Sunday, 24 November 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Review

Hello again readers! Today I'll be reviewing the new, highly anticipated movie 'Catching Fire' (the second instalment of 'The Hunger Games' trilogy). I'll try not to give you too many spoilers, but the book did come out in 2009, so it's not like things are really kept under wraps anyway. Having seen it less than 2 hours ago, I feel that I'm pretty on the ball here with this one (for the first time ever). Was it any good? Did it live up to the hype? You'll have to read and see.

Although with the majority of movie trilogies the odds are never in the second movie's favour (see what I did there?), this was certainly not the case with 'Catching Fire'. And you don't have to worry about bias, because I have absolutely none. I haven't read the books, nor am I one of those crazy fans that stay home all night looking for tumblr gifs of Peeta and Katniss (I'm too busy looking for Glee gifs obviously). I genuinely think that the movie was awesome. Far better than the previous movie, which I have described many a time as 'meh'. Stick around for some brief plot retelling.

So Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) return home to Panem, and as victors of last year's 74th Hunger Games, find themselves to be international superstars. Being watched closely by both the Capitol and the viewers at home, the two 'lovebirds' keep up appearances as they tour through the various districts, being used as pawns by evil President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in an attempt to put the revolution brewing to rest. When this doesn't work, the obvious move would be to kill them, but new Head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) convinces President Snow to wait for them to die in the 3rd Quarter Quell (think 'The Hunger Games: Allstars'). Once we got into the 75th annual Hunger Games, we were introduced to many new characters (Finnick, Johanna), and said goodbye to some old ones (Cinna).

To avoid the possibility of revealing too many spoilers (and in turn the wrath of tweens and teens everywhere), I'm not going to dwell on the plot any further, but rather give you my view on everything.

As I've already expressed, I thought the movie was actually super great and was pleasantly surprised. Maybe it's because they got a new director, or maybe it's because my expectations weren't that high. Either way, I was impressed. I liked how despite getting a new director, it still stuck to some of the key principals from the last movie, except just made them, well, better. Everything in the Districts was still bleak and dreary, while everything in the Capitol was still over the top and flamboyant. Also, they managed to stick to some themes from the original movie, like the fact that Katniss was still the 'girl on fire' despite the Alicia Keys song having been released between the two movies.

And my personal favourite was that they even gave Effie another mahogany reference. You may not catch it, because it's short and sweet, so keep your ears pealed. Unfortunately I couldn't find a gif for it, but you know what, I'll just use the one from the original movie because it's still pretty awesome.

Plus, they did a really good job with the costuming and sets in this movie. Let's get real for a second, they weren't too shabby before, but we've just entered a whole new ball game. Maybe it's because I was to distracted by the shaky, handheld camera work in the last one, but I saw a definite improvement! I mean, sure they had about $50 million more to work with, but still.

Just a warning before you see it, by the end of the film, you'll have absolute hatred for the Capitol (even more than you have now). I mean they're just so annoying! Particularly President Snow. Seriously what's the dude's problem? Every couple of minutes you will just fantasise about someone bursting through the walls of his little office, putting him in his very own Hunger Games and seeing how he copes with it.

All in all, I thought it was (surprisingly) pretty awesome. It was interesting, it was well acted, and it didn't make me want to kill myself. Three integral factors in film making. Plus, Jennifer Lawrence is amazeballs, and I can't help but like any of her work. So yeah, go see it now if you haven't.

If you've already seen it, don't worry, stay positive, only 362 days until Mocking Jay Part 1.

Hope you enjoyed my little review recap thingy, and the amount of media I tried to put in it for you guys. Til' next time . . .

Annabel xx

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