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122 of 143 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True to the book - no spoilers
'Catching Fire' is my favourite book in the 'Hunger Games' trilogy and I wasn't disappointed by the translation of it to the big screen. Yes, some scenes have been left out or changed, but with the changes I personally think they work better for those seeing the film who haven't read the books. Overall, it's very faithful to the book.

The directing, special...
Published 13 months ago by Pink-Lady

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Storyline Loses Uniqueness
As we reach the third video in the series, the storyline struggles to maintain momentum. We now move into a phase of growing restlessness and rebellion amongst the wider public and, in doing so, the rather unique story heads towards a more common level. It lacks the same 'sparks' as its predecessors.
Published 2 days ago by Mr Malcolm L Packer


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122 of 143 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True to the book - no spoilers, 23 Nov 2013
'Catching Fire' is my favourite book in the 'Hunger Games' trilogy and I wasn't disappointed by the translation of it to the big screen. Yes, some scenes have been left out or changed, but with the changes I personally think they work better for those seeing the film who haven't read the books. Overall, it's very faithful to the book.

The directing, special effects and acting all bring to life the darkness and emotional intensity of the story. Starting soon after the 74th games, Katniss and Peeta (along with their families and mentor Haymitch) are living in Victors Village. But with the victory tour of the other 11 districts, where all the tributes died in the arena, about to begin, and with rumours of a rebellion, it seems life is not to get any easier for Katniss, Peeta and Haymitch.

I don't want to spoil the film for anyone who hasn't the read the book so won't add any spoilers. Suffice to say that 'The Hunger Games' set the scene and 'Catching Fire' takes the story to a whole new level. It's a heartbreaking, shocking, breathtaking, suspenseful, funny, moving and thought provoking rollercoster ride of a film. Jennifer Lawrence is particularly outstanding as Katniss, although all the performances are strong. I'm only sorry we now have a wait a whole year to see the next installment, 'Mockingjay Part 1'.

Incredible, memorable film, well worth seeing even if you haven't the read the books (although it might help to see 'Hunger Games' first as it really does set the scene and will help you understand the background).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bringing down the house, 18 Mar 2014
By 
Jules (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
After surviving the 74th Hunger Games in such a defiant manner, District 12's Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) & Peeta Mellark's (Hutcherson) actions of defiance have sown the seeds of rebellion in the Districts of Panem. In order to suppress this rebellion, President Snow (Sutherland) orders them on a victory tour where Katniss 'must' show her defiance was out of the love for Peeta, and not aimed at the Capitol. Failing this, Snow uses his power to start a Quarter Quell games, an early 75th Hunger Games, which is allowed every 25 years. Where upon 2 pairs from each district that have all won past games will fight against each other to the death. In the hope to rid them of these heroes & quell the rebellion.

This sequel builds upon the strong foundations of The Hunger Games nicely, with great continuity that sees all the key characters returning with strong performances, albeit battle scarred & emotionally drained. Some new faces add a little freshness, particularly of note Jena Malone (Sucker Punch) as the fiery tribute Johanna & the late Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote) as the new games coordinator Plutarch Heavensbee. The structure of the film is similar to that of The Hunger Games, the first hour or so is about immersing us back into the setting & characters, the knock on effects that the 74th Hunger Games has had on Katniss, Peeta & Panem. Leading up to the inevitable preperation to the 75th Games, which takes the final hour or so of the film & leaves us on a cliffhanger ending, with anticipation of another two films , The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 & Part 2.

Seeing how the characters have grown even more from the first film was done well, with Katniss & Peeta now more savvy in how things work in the Capitol , but still naive & needing guidance from Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), as both suffer from PTSD with nightmares & Katniss's ever complicated love triangle with Peeta in the dome & Gale (Liam Hemsworth) in District 12 continuing. The story is good & endears us even more to Katniss & the rebels thanks to the Gestapo like tactics from the Capitols police force, dislikable President Snow & the ever present 'Let Them Eat Cake' residents of the Capitol who stuff their faces while the districts starve. Particularly liked the touch with the drink that makes them sick so they can eat more. The dome battle itself is very familiar, but heightened tensions with the fact the tributes are more highly skilled & deadly this time, with various unique skills & a nice new aspect to it that means the dome itself is more hostile as well.

In conclusion, Catching Fire is a worthy sequel that sees the characters mature, Panem even more unsettled & it's sprinkling of survival action adds a nice little twist to leave us on a real cliffhanger for the next two parts of the story that should be structured very differently from the first two offerings. Contains mild language & violence. Recommended.
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62 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars People gonna rise up and take what's theirs. They're talkin' bout a revolution. It sounds like... a mockingjay., 10 Dec 2013
By 
Darth Maciek "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I found this second, more serious and much darker "Hunger Games" film, even BETTER than the first one. Below more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

First let's say that this film sticks to the book very closely. Of course there is no way you can show during 145 minutes everything that a book contains (and therefore the characters of Bonnie and Twill among others are not shown), but I believe virtually everything important is included. And that is a precious thing.

All actors did great. Jennifer Lawrence who plays Katniss Everdeen is of course THE STAR of this film, but everybody around her performed also flawlessly.

The best performance is offered by Josh Hutcherson who plays Peeta Mellark, a young boy madly in love with Katniss and linked to her in most complex ways since a long time. This role is the most difficult in all film as Peeta is a most complicated character: a baker's son, weaker than many of other young males around and definitely not born to be any kind of hero he nevertheless soldiers on through all the hardships and relentlessly pursues the woman of his life through all the nine circles of hell - and beyond...

Much more attractive, stronger and very manly Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) is by comparison a little bit easier to play, but the events put him also in a position not easy at all... Which gives a quite interesting love triangle.

Young actors who play new characters of Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin) and Johanna Mason (Jena Malone) were very well selected. He is an extremely handsome and very vain young hunk - with brains and a plan. She is not very appealing physically, but she got enough character, potty mouth and (bad)attitude to spread amongst a battalion of more average girls - and still have enough for her own needs...)))

Older actors give also a great show and we have a lot of them. Donald Sutherland is of course the greatest of them and we all know how much he enjoys playing characters which are odd and also sometimes evil - and here he gives us a great show portraying the aged supreme master of Panem, president Coriolanus Snow, a man both odd AND evil... Haymitch has more screen time in this film than in the previous one and Woody Harrelson plays him splendidly - and that is a huge compliment coming from me as I usually don't like this actor. At all.

Effie Trinket - a really splendid and so appropriate last name by the way - also appears more in this film. We come therefore to know her as a person who is simultaneously grievously annoying, heavily ridiculous, enragingly insufferable and beautifully pathetic - and Elizabeth Banks plays her just like it should be done. Lenny Kravitz offers a surprisingly good and serious performance as Cinna. Stanley Tucci is of course a treasure as Caesar Flickerman, a TV show host and great regime propagandist whom we want to strangle from the second he appears on the screen...))) And then there is Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee, the Head Gamemaker of 75th Hunger Games, successor of the most unfortunate Seneca Crane who "choose to stop breathing" in the previous film...

In smaller but important roles we have Amanda Plummer (Honey Bunny from "Pulp Fiction") as Wiress and Lynn Cohen (Ukrainian baby sitter Magda in "Sex and the city") as Mags. And also Patrick St. Esprit as Head Peacekeeper Romulus Thread. Honestly, as dissuasion and pacification tools go, the face of this guy alone is worth a whole Panzer division - and then there is still all the rest of him...

A digression here for "Star Wars" fanboys and firearms maniacs. First, it was a great idea (and I think also a tribute to Star Wars) both in book and the film to follow George Lucas and dress the bad guys in white...))) Also, firearms maniacs will appreciate the Peacemakers being armed with Belgian 5,7 mm FNP90, an indeed very futuristic looking weapon, but actually in service since 1990 and presently used by more than 40 countries. This weapon, which has a rate of fire so high that it is possible to cut a man in half with a short burst, was actually already used by the security troops of one bloodthirsty tyrant, overthrown and killed by insurgents - Muammar Gaddafi... End of digression for "Star Wars" fanboys and firearms maniacs.

Willow Shields who plays Primrose Everdeen appears only briefly and her character has in fact only one line to say - but when she says it, this is a GREAT moment! And then there is little Erika Bierman, barely 12 years old (but looking 9), who plays president's Snow granddaughter, a lovely little thing who speaks only like twice in this film, every time hurting and scaring her dear Grandpa worse than ten thousands armed rebels could ever do...)))

Although not appearing as a character, in this film there is also Rue, the cute little girl from District 11. As we know she was killed in the previous games - but her picture appears in a couple of moments in this film and every time it occurs it is an indictment of the Capitol, stronger than a 10 000 words accusation act...

The Arena built for those very special 75th Hunger Games is a really hellish place. Suzan Collins must be quite a kinky gal for inventing such a perversely twisted tool of torture and murder. The whole games are therefore a pretty dramatic thing, albeit ultimately not as dramatic as those portrayed in the previous film (guess we are now more used to the whole thing).

But the reason why I believe this film is SUPERIOR to the previous one resides in all parts which take place BEFORE the games themselves - and they constitute more than half of the film. The feeling of omnipresent TERROR all around the Panem is portrayed very well indeed - and all those who, like me, once lived under an authoritarian repressive regime (I grew up in communist Poland) will fully appreciate it.

The mixture of oppression, repression, censorship, shortage of everything (when in the same time regime's nomenklatura lives in opulence), black market as a coping mechanism, the violence of little local tyrants serving the regime, the feeling of powerlessness - it is all there. And then come the whispers of something going on, then some official flags are ripped off at night, then appears the first writing on the wall, the first stone is thrown against a patrolling police car, first signs of rebellion appear and with them HOPE - but also the first dead... It is all there.

The second "Hunger Games" is therefore for my personal taste a darker, more serious (sometimes even sinister) treat, very usefully reminding especially the younger viewers what exactly an oppressive regime LOOKS and FEELS like and how difficult and COSTLY it is to regain the freedom once it was lost - or even worse forfeited... And this part of the film definitely overshadows the adventure/action scenes and any kind of love triangle.

The very LAST scene, not involving any actors but just some graphics, is simply GREAT and so full of promise for the next film that I simply cannot wait to see it - and see it I will, as surely as I will buy this one on Blu-ray, as soon as it is available. Definitely. Catch this film as long as it is still playing in theaters - it is worth it. Enjoy!
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MUST BE A FRAGILE SYSTEM IF IT CAN BE BROUGHT DOWN BY A FEW BERRIES, 30 Nov 2013
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
As it turns out the Hunger Games was not berry good for the empire as Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) has inspired hope and rebellion. Instead of just killing her, they have changed the rules ( see Jonathan "Roller Ball") and devised a new Hunger Game of past contestants. The game is stacked against her as contestants must battle the elements more than each other.

The beginning of the film lacks the crazy action of the second half, but it is theme driven for the true sci-fi fan. Katniss is a hero, but as she says, "By killing people." In those 3 simple words. Katniss who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, conveys the perplexity of war heroes with a moral conscience. The film also touches on the power of celebrity as they "never get off this train: and the trouble they cause if the don't "stick to the script." The culture is set up similar to the Roman Empire where bread and circus' s keep the masses in check and where Romans "Eat to puke and puke to eat." Katniss, is a hero because her compassion expresses in all of us the person we want to be. As such it is easy for her to gain allies.

The film contains all the elements of an ideal cult classic complete with theme, special effects, drama, top stars, and a touch of light humor.

I do not recommend watching this film if you haven't seen the first one (or read the books) as it doesn't recap.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant movie the sequel to the hunger games, 15 Oct 2014
brilliant movie the sequel to the hunger games.We find out what happens to Katniss after the hunger games and things unravel and many new characters are introduced. if you are a fan of the hunger games you will love this action packed mysterious adventure,wow sorry that sounded so weird but i am a massive fan of the hunger games and this amazing and i give it a 5 out of 5

hope you liked my review please like my review and please watch this fantastic movie ( which is also a book which is also amazing)so thanks for reading
:)
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great continuation, 12 Mar 2014
Catching Fire is a great continuation of the Hunger Games franchise, and is very true to the book which can't be said for many Hollywood films which have to skip parts of the books to fit the film into a reasonable length, I felt that Catching Fire was much darker than the first film but it was also much better.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Product is good, has no plastic wrapping over the outer box ..., 15 Oct 2014
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Product is good, has no plastic wrapping over the outer box cover though, only over the actual dvd case.
The film though, I don't know why but I was a bit disappointed with it, seemed like it took a while to get to the main plot of the story, felt like a pit stop to Mockingjay film. That being said, it did deliver the story from the book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant film, 25 Oct 2014
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This movie is great! Very close to the book, the effects are great and irs very moving. I normally don't watch this kind of films but after reading the books I had to see it.
The seller is great. Dispatched product very fast and the dvs is in good condition. I bought many DVDs from this seller and the service is exceptionally good!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 28 Aug 2014
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Great follow up to the original Hunger Games film, also great price for a triple play too!

It doesn't quite do the book justice in terms of characters and scene settings, however this is not to say you wouldn't be able to understand the films premise if you hadn't read the books first (assuming you've seen the first film!)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Even better than the first film!!, 7 Sep 2014
By 
Laura Hartley (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Some time has passed after the end of The Hunger Games and Katniss and Peeta have not spoken to each other at all since returning to District 12. Catching Fire opens on the day of the 'Victory Tour' around the country and President Snow unexpectedly arrives to tell Katniss that he is angry with her for sparking what could be a rebellion in all the districts. He wishes her to convince the public that the threat to eat the poisonous berries in the arena was an act of love and not one of rebellion or else he'll hurt her loved ones. Katniss reluctantly agrees but as the tour gets started and they move through each district, they see more and more acts of rebellion in the crowds and become more and more horrified by the Capitol's brutal treatment of these rebels. Later, it is announced that for the 75th Hunger Games, the third Quarter Quell, there will be a twist and the volunteers will be picked from the pool of previous victors. Katniss and Peetasoon find themselves back in the arena, this time with allies Finnick and Mags from District 4, and things are even more brutal before.
Catching Fire has you gripping the edge of your seat from the very beginning. Now I know that sounds like a massive cliché, but it is actually true! There is such a tense atmosphere in this film as rebellion seems to be brewing and no one knows who to trust. This film is highly exciting and much flashier than The Hunger Games but this is definitely a good thing. The special effects are much better and highly impressive, as is the setting and the costumes.

Although this is quite an action packed film, there were also many very emotional scenes in which I was on the point of tears in. This plot is actually quite moving as a lot of people are wronged and killed unjustly throughout the series and I'm glad that this more melancholic tone was able to shine through as well. That said, there are also several funny parts so it's not too depressing.
I really liked the way that Katniss' character has developed since The Hunger Games. She was always a strong and brave character, but she's put up even more walls between herself and everyone else and seems to have age several years since she went into the arena. Although she is admirable, she is not always the most likeable of characters as she comes across as a little cold. In Catching Fire we see the relationship between Katniss and Peeta develop some more and we see more of Katniss' sensitive side which is interesting. Jennifer Lawrence continues to portray Katniss as a very real and raw character and seems to get it just right.

I was a little disappointed by Peeta's part in this film as I felt that he didn't have a substantial role. Although he was often being talked about or seen on screen, he doesn't do a great deal of talking and his presence wasn't felt very strongly in my opinion. There were lots of sweet moments from Peeta but apart from these Peeta/Katniss moments, I don't think he was given much attention. I got the impression that Peeta doesn't really exist without Katniss which I did not get from the books. Although I expect Katniss to have a more dominant role, not least because she is the more dominant character, I still thought that there would be lots of emphasis on Peeta's character.
This film is much more exciting than the first film as there are lots of new characters who all bring new plot developments with them. Finnick Odair, played by Sam Claflin, is a really great addition to the cast as he is both funny and serious, not to mention extremely hot! His other films coming out this year include Love, Rosie and The Riot Club, the two films I am most eagerly anticipating this year so I think Sam Claflin will be one to watch!

Catching Fire is a really great film that's actually even better than the first film in this trilogy. It was my favourite book in The Hunger Games book series and it will probably be my favourite in the film adaption too. The plot is a lot more intricate in this instalment with many twists and turns that keep you on your toes. Whether or not you've read the books, this is a must see film, though I would highly recommend watching the first film first so that you truly understand what they are fighting for in part two. This film is very long, lasting almost two and a half hours, but at no point during that time did I feel bored in the slightest. Time passed very quickly and before long the credits were rolling and I still wanted more! Speaking of the ending, Catching Fire ends on a massive cliffhanger so you absolutely must see it before watching the next instalment Mockingjay which comes out in November 2014.
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