THE HUNGER GAMES:
SYNOPSIS: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire begins as Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence) has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark (played by Josh Hutcherson). Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a "Victor's Tour" of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) - a competition that could change Panem forever.
Primrose Everdeen: Since the last games, something is different. I can see it.
Katniss Everdeen: What can you see?
Primrose Everdeen: Hope.
Ah, hope for the people, could it be the dawn of a revolution!? But at what cost, and everyone looking to a very confused young warrior as their source of inspiration? Could this be really happening? Can this actually work? The epic continues, the plot thickens, and Katniss is facing even more pain and suffering along with just about everyone around her in one way or another. After being a co-winner of the 74th Hunger Games, she comes home to find herself with a case of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and a people who have found hope and courage through her rebellious and non-conformist ways. Unsure how to best handle this, being pulled on one side by her people and on the other side by President Snow bombarding her with threats, she is thrust right back into the 75th Hunger Games, Special Edition. Haymitch best sums it up with two pieces of advice for Katniss:
Katniss Everdeen: Any last advice?
Haymitch Abernathy: Stay alive.
Haymitch Abernathy: Remember who the real enemy is.
This film is well paced and keeps you tuned in. It is much more intense and dramatic than the first film and yet not nearly as visually brutal and violent. This is a good thing, in my opinion. My biggest gripe about the first film (which I did like) was the fact that the violence was too graphic, especially considering that it is amongst young people. I realize that it is the essence of the story to begin with, but the violence could have been a little less in-your-face. Apparently, the movie makers took my advice, because although this story continues to be very violent in nature, the viewer sees less of it in this second installment. Some things that we do see, however, is the amazing use of color, appropriate and well applied special effects, high tech props and visuals, and some of the most elaborate make-up and costumes Iíve ever seen. Another thing we get to see is Jennifer Lawrence give a most impressive performance. She steals the screen in every scene she is in. She tops her performance in the first film and she leaves you wanting more at the end of this one. The entire cast did a good job with this movie, but I want to give a couple of honorable mentions to Donald Sutherland and Elizabeth Banks. Besides J Law, these two stood out a little more than the rest. Now remember that in the middle of all this conflict, there is something of a romance subplot. We have an element of, what I like to call, a Twilight-ism going on here. This love triangle situation . . . not only is it not dissipating, itís getting more convoluted. Of course, itís nowhere near as cheesy as Twilightís. But the primary story remains the overall focus and that is the battle between the classes, between the government and the people, between the empowered and the oppressed, the battle for freedom in the midst of the battle for survival which is the Hunger Games. In this film, the storyline is really picking up steam. Even with the change in directors from one movie to the next, the series does not skip a beat. You probably canít even tell there was a change in directors. Granted, going from Gary Ross (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit) to Francis Lawrence (Constantine, I Am Legend) is pretty much a lateral move. So when you go see the movie, remember:
Effie Trinket: Chins up, smiles on!
By Cine Marcos
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