This Girl Is on Fire

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – This is another movie I’d considered seeing in the theater (it came out right around when I saw the first film on DVD), but circumstances worked against me. I’m hoping Guardians of the Galaxy won’t turn out the same way. Anyway, I was a latecomer to this series, but I had read all the books before seeing any of the movies. From what I can recall of the book, the film was pretty faithful, and cast some well-known actors in appropriate roles. The main difference I saw was that, while the books were narrated entirely from Katniss’ point of view, the movies have been showing some scenes where we get President Snow’s perspective on things. There was a little of this in the first film, and even more here. He’s kind of an interesting villain, obsessed with maintaining order no matter how many lives it costs, and overly obsessed with Katniss for some reason. There’s a lot of Nixon to him, I would say, although he’s more charismatic (particularly when Donald Sutherland plays him, but as written in the books as well).

Philip Seymour Hoffman, who plays game runner and double agent Plutarch Heavensbee, had apparently already filmed all his scenes for the first part of Mockingjay before his death. Yeah, just like with Harry Potter and Twilight, they’re making the final book into two movies, even though it isn’t any longer than the others (or at least not noticeably so; I don’t actually remember the page counts). I couldn’t help thinking that Wiress, as played by Amanda Plummer (whose father is Christopher Plummer, so there’s a family history of movies about escaping totalitarian regimes), looked like that guy on the Internet who dressed up like Peter Pan.

That’s not a criticism, just an observation. Overall, it was a good adaptation, and I don’t think it included anything that you wouldn’t understand if you hadn’t read the books.

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