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James Rocchi’s “Review: ‘Catching Fire’” Avoids Criticism Like the Plague

In response to James Rocchi’s 733‑word review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Cinephiled

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Seeming to adhere to the “flattery will get you everywhere” school of thought, James Rocchi heaps unconditional praise upon Hunger Games: Catching Fire in “Review: ‘Catching Fire. ‘” He has the enthusiasm of a school girl with a mega-crush, and at times it’s a little embarrassing.

Take his assertion, for instance, that the original Hunger Games movie was “the most interesting, best-made, ambitious and purely enjoyable American science fiction film since The Matrix.” Given the mixed reviews for Hunger Games at the time, that seems like a pretty dubious statement and undercuts his credibility when it comes to reviewing the sequel.

Add to that the fact that there is literally not a single even remotely negative statement about Catching Fire in the rest of the review, and it starts to seem like a pitch more than a piece of film criticism. After all, if the film did not score a perfect rating, then there must be something to find fault with.

Whatever that fault is, though, readers are not made privy to it in Review: ‘Catching. Instead, it’s like watching a victory parade where the movie is a newly-crowned child monarch being shown off to the crowd. If the crowd looks past the pageantry, there is little of substance underneath.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation