Catching Fire: Is It November Yet?

On Sunday, the trailer for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was released, and friends, I am so excited, that


Catching Fire is my favorite book in Suzanne Collin’s trilogy, and I am strongly protective of it. As a sequel, it deepened my understanding of the story’s setting and of the characters for whom I was cheering.

The trailer both excites and worries me.

It excites me because it looks fantastic! I mean – and please excuse my fangirling – it just looks right. The districts are a third-world America, the Capitol a perfect blend of flamboyance and gluttony, and Katniss—

Katniss Everdeen is stunning.

I really want this movie to be good.

And that’s what worries me – hoping for a movie based on a book that I love to be good? What does that even mean? What do fans want when they say a movie has to be “just like the book?”

I don’t think we really know. For me, I want the story that I first read.

I want to spend 120 minutes, give or take, exploring Panem and falling in love with Peeta. I want to trust Finnick and solve the Arena. I want to outsmart the Games.

I want to be the spark that starts a revolution.

But to expect a film to encapsulate the world created by Suzanne Collins’ imagination and mine is a lot to ask. So instead I ask Francis Lawrence for a faithful adaptation, one that maintains the integrity of its characters and their struggles.

And yet one that is its own story.

Do you think that’s possible, readers? Can a movie be all of that?

I can think of two that are —  Atonement (2007) and The Perks of Being a Walflower (2012).

Atonement was director Joe Wright’s vision of Ian McEwan’s novel. It’s one of my favorite films, and is a standard by which I judge all other movie adaptions.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a rarity: the novel’s author Stephen Chbosky not only wrote the screenplay but also directed the film. It is a masterpiece.

Obviously, not all authors are as lucky as Chbosky, and any Hunger Games fan who dares to argue that Suzanne Collins co-wrote the first film’s screenplay, and therefore we shouldn’t be upset with changes made to the story, needs a slap in the face: “Too Little Liam Hemsworth? Hunger Games Writers Tried Out Some Ideas To Add More Gale!” (E! Online). Collins, what were you thinking?

But these are just two, and I would love to discover more.

So readers, are there any films out there that actually do justice to the books they are based on?

Ooh, and here’s a thought: anyone have an especially horrible film adaption? One that should just have never been made?

(May I suggest Timeline? Oh goodness, Timeline is a travesty.)

What do you think, my fellow Capitol citizens? Yay or nay?

I love it, but where’s Finnick? Where’s Joanna? Where’s Hawaii the Arena? It’s like this trailer is only the first half of the book, if that.

And the second half of the book is pretty much this:

Jack, Kate, and Sawyer - Lost

Kidding, kidding.

It’s really more like this:


And more Smoke Monster and less Polar Bears.

Aw, man. I miss Lost.


8 thoughts on “Catching Fire: Is It November Yet?

    • They’re not too difficult to read and have a fast pace, so when you do, I don’t think they will take you very long. 🙂

      That’s an excellent list and analysis of why some movies are better than others. I would only disagree with you on LWW because it’s tone was right with me. Not exactly right, but still better than I anticipated. The sequels, however… [shudders].

      • There were scenes where LWW was spot-on, but there were too many that were… off somehow, that it didn’t jive with my idea of the book. I got the feeling that its creators didn’t GET the book, if you know what I mean. They were in it for the commercial venture more than the love of the work, which makes me sad. I would love to see the story in the hands of film-makers who have that kind of budget and who truly love the stories. I didn’t even bother with the sequels. 😦

      • That’s funny because I came away with a very different feel. Sure it was a little… Disney. But I enjoyed it. I thought Prince Caspian was a complete and utter turnaround. Definitely a disregard for the story and fans. It took me a really long time before I watched Dawn Treader as I was appalled with what I heard had been done to it. When I did see it, I thought it was a good story and movie – it just wasn’t Dawn Treader. But it had a lot of great moments.
        I’m not positive, but I think I remember reading that Lewis didn’t want his stories filmed, believing that they wouldn’t do the stories justice. Or was that Tolkien?

  1. Pingback: Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, Book 2), Suzanne Collins (Scholastic Press, 2009{Scholastic Audio, Narrator: Carolyn McCormick}) | The Archaeologist's Guide to the Galaxy.. by Thomas Evans

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