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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
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266 out of 444 people found the following review useful:

Boring ***yawn*** Good ratings, a mystery!

1/10
Author: khushboo agrawal
29 November 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Don't waste money, no story, you don't feel for the characters. The end is so abrupt every one was waiting that at least director would give one good scene, but credits appear.

2/3 movie is about last movie and it was too hard to relate to any character and you feel what do I care...in last 30 minutes games start, no parallel story lines for other participants, again you feel I don't care if they win or loose. The action scenes are very average and the entire movie is so predictable.

It does not deserve this high rating. You will find it uninteresting and hard to retain interest for 2 hours and 40 minutes.

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255 out of 432 people found the following review useful:

Badly directed with poor dialogue.

5/10
Author: Pink Ink
25 November 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I went to see this movie after seeing that in IMDb, it got a rating of 8.3 out of 10. Even though I saw some bad reviews about it, I was certain that a movie that got such a high rating in this kind of site must have something to offer. My god was I wrong. Where do I begin?

Dialogue is poorly written and awkward at times. For example, when Peeta finds a pearl in the clam he just tells Katniss "For you" or something, and she replies with "Thanks" and takes the pearl. Wow. Just wow. What was the screenwriter or whoever writes that thing thinking? I honestly started laughing when I heard these lines.

Screen time is wasted and an hour and fifteen minutes into the movie, almost nothing happened and I started drifting away, something that has never happened in the first movie which I saw like three times. They did switch directors from the first movie, and it shows.

Unlike the previous Hunger Games, the sequel is plain boring, even in its most action-packed scenes, such as the toxic fog and the part where Peeta dies. So they manage to get past the fog and Peeta lives. Wooh, a twist! Everything that happens is so damn predictable and just uninteresting. Since over an hour passed until the games actually start, we don't get a chance to bond with the other tributes, and we just don't care about anyone except Katniss and Peeta. The part where the old lady runs into the fog in order to "save the others" could be much more emotional for the viewer if we only cared about her!

Also, ending a movie with a cliffhanger like this is just frustrating and plain lazy. This is something you can do in a TV series, where you get to see the resolution in the next episode in a week, but when done in a movie, it is clearly a way to force us viewers to watch the next sequel in order to get a satisfying resolution and cash-in on the way. In short, the ending is disappointing and doesn't resolve anything that happened so far. Did I just pay a full price for a prequel to when the story really kicks in to action?

I can go on and on about other things, such as the poor decision-making done by some of the characters (The bare-chested tribute knifing down the genius' wife while exposing himself to Katniss shooting him in the chest) or the stereotypical depiction of soldiers being sadistic, ruthless and unmerciful like robots instead of showing some small shred of humanity. I mean seriously, the Nazis weren't this cruel.

However, there are some good sides to this movie. Jennifer Lawrence acts wonderfully and does try to express some of Katniss' feelings. She does a great job. Josh Hutcherson gives a decent performance as well, playing the confused-from-love-and-fame Peeta. Other side-characters are depicted very well, and the overall acting in this film is superb.

Here and there there are some stronger scenes that save the movie from being a total bore, such as the fight against the baboons and Katniss and Peeta's first speech which was wonderfully acted.

Overall, this is a 5. There are some bright spots here and there in this movie, but they are just outweighed by the general boredom and heaviness of the rest of the film, and I found myself not giving a damn about nearly anything that happened on screen. Great acting and some strong scenes are burdened by poor dialogue and weak directing.

And that's pretty much it. I can't believe that this movie is believed to be one of 2013's best movies.

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295 out of 516 people found the following review useful:

Let the flames begin...

9/10
Author: Arthur Ribeiro (arthurjf1211@hotmail.com) from Brazil
16 November 2013

I was lucky enough to be able to watch the movie one week early, since it opened here in Brazil one week before the release in the US, and I must tell you this fellow The Hunger Games fans, even though my English is not even that good: Catching Fire is a GREAT experience, and one that improves over the first film in nearly every possible level.

When I first read the books, I thought that they were not only incredibly addicting and fun, but also with an important message for the youngsters (and every other person, age is not important) who read it, and that made it different from some of the other uninteresting YA books around. I really liked the trilogy, and when I watched the first adaptation, I was disappointed with some aspects and routes they went with it. It was not an horrible movie, at all, but it was not very faithful to the book and lacked the impact I found in the novel.

With that in mind, I kept my excitement in close watch with Catching Fire and went expecting a good movie and nothing more. I was welcomed with an excellent surprise: the movie followed the events of the novel whenever possible and brilliantly so, while managing to keep me on the edge of my seat, even though I knew what was going to happen the entire time.

I won't go into details about the plot of the movie, some fellow reviewers already did it probably better than I'll ever do and the chances you're familiar with it are high. So I'll go right into the review and my opinions on the picture.

Francis Lawrence was nothing short of an excellent choice for the director's chair: gone are the shaky camera action (one of my major problems with the first film) and welcome are thrilling and pumping action scenes that expertly convey the tension and ferocity of the moment. He managed to keep the violence and shock without ever crossing the line, and whoever read the books know how important this is; it's part of the plot, of the criticism and one of the main elements that make the whole point of the film. He keeps you interested and invested in the story even when nothing bombastic is happening, and that is a great achievement, something that really sets this sequel apart.

But Francis is not alone on making this movie special. His young and talented cast, lead by the always amazing Jennifer Lawrence, is ferocious and eager to invest in their characters, making you an ally (or an enemy) while watching everything unfold. Lawrence shows us again why she was the perfect choice to play the now iconic Katniss Everdeen: she makes you root for this young, brave lady every single minute of the struggle; with her sad, hopeless stare that pierces your soul to her ability to convey admirable strength when everything seems to be out of reach are phenomenal and she deserves the praise she gets.

The rest of the cast is uniformly good, but I have to highlight Jena Malone, who plays the explosive Johanna: her presence makes the screen on fire whenever she's in, mixing the perfect amount of attitude and humor. A particular scene involving an elevator and a fancy dress is at the same time hilarious and shocking, just like her character. Donald Sutherland also shines as the menacing president Snow, in a restrained performance that doesn't need too many words spoken to make you think twice on how dangerous he is.

The set pieces are also vastly improved upon: bigger, more ambitious and work perfectly in sync with the action to make for some really unforgettable moments. The arena looks beautiful and foreboding, hiding it's dangers behind the shining green water. So does the bizarre Capitol and the Districts, full of sadness and fear, two dichotomies in every aspect.

But what I really liked about the movie was that they didn't shy away from the political aspects from the novel and conveyed the despair and oppression imposed by the Capitol over the rest of Panem. It makes you think that all of this is happening around the world, in one way or another, maybe masquerade, but it is. It's sad that many teenagers are only in this ride for the hot action and beautiful people (some screaming girls in the movie theater I went only confirm this. They were not the majority, it was packed and most people were also extremely annoyed by it too - every time Finnick appeared it was a screaming hell). It has so much more to offer.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire not only improves vastly upon it's predecessor: it's a great cinematic experience by itself, touching on important topics about the modern day society without losing it's thrilling core. It's not perfect, but what it does right it goes right into the bullseye. Don't let the hype or the teen fury on this fool you: it is entertainment at it's best.

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197 out of 323 people found the following review useful:

Catching Zzzzzs

1/10
Author: cultfilmfreaksdotcom from Orange County, CA
23 November 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Before you catch fire this weekend, be sure to rewatch THE HUNGER GAMES, because for the first half of this brooding, inferior sequel, the characters do nothing but wallow in their extremely complicated past…

With banal, pretentious dialogue even worse than a soap opera, the teen-adored romantic adventure has reached an extremely corny level... Even the preparation for the games, introducing a new crop of teams and contestants, is dull and uninteresting.

The overall plot involves a post-apocalyptic world wherein The Capitol rules with an iron fist, and to avoid the threat of revolution there are televised games in which young people fight each other to the death... Making one highly resilient warrior, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), a revered folk hero risking everything for love.

Well if that sounds both intriguing and exciting, it sure was...

But this time around, the cutthroat survival aspect has been replaced by a wannabe JURRASSIC PARK with fanged baboons and other acts of bizarre nature including killer fog, thunderstorms and tidal waves…

This overly computer-generated switch-up, attempting to raise stakes from the original, ultimately leaves the audience – both within the film's game show and inside your local theater – nothing and no one to actually root for.

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155 out of 240 people found the following review useful:

Unnecessarily long, poorly directed and mostly boring

5/10
Author: Kaan Bingol from Istanbul
4 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have neither seen the first movie, nor read the book. So I should admit that I am an outsider to this Hunger Games hype. However, high expectations for this sequel among the fans and high rating at IMDb tempted me to watch it. The first thing I do not really get is 8.3 rating here. My ratings and IMDb ratings have never fallen that apart in recent years!

The first 1:30 hours, (ie complete duration of a regular feature film) is definitely one of the most boring fist halves I have ever seen. The story evolves but without any strategic emphasis or proofs on none of the important plots of the story. The directing was so weak that I would not understand a real uprising is baking among the districts, if president Snow had explicitly informed us about that risk previously in the opening. The Victors' Tour meeting scenes were definitely far from adequate to reflect the revolutionary atmosphere in the districts.

Jennifer Lawrence's performance is one of the good things in the movie. In fact, in some parts her lead was the only reason to stay focused. But despite her acting performance we could not get her actual view of the events. The hope she creates in the people, or what she really cares, even her indecision between two man was not properly explored. And considering this superficial character building for the lead role, I am not surprised none of the other characters had a chance to become real. Shallow characters wasted a lot of drama during the film, especially in the more intense action scenes. Director's understanding of character building is having mere close-ups on beautiful face of Katniss Everdeen.

President Snow can not escape from the fate of being a shallow character. While Snow is the symbol of the authoritarian government, his character was only partly revealed and the director misses the valuable moments with sub par dialogs between Snow and his grand daughter, or others to create a solid portrait of a man of power and loneliness.

Finally, in the second half, the action starts. Despite the quality of the cinematography even action scenes can not surround you enough. As an important example, the idea of poisonous fog is a brilliant one, but the chase between the spreading fog and Katniss and her allies is not thrilling or even believable at all.

The final is the worst part. The whole final scene rushed into a mere couple of minutes to miss and ruin many important aspects of the story. Revealing the revolutionaries, explaining the whole grand plan behind the 75th hunger game are all squeezed into 2-3 sequences in the last 5 minutes. This short and economical final is of course a choice of director Francis Lawrence but then why did he kill us by boredom of around two and a half hours?

And of course the final scene is like a teaser of a TV series for inviting the audience to the third hunger games. No Sir, movies should be complete even if there will be planned sequels. There is a start and an end to the movies, at least the ones I prefer to watch.

So, why I still gave it a 5/10. I think this very poorly directed story is indeed interesting and progressive. The Capital, suppressed and poor districts, growing feeling of injustice, police terror, authoritarian and corrupt government and dictator Snow. All make up a good setting for a dystopian yet realistic sci-fi atmosphere. But director trivializes this brilliant story. Still Jennifer Lawrence leads the movie with her strong character. Cinematography is good, despite lacking in drama especially in action scenes. So the story would have really made it big in the big screen. But in the hands of Francis Lawrence, it became a boring and long sci-fi flick.

While I was leaving the theater, I was still trying to understand why it got 8.3 from IMDb. Fans?

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158 out of 252 people found the following review useful:

Unwatchable nonsense, as stupid as can be.

1/10
Author: headly66 from New Jersey
12 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This elaborate mess of a movie couldn't be more boring and silly. The premise is astoundingly dumb, far worse than the original and a non existent plot you can see coming a mile away.

The acting is wooden, the emotions fake and the direction dull.

I would say this is for kids if not for the whole murder aspect but you would have to be a child to like it. It comes off so hammy and unreal. I think I was about to fall asleep about ten times.

Please don't make a third one.

This is what we can expect from a generation of writers who have no sense of real drama, the Harry Potter and Twilight crowd who flock to this garbage like a moth to a flame and come out raving about it.

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163 out of 263 people found the following review useful:

What a sad joke ..

3/10
Author: Dan Mimis from US
5 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Really childish movie, this planet is going dumber by the minute. Obviously the dudes well-connected enough to write for Hollywood can't … umm … write.

Just a few points: (1) not one intelligent (or at least funny) line of dialog in over 140 minutes; (2) The "Games" started after 81 worthless minutes; can't they afford to hire some reasonably intelligent dude to do some editing?; (3) The characters were one-dimensional (like in some fourth grader first attempt at writing): the big bro and the peace keepers-- ALL-EVIL, while Jennifer and her buddies were ALL-WONDERFUL; (4) The "Games" were ridiculously uncreative: poisonous fog that can be treated with water, really?!; (5) Not one twist during 146 min, except for the lame one (cuz it was overly expected, since it has to be at least some twist in any movie, right?) with the games director in the end.

If you're not part of the ridiculous tribe of low IQed 11-yo schoolgirls worshiping Bieber: RUN! My rating: 3/10

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132 out of 219 people found the following review useful:

A Waste of Money, I Felt Truly Ripped Off

1/10
Author: David Christensen from Seoul
2 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

OK, I'm not sure how I can review this one without dropping a few spoilers here and there, so I marked this one as "contains spoilers", just in case. First, you need to know the point of view from which I approached this movie...in order to understand why I rated it awful. I did not read the books. I did not read any of the books. In fact, I can't remember a single book I have read in the past 10 years or so. I *DID* however see the first movie in the series, Hunger Games. I went to see Hunger Games only because I'd read it was a really good movie. I was NOT disappointed. Hunger Games (the first movie) was one of the best movies I have ever seen! 10/10, simply awesome!!!

In fact, it was because I enjoyed the FIRST movie so much that I felt I definitely had to see the SECOND movie in the theater.

And so I went to the second movie knowing NOTHING about it, other than having remembered that the first movie was awesome...

The first hour or so of Catching Fire was pretty boring. But it was easy to sit through it, as it was building anticipation for the action that you knew was coming. And oh yes, there was plenty of action to come later. But just as quickly as the action started, the action ended.

In fact, as the credits were rolling, I was glued to my seat. I was refusing to believe that it was over.

I've had a couple of days to ponder how to review this movie. At first, I was thinking something along the lines of... "It seems like the producers ran out of money halfway through filming, but decided to release it unfinished anyway..." But later, I realized... What I'd just watched (Catching Fire) was actually a two-hour trailer for Hunger Games 3.

No conclusion of plot here, just setting up plot for a future movie. I paid 10 bucks to watch a trailer. I feel ripped off.

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117 out of 203 people found the following review useful:

Awful

1/10
Author: Renārs Grebežs from Latvia
15 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Where do I begin? Of course the length. It's just ridiculously long, without anything that would make the viewer interested in, without principles or a cause. The main protagonist is a dumb little girl who can't even fathom her convictions, let alone hold on to them. She has a guy loving her, working in the MINES, while she's pretending not to like the parade of her and her "victorious" boyfriend from the games and all the posh show-off that happens. When the guy opens up to her and shows her that more than *she* matters, and the fact that he won't just run off with her, while all the rest stay in misery, all she can do is just leave. Then there's the other (long) part of the movie where she just starts to create this whole different relationship, while her lover is left behind the screen. What sort of morality is this movie trying to portray? Is this what the western world is moving towards to? Just awful.

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52 out of 89 people found the following review useful:

a passable prologue and a most disappointing ending ...

2/10
Author: txbangert from United Kingdom
8 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Really, this movie has a quite nice prologue ... but as it turns out its all prologue. We see the home front, then a tour of the provinces, followed by the splendour of the capital. A spectacular triumph for the survivors of the gladiatorial games of the past. All the competitors are given a nice blade-runner like intro sequence. They each have a 'special skill' (ie. sort of a super-power). Just in case you missed this, they get another intro via an all-live all-province glammed up TV interview. Very flash! But it is all building up to the 'games' and when we finally get to those games they are over before they really get started.

And it turns out this time its a team sport rather than a first person shooter type of game as in the first movie. Our heroine of course is pretty good with a bow (her 'super power'). But when it comes to choosing team-mates that's when the plot starts to fall down. In a fight to the death with no chance of a reprieve do you (a) choose the carnivorous teeth sharpened jugular biting woman from the district where they have to go head to head with large vicious baboons ('think beauty and the beast -- she's both') or (b) do you choose the nice little old lady who dabbles with healing herbs? Do you go for the guy who can throw a spear with enough force to mow down 5 holograms in a row or do you choose the weirdos in the corner puttering about with the arts & crafts who the others nickname "nuts and volts". Maybe 'Volts' is a misunderstood genius but the herb lady is so old and arthritic she has to be carried everywhere she goes, and her herbs are pretty much useless.

So OK, our heroine is pretty good with a bow but is not very smart and is useless at picking team-mates. But she has an adviser who should know what he is doing; who tells her 'stay away from nuts & volts ... and don't even think about that nice little old lady'. But who does she end up with as team-mates? How does this happen? Its not exactly clear. Supposedly they are planning the great 'revolution', but its not a revolution that our heroine wants any part of. She seems to have no political ideas, and no ideas on how to win the games. I'm quite partial to revolution and political ideas (like Terry Gilliam's Brazil) but actually there is nothing revolutionary or political in this movie. It makes Luke Skywalker look like he has a PhD in political science, so devoid is it of any real social commentary or political insight. OK, she comes from a remote mining district and so is not very well educated, and has little to no social skills or political savvy. And the older wiser authority figure is no Obi-Wan Kenobi who can tell her what is happening or given any useful advice (his special skill seems to be drinking straight from the bottle). And so she gets it into her small unthinking mind that she should sacrifice herself for her 'great love Peeta' (or as we would call him ... Peter). Never mind that she does not really care for him and that their 'love' is a ploy by the state to keep the masses contented. He is a bit like her gay best friend ... useless, no special skills of any kind, always falling over, running into force fields and that kind of thing ... but looks good on TV and and gives good motivational speeches. So of course he is on her team ... and when we finally get to the games she is constantly mumbling 'we have to save Peeta'. That gets old really fast! For 2 hours we wait for these great games to get started (which are supposed to entertain and thrill the entire world's population) and then all we get is a bit of wandering around in the jungle and mumbling about how 'Peeta' must survive. Even though the old lady with the herbs and who need a wheelchair is more likely to live longer than this toyboy! There is no fighting, no devious plots, no 'thumbs up or thumbs down' moments. What is the first thing that happens? 'Peeta' runs into a force field (despite having been given a tutorial about detecting force fields). He should have been blown to bits but seemingly by magic he is brought back to life (no, not by the herb lady -- that would have made too much sense).

Once they've wandered around the jungle a bit they need a plan. The 'game makers' have left a spool of cable lying about and 'Volts' immediately comes up with a 'plan' that is just a rehash of the one he used to win (by some miracle it seems) a previous game. Past games are of course televised and studied by all the gladiators, so anyone could tell you will end in disaster ... and of course it does turn out to be a complete disaster. But then just before being blasted to oblivion our heroine comes up with the idea of plugging an extension cord from the bedroom socket into the kitchen socket. Will this form the great infinite electrical loop that will destroy the world's electrical grid? All that will happen is that if you are not careful you will get a nasty shock and die. And we would say good riddance to them. But our heroine (as if by magic) survives the nasty shock, being only stunned ... but is mistaken for dead by the 'game makers' who helicopter her seemingly dead body out. Depriving us of the GAME! The title being "Hunger Games" ... and the so called 'games' end seemingly before they have begun. Games which we have waited more than 2 hours to get started. Now that is a disappointment!

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