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Alonso Duralde’s Review of “Catching Fire” Is a Fun Blonde With Brains

In response to Alonso Duralde’s 763‑word review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on The Wrap

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Alonso Duralde’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Review: Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen Burns Brighter than Ever” is as fun and ebullient as its title and author.

Duralde is one of those critics who thoroughly enjoys what he’s doing. He also doesn’t take his job too seriously. Readers will be forgiven for wondering if he reviewed movies for Chelsea Handler’s show. He’d certainly be an excellent panelist.

Fortunately, Duralde is knowledgeable and talented enough not to stray into movie-cheerleader territory—well stray too far, anyway.

Despite Duralde’s enthusiasm it would be wrong to dismiss his intellectual heft. He has some fascinatingly unorthodox views on movies, perhaps none more so than claiming “second” movies have it easier since the first ones have set everything up already. Indeed, he never makes the all too common—and all too dismissive claim—of second movies being handicapped by the need to be placeholders.

One knock against Everdeen Burns Brighter is that Duralde doesn’t pursue more of the readings he suggests can be made of the movie: “There are any number of readings available here, from Katniss and Peeta’s relationship mirroring generations of Hollywood… fake publicity marriages, to the oppression of the working classes by the greedy 1%, to the vagaries and dangers of instant fame”.    

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