Catching Fire--It Improves on the Book

So since I'm such a fangirl, I actually went to an 11 p.m. showing of Catching Fire. I wasn't really aware there was an 8 p.m. showing, but I went with two friends, and both had to work earlier. But there I was, in my "May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor" shirt that a friend got me for Christmas last year. The woman at the popcorn counter loved it and told me so.

But anyway, on to Catching Fire. The book goes into a good amount of detail before getting into the Quarter Quell. The movie is a bit more prompt. Katniss is in the woods with Gale, and she aims at a turkey. But it looks like a guy. To her, at least. She freaks out and Gale comforts her.

It's time for the Victory Tour, and that part is true to the book. Less than ten minutes in, the three finger salute goes up from District 11, Rue and Thresh's district. Before the tour, however, President Snow pays an unexpected visit before the tour, and tells Katniss that people throughout Panem aren't happy. The most unsettling part is Snow shows Katniss, via a hologram, a kiss that she and Gale shared. She's still supposed to be in love with Peeta, and Snow isn't quite convinced that Katniss is. He's also concerned about the threat of rebellion.

So the gang is back in District 11 for the tour, and an old man gives the three finger salute. Everyone else follows suit, and the old man is killed, execution-style.

Things don't get any better during the rest of the tour. Katniss has bad dreams: a little girl goes up to her and says someday she wants to volunteer to be a tribute.

 Then, when the Quarter Quell is announced, saying the victors will be reaped from the existing pool, Katniss runs off and sits in the woods. She talks to Haymitch, since he is the only other living victor, and says this time, they save Peeta. The reaping scene with the three of them is unintentionally funny, with one slip of paper in the bowl for Katniss, two slips of paper for Haymitch and Peeta. However, Effie Trinket is devastated. And the tributes show their anger during the interviews on stage with Caesar Flickerman. It gets worse when Peeta reveals that he and Katniss are married anyway, and that she is pregnant.

During Katniss's time on stage, she is forced to wear what would have been her wedding dress. She twirls, and it catches fire. When the flames go out, the dress has turned into a mockingjay outfit.

The Quarter Quell kicks off, only this time, the other tributes are seasoned veterans. Allies must be formed, and Katniss picks Wiress and Beetee. She's also teamed up with Peeta and Finnick, who has chosen Mags, a much older woman.

This time, the arena is in the tropics. There aren't as many touching scenes in this arena as there were in The Hunger Games. Mags sacrifices herself by running into a poisonous fog. Katniss and company struggle with dehydration and trying to figure out how to avoid the poison fog, angry monkeys, and the other tributes.

The movie pretty much follows the book, so if you've read the book, you know how the movie ends.

I'll be honest--the movie was great, but I really, really liked The Hunger Games the best, out of all the books. And of the movies, I still like The Hunger Games the best. There were more poignant moments in that movie. But this movie adaptation works. And I'll probably see it again.

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