‘Catching Fire’ leaves fans on the edge of their seats

Rafaeal Rios | Staff Writer

The odds were not in their favor.

They made it out alive by the slimmest of chances, but now, last year’s victors Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Melark are getting sucked back in.

Written by Suzanne Collins, “The Hungers Games” trilogy made its debut appearance in 2008 with the release of its first novel.

Grossing an average of $408 domestically and $283 million internationally, “The Hunger Games” directed by Gary Ross skyrocketed the popularity of the franchise.

“Catching Fire” the second installment of the series broke November’s records with a $158 million debut and surpassed the first films debut of $152 million.

Earning a salary of $500 thousand in the first film to play “the girl on fire” Jennifer Lawrence increased her earnings to $10 million this time around.

The biggest change for the series was Francis Lawrence taking the helm as director, replacing Ross.

Other noticeable changes from “The Hunger Games” included the shaky cinematography which fans either hated or loved, is almost unrecognizable in this new film.

Francis also did an excellent job prolonging the tone that Gary Ross set in the first film.

Following the similar path of the first film, “Catching Fire” goes takes the same route, beginning from district 12, to the Capitol, the training and then into the games.

Having to face the families of the fallen tributes during the Victory Tour, Katniss struggles with the difficulty of following her direct orders from President Snow to convince him and Panem of her and Peeta’s love for each other.

Also like the first film are the choices with the cinematography using darker lighting filters and color palletes for the working-class Districts, and getting brighter the closer to the Capitol.

Clothing worked in a similar scale with darker grays in Districts like 12 and dramatically radiant colors in the Capitol.

Unsatisfied with the faux couple’s performance, Snow makes the 75th annual Hunger Games an all-star edition bring back previous winners to compete to the death.

The arena in this year’s Hunger Games is a rain forest with a small island in the middle, but unlike its predecessor the dangers of this arena are mostly the obstacles that the game makers have created to prey on the already shaky minds of past Victors, rather than simply the brutality between the contestants.

The Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) used throughout the whole movie to create things like the hovercrafts, Capitol, and most surroundings, is noticeable however cool, but it is most glaring among the oasis themed arena.

“Catching Fire” radiates a wide variety of feelings to the viewers, from woe to excitement.

With “May the odds be ever in your favor” still echoing in the subconscious mind of the 74th annual winners of the Hunger Games, and suffering, from post-traumatic stress disorder it’s difficult not to feel a sense of empathy for all the contestants having to re-live the Hunger Games.

“Catching Fire” ends in a cliffhanger leaving you cringing for what may come next, but the next installment, “Mockingjay Part 1,” is not set to premiere until November 2014, so until then, reading the last book will have to suffice.