Sunday 1 December 2013

What I learnt from Catching Fire (no spoilers)

Don't worry, you can safely read with no spoilers ahead (because I hate that! In fact I can't even stand being told what a film is about because I think people give away too much!) Please if you do comment, no spoilers either - remember some people haven't even read the books (like me).

So the good news is, it's good - better than the first one (which I thought was a bit of a dumbed down Series 7 - which is a great indie film if you haven't seen that).

So here's what I took away from it all:

1. There is a line, about fame and celebrity 'Your life becomes theirs, paraded around to make people forget the real problems'. Has anyone noticed, if they get the news emailed to them, or look online, that Kanye & Kim, or Will Ferrell & Co being here for a movie premiere has started to creep in as the lead stories? This entertaining distraction has started to creep in instead of news. You know this is my little bugbear, and I discussed this at length here, so I won't repeat myself, but it is worth noting to yourself that you are being manipulated into ignorance, in order to be placated. Someone is getting away with something, and it probably isn't in your best interests.

2. "If you abandon your moral judgement, it can be fun". This is a double edge sword, but for today, I'm just looking at the positive. Sometimes, if you don't think about what you should be doing, you can have a great time. So be the person that throws themselves into something, no matter how stupid or silly (or juvenile), and be surprised at how much fun it can be (recent cartwheeling proved this to me). This is not, of  course, what was meant in the film, they were going more with the Marie Antoinette attitude but we all know that moral already.

3. "Fear doesn't work, as long as they have hope". This is a big one. I'm not entirely sure where to go with this, as we don't really live in a country where this is an issue. But it makes me think of those brave people, throughout history, that have stood up for what they believe in. Think Nelson Mandela, think that man in front of the tank in Tiananmen Square, the list is endless...

4. A character says "Someday I want to love someone that much". I found this really interesting because she didn't say 'I want to be loved' but the giver of the great love. Think of the fairy stories that are drummed into us, the movies etc, it's all about someone loving the girl so much, not about how much she loves the other. Yet this is implying that the great gift in love is the giving, not the receiving.

5. What I really like in this series, is that the women, for the most part, are competent. In fact the men are often the ones that need help. I love that the main character is extremely competent and is very uncomfortable when paraded around with the focus on her appearance. When she's dressed up to look pretty, she's clearly out of her depth, but fighting for her life or helping others, she's totally on top of it. Other than Mulan, is there any other kids film where this is the case? (I love Mulan by the way, she's the only Disney Princess that actually does anything, the rest just look pretty and wait for their prince to come). For this moral alone, I give this movie 5 stars, a must for tweens & teen girls.

6. There is a throwaway line "Love is weird". And it is. We've heard it in other ways 'The heart wants what the heart wants' and so on, but really, love is weird is the nugget of truth in the most simplistic fashion. You can't explain it, you can't understand why some people choose who they choose. It is, in a lot of cases, weird.

Points 7, 8 and 9 will give away important plot points, so just pretend they've been discussed. They were very witty and intelligent. In fact, they would blow your mind and you would see that I am a genius. So lets just move along.

10. The main thing I want to talk about is this guy.
(yep, did the weirdo taking photos during the movie again)

So what I was going to say, was Donald Sutherland has looked like this all my life, and go into a Portrait of Dorian Gray routine. Except, when I looked up Cloud Bursting, I discovered he did look younger and different. In actual fact, my memory has somehow implanted the grey haired Donald Sutherland into both Cloud Bursting and Don't Look Now. I really had no idea. I could see him clearly in them, in my mind, waving from the back of the car with the grey hair, looking pretty much like this without the beard. We even discussed it at length yesterday, and my partner agreed with me. He too remembers him as the grey haired Donald Sutherland in that clip. I definitely don't remember that perm in Don't Look Now (feel free to google that one yourself)! Yet when I looked up the footage to link for you, I realised he looked completely different to how I remember those films. So it's a different point I want to discuss to that which I initially intended. Just know, that as you age, your memory really does play tricks on you. (Just as my mother swears she never let me watch Don't Look Now as a kid and caused me to be terrified by images of a little kid in a red coat; but it was the 70's and we only had one tv, so it was one in all in, and in the '70's, the kids came last in the voting her memory also plays tricks on her!)

For those that don't know, because you are younger than my 107 years, this song was a HUGE deal at the time. A big Hollywood star was in a music video, that was like a mini film in itself. It used to make me cry and I loved it all the more for it.

Now can you name a female singer of today that would dress up like a young boyish girl and not be all pervy, parading around in underwear? Miley, it can be done a different way, really, it can.

To sum up, I've gone from being someone not that impressed with the Hunger Games franchise, to a convert, hanging for the next instalment. They've done a good job. I also love that I recognise nearly every actor from their roles in Law & Order. It took me ages to pin down Mags in my mind, but I finally got there. Doesn't matter how many big films you make, I'll always refer to you as your role in L&O twenty years ago....if you were a judge, that's probably ok, if you were the dad that raped his son's girlfriend, probably not so great....(she was a judge in Law & Order and then the Mama Rosa of the meatball fame in SVU, so for me, she'll always be Mama Rosa!)

Other useless bit of trivia - Wireless is also the chick that robs the dinner at the start of Pulp Fiction (Honey Bunny). And yes, I do spend half of any film trying to remember what else I've seen everyone in. No idea why, I just do.

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.
And remember, no spoilers please!

Does your memory play tricks on you?


  1. I'm a huge fan, and had to start reading the books again after watching the movie last week :)
    There's just something so inspiring and confronting about the whole story really. Makes you realise we can be manipulated, but also that we all have the power to make the world a better place.
    And on that note, I'm off to read another chapter before bed. :)

  2. Maybe I should read them over the holidays....but then I'd spoil the 3rd movie for me...heehee

  3. The series has been on my 'to read' list for some time... alas, I've not had the opportunity to get there yet. I'm one of those people who likes to read the books before seeing the films, so I suppose I need to get my butt into gear!

  4. You should definitely read the books. I enjoyed them way more than the first movie. I haven't seen Catching Fire yet. I love a strong female character too and you certainly get one in Katniss.

  5. I loved the books and devoured them one after the other. I am seeing this instalment on Thursday and cannot wait!!! Love your points shared!

  6. I think we all try to remember where we know that actor from. It is infuriating and yet fun at the same time!

  7. Points 7,8 & 9 were my absolute favourite... I love this post so much because I absolutely CANNOT wait to see this movie and your post just makes me want to watch it even more

  8. I am going to come clean and admit I have not read the books OR watched the movie! I've added the books to my ever growing list of summer reading xx

  9. When I watched the first movie I bought the set of books so I could read what would happen next. I'm hooked and can't wait to watch this second instalment at the movies. I love that the woman is the hero too in these books.

  10. Oh I love the second movie! It's so much better than the first - they're in the swing of things now! I can't wait to see the third.

  11. If I see someone that looks familiar in a movie I try to work out who it is. Failing that I google it because it will bug me for the rest of the day.
    I haven't read the books yet or seen the movie but it's on my giant must do list.

  12. Oooh I have seen the first movie and am planning on seeing the second. I haven't read the books yet, but I'd like to when I get a spare minute or two!! xx Lucy from Bake Play Smile

  13. SNAP, I also spend way too much time trying to guess where I've seen or heard actors before! I was underwhelmed by the first one so I'm glad to read it got better. I also enjoy that quote, "Someday I want to love someone that much" - I'm so glad that I do. Just curious, are these verbatim? or did you take notes ;) xxxx

  14. One day I hope to get to them. I havent seen the movies either! I need to expand on my 'me' time I think! #teamIBOT