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Richard Larson’s Big, Brainy “Hunger Games” Is a Smorgasbord

In response to Richard Larson’s 871‑word review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Slant Magazine

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Richard Larson’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” takes a very studious approach to film critique. You can almost picture Larson in his best corduroy suit (complete with elbow patches, of course), puffing on a pipe and pecking at his typewriter.

Whatever method he’s using, he should keep doing it because it’s working.  Crackling metaphors, sparkling analysis and proficient prose anchor a piece that is as deep as it is long. Larson intelligently explores ideas of existential longing, the role of media in sparking or extinguishing uprisings, and the psychological growth of the characters.

This relentless scholarly pursuit does go past didactic and into pedantic territory at times, with Larson offering stretches of prose that are so dry you’ll feel parched. A little humor could have gone a long way here, especially at a relatively lengthy 871 words.

But that’s a matter of taste. Some may find all this erudition a refreshing change from the ubiquitous jokey, light reviewing that has become standard these days.

The prose is direct and has a clarity that helps elucidate all these deep thoughts, keeping readers on board even as he takes them deeper and deeper.

This is bright, brainy stuff and will satisfy even the most cultured readers.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation