CATCHING FIRE BOOK/MOVIE "REVIEW"

Alright. I have returned from my second viewing of Catching Fire and shall now attempt to review it as best I can. 

Firstly, I want to re-cap/talk about the book. In preparation for the premier, I re-read Catching Fire the day of. When I first read the trilogy, this was my absolute, hands-down favorite. (I actually haven’t read Hunger Games more than once. I’ve started it a few times, but haven’t completely read it more than the initial first time.) I cried through the entire book, and it was where I fell in love with Peeta. During HG, I was strictly Team Gale, because he was a much more masculine, un-emotional basket case character than Peeta. But, because Peeta IS all of those things, he and I are exactly alike. In HG, Peeta is very much a lost puppy when it comes to Katniss. In Catching Fire, the way he acts is so close to my heart. While it kills him to keep up this act knowing Katniss doesn’t feel the way he does, he goes with it. It’s better to be able to act in love with her for a little while than never, I guess.

The first time reading it, I wrote about it. I’m just copying and pasting now:

Like Haymitch told her, “You could live a hundred lifetimes and not deserve  [Peeta].” It’s so true. He’s too good for her. He loves her. “If you die, and I live, there’s no life left for me at all back at District 12. You’re my whole life…I would never be happy again…It’s different for you. I’m not saying it wouldn’t be hard. But there are other people who’d make your life worth living.” He means Gale, mostly. He’s basically telling her he would die for her so she can go back to her mother, sister, and Gale. But he will die loving her. I wouldn’t be surprised if it had come down to the two of them if he would kill himself just so she could be the Victor.  The entire time reading, I cried. I cried because I wanted to love Peeta as much as Katniss should, but I can’t. Because Peeta is me.
Gale doesn’t deserve Katniss. She doesn’t deserve him. They’re relationship is weird. At first they were like brother and sister, but deeper than just that. Like it was obvious they would someday end up marrying, but they hadn’t grown past their need to protect each other and their families. Gale didn’t seem to show any real romantic interest until Katniss returned from the Games. As a romantic, I hated that. At least Peeta didn’t hide it after he said it to all of Panem. Gale and Katniss pretended their kiss never happened for a long time. By the time Gale told her he loved her, she was too confused by her own feelings between him and Peeta.
Katniss has a stronger life bond with Peeta, because of the Games. But Gale has kept her mother and sister alive, as she has his family. She begins to need Peeta for comfort and safety, while keeping Gale for the safety of her mother and Prim. As far as SHE is concerned, she needs Peeta. But she and Gale are the same. They both lost their fathers in the mining accident, hunted together, and lived in the Seam together. While Peeta knows nothing of the suffering they went through together before he suffered in the Games.
But Katniss herself is confused because of the pressure put on her by the Capitol. President Snow threatened her into staying with Peeta, by threatening Gale. It’s almost like that scene in Phantom of the Opera; she will be unhappy either way because her loves for Peeta and Gale are so different.
I think she is destined to be with Peeta. Not just because he’s the other main character, but because of fate. Of course it’s just a book, but within the story, fate still has to happen. Because Peeta’s father was in love with Katniss’s mother, and she chose a coal miner instead, it is kismet that Katniss will choose the baker’s son over the coal miner.

My feelings about all of this has not changed even in the second time around reading it. Still, this time, I didn’t cry like I wanted to. I couldn’t even tell where I would have a reason to cry. Also, I remembered the make-out sesh on the beach to be much longer and even better than the cave scene from HG. In re-reading, I was very disappointed in my expectations from the first read. I didn’t remember the book being SO MUCH about the space between the 74th and 75th games. During the first read, the games seemed to be so much longer. The story didn’t progress quite as quickly as I recalled. Of course, I read all three books in just a few days, so I was running on new-book adrenalin and couldn’t sleep until I had finished the stories. Reading Catching Fire as a stand-alone for purposes of preparing for the movie may have made my experience much different.

But as for the movie, I was very pleased.  I think one reason I love it so much as a movie adaption is the script’s use of actual lines from the book. Even less-than-iconic lines were used in both the book and movie, and I think it helps make the film seem like a better adaption. Even with details being left out (LIKE PLUTARCH’S FUDGING WATCH OR THE WHOLE CHARACTER OF MADGE IN HG), aspects of the book are so well added back through the dialogue. That’s something I wish had been done more in Harry Potter, for example. SO MANY great lines from the books were left out of the movies.

Let’s talk about the costuming and makeup in these films. How AWESOME would it be to design or even wear these creations? You have absolute freedom because the Capitol is CRAY. I wish we had more chances to see the styles on each of the extras, because it amazes me. Also, let’s talk about how Katniss and Rihanna have a similar hairstyle:
Back to things left out. Something that bothered me about the movie in comparison to the book is the fact that Plutarch Heavensby gives NO hint to being an ally to Katniss until the very end. Yes, he convinces Snow to not blow her up right away, but other than that he seems just as much of a scumbag as the president until you see him with Haymitch and Finnick at the end. At least in the book he seems a little more on her side from the beginning (*cough* the watch *cough*). 
I wish they had talked more about Haymitch being the victor of the previous Quarter Quell. That’s kind of important. They really didn’t talk at ALL about previous QQs, which is hard for viewers like my parents who have to be re-told the plot all the time. I’m still waiting for a book/movie/short story/well-written fanfic about Haymitch’s time in the games. Along with this, did we forget Katniss’s mother lost a friend to the 50th games? Of course, she was related to Madge, a character that, according to the movie, doesn’t exist. Mrs. Everdeen really hardly exists in the film anyway. 
I literally just got on Tumblr for a second and found this by the ever-fabulous Tyler Oakley:
So. Fudging. Accurate. 
Something else that sort-of bothered me was Katniss’s random bouts of PTSD. Yes, we know she has nightmares and thinks a lot about what she had to do in the games, but in the movie she freaks out ONCE about shooting Marvel (right? Marvel? Some kid anyway.), but doesn’t think twice about it again. She wakes to nightmares, but isn’t worried by picking up a bow again. So that just seemed odd to me. 
In The Hunger Games movie, there was a lot more commentary by Caesar. There was none once the actual 75th game started. I really liked that about the previous movie, because Stanley Tucci is the perfect Caesar, and I love his character. The only time we were torn away from the game itself was for stupid President Snow and he can go fall in a hole. I missed Caesar and his über-white teeth.
Now, I am going to re-read Mockingjay, because I just feel like I need more to the story. I also really want to like this book more the second time than I did when I first read it. I expect to look very much like this: 
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