Sunday, November 24, 2013

movie review—The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The art and skill of storytelling is a strange and mysterious one. A few months ago, I was watching some episodes of a certain series which proved to be very effective and very moving. Give that same kind of material to many other directors, producers, and/or writers, and they would likely have made it so sappy and over-emotional and cheesy that it would have been almost unwatchable.

Catching Fire could be considered on the good side of that storytelling equation. At times very moving, almost always well done as a movie, there is little that I would complain about in the movie.

Given the nature of the movie, there are ways in which it resembles the first movie, but in ways that makes it seem very different from the first. There are many of the same kinds of scenes, but with a twist that gives it a different look and even meaning, such as the talk show scene or the chariot ride.

The two big differences from the first are at the beginning, with the added element of the Victor's Tour, and the twist at the end. The tension is ratcheted up, as the unrest shown a few times in the first movie becomes even greater, and overall the movie is very intense.

I remember only one scene that had any serious language in it, and those words were bleeped out. There was one bizarre scene in an elevator, though little is shown. Of course, given the nature of the game, there is also the callous way lives are tossed aside, but that's one of the things the movie is about and even against. There is plenty of action and violence, disturbing scenes with poisonous fog and killer monkeys, and lots of backroom scheming.

If you watch it, be ready for a pretty intense ride. It's not a short movie, but it rarely drags. I can recommend it pretty highly.

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