THE HUNGER GAMES: Catching Fire Opens Friday!

I had the opportunity to see a press screening of Hunger Games: Catching Fire yesterday morning thanks to a relationship I have with Allied. I’ve been super excited to see this movie from the moment I walked out of the first movie in the trilogy.
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I actually am in the minority when I say that seeing the first movie inspired me to read all three books in the trilogy {which I did within a week}. Prior to seeing that first movie I wasn’t quite sure what the hype was about and had even equated the popularity to a teeny-bop thing.

All this to say, I was wrong. So very wrong and I quickly have become a huge fan of the entire Hunger Games storyline and movie.

Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens nationwide Friday and tickets can be purchased in advance.

For those that aren’t familiar with the story line, Catching Fire picks up where the first movie left off. Katniss Everdeen {Jennifer Lawrence} and Peeta Malark {Josh Hutcherson} won the Hunger Games and are now living in Victor’s Village in District 12. President Snow {Donald Sutherland} isn’t happy with Katniss and while he knows the people like her, he doesn’t like the ‘hope’ the districts are finding in her and he wants her killed. The idea is born to have the third quarter quell Hunger Games and call together all the previous winners to compete once again.
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The movie starts off and spends a lot of time in District 12 and also on a tour of the other districts. It’s not until nearly 90 minutes into the movie that the actual “games” begin and take place, however I actually liked that they did so much character building and background.

Previous winners included Johanna Mason {Jena Malone}, Finnick {Sam Flaflin}, Brutus {Bruno Gunn} and Enobaria {Meta Golding}. I was fortunate enough to meet the four of them earlier this month at a Hunger Games press tour here in Minneapolis. Local blogger, Chrysa from Thrifty Jinxy also joined in. {Her interview write up can be seen here.}

I was especially curious if any of the four actors I met had been interested in the Hunger Games series at all before being cast in the movie and their responses were quite interesting.

Bruno Gunn: I’d heard of it and thought it sounded cool but hadn’t read it or really gotten into it. Once I was cast I read it and wanted every single part from the book in the movie.

Meta Golding: I kind of associated it with Twilight and then I read the books and already knew what character I would be playing. I’ve never played a role that originated from a book before.
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Sam Claflin: I’m not much of a reader and when my agent called me about the audition as I did some research I learned there were three books and not enough time to read them all before the audition. {His is my favorite response!}

Jena Malone: My little sister kept asking me to read the books so finally I read all three within 48 hours after having my wisdom teeth removal surgery.

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All four noted how much physical training they went through for the movie.

Meta: It was fun to play a character so physically strong and I feel like I have gained a new skill set that I can use.

Her dream role? To play Michelle Obama if there were ever to be a memoir of the Obamas made.

And all four are enjoying the riding the wave of excitement that is The Hunger Games.

Interestingly enough, one of the things the actors enjoy is that most of the fans are fans because they were readers first and I think that you’d be hardpressed to find many similar movies that the fan base is composed of so many readers.

I especially liked what Bruno had to say about his experience in the Hunger Games: “As someone who’s been at this a long time, this was my big break and I finally am on top of that mountain but now that I’m here I see another one over there. I just want to take it all in and celebrate it.”

I thoroughly enjoyed the nearly two and a half hour movie and all the twists and turns even though I knew what would happen.

The setting and arena for the games is tropical and amazing and the producers really worked at bringing the book to life as there was a lot more book related info than the first movie.

Katniss continues to be my favorite character and Jennifer Lawrence will win awards for her excellent performance, of that I am sure. Not just the physical part of the role but also the genuine acting.

Effie {played by Elizabeth Banks} is also a fabulous, fun character with her eccentric dress and her way of trying to show Katniss and Peeta how to impress and live the capitol life.

The costumes, just as they were in the first movie, were astounding. I can only imagine how much fun the cast and crew had making the film.

The ending, isn’t much of an ending, because it’s the middle of the series. It’s not really a standalone film and I would recommend seeing the first movie before seeing this one to make the most sense. While you won’t find a happy ending full of closure, I found the ending to just make me even more excited about the final movie in the trilogy, Mockingjay.

I’ve been asked by a few people about bringing your kids. It’s tricky because obviously the Hunger Games storyline and theme is grim and ugly and intense and violent. However I view this warrior violence as different than the shooting and gun violence that seems rampant in Hollywood.

Language, minimal if at all.

There is the love story and triangle between Katniss and Peeta and Gale but there is nothing inappropriate or that would be unnecessary for kids.

It’s raged PG13 and it’s ultimately a parents perogative on whether they are ok with their child seeing the movie. Our oldest two have read the books and in turn we would be totally comfortable having them see the movie, H is border line and I really want to think about it and see if it comes up with peers and whatnot. It might be a good book and series to dive in with him {read aloud} down the road.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens NATIONWIDE this Friday!

Do you plan on seeing it? Any questions about my take or wondering any thing specific about the movie? Leave a comment and I will reply to your comments.

Comments

  1. I definitely plan on seeing it – I own and have read all 3 books of the series, and own the fist movie. Looking forward to number 2 – it was my favorite book of the series!

  2. We’re going to see it on Saturday! I’m excited! Your interviews were great – so neat to hear what the actors had to say! I had heard they might split the final film into two movies – does it sound now like it will be one? Either way I can’t wait for all of it!

  3. So jealous you got to go to a prescreening! I would have loved that! I plan on seeing it on Saturday or Sunday….I would like to go thursday night, but my friends are busy 🙁