Monday, December 9, 2013

03 Dec 13 - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Everyone wants to be a symbol of inspiration within some point of their life. However, what if you were pressured into being that symbol against your will ...would you still accept the role?

It's the basis for this year's blockbuster sequel to The Hunger Games - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, blogspot readers, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson returning to their roles as Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mallark, current winners of the 74th Hunger Games in Panem.

Life hasn't really changed much for the two main characters within this sequel. Katniss is torn between being "in love" with Gale Hawthrone (Liam Hemsworth) and being with Peeta as the second half of the "starcrossed lovers" ploy which helped them win the previous games. Outside the Winner's Quarters (where those who have won The Hunger Games along with their families live in comfort for the rest of their lives), life in District 12 has gone from worst to even more worst (if there's such a thing). And it's not just District 12 where life is looking grim but in the other districts except for 1 and 2 as well as The Capitol where those (who can afford it) live the opulent life. Poor Katniss ...she really has it bad, blogspot readers. She's now the symbol of hope and freedom amongst the other 10 districts which gains much unwanted notice by President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and the new Games Keeper Plutarch Heavensbee (diabolically portrayed by Philip Seymour Hoffman). Both who plot to bring the downfall of Katniss Everdeen in hopes of squashing the rebellious uprisings in the districts during the victors' Victory Tour. Yet, not everything goes according to plan for President Snow who ultimately decides to pull a fast one by announcing that ALL past and current victors of The Hunger Games will compete in the 75th Hunger Games which is also known as the 3rd Quarter Quell. This sneaky move pits Katniss and Peeta fighting much more than their "starcrossed lovers" premise, blogspot readers, because rules have changed ...there can be one winner in this game. Can they save each other before President Snow tries to destroy them both?

Sorry, blogspot readers, no spoilers here! You have to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire yourself to find out what happens to Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) and the other colorful cast of characters that make up the fantastical world of Panem in this sequel. SouthSide enjoyed how the movie itself quickly opens by instantly drawing you into the storyline where the first ended without any titles or opening credits (like the previous movie). You immediately get the sense of how bleak things have become not in just District 12 but in the other districts while Peeta and Katniss embark on their victory tour. And even before that, you get the sense of how times have changed for Panem when President Snow makes a surprise visit to Katniss blackmailing her to live up to the image that was created for her ...or suffer the consequences. Not her per se but her family and Gale. Yet, that's one of many problems weighing our young heroine down. She has to live up to the "chins up and smiles on" during the glitz and glamour parties hosted within The Capitol as the ever fabulously stylish Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) escorts them around the districts along with Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) and the team of stylists keep them looking good. The action before the games (which is played on a new game grid with a unique tropical twist) is somewhat fast pace but not slow because the story within this sequel will keep your interest going. Yet once the games begin, expect the unexpected while Heavensbee upping the treacherous dangers cleverly disguised as a way to kill Katniss in the process. Again, kudos for stealing Lady Gaga's current Artpop style, blogspot readers. This reviewer absolutely LOVED the costume designs which were inspired by the late Alexander McQueen used for the sequel can clearly see his work when Katniss wears her "wedding dress" (watch for a surprise designed by Cinna). This reviewer is certain that some of Effie's colorful attire could be found Gaga's closet sometime soon ...if not now.

SouthSide will not go into the argument comparing or how The Hunger Games series copied another - Battle Royale, blogspot readers, since she's not familiar with it. That being said, there plenty of other movies as well as books that probably have "copied" and/or inspired by that series. So there's no point in arguing which came first's pointless in her honest opinion. 

Overall, blogspot readers, go see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire while it's showing in theatres but hopefully it's not a long wait for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay since the final scenes to this movie will surprise you (unless you read the books).
Until next time, support your local scene,

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