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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A spark of rebellion
Second in the Hunger Games films series. Which adapts the second book of that particular young adult dystopian science fiction trilogy.

It's not a good jumping on point if you've not seen the first film. So go and start with that if you haven't.

If you have seen the first film but not read the books:

Katniss and Peeta are now back home in...
Published 3 months ago by Paul Tapner

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Left me feeling hungry and not satisfied
Well, it's not as good as the first film. I've not read the books, though my kids have and they say it's pretty close to the text for the most part. The storyline and characters don't really move on much from the first movie so it's really just a re-run of the first installment with slightly older looking characters who I care less about now than I did before. Bit...
Published 1 month ago by FullofStars


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A spark of rebellion, 20 April 2014
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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Second in the Hunger Games films series. Which adapts the second book of that particular young adult dystopian science fiction trilogy.

It's not a good jumping on point if you've not seen the first film. So go and start with that if you haven't.

If you have seen the first film but not read the books:

Katniss and Peeta are now back home in their district. But their experience in the games won't go away in a hurry. Katniss has post traumatic stress [very convincingly depicted and portrayed] and just wants life to go back to normal. President Snow starts to see signs of rebellion, all inspired indirectly by what Katniss did. He send her and Peeta on a tour of the other districts. Where, among other things, they see how life in these places is a contrast to the opulence and decadence of the capital.

Then comes the next part of the President's plan. A new games that will take care of Katniss and all the other winners, and stamp out any rebellion before it can spread.

Sooner or later, Katniss is going to have to make some very important choices...

Her central dilemma is very well depicted, and it allows her a lot more character development across the course of the film. Which has a different director to the original, but new director Francis Lawrence does manage to keep pretty much all of what was done before but add to it as well. Not least with new uniforms for the guards, which look more threatening.

It's a long film, but as with the first one the first half zips along very nicely. It's only once we're in games territory again that it seems to slow down for a while. This segment does manage to be completely different from what went before, and has very memorable moments.

The only flaw is that, also as with the first film, we don't really get to know too many of the participants in the latest games simply because there are so many of them. The ones who do feature strongly all manage to be memorable characters. More about some in a moment.

Being that this is based on the second volume in a trilogy, it thus ends on a very big cliffhanger. But along the way it does what it needs to do. And it also makes the audience think. About standing up for yourself, getting noticed, and taking a stand. It's a very solid sequel and a good continuation.

If you have read the book, then you'll find it's as faithful an adaptation as it could be. It can't fit everything in, but nearly ever major story beat for Katniss is there. And it also, unlike the novel which is seen entirely through her eyes, includes scenes she's not in. To show what else is going on in this world. These are very effective when showing how Katniss is starting to inspire people.

Of the new actors playing the new characters, Sam Claflin is pretty good as Finnick Odair, coming over as very affable. But Jena Malone pretty much steals the show as Johanna Mason. Thanks to putting an incredible amount of energy into the performance, she commands attention whenever she's on screen.

Philip Seymour Hoffman's moments as Plutarch Heavensbee are understated, but that's clearly down to what the character has to contend with here. But at least we will get to see more of him in the next film.

The disc has the following language and subtitle options:

Languages: English.

Subtitles: English.

It begins with several trailers, which can be skipped via the next button on the dvd remote.

The extras are:

A commentary from the director and one of the producers.

Five minutes worth of deleted scenes. All of which run no longer than a minute and can only be watched all in a row.

However;

This also has a two disc edition. Which is what this review is of. You remember two disc editions of dvds? With long making of documentaries on them? They pretty much became history when movie companies decided that they'd try and make you switch to blu ray by putting almost all the extras onto those.

Well, hats off to Lionsgate for being a lone hold out in this instance.

The second disc of the two disc edition has one of those long making of documentaries on it. It runs for just over two hours, and it's divided into nine sections. Thus you can watch it all a very long row, or individually. They follow the complete - and I do mean complete - story of the production of the film in pretty much chronological order. The shortest section is nine minutes long [approx.] and the longest twenty six.

It's a very thorough and fascinating piece of work, and just what the dvd format was made for in the first place.

So if you want to know more, or to be reminded of discs of days gone past, then get the two disc version. It's worth the extra outlay.
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100 of 117 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Left me feeling hungry and not satisfied, 30 Jun 2014
Well, it's not as good as the first film. I've not read the books, though my kids have and they say it's pretty close to the text for the most part. The storyline and characters don't really move on much from the first movie so it's really just a re-run of the first installment with slightly older looking characters who I care less about now than I did before. Bit formulaic, little predictable. Its nothing more than OK. Not in the same league as Logan's Run by a million miles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This was abig disappointment. The acting and production values are fine, 21 July 2014
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This was abig disappointment. The acting and production values are fine, but the story line is just poor. Starts ok, carrying straight on from the first film but goes nowhere and has the poorest end I can remember. It has no moral meaning and has nothing in it at all to improve the mind. You would learn more about life watching a Dire Hard movie or Lion King
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56 of 70 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 
Maciej "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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19 of 24 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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5.0 out of 5 stars I've never been more amazed..., 30 July 2014
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The first installment of The Hunger Games trilogy had me hooked from the first page (yes, it's clear that I'm talking about the books) and so I was VERY excited to see it heading to cinema despite my mindset telling me it could go very wrong. Well... I was the one who was wrong.
Katniss is such an amazing heroine. I've seen many movies before with a young female finding her way into power, but this movie took a whole new twist. And Catching Fire was even better as we get to see Katniss grow and learn new things! Go and buy this as soon as you can!
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18 of 23 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Repeat of the first film, which is also exactly ..., 19 July 2014
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Repeat of the first film, which is also exactly the same plot and idea as the Japanese film Battle Royale released in 2000.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 18 Mar 2014
This is brilliant. Don't be put off by the inactive trailer because it is phenomenal but just a bit better than the first film(also amazing)!!!
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