Escape to the Movies: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

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So If I came in waiting for a Movie version of Guns of the Patriots, Portable Ops or Peace Walker like how #1 was the movie version of Snake Eater then I'm going to leave disapointed?

The insurmountable problem with filming the Hunger Games novels is that everything interesting takes place inside Katniss's head. Taking away her interior monologue and everything she's bottling up inside (until that moment on stage at the end of the third book when she finally works out the only solution) and there's not much to see -- a big problem when translating the story to a visual medium.

I don't get the the appeal of this series. The premise seems very nonsensical to me, to the point were I don't want to watch or read the story.
I saw the first movie with a friend and it was okay. Kinda want to watch the sequel if only because the positive reviews have me curious.

Draconalis:
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.

You're absolutely right imo. The first one is a so-so BR adaptation (while the novel may be unrelated, you cannot convince me that the first film doesn't borrow from BR for its death-battle drama scenes). If this new Hunger Games doesn't even give us death-battle drama, then what are we watching it for?

I did sort of like the, Bob calls it made-for-TV quality, cheesy training sequence in the first film admittedly. Especially the train scene with Pizza and Catalyst's functioning alcoholic mentor. But even if most of Catching Fire is like that, it still doesn't make it worth watching.

It seriously does not make sense how they can create life from thin air but cannot function without their underpaid labor force though.

For anyone unsure or on the fence about Frozen, just google or youtube search "frozen japanese trailer" and watch that and then decide if it's a movie that you'd want to see. It's fitting that the people who made Wreck It Ralph also made Frozen, since the US trailers for both movies are totally misleading.

DTWolfwood:
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.

You complain that Hunger Games was a cop-out because two people got to live at the end, then say that Battle Royale is so much better. You remember how Battle Royale ended, right?

ImBigBob:
You complain that Hunger Games was a cop-out because two people got to live at the end, then say that Battle Royale is so much better. You remember how Battle Royale ended, right?

DTWolfwood:
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.

It's funny. I bought the last 2 tomes of the manga today :D
That's a dystopian future, free-for-all coincidence if I ever saw one ;)
OT: I bet Donald Sutherland is the secret good guy. (Haven't seen the movies or read the books)

I don't really like the premise so I wasn't planning to see it, but it did sound pretty interesting until you mentioned that's its mostly just a bunch of teenagers hiding in various places.

First off, Bob, avoid the random name thing. It was mildly funny in the first review, but now it's just beating a dead horse. We get it, they have weird names.

Second, My main gripe with the movie is being expected to believe these so called "Veterans" of the games are supposed to be more dangerous than normal, despite the fact that they've been living in the lap of luxury for years if not decades. They had no reason to keep up their combat and survival training, so the idea that they did "Just because" is jarring.

Andrew Siribohdi:
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.

I haven't read the hunger games, so I can't be sure how true that is, but a problem directors seem to face is trying to bring elements of a book whole sale when it won't work in the medium they are working with.

In a book, having characters die for other reasons far away from our protagonists is fine, since your going to have to be using your imagination anyway to know how things look. In a movie, however, having somebody you have dedicated any amount of screen time to, particularly in an arena style fighting story, is really poor form. You show somebody a gun, you actually use it. You show people who you say are going to fight to the death, you NEED to have them fight to the death.

I do wonder if they cut it out to make sure this thing could maintain a PG-13 rating.

The main love with the series is that the books are less shit, and that because it is still targeted to teens, less shit seems like it's amazing. So the movies more or less are riding the coat tails of the books.

Imp Emissary:

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 really wanna know what this song is.

I still have a bitter taste in my mouth since the whole no more 2D thing... thats one thing I just can't let go of Disney and it's you fault! Giving me a childhood with magic like Hercules and Mulan and than saying 'NO, NO MORE FOR YOU! YOU LIKE TANGLED NOW.'

Yeah, I thaught Tangled was alright, visually bland though. The faces were very much Disney but wheres the creativity, the swirls of Hercules, the tapestry back drops of Sleeping Beauty, the sketchy pencil lines of 101 Dalmations- GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!

Bob, you've done it again! The silly name switching, the Mortal Kombat fake-out, the calling out the whole ridiculous premise of this series, all hilarious! I just knew you'd hate this, and I'm right! You should come up with your own shorthand word to describe these kinds of movies, like how Yahtzee called modern military FPS's "Spunkgargleweewee". It was odd, though, that you praised the director because he also did Constantine and I Am Legend (not exactly classics).

Story:
I don't get the the appeal of this series. The premise seems very nonsensical to me, to the point were I don't want to watch or read the story.
I saw the first movie with a friend and it was okay. Kinda want to watch the sequel if only because the positive reviews have me curious.

I sounds to me like the author, Suzanne Collins, wanted to play Soapbox Sadie with her Anvilicous message more than craft an engaging story with complex, relatable characters that would appeal to more than depressed teenage girls and armchair revolutionaries.

Draconalis:
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.

Well the first Battle Royal live action movie. The sequel seems to be an exercise in how hard can we jump the shark to kill the live action franchise. Which is a damn shame to kill all the potential for more films we got from the first film.

Re: Frozen ad campaign tag at the end of the video.

Getting echos of Brave here? That had horribly misleading trailers as well...

About that bump at the end concerning Frozen...I'd gathered from the trailers that the movie is probably going to be crap...is Bob implying that it isn't or is he saying the trailers make it look a lot better than it actually is? I'm also surprised Bob didn't have a final "Happy 22nd" bump featuring a picture of Cat-Kigu-Mario or something.

ImBigBob:

DTWolfwood:
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.

You complain that Hunger Games was a cop-out because two people got to live at the end, then say that Battle Royale is so much better. You remember how Battle Royale ended, right?

Yes but do you remember that the survivors in BR are considered fugitives and are hunted for the rest of their lives, they didn't get rewarded with fame and fortune for disobeying.

no shit that whole "look at all these AWESOME combatants!" is a goddamned letdown. Seriously, if you're gonna throw some people that were straight out of a Futaro Yamada (The Kouga Ninja Scrolls, Samurai Reincarnation, and an inspiration for the anime classic Ninja Scroll) or Hideyuki Kikuchi (Vampire Hunter D) book then for the love of Buddha USE THEM. It's not much better than that whole letdown in Twilight where we think there's going to be a giant monster battle and then nothing happens. If this had been Ninja Scroll Catfish would have had to kill EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE GUYS in spectacular fashion using her wits.

And yes, the visual metaphors can get a bit unfortunate. What's really bad about that is that kind of visual style is REALLY outdated. It was understandable in the 80s with Running Man due to the time period, but doing it in 2013 is kind of archaic.

Also, I would argue that unlike Maycrest, Samus breaks down all of TWICE in the course of her story while Katniss really is just a useless mop. Say what you will about Other M, Samus could kick the SHIT out of everything in that game with one hand tied behind her back

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.

Alternatively, the movie's just not good enough to disguise the flaws.

What's this? What's this? Bob making a Metroid Other M joke? Dear God something has happened to Bob. SOMETHING HAS HAPPENED TO BOB! ALERT THE VILLAGERS SOMETHING HAS HAPPEND TO BO-

Joke's dead yeah but you get what I mean. Bob fanboy joke... chika chika... *twiddles thumbs*

I just don't understand this obsession on how violent a movie is, and how it's the the deciding factor on whether an action movie is good or not.

Hey maybe I'm just a girl, maybe I've seen so many movies with bloodfest action fighting scenes and it's boring for me. I guess I'm just the audience for The Hunger Games but the lack of violence was the last thing on my mind on what was flawed with the movie, and there was flaws.(Part of the politics on how obvious and black and white it was, as Bob mentioned, among other things) I'm just so fucking tired with people dismissing it as "for teens" and or "a much lesser Battle Royal". But I digress, I roll my eyes when Bob praises ultra violent films for the gore and fighting, it's just not my cup of tea. Like how Hunger Games is not for most of the Quentin Tarantino loving crowd.

Ummm. Constantly skewering character names is a Yahtzee thing. Leave it to the professionals, Bob. Some of those were cringe worthy.

Dressing up as a superhero is awesome. But dressing up as a futuristic sci fi nobleman is a no go. You are so biased Bob, it is hilarious.

Ashley Blalock:

Well the first Battle Royal live action movie. The sequel seems to be an exercise in how hard can we jump the shark to kill the live action franchise. Which is a damn shame to kill all the potential for more films we got from the first film.

I've actually never seen the second one, honestly. It was hard to get ahold of when it first came out, and it's been so many years, that even in this day and age of "I think it's on Netflix" I hadn't even thought about watching it.

Shame to hear it's not as good as the first one...

But at least we'll always have:

I don't get the praise Battle Royal is getting. I find it to be quite mediocre. Sure the concept is pretty cool, but the execution is baad. There is next to no character development in that movie. And when there finally is any it is while the person is dying. "Oh by the way. I am glad you killed me, because I could never kill you, because I love you" *dies*. Come on people. That is just lazy writing.

ImBigBob:
You complain that Hunger Games was a cop-out because two people got to live at the end, then say that Battle Royale is so much better. You remember how Battle Royale ended, right?

To be fair... they beat the system with trickery... not popular vote and empathy.

The movie actually follows the source very well, maybe even better than the first one. So the running around avoiding the other cool tribute veterans and dealing with the horrors of the arena instead were big issues in the book as well. To be honest, it never bothered me while reading, but it definitely stood out more while watching it play out on a visual medium.

One thing I should address about the review:

Anti-gay subtext? Um... No. No, Bob. If the movie is "anti" anything, it is anti-Hollywood, anti-one-percent, anti-doing-disgusting-things-to-your-body-to-achieve-some-semblance-of-what-society-considers-to-be-"beautiful".

Yeah, it's a major reach, Bob. This fact is blatantly obvious to anyone who has any awareness of current-day American culture. So obvious that the fact that your mind even went there says more about you than it does about the movie. Seriously, critique the movie however you want, but don't spread that kind of baseless bullshit around.

DTWolfwood:

ImBigBob:

DTWolfwood:
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.

You complain that Hunger Games was a cop-out because two people got to live at the end, then say that Battle Royale is so much better. You remember how Battle Royale ended, right?

Yes but do you remember that the survivors in BR are considered fugitives and are hunted for the rest of their lives, they didn't get rewarded with fame and fortune for disobeying.

Katniss and Peeta didn't get off scot-free. The entire premise of Catching Fire is that they manipulated the capitol into sparing them. Now they have to continue putting on an image, and the capitol decided to force them to go into battle again. It's far from a "happy" ending.

Though, I will say that the tone of the ending was changed from the book to the movie. In the movie, it ends with "woo, we survived!" The book has more of a "yeah, you won, but you are SO fucked" vibe to it.

franksands:

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

I haven't finished the manga yet... because I bought them when a store stopped wanting to carry manga and put them on sale...

I have every single volume except 6... or 8... or something.

:(

uanime5:

Haven't seen the second movie, but this is false in the case of the first movie

The anti gay symbolism...?

I feel sad for you Bob.

Andrew Siribohdi:
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.

I haven't seen Catching Fire yet, but that was my impression as well. Bob's not wrong about some aspects of the books/movies but I think what's really clear is just that Bob doesn't like The Hunger Games. Or, more specifically, he may like some of the ideas and concepts in The Hunger Games but he doesn't like the actual finished product itself. The clear good and evil, the overdone Capital VS District comparisons, the "interesting" characters all dying off screen, etc. are all elements of the source material and are largely executed as they are because of the target audience of the books. Personally, I really enjoyed the books (even though I'm not part of said target audience) and am looking forward to seeing Catching Fire, but I'm not saying the movies/books are good or bad. It's just that they're clearly not what Bob is wanting out of their constituent parts.

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