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John Serba’s “Catching Fire” Blazes, but Is Only Serba-Esque

In response to John Serba’s 763‑word review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on MLive.com 

http://www.mlive.com/movies/index.ssf/2013/11/the_hunger_games_catching_fire_1.html

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Do not be fooled. John Serba’s twitter pic is not, in fact, John Serba. Nor does it bear any resemblance to Jesus, as some have foolishly assumed. It is Bruno S. , playing Kaspar Houser, a German boy who may or may not have been raised isolated in a darkened cell with only his mind as refuge.

Serba, too, grew up in a darkened cinema and his mind became a fertile ground for the cultivation of film critique. His “‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ review: Jennifer Lawrence the emotional key to smart, superior sequel,” proves it again, but, in previous efforts, Serba unleashed that mind in full force; here the brilliance comes more in dribs and drabs.

Not that this is a complete misstep. All the hallmarks of a Serba work are here: great writing, prodigious wit, cutting critique and the easy flow of a lazy man with a catheter. It’s just missing that little extra dose of panache that usually makes his work sing. It’s as if he’s bored (genius is prone to this) and doesn’t quite have the oomph to inject this with trademark brio.

He’s set the bar so high, that living up to it isn’t always easy, but hey, even a bad Serba is a good anyone else.    

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