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Tom Clift’s “Catching Fire” Is World Weary but Still Appreciative

In response to Tom Clift’s 1014‑word review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Moviedex

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“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” review is an intelligent, Hollywood-weary reflection on unfulfilled potential that can still appreciate decent entertainment.

Though reviewer Tom Clift is disappointed with the film he can admit that it “still passes the audience engagement test”. Readers will appreciate that Clift even posits the existence of a construct such as an audience engagement test without turning his nose up at it, let alone praise a film for passing it.

Readers can sense Clift’s desire for filmmakers to explore some of the more interesting themes underlying the film—and like the best reviewers Clift not only teases out those themes but elucidates the different directions filmmakers might have gone.

Clift’s review, fittingly, is bookended by movie stills featuring Katniss Everdeen, i. e. Jennifer Lawrence, whom he says redeems the material.  A pensive Lawrence greets readers at the top and a beautiful, white-gowned one standing alongside goofily bewigged Stanley Tucci greets them farther down.

The photographs, in addition to being arresting, deftly reference the substance of Clift’s review, i. e. that “Katniss is a woman of many faces: star-crossed lover; sassy talk-show guest; dedicated friend and sister; reluctant hero and symbol of hope.”

Such congruency between web page layout and review theme is rare these days when review readers are treated to the same few movie stills fit unimaginatively into templates.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation