Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Quick Reviews #5

I have been very busy as of late, and haven't found time until now to review the latest instalment of The Hunger Games franchise; Catching Fire. But during the time since seeing the film I also watched Prisoners so instead of doing one big review of each, I thought I would do another post of quick reviews for the two films. So please read on and enjoy.

Catching Fire
I have been quite negative in the year heading up to Catching Fire. I loved the first film but thought they might be rushing the second one, even previous director Gary Ross left the franchise for he did not think he could make the film he wanted in the time before the release date! The first couple trailers came out and looked pretty cool but quite CGI heavy and didn't have the 'shaky cam' style of the first film, which I loved. The 'shaky cam' may have been toned down a lot but I was pleasantly surprised at how good the second film was, especially as it was based on what I consider to be the weakest book of the trilogy. In fact I would go as far as saying that this may be the first film I have seen that I believe to be better than its book as it expands upon it and I was more emotionally attached to the characters. Catching Fire picks up where the first film left off with Katniss and Peeta returned champions of the Hunger Games. But their actions in the arena have sparked riots in many of the districts that the Capitol is worried could turn into a full blown rebellion. As with the first film Jennifer Lawrence is outstanding as Katniss Everdeen, a role model for a generation, not just within the story of the films. We have some other great new additions to the cast such as Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Clafin and Jeffrey Wright who really stand out in their roles. The characterisation is great and has been improved upon from the first film, as has the dodgy CGI which no longer looks out of place. The story feels as if it has been made for the big screen, with many twists and turns that lead to what some are calling an abrupt ending, but one I knew was coming and had been looking forward to seeing how the filmmakers handled it. Director Francis Lawrence has fitted in perfectly and really added to the expansion of the world. I cannot wait to see how the next book turns out which is being split into two films. Only time will tell for me whether this film was better then first but it sure was great. It's main flaw is a average first act but I am still giving Catching Fire a solid 4/5.

What seems to be a classic, 'who done it' turns out to be much more of an emotional rollercoaster ride that delves deep into our own humanity in Prisoners. Following Hugh Jackman's father character as he and another family both have a child abducted, we get to see what lengths this man will go to, to bring his daughter back. He is not without help as Jake Gyllenhaal's Detective Loki also tries to find the girls and the person who took them. This film is pretty crazy from the get go, with lots of twist and turns that will never let you fully guess the mystery behind everything. You will be on edge for most of the film but your patience will be rewarded. Jackman and Gyllenhaal give off what could be their best performances yet as both their characters get a hefty amount of characterisation that sees them as changed men for better or worse by the end of the film. I really loved this film, the camera stays still for most scenes, letting you take everything in from the great backdrop to this heart racing story. The two leads are incredible but the supporting cast get thrown to the side a bit, especially Terrence Howard's character who I believe was severely underused. The film feels a lot like Zodiac, and like that film it brings a lot to a genre which could be very by the books, creating a generic crime thriller, but Prisoners is a lot more than that. I am rating the film a 4/5.

Do you agree with my reviews? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading! 


  1. Both are great films :) Nice reviews mate.

  2. Good reviews mate, but I'll probably go see Prisoners before Hunger Games: Catching Fire. For some reason I'm just not that interested in that franchise.

    1. Cheers man. Both are good films but I am fan of the Hunger Games books so that does help!

    2. Fair dos my friend, I may have to watch the films or read the books at least so I can criticize or praise it from a position of knowledge.But still, there's still Frozen and the new Hobbit film to watch!

    3. Not sure if I will catch Frozen but The Hobbit Part 2 is a must!!


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