Gregg Popovich Reviews The Hunger Games: Catching Fire


A mockingjay whistles. Those four sequential ones that go low-high-low-lower. We’re in the woods, a deep and wet and black forest with trees towering all around and there is some rustling in bushes and screams far off in the distance. I think I see smoke for a bit but I do not wait around to see. I run, the soles of my boots bouncing up off the forest floor, carrying me away from this madness till a new madness presents itself an hour from now. My friends and family are in trouble and they are dying and starving and looking up to the stars at night to ask what, if anything, can be done. I escape this round of madness and I sit near a river and I cry and think of home. Another plague will come in an hours time and I must keep moving. I am Gregg Popovich, and this is my review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

As per the usual, there will be no spoilers here. This is a review, not a recap. I’m here to dissect the film and analyze its spine, not to give you some Crib Notes plot summary like I’m a terrible parent thinking in helping you with a test.

What an incredible movie going experience. Truly amazing work. I thought it couldn’t get any better than that first one — which was amazing — but this one topped it. This was Empire Strikes Back quality. Jennifer Lawrence continues to amaze and is a true star.

It’s been a bit since I’ve gone to see a blockbuster in theaters as I’ll usually frequent the art house establishments when I venture out to take in a film — the last one might have been The Avengers? Or maybe it was Fast 6. My mind fails me more these days. I prefer my movies to be think and feel pieces, rather than  bloodshed-adrenaline-sex-drugs-car-Statham-guns-boobs-Sager-bullets-knives-swords-Van-movie starts with unknown guy at funeral-sunglasses-suits-secure the perimeter-Damme pieces.

But this movie reminded of the joy those big budget films can be if done right. Everyone came to play and brought life and zest to their roles. Lawrence, as was previously mentioned, was wonderful once more in her turn as Katniss Everdeen. Josh Hutcherson brought thought and life to Peeta Mellark. Liam Hemsworth was given a bit more to do than just brood, look at a projection for a bit, then shake his this time around. Elizabeth Banks gave the character Effie Trinket patience and a pulse and a heart. Philip Seymour Hoffman brings his own kind of fire as Plutarch Heavensbee. And this Finnick. What a good looking fella he is.

Since Upworthy got hold of the Internet, the people who title videos and write video descriptions have become increasingly more dumb. These vague descriptions talking about how a reporter asked this 6 year old a question about our country and you won’t believe her adorable response, or whatever else. People keep saying “Something something something and this is everything.” It’s always “is everything” or “and I love all of the things” or “and it changed everything.” It’s just a bunch of nonsense being spewed out by people behind computers hoping to prey on our nation’s curiosity. This, Catching Fire, is the one thing piece of culture I’ve taken in that is truly everything. It has lust and love and action and drama and suspense and humor. It actually is everything. I once heard my dear friend Billy Murray describe one of his movies to Letterman. “It’s a real meatloaf of a film, Dave” he’d said. It had everything, is what he was saying. So to does this one.

What we’re dealing with is a film that works no matter what it tries to do. It deals with the idea of hope. What is it? What do people do when they’ve had none for so long and are given a brief glimpse of some? How would they react? Would they do anything to keep it and would they chase it down like rabid dogs if it tried to leave? This film explores the answers to those questions. I’d liken it to what would happen if the Bobcats drafted someone like Julius Randle or Andrew Wiggins this next year.

I couldn’t recommend this film more. I give it 5 Corner Threes.

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