CINEMA

The Hunger Games - Katniss on Fire!

POSTED BY: SHINYGOODGUY
UPDATED: Monday, December 9, 2013 04:29
SHORT URL: http://bit.ly/1foE8F0
VIEWED: 1425
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Sunday, December 8, 2013 4:23 AM

SHINYGOODGUY


I just got back from seeing the second installment of the Hunger Games - Catching Fire. It was a solid piece of movie making and much better than the first movie. It seemed to me to be quite real and had a "you-are-there" quality that was somewhat lacking in Part 1.

One thing I found interesting is how they portrayed Katniss's feelings toward Gale, the hometown love interest, we see her express herself and so we think she has chosen. Or has she? But make no mistake, this is no copy of the vampire series, far from it, it is much more intense and serious. It speaks to freedoms and to choices we must all make, but most especially the choices young adults will need to make in the near future.

The film runs just under 2 1/2 hours but they seemingly fly by as we follow our heroine on her journey to becoming a freedom fighter. It was much more engrossing, the pace was much more satisfying, and.......well, you get it,
it outdistanced Hunger Games in breadth, depth and scope thanks to the director, cast and screenwriter. It kept the action moving and limited the extemporaneous parts of the book that would prove only to drag across the screen. Lawrence shone brightly, even more so; but I was once again impressed by Woody Harrelson as Haymitch. And, in a small way, Elizabeth Banks as Effie.

I had one small problem with the film. Donald Sutherland didn't seem quite as menacing as in Part 1, but I quibble. This film had me on the edge of my seat and had me riveted on nearly every move, and not only those made by Katniss. I would not be surprised if it set new box office records, both domestic and globally.


SGG

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Sunday, December 8, 2013 8:39 AM

ECGORDON

There's no place I can be since I found Serenity.


Being the contrarian that I am, I'm torn on my opinion of this film. Yes, it's better than the first one, but that's not saying a whole lot. The trouble with the books and the two films so far is they don't go far enough to the dark side to illuminate the true horror of what is happening. I guess that is to be expected so they could retain the PG-13 rating, but everything is oh so predictable and clichéd. I swear, the only thing Sutherland didn't do to illustrate he's a despicable villain was twirl his mustache.

I've been impressed with other things Lawrence has done, but not her performances as Katniss, which are wooden. Perhaps that was the intention though, since Katniss isn't really the hero of her own story. She isn't a leader, no matter what President Snow thinks. She only reacts to situations, but has to rely on others to take up the slack, whether it be Peeta, Gale, Haymitch or Finnick Odair. She's just a figurehead manipulated by everyone else, and not smart enough to realize it.

The only reason I'm looking forward to Mockingjay is that Danny Strong is writing the screenplays. Since it was my least favorite of the books, I'm relying on him to make the ending more satisfying. Too bad they had to expand it to two films.



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Monday, December 9, 2013 4:29 AM

SHINYGOODGUY


Agreed, the films don't go far enough to the dark side of the horror of living under a fascist regime. I read the first book and part of the second, but I stopped, mainly because I found myself looking for little cues within the film and compare them to the book as I was watching and found it distracting. Once I get through the next two installments I'll return to the books for the discovery within my imagination in conjunction with the words within the story.

I think that Jennifer Lawrence has approached Katniss as a type of obnoxious, and somewhat clueless heroine, like you intimated, reluctantly so. She says as much to Peeta at one point in the film. Hollywood has homogenized the theme and general story of the books to suit their needs, mainly to make as much money as possible, both domestically and internationally. I believe that is part of the reason why Firefly received such poor support from our friends at Fox. The story of an alliance between two superpowers, with overtones of corporate tampering and an evil empire, doesn't quite jibe with the warm and fuzzy façade that neo-conservative types wish to present.

Perhaps Sutherland's smacking and leering by numbers was what turned me off
in his performance. It was something out of the Snydely Whiplash School for Villians and mustache twirling. There was one scene with Katniss that had me a bit confused and seemed to be missing proper set-up. It was right after the prelims into the Hunger Games Quarter Quell when she went a little nuts in the woods - what was all that about? Anyway, JLaw has done much better work (I'm intrigued about her role in American Hustle) than in both Hunger films (I'm still quite impressed by her performance in Winter's Bone), but I think that she has captured the essence of Katniss - of course in the books Katniss is much more raw and reactionary (IMHO), still though she does behave somewhat like a teenage girl does, especially when it comes to the boys in her life (although it is clear she loves Peeta), confusion and uncertainty reign supreme.

Overall I thought it much better than the first and I'm looking forward to the next two films, and now that I know Danny Strong will be scripting, well I'm doing the Snoopy happy dance.


SGG

Quote:

Originally posted by ecgordon:
Being the contrarian that I am, I'm torn on my opinion of this film. Yes, it's better than the first one, but that's not saying a whole lot. The trouble with the books and the two films so far is they don't go far enough to the dark side to illuminate the true horror of what is happening. I guess that is to be expected so they could retain the PG-13 rating, but everything is oh so predictable and clichéd. I swear, the only thing Sutherland didn't do to illustrate he's a despicable villain was twirl his mustache.

I've been impressed with other things Lawrence has done, but not her performances as Katniss, which are wooden. Perhaps that was the intention though, since Katniss isn't really the hero of her own story. She isn't a leader, no matter what President Snow thinks. She only reacts to situations, but has to rely on others to take up the slack, whether it be Peeta, Gale, Haymitch or Finnick Odair. She's just a figurehead manipulated by everyone else, and not smart enough to realize it.

The only reason I'm looking forward to Mockingjay is that Danny Strong is writing the screenplays. Since it was my least favorite of the books, I'm relying on him to make the ending more satisfying. Too bad they had to expand it to two films.




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