[info]aldiara wrote
on November 23rd, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Catching Fire! (spoilers, srsly)

*dusts off poor neglected always-down IJ which DAMMIT once again has outdated icons now arrrrrrgh*

SO! [info]alsha and [info]antiteb and I went to see Catching Fire tonight (that was AFTER going to the Weta Cave and randomly running into George R.R. Martin there, lololol wot are our lives) and I need to babble somewhere and this will do nicely! (This will mostly be incoherent rambling and capslock flail, natch).

OMG YOU GUYS. I HAVE SO MANY FEELS RIGHT NOW AND THEY MUST OUT.

Basically I loved it. I have nitpicks and I shall get to them, but aaaaaaah it was so good. The cast, the pacing, the lines, the cinematography. I was just blown away. I was so worried that after Gary Ross backed out that whoever came after him would shoot a glossy Capitolised film and that the mood was gonna be all wrong but the mood was SO PERFECT I CAN'T EVEN. I have a bad cold right now so I had a legitimate excuse for leaking all over the place, but dudes. I cried so much. I thought it struck just the right balance with the gritty hopeless/angry Districts bits and the glossy Capitol bits and how it insidiously sucks you into enjoying the show and then making you cringe at yourself realising it's revolting and these people are awful #metaFTW

My thoughts are all over the place, so in no particular order:

- Finnick. Obviously one of my biggest worries considering how bloody dull Sam Claflin's been in previous roles. I was fretting but I really really wanted him to pull it off but I didn't want to just convince myself he'd pulled it off if he didn't, I wanted him to ACTUALLY DO IT and was not terribly seriously hopeful that he would.

...I liked him. Quite a bit. I'm not at OMG PERFECTION because I don't know if the actor who would do OMG PERFECT Finnick exists, frankly, but I liked him and I have a feeling his performance will grow on me even more over time (kind of like I didn't think Billy Boyd was really what I expected Pippin to be when I first saw LotR but over time he totally made it his). It helped that he actually acted, lol (something he definitely wasn't doing in Pillars of the Earth or that terrible fourth Pirates movies that just should not exist). I was making doubtful faces at his very first scene (but that's when we get Katniss's perspective on him and of course he seems smarmy and lame!) but the first scene where I thought he might actually pull this off was during the lame televised "you'll always have my heart, my love" message - it's so deliberately cheesy and flaky because it has to be but you could actually see in his eyes how desperate and broken he really was and damn if he did not completely make me feel the horrid situation he was in. And he had a lot of just little gestures that I really liked, like wasting some of the precious water by wiping his face because it's so ingrained in him that he has to be pretty, and the tender moments with Mags, and all the sneering at Katniss and the "remember the enemy" scene at the end. So... yeah, he'll do. (And yes, "he'll do" may be a somewhat muted response to a character so intense and central but I was honestly pretty impressed and am looking forward to how he'll do in Mockingjay).

- Katniss. Argh. How damn good is Jennifer Lawrence! HER FACE AT THE END. HOW DOES HER FACE DO THAT.

- Johanna. Oh god. She killed me. I loved her so much. Every moment. Raging and cussing on camera during the big telly do. Telling Katniss to make Snow pay and that little solidarity moment. Not bothering to wash off the blood because why bother, right. "There's no one left I love." How fierce and broken and loyal and funny and totally badass she was. I cannot wait to see more of her. Cannot. Wait!

- THE VICTORS HOLDING HANDS and Caesar being all "argh, cut, cuuuut!" ngl, I bawled.

- Gale, wtf. This film gave me Gale feels. I do not do Gale feels! o_O But I felt like it made me get, for the first time really, how he could be a good choice for Katniss, and one she might make if circumstances were different. Book!Gale has always felt kind of... token to me, and this was the first time I felt bad for him, and her, and for what this fledgling thing might turn into if it got half a chance.

- And then Peeta feels, aaaaaargh. HOW DOES JOSH DO THAT. And I loved, LOVED, those little moments when he does something that is just so quintessentially Peeta, and in every other person in the world it would come across calculating or do-goody or annoying and he's just all earnest and genuine about it (while also still completely using it to their advantage, how!) and you realise - and watch Katniss realise, which is even better - that he seriously is just too good for this world but somehow he's also NOT annoyingly perfect and ugh, I do not comprehend how it works but it's brill. Like, seriously. That scene with easing the morphling as she dies. And Katniss watching him easing her along. MY EMOTIONS ARE IN PAIN JUST THINKING ABOUT IT.

- Effie. Effieeeeeeeeeeee. OH GOD WHEN SHE TRIES TO GO THROUGH THE REAPING AND TOTALLY FAILS AT KEEPING HER CHIPPER ON ALL THE WAY THROUGH BECAUSE IT'S JUST SO DAMN AWFUL. And when she earnestly states that she's gonna get them all matching gold tokens and they all GET how she means it even though it's so daft or SEEMS so daft and ugh. How fantastic was she.

- Haymitch! Haymitch Haymitch Haymitch and him and Katniss and their damn pact and basically everything that comes out of his mouth. I love that man.

- Cinna. I can't. *falls apart*

- Mags. Mags! Holy cow she was amazing. And how much did I love her scenes with Finnick? SO FUCKING MUCH. They're ultimately a large part of what sold me on Sam Claflin because their rapport just utterly broke my heart. And I had honestly forgotten how soon into the games she dies and gaaaaaaaaah. PAINCAKE.

- DONALD SUTHERLAND YOU CREEPY BASTARD. I COMMEND YOUR SOUL-CHILLING BRILLIANCE AT BEING A MONSTER. And big kudos to them for not overdoing the bloody-mouth thing. It was so gross but so subtle.

- All scenes of Katniss shooting a bow ever. Mrow.

- The assessment. When Peeta walks out and Katniss sees what he painted. OMFG her face. And then her own contribution with the snottiest "fuck you" bow ever. PERFECTION.

- I want all the dresses.

- The arena was amazing, loved how they brought it to life. And I even liked Philip Seymour Hoffman, of whom I'm generally just tired because he's been in Everything Ever, but he did a nice job.

- The mood, have I mentioned the mood?? Because I was seriously impressed by the mood. It's authentically darker and more desperate than the first film, the stakes are higher, the players bigger. It's ultimately a set-up book/film, of course, but it sets up SO WELL. And I just wallowed in how starkly the ugliness of the Games was painted and the sense of loyalty and defiance among the victors (even the Careers) and how angry and bitter they were. Damn but it was good.

- Kinda loved the scene where it's Katniss who suggests they should get married. I don't exactly remember how that went down in the book (I seem to vaguely recall it was just narration along the lines of "and then he proposes and I accept because I have to" but may be wrong), I just really liked how they did it - how businesslike and utterly cynical it is, and then that long shot on Peeta's back as he walks away. Ouch.

- Katniss' mum. It's such a small part but as in the first movie, I was impressed at the statements they let her make - like how she's the first one to do the tribute at the Reaping, how she pulls Prim back when she would've gone tearing after Katniss, how she lies to the Peacekeepers to cover for Katniss going to the woods. She rocks.

Ok, let's quickly do nitpicks though, because I do have them.

-Uhm, that quick shot of Annie when Mags volunteered. What? I sincerely hope it was just that they hadn't cast the actress yet and this was a stand-in but even then I don't understand why they picked someone who looked clearly middle-aged and more like a morphling than a mildly unstable young girl. What was that? I'll have to see it again because it was so brief, maybe I just got the wrong impression? Alsha and Bettina got the same one though, so IDK. it was such a wtf moment. ANNIE IS NOT AND DOES NOT LOOK 40.

-lol, they couldn't have found a cat that looked like the one from the first film? Now it'll just look like Prim got ANOTHER cat who ALSO hates Katniss and it's just silly. Let's hope they at least stick with vaguely the same one for the final films.

-Still on the fence about whether Katniss really needed to fall apart quite that often, at least in the first half of the movie - she was doing an awful amount of crying and wailing. I think I'd have been happier if they'd at least left out the freak-out in the very beginning where the turkey morphs into Marvel (lol wot). In general I do like Jennifer's take on the role and how it's more emotional/vulnerable/accessible? but there were SO MANY BREAKDOWNS.

-Random small thing but it was weird to me that Peeta and Finnick had pretty much the exact same shade of brassy blond. Sometimes when they were running and it was a long shot, I had trouble picking out who was who. How hard would it have been to actually give Finnick bronze hair?

Ok, done nitpicking I think. Did I mention the shot of her face at the end and how epic it was??? Because it very nearly undoes the nitpick re: crying too much. IT IS THAT FANTASTIC.

Argh, there are so many more things and so many little things and so many feelings. I need to go again and see it roughly another seven times at least to pick up on everything and at least decide what my favourite bits were! But yeah, so I loved it and I CANNOT BELIEVE I AM ONCE AGAIN SUPPOSED TO WAIT. WHAT IS THAT. I JUST WAITED A YEAR AND A HALF. OMG GIEF MOCKINGJAY NOW.

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