Now that the premieres/screenings are done, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has begun to open in theaters with Brazil being the first international market, followed by a midnight screening in London on Wednesday night.
Thursday midnight also has the movie opening across theaters in the US, so it’s time to discuss it!
Here’s Emily’s (spoiler free) review of the movie:
My first reaction after The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was of absolute silence and awe. I looked at the two people sitting next to me, and they had the same exact expression on their face. Being such a big fan as I am, I can become very critical of the little things I do/do not see in a movie from one of my fandoms.
I hadn’t decided if re-reading the book before the movie would be a good idea or a bad one. Usually, if I re-read the book before seeing the movie my expectations become a little too high, and sometimes, unrealistic. Gratefully, this was ultimately a good idea. In the first five minutes, there are some quotes in the movie that came directly from the book. On the top of my head, Haymitch’s “Brr. You guys have some warming up to do before the cameras arrive.”
Another thing I really loved was something I read in an interview with Suzanne Collins. She said that Katniss was going through the basic PTSD symptoms, such as pushing Peeta away and finding solace in being alone. I felt like this was very prevalent in the movie, which I think will be a great lead-in for Mockingjay. But in talking about how I loved this continuous theme, there was one theme I didn’t expect to like, but looking back, I really did like it. One thing that changed from the books was (spoiler?) there was more Gale in the movie. I loved seeing Gale in the mines and I felt like it really built his character up more in his hatred for the Capitol, which again, will become important in Mockingjay. Coming out of the theater, I actually felt awful for Gale and I realized I loved his character more after seeing Gale visually go through the whipping and his jealousy. (I am totally team Peeta by the way, so this was hard for me to admit.) But it wasn’t just Gale. Seeing all of the characters visually was astonishing, even more so in this movie. I felt like the cinematography really emphasized the characters and the story line. And I wouldn’t change a single actor. Each one was so perfectly cast (from both movies), I felt like it was the book coming to life.
One thing I would wish differently would be that I wish it was a 3 hour movie. I felt like some things were fast-paced, like the Victory Tour and the Pre-Games which I understand had to be done to fit a time limit, but come on, let’s pull a Lord of the Rings shall we? Make it super long? I would sit through it! But to reiterate, I understand why this had to be done and I accept and adore the movie nonetheless.
It took me a whole 24 hours to really process the movie completely. I am still sitting here, running the scenes through my mind, trying to comprehend it all. All I remember was how absolutely perfect it was. And how it exceeded my expectations in every single way. The Hunger Games is already beginning to be taught in schools, and I think that this movie will be one of those classic movies teachers will let children watch after reading and discussing the book in class. It is that good.
Now that the movie is here, we encourage you to let us know what YOU thought of the movie! What is the one (or more!) thing that you loved about it? Anything that you didn’t like? Anything from the book you feel should have just been there – or given more prominence? Or was it an all-round winner for you?
Post your reactions below and one of you will be randomly selected to win a Mockingjay pin! (The comments are definitely a spoiler-zone so do not proceed if you wish to avoid spoilers.)
[UPDATE]: Congrats to Ingrid for getting the Mockingjay pin!