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Thread: Catching Fire

  1. #1
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    Catching Fire

    The movie comes out this weekend. Jason? No review?

    Read one online just now that was interesting, but one sentence in it disturbed me. Lionsgate is planning a theme park based on Hunger Games?!?!?
    Last edited by -jk; 11-21-2013 at 10:25 AM. Reason: Deserved own thread

  2. #2
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    Huge fan of the books and the 2nd was IMO the best by far so I'm looking forward to it this movie. I was highly disappointed in the first movie and hope this one is at least a little better.
    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge" -Stephen Hawking

  3. #3
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    Just watched the movie and must say.... IT Was PHENOMENAL!!! The movie was intense, dramatic and just over all gripping. Much better than the first by far.
    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge" -Stephen Hawking

  4. #4
    It was definitely significantly better than the 1st movie. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

    I think part of it is that the story is just more interesting... but it was also just better executed.

    I'm not really looking forward to the 3rd book being split into 2 movies. I thought the 3rd book was the worst of the 3 and I think it will be difficult to make into a movie. I guess I will go see it but I will do so w/ somewhat lesser expectations.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by JNort View Post
    Huge fan of the books and the 2nd was IMO the best by far so I'm looking forward to it this movie. I was highly disappointed in the first movie and hope this one is at least a little better.
    Really? Personally, I was impressed by how faithfully the first movie stuck to the plot of the book. There were some very small breaks from the plot, but nothing that was material. The writers even went out of their way to include details that could have easily been left out (such as Peeta and Katnis on the rooftop in the capital). IMO, it was one of the best and most accurate depictions of a story in a movie in a long time.

    As a comparison, accuracy is not a word I would use to describe the Harry Potter books, for example. They were great movies, but they left tons of detail out and made other things up along the way.
    "There can BE only one."

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by InSpades View Post
    I'm not really looking forward to the 3rd book being split into 2 movies. I thought the 3rd book was the worst of the 3 and I think it will be difficult to make into a movie. I guess I will go see it but I will do so w/ somewhat lesser expectations.
    I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with it. Spoiler alert for those who haven't read the third book, but:
    Spoiler!


    Catching Fire was awesome - some of the minor characters (like the TV host) have really great acting performances.
    Last edited by Wander; 11-25-2013 at 09:45 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wander View Post
    Catching Fire was awesome - some of the minor characters (like the TV host) have really great acting performances.
    Actor's name is Stanley Tucci and he has been a favorite of mine since the mid-90s when he was on a great TV show called Murder One and then did a small movie with Tony Shalhoub called Big Night. He may be known for a lot of stuff other than those two roles, but I learned to love him from them. Most people remember him as one of the few nice characters in The Devil Wears Prada.

    -Jason "the Hunger Games casts are full of strong actors in small roles" Evans
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    Actor's name is Stanley Tucci and he has been a favorite of mine since the mid-90s when he was on a great TV show called Murder One and then did a small movie with Tony Shalhoub called Big Night. He may be known for a lot of stuff other than those two roles, but I learned to love him from them. Most people remember him as one of the few nice characters in The Devil Wears Prada.

    -Jason "the Hunger Games casts are full of strong actors in small roles" Evans
    Anyone who has not seen Big Night has missed a real treat.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    Actor's name is Stanley Tucci and he has been a favorite of mine since the mid-90s when he was on a great TV show called Murder One and then did a small movie with Tony Shalhoub called Big Night. He may be known for a lot of stuff other than those two roles, but I learned to love him from them. Most people remember him as one of the few nice characters in The Devil Wears Prada.

    -Jason "the Hunger Games casts are full of strong actors in small roles" Evans
    The first time I remember seeing him was in The Pelican Brief as the assasin. He really creeped me out. Loved him as Caesar Flickerman.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by aimo View Post
    The first time I remember seeing him was in The Pelican Brief as the assasin. He really creeped me out. Loved him as Caesar Flickerman.
    He is an actor of many talents. He was also uber-creepy in The Lovely Bones, but stole every scene he was in comedically as the dad in Easy A. Pretty versatile. Just wrote a cookbook, too. And, it should be noted that not only can you see him in Big Night, he also co-wrote and co-directed it.

    To the main topic, I thought the Hunger Games books were extremely readable (the first two, at least), but they didn't go nearly deep enough for my tastes into the poli sci aspects of how you get to that world, what the ramifications are, what life was like in any of the districts outside Katniss' Appalachia, etc. The action was terrific, but I wanted more. Maybe that's because they were written for teens, I don't know. But the first film suffered from the same thing, I thought. There was so much game action to cover, plus budding teenage romance, that they didn't spend much time on the post-apocalyptic societal parts of the story that sort of got short shrift in the books already, so I was disappointed. Maybe with a new director/screenwriters and established characters, that's changed a bit? I think the adults are more interesting characters than all but Katniss, so I'd like to see more of them - Woody Harrelson's character, in particular, got shortchanged in the first movie, IMHO. I wonder how they split the last book into two films, as well. As Highlander notes, there wasn't much deviation from the basic plot points in the first one, but I think they'd need to expand significantly to capture a full-on revolution correctly and make it interesting (which I didn't feel Suzanne Collins did terribly effectively).

  11. #11
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    A few comments...

    1) If you have not seen Big Night, do it! But, make sure you schedule your viewing of this wonderful small film in the afternoon-- around 4pm -- and that you plan to go to an Italian restaurant for dinner afterward. Big Night will make you hungry for pasta, guaranteed!

    2) If they had to divide a book into 2 movies, I think book #2 was the one in which to do it. There isn't enough "stuff" in book #3 to make 2 good movies. But, book 2 is full of great detail and nuance that would make for a wonderful 2-part movie.

    3) So, what was left out that could have made for compelling movie plot points? The suspicions about District 13 being destroyed or real would have been a good build-up to the ending rescue. That would have allowed you to include the 2 refugees from District 8 that Katniss finds in the woods early in the book. Speaking of District 8, I think it goes into full-on riot/rebellion during the book. There would have been some action there that would have been good for a movie. Speaking of action, the tapes of the previous folks winning their games could have made for some decent set-up on those characters -- I would have loved to have seen Beetee electrocute everyone or watch Finnick/Joanna win their games. I also think this movie glossed over some of Katniss and Peeta's relationship and Katniss falling in love with him. But, the most important thing that was not really included was the notion of Katniss as "The Mockingjay" and the symbol of the rebellion. The whole reason that the wedding gown that transforms into a bird is so offensive to Snow is because Katniss is the Mockingjay. At the end, when the rebels and tributes reveal that their entire purpose in the game was to make sure Katniss got out alive, it is a powerful revelation about what she represents. We need to believe that the rebellion could not happen without her as its face. The movie had a chance to set that up, but left that almost completely out of the story.

    -Jason "still, a very strong movie and it was largely faithful to the book -- I just wonder how they are going to make the next movie work as a two-parter" Evans
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  12. #12
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    Yes, I wish they had included the refugees, which is where Katniss first learns that District 13 still exists. And the part with the canned footage that's been shown to them for decades. I don't know why they didn't show Plutarch Heavensbee showing Katniss his Mockingjay watch - that would have helped understand a bit. Instead, the fact that it was his idea to start slaughtering people in the districts made it seem too unlikely to me that he would be behind the whole revolution.

    As for the points/questions made earlier, 1- it is a teen novel, the author probably did not want to go too deep into the political aspects outside of what a teenager would know and care about first hand (remember, Katniss's main issue is feeding her family) and 2-remember that the books are totally done in Katniss's view. She can't know what's going on in the other districts, until she and Rue talk in the first book. The movies take it outside her viewpoint to show behind the scene dealings with Snow, etc. And did you notice that Plutarch Heavensbee wore no makeup? Was that supposed to be our clue that he wasn't down with the Capital?

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander View Post
    Really? Personally, I was impressed by how faithfully the first movie stuck to the plot of the book. There were some very small breaks from the plot, but nothing that was material. The writers even went out of their way to include details that could have easily been left out (such as Peeta and Katnis on the rooftop in the capital). IMO, it was one of the best and most accurate depictions of a story in a movie in a long time.

    As a comparison, accuracy is not a word I would use to describe the Harry Potter books, for example. They were great movies, but they left tons of detail out and made other things up along the way.
    I realize it was a big task to bring the first person narrative to screen but there seem to be a few misses in the adaptation--though I enjoyed the
    movie.

    I really feel the mockinjay pin was a big goof. In the book, Katniss receives this gold pin that could feed a family for a month according
    to Gale from her friend Madge. The pin can be worn and is approved by the authorities.

    In the movie, the pin is given by the old woman in the Hob after Katniss admires it and Katniss gives it to Prim. Obviously, if the
    pin is valuable (a squirrel for a roll was considered a bad trade), the woman wouldn't be giving it away. Plus, if Katniss gave it to
    Prim assuring her she would be safe, would she really have taken it back? This seems unlikely. In the book, she doesn't get the pin from
    Madge until Prim and her mom have already left.

    The pin is also allowed in the book while Cinna has hidden it in the movie inside the jacket. It's not really visible. It seems unlikely
    it becomes this great symbol throughout Panem later. The more I looked at that whole portion it seemed like a pretty big goof and one that
    could have been handled with a few lines of dialogue.

    The movie makes her seem almost ignorant of the mockinjay when she speaks with Rue. This ruins a lot great stuff with her father that
    really shaped who she was in the book. Not sure what's planned for the sequels so maybe this will seem less a goof when I see those.

  14. #14
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    Stanley Tucci's performance as Julia Child's husband was a memorable one, too.

    His "bad guy" performance in The Terminal was not as demanding on his talents, but he played the role admirably, I thought.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander View Post
    Really? Personally, I was impressed by how faithfully the first movie stuck to the plot of the book. There were some very small breaks from the plot, but nothing that was material. The writers even went out of their way to include details that could have easily been left out (such as Peeta and Katnis on the rooftop in the capital). IMO, it was one of the best and most accurate depictions of a story in a movie in a long time.

    As a comparison, accuracy is not a word I would use to describe the Harry Potter books, for example. They were great movies, but they left tons of detail out and made other things up along the way.
    Strange how two people can watch the same thing and have such different opinions. I thought the exact opposite, I felt the first was so far off from the book ot left things unexplained and dulled the experience for me. One of the big ones is like dball says below about the pin and its HUGE relevance. While yeah the 2nd left stuff out as well but I think none of the were all that necessary to the story line. Agree about the HP movies though

    Quote Originally Posted by dball View Post
    I realize it was a big task to bring the first person narrative to screen but there seem to be a few misses in the adaptation--though I enjoyed the
    movie.

    I really feel the mockinjay pin was a big goof. In the book, Katniss receives this gold pin that could feed a family for a month according
    to Gale from her friend Madge. The pin can be worn and is approved by the authorities.

    In the movie, the pin is given by the old woman in the Hob after Katniss admires it and Katniss gives it to Prim. Obviously, if the
    pin is valuable (a squirrel for a roll was considered a bad trade), the woman wouldn't be giving it away. Plus, if Katniss gave it to
    Prim assuring her she would be safe, would she really have taken it back? This seems unlikely. In the book, she doesn't get the pin from
    Madge until Prim and her mom have already left.

    The pin is also allowed in the book while Cinna has hidden it in the movie inside the jacket. It's not really visible. It seems unlikely
    it becomes this great symbol throughout Panem later. The more I looked at that whole portion it seemed like a pretty big goof and one that
    could have been handled with a few lines of dialogue.

    The movie makes her seem almost ignorant of the mockinjay when she speaks with Rue. This ruins a lot great stuff with her father that
    really shaped who she was in the book. Not sure what's planned for the sequels so maybe this will seem less a goof when I see those.

    Really loved the acting in this movie! Gale and Snow got more lines and performed well (Had my doubts about Gale), Johanna was hilarious, Finnick had the perfect balance of making you want to hate him early on and love him by the end, Effie who I thought was annoying in the first has a more emotional side to her now, and Caesar made me laugh in all of his scenes. The biggest surprise for me was Plutarch (Philip Hoffman) who I thought did the best acting job out of everyone, perfect choice imo! Still can't seem to like Willow Shields who plays Prim... not sure why, she just isn't what I imagined for the character.
    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge" -Stephen Hawking

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