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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (8 out of 10)
directed by Francis Lawrence
written by Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt, from the YA novel by Suzanne Collinsy
Principal Cast
Jennifer Lawrence -- Katniss Everdeen
Liam Hemsworth -- Gale Hawthorne
Jack Quaid -- Marvel
Taylor St. Clair -- Ripper
Sandra Ellis Lafferty -- Greasy Sae
Woody Harrelson -- Haymitch Abernathy
Josh Hutcherson -- Peeta Mellark
Paula Malcomson -- Katniss' Mother
Willow Shields -- Primrose Everdeen
Donald Sutherland -- President Snow
Elizabeth Banks -- Effie Trinket
For a long time now I've been rating films from one to four stars. Starting with The Wolverine review, I've switched to a rating from 0 to 10. Why? Because it is a much better three star film than Man of Steel was. Man of Steel was a 7. The Wolverine is an 8.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire How can you not love a story with a heroine named Katniss Everdeen? I saw this film at the IMAX, sitting third row center, and enjoyed it thoroughly.

The Hunger Games franchise is a high concept series of books and movies. Kids are put in an arena and only one can come out alive. It's reminiscent of Beyond Thunderdome. "Two men enter, one man leaves."

Only The Hunger Games tries to have it both ways. If you accept the premise, then Katniss must either kill or die. But she doesn't. Which makes this a good children's story, but not something about which I can suspend my disbelief.

The enjoyable parts of the film are the characters, all but one of whom is nice. I like nice characters. But nice doesn't really work in a duel to the death, and so you take what pleasures you can from a popular entertainment. It's not as good as Harry Potter, but at least it is better than Twilight. (I should not say that -- I've never watched or read Twilight. You tell me. Is Twilight any good?)

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Copyright © 2013 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon. Visit his web site at

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