The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
After arriving safely home from their unprecedented victory in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) discover that they must do a quick turnaround and begin a Victors Tour. As she and Peeta travel throughout the districts, Katniss senses a rebellion is stirring. However, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) proves that he is still very much in control when word comes of a cruel change in the rules for the upcoming 75th Hunger Games.
Release Date: November 22, 2013
Director: Francis Lawrence
Cast: Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz, Donald Sutherland, Amanda Plummer, Jena Malone, Philip Hoffman, Lynn Cohen, Meta Golding, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth
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Rated PG-13 Intense Seq of Violence/Action|A Suggestive Situation|Language|Some Frightening Images|Thematic Elements
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I have to admit, seeing the second installment of The Hunger Games was not high on my list for this winter movie season. I was even more discouraged when I heard news that the love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale would be a 'major theme'. I hate love triangles. However, after sitting through the nearly 2 1/2 hour long film, I found myself thoroughly engaged and entertained throughout. I now cannot wait for the first of the 2 part finale that should come our way next year.
Where I felt the first movie was quite flat and lacked intensity or depth ( you can see my review of it here ), this second installment holds a gripping intensity throughout that pulls you in and makes you care for the characters involved. Importantly, we start to see the tyranny of Panem and the harsh effects it has on the Districts. In essence, everything that the first movie missed, the second movie gets.
The first half of the movie is spent outside of the games, exposing us to the various districts, Panem, and the life of our new 'victors', Katniss and Peeta. Most of the important story of the movie happens here, with several particularly memorable scenes that should stick with you well after the movie is finished. Once the characters get to the games, we aren't bored with drawn out training scenes or rehashes of how to survive. All of that is assumed now, and that assumption is welcome. We get right into the action, complete with a couple of twists I was not expecting ( I tried to read the books after the first movie, but could not stomach the poor writing and stopped on chapter 9 of the 1st book ). The ending both provides a nice segue to the next movie and wraps things up sufficiently to let you leave satisfied. Overall, I would highly recommend The Hunger Games: Catching Fire to anyone aged 14+ looking for an engaging, entertaining holiday film.
One of the things I like most about the movie is the way it treats death and violence. Instead of glossing over it or glorifying it the way so many action movies do, Catching Fire chooses to focus on the tragedy of death and violence and does so in a way that is very poignant, while avoiding gore or other disturbing content. I was particularly moved by what I'll call the eulogy for Rue ( not a spoiler, Rue died in the first movie ).
Finally, I think there is a powerful message in Katniss's struggle with who to trust and in the advice of Haymitch to "remember who the real enemy is".
Go see Catching Fire. You'll be glad you did.November 19th, 2013 · Details7 Thanks ·
It was great to see the filmmakers elevate their game in the second chapter of this trilogy. From the cinematography to the acting, everything was better in Catching Fire. As a fan of the books with two teenagers who also read the books, there was no question whether we'd see this movie. In fact, we were bummed we had to wait until Saturday. The buzz only made the anticipation greater.
However, we had one question as parents: "Should we bring our 11-year-old daughter with us?" She had seen the first movie at home with us, but there's a big difference between watching a PG-13 at home with your parents where the pause button is quickly at hand and parental commentary can clarify versus watching a blockbuster in a movie theater. In the end, we decided not to bring our youngest daughter and we were happy with that decision for three reasons:
First, let's talk about the trailers before the film. Why would I want my 11-year-old or the other 100 plus pre-teens in the movie theater to watch the trailer to the gritty R-Rated movie American Hustle? This is why parents hate Hollywood. Yes, you made a fantastic movie in Catching Fire and I "get it" that "Katniss" is in this new movie, but your ultimate goal is simply to use the film as a bridge to something edgier. We never signed up for cable for many reasons, but mostly because the great shows on Nick are simply a bridge to the crap on MTV. Don't feed us your crap!
Second, the one moment in the film when it lost its authenticity was during the pre-game talkfest when one of the tributes swore at President Snow. The Capitol censors, who apparently have no issue with broadcasting a violent spectacle, bleeped out her swearing. Say what? I'm sure someone in Hollywood thought it was "cute," but it wasn't cute and was actually distracting. Oh, and bleeping out a swear word doesn't take it away. We all knew what she was saying.
Third, this film deals with the issues of freedom, totalitarianism, love, sacrifice, and courage more seriously than the first film. The first Hunger Games was a live action cartoon. Catching Fire is a drama. This drama is what makes it so compelling for the teenagers and fans in the movie theater. However, it's this drama that makes it inappropriate for an 11 or 12-year-old. And, I'm sure, even a few 13-year-olds.November 24th, 2013 · Details5 Thanks ·
Catching Fire tells a compelling story by jumping right into the meat of second installment of original book series. We instantly experience the problems that the Capitol is facing contrasted by those that the districts are facing. I appreciate the fact that this movie does not glamorize death in any way, shape, or form. In fact, it allows the audience to really experience the emotion behind the story and the disgust of many of the characters involved.
When compared to the Hunger Games
The cinematography is better, the storytelling is better, and the overall emotional investment is enhanced. There are several parts in the movie where you'll see people getting beat up for their actions. The Capitol is ruthless but the movie does a great job at not giving the audience gross or overly violent scenes. The violence is inferred and you know the final result of it, but the filmmakers don't make you watch vivid imagery of it all. Hence the reason I believe a 14 year old could handle this film.
Parents should know
Although the profanity is limited, the violence is still heavy and there are two bleeped out f-words. The bleeps are a nice gesture to cover up the words but I still filled them in clearly and so will you.
Also, parents may want to know that there are several religious profanities in this one. Mainly common expressions involving God's name.
Despite some of the mature content and concern for young children, this movie shows the effects of a totalitarian government and plays a great role in helping one to appreciate the freedoms we enjoy.November 18th, 2013 · Details5 Thanks ·
As a fan of the books, I was far from disappointed at "Catching Fire." With a meticulous fidelity to the original story, this film brings to life the unintentionally subversive exploits of two kids thrown into the spotlight in a violent world. Though more sci-fi than teen drama, the tired concept of a teen love triangle may cause some eyes to roll. This film is not short on action or excitement, but what really captured my imagination was the inventive futuristic world in which oppressed slave districts are itching to revolt against a corrupt regime.November 25th, 2013 · Details3 Thanks ·
While Catching Fire is a well made movie, its content doesn't lend it to general recommendation, especially for children and young teenagers. The violence seems a little toned down from the first movie, but there is also some language and suggestive material.
The characters are all well played and developed, and the visuals are pretty impressive. The movie also keeps a good pace and keeps the audience entertained. Just take fair warning-3 Thanks ·
Having re-read "Catching Fire" just prior to seeing this movie, I came in with a critical mind-set. But this film adaptation delivered on just about every level.
First off, the visuals were solid. The arena effects were particularly well-done, and the Capitol and its people seemed a little more lavish and ostentatious. (The lack of such qualities was one of my few complaints about the original.)
The grim, somber tone throughout the film was appropriate in maintaining the integrity of the book's weighty themes. This isn't a work that glorifies violence, and neither do the movies. The consequences and inhumanity are always apparent, and appalling. Thankfully, though, there are some moments of comic relief.
The cast is magnificent. Jennifer Lawrence gave an incredible performance in the first film, and she matches the effort in the sequel. Josh Hutcherson has filled Peeta's role nicely, and Woody Harrelson and newcomer Philip Seymour Hoffman are outstanding. The only character I was disappointed in was Johanna Mason, and it wasn't necessarily because of the performance. She's such a complex character, and the script didn't develop those almost vicious traits that made her a victor in the first place. Finnick was perfectly cast, though, as was Mags.
Compared to what it could have done with the source material, this film, like the first, is responsible and understated when it comes to violence. Most of it takes place just off camera. Still, the movie is intense and plenty violent. Parents should not be casual about the PG-13 rating.
In the end, the Hunger Games film franchise has delivered another smart and entertaining adaptation.3 Thanks ·
There is a lot of interest in this series because many have read the books, but I don't think you need to know a lot going in to follow the story. I liked this movie better than the first because the story was more compelling and engaging. I thought the characters were believable and easy to relate to. I especially liked the main character's performance. There were also some great supporting performances. Warning, this movie has some violent moments, but it is more respectful in portraying death than the first installment. I would suggest that parents see the film first before allowing their kids to see it. We took our older kids (8 and 10 years old) to see it over Thanksgiving weekend. The next day we found them all with random garden tools in the backyard playing "Hunger Games." We had to have a little talk. I look forward to the next movie in the series and am curious enough to consider reading the books now.December 4th, 2013 · Details2 Thanks ·
Those 2.5 hours seemed like minutes. I was engaged the whole way through. I think I may even go see this a second time in the theatre. Worth your time, but definitely not for young children.December 3rd, 2013 · Details2 Thanks ·
To be honest I haven't actually read any of the books in this series but I have definitely enjoyed the movies. I feel like this movie had a lot more quality than the first.
I loved Haymitch's humor and the character portrayals through the movie. The cinematography was very well done. The story was very well told.
Not having read the books I half expected to see the same outcome as the first movie where Katniss couldn't truly trust anyone or rely on anyone during the hunger games. The actual events surprised me and the action kept me on edge. This movie really made me think and drew me into the character's emotions.
Due to some elements of the story such as the violence being portrayed I wouldn't suggest it for young children without an adult but overall this movie gets a high recommendation from me.2 Thanks ·
I know I’m not the target audience for young adult fantasy adventures like “The Twilight Saga” or “Harry Potter and the Magical Whatever,” but this second installment of “The Hunger Games” franchise is about as good as they get.
It’s edgier, grittier, more expressive and more entertaining than the first “Hunger Games,” which means not only will its devoted fans go in busloads repeatedly, but will leave behind truckloads of movie cash that will rival the year’s biggest box office successes.
In short, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is a surefire hit... See Full Review2 Thanks ·
MovieReviewMaven.blogspot.com Grade = A
If you’re a Hunger Games fan, then you’ve probably already seen this, but if you haven’t, it’s now in stores on DVD for rental or purchase!
In a Nutshell: This movie franchise has all the odds ever in its favor. The gritty books are best-sellers and the intense films don’t disappoint. The special effects are great and you really find yourself enveloped in the dark world of these compelling characters. The games feel familiar from the first movie, but they take on some new twists that engage your sensibilities and heart. As Haymitch Abernathy states “Last year was child’s play; this year you’re dealing with all experienced killers.” The fans and the smart storyline mature with this second movie in the successful trilogy.
President Snow announces “On the seventy-fifth anniversary, as a reminder to the rebels that even the strongest among them cannot overcome the power of the Capitol, the male and female tributes will be reaped from their existing pool of victors.” And then it begins.
• I liked the speech Peeta gave in District 11: “Our lives aren’t measured in years, but in the lives we touch and touch us around us.”
• “We don’t need to destroy her – just her image. Sew fear. It doesn’t work as long as they have hope” counsels Plutarch Heavensbee. Hope is a very powerful thing. When you’ve lost everything, hope is everything. Primrose tells her sister that she notices something different about her world now. Katniss asks “What can you see?” Her answer: “Hope.” Katniss becomes the mockingjay herself, the image of a new hope to her people.
• The grim violence is physical AND emotional, deepening the layers of imprisonment and drama.
• There is a weighty theme of cultural and personal revolution that could begin an interesting dinner table conversation in your home.
• Simply surviving is not the end-game, but creating a meaningful life that blesses those around you is. Primrose Everdeen says to her sister “You saved my life. You gave me a chance.” Katniss confirms “Yes, to live.” Primrose corrects “No, to do something.”
Things I liked:
• I loved the FANTASTIC wedding dress-turned mocking jay gown visual effects!
• The cast is terrific: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, and Woody Harrelson. Philip Seymour Hoffman was a national treasure and will be missed.
• The “lethal lovers” Katniss and Peeta twist their lives together in a new way that may become a new prison of sorts, even if they’re able to pull it off.
Things I didn’t like:
• I thought the yucky blisters caused by the fog were pretty gross. I definitely felt relief when they were able to wash away the pain in the water
• The film is almost 2 ½ hours long, but ends abruptly. Dang it! Thankfully, we won’t have to wait too long to watch the rest of the story. The third movie installment in the trilogy is expected to release on the big screen November 21, 2014. Like the Harry Potter franchise, the final part of the story is going to be split into two movies: Mockingjay 1 and 2. The very last movie will hit theaters November 10, 2015.
• Love triangles are a bit tired.
• “That’s how the friend thing works…you have to tell each other deep stuff.”
o President Snow: While you and Peeta are on tour, you need to smile, you need to be grateful, but above all, you need to madly end it all in love. You think you can manage that?
o Katniss Everdeen: Yes.
o President Snow: "Yes" what?
o Katniss Everdeen: I'll convince them.
o President Snow: No. Convince me.
• “Don’t look so cute. We’ll kill you anyways.” - Johanna Mason
• “Say good-bye and forget them. I do my best, thinking of them one by one, releasing them like birds from the protective cages inside me, locking the doors against their return.” - Katniss Everdeen
• “No wonder I won the Games. No decent person ever does.” – Katniss Everdeen
Things to look for:
• You only seem them for a few seconds, but I adore Effie’s super cute gloves at the party on the last night of their tour.
• Effie’s outfits in this movie are fantastic. Look at the details on her butterfly outfit.
• Katniss hangs the model of Seneca Crane in an act of defiance during the judging.
• Did you know a spile, the tool Katniss uses to get water out of a tree, really works? It’s used to get sap out of sugar maple trees to produce maple syrup.
• Did you know that Effie’s last name is Trinket? So appropriate, don’t you think? I love that her character deepens in this installment in the story.
Tips for parents:
There is some violence (mostly bloodless) and a cold-faced attitude of murder that should begin an honest discussion of humanity in your family. There is some profanity, but the Capitol itself bleeps out two F-bombs.February 15th, 2014 · Details1 Thank ·
I really enjoyed this movie. I would recommend it for 13+. I was a little bit dissapinted with the ending because it made me feel like this is the first part of the Mockinjay, and I was left wanting to know what is going to happen next. But at the same time made me to want watch the next one as soon as it comes up. If you watch it you won't regret it. It is pretty good.January 3rd, 2014 · Details1 Thank ·
The first Hunger Games was fine, this one was really good. I liked that it was focused more on the politics and the impact of the games (and Katniss) rather than the games themselves.
I haven't read the books, but I'm really looking forward to the third (and fourth?) movies.November 26th, 2013 · Details1 Thank ·
Loved this movie! I think I even liked it better than the first one. Worth the time and money. I would probably go see it again.1 Thank ·
Well done movie with excellent story and acting. However, you do have to wade through the violence, language and intensity of the movie. A story of a hero that could be fairly idealistic in the portrayal of a hero is more about revenge, pride, fashion and hatred.1 Thank ·
While sci-fi special effects like blood rain, vicious baboons and a poisonous fog are striking, a cliffhanger ending comes almost abruptly.
Still, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is crowd-pleasing and compelling, most of all because of its fiery, charismatic heroine... See Full Review1 Thank ·
“Catching Fire” has promising themes where young people trapped in a cutthroat competition question authority and try to reason their way out of a kill-or-be-killed fate.
But the sad realization sinks in, just as the fashion show is ending and the action movie is beginning, that this is as good as Lionsgate cares to make these pictures. The die is cast for the rest of the series... See Full Review1 Thank ·
My perspective may be a bit different, having never read the books. And the movies haven’t given me a great incentive to read them. But I still found the films interesting and entertaining. You will find me watching the next in the series.July 25th, 2014 · Details
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is one of the best movies I’ve seen in quite some time. It features an expertly blended mix of drama, action, and intrigue that will satisfy fans of the series and newcomers alike. Jennifer Lawrence gives an emotional performance as Katniss Everdeen in a story that is gritty and gripping. Add to this wonderful cinematography and design, and you’ve got a winner... See Full ReviewMarch 21st, 2014 · Details
I'd say it's worth your time if you enjoyed the books and want to see them on screen. Otherwise, the irony of this movie franchise is not lost on me. It's based on Susan Collins' dystopian novels where a society is so obsessed with being entertained, they are willing to watch people kill each other for sport. And then we turn the books into movies where we watch people kill for sport. It's a pretty disturbing concept if you think about it.
However, for the amount of violence described in the books, I personally think the it's rather tastefully done, and thankfully not as gory as it could be. I don't recall much profanity, but there is a scene where someone removes clothing that could be awkward. Definitely not for younger teens.March 7th, 2014 · Details
I liked the turn in the plot to recognize and take a stand against offering juvenile "tributes" (or "sacrifices" as I see it). After the first movie, I was disgusted with the idea of offering children as payment for the uprising. It left me ill. Catching fire has resolved some of that sickness as the rebellion is standing against the games. Much better. Still think it should be rated R for the violence. I believe youngsters do not have the mental capacity to understand and interpret this movie to the level needed and should not be viewing it.February 28th, 2014 · Details
Not a fan of the whole Hunger Games story as entertainment, even given the political and social statements being made. Not thrilled about my children seeing it.January 17th, 2014 · Details
shoulda read the book firstDecember 25th, 2013 · Details
I was not a big fan of the first film and was not interested in watching the second installment when it came out but many of my friends kept telling me how amazing it was, so I finally went to see it. It was a lot greater than I was expecting and I was sucked into the plot for the entire length of the film. The action is better, the character development is better and there is some good comedy thrown in too.
I actually enjoyed Peeta's character in the movie and I felt bad for Gale when he had to witness the romance between Katniss and Peeta. Overall an awesome movie very worth the $7.50.December 21st, 2013 · Details
Great movieDecember 19th, 2013 · Details
Catching Fire turned out to be a pretty spectacular surprise. Having not known what to expect, I found Catching Fire to be both a great movie and a great representation of the book.
Where the first movie failed, I feel as though the second succeeded. Character development, dialogue, and intensity. The movie was a pleasant surprise and is, without a doubt, a must see for a fan of the series.
I thought it was much better than the first. Jennifer Lawrence did a phenomenal job add Katniss... much more depth. Like the first, most of the violence is implied rather than shown. I also appreciated the way they handle the continuing PTSD katniss (and peeta) suffer rather than glossing over it.
Absolutely love this movie! It did the book justice! I can not wait for the next one to come out!
This movie was a well made version of the book. There was a good amount of action and the plot was easy to follow. The only down side of this movie, because there was so much from the book to cover, it was a little lengthy for younger teenagers who may lose interest.
amazing! action packed
naturally when a movie is made based on a book, a lot has to be left out and/or changed...I was very impressed with the job they did on Catching Fire though...My son even commented, which was something I was thinking as well, at how much the jungle scenery was JUST like he pictured in the book! Loved it! and can't wait for the next TWO!!
It was an AWESOME movie and I'm glad I saw it:)
When I saw the first hunger games movie, I had no idea what the movie was about. I immediately went out and purchased the books and fell in love with them. This movie was not a disappointment. It was great - the only part that stinks is waiting such a long time for the next one! Go see it - you won't regret it!
Great movie! Very entertaining. I really enjoyed it. However, the themes were to violent and graphic for my young girls. I am waiting to have them watch this movie even though they have read the book and really want to see it.
Movies based on books are never as good as the book but this comes close! Watching it again ASAP!
Slow and boring. Bad acting. Best message of movie: Remember who your real enemy is. I would wait till it comes out on Net Flicks.December 15th, 2013 · Details
The movie is an improvement front he first movie. The first movie was to shaky. This one was great though. The only complaint I have heard is how the movie ends as a "to be continued". The movie doesn't say that at the end but it is obvious. However, That is the way the book ends! People read it and you will know that that cliffhanger is important! When you wait till the next movie you will see that the ending of the first movie could not have ended better. If the third movie was not going to be made you would have a perfectly valid argument... But it will come out so hold on and enjoy the suspense.December 14th, 2013 · Details
good movieDecember 12th, 2013 · Details
Was okay but not really worth my time. Ending just wasn't. They basically just ended with the "to be continued" obvious.December 10th, 2013 · Details
Too dark and depressing for me but my hubby and older children liked itDecember 8th, 2013 · Details
Amazing I have not read the book and quite enjoyed this movie tons of action and the time flies by
Great movie. If you have read the books, you'll notice some areas that are different or skipped over. Overall, very entertaining and worth seeing.
I thought this movie was very entertaining. I definitely enjoyed it better than the first one. Unlike the first Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire's ending has me anxiously waiting for the third movie. Definitely one of the better movies this year.
Stayed true to the book. Making my 13 year old wait until he is at least 14 due to 'nudity' elevator scene.
This is a fair representation of the book. While some small things have been changed, most of them aren't enough to even bother me in the slightest. I was thoroughly captivated from beginning until end.
Parent's Note: Similar to the first movie, this one does have violence in it. Most of it happens off screen and is implied, but some of the implied visuals are graphic. There are two "f" bombs that are bleeped out as well. There are some parts that may frighten young children as well.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is not only a solid entry in the franchise but stylistically a much better movie than the film that launched the series. Catching Fire will leave audiences anxious to catch up with Katniss, Peeta, and the rest of the surviving players in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 which, unfortunately, doesn't arrive until November 21, 2014... See Full ReviewDecember 5th, 2013 · Details
Katniss upset the President. Now, President Snow wants revenge. The devious President and new game maker setup a special Hunger Games just for Champions. There goal? Eliminate anyone who could be a threat and squash a possible rebellion! Fans of the book will love this movie. IMO it's an awesome translation of an awesome story!November 29th, 2013 · Details
Should they decide to make the return trip, moviegoers will find that, in adapting the second volume in Suzanne Collins' best-selling trilogy of novels, director Francis Lawrence has decreased the intensity of the violence on screen. And his film's moral center is solid... See Full Review
This is a good movie that I feel stayed true to the book.November 27th, 2013 · Details
The original was better, but this was still good.November 23rd, 2013 · Details
Director Francis Lawrence (“I am Legend,” no relation to his star), taking over from Gary Ross, manages the large cast and complicated action well and screenwriters Simon Beaufoy (“Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”) and Michael Arndt (“Toy Story III,” “Little Miss Sunshine”) adapted the book deftly. They balance the small, intimate moments, brief humor, and intense emotion with the grand sweep of the games, acknowledging the over-arching themes of honor, freedom, and courage but keeping the focus on the relationships. It tells us everything that in the short training/assessment/sponsorship-seeking period before the Games begin, Katniss reaches out to the weakest and most vulnerable of the other contestants, helping them with no agenda for her own protection.
Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/2013/11/the-hunger-games-catching-fire.html#ixzz2lGeBExcR... See Full Review