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Pete Vonder Haar’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” Tamps Down the Flames

In response to Pete Vonder Haar’s 786‑word review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Houston Press

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In a tour de farce, Vonder Haar’s hunger for substance pangs loud and a bit too clearly—he’s spoiling for a fight against the absence of force in the trite.

Assuming that what plot there may be resides in the social media buzz between tweens (and, in turn their long-suffering elder relations/acquaintances), spoilers are treated as already twice-told tales, therefore, abound. One needn’t be a Marshall McCluhan (who?) to know, as Vonder Haar does, that print is dead, and that the shiny movie poster book cover art is often are far as most YA fans go in terms of content absorption.  

That said, actually reading/viewing—even if it’s electronic—this précis and its plasma-rich site is rife with biting satire and color, respectively, conjuring the very moustache wax of a campy Donald Sutherland’s presidential mien (and its phonetic sidekick, ‘mean’).

Vonder Haar’s equivalency-meter with the Governator’s ‘Running Man’ (he gives “Catching Fire” 3 of 5), while kitschy, is a non-starter, as most of the tween-something audience has likely not heard of nor seen that 80’s piece of camp. However, the appealingly hip and glib writerly style is refreshingly candid and appealing whenever—as here—humor can be a tonic in the face of the filmic lack of art this literate criticism fails to find in “Catching Fire.”   

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation