What’s new MMT family? I was so excited to screen the Lionsgate film The Hunger Games: Catching Fire earlier this week, and oh was it worth it! Now let me first say that I have read NONE of the books, and because I enjoyed the first film so much I decided to wait so my expectations of what the films present wouldn’t change. But let me tell you, I haven’t talked to one Hunger Games book series reader yet that hasn’t enjoyed the films; which I take as additional confirmation that this series is in fact GREAT!
For those who aren’t familiar with the story, The Hunger Games (based on a series of novels by Suzanne Collins) tells the story of young Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), a 16-year-old who volunteers in her baby sister’s stead to fight in a battle-to-the-death televised tournament imposed by a sadistic post-apocalyptic monarchy. In this future society, what was formerly North America no longer exists and is split into twelve districts collectively known as Panem. From each district, a teenage male and female “Tribute” are selected and forced to participate in the cruel tournament.
Unfortunately for those who haven’t seen the first film, the next sentence is an unavoidable spoiler! In The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the story begins with Katniss’s return home and her and Peeta’s (Josh Hutcherson) preparation for the “Victor’s Tour.” What develops is Katniss’ awareness of the simmering rebellion that is brewing, and President Snow’s (a remarkable Donald Sutherland) impatience and sinister plot to halt said rebellion: the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) which involves past Tribute participation including Katniss, with the expectation that both she and the hope fueling the rebellion will be eliminated.
In my opinion, this film surpasses the first as far as story development, and really sets up the next in the series The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, which has an anticipated release date of November 21, 2014. And if you haven’t seen the first film, this one allows you to follow along quite well. I did note however that this story is a bit darker than the first, but is not overly graphic with violence and has an appropriate PG-13 rating. This is not the movie for those younger kiddies over the Thanksgiving Holiday; it is definitely young adult and adult fare.
Oh, and the CGI and costumes are MAGNIFICENT! The fire motif for Katniss and Peeta this time around with Cinna’s (Lenny Kravitz) designs are, um well for lack of a better term, HOT! The Hunger Games: Catching Fire also includes some great performances by Kravitz (Precious, Lee Daniels’ The Butler), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote, Moneyball), Jeffrey Wright (Broken City, Cadillac Records), Woody Harrelson (No Country For Old Men, Game Change), Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada, The Lovely Bones) and Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect, W.). The only negative I left the theater with is one that my screening partner remarked on, which is we have to wait an entire year for the sequel!
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is out in theaters today, November 22. You can check out the TV spot featuring the song “We Remain” by Christina Aguilera below and get additional info at the official website.
Alright that’s it for me family! Until next thought, Thomasena