- The first preview trailer at Catching Fire was for the March release of Divergent; they know their audience.
- Lots of young women at Catching Fire with hair in one long braid, worn over the shoulder. Also, at least one Primrose in the audience.
- The depth of visual allusion in this movie is again interesting. But where The Hunger Games was chiefly quoting WPA still photography of the 30’s, I think this one has a lot of Hollywood in the 50’s. Plus a certain amount of Riefenstahl, which is inevitable but which this movie handles well. (Compare the final scene of Star Wars, which hopes you’ll assume this is Fascist architecture without the fascists, or Starship Troopers, which seems basically to be nostalgia for when Fascism was respectable.)
- Both of the novel’s good moments work beautifully here. That’s everything you could ask.
- The problem of the Harry Potter movies was always that the fan audience wanted every detail, and that made the movies too long. Here, just about every detail gets onto film, but the stray subplots are handled entirely visually. This demands a lot from the viewer, but the fan-viewer is prepared to work a bit and the casual viewer doesn’t need the subplot anyway.
Update: Wesley Morris at Grantland.