Sound Off: Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' - Thoughts?

November 22, 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Sound Off

Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Remember who the enemy is. Now playing in theaters everywhere is the second movie in The Hunger Games series, titled Catching Fire, picking up where The Hunger Games left off following Katniss Everdeen of Panem's District 12. Director Francis Lawrence takes over the reins of this sci-fi series, delivering a much darker but much bigger sequel. Jennifer Lawrence returns to lead the way with Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci & Elizabeth Banks. Once you've seen it, leave a comment with your thoughts on Lionsgate's Catching Fire.

Spoiler Warning: We strongly urge everyone to actually see the film before reading ahead, as there may be spoilers below. We also encourage all commenters to keep major spoilers from the film to a minimum, if possible. However, this is an open discussion from this point on! Beware of spoilers, don't ruin this film!

To fuel the fire, I thought Catching Fire was an awesome experience (and despite the shaky-cam I enjoyed the first movie/book quite a bit, too). I was continuously impressed and entertained throughout; I love how much bigger and how much darker they've expanded this world and the story. The comparisons being made to Wrath of Khan and Empire Strikes Back (and I'll toss in Matrix Reloaded) are apt in the way this sci-fi series has structured this second "middle" movie and how it delivers with a much more powerful, more emotionally poignant punch ending with a cliffhanger that leads right into the epic conclusion. Plus jumping into full-on IMAX for the 30+ minutes spent in the arena? Amazing. Great work all around, sci-fi at its best.

What did you think of Francis Lawrence's Catching Fire? Outstanding sci-fi or just terrible? We will remove any comments that indicate you have not seen the movie, as this area is meant to discuss the film only once you have seen it and can talk about your thoughts. Please keep the comments civilized!

Find more posts: Discuss, Sci-Fi, Sound Off



I loved Catching Fire! The movie was well paced and followed the book very well. The visuals were top notch! Jennifer Lawrence brought her Oscar winning and really helped evolve Katniss from the first film. She brought even more life to Katniss. The action was great! When it hit it hit and took off. I was thoroughly impressed. Can't wait to see how Lionsgate brings Mockingjay to the screen in 2 parts next year and 2015. I am team Katniss all the way! 10/10. It will be in my top 3 Sci-Fi of the year.

Tyler Cobaugh on Nov 22, 2013


I thought it was an excellent execution.

mikefly on Nov 22, 2013


The Hunger Games: Catching Fire 100% improvement compared to the horrible first film, which made my worst films of 2011. Thank you for getting a new director, Francis Lawrence, because Gary Ross seemed like he didn't know what the fuck he was doing making an action film. Lawrence brings together a grounded action film with pacing that the first one doesn't have. He gets rid of the dreadful shaky-cam that the first film has and adds nothing to the film. The editing is well put together knowing where and when to cut. I don't think I was disoriented during the action sequences in Catching Fire as I was for The Hunger Games. My biggest complaint with the first film is that basically all the characters are just lifeless walking people that I could care less about. They showed one set emotion (anger, sadness, ect) without any reason and drive behind it. With Catching Fire, the characters are actually full of life and emotion. They give reason to be angry or sad and the actors deliver on that emotion. That's all I have right now to say. I just got out of the theatre. 4/5

BryceH6 on Nov 22, 2013


As I recall, even reading Hunger Games 1, most of the characters were intentionally 1 dementional cutouts, as Katniss & Peeta didn't have the luxury of getting to know their competition. But revenge & getting pissed off, are great motivators to team up even with your "enemy" (other victors w/ Katniss), even aside from the rebellion aspect of it.

VAharleywitch on Dec 6, 2013


I thought it was very good. I really liked how they kept the whole Quarter Quell part hidden for most of the promotion time. They really did a good job on managing to combine the two halves of the book into a well paced arc in the film. It was surprisingly graphic in the violence department, which I appreciated, and the acting was sublime. Finnick Odair was probably the most different than the book, but I was okay with that. The best part of the film was when Katniss has to watch in horror as Cinna gets beatdown by Peackeepers. WOW! She is an amazing actress. Overall, I give CATCHING FIRE, 4 Angry Baboons out of 5.

DAVIDPD on Nov 23, 2013


Indeed - for those that hadn't read the books, the trailers did a great job of keeping the specifics of the Quarter Quell under wraps. Haymitch's "I have a feeling this game's gonna be different" was perfect tease & summary.

VAharleywitch on Dec 6, 2013



Ehsan Davodi on Nov 23, 2013


The first was good. Nothing great but solid. I expected this one to be the same but was much more impressed. It seemed to understand more the scope of the story it was presenting. I think Lawrence gave us a much better film than Ross did with the first and no I don't think that's just because of the material they had to work with. The direction was much smoother and the story came across as more intense. Despite the story being about kids killing kids, the first one came across as the popular high school kids bullying the less popular ones. That's the tone in conveyed. Kids just not being nice. Not brutally killing each other. I assumed that's how Catching Fire would have to be. Much better in telling the story, much better in tone.

LightningB on Nov 23, 2013


I enjoyed the first film. It was thoughtful and poignant, particularly the rush to the cornucopia where all sound was muted and you just got to watch in horror as these young people cut each other down savagely. The second one did a good job of matching the first tonally, but I found this one more entertaining. The pacing made the two and a half hours fly by, even thought I've read the book and knew what was coming. Makes me really look forward to the final chapter (cut into two by Lionsgate. Side note: Dick move Lionsgate).

fazha on Nov 23, 2013


they want ANOTHER 200mil opening weekend - Greedy Move .... I haven't read the books l was all that happened in the movie part of the 2n book ? or did Suzanne reach a little into the 3rd ....

Dominic on Nov 24, 2013


read the books they are better. no, the next two films with be book 3.

redskulllives on Nov 24, 2013


Couldn't believe the movie was over already, felt more like ONE and a half hours...

priatuu on Nov 24, 2013


maybe . I went to a 1:05 am show and it didn't FEEL like 4am after the credits but it was .. a good 20+ mins of previews helped that .Interesting that they pushed Divergent and the next Hobbit plus two sword/fantasy movies with those previews .. The 1st part in District 12 and the capital , before the "game room" , did take awhile ; about 30-40 mins for the "Games" scenes . . Those are the scenes worth paying IMAX prices for tho , seeing that scenery . For you herky-jerky camera haters , the attack on the island in the middle of the "clock" had too many fast cuts , but the rest of the action scenes were fine

Dominic on Nov 24, 2013


Entertaining flick . Yeah Why IS the 2nd movie always better and the 3rd or 4th somewhat letdowns ? Who can't sustain it , writers or actors ? JLaw has about 4 ways to cry and uses them all . She has so many close-ups , head-framed scenes , I see why salon said she dominates the movie . It's out of Katniss' hands - she's the Leader of the Revolution whether she likes it/wants to , or not . Somebody who read the 3rd book can tell us if Peeta dying is the spur for her acceptance of this role , or will they use the ending as her battle cry ? Banks and Tucci were SO damn funny ! went all out for the campyness of their roles Effie could NOT have the time to change into so many (10 ? ) outfits , much less getting the body paint on .. Somebody gets to be a hero , when they usually only play evil and venal .. yes all is scripted well . ; the one plothole I saw right away : apparently Katniss is a mutant that can recreate her fine -tipped arrows :o)) ; TWICE she shot about 10 arrows , and yet never ran out ? When their were barely 10 in the quiver when she 1st picked them up. At one point they showed 3 arrows in the quiver ; next time they showed it there were 8 .. Yeah they can say a sponsor dropped them but they should have shown it ..

Dominic on Nov 24, 2013


Peeta Did not and Does not Die.

Brian Sleider on Nov 24, 2013


cool then the flattening of her district will be the impetus for her taking the Leader role ..foreshadowed by them ending with her hard stare

Dominic on Nov 24, 2013


All I will say is the way the 3rd book plays out was amazing and by far the best of the 3, Im bummed that I will have to wait for 2 movies.

Brian Sleider on Nov 24, 2013


NOPE THE 3RD BOOK WAS A LET DOWN. The author ran out of ideas prolonged too much on the district 13 and aftermath of her district. 1st and 2nd book are the best. Peta gets brained washed and goes crazy.

redskulllives on Nov 24, 2013


I also hate who she ends up with in the end of the 3rd book. The ending was a terrible way to go with that series, I'm debating not seeing the last movie for that reason.

Ariel E. Murrills on Nov 25, 2013


Who else could she end up with at the end? She is a broken human by the end with memories of horrors only a few people alive can imagine. Makes sense to end up with a similarly broken individual.

Brian Sleider on Nov 25, 2013


Ok......but no one really agrees with you. Ran out of Ideas? LOL are you trolling? She takes MJ in directions no I know who actually read the books expected.

Brian Sleider on Nov 25, 2013


Actually quite a few people agree with them. After finishing the series and talking to several people about it, most if not all agreed the author seemed tired of writing the series before it was done and the third book paid the price.

caste on Nov 26, 2013


I disagree about "Mockingjay" being the best of the series... I think "Catching Fire" was. Frankly, I don't see how they can make "Mockingjay" into a decent flick, much less 2. It's largely talking & Katniss-headspace.

VAharleywitch on Dec 6, 2013


It obviously does not need to be 2 films, I do fear that there will be 2 very meandering movies instead of one cogent one.

Brian Sleider on Dec 6, 2013


HGCF is the Empire Strikes Back of sequels. In other words, it's perfect.

speedracer on Nov 24, 2013


At the end when she was passing out after finding out that the Capitol had Peeta I thought to myself, this feels like Empire's ending and loved it,

Brian Sleider on Nov 24, 2013


I strongly agree with all the hurrays about this movie. Excellent stuff. The only hunger I got in this movie is a little more character development for the other players, but I guess I'm gonna have to read the books for that. I also made the comparison with empire strikes back. A note to Alex : I really don't understand how you can like Matrix II and III. They were mediocre to poor as far as I am concerned.

Peter T'Sas on Nov 25, 2013


I read the books and would have also liked to see more development of the other tributes in the film, but that always happens in a adaptation.

Ksmash on Dec 10, 2013


Loved it all the way through. Yes, darker and played much more on the desperation of the tributes and those in the districts...more like the feeling in the books. Still don't love Lawrence and Hutcherson as the leads as far as looking how I pictured them in the books. However, these 2 characters arre quite complex and I believe these two were cast more for their skills. Katniss and Peeta end up being destroyed emotionally, and I'm confident these two will pull it off. Super pissed they are dragging it out into 2 films....I hate that....

Ksmash on Dec 10, 2013

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