When the final scene of the Hunger Games: Catching Fire faded-to-black, there was a collective frustrated and long-awaited gasp for air.
I don’t think anybody had dared breathe once we (and Panem) witnessed the haunting Mockingjay whistle *holds up three fingers* in district 11, about 15 minutes into the movie! What began with tears, ended with silent muffled screams. Was I the only one?
Knowing this was my MOST anticipated movie of this holiday season– I promised you I would share. So, even though I just walked out of the packed 8pm showing not 30 minutes ago and- there is still SO MUCH adrenaline pumping through my veins (that I am sitting here drumming my legs as I type)- I will attempt to tell you some of my thoughts while they are fresh on my mind. Pardon my typos people, I am wound up!
5 things to know before you go…
1. Pay your DUES! Although we don’t recommend 100 Things to do before you go see this movie, there are a couple…
DO watch or REwatch or REread the first Hunger Games to refresh your memory.
Although this movie would still be fantastic as a stand-alone, you may find yourself lost. And even if you weren’t, it definitely would not have the build-up nor the back-story for you to truly appreciate all the details and plot twists that depend on the character/story building done in the first film. There are also throwbacks to characters that died in the first one, so you’ll definitely want to refresh your memory on who everyone is. PS: See that rugged, hand knitted shawl thinggie Katniss wears in the above photo? #WANT!!!
2. DO read Catching Fire first-
There is nothing like reading a book, and creating an entire world with your own imagination. Many times, seeing the movie can be disappointing, and I am usually THAT person who says after every film, “The book was better.” But I have to say, this movie did the book amazing justice. It was so close. There were a few details and characters that the film version left out- but I know why they did, and I can’t tell you here without this becoming a spoiler, but feel free to read the comments below where we can discuss things you found that were different than the book. I’ll be curious to see what you thought…
PS: See that beautiful one-piece navy blue jumper Katniss is wearing in this photo? #WANT!!! And Effie’s costumes in CF are even MORE over-the-top which I LOVE because it so vividly exaggerates the huge disconnect between the la-la land that the Capitol lives in and the harsh reality of the Districts. Speaking of that, I almost vomited myself during the scene where Peeta was offered the digestif to help him puke… Wow! I’ll save that bit of allegory for another post!
3. DO take your heart medication-
It’s ok. You know you want to. Get excited, I mean. Sometimes we are hesitant to be eager for the release of highly -anticipated films, especially sequels- only because many fall flat (RIP – Star Wars episodes 1 -3), but this film delivers! As a matter of fact, it’s better than the first one. I spent half the movie air-screaming into my rolled up sweater that I was hugging tightly all throughout! It was either that, or I was clawing at my arms, my chin, my cheeks, or my fingers. Sitting still was not an option! My heart literally was skipping beats or stopping altogether in anticipation.
I’m no expert, but it seemed like everything was bigger and better, and deeper.
- Stanley Tucci’s character Caesar Flickerman was even more large, hilarious, orange, and creepy-weird, all at the same time.
- The head gamemaker Plutarch (Philip Seymour Hoffman) was even more villianous and evil and just plain scary, than his predecessor, Seneca Crane.
- Katniss has grown up and matured, and somehow (although I would’ve thought this impossible,) become more stunningly gorgeous.
- Peeta is still his old too-sweet-to-be-true self. Delivering one-liners that would make any girl join “team Peeta”
- Effie is more well-rounded and vulnerable in this one, #loveher
- Don’t even get me started about GALE. (I am so impressed by his character that I was willing to completely ignore the hints of Australian- or Strayan, as they call it- accent that crept in, inevitably.)
- PRIM- sweet, stable, reliable, grown up Prim. Wow. I can’t wait to see her continue to grow up in the next part of the story!
PS: See where district 12 is on the map? I will actually be there next week on Thanksgiving break- can’t wait to walk where Katniss walked. Maybe I’ll even pick up a bow and arrow. (look for that later!)
4. Do see it in IMAX if possible, it is eyecandy to the extreme-
My only regret is that I didn’t see this in IMAX. Since we opted for the earlier showing, IMAX wasn’t a choice- they reserved the first IMAX showing to be at Midnight. I do still want to go back and see it again on the big big screen. The cinematography, the arena, Caesar Flickerman’s hair, all of that awesomeness would feel just that much more vast and intense and ominous if it were above, below, and around me!
PS: I will see this a second time in the theater, no doubt!
5. Do settle in, it’s not even close to being over…
First of all, it’s running time is : 2 glorious hours and 26 minutes that fly by.
But, besides that…
I’m sad/happy? to report that Lionsgate films plans to make its next “Hunger Games” book-turned-film a TWO parter! The final book – Mockingjay will be released as part of an annual event every (starting now) November from 2013 through 2015.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire- November 22, 2013, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” on Nov. 21, 2014, and “Mockingjay Part 2” on Nov. 20, 2015.
We’ll be here – counting down the days…
What did you think?
What parts did you catch that were different than the book?