Category Archives: Catching Fire

Catching Fire: Movie vs Book (Part 2)

I would like to apologize for taking so long to write the second part of this blog, but I was doing NaNoWrimo for the month of Nov.  For those of you who do not know what that is – well you write 50,000 words of a novel in a month.  Crazy right, I did it last year and won, unfortunately I cannot say that about this year.  I really did try, the other fangirls can attest to that.  That happen to take my attention last week.  I do apologize to those who were waiting for this blog to come out.

Now onto the blog, in this installment of Catching Fire: Movie vs Book, I would like to look at the characters and do those comparisons.  Especially with the introduction of a few new important characters such as Finnick, Joanna, Beetee, and Plutarch, I will start by looking at old favorites first.

Obviously Spoilers:

Katniss

Obviously, we need to talk about her, she is kinda important to the plot and the movie.  I think they did a good job with showing how she is more damaged now.  In the movie, she spends more time alone in the woods, which is something she does in the book.  Granted in some ways I do not feel there was not that much change in her personality from the first movie to this one.  In some ways, I did not feel that way about the books as well.  As I mentioned in the previous one I do appreciate what attempts they made to show her PTSD.   In doing that, they did a great job of showing her vulnerability, which is definitely one of the biggest changes in Katniss.  She would have never asked Peeta for help or to stay with her. Katniss’s reaction to Peeta “dying” was perfect and really shows how much she has come to care about Peeta. With all that being said Jennifer Lawrence does a great job playing Katniss, she portrays her hard edge while at the same time playing the vulnerable emotional Katniss as well.

Peeta and Katniss as they enter the training arena

Peeta and Katniss as they enter the training arena

Peeta

I love Peeta, Team Peeta all the way.  Since the books are told entirely from Katniss’s point of view, it really gives the movies a chance to do more with some of the characters.   All the others characters are all well developed in the books, but the movies are able to take it a bit further.  With that being said, I love the edge they put on Peeta.  He is suppose to have one because like Katniss, he was affected by what he saw and did in the games.  He is affected by what the Capitol and President Snow is doing to them.  At the same time, he is still Peeta the guy who has loved Katniss since he was 5.  The sweetness of Peeta comes out when he gives her the pearl and the locket.  Because of this I would have loved to have seen the picnic on the roof top.  Josh Hutcherson really does a great job with this, he has said many times in interviews that he loves playing Peeta because they are similar and it comes out.

Haymitch

I would like to say that I love Woody Harrelson as Haymitch, he does a great job with the character.  In this movie you get some more in depth with Haymitch.  His hated of the Capitol, the fact that he does care for Peeta and Katniss and more of his wisdom, but with the movie cutting out some things you don’t get the full extent.  Without learning how Haymitch won his Hunger Games, you don’t learn what happened to him as a result you don’t find out the reason why he is a drunk.  While there are some things that are left out, the movie does a great job with that they do show.  You really get to see Haymitch’s investment in saving Peeta and Katniss this time because he knows they can survive.  As I said Woody Harrelson really does a great job with this character, especially with the drunk aspect.

Effie's Capitol Portrait

Effie’s Capitol Portrait

Effie

They really added more to Effie; I think even more then what the book.  She is snippier and has some amazing comments.  One of my favorite moments is when she tells them to smile and add that she is talking to Katniss.  It shows how well she knows the both of them.  The movie also showed how much she cares for them, by showing her reaction during the reaping ceremony; she looked like she was going to cry.   I have to say I really enjoyed the extra’s that were put into movie.  Of course Elizabeth Banks does a wonderful job playing Effie.

Gale

The movies really do their best to play up Gale, since he is so underplayed in the first 2 books.  Liam Hemsworth does a great job with Gale, I have always been Team Peeta and even while watching the movies, I am still Team Peeta.  I do appreciate that they keep Gale true to who he is in the books.  I do appreciate that Liam actually did get whipped for the whipping scene.  I think it is because of that it helps make that scene harder to watch and actually makes you feel for Gale.  The movie does a great job of showing how much Gale cares for Katniss.  I still think he came too late to the game on that one, but while watching the movie I really get the impression that he cares about her.  I really didn’t think he cares about her when I am reading the books.

President Snow's Capitol Portrait

President Snow’s Capitol Portrait

President Snow

Donald Sutherland is an amazing actor to begin with so it is no surprise he is amazing as President Snow.  The scene where President Snow visits Katniss at her home is amazing.  Donald Sutherland and Jennifer Lawrence play off each other so well.  The scene when Snow shakes his head telling Katniss she failed was just perfect.  You really dislike him, just like you are suppose to.  The extra scenes that were added in help emphasis this point, especially the scenes with Plutarch were perfect.

Cinna and the Prep Team

I just love the prep team they are hilarious.  Lenny Kravitz is great as Cinna, he comes off as someone who it not really “Capitol.”  The movie does under utilize the prep team and you don’t get to see their attachment to Katniss like you do in the books.  The movie does a great job with Cinna.  I was crying during the scene when they beat him.

Prim

Willow Shields, I love as Prim, she does a great job with the character.  Prim comes off with some more edge to her and an amazing understanding of what is going on.  That is different from the book at least to me, I felt that Prim was still a bit more naive in the books.  I did love seeing the scene where Prim helps the mom heal Gale after the whipping, it really shows how much Prim knows and her maturity.  Which makes me excited to see what they are going to with her in the next movies.

For our new characters:

Finnick

Finnick

Finnick

I am not in love with Sam Clafin as Finnick, do not get me wrong I liked Finnick.  Sam Clafin did a great job, especially with the sugar cube scene.  He definitely has the flirtatious nature down.  He has the hard edge and annoyance with Katniss’s attitude down.  I think I even flipped him off while watching the movie.  I have so say his relationship with Mags was great though.  I could see the bond between them, which made it even more tragic when Mags dies.  I remember not liking Finnick as much in this book as I did in the third one.  Looking at it from that point of view, he did a good job.  There just is something that I am not feeling with him, I hoping that will be fixed for the next movie since I love Finnick in Mockingjay.

Joanna

Joanna

Joanna

I will admit when I first heard they cast Jena Malone as Joanna I was like the girl from Saved.  I was nervous since Joanna is one of my favorite characters.  Jena Malone nailed it, she does an amazing job, I didn’t like Joanna until the third book and I was loving her in this movie.  She hit all the right aspects of Joanna and none of it seemed fake.  She played Joanna with the indifference and anger that is needed to make the attitude and bitchiness come off.  The elevator scene was amazing; Jena Malone did a great job with that.  As well with the interview scene and the scene where she yells at the capitol during the games.  I really hope they go into why she is the way she is in the next movie since they did not in this one.

Beetee during the training arena

Beetee during the training arena

Beetee

I have to say I love Jeffery Wright as Beetee, he plays him so well.  It really comes off how brilliant he is.  His calm nature is amazing and it does come off how much he cares for Wiress, that they are friends.  I am super excited to see the next movie since…. well I won’t say for those who have not read the book, but all of us who have read the books will understand.

Plutarch and Haymitch at the Capitol Party

Plutarch and Haymitch at the Capitol Party

Plutarch

Phillip Seymour Hoffman is great in this role, easily.  In the books, this character is very under developed since he has very little interaction.  I do love how the movie gives him the extra scenes with President Snow.  Those scenes were great because it shows how well Plutarch can manipulate the Capitol.  He understands how the game is played and based on those scenes you would never know that he was a part of the rebellion.

Wireless

Wireless

Wiress

I wanted to mention her because even though she does not survive this movie, if it was not for her Katniss would have never figured out what the arena was a clock.  I have to say Amanda Plummer did a great job with the role, I knew she would since she played crazy in So I Married an Ax Murderer.  I liked Wiress in the books and I liked her in the movie.   Amanda did a great job of playing the slightly unhinged Wiress during the arena, “Tick Tock, Tick Tock.” I was sad to see her die at the hands of Gloss.

Mags

Mags

Mags

Again she deserves a mention because if it was not for her sacrifice Finnick, Peeta, and Katniss might have been killed by the acid fog.  Lynn Cohn did a great job as Mags, instead of mumbling when she talked she just mimed everything.  The way it was done, I am really alright with that change it seemed very fitting.  The relationship with Finnick was beautiful.  She came off as a lovable grandmother.  Which made her sacrifice at all the more tragic, I really fine with the fact they did not show her death to be painful.

Overall I thought the casting choices were great even though I have some issues with Finnick.  All the actors really did a great job with the characters.  Without their portrayals  the movie would not have been as good.  The movie really did a great job of adding to some character who we do not get to see a lot of in the books.

I hope you liked my Catching Fire blogs, be sure to check out my first one if you have not done so already.

Until next movie,

-Christena

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Catching Fire: Movie vs Book (Part 1)

Catching Fire

I went and saw Catching Fire on Thursday night like the true obsessed Hunger Games fan that I am.  I will admit I was very excited to see the movie; I had been looking forward to it since last year.  It was amazing I really enjoyed it.  I have no problem going to see it again.  Since I am a true obsessed fan, I naturally read the books.  I am going to compare the book and the movie, while the movie was amazing there  were some things missing from the book.

I will admit this has gone through a few different versions because well I talk a lot so I have so much to say.  On the topic, I know not everyone is going to want to read a super long blog.

SPOILER ALERT (Do not read part here unless you want to know what happens)

Video of Gale and Katniss kissing.  Which only happened about 20 min before Snow's visit.

Video of Gale and Katniss kissing. Which only happened about 20 min before Snow’s visit.

Gale & Katniss Kiss

Since I am Team Peeta I naturally think, Gale came to the game too late and really did not bring anything of note.  With that being said, the location of the kiss was different.  It was done in town instead of the woods; Gale did not profess anything to her.  He just said that he had to do that just once after it was done and walked off.  It really was uneventful.

Presidents Snow Visit

Now this scene makes your skin crawl no matter what.  I will admit that the nice thing about the movie is that we are spared Katniss’s descriptions about what she smells.  This scene is very true to the book and is brilliantly delivered by both Donald Sutherland and Jennifer Lawrence.  I did find interesting though, since the kiss and President Snow’s visit happen in the same day how he got that footage so quickly.  They had to have kissed only 20 minutes before hand.

They look so unhappy, this was the worst torture ever.

They look so unhappy, this was the worst torture ever.

The Victory Tour

This one is long so I decided to bullet point it.

The tour starts the same – Peeta and Katniss kissing outside their homes.  I am a bit sad that she did not run into his arms, but Peeta still fell down (something I was worried about since he never lost a leg in the last movie) that helped.  I have to give it up to Jennifer and Josh; they did a great job with the whole Peeta & Katniss tension.  You should just feel the awkwardness.

  • District 11 – that was a hard scene to watch as it should have been.
  • Thrash and Rue’s families just standing there under the pictures of their children for all to see and crying was just heart wrenching.
  • Peeta and Katniss’s speeches were perfect, I felt everything I had felt when I read the book.
  • It is because of those feelings and their ability to absorb you in I still felt the shock of the peacekeepers killing the old man even though I knew that was coming.
  • I really enjoyed the commentary from Haymitch and Effie as they watched Peeta and Katniss deliver their speeches.
  • I have to say I am a bit disappointed the victory tour only showed them giving their speeches at various districts.  They did have some fun during the tour; I wish that had been shown. I would have loved to see them running around in the water in District 4.
  • I am disappointed that we saw the proposal via video commentary from Ceasar.  I would have liked to see them actually perform it.
  • I did like how they made sure to have Katniss have her nightmares and ask Peeta to say with her.  From that moment on, you would see them sharing a bed, which is such a great aspect of their relationship.

The Whipping

Gale being whipped was horrible to see. Reading that part sucked, but seeing it was something else Katniss jumping in to save him, followed by Haymitch and Peeta was great.  Then seeing Katniss’s mom and Prim work together to help him was great.  Of course, they added in some extra kissing between Katniss and Gale.  Since I am Team Peeta, I just felt that was completely unneeded.

Being lead to the reaping.

Being lead to the reaping.

The Announcement and Reaping

The reactions from Katniss, Haymitch, and Peeta were so perfect.

Katniss's reaction to the Quarter Quell announcement

Katniss’s reaction to the Quarter Quell announcement

Peeta's reaction to Quarter Quell Announcement

Peeta’s reaction to Quarter Quell Announcement

Haymitch's reaction to Quarter Quell announcement

Haymitch’s reaction to Quarter Quell announcement

Katniss running off into the woods and then coming back to beg for Peeta’s life, perfect.  I appreciate the emotions they had Effie show during this scene.  It would make sense for this to be hard for her since she would have gained an attachment to Peeta and Katniss.  Everyone knew that Katniss was going back into the arena, there is no other District 12 female winner.  Effie looked like she was about to cry reading Katniss’s name, she almost made me cry.

The District 12 tributes for the 75th Hunger Games.

The District 12 tributes for the 75th Hunger Games.

The Capitol/Training

  • At first I was a bit upset they only showed the first 5 districts and explained about those victors.  I got over it once I officially saw Joanna; I will get to that later.  (Side note I am happy they cast someone else as Annie for the next movies I did not like the girl they used for the reaping scene).
  • Now the movie did not include Peeta and Katniss training in district 12 before hand.  It also did not show they viewing the videos of the past Hunger Games.  I am surprisingly alright with that I don’t feel like anything was lost.
  • Finnick with coming up to Katniss with the sugar cube, I though that moment was just as good as the book.
  • Sugar Cube
  • When Katniss pushed, the button for their costumes to flame up was perfect.  She really looked like she was going screw you President Snow.
  • Chariot
  • Joanna, yes she got naked in the elevator.  Since that was the first time they decided to show her and have everyone meet her, it was perfect.  The faces of Haymitch, Peeta, and Katniss during this scene were priceless.  Peeta being just a 17 year old boy about unzipping Joanna’s dress – the death glare Katniss gave him for it.  Joanna standing there naked talking to them – Haymitch was the perfect dirty old man, Katniss was so annoyed, Peeta tried to be respectful but he looked.
  • Training was interesting; you got to see the viciousness of some of the victors.  Katniss spending her time with Beetee, Wiress and Mags, was perfect.  They went off the fact that the people watching knew whom Katniss wanted so they only showed her interact with them.
  • The scene where Haymitch asks her who she would pick was great because Peeta looked like “Really, my Sugar Cookie.” (Yes, in my world Peeta has baking nicknames for Katniss).
  • Waiting for scoring
  • The wait for the skills test was good because you see the bond between many of the district victors.
  • Instead of finding out what Peeta did from Peeta afterwards they had Katniss walk into the room and find his drawing on the floor.  The movie makes it look like that might have been part of her motivation.  This is different from the book since she did not find out about it until afterwards.
  • They do not show the scores this time, I guess they decided that those were not important to the story.
Cesear and Katniss

Cesear and Katniss

The Interview

That was done great, Cashmere crying in order to gain sympathy.  Finnick’s part to Annie, I will admit I did not believe.  Joanna, that was great, she just seemed so over it.  Her being so mad about Katniss’s wedding dress was perfect.  The wedding dress and the spin into the mockingjay dress was great.  If you read the book, you had an idea in your head and it did not disappoint.  Peeta’s announcement about the baby, Josh Hutchinson did a great job.  His smirk after the announcement was perfect.  All the victors holding hands at the end showing a united front was perfect.

It would be alright if it wasn't for the baby.

It would be alright if it wasn’t for the baby.

The Arena

This was honestly the best part of the movie – done so perfectly.

  • Lets start from the beginning, Cinna getting Katniss ready to go into the arena.  I knew what was going to happen, but to see Katniss screaming and banging on the tube while they beat Cinna.  I was crying; Cinna was one of my favorite characters.  I had held out that he lived until they confirmed his death in the 3rd book.
  • I was definitely right there with Katniss as she was freaking out as she headed into the arena.
  • The cornucopia – great.
  • Peeta and the force field, great emotions from Jennifer Lawrence, if you get a chance see the cast interviews about this scene.
  • I really enjoyed the extra scene added in of President Snow’s granddaughter saying how she wants love like Peeta and Katniss.
  • The acid fog – the movie did a great job of bringing that to life.  The burns were horrible to see.
  • The monkeys – they were creepy, creepier then I imagined.
  • The jabberjay scene was really emotional – Finnick was believable in his love for Annie here.  Watching Katniss scream and having Peeta pressed on the other side of the glass unable to get to her was heart wrenching.
  • The attack from Gloss and Cashmere was intense – Wireless death was out of nowhere (I knew it was coming).  The spinning conucopia was crazy, everyone doing their best to hold on for dear life.  It was even more obvious everyone needs to protect Peeta and Katniss in the movie.
  • The final plan – that was amazing, Enobia and Brutus’s attack on the group and Joanna cutting out the tracker out of Katniss’s arm.  It was so obvious that Joanna and Finnick were trying to protect Katniss and Peeta.  At least it was to me, I think that is because the movie is from the 3rd person point of view instead of  just Katniss’s point of view.
  • Of course Katniss shooting the force field and it blowing her backwards – wow.
  • I enjoyed the part where Katniss is asserting her dominance to Finnick while taking out the machete that she hands to Peeta who takes it while still staring down Finnick.
  • There was not bread and cookies sent down to them – letting them know about when they were going to be saved from the arena.  Honestly, since Katniss did not understand the meaning of any of that in the book it kinda was not missed in the movie.
  • Also no scene with Finnick saving Peeta because he cannot swim, Peeta did not look as useless in the water as he is suppose to be.

The Ending

Katniss being brought up in the hovercraft was well done.   This part is interesting because you see all these horrible ideas that Plutarch had come up with when it came to Katniss and the arena, that you naturally think he is on President Snow’s side.   There he is in the hovercraft talking about the rebellion.   I think the movie did a great job of throwing the audience off with that.  Katniss attacking Haymitch after finding out about Peeta was great, Jennifer Lawrence and Woody Harrison are great together this part made me excited for Mockingjay (those who have read the books will understand).  There is a lot of speculation about what Katniss says as she is being drugged – I would to hear what others thought they heard.  Katniss waking up and Gale telling her that District 12 was destroyed was amazing.  The hurt and rage on Katniss’s face – I have to give it up to Jennifer Lawrence again on great facial expression.

Misc Scenes

Missing from the movie was the one with the 2 people running away toward District 13.  Without that interaction, there was no need to Katniss to check the tapes and notice how they do play the same footage about District 13 every time.  I think this will shock the movie audience to know that District 13 exists and to find out about it, since it is never mentioned in the movies.  I will admit I did not miss this part at all.

I would have loved to have seen the footage from some of the past Hunger Games and that moment between Peeta and Katniss.  There was no cute moment between Peeta and Katniss on the roof of the hotel; I really did like that moment in the book so I was a bit sad to not see it.

Extra scenes; most of them I liked, the ones with President Snow and his granddaughter were great.  She helped show how much of an affect Katniss was really having.  The scenes with Plutarch and President Snow, I loved – it really helped to emphasis how much Snow hates Katniss.  I could have done without all the extra kissing scenes between Gale and Katniss – I am Team Peeta.

Overall, I really liked the movie and to me this was a better adaptation the first one.  I think they hit all the key points and things that were left out really did not take away from the story.  This time I felt, while they did anticipate that most of the audience read the books this time, instead of leaving things out.  This time I felt that they tried to make the audience feel what they felt when they were reading the books.  I had read the books and the movie still did a great job of shocking me, it drew me in and made me forget about some of what was about to happen  I really enjoyed this movie a great deal more then the first one. I am really happy that Francis Lawrence will be directing the next 2 movies.

I am a film person, as in I have a Master’s Degree in it.  I understand adapting a book to script can be hard.  Not everything is going to make it in. What makes a great adaptation is that all the important things are put in to the book fans are not left wanting more.

I hope you all enjoyed my review of Catching Fire, please check back for the second part when I compare the differences between the characters in the book and movie.

Until part 2, may the odds ever be in your favor.

– Christena

Here is a mini treat: Joanna stripping down in the elevator

Peeta being helpful

Peeta being helpful

Peeta, what are you doing?

Peeta, what are you doing?

I just can't stand this outfit

I just can’t stand this outfit

Is this chick serious?

Is this chick serious?

Hello Joanna, it is good to see you again.

Hello Joanna, it is good to see you again.

Boobs.

Boobs.

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