Once upon a time, I went to the midnight premiere of The Hunger Games, and my life was forever changed.
Well, I went to the premiere of Catching Fire last night, and my life has been changed yet again.
My local movie theater was having an opening night double feature. So at 5:00 they showed The Hunger Games, and at 8:00, I finally saw Catching Fire.
Let’s rewind a little bit, to March 21st, 2012. It was my first midnight premiere ever. Me and my friends were high on life. There was a lot of rain. You can read all about it over at my lovely friend Erin’s blog. The point is, it was miserable and magical at the same time. This time, I went with the same friends, Ivy, Erin, Amanda, and also Brwynn (who is equally insane, so it was all cool). And it was a lot tamer this time around. For one, we only waited about three hours outside the movie theater. Also, the sky did not pee on us. (thanks, sky.) It was cold, but, heh, cold? We’re used to that shiz. An added bonus was that most everybody was still in school. Being the Panemaniacs that we are, we took advantage of that fact and managed to be first in line.
Let that sink in.
We were first in line, guys.
Anyways, we had great fun. There were doughnuts, peppermint coca (not cocoa, mind you. Coca. There’s a difference.), a somewhat anticlimactic game of Apples to Apples, various plots for world domination, vlogging, and cold hands/feet. It was lovely, albeit a
little lot less Dramatic and Exciting than the previous premiere.
So we waited and waited, and then we went inside the warm theater and got freaking lanyards. And they let us keep them. In fact, I’m wearing mine today. Would you like to see?
Of course you do, it’s cool.
I know, I KNOW!
So, we went inside the theater, claimed our prime seats in the almost exact center of everything, and settled down to wait for an hour. (They let us in an hour early, so that we would not catch hypothermia and die, see.) I was a gracious friend and volunteered to beat a couple hundred levels in Candy Crush for Ivy on her Kindle. She wisely accepted my offer of help (otherwise I would have been forced to steal the Kindle from her. It was a good life decision on her part, really.), and thus I whiled away the 60 minutes.
**SPOILERS AHEAD, GUYS, OKAY? IF YOU DON’T WANT HUNGER GAMES OR CATCHING FIRE SPOILERS, DO NOT LOOK DOWN BECAUSE IT WILL BE YOUR GRAVE**
First, of course, we watched The Hunger Games again. I hadn’t seen it in a long while, so it was rather nice to refresh my memory (and see it on a nice, large screen–something I didn’t think I would ever be able to do again). And cry a lot. Rue’s death, man. The music and all? It just gets me. (And let’s talk about when Katniss does the three finger salute after Rue’s death and then the District 11 people do it too and some people in the theater did it with them and I was one of them. But only a little because I was sobbing.)
I laughed and cried and awwwwww’d along with everybody else, and then it was over. And there was a mere half hour until Catching Fire would finally be unveiled. Or revealed. Or released. Or whatever.
I beat a couple more levels of Candy Crush for Ivy, and then waited in feverish anticipation. At long last, the lights dimmed and the screen lit up and Catching Fire began. The movie I had waited over a year for. The movie that plagued my every thought when I was not thinking about Hugh Jackman or food. The movie that I knew would be a very important part of my life.
Well, first there were the trailers. (And can we just talk for a second about how I, Frankenstein looks freaking amazing? Cuz it does.) There was another trailer but I forgot what it was already. Wow, I feel stupid.
ANYWAYS THEN CATCHING FIRE STARTED.
What did I think of it? Well, let’s see. My reaction went something like this.
Approximately in that order. My emotions are complex, I know.
This was definitely as amazing as The Hunger Games, if not a little more. Catching Fire has always been my favorite of the three, so that could be a contributing factor. But even if that were not the case, the movie was absolutely spectacular.
Let’s start with the acting. The actors outdid themselves in this one. Jennifer Lawrence was absolutely spot-on. Her portrayal of Katniss’s unstable emotional state and her personality in general was perfect. I can’t really say much more, because it was flawless. Josh Hutcherson as Peeta was, of course, lovely and endearing and altogether believable. Liam Hemsworth as Gale was cool. Gale is sort of a tool, so I really don’t like him much, but Liam did a good job with the character. Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks as Haymitch and Effie were, of course, lovely. Both of the characters were more fleshed out in this movie, which was really nice.
Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman was, of course, phenomenal. He was one of my favorites in The Hunger Games and remained so in Catching Fire. Donald Sutherland as President Snow was, of course, suitably creepy.
My favorite character in the entire movie, however, was none of these. (Although Katniss is a close second.) My favorite was Johanna Mason, portrayed by Jena Malone.
I’ve always like Johanna. She has a mind of her own and isn’t afraid to speak it. She’s irreverent and inappropriate most of the time. She’s a great fighter. And she’s very sarcastic. Can’t you see why I love her? But Jena Malone made me love her even more. I can’t pinpoint exactly why, or how, but she managed to capture the very essence of the character. I’m so excited to see her in Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2.
One of the noticeable differences between The Hunger Games and Catching Fire was, of course, the absence of the shaky hand-held camera. I know that I’m in the minority when I say this, but I sort of missed the shaky cam. Yeah, it was sort of dizzying at times (especially in the movie theater), but it gave the movie a real-life feel. I wish that that feeling could’ve been in Catching Fire, too, but of course with different directors come different styles.
The script surprised me. It surprised me in how well it stuck with the original storyline. Some of the lines in the movie were directly taken from the book, which gladdened my heart. The movie didn’t leave out anything really big–the only thing it omitted was the two fugitives from District 8 who tell Katniss about District 13. Other than that, nothing Really Big And Important was left out, which impressed me a lot.
The score was amazing, of course. I liked that some of the musical motifs from the first movie were incorporated into the soundtrack of this one, tying the two movies together. It was cool. Yeah.
So, to sum it all up…Catching Fire is a spectacular movie that has changed my life for good. You really should go see it. So my final score for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is:
5/5 Gold Stars
I certainly hope that you can see Catching Fire while it’s still in theaters. Because it’s truly amazing. (and now I feel like Lionsgate should pay me. I mean, I’m doing very important promotional work, am I not?)
Have a lovely day, peeps, and see you when I see you. Which, knowing me, will be in a couple millennia. And to cap off this post of indescribable worth, here’s The Chosen Quote from Catching Fire. Yayz.
Make ’em pay for it.