Catching Fire currently has a rating of 89% on Rotten Tomatoes. I don’t know how I feel about this. I enjoyed the movie, but there was a lot wrong with it.
Catching Fire is my favorite of the three books. The Hunger Games is a very political book, but Catching Fire takes politics and the reality TV shallowness of the first book, and adds a big dose of PTSD.
The Hunger Games MOVIE missed several things that would have given it more depth (like the avoxes, tongueless slaves in the capital taken from district citizens … Katness makes friends with their avox servant in the first book, in the second book, they’re given a second avox, someone they know from D12), but Catching Fire did worse in this.
You still had no avoxes. Katness REALLY needed to meet those two women from D…D2, I think, who were escaping and running for D13, just on the hope that D13 still existed. They were the ones who really put a thought of multi-district rebellion in her.
It wasn’t just Gale that was whipped. The new guards fucked D12 hard, and we weren’t shown that. We weren’t shown the strength in Katness’s mother, or the fact that she’d done this before because it USED to be worse. The awful treatment they had after Katness wasn’t new. It was what was supposed to be NORMAL.
D11’s salute was meant to look planned, because it was, but it didn’t. It was very obviously not.
We weren’t really given a good explanation for the Quarter Quell, or told that Haymitch was the Victor of the year 50 Quarter Quell, where twice the number of children were reaped. Not two children from 12 districts, but 4.
Not being told the informal nature of D12’s wedding ceremony, that makes Peeta’s whole “we married in secret” thing seem very flimsy. Could have used another 60 second or so of the jabberjay’s screaming. Just to make it really awful.
Showing President Snow’s granddaughter was a good move. Showing the girl as someone who wants the sort of love Katness and Peeta …. seem to have. It’ll pay off in Mockingjay Pt. II.
Acting was good. I believe the victors were pretty well cast. I wasn’t sure about Jena Malone as Johanna, but she pulled it off just fine.
Visually, it was well done. Living in the tropics as I do, the jungle was good and jungle-y. The monkeys… well, I could TELL they weren’t real … like technically, but for a herd of monkeys they were damn fine CGI (compare to the monkeys in say … Indiana Jones 4). The long shots of the Capitol were pretty darn impressive. Katness’s ember dress was pretty, she wore it well.
All in all
I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t as good as I would have liked. I’ll still watch it again, though!
I felt compelled to edit and add one more thing. The banquet scene was a very big scene for me in the book. The one thing Katness really seems to appreciate in the Capitol (besides Cinna) is the food. She loves the food. So going to the banquet, eating all that wonderful food, then being told that if she wants to eat more she can drink this special stuff they have to puke it up so you can eat more… That right there, that one scene SELLS the split between the Capitol and the Districts. Peeta points it out in the movie “People are starving in District 12,” etc etc, but it lacked the power from the book.
Socially accepted societal-gathering mass-bulimia to indulge in gluttony. Needed to be highlighted.