The Hunger Games: Catching Fire comes to Blu-ray with plenty of action but first the plot thickens and the people become restless as the powers that be tighten the screws.
Film making 3/5
Bonus Features 3/5
Recommendation 3/5 Stars
Katness Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, returns as the previous winner of the Hunger Games in the sequel Catching Fire. Fellow winner Peeta Mellark played by Josh Hutcherson is still interested in Katniss but she still has the hots for friend Gale Hawthorne played by Liam Hemsworth.
Katniss thinks she has everything under control except for the occasional nightmare which doesn’t really hurt her image. A visit by President Snow, played by Donald Sutherland, shows how wrong she is when he tells Katniss her family is in jeopardy.
The public has fallen in love with the romance between Peeta and Katniss and it is an important distraction for the government to help quell the rioting. President Snow warns Katniss that if she does not make the public really believe she is in love with Peeta her family will suffer.
Wanting a better solution to public outrage Gamemaker Heavensbee, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, has a plan and plots with President Snow to carry it out. The 75th anniversary of the Hunger Games will have previous winners returning to the arena to kill each other.
Catching Fire is a good movie but just does not rise to the heights of the book and its critical reception. However, it does continue the story and fun of The Hunger Games. The series has a good plot but the second movie is a bit of a killer when it comes to plot and continuing the story as it basically rehashes the need for revolution.
The film is pretty redundant in the scope of the plot but it does make sense that three books and films give more suspense and longing for a conclusion. Don’t get me wrong that I didn’t enjoy the film but it just seemed a bit of an anticlimax to learn that a bigger plot is behind Katniss and what she stands for.
I just thought they took her independence away and gave her more of a superficial role in the second film that just makes her less of a leader. I was disappointed in how they presented Katniss as more of a follower getting a lot of help from friends than the leader of a revolution ready to get things rolling.
Video and audio quality is excellent as you would expect from such a top film and the Blu-ray release has no problems in any area I could see or hear. I did feel the original tones of the films video were a bit too determined to make the mood of each scene but this doesn’t reflect badly on the video’s overall quality.
Surround sound is great and the DTS-HD Master Audio track in 7.1 is really good if you have the speaker count but a 5.1 setup also sounds very good. Overall the quality of the film is well done and no problems surface that are noticeable during the film.
Bonus content is surprisingly a mixed bag with a six plus minute preview for Divergent, deleted scenes an audio commentary and a making of feature. Audio commentary is pretty typical while the deleted scenes are simply fodder for the Blu-ray edition but the two and a half hour making of feature is really worthwhile.
Catching Fire in both book and film form just seems like money makers without much real substance and the bonus content also stresses this. There is one worthwhile piece in the bonus content that really parallels the series and begs the question was the middle book/film even necessary. Other than to make money that is.
Catching Fire just seemed so repetitive in plot and basic idea that I found it disappointing not to get to the actual revolution sooner. It just seemed like the author wanted to just sit back and make more money from her idea than to get to the meat of her story.
The first movie shows that a revolution is needed while the second film just harps on the same idea of how far the dictator will go to push the people toward it. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is that odd film you have to include in the series but really is unnecessary to the actual story.
To sum up my recommendation for the film in words is pretty redundant; a scene from the movie does it for me and does it pretty well. Effie Trinket reaches into a bowl where a lone slip of paper sits; she is choosing the next female tribute for the Hunger Games and Katniss is the only candidate to choose from.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Website