"Catching Fire" Captures Audiences

I tried to generate a criticism of “Catching Fire” to complement my admiration of this incredible film. I came up empty-handed, with the exception of the endless and rather gruesome thread of trailers leading up to the feature presentation. I counted seven, one of which was second part of “The Hobbit,” which had a trailer almost as long as “The Hobbit” itself.

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As far as “Catching Fire” goes, it was a huge hit. Even though much of the movie was spent on pre-games buildup, the pacing never felt slow and each scene was necessary. There were several moments when I found myself feeling shocked, unsettled, teary-eyed,and angered—all before the scene ended. If I thought my eyes got wet often during the actual reading of the novel, the movie was a whole new flood waiting to be unleashed. The shear amount of emotion inflicted on the viewer throughout the film guaranteed its success in the box office. These emotions weren’t only dramatic ones, though. Have you heard of an actor named Stanley Tucci?

Of course you have. Stanley Tucci is a god. Every time he came onscreen as media personality Caesar Flickerman, the audience could not stop themselves from breaking out in a thunderclap of laughter. Maybe it’s the ponytail, or perhaps it’s the eyebrows that push his acting to the next level of brilliance. Elizabeth Banks as Effie and Woody Harrelson as Haymitch comprise the rest of the comedic relief for this often somber but still frequently funny movie.

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Let’s talk about the leading men. Is it just me, or is Peeta supposed to be an average-looking guy in the books? Josh Hutcherson is a babe. Not only is he a babe, but he proved on Saturday Night Live this past weekend that he can pull off sketch comedy. Is it getting hot in here or is it just me? Gale and Finnick, played by Liam Hemsworth and Sam Claflin respectively, bring down the house with the fire that is their bodies. If you’re not into the deeper themes of the Hunger Games you could still go just to stare at these three beauties and have it be worth every cent. Or, of course, Phillip Seymour Hoffman if you’re into that.

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The costuming was the cherry on top. Effie’s costumes got more flamboyant throughout the movie and Katniss’s dresses were spectacular. I don’t want to give away too many details concerning Katniss’s attire, but I promise you will not be let down. Just wait for the twirl, folks.

Sometimes a great film can be marred by a lame ending. The ending of “Catching Fire” was everything I had hoped for and more because of Jennifer Lawrence’s skilled acting. If any other actress had been cast as Katniss, I do not think that the film would have been as successful. As witnessed at the Oscar’s last year, she is turning out to be one of the greatest young actresses on-screen these past couple years and for this reason alone, I know “Mockingjay” will continue the upward trend of this movie series, even if the last book was not the best.

Happy Hunger Games and may the odds be ever in your favor! I’m talking about Thanksgiving of course.

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