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Tag: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (1-10 of 24)

Nominated for Nothing: 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

Just about every year, brilliant movies are utterly ignored by the Oscars. The Searchers, Groundhog Day, Breathless, King Kong, Casino Royale, Touch of Evil, Caddyshack, Mean Streets, The Big Lebowski, Shame – the Academy has a long history of overlooking comedies, action movies, horror flicks, hard-boiled genre pics, artsy foreign films, and documentaries that aren’t about World War II. This year, we’ll be taking a closer look at films that were too small, too weird, or perhaps simply too awesome for the Academy Awards. These are the Non-Nominees.

The Film: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the second of four installments in the Hunger Games franchise, based on the YA bestselling trilogy by Suzanne Collins. This time around, viewers are treated to another high-stakes battle in the Arena, but it’s what goes on outside the Games — Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta’s (Josh Hutcherson) Victory Tour, Katniss’ PTSD, the growing rebellion in the various districts — that creates a richer, more memorable installment. Gale (Liam Hemsworth) also appears.
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'It should be illegal to call somebody fat on TV,' says Jennifer Lawrence -- VIDEO

Fascinating Person™ Jennifer Lawrence is no stranger to the weird culture of Hollywood weight-shaming. “In Hollywood, I’m obese,” the Oscar winner told Elle magazine last fall. “I’m considered a fat actress. I’m Val Kilmer in that one picture on the beach.”

A year later, Lawrence is once again taking our culture to task for setting unrealistic body expectations for women — though this time, she’s doubling down on the media rather than the film industry itself.

“I think when it comes to the media, the media needs to take responsibility for the effect it has on our younger generation, on these girls who are watching these television shows, and picking up how to talk and how to be cool,” she tells Barbara Walters in an interview set to air Wednesday as part of the journalist’s annual Most Fascinating People special. (Lawrence is responding to a question about programs such as E!’s Fashion Police.)

“So then all of a sudden being funny is making fun of the girl that’s wearing an ugly dress… and the word fat,” Lawrence continues. “I just think it should be illegal to call somebody fat on TV. I mean, if we’re regulating cigarettes and sex and cuss words because of the effect they have on our younger generation, why aren’t we regulating things like calling people fat?”

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'Catching Fire' star Jeffrey Wright on the first film he was obsessed with (and the movies he saw too young) -- VIDEO

Jeffrey-Wright-PCPT.jpg

It’s a good week to be Jeffrey Wright, with the season finale of Boardwalk Empire having aired on HBO (read what he had to say in our postmortem) and The Catching Fire: Hunger Games in theaters. The actor, who plays brainiac Beetee, didn’t have to train like his costars. “Most of the stunts that I pulled off when we were [filming] in Hawaii were in the ocean surfing,” he says, with a laugh. “Beetee is more of a lover than a fighter — or at least a thinker. He lets the others run off and get their hands dirty and then they all come back and he plans what to do next.”

Did Wright master our EW Pop Culture Personality Test? Check out the video below. READ FULL STORY

'SNL' recap: The odds aren't really in Josh Hutcherson's favor

If last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live were an edition of The Hunger Games, then host Josh Hutcherson would have been one of those poor kids who dies in the melee outside the Cornucopia — just minutes after the Games begin.

I’m not trying to imply that Hutcherson bombed. Quite the opposite is true: he had the sort of on-camera ease that any first-time host would envy, never visibly suffering from nerves or being too obvious about reading cue cards. The problem is that after Hutcherson’s monologue, he largely faded into the background, playing a succession of un-showy characters in a series of less than memorable sketches. (Beyond the cold open, the monologue, and a tacked-on 12:55 sketch about Thanksgiving, there was nothing topical in Hutcherson’s episode. While it’s nice to see SNL try new things, all that evergreen material made the show feel like a collection of leftovers from previous weeks, rather than a set of sketches written this week and designed to show off the host’s skill set.)

A viewer who missed the monologue and interstitial photos of Hutcherson easily could have confused the Catching Fire star for one of the show’s five new white male cast members. On one level, that’s a compliment — Hutcherson totally blended in. On another, it’s not — Hutcherson didn’t stand out.

Well, with one exception — which I’ll get to right after naming last night’s…

Best Sketch

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Josh Hutcherson hosts 'Saturday Night Live' this weekend: Talk about it here!

When Jennifer Lawrence hosted SNL earlier this year, she faced one major hurdle: the perils of high expectations. By January 2013, Jennifer Lawrence had been the Internet’s ultimate celebrity BFF for nearly a year. Given how winning she was in talk show appearance after talk show appearance and interview after interview, it seemed a no-brainer to assume that her turn hosting SNL would be a slam dunk. Unfortunately, that assumption led to disappointment when the show didn’t deliver the episode we all hoped for — through no real fault of Lawrence’s, for what it’s worth.

And this is why Lawrence’s Hunger Games costar Josh Hutcherson may actually fare better when he makes his SNL hosting debut this weekend. On January 20, 2013, Lawrence was at the height of her ubiquity: She had been nominated for an Academy Award 10 days earlier, won a Golden Globe three days later, and received her Oscar one month after that. Hutcherson, by contrast, is much more under the radar. While franchise fans have a deep, abiding love for Peeta Mellark and the actor who portrays him, he’s hardly a household name on Lawrence’s level — and only a die-hard Peeta stan (do those exist?) would call Catching Fire his movie. (This may change by Mockingjay: Part 1, which will give Hutcherson more showcase moments.)

The pressure, then, is off.

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'Catching Fire': Ranking the 'Hunger Games' supporting cast from good (Elizabeth Banks!) to less good (Liam Hemsworth)

Back when it was a book, Catching Fire was the story of Katniss Everdeen’s ongoing struggles against the totalitarian crusty-old-dean repressive government of the Capitol. But now Catching Fire is a movie — a movie you and all your cousins will probably see — and the plot has changed a little bit. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is most clearly the story of Jennifer Lawrence, acclaimed actress and Dumb & Dumber fangirl, and her interactions with one of the most overqualified supporting casts this side of Harry Potter. The movie’s episodic structure makes it feel a bit like a parade, with each actor getting their chance in the spotlight. (The spotlight, in this case, is the heavenly beam of healing light which shines out of Jennifer Lawrence’s eyes.) READ FULL STORY

'Reaping Ball': A 'Hunger Games' parody of 'Wrecking Ball' we didn't know we needed until now

Catching Fire fever burns strong, this time incorporating that other “girl on fire” — Miley Cyrus. Posted by YouTube user twentyfirstrecords, “Reaping Ball” is a hilarious — and super-catchy — Hunger Games parody video set to the tune of Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.”

Created by parody band The Arena, the song is just the latest Hunger Games-inspired single. Last year, The Arena debuted “We Found Love (In the Hunger Games) – Peeta vs. Rihanna Remix.” Not to leave Team Gale without a radio-worthy theme song, this year’s track is sung from Gale’s perspective, pining for Katniss, who is in a “complicated” relationship with Peeta. “Gale” croons such perfect lines as “We don’t have to live this way,/ You’re my Mockingjay./ Let’s win this one for Rue.”

What makes the “Wrecking Ball” re-work even more interesting is that Liam Hemsworth, who plays Gale in the films, was engaged to Miley Cyrus, who may or may not have recorded the breakup song about her relationship with the Aussie actor. So that means it’s a parody video from the perspective of the character, played by the actor the original song might be about. So many layers!

Check out it out here: READ FULL STORY

Jennifer Lawrence almost wore a turkey on her head on 'The Daily Show' -- VIDEO

Here it is, your moment of zen — a.k.a. eight minutes of Jon Stewart ostensibly interviewing Jennifer Lawrence about her starring role in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

But because the movie’s so huge that there’s barely anything left for J. Law to say about it — and because this was the Oscar winner’s last stop on a long, grueling press tour — and because anyone who’s seen Lawrence do talk shows before knows that she can make even diarrhea sound charming — Stewart instead chose to spend the entire segment simply riffing with Lawrence, variously discussing her haircut, her resemblance to a young Helen Mirren, and her brief urge to stick her face into a Daily Show prop turkey, Monica Geller-style. “I passed that turkey backstage, and I thought for one second about putting it over my head and running out,” Lawrence explains to Stewart. “But then I was like, ‘Ehh, you have enough attention.’”

False, Jennifer: Keep up this charisma offensive, and we’ll never get sick of you. Also: Someone Photoshop an image of Jennifer Lawrence wearing a turkey on her head. NOW.

Catch the full interview below.

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'Catching Fire': 12 big changes from page to screen (and why almost all of them work)

Let the Grumbling Games begin! Er… actually, maybe not.

While The Hunger Games: Catching Fire clocks in at an expansive 146 minutes, it necessarily can’t include every beat from Suzanne Collins’s 400-page novel. And because the sequel, like The Hunger Games movie — and unlike Collins’s series – isn’t limited to showing only Katniss’s perspective, the film also contains several scenes that have no basis in Collins’s narrative.

But here’s the thing — most of the adaptive choices made by director Francis Lawrence and screenwriters Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt are totally defensible, clearly meant to keep the story moving at a quicker pace and expand the world of Panem beyond Katniss’s immediate vicinity. In fact, I’d be hard-pressed to name a change that should anger fans — or even really one that feels unnecessary. (Though fine, Finnick’s less revealing Opening Ceremony outfit does seem like a missed opportunity. Have you seen Sam Claflin?)

Agree? Disagree? Let’s go over some of the most notable ways the movie diverges from the book, then discuss. (And you know there will be spoilers here, right?)

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Throwback Thursday: What was your first midnight showing experience?

Tonight you’ll find me at my local movie theater for the midnight showing of Catching Fire. Well, not technically midnight. My movie starts at 11:15 p.m. because, apparently, the art of the midnight showing is changing into the art of the one-day-early showing, but that’s beside the point. I still expect a theater experience at least midnight showing-adjacent, which means a packed house, people in costume, and at least one memorable crowd reaction, all of which got me thinking about my first actual midnight movie.

Surprisingly for a movie addict, I didn’t attend a midnight showing until the summer after I graduated high school. My first midnight trip to the theater was on July 18, 2008 to see The Dark Knight. Not too shabby a pick!

I remember the theater being packed. I went with friends, my brother, and his friends, and we all ended up having to sit separately. Cops went around the theater threatening people about using their cell phones. If they saw any light during the film, you’d be escorted out.

The next thing I remember was The Joker’s big entrance. I’m not talking about the first time we saw him on the screen. I’m talking about the pencil scene. You know the one:

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