the-hunger-games-catching-fireTrust Is Only A Word In A Dictionary
Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Part II of the trilogy)
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Lenny Kravitz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, Sam Ciaflin, Jena Malone, Lynn Cohen and Amanda Plummer
Director: Francis Lawrence
Scriptwriters: Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndet from the novel by Suzanne Collins
Composer: James Newton Howard
Cinematography: Jo Williams
Rating: PG 13 for violence and themed material
Running Length: 145 minutes
Suzanne Collins must have had so much fun in writing the three books of “Hunger Games.” Reference choosing names for one, as in the heroine (Jennifer Lawrence). There could have been Kate Evergreen, or Kat, or Katherine, but no, it is Katniss Everdeen, just a hairs breath away from Katnip. Or her friend, Peeta, could have been Pete, Woody Harrelson could have been Haymaker or Mitch, but he is Haymitch, and so on. There isn't a mockingbird, but a mocking jay. The names do not go trippingly along the tongue, which is one charm of the series. This is two steps out of the ordinary, and for the second book, conflict and who to trust, those with an unusual name or those with an ordinary name. Sometimes, the name is the game.
As a storyline, “Hunger Games” is set in a reality where there is scarce food, the rich have it and the country is divided into 12 districts. Kids are chosen from each district to fight to the death and the winner gets food for their district. Shadows of Old Rome and the Colosseum.
We enter the world of Katniss Everdeen who just won the Hunger Games with friend Peeta (Josh Hutcherson). They are to tour the 12 Districts and raise awareness of the regular order of government, instead of the people beginning to riot. People are tired of work and no food, government heavy-handedness, and seeing how opulently the government has things, as shown in the outfits by Effie (Elizabeth Banks), a PR person. Things do not go as planned, and President Snow (a wily Donald Sutherland) is on top of everything with dastardly deeds. He might as well have twirled his moustache. In hopes of Katniss and Peeta dying to solve all problems, a new set of games is introduced, which pits former winners against each other. Who do you trust? Only one person is going to come out alive, but no one seems to care about the carnage in-between. We enter a tropical forest with killer monkeys, acid fog, no drinking water, and a lake that isn't a plaything. People are injured and just keep going. People disappear and everyone keeps on going, but there are cracks in the system and help when you least expect it. This film will continue into the third and final episode, due out in the fall of 2014.
You don't have to have seen the first “Hunger Games” to figure out what is going on. A good part of the script deals with battle and Katniss trying not to lose her temper; Peeta and friend, Gale (Liam Hemsworth) trying to calm her down; Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) as the peacemaker in the house and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the man who puts the Games together. All the stars do well in their roles, especially, Jennifer Lawrence, who looks fit enough to take on these Games and shows expression in her eyes. Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth are the rivals for Katniss and each one has their own identity when talking to her. One is peaceful and the other more on the defiant side. The new guy on the block, Finnick (Sam Claflin) gets to show his muscles more than once as the proud fighter and when all the previous winners start the Game, you can see the assortment of talent here from the oldest one (Lynn Cohen) to the “reasoning one,” Amanda Plummer.
Action sequences and special effects are great and so are the costumes - especially the ones Katniss wears, which, as “Girl On Fire,” really are in flames. Don't try this at home.
Copyright 2013 Marie Asner
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