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Critique Goes Up in Flames in Marshall Fine’s “Catching Fire”

In response to Marshall Fine’s 666‑word review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Hollywood & Fine

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For a seasoned veteran like Marshall Fine, a work like “‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’: Sparks of revolution,” is a bit of a shock.

Fine completely misses the boat here, delivering a superficial essay on the questions raised by Suzanne Collins’s books and the film adaptations while leaving out anything resembling genuine critique.

Sparks of revolution is a digressive mess, going on rambling tangents that aren’t worth following. He rants that the film “tamps down the violence” for three paragraphs, and gushes over the film’s “message for young people that questioning authority is a necessary proposition” for another two paragraphs.

All of these are fine points in moderation, but Fine focuses on them at the cost of criticism. He’s not said a word here about the direction, the production design, the quality of the script, or even the actor’s performances.

Fine’s work was never known as overly poetic or literary. In fact, his claim to fame was his quotidian, workmanlike style. He’s a lunchpail critic through and through, a guy who normally hits all the requisite points and clocks out at the end of the day. That’s why it’s such a shock to see him forget to pack a sandwich.    

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