25 November 2013

Hunger Games - Catching Fire

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire 2013
  • Director: Francis Lawrence
  • Based on Book: by Suzanna Collins
  • Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Liam Hemsworth,  Elizabeth Banks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Lenny Kravitz, Jena Malone
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor/actress in:
    • Jennifer Lawrence: Hunger Games, Winters Bone
    • Josh Hutcherson: Hunger Games, The Kids Are All Right, American Splendor
    • Woody Harrelson:  Hunger Games , 2012, Battle in Seattle, No Country for Old Men, Prairie Home Companion, North Country, White Men Can’t Jump
    • Jena Malone: Contact, Into the Wild, The Soloist, Cold Mountain, The United States of Leland, Donnie Darko, Homicide Life on the Streets
    • Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Boat that Rocked, Cold Mountain, Punch Drunk Love, Almost Famous, State and Main, Flawless, The Big Lebowski, Boogie Nights, Twister, The Scent of a Woman
    • Stanley Tucci: Hunger Games , Puck in Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Why bought: the books, of course!
  • Seen: November 23, 2013 at the cinema with Hal, YW and KW

      It’s been a long wait and expectations are high.  The novels are riveting, the first movie a full-pointer.  Will this one hold up?
Yes. It holds up.  From the first frame where we see a troubled Katniss sitting in profile on a rock by a lake to the last where we see her eyes in close up shift from grief to revolutionary resolve, this movie fulfills all expectation.
The contrasts between the luxury train and the militarized slums they speed through, between the starving angry crowds of District 11 and the glitzy fake beauties of the capitol city, are visually spectacular.  Katniss’s swanky wedding dress being transformed into the dramatic black mockingjay dress is beautifully done. Kudos to poor doomed Cinna.
It’s an emotional roller coaster and my first sniffles come with Peeta and Katniss’s tribute to young Ruh. The second come with the three finger salute from Prim and Gale and the other people of District 12 when Catniss and Peeta are once again chosen to compete in the Hunger Games.  The fever of the coming revolution shimmers in the air throughout the whole film.  As well it should.
The only problem with the movie is that it ends.  It’s another long wait for the third part.  Hurry, please!

5 * of  5

PS An added bonus – we see the movie at the cinema housed in the same building where Greta Garbo made her first films.  It’s kind of cool for a movie freak to live a 20 minute walk from Greta Garbo’s first studio!

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