We postponed Thanksgiving dinner until tomorrow (my wife is out of town) and so yesterday I took my kids to the "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." We had 3 free passes and so we splurged on popcorn instead. I go to about one movie per year in the theater (the last one was Act Of Valor) and am woefully behind on Netflix. This is not a movie review -- I'd prefer to leave such things to blake (@bitmaelstrom on Twitter).
"The Hunger Games" trilogy is the flip side of "The Handmaid's Tale" (not an original idea). I am not saying we are on the verge of either dystopia -- what I mean is its portrayal of the increasing polarization of the coastal elites vs. the members of "flyover America" states. Read for example Victor David Hanson's piece, "America's Coastal Royalty."
The plot line of "The Hunger Games" is also a vehicle for reflecting entertainment trends in America. Others have noted how the first one was sarcastic towards the whole reality TV genre in America. This continues in "Catching Fire" with for example "actors" in the televised spectacle going off script. Stanley Tucci is outstanding as the pageant host. Woody Harrelson steals every scene he is in. Philip Seymour Hoffman has too small of a role, but my son (who has read the novels) says that his role will become more important in the third movie. Jennifer Lawrence is gorgeous to look at (can't wait to see her in "American Hustle") and I even developed a liking for Elizabeth Banks' character: the unlikeable Effie.
The second "Hunger Games" does not disappoint. I recommend it.