The Garden Filled With Weeds

Movie Reviews, ACG and Cosplay Discussion, or just any rambling topics that come to my mind.

[Movie Review] The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – A True Revolution December 7, 2013


IMDB: 8.2

Rotten Tomatoes: 89% [Certified Fresh]

Metacritics: 75%

My rating: 9/10

For many years, teenage fiction film adaptions were always judged on another scale.

A different scale from the usual movies, one that is arguably more lenient and taken less seriously.

With past examples like Twilight and Percy Jackson, the first Hunger Games movie created a good impression, increased book sales, brought in some money…

But this one, Catching Fire, is where the real revolution begins.

This film just straight up leapt the franchise onto a whole new level.

The last time this happened, I remember it was Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, where the first Batman Begins was pretty good, but the second just reached such a new height that it impressed everyone, including those who initially were doubtful about it.

A clarification, I’ve read part of the first book, didn’t finish it due to time issues, so I went into this movie with the minimum expectation of the first movie. It’s one of the things I like doing, it allows me to judge a movie as a movie itself, without prior prejudice and expectations because of the book.

One of the first thing I have to praise, is the pacing of this movie.

This movie is just so engaging that I didn’t realise how much time went past by the time this movie ended.

I remember a secondary school teacher told me once before, that a good movie, is supposed to make you not think about anything else, but the movie itself, while you’re watching it. It’s like marrying yourself to the movie for that short moment of time, fully getting inside the world.

And this movie did exactly that, I was into this movie the whole entire time I’m watching it.

It’s a roller coaster ride of events, and a real exciting one.

Another thing is the characters. One of the minor problem I had with the previous Hunger Games movie was that, I didn’t care much for the characters, only a few like Rue and Katniss, but the rest of them you don’t feel that attached to.

However in this one, some of the character’s death just outright breaks your heart, and even if it didn’t, you wish they didn’t die.

They portrayed these character in a way that you start feeling empathy for them, you start to like them, get attached to them, and so losing them became a big deal.

Many had praised Jena Malone’s performance, and I must say, she is amazing, she killed it in every scene, I really want to see more of her, I can’t get enough of her.

I want her to become the next big thing in Hollywood so I can see more of her performance, I think The Hunger Games franchise has the potential to help many uprising stars to become Hollywood’s next big star, like what it did for Jennifer Lawrence.

Talking about characters, in this one, the chemistry between the casts is greatly improved.

You could really feel Katniss and Peeta being stuck in this awkward position where things were supposed to be an act, but it hurts Peeta, and Katniss doesn’t know how to handle it.

In the last one I barely felt anything when Katniss kissed Peeta, but for this one, I actually could feel the tension between them, and I could see the feelings growing between them.

You see the growth in Effie’s character, you see the interaction between President Snow and his granddaughter, which are all really really well established, even though it’s just a few sentences, or a look on their faces.

One thing I’m very grateful about is that they no longer used the same amount of shaky-cam, I’m really not a fan of the misuse of shaky-cam, and I can’t be more grateful for this movie to be more stable than the previous one.

I’m not sure is it just me, or the lack of shaky-cam actually made this movie feel a lot more cinematic, it feels more big-scale, and I guess when you have enough money for a movie, you don’t have to hide things with shaky-cam.

The world of Panem becomes a little more familiar to us in this one.

In the previous one, we just know one or two things about it, but in this one, we get a little more details to the different districts, mainly thanks to the more significant existence of the tributes this time.

The director, Francis Lawrence, I’ve never watched any other movie of his, I just know he directed I Am Legend, and he started off as a music video director before stepping into film.

I have a feeling that this franchise is going to help his career, he’s definitely going to be one of the names people will start looking out for, at least I will have some faith in him when I see his name on a movie poster.

This movie proves that he can take on blockbuster movie and present a masterpiece in a short amount of time.

I am really excited for the next one, I think I’m definitely gonna pick up the books again and finish it.

I want to dive deeper into the world of Panem, I want to find out more about each of the characters, I wish Suzanne Collins continue the franchise and write more spin-off books. Maybe about the first Hunger Games ever, or just the history of the first rebellion.

Of course we don’t know will that ever happen, but that definitely shows that this franchise is getting successful.

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[Movie Review] The Hunger Games – That Game About Survival March 27, 2012


Rating:

IMDB – 8.0

Rotten Tomatoes – 85% Certified Fresh

My own – 8.0, cause they rushed the second part

The theme about people being put into a fight, and kill each other, then only the last can survive and get all the glory, had been told many times.

I see a lot of people comparing The Hunger Games to Battle Royale, well, as someone who loves Anime too, I can tell you, the theme had been told in Animes too, Rozen Maiden, Sekirei, Mai Hime… It’s not just THG, it’s just a theme, idea, and it all depends on how it’s presented, which in my opinion, THG did an excellent job presenting this theme, however Battle Royale is still a classic, just presented in a pretty different way.

They’re both fucking awesome, so let’s stop quarreling and move on with our lives, okay? ^_^

Back to the topic, I have never read the books, so I watched the movie without any expectation.

I thought it’s actually a good way, I did this when I went to watch Angels and Demon too, then I read the book, and the experience was a lot more enjoyable.

Because the movie will definitely leave some details out, let’s say it’s just a 75% of the original, and then when you went from 75% of the story to 100% in the book, you will feel more fulfilled.

Also I think if a movie can survive on it’s own, without people having to read the book to enjoy it fully, then it can be considered a good one.

So I’ve decided that I won’t read Catching Fire and Mockingjay until I finish the movie, despite already getting my hands on all the three ebooks.

Also since I watched the movie without any idea how the original is like, I enjoyed it to the fullest.

It’s a rather teen friendly movie, without too much gore and blood, so people like me who are afraid of blood, go ahead and watch it.

I have to say the idea of the entire story is brilliant, despite being presented in the future, it has some link to the current world.

I also love how it has the depth about the society instead of a story just about kids killing kids, cause if it’s a story about that it’ll become a really bad movie just like The Human Centipede(I know, ew), which is made only for human’s amusement and sadistic nature, which honestly in my opinion, is truly distubing.

The author probably wants people to feel the imbalance of the world, how in Capitol people can be so rich, and how in the 12 districts people can be so poor.

Also how sadistic humans are some times, to see a game of killing without feeling sense of pity.

You might think this is just a story, but what the author wrote are exactly what is happening in the world now, which is why I love  the setting and story so much.

Yet despite the cold-blooded-ness of the people in the Capitol, the theme of care and love is not completely absent in the story, especially Katniss’s love for her sister and Rue.

I’ve always wanted to write a book like that, hidden meaning about life and how sad the world is, yet giving people hope that humanity is still alive.

The characters are each so interesting and well presented, even the side characters, that you just want to see more of them, especially Cinna, Haymitch and Rue, they made me fell deeply in love with them within just the short while they’re on the screen.

They’re like a star on their own, each so special and interesting, if only they had told the story of the tributes too so that their death will mean something more to the audience.

Jennifer Lawrance did an awesome job portraying Katniss, despite the lack of olive skin(which is told in the book), I already loved her when I watch X-Men: First Class, I’m glad this movie became a blockbuster and she’s probably going to become even more famous(in a good way) than Kristen Stewart.

Josh Hutcherson is of course, simply gorgeous, though I kind of hated Peeta at the beginning, but when I really know about how this character is like, Josh’s version of him just can’t help but to make me feel something towards him. I mean just look at those eyes.

I will definitely give the movie a 10 if they kept up to the standard before the tributes start fighting.

The game was disappointing, even from the perspective from someone who had never read the book.

It was too rushed, the fight between the tributes didn’t create much of an impact for me like the first half of the movie.

It only brought my emotions back again when Rue appeared, then got killed, I swear she is the most adorable thing ever, even cuter than Prim in my honest opinion.

Out of topic: For those who are expecting her to be white because she remind Katniss of Prim, well fuck you racist bastard. She’s the most adorable thing no matter what her race or ‘color’ is, so shut the fuck up and stop making the fandom look like a bunch of dumb teenagers, I don’t want to relate THG with Twilight.

I expected everyone except Katniss to die, so Peeta’s survival is really a twist to the story, a rather interesting one too.

One thing I hate about this movie, the action is way too little, and when they finally fight the camera man shakes like he got tickled by a monkey in the forest.

I have mentioned this before, I absolutely hate Hollywood’s style of shaking their camera during action scenes.

Until now they still don’t get it, we don’t feel as if we’re fighting inside too, we just want to see some hot blood action, learn from Hong Kong movies.

The highlight of the story is how they fight, how they survive, the desperation, the thirst for victory… Which is presented rather hastily in the movie.

 

The ending was also sort of rushed, I heard many people saying that the very important part which Peeta realizing everything Katniss did was just for the games was not shown in the movie, which is a complete pity.

 

Because the movie ended like a Disney movie, so happy, everyone is happy, I’d love the depth and angst if the original part was told in the movie too, because that way the happiness wouldn’t become so artificial and forced.

Anyway, overall I would give this movie an 8, definitely worth watching no matter have you ever read the book, but beware, after watching you can’t help but to want to know more about it, so watch at your own risk. 8D

Also I’m wondering why is it that when Hollywood does a adaptation of their own country’s story, they do a good job, but when they touch Japanese stories(Anime, video games, horror movie), they ruin it.

Please don’t ever touch Death Note and make my L an emo kid and my Light Yagami some playboy who I won’t even find handsome.

It’s a rather short review, cause I really can’t say much about how awesome it is, it created an impact to me just like how Indiana Jones did, been a while since a movie did this to me.

I’m also happy to hear about how well the reception is and how much money it’s been earning, because I heard they will only make a second movie if they actually earn enough money, which they already did.

Catching Fire is already planned I suppose, if not I’ll cry a river and drown the world, I mean all of us who loved the movie, right?

That’s all folks. 8D

PS: Yes I was filling up the post with pictures from the movie =w= Sorry cause the review is really kind of short.

 

 
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