Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Caught Fire

The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire was a hit at the box office. It made a record $110.2 million dollars in the Box office over Thanksgiving weekend. This made it the highest grossing Thanksgiving movie ever. It has a domestic total of $296.5 million dollars. The Hunger Games is based off of the novel trilogy by Susan Collins.

The story is the dystopian future of North America into a totalitarian society called Panem. The nation includes 12 districts and the Capitol. The Capitol decides everything for the capitol. Every year there is a lottery to chose 2 individuals from each district to represent their district in the Hunger Games. Each tribute will fight to the death till there is only one winner. When Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark defy the capitol in the games, they both end up being the victors. Without giving the rest away, I will just say that the adventure they take on immediately takes the viewer in and outcome is definitely not what I expected.

In the second movie, Peeta and Katniss have to go back into the Hunger Games to fight once again. Despite the rule that if you are a victor you don't have to be in the lottery again.
The reason this sequel has become so popular is very clear. Francis Lawerance, the Director of Catching Fire explains the many reasons he thinks it was so successful. He says "Susan created a really rich world, filled it with compelling characters, and told a great story with just a really truly amazing character, Katniss, at the center of it. I think one of the things about Katniss's character is that whether you're a guy or a girl, you can relate to her because she's so real and relatable." He goes on to talk about Katniss' flaws and mishaps which make the viewer connect even more with her character.
This goes to show that in some cases, relate-ability can really boost ratings. Making her qualities less hero-like and more real is something that allows viewers to put yourself in her shoes and imagine what you would do in similar situations.

What most people fail to realize is the amount of visual effects put into the film. For example, the exterior shots the the train car Peeta and Katniss are in in the beginning of the movie,  were typically aerial plate shots into which a digital train and track were added.  Most of the arena was all digital as well. The jungle, ocean, shore, and beach line were completely digital. This included the movement of wind moving the the trees the ocean waves and more. Such a job was done by VFX supervisor Janek Sirrs. I hop I didn't spoil anything, but for those of you who haven't I strongly recommend it!

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