ripoff
First off, there's no mention or nods to the originals, either way, I don't think it would have saved this movie. Just because it's based on BATTLE ROYAL II doesn't mean it's made by Toei Studios. It's made by Lionsgate, which didn't licensed the rights to the BR2 characters from Toei years ago. Thus, any comparisons to other BR films such as the recent Thermea Romae are totally meaningless. And that is why it's such a mess. Toei had no control over what Lionsgate did with their source material.

For those not aware, this film was plagued by problems from the start. The director was all but banned from the set and editing room in the final stage of production, after which a good deal of the footage was dumped and re-shot. In the end, it was slapped together by one of the producers and a temporary director, and the results show: there is a disconnect between the first two acts and the third. It's almost like there are two separate movies trying to co-exist, and it doesn't work.

but oh god, the movie was just not good, but it wasn't bad either, there was some good effects and a pretty decent plot, but come on! the campy original is still the better one. If you are a BATTLE ROYALE fan, then watch this movie with caution Sorry it didn't make much sense, but this is one of the worst remakes out there
2015-08-19
Not the best movie
I have read all 3 books and the first movie was good but this time round there was a lot more in the book that was not in the movie so the movie to me was not the best at all. I am hoping that the last movie will be a lot better than this movie. In a way I think they should rethink the movie and do it over and they just might get it right, like I said there was thing in the book that could have been put into the movie. This time I would have to say the book is way better than this movie will ever be. sorry people but stay home and read the book and save your money. 3 out of 10 is all i would give this movie. Oh yes even my dad was not very happy with this movie as well
2014-03-23
Katniss or Kantmiss. This sequel is a copy.
Spoiler Alert. Enjoy the movie first if you don't want to be sullied by another's opinion.

First, there is another movie in the wings and given the boffo box office of this meager effort will make millions more.

Let's see, how can we take a formula, alter it slightly and still keep the same thing? Make a sequel to "The Hunger Games" and call it "Catching Fire." We have a subplot involving the revolution that we thought was set off in the first movie. Obviously it wasn't but with Katniss' providing the impetus, rebellious elements are at work in this movie. One is reminded of the "Matrix."

In normal human existence, those that benefit give enough to those who don't so there will not be a revolution. Here, nothing is given back but propaganda. Kind of reminds me of the current American administration but that's not for this post.

It's all so formulaic and predictable. The whole goal is to get the "Whole World" to hate Katniss Let the floggings begin while showing Katniss in a wedding dress. Starve the people while showing Katniss at an elaborate dinner. This "let them eat cake" motive just doesn't work.

Potboilers are not new. Sinclair Lewis wrote "Kingsblood Royal" and it was a potboiler par excellence. But a potboiler inside a potboiler just gilds the Lily. Why? Here's my opinion inside of an opinion: There is simply not enough material to make three good movies but we want to stretch the franchise. So let's stretch the first concept from a pretty well done movie and see how much we can make without much effort. That what the producers must have been thinking. And make a fortune they did while elevating JenLaw into international stardom.

We know that our heroine will not be killed so this movie just drags through "The Perils of Pauline" but with supporting actors who do a good job of self sacrifice. We find out later in the film that they are all in on the joke but who cares. Supposedly nobody dies and they are all hiding in District 13 (Oh, those triskaidekaphobes.) as opposed to "District 9" which may have been more entertaining.

The acting is good and outside of the plastic "elite" roles, characters evolve to a degree. Actually, the characters do not develop in a sense but do coalesce due to extreme hardship. Supposedly they will all have to kill to survive but it sort of works if you don't pay too much attention.

Katniss as Xena warrior princess kind of works but Xena in a transforming wedding dress? Is she Xena or Kantmiss? The fake "marriage" theme just doesn't work if Snow and company are trying to kill her off. Now she's also the victim of a pregnancy which must be immaculate because there is no sex in this movie. But it is all a lie to get support for her plight from the populace that isn't so downtrodden that they can actually send help to someone else. What?

Now instead of individual protagonists, we have couples and these couples are past winners of the Hunger Games. I thought when you won the first time, you were set for life and your district was favored? What happened to that plot line? When did the couples start winning the stupid games? Supposedly there's only been seven gavels with one winner each so where do we get 24?

Fierce couples they are too. These are some really bad ass pairs who drop like paper tigers and operate like unintelligent zombies. At least the first crew were all thinking people and the games worked out in a way. But here, they face much stiffer competition from the environment that they ever do from any other person. The Mandrills are real, imagined? The mocking birds are real/unreal? When is a bite a bite and imagination can kill you if this were a "Fringe" episode where people were attacked by imaginary steel butterflies. Here the fog causes boils and the water cures but you can't drink it. You have to tap a tree. Just any tree?

Supposedly, this whole mess is watched by the "Whole World" and one wonders what statement is being made. If the winners are really a distraction, why would anyone not let the cat out of the bag so to speak? The winners obviously know that the whole thing is BS and they all seem to be pretty independent minded. During the introduction one of the winners Jena Mallone, I think, chastises the process and complains that she was promised an easy life but she's back in these stupid games. She challenges Snow during the games too. Now, that's pluck. Why not kill her? She's obviously telling state secrets and while no Snowden, her crime would be equally reprehensible to the elites.

There are no surprises. Don't we go to movies like this to be surprised at some point? Aren't we more satisfied when our plot-following senses are jarred out of sync and we are surprised and happy with plot twists? The only twisting thing here is the wire that Katniss shoots into the dome with arrows that fly higher than the sky.
2013-12-04
A ham-fisted carbon copy of the original BATTLE ROYALE II
I was actually one of the very few people who was excited about this movie. BATTLE ROYALE II(the original) remains to be one of my favorite films of all time. The philosophical messages, the Mise en scène, and the acting, they all came together beautifully. An American remake, created by the virtually unknown director Francis Lawrence made me feel as though this film had a lot of promise, and I was severely disappointed.

The first act of BATTLE ROYALE II had an immensely shocking ending with a purpose, the shocking ending was what made me and hundreds to thousands of other audience members alike with a face of shock and disgust as the credits roll. The remake attempted to up the scale without any purpose, and still managed to be the exact opposite of shocking.

All I'm gonna say is that it has something to do with R-rated content. The first act of BATTLE ROYALE II had a purpose for it's shocking conclusion, while the remake just kept trying to up the scale clumsily and ended up falling flat on it's face. The remake also extended the beginning, it showed more light to the protagonist and actually got us to hate the guy. BATTLE ROYALE II showed some light but the protagonist was still somewhat likable, at least compared to the remake.

The fascinating thing about the BATTLE ROYALE II is that you actually like the characters and you feel disoriented just like they do about being trapped inside a clock-shaped battle arena.

The remake was honestly just trying way too hard to be like the original rather than being it's own film and that's why it failed. I would actually recommend avoiding it if you're an aspiring filmmaker, purely for the shots that are made(The shots were ham-fisted. I have to say that). However as for story, acting, and as a movie as a whole? It was pretty bad.
2015-04-08
Very lame
Obviously I watched this because I have seen the first. After not being too overly impressed in any way shape or form with the first I thought it was good enough to watch the second.

My mistake. Or better expressed, my bad.

This movie and it's ratings simply show me the powers of persuasion and advertising. Kind of like sheep that love to follow.

I did not entirely waste my time watching this however. It kept me amused enough until the wife got home.

Watch this if you don't want to be too bored waiting for a loved one to come home.

Btw, I couldn't give it a zero with the choices available.
2014-01-23
Even as a BATTLE ROYALE 2: REQUIEM ripoff....it doesn't work.
Woody acting and product placement ruined this movie for me. i'm not sure how he did it, but francis lawrence even manged to make Battke Royale 2 rushed and uneventful. to elaborate further, there was ZERO character development, everything felt pushed along, including the BR Act itself. there was no passion to it, there was no empathy that you get from the original, you don't feel sorry for anyone. although, i think the big ending cliffhanger was done well, the overall movie was a snooze fest. they even managed to make a pivotal scene, the clock shaped battle field, BORING and pushed along.

everything the main character is, is because of that room, her life, her persona, her transformation, and her realizations. it had no heart and was just copied from BR2. the subtlety and nuances of the original are just lacking. like i said, you you don't care about the characters, you're just waiting to see what happens next...and what made it even worse, is that i KNOW what's going to happen next, but dammit, i wanted my money's worth.
2014-12-11
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