Escape to the Movies: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

MovieBob follows Catalyst and Pizza as they make their way through another Hunger Games movie.

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Dammit, you got me really excited for a second when you were talking about the new characters only to find out that it's pretty much going to be like the last movie.

I mean, I'm not doubting that it's at least not bad, but...

Oh well. Probably going to see it this weekend and maybe it will surprise. Who knows...

A fair review. In defense of the source material, I think most of the faults (such as the characters getting killed off-screen) are stemmed from the original source material; this seems to be a closer adaptation than the first one was.

Came for jokes about futuristic names.

Was not disappointed.

I have to admit I still don't get why it's so popular. I mean I had friends going to the midnight release of it. Why? It really isn't that good.

The whole make up things isn't any different then what a lot of movies and Star Trek have done with facial hear, you're looking far to much into a simple visual cue.

I thought the first film was ok, it wasn't as bad as I thought it will be but none the less not a great movie (quite a few plotholes/ questionable moments in the film). By all means I ain't going to watch the sequel but I will give it a go if it aired on tv or something.

Sounds like a an action cock block in the same way that the last twilight movie was.

As to Frozen, my girlfriend's excited to see it and I dont really mind going either cause I'm still of the age mentally where I can get excited for animated movies (hence why I'm rather psyched for HTTYD 2), I kinda resigned it would be terribl or at least average and just be surprised if its not. Glad to hear the ads arent doing it justice (at least that's what i took away from it) and though I know its a kids movie so he has to be there, I cant stand that snowman character already.

I know that all my friends will want to go see this film, so I was going to go see this whether it was good or not. Good to see that it isn't particularly bad though. I liked the first movie but it was kind of terrible in some respects(I'm looking at you action scenes).

I'm looking forward to the final 2 movies. Half because I've read the book and I know how much of a train wreck it is and then half because I wonder how long Bob can keep making up names for the characters.

As for Frozen being good, HELL YEAH. I'm super pumped for this movie. Disney have made some pretty good animated films recently, like Tangled or Wreck-it Ralph, but I miss the old Disney musicals and I'm glad this is on form.

My wife had me watch the first film last night to be ready for the movie in the theater this weekend. While it was not the best thing ever it was much better then most movies. There are a lot of dogs out there. I am inclined to give the new one the benefit of the doubt going in but I am not expecting much. If it is on the level with the first one I can deal with that.

Yah know Bob, more often than not, I disagree with you, but it's fun when I don't.

Totally with you on the Hunger Games entire series. Should be really interesting, but isn't. Lots of retarded contrivances.

Also this might by your funniest video ever. I was literally almost on the floor laughing from the names.

Nice work.

I'm rather intrigued by Frozen now, too. As you mentioned, the ads looked goddamn atrocious, but I may have to check it out.

I'm going to be "that guy".

I don't even want to give this series a try because Battle Royal already exists and is awesome.

I would just spend the entire time comparing it to Battle Royal... and I doubt it can compete.

Conner42:
Dammit, you got me really excited for a second when you were talking about the new characters only to find out that it's pretty much going to be like the last movie.

The whole lead up to the "MORTAL KOMBAT!" bit was awesome. I mean, I read the books, I know its third act is weak, and yet Bob got me pumped anyhow. :lol:

It seems the biggest issue I have with the movie was the same issue I have with the book. Namely, that it seems like nothing relevant happens. They pretty much remake the premise of the entire last entry, with an entirely new cast (except for the protagonists), only to end in a cliffhanger of "awesome things to come".

In that case, congratulations, I guess; you adapted it fairly accurately. But it doesn't change the fact the trilogy could have removed the second entry, changed to a two parts series and it would loose almost nothing.

My wife will be going to this weekend, which means I'll be going along as chaperone. The first movie was solidly average, which, as far as tween book adaptations go, is about the most you could hope for. At least you get to see Donald Sutherland play the bad guy which is always fun.

What truly piqued my interest though was what Bob left unsaid concerning Frozen. I enjoy me some high quality animation, and I thought some of the shorts they've released so far looked funny. I wonder what he referring to?

I know nothing about The Hunger Games. It does not look interesting to me. But I have to say that this sounds very disappointing. All of those enemy characters die off screen? That would drive me up a wall, especially after that training footage you apparently get to see early in the moving.

On a side note, what does that comment about Frozen mean? Is the movie good, or is it shaping up to be bad? I intend to see that one right away, but that comment confuses me. What is are the trailers doing wrong? Could someone explain it to me WITHOUT spoiling the movie beyond "Girl and guy team up to stop girl's sister from freezing everything"? And don't tell me if the sister is really a good guy or bad guy.

CWestfall:
Came for jokes about futuristic names.

Was not disappointed.

Agreed.. It's almost as if Bob were channeling Yahtzee in this review.

I'll watch it nonetheless, and I will probably have fun doing so. But, really, Bob doesn't really fit my taste in movies, like, 80% of the time. So yeah. :P

Well that's a shame. You had me going for a second there.
These movies sound like they could be really good.
But is seems it can't always get people "into it" enough to distract them from the problems, or nitpicks.

Oh well. :) Maybe the third time will be the charm?

Sniper Team 4:
I know nothing about The Hunger Games. It does not look interesting to me. But I have to say that this sounds very disappointing. All of those enemy characters die off screen? That would drive me up a wall, especially after that training footage you apparently get to see early in the moving.

On a side note, what does that comment about Frozen mean? Is the movie good, or is it shaping up to be bad? I intend to see that one right away, but that comment confuses me. What is are the trailers doing wrong? Could someone explain it to me WITHOUT spoiling the movie beyond "Girl and guy team up to stop girl's sister from freezing everything"? And don't tell me if the sister is really a good guy or bad guy.

Bob was saying that the trailers were making the movie look bad, but it sounds like it isn't.

I haven't actually seen the first movie, but I've read the first book and for a while I was convinced, like I often am, that I was missing something when it came to uber popular stuff like this. The story could've gone SO much further with the premise by introducing ambiguity and moral greyness instead of the straight "good guys, bad guys" shtick. We know so little about the other participants that they become fodder and destroy tension; the citizens of the Capital are just plain stupid instead of being callous or feeling some slight regret or even just having a skewed mindset that sees the district dwellers as lesser beings or something. Hell, does anyone see the dissonance of contestants sharing their life stories with the audience who connect and sympathize with their relatable thoughts and emotions knowing they could die?

Based on other movie reviews, I thought things would go further and start bringing about the inevitable rebellion and overthrow of the Capital (again, haven't read the other books, but there's no way it's not coming). Even though I haven't really been on-board since the beginning, it's still sad to hear this was nothing but padding to milk fan dollars.

Sounds a whole lot like "look at all these cool things and think of what we can do with them. Now forget them...."

I find the idea of hunger games interesting but the first movie wasn't awful but not really good this sounds like more of the same... Witch is to bad since it has some things speaking for it... like budget, actors etc...

PS. The names quickly got out of hand in a hilarious way.. :-)

Bob, I think they should hire you for their PR. "Sailor Scout Ted Nugent leading an armed incursion against San Francisco" sounds like a slightly more interesting film than Catnip Evergreen crying for several hours. I think their real mistake here was not getting John Carpenter to make it and pitch it to him as "just go make an Escape from NY/LA movie but with these kids."

I just wanted to say that I really hated the trailers for Frozen.

I have a feeling I'm really not going to like that snowman...

just hearing the whole kill off screen bit was double sad for me, as my gamer heart beat a extra beat when Bob made the rival champions sound like bosses from a 1980-90 game.

I have not watched, but I picked up the first one on netflix, and I thought it was horribly boring.
I feel that the relentlessly PG-13 execution is at odds with it's more extreme ideas.

Also.. I wouldn't say reading the sub-subtext would be stupid, after all the metaphors here are laid as thick as they can be. So it's not surprising that on it's search for the really blunt social message it ends up shooting itself in the foot and rather thoughtlessly proposing some rather stupid concepts... I mean, it already does.

I seriously find that some of these authors need to stop basing their plots in self-help telenovela mouthwash comercial material, and start actually reading classic literature, or maybe having a plan before they start writing their books, because ever since Harry Potter, these "teenage-taking the world by storm so that kids read again" books are shameful exercises in shallowness.

So.. yeah, I don't expect much from this... So I guess in that sense we agree.

btw, the degeneration of the protagonist's name is funny when Yahtzee does it, but he normally tries to keep it kind of coherent or pointed in a logical direction, your "Cataract" and "Catholic fancyfee?" (etc...) are more distracting and pointless than anything else.

also, aren't we going a bit too overboard with the accent? We all know you can perfectly speak without it, so why force it so much?

While I haven't watched the movie (yet), I'm going to chime in on one of the points, about how it seems like the Capital is like San Francisco - and the implication that there is a bit of homophobia going on here, and take on part of one of the criticisms of the series as a whole, as to why it took 75 years for the Districts to start rebelling.

Something that I thought was pretty clear in the first movie (and all of the books) was that the people in the Capital have priorities that we are supposed to see as being terrible. They are so isolated from the rest of the world, from the 12 districts that they literally don't see the people of the districts as anything more than Tributes - and that the Hunger Games may be the only time they actually see people from the Districts on a regular basis. When you have little to no contact with a subset of people... it's hard to see them as actual human beings in the best of circumstances. (see: talking to rural Christian folk about Muslims, Goths, City folk or crime rates in cities.) When you have the potential propaganda campaign around those people being Tributes, dying for your entertainment, and that has likely been going on for your entire life (75 years now), it's going to be almost impossible for people to overcome it. Hell, we're 68 years past World War 2 and we STILL tend to think of "German" with "Evil". We treat it like it's a joke - speaking German romantically is considered hilarious to a large swath of people - but there's still a tendency to have evil characters speak German, have links to Germany in one way or another (See: Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb) - and we're the Good Guys here. We allow ourselves to treat German and Germans like this due to the crimes that Nazi Germany committed in WWII. Take it to an extreme, have Germany win in WWII, and you could see the Russians, British and Americans be characterized in far worse ways by the Nazi's.

As for how this could happen and continue to happen for 75 years? Slavery in America lasted for hundreds of years. Metaphorically, I see the people of the Capital are sort of like White Americans from the 17th, 18th and early 19th century, and the people of the Districts are sort of like the Slaves in America - all of the slaves are hideously mistreated due to just happening to be of direct African descent, but most of the Whites are just clueless. They were born into a society where they were on top and AA's were not human, so that's they way it's supposed to be. When they do see the mistreatment of individual slaves, either it's ignored, rationalized (the slave deserves to be lynched) or encouraged by the majority of the ruling class. Sons watch their fathers beat slaves to work faster and learn that this is the accepted way of doing it. Daughters are told from a young age that it's not appropriate for a lady to be seen with a slave, so they don't even try to become friendly with them. Is the son an "evil" person for growing up to beat slaves into working faster? Is the daughter an "evil" person for utterly ignoring the existence of slaves (with only a few specific exceptions, like ordering house slaves to do work and the like)? It's ambiguous at best.

Sticking with the American slavery metaphor, look at the typical clothing we tend to associate with slaves and slave owners. Slaves wear simple, practical clothing that is drab and lifeless, while many of the slave owners (particularly the women) wear clothing that is absurd. Useless and decadent at best, insulting at worst - clothing that a woman can't put on by herself but requires the aid of a slave (or two) to get into. (so not only does the owner wear something that is useless and decadent, the slaves actually have to help her get herself dressed because she can't do it herself) And what's the point of all these useless and decadent clothes? To look better in social situations. To look pretty. To do nothing of real value. (For both men and women, the women's clothing is just more obvious about it.) Or look at pre-revolution France, if you want to see men dressed up as uselessly as woman. There are plenty of examples of a ruling class dressing outrageously compared to the "lower" classes.

Got off on a bit of a tangent there, but essentially: Hunger Games is NOT Homophobic in the least and it's not a stretch of any means that this could go on for 75 years.

I like the Adam Malkovich reference! Even though Bob actually LIKED Other M, it's nice to see that he has a sense of humor about it, and much rather prefer this to his two videos defending his feelings on Other M.

Also, yes, the way Disney markets their movies suck these days. I want to see Frozen, but not because of the ads; in fact, much liked Tangled, if I was only going by the ads, I wouldn't even give this movie a second glance!

You are way over thinking this. not having any interest in reading the books I expected the first one to be a crappy twilight wanna be. What I got was all of the pretense of most current gen movies, stripped away for a very basic us versus them story.

She's good, they're bad. Its that simple in the first one. Some people who are on the low end, strive to be on the high end(the teams that took pleasure in killing), so of them just want to survive.

Its a kids book turned into a movie, not a PHD dissertation. I agree, a lot of times simplicity is the sign of a lazy or poor director, in this case I think it is all about keeping to the source material.

Apparently, the Hunger Games took place in one of the overgrown Alien Visitation Zones from Roadside Picnic, with the psy-birds and the magic fog and everything.
God help us if Little Miss Spartacus finds the Wish Granter.

lord.jeff:
The whole make up things isn't any different then what a lot of movies and Star Trek have done with facial hear, you're looking far to much into a simple visual queue.

Well, the film didn't do a good enough job of distracting from them, did it? It's the sort of things that looks fine under normal circumstances, but comes up when the journey is so slow that there is time to dwell on them.

Tono Makt:

[Snip, scroll up and read, is good post.]

Got off on a bit of a tangent there, but essentially: Hunger Games is NOT Homophobic in the least and it's not a stretch of any means that this could go on for 75 years.

I don't think that was the point, though. It wasn't a claim that The Hunger Games does have an undercurrent of homophobia, but might raise some unfortunate implications with some of the design choices. All inadvertant, of course, but you do notice them.
Not a titanic problem, but it's an interesting point. Symbolism and visuals can say something you didn't intend to say, after all.

I just have to say 2 things:

1)Man, that Mortal Kombat song is still awesome!

2)I completely agree with Draconalis, Battle Royale is so much better. The manga is even more awesome than the live action movie.

There are only going to be four huh? I thought for sure there would be at least 6-7

Still finding Bob's poking fun at the main character's name as weirdly out of place. Folks cite Yahtzee as someone who does this, and true - but he does it practically all the time. Bob just... doesn't. And it's not like there aren't targets in other movies. 'Gipsy Danger' and the other mechs from Pacific Rim seem fairly spoof worthy. *shrug* Not a huge deal, just kind of weird. Not to put too fine a point on it but for Bob its weirdly lazy - and I say out of respect because I generally agree with him and like the thought he puts thought into his reviews. Like dissing it for generating weather / biological matter / ecosystems / etc. This kind of thing snaps your suspension of disbelief in what's clearly a science fiction flick?

tangoprime:
Sailor Scout Ted Nugent leading an armed incursion against San Francisco"

I found myself laughing at this despite disagreeing with the interpretation. I think it's just the idea of Sailor Scout Ted Nugent more than anything else. Nice.

Tono Makt:
Got off on a bit of a tangent there, but essentially: Hunger Games is NOT Homophobic in the least and it's not a stretch of any means that this could go on for 75 years.

Yeah, I think that's closer to what they're going for than the Occupy movement Bob references, both in terms of the timeline and period costume references. Actually, my two cents is the central conceit that Capitol = U.S.A., District 11 = Afganistan / Iraq. The effete and weirdly dressed citizens who watch their violence from a safe remove? Yeah, that's _us_. The starving heroine forced into violence by a vastly more powerful outside antagonist? _Not us_.

As for how this could be going on for 75 years, well... Contemporary society, tweaked in a way which my suspension of disbelief can tolerate.

All that being said, I'd be lying if I said I expected much from the movie - which, I hasten to add, I have not seen. If it rises from 'made-for-tv' quality of the first one to 'average movie' I'll be politely surprised. I think the first one had to try to make due with a very small budget, though - figure it must've been greenlit mostly to keep selling books to tweens post-Twilight. (which is why the relative strength of the protagonist is a significant factor and I'm glad Bob mentioned it, if only in passing)

Dirty Apple:
My wife will be going to this weekend, which means I'll be going along as chaperone. The first movie was solidly average, which, as far as tween book adaptations go, is about the most you could hope for. At least you get to see Donald Sutherland play the bad guy which is always fun.

My bruddah from anotha mutha. Go go spousal appeasement! ;D

Only Bob could find a subliminal anti-gay message in a movie.... seriously though, from what I've seen, sounds like a reach.

OT I'm wondering what the deal with Frozen is. I had that on my "no way I'm seeing that list"... perhaps it needs to be moved...

When i saw the first in the series and the end was they both get to live, i damn near rage flipped a table. Its a complete cop out when the last two alive gets to live when the rule states only ONE gets to survive.

I'm just gonna rewatch Battle Royale again. That movie is just better :P

Nothing from the first movie made me want to see the second.

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