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Ken Hanke’s Laid-Back “Hunger Games” Is Apple Pie on a Sunday

In response to Ken Hanke’s 718‑word review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

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Ken Hanke’s reviews read like a front porch conversation with your somewhat curmudgeonly but harmless next door neighbor. Hanke, the long time scribe for the free weekly paper in Asheville, NC (a place where front porch conversations actually happen), takes his sweet time, stopping to ponder this or that before ambling over to his next point.

But rather than lull you to sleep, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (PG-13)‘s low key pace has a calming effect. You’ll find yourself accepting its premises just because they’re delivered so darned leisurely. This is conversational reviewing at its most docile. It’s like an old southern car salesman; he seems like a simpleton until you find yourself shaking his hand next to the Dodge Dart he just sold you.

Except Hanke’s goods are the real deal. His review may go down easy, but it’s quite packed with critique. The film’s “dialogue is surprisingly sharp,” the cast is “far better — and deeper — here than they were in the first film,” and director Francis Lawrence is “more professionally inclined” than his predecessor.

The writing is lazy—Hanke relies heavily on parenthetical phrases  and hyphens to make up for a syntactical lethargy—but it works, reinforcing that lazy Sunday feel the permeates the entire piece.

So, pour some sweet tea, ease back in your rocking chair and have a nice read.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation