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Review: 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire': Second Film Delivers Big Time

November 21st, 2013 12:00pm EST | Two Jews On Film By: Two Jews On Film

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Once more we return to the 12th district in the dystopian world of Panem, ruled by the super evil President Snow (Donald Sutherland). 

After winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), along with her best friend and fake soul man Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), is about to go out on a victors tour.

Life is good for both Katniss and Peeta. They live in comfortable houses, have all the food they could possibly want, nice clothing and are the 'darlings' of Panem. Of course, there is a price for all of these goodies. They have to keep up the charade of being madly in love with one another. This proves extremely difficult for Katniss, since as we all know, her true love is Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth); who now works in the 12th district's mines.

That's not the only thing difficult for Katniss.  She's haunted by all the people she was forced to kill in the Games and it's hard for her to hide this. All you have to do is look in her eyes and you know this is one pissed off lady.

It's especially obvious to President Snow, who pays Katniss a visit in her new home. He lets Katniss know that he's watching her - and she better not screw up. This translates to, "if you don't go along with the program, I'll kill everyone you've ever loved."

Lucky for Katniss, Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) and Effie Trinket, (Elizabeth Banks) are by her side as she and Peeta set out to visit all of the districts. Along the way, Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering and so does President Snow; who blames this on Ms. Everdeen and decides she must die. The question is how to do this without upsetting Ms. Everdeen's many, many fans.

Thanks to Snow's new Games director, Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman), they come up with a brilliant idea. The Quarter Quell, aka The 75th Annual Hunger Games, where all the past Victors have to fight for their life once more.

Little does Snow realize that this event will change Panem forever!

'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' is directed by Francis Lawrence (no relation to Jennifer) and he did a killer job.  I absolutely loved this film and enjoyed it so much more than the first one.

The film is filled with surprises, excitement and great performances by the supporting cast; including fellow Victors: Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright, Amanda Plummer, Lynn Cohen (the oldest Victor to fight), and Sam Claflin.  
Lenny Kravitz, (Cinna) Katniss costume designer, is back, along with the extremely funny Stanley Tucci as the over the top television host, Caesar Flickerman.

Simon Beaufoy and Michael deBruyn wrote the screenplay based on the novel 'Catching Fire' by Suzanne Collins.

I gave 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' five bagels out of five. I promise that fans of the books and the first film will not be disappointed.

Check out our video for John's bagel rating.  HINT:  It was definitely very different than mine.

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Love to know who you agree with...me or John.

Thanks everyone.

Photo Credits: Lionsgate


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