Catching Fire Character Portraits

I like the publicity campaign (so far) for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire — these “official Capital portraits” are doing a fine job of capturing the characters in poses that look deliberately staged while sneaking in some personal characterization. You can almost see some of the characters crying out with their eyes, “I’m not really onboard with this; I’m posing because I have to.”

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens Nov. 22.

Catching Fire Promotional Posters

victorytour01And so it begins… the real promotional push in the ramp up to this fall’s big sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. (But who’s that guy photobombing Katniss?) Up until now, we’ve had to make due with some sexy set photos.

I like the idea of starting with these Victory Tour promotional posters because the campaign feels very organic. In the books, a Victory Tour was de riguer for the winner of the Hunger Games, and of course the Capital would be eager to put the best possible face on the unprecedented dual winners, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson).

Of course, you can never go wrong with plastering Jennifer’s luminous face on anything, so it’s no surprise seeing her looking awesome here — beautiful and brave and heroic…
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Hot Catching Fire Photos

I know there is more to science fiction and fantasy than DOCTOR WHO, so let’s spend today looking over some interesting photos from the Hawaiian set where they are filming the forthcoming movie The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Here we have a bunch of images of Jennifer Lawrence as Hotness Katniss Everdeen, Sam Claflin as Finnick and Lynn Cohan as Maggs. As you can see, some shots are from the beginning of the Quarter Quell, and some appear to be later action. Check out Maggs with Finnick’s trident and Finnick with Katniss’ bow!

I really like the design of the combat suits; I think they’re better than the costumes in The Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens Nov. 22, 2013.

Will Gary Ross Be the Next Causality of Hunger Games?

While I really enjoyed The Hunger Games movie adaptation, I was not enamored of the film’s direction, and despaired at the thought of Gary Ross helming the next three sequels. (Yes, the cynical and truly bad idea of splitting the last book, Mockingjay, into two movies in order to cash in one more time is still alive.)

In Hollywood, money is the only language anyone understands, and with HG raked in so much at the box office, I figured there odds would ever be not in my favor, because it looked like there was no way to get Ross off the franchise.

But yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter brought this happy news, like a parachute from a wealthy Hunger Games sponsor: Ross is apparently holding out for more money to direct the first sequel, Catching Fire. And I couldn’t be happier about his disenchantment!
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The Hunger Games (2012)

Katniss and Peeta

The Hunger Games is an intense, engaging action movie, but to understand anything deeper than a lot of kids running around in the woods trying to kill each other, you need to have read the book. The plot moves along at a lightning pace without pausing to explain anything we see except for the premise for the Hunger Games themselves – just don’t expect any explanation for why they’re called the “Hunger Games,” and not something more…exalted.

This is a violent – but not especially bloody – movie, in which the most shocking element is the premise of children fighting to the death. Virtually the entire movie is shot with an annoying shaky camera, and the action sequences are all quick-cutting blurs that make it difficult to keep track of what’s happening, which may mean (perhaps as a relief to some parents) younger members of the audience might not fully grasp that kids are beating kids to death onscreen.
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Book Review: Mockingjay

Warning: This review will not spoil Mockingjay, but you should read The Hunger Games and Catching Fire before looking at this…

After two sojourns into the arena of the Hunger Games, there was no way Katniss could back in for a third go-round. Especially since the flashes Katniss mistook for fireworks at the end of the last contest were actually bombs exploding, marking the attack of the rebels. So where can Katniss go now?

Home. Although there is little point, because President Snow ordered District 12 firebombed as soon as the rebels rescued Katniss, Finnick and Beetee from the clock arena. In the time it took Katniss to recover from her critical wounds, she realized that she was taken to District 13, which was not completely destroyed as the Capitol claimed. The surviving population moved underground and organized a rebel force to overthrow the hated Capitol.
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Book Review: Catching Fire

Although this review will not spoil Catching Fire, you should read The Hunger Games before checking out this review…

The sequel to The Hunger Games faced a big problem: Readers have already experienced the thrill (and repulsion) of entering the arena for the 74th Hunger Games, so what could author Suzanne Collins do to follow up that masterpiece? The answer she came up with for Catching fire was to pick up the story shortly after it ended in the first book.

Katniss and Peeta are about to embark upon their Victory Tour as unprecedented co-winners of the Hunger Games when Panem President Snow suddenly appears in Katniss’ home and expresses his doubt that Katniss really loves Peeta. He recognizes that the gambit with the berries signaled defiance against the Capitol, and that small act could blossom into widespread revolution, unless Katniss and Peeta can sell their love story on the Victory Tour.
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Book Review: The Hunger Games

Just about everyone on the planet is foaming at the mouth – or is that just me? – to see the movie adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novel The Hunger Games, whether they have read the book or not. Those of you who have are lucky; for the rest of you, here is a no-spoiler review of the novel.

The Hunger Games is set in a remote future, where the nation of Panem has risen from the ashes of our United States. The Capitol is located in the Rocky Mountains (probably near where Denver used to be), and the rest of the country has been divided into 12 districts (there used to be 13), each specializing in a particular industry, say, fishing or agriculture. The old District 13 used to specialize in nuclear development, but they rebelled about 75 years ago and were wiped off the map by the Capitol.
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New Hunger Games clip is on-target

My love for this new clip from the forthcoming adaptation of The Hunger Games is inversely proportional to its length. It’s tiny, but my esteem is huge. In this scene, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is supposed to be demonstrating her special skill to the Gamemakers who run the barbaric Hunger Games — and she doesn’t think she’s getting the respect she deserves. The guy with the weird beard is Head Gamemaker Seneca Crane, played by Wes Bentley (American Beauty).

The thing I love most about this clip is that it perfectly captures Katniss’ reckless nature, but that it comes straight out of the book. Well, certainly not Seneca’s lines, but the scene itself is accurate, making me hope we’re getting a faithful adaptation. Also? The music really works, too…