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Richard Corliss Plays Court Reporter in “Catching Fire: …”

In response to Richard Corliss’s 1324‑word review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on TIME Magazine

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One who chronicles something to the point of nearly recreating it is not an author. They are a scribe. In “Catching Fire: Slow Burn With a Sizzling Star | The endlessly watchable Jennifer Lawrence is the main reason to see this middle-child movie in the ‘Hunger Games’ franchise”, scribe Richard Corliss stabs himself in the foot by producing a literary disaster that is high on commentary, low on original thought.

Corliss seems to insist on relaying even the most trivial of anecdotes with spot-on detail, resulting in a virtual play-by-play of the plot. In fact, save for the waning passages, this piece is utterly devoid of any meaningful observation or original thought. Whether intentional or not (and sadly, it is most likely the latter), this approach undermines the objective catastrophically.

By scouring the subject so thoroughly, one eliminates all mystique and intrigue, thereby spoiling it for the audience. What’s more, the elaboration, for all its verbosity, still fails to adequately surmise the situation as well as other work that is far less grandiose.

The ambition here seems to be too great for the “author” to handle. But rather than admit defeat when it is so impending, he appears to press on hoping his own lyrical skills will eventually redeem his work. Sadly, it is simply not to be, and his excessive reiteration only serves to invalidate this overblown diatribe altogether.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation