How Catching Fire Caught Me: The Catching Fire Movie Review

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After the blazing début of the book to movie adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Gamesfollows a fiery sequel. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire surely achieves the trilogy’s boiling point scorching the viewers and leaving them in total awe.

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Catching Fire is a sweltering tale of politics, society and popular culture built within the foundations of a murderous game, the struggle to survive and man’s innate desire to meet freedom from the shackles of oppression and achieve full flight, all fabricated between two and a half hours of silver screen time.

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Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (played by Josh Hutcherson) return after their sweet yet obstinate victory in the 74th Hunger Games, a riotous bloodbath where all players kill their opponents and survive. However, because of the haunting experiences they previously had, the two victors of District 12, bothers them as they both try to return to their normal lives despite the constant interventions and gossiping of the Panem media.

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This series of unfortunate and yet totally disturbing psychological snags is a threat posed by their insurgence to the rules of the previous Hunger Games. After their victory and guts to break the rules set out by the Capitol, the 12 districts were inspired and became more potent to revolution. Wanting to shroud this imminent threat, President Coriolanus Snow (played by Donald Sutherland) put the Katniss and Peeta into a tour and controls their speeches and distract all citizens into the two and away from revolution. He turns unsuccessful and becomes furious. Wanting to avert the impending uprising, he planned a way to eliminate the District 12 victors. Snow decreed to put them into the 75th Hunger Games, the third Quarter Quell where the previous victors from 12 Districts fight. However, things did not go as he wished.

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There is so much to like in Catching Fire, but the most surfacing of all is how the actors portrayed the roles and brought them to life. Jennifer Lawrence proves that she deserves her Oscar as she gave flesh, bones and blood to the book Katniss. With her acting, the comfortable portrayal of Katniss’ everyday emotions of laughter, love, shock to her extraordinary feelings of pain, sadness and anger, Lawrence gave the Hunger Games Trilogy-lovers a tangible perception of Katniss. With this effort, Katniss becomes part of the Hall of Fame actresses who will always be known as the character they played. She now sits with Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe and The Lord of the Rings’ Elijah Wood. Her unceasing greatness caused the other stars to shine thus adding emotion to the movie. It gave an impression of catharsis as the viewers commiserated with the characters’ pain.

Francis Lawrence, director of Catching Fire also did an excellent job in transforming and immortalizing Collin’s book and builds it into a steamy and yet realistic call to revolution.

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Judging from the reader to movie viewer standpoint, the film surfeit of quality. Catching Fire’s movie adaptation was able to impressively synthesize the clamor for a mass-loved story and an amazingly sewn story of the society. The first part was a slow rise of conflict depicting the trauma inflicted by the previous Hunger Games. It deals with the emotion, the unrelenting theme of love and family. You could readily feel the conflict rising as President Snow tries to completely erase Katniss and District 12 and avert the crisis. The second part shows the merciless Hunger Games. This period in the movie was brilliantly laid as it convincingly detailed the telltale murders without going gory.

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Overall, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire the movie is dazzlingly created. It bridges the imaginary realm of Panem into the real world as it discusses how the real society goes. Touching the fundamental policies and schemes of the government, Catching Fire, together with the other books in the Trilogy, gives an honest and tangible idea of how are we manipulated by the government, the media and the corporate world. It gives a challenge to become  Katnisses who are willing to deviate from the evil shenanigans of the Capitol.

With the greatness of how the plot revolved, mixing the popular clamor for love stories and the artistic and noble need of awareness, I give The Hunger Games: Catching Fire a rating of

                B+

 

 

A Letter to Ching

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October 6, 2013

 

Ching,

 

    I usually am capable of finding the right words for the right things. When I’m happy, I could easily identify my feeling as ecstatic, just-fine, or blissful. I could always differentiate my emotions. But this particular feeling of sadness, guilt topped up with some splash of frustration is just undefinable. I cannot seem to find a word perfectly fitting for the gravity of what I feel right now. I know that this might sound a little bit exaggerated but it’s what I really feel. You may not believe me but it’s true. I am a man of extremes. When happy, I am ecstatic. When sad, I am sulky and miserable.

    You know what, I like you. I really do. To a point, I almost thought that you and I might have that spark, that click you were talking about. For one moment, I almost thought that you were the one. That should explain all my ramblings at this very letter. I feel extremely sad, for the lack of the term. I know that you are just busy and all, but please take time to talk to me, just let me know what’s going on.

    I am beginning to think that you are shunning me not because I’m pesky. Upon reviewing all the unfortunate events of the past week, I came to an ill-minded hypothesis that you are avoiding me because you did not find me attractive enough for you. That my hair is messed up, my face oily, that my pimples were reeking out of my face, that my smile isn’t as perfectly curved as yours, that my eyeglasses look horrible or that my eyebrows are too bushy.     

    If those were the reasons, well, I have to admit that I am pretty offended. I thought someone told me that the best me, is the true me.

    Here’s the thing: you know, because I was considering this frustrating position, I trimmed my hair; used some products for my face, trying to live without my glasses and more. That is because I want you to like me. For the first time in my life, I wanted to change myself just because someone wanted me to. I usually don’t go for social conventions, but I am trying right now.

    It’s because I like you. I think I have never liked anyone this much before. Not even with the previous girls that I fell in love with.

    I know you can’t read these words, nor the previous ones, but I’d like you to know that I will still continue to write letters, until I want to. I will continue to scribble these until I can say to myself that I’m done with you.

    I miss you boss. I really do. You have no idea how painful it is to be in this situation. You’ve been dear to me, even with the longevity of our conversations. You’ve been very dear.

    At the end, I am pleading you to start talking to me again. Please, just one more chance. Please. Please. Just now.

Love always,

Ru

The Yesterday I Wish I Could Just Forget

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    Most people agree that our expectations will, more often than not, be different from what will happen in reality. Yesterday, life has proved this point. After my long-lived fear of returning to my Alma Mater, I decided to show up, not for my old friends to see me, but for my new one. One, singular. I met this very amazing friend. She was lovely, honest, fun to talk to and intelligent. We’ve been talking for hours and hours until the hours of the day go wee. I was pretty much attracted to her. It’s because she was very kind to me.

    Back to the story: so there I was, a very excited lad to finally lay my eyes on this particular friend. I prepared very well. I cleaned myself, though my hair still looks ghastly. I even prepared my mind for our would-be conversations. I was actually looking forward to this day. I lived by this challenge she posted on me: Surprise me. To my surprise, I was the one who was surprised. (Pun and redundancy intended)

    She acted cold towards me. I sensed it throughout the day. She said I was too pesky. Well, for one thing, I am. It’s a bad habit I acquired from constantly begging attention from people who never noticed me. And those people happened to be the women I fell in love with. It sucks. Realizing that one day, you were so happy and looking forward for a special day. Your eyes are fixed on that particular date in the calendar that you marked red and suddenly, all the excitement crumbled together with your weak self-esteem. Maybe the day we look forward to isn’t that exciting after all.

    It’s just sad. I woke up hoping that yesterday was just a bad dream. Honestly, I believed that it was. Until I came back to my senses realizing that what happened yesterday happened.

This Can’t Be It

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    These are the exact words I am muttering right now. As I lay awake in the middle of the long and dark night, I strappingly convince myself that this feeling is just confusion and nothing more. I am trying to draw line, or build a wall maybe between the unlikely swarming of butterflies in my stomach and the right feeling that I should feel. I try to restrain myself from this emotion. For one reason, I think that this is the best thing to do now because I do not want to commit the same mistake like before. I want to make sure that this would really be it and not just mere confusion brought about by the assumption that a seemingly honest and cheesy conversation is tantamount to love. I guess this is something I really wanted to tell myself. I can’t commit the same mistake repeatedly. Otherwise, it might eventually turn out to be more of a norm than an abomination.

    In the recent days, I have been constantly talking to a wonderful woman. The usual quiet and sleepless nights are now replaced by the sound of me laughing and her responding back over the lines of the telephone. It’s quite rare to meet someone like her. Especially in a world where trends dictate everything. She is, as I may put it using my most subjective judgment, quite out of the ‘in’. A quite good example of this is her total disregard of the girly stuff that most people of the same gender and age as hers take as gospel. She likes blue whenever everybody will pick pink. She goes for political, philosophical and, sometimes, to a good extent, literary topics in our conversation. Topics, which almost all relationship experts would agree not to talk to if you want to have small talk. I find it amusing though. She makes small talk big. And big talk, even bigger. I guess, for a woman, that is definitely something.

    This rather queer yet awesome qualities she possesses are responsible for the remark I exclaimed earlier. Luckily, I am still managing to get hold and control this confusing feeling inside me. Of course, through rationalization, I am proving to be successful in doing myself less damage. I think, that by not easily succumbing to this alien feeling I feel deep within me, I might do myself a little more good. So let me be clear with this, when I say that I am trying to think that this can’t be it. I don’t want you people to think that I do not like this lady. In fact, I am beginning to like her more each day. It’s not that I don’t want commitments, in fact, I am ready to be in one right now. It’s just I don’t feel it’s the proper time. Maybe this one is one of those things where you should let time pass. Let events unfold as they tend to, and as they are supposed to. And when it’s there, it’s time to decide. But, as I said, for now, let’s just let them the way they are.

    To you, wonderful lady, this is not the last blog entry I shall compose because of you. Well, it might be the last that I’ll actually publish, but definitely it’s not the end. So stick on right there. Keep safe!

After an Afternoon Walk

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After my very untimely resignation at my previous job, I have finally decided to go out of our house and meet real people. Honestly, I never told anybody that why I was trying to put myself in seclusion. I thought that this would be better because I don’t want my friends to think that something is wrong with me psychologically. Truth is, I’m fine. I’m not crying inside my dark room or what. I’m just kind of embarrassed because of the disappointments I thought I caused to all those who believe in me. I thought that I was a failure because I haven’t lived their expectations. But, like I told you, I’m okay.

It was pretty awkward that suddenly, after a long time, I saw real people. And with that I mean people that actually move and tangible. I was accustomed to interacting with people online since my job required a lot of Internet work. I must say that the change has been quite drastic among people. I felt like I was some sort of a movie character like William Forrester or Howard Hughes who put themselves in seclusion for a lot of years and suddenly the go out in public. I might have felt the same thing they did. As I walked and looked at the stalls in the mall, I felt like sharp piercing eyes were staring at me. As if I am a lost princess in the dark woods where sort of dark creatures stare at her without her even knowing. It’s like there were a lot of fiery eyes staring at me, waiting for me to commit a mistake and suddenly jump in front of me with their sharp teeth and claws. I have to admit, I was scared. Although there were no signs of physical anxiety or fear, but I felt in my mind that it was really uncomfortable. Besides, it is never easy to come out of the hiding after trying to put yourself in exile for a couple of months. It’s like you tried to put yourself out of harm but suddenly, you decided to go into the perilous road again.

Nevertheless, I thought I had to do it since it was all part of the healing process. It’s something that you should do to rediscover what you have lost. I know that I lost something in the course of those depressive months. I know that I had to pick up and recover something. I felt it. I have told myself repeatedly that I should because I can’t live in hiding forever. I have to face the wolves.

So I just decided to concoct this very blog post while walking. I have tried to remember everything I thought of. My mind goes out of control when I sink down deep in my thoughts and this afternoon walk is just another manifestation of it. I was literally lost in my thoughts. Imagine, I was actually able to reach a certain place at the mall without even knowing why or how I got there!

What was I thinking?

First, I was thinking of how people go crazy of doughnuts lately. JCo and Krispy Kreme Donuts have made people go gaga over them. In the course of my afternoon walk, I was able to see a lot of people lining up just to get a box of those sweet delights and have a picture taken with them. Well, the truth is, before this walk, I thought that it was absurd to do that. I saw it as a means of bragging that you have some money to buy sweetly expensive doughnuts and a very expensive smartphone to take a picture of it and brag it with others. I know it’s rather cruel and closed minded for me to think of that. But after this afternoon, while I was trying to understand why people take the pain of piling in line and just take selfies in it, an answer came to me. I thought that there is nothing wrong with falling in line for a doughnut shop. If it’s something to be craved for, the fine, and as long as you spend your money for it. Sometimes, it’s a matter of really tasting the product and not for bragging purposes. And that is what I am for. But if you’re going to buy those doughnuts for the sake of putting it instagram, then you aren’t spared from my blabbers. You see, it’s not a matter of commission. It’s a matter of intention. What is your rationale for buying? To savor the taste? Good. To satisfy your hunger? Good. But to brag? To tell your friends how life has been amazing with your parent’s money? I don’t think so. We kept on bashing politicians and movie stars for being ‘epals’. We think them wrong when they televise and brag how good they are and how they love the people. And what do we do after? We buy ourselves some expensive product, take a picture of it and upload it in instagram. Wow. Who are we to bash? Walk the talk, men.

Second, I was thinking of a story. Two nights ago, an idea was born into my mind. You might be fully aware that I am planning to write a novel soon. This might be it. The main concept is in my mind, but it’s not yet fully grown. I actually spent some good hours thinking of how it would turn out to be. Some details are still unclear, but I think, it’s a pretty workable project. So now, I am publicly calling two of my friends whom I have shared this plan about. Pat, Erika, please meet me, in person. ASAP! I need to share this with you! Please reach me!

So those were my blabbers. What are yours? Talk to me. C’mon.

A Question

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                When stuck with two evils, choose the lesser one.

                That was the basic moral teaching I picked up at school, at home and at church. As I was growing up, I was taught by older people that when I have to choose between two unpleasant choices, which could lead to more unpleasant occurrences, I have to choose the lesser one. I should choose the less sinful one, the more ‘moral one.’

                Tonight, I was able to watch Gone Baby Gone. I watched it because I was looking for the top 10 detective movies of all time and it was in the list, so I thought that it won’t do any harm if I watched it. And it didn’t. It was actually good. For a detective story, it involved a lot of emotion. I could readily feel the heavy downpour of drama a parent suffers when she loses a child. It is very rare for a detective story (as far as I see it).

                The reason why I mentioned these two seemingly different and far-off topics is that they are both present in tonight’s viewing activity.  Choosing the lesser evil is the main question of the movie. It was about stepping up to make a decision that could affect not only your own, but an innocent child’s life as well. It involved choosing a path that is rocky, treacherous and perilous.  

                Then I asked myself, I was taught to choose the lesser evil. But how do I sort it out?

                I guess I have to answer that very soon.