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Steven Rea Is the Grandmaster of Cutesy Fluff in “Better, Broodier”

In response to Steven Rea’s 646‑word review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Philadelphia Inquirer

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Steven Rea is the Grandmaster of cutesy fluff in his latest thinly-critiqued composition “Hunger Games: Catching Fire is bigger, better, broodier.” An elitist tone and questionable humor make the piece rather annoying, especially given the poor analysis.

Rea is the latest critic to go with the “bigger and better” theme for the sequel, which is an easy way to pidgeon-hole the film without having to work too hard. In the beginning of Better, Broodier, Rea takes a shot at poor people and immediately sets the tone for the pseudo-review.

The disconnected style can work for a critic who is truly dedicated to both critique and comedy. Rea comes across as lazy in Better, Broodier by attempting to dress up his statements in humor without saying much about the film. The critic dances out around the performance of Jennifer Lawrence, and offers phrases such as “convincing athleticism” that could be applied to the first film. Rea addresses the new director Francis Lawrence as “a better match for this material.” Tell us what you really think. Seriously…please.

The conclusion of Better, Broodier offers another cryptic line : “As for plot, it’s full of betrayal and intrigue, hidden agendas and alliances.” Stephen Rea seems to be completely incapable of producing any type of legitimate criticism that can be taken seriously by the audience. One can appreciate the effort to entertain, but it all becomes a bit annoying when little care is shown to the craft of film criticism.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation