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‘Catching Fire’ soars and skewers at the same time
Boston Globe ^ | November 21, 2013 | Ty Burr

Posted on 11/22/2013 4:27:13 AM PST by Truth29

Mission accomplished, and with the sequel, the gloves come off. “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is a muscular, engrossing, unexpectedly bleak epic of oppression and insurrection, directed with dramatic urgency and a skilled eye by Francis Lawrence (“Constantine,” “I Am Legend”). Set in the fascist future state of Panem, the movie takes pains to show its young mass audience what living under a totalitarian dictatorship might look and feel like. But the sharpest aspects of “Catching Fire” — the parts that sting — play as an allegory for today. Very few people will take in this spectacle of a society amusing itself to death, of “reality games” and the vapid media hysteria that surrounds them, and not draw a parallel to our own televised bread and circuses. At its best, “Catching Fire” is a blockbuster that bites the culture that made it.

(Excerpt) Read more at bostonglobe.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: catchingfire; catchingfirecatching; dictatorship; hungergames; movie; rebellion; tyranny
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The parallels with the wounded US, the imperial Obama Presidency, and the debauchery of the capital are obvious. The resentments of an oppressed populace and the stirrings of rebellion are also apparent. I have not yet seen the movie, but I hope is strikes a chord with those in America who now see Obama for what he is and strives to become.
1 posted on 11/22/2013 4:27:13 AM PST by Truth29
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To: Truth29

I read the trilogy and it’s definitely a commentary on present and future totalitarian government. A modern day Atlas Shrugged perhaps.


2 posted on 11/22/2013 5:18:33 AM PST by tips up (Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.)
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To: Truth29

I was VERY surprised at how much I liked the first movie and how much of it has ‘stuck’ in my brain. A lot of, ‘What would *I* do in this situation?’ thoughts. A good brain exercise! I was seriously expecting some Chick Flick, ala the ‘Vampire’ movies that were all the rage for a while there. *Rolleyes*

Sounds like I’ll like the second installment even better! I also see it as a modern take on Atlas Shrugged.

Kinda surprised Hollyweird green-lighted this one, LOL!


3 posted on 11/22/2013 5:30:07 AM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (I don't have 'Hobbies.' I'm developing a robust Post-Apocalyptic skill set...)
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To: Truth29
I have not yet seen the movie, but I hope is strikes a chord with those in America who now see Obama for what he is and strives to become.

President Snow Job

4 posted on 11/22/2013 5:30:28 AM PST by Flick Lives (The U.S. is dead to me.)
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To: tips up

5 posted on 11/22/2013 5:38:05 AM PST by Bratch
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To: tips up

Twilight meets a Brave New World.


6 posted on 11/22/2013 5:38:41 AM PST by nonsporting
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To: Truth29

It only matters if we win elections.


7 posted on 11/22/2013 5:40:55 AM PST by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin
I bought the books for my granddaughter. I read them before hand to check them out, very well done.

50 year SciFI fan.

8 posted on 11/22/2013 5:43:21 AM PST by Little Bill (A)
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To: Flick Lives
"President Snow Job"

Yes, and in the book and the movie, the President tries to kill the heroine and put down the rebellion with deadly force; sounds like where Dear Reader and his coterie are likely to go.

9 posted on 11/22/2013 5:43:47 AM PST by Truth29
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To: Truth29

The book series is much better than the movie(s). I liked the books, except the last one, but didn’t care for the movie. I will be seeing the new one and hope if follows the book better.

But yes, the parallels are interesting. The first book was published in 2008, so considering the author is a woman, I would guess she was writing it from a “Bush” prospective. It’s just a happy accident that it really parallels the Obama administration better.


10 posted on 11/22/2013 5:51:27 AM PST by Farnsworth (Now playing in America: "Stupid is the new normal")
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To: Diana in Wisconsin
Kinda surprised Hollyweird green-lighted this one, LOL!

The first movie grossed close to $700 million world wide. The sequal was a no-brainer.

11 posted on 11/22/2013 5:51:34 AM PST by DoodleDawg
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To: Truth29
The Hunger Games is not a conservative manifesto.
12 posted on 11/22/2013 5:54:33 AM PST by wideawake
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To: Truth29

My 13 year-old daughter loves the books, and it’s given us many opportunities to talk about oppressive government and the duty of the people to resist tyranny. Now, when watching the nightly news, she understands the parrallels I draw between what’s going on in this nation, and the dystopian future she’s read about. Sowing some major seeds for future champions of liberty!

FYI - fans of the first movie might want to check out “The Hunger Games Bad Lip Reading” on youtube...absolutely hysterical.


13 posted on 11/22/2013 5:59:08 AM PST by ItsOurTimeNow ("Scheming demons dressed in kingly guise, beating down the multitudes and scoffing at the wise.")
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To: DoodleDawg
The sequal was a no-brainer.

Is that like a big storm on the Atlantic Ocean?

(I no; completely uncalled-for. Back into my burrow for six more weeks.)
14 posted on 11/22/2013 6:15:38 AM PST by Resettozero
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To: wideawake

Indeed - they probably meant the oppressive fascist government to show what it’d be like with conservatives in power.


15 posted on 11/22/2013 6:16:40 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Resettozero

you “no”?
yes, back to your “burro”.


16 posted on 11/22/2013 6:17:40 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Truth29

President Snow Job has appointed the NSA, IRS, HHS and even the National Park Service as his peacekeepers (with plenty of hollow point ammunition purchased and in storage, we might add)


17 posted on 11/22/2013 6:20:01 AM PST by silverleaf (Age takes a toll: Please have exact change)
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To: Resettozero
(I no; completely uncalled-for. Back into my burrow for six more weeks.)

Yeah but it was still kind of funny so...no harm, no foul.

18 posted on 11/22/2013 6:25:38 AM PST by DoodleDawg
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To: Farnsworth

Yes, it was written from a Bush perspective. The author said it was inspired by a combination of the Iraq war and game shows. The theme is this: poor and middle-class people, dooped by faux patriotism, go against their own class interests and send their children to die in conflicts concocted by the fascistic right-wing overclass for purposes of entertainment, profit, and control. In other words, a pretty obvious lefty message about class exploitation.

John Nolte at Breitbart and Ed Morrissey at Hot Air both picked up on this and skewered the film in their reviews, and rightfully so in my opinion. I thought it was clearly written from a left perspective though with enough ambiguity that a conservative interpretation is possible if one insists.


19 posted on 11/22/2013 6:26:50 AM PST by Yardstick
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To: 1010RD
"It only matters if we win elections."

Or if it becomes obvious to a large segment of society that elections no longer matter.

20 posted on 11/22/2013 6:27:45 AM PST by Truth29
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To: Yardstick

It has enough “ambiguity” for me to it from a conservative perspective.

I like V for vendetta, clearly a hard left movie, but in my perspective, I see some conservative message in the movie.


21 posted on 11/22/2013 6:34:07 AM PST by Farnsworth (Now playing in America: "Stupid is the new normal")
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To: MrB

The message I derive from the movie is “competition is evil and unnecessary.”


22 posted on 11/22/2013 6:34:18 AM PST by wideawake
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To: Truth29

Oh no. It’s the world that would come if the Tea Party got power. Stick to the narrative.


23 posted on 11/22/2013 6:38:27 AM PST by AppyPappy (Obama: What did I not know and when did I not know it?)
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To: wideawake
The Hunger Games is no conservative manifesto

It does not have to be. When the obvious parallels can be drawn, even if it's riddled with agitprop, the reachable millenials will see the implications of big government [fascism] which robs them of the" freedom to choose healthcare." (And by logical extension anything else)

24 posted on 11/22/2013 6:39:18 AM PST by nonsporting
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To: Yardstick
poor and middle-class people, dooped by faux patriotism,

Not duped. The back-story is that they rose up against the all-powerful government, lost, and were broken into districts. The districts were forced, at threat of destruction/death, to send a male and female child between the ages of 12 and 18 to the games each year as retribution for their uprising and failure. The ultimate story is, they rose up against this oppression and fought back because one person showed them how.

If you haven't read the series, then I don't want to spoil the story about district 13.

25 posted on 11/22/2013 6:39:41 AM PST by IYAS9YAS (Has anyone seen my tagline? It was here yesterday. I seem to have misplaced it.)
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To: nonsporting
Okay. I guess you have more confidence in this film being misinterpreted by its target audience than I do.

I hope you're right.

26 posted on 11/22/2013 6:40:54 AM PST by wideawake
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

They’re counting on the viewers not making the connection, or blaming it somehow on the capitalist system.


27 posted on 11/22/2013 6:43:13 AM PST by FrdmLvr ("WE ARE ALL OSAMA, 0BAMA!" al-Qaeda terrorists who breached the American compound in Benghazi)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

I liked the first movie and the books also.

We are going to see this one tomorrow.

My grand kids got me hooked on the books but I never expected to enjoy the movie as much as I did.

.


28 posted on 11/22/2013 6:48:04 AM PST by Mears
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To: wideawake
"The Hunger Games is not a conservative manifesto."

It may not have started that way, but the comparison with the present government seems obvious. It is about rebellion against a tyrannical oppressive government and the price that must be paid to resist. I am going to see the movie later today and see if is close to the book in its portrayal of resistance to a dictatorial degenerate government

29 posted on 11/22/2013 7:05:04 AM PST by Truth29
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To: ItsOurTimeNow

Thank you!!! I just watched that YouTube clip - Gave me a GOOD LOL this morning!!! :-D


30 posted on 11/22/2013 7:06:50 AM PST by joethedrummer
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To: IYAS9YAS

Yes, all of that is laid out in the preamble at the beginning of the movie. But when we join the story, most of the districts have bought into the patriotism and honor themes that the rich district has wrapped around the games. They have bought into the system, and that is the problem to be solved. Hope resides in the people of the poorest district since they have the least stake in the system. Their participation is mainly the result of compulsion by the state and economic desparation. This makes them ripe for rebellion if they can only gain consciousness of their own strength and the tenuous nature of the exploiter class’s hold on power.


31 posted on 11/22/2013 7:11:40 AM PST by Yardstick
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To: Yardstick
most of the districts have bought into the patriotism and honor themes that the rich district has wrapped around the games.

I thought only two of the districts did that. The rest were just trying to survive, and showed considerable disdain for the procedure. They were compelled to do so at the threat of death. There was no mass celebration when the names were picked in 12, just silence.

32 posted on 11/22/2013 7:16:29 AM PST by IYAS9YAS (Has anyone seen my tagline? It was here yesterday. I seem to have misplaced it.)
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To: tips up

There’s a classic example here about messages really being in the mind of the audience. Collins has said any political references are against Bush (the first one was written before Obama was even elected). But a conservative reader will see it the other way. It’s a tale against oppressive government, the question boils down to what the reader considers oppressive.


33 posted on 11/22/2013 7:17:46 AM PST by discostu (This is Jack Burton in the Pork Chop Express, and I'm talkin' to whoever's listenin' out there.)
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To: discostu

“not paying for birth control” = “oppressive”...


34 posted on 11/22/2013 7:18:34 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: IYAS9YAS

Okay, two districts duped and the rest compelled. The theme is still one of class exploitation.


35 posted on 11/22/2013 7:22:51 AM PST by Yardstick
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To: Truth29
I found the economy of Panem and the Districts preposterous - that a city that could build an arena far beyond anything the present day could achieve, could also be dependent on the raw materials produced by depopulated hinterlands with early twentieth century technology at best. All right, that kind of thing bothers me, like the lack of cultivated fields and herds around Rohan in LOTR. But I digress.

In the supposed criticism of our celebrity-worshipping culture, the book fails completely. Katniss has a makeup and wardrobe team, luxurious quarters and food before the games - that's not criticism, that's pandering to girls and women who want to have their cake and eat it too - who want glamor and acclaim and to be treated like princesses, and yet to be at heart something better, a deadly competent, noble Artemis, worshipped by two men. Would the book have been so popular if Katniss had been simply dropped grubby and unpampered into the arena? Absolutely not.

36 posted on 11/22/2013 7:26:26 AM PST by heartwood
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To: Yardstick
The theme is still one of class exploitation.

Yes. And who is it that exploits classes the most? It certainly isn't conservatives.

37 posted on 11/22/2013 7:26:41 AM PST by IYAS9YAS (Has anyone seen my tagline? It was here yesterday. I seem to have misplaced it.)
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To: heartwood
"In the supposed criticism of our celebrity-worshipping culture, the book fails completely. Katniss has a makeup and wardrobe team, luxurious quarters and food before the games - that's not criticism, that's pandering to girls and women who want to have their cake and eat it too - who want glamor and acclaim and to be treated like princesses, and yet to be at heart something better, a deadly competent, noble Artemis, worshipped by two men. Would the book have been so popular if Katniss had been simply dropped grubby and unpampered into the arena? Absolutely not."

Of course the book and Katness would not have been as popular; just as TV presenters and personalities are better turned out and more attractive than the average viewer. For the second book and movie, however, it is explained that the winners are granted these perks and more in their District for life.

38 posted on 11/22/2013 7:35:20 AM PST by Truth29
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To: IYAS9YAS

Well yeah, of course. That’s what makes this movie leftist agitprop. It basically casts conservatives as the class exploiting bad guys or their dupes. That’s why we should be criticizing this movie, not praising it.


39 posted on 11/22/2013 7:37:41 AM PST by Yardstick
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To: heartwood

I don’t think the book would have been less popular if she’d have been dropped grubby into the arena. It just wouldn’t have setup an important plot point in the 3rd book. The fact is all that “luxury” the gamers get to “enjoy” before the game exists for 2 reasons: TV and guilt. The Hunger Games are a media event and they want to show the glory of the Capital. But also people in the Capital, especially people associated with the Games are starting to question the whole setup especially the Games. Year after year after year they get to meet these kids, then send them to their deaths and it’s starting to wear on them, which (SPOILER) becomes very important in the 3rd book (and really the end of the 2nd) when the rebellion gets going a lot of the people that are driving it are people from the Games.


40 posted on 11/22/2013 7:51:22 AM PST by discostu (This is Jack Burton in the Pork Chop Express, and I'm talkin' to whoever's listenin' out there.)
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To: discostu

Yes, the author used Katniss’s growing connection with her makeup team and handlers in the plot. But the primary function of the makeup team was female wish fulfillment. And I am a woman and the mother of daughters.


41 posted on 11/22/2013 8:10:07 AM PST by heartwood
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To: heartwood

I don’t think it was primarily as wish fulfillment at all. I don’t think anybody’s wish includes imminent death, which is the only reason she’s getting that luxury. The luxury is very much presented as the lipstick on a pig of a situation, including frequent references to Katniss not enjoying it because of what comes next.


42 posted on 11/22/2013 8:13:53 AM PST by discostu (This is Jack Burton in the Pork Chop Express, and I'm talkin' to whoever's listenin' out there.)
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To: discostu

Our culture romanticizes the beautiful and the doomed, and has since Romanticism began. Katniss is nobly facing death and doesn’t enjoy the glamour and celebrity, but she has them anyway. It’s not Katniss’s wish fullfilment; it’s the intended reader’s.


43 posted on 11/22/2013 8:21:46 AM PST by heartwood
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To: heartwood

I don’t see it fulfilling anybody’s wish. Who really wishes to be a painted doll then killed?


44 posted on 11/22/2013 8:24:43 AM PST by discostu (This is Jack Burton in the Pork Chop Express, and I'm talkin' to whoever's listenin' out there.)
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To: Truth29
It may not have started that way, but the comparison with the present government seems obvious.

We currently have an authoritarian government that is based on ripping off wealthy and productive people and giving away tons of free stuff to the unproductive "poor."

The authoritarian government of THG is a government of the wealthy based on the principle that all wealth is stolen from the poor. The THG government is effectively the New York Times/Salon.com/The Nation/Mother Jones caricature of a conservative government.

It is about rebellion against a tyrannical oppressive government and the price that must be paid to resist.

All populist leftist entertainment is based on similar themes.

I am going to see the movie later today and see if is close to the book in its portrayal of resistance to a dictatorial degenerate government

The money from your ticket will help fund contributions by the Hollywood supporters of our current regime.

The books, like the movie, are a leftist fantasy about what would happen if conservatives controlled the government.

Enjoy the movie, but don't pretend that it somehow has a conservative message.

45 posted on 11/22/2013 8:51:16 AM PST by wideawake
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To: Yardstick

Precisely.


46 posted on 11/22/2013 8:53:29 AM PST by wideawake
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To: discostu

Good point. Atlas Shrugged is playing out now, yet it was written 50+ years ago.

Even good stories by lib authors may have consequences and interpretations that they didn’t anticipate.


47 posted on 11/22/2013 9:29:32 AM PST by tips up (Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.)
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To: Truth29

Rollerball with Bows and Arrows?


48 posted on 11/22/2013 9:35:11 AM PST by Kickass Conservative (A Communist is nothing more than an honest Democrat...)
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To: Truth29

I have zero interest in female action heroes... at least not this kind. This movie is for the 15-30 year olds who think gay marriage is perfectly normal.


49 posted on 11/22/2013 9:38:23 AM PST by dennisw (The first principle is to find out who you are then you can achieve anything -- Buddhist monk)
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To: joethedrummer

“and that’s how babies grow?”
“you gotta be kidding me”


50 posted on 11/22/2013 9:43:10 AM PST by ItsOurTimeNow ("Scheming demons dressed in kingly guise, beating down the multitudes and scoffing at the wise.")
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