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Brian Tallerico’s Writing Squelches Otherwise Great “Catching Fire”

In response to Brian Tallerico’s 569‑word review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on

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Please forgive the tangent, but you have to love the dateline Hollywood Chicago puts at the beginning of their reviews, as if you are about to read a news article of tremendous import.

Do their “reporters” ever travel to another city and check in to a hotel so that they can write an article with the dateline “BANGLADESH—Thor: The Dark World is a great movie!”

Apparently not, because every dateline on the site is “CHICAGO.”

Okay, digression aside, this is a decent enough entry and Tallerico deserves credit for not shying away from the critique, devoting sufficient space to touch on Francis Lawrence’s direction, the Simon Beaufoy and Michael deBruyn screenplay and especially the cast. Jennifer Lawrence is given plenty of props for her reprisal of heroine Katniss Everdeen and the supporting cast is given an overwhelming stamp of approval.

The writing is where Tallerico’s work stumbles. The prose has trouble collecting this great critique and building it into a coherent piece. It often feels sloppily composed or awkwardly structured and, as a result, readers may have trouble sussing out the criticisms.

The writing here throws a wet blanket over the incisive critique, putting this one in the third tier and off the must read list.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation