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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

I always have trouble writing up these big franchise movies. I feel like at this point, you know what you're getting. In the case of Catching Fire, having read the books, there aren't really gonna be any surprises for me other than the performances. That doesn't necessarily take the excitement out, it just changes it. I'm not waiting to see what's going to happen next. I'm waiting to see how what happens next is shown on screen.

There's two things that I feel set Hunger Games far apart from all those other YA stories trying to fight their way to the big screen. One is just the story. It's compelling and has strong relatable themes led by strong characters facing tough issues with dire consequences. In other words, it's not just a whiny girl and her sparkly boyfriend issues. But the other thing that's made the films successful is the cast. A lot of the YA's try to nab one or two big names for small roles. These films are crawling with A listers and Oscar darlings. Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Philip Seymore Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Amanda Plummer, Elizabeth Banks. All of it anchored by the incomparable Jennifer Lawrence.

As a fan of the books, what I was most excited to see was the arena come to life. I like the first book best because of the emphasis on the game (I'm a sucker for that type of story) but I prefer the game in this one. It did seem like we were a bit rushed once we got there. I was chatting with my movie companion on the way home about some of the little things seemed to be missing. There wasn't anything major we missed, but little details we would have liked to have been included or that we felt could have been elaborated on. But that's usually the case with an adaptation, and more reason why I like to "go backwards" and see the movie first.

EVen with little things missing (weren't they in the arena longer? Why didn't they explain how the quarter quells always changed? Remind me what happened to Seneca? Wasn't there somethign in the black market? Didn't she spend more time with Gale?) I was still completely absorbed in the film. I do feel knowing what happened lessened the impact, but everything was plenty strong enough that it didn't matter. And as far as I'm concerned, Jennifer Lawrence can do no wrong.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/
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