The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) (4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Francis Lawrence
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Rated: PG-13/Region A/2:40/4K (2160p)/Number of Discs 2
Available from Lionsgate Films
Twelve months after winning the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and her partner Peeta Mellark must go on what is known as the Victor’s Tour, wherein they visit all the districts, but before leaving, Katniss is visited by President Snow who fears that Katniss defied him a year ago during the games when she chose to die with Peeta. With both Katniss and Peeta declared the winners, it is fueling a possible uprising. He tells Katniss that while on tour she better try to make sure that she puts out the flames or else everyone she cares about will be in danger.
This time around in the second Hunger Games movies we take up the plot with the 74th Games according to the book. Here we have Katniss (the hot Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) as they happen to be on a victory tour across Panem with Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) and Effie (Elizabeth Banks). Romance is still in the air as this sequel tends to draw closer to character elements rather than beefing up the action. Still, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) has it in mind that Katniss’s defiant are going to go and cause a rebellion and he can’t have that. That means we watch things unfold as he takes a tip from new game maker Plutarch (the late Philip Seymour Hoffman) and launches a Quarter Quell in which past champions, such as the character of Johanna (Jena Malone) and another full of himself one named Finnick (Sam Claflin), will go at it and fight to the death. So, all things considered, the story is here for this go around, but I could have maybe used a bit more action. That being said, is this one better than the first?
That seems to be a bit of a mixed opinion around the campfire, but I think in a lot of ways it does. We have a better story this time around and I think with all we loved before mixed with this more intriguing character stuff we might just come up with the best overall Hunger Games movie out of the whole franchise. Jennifer Lawrence carries a lot of the weight here, but not all of it. I’m a big fan of hers and I can’t help being one, but seeing how she gives life to movies that might be missing it without her shows that. We have that strong social commentary here and it adds a bit of underlying meaning to something someone might just misunderstand a fluff when that isn’t the case. Again, this is a movie that really looks great in 4K and might even look better than the first film overall. Unlike the first film in the new 4K format, this one comes with extras on both discs, so if for some reason you want to go with the normal Blu over the 4K you won’t be missing out on the extras. This turns out to be a solid release for a pretty darn good movie.
4K DISC & BLU-RAY DISC SHARE THE SAME EXTRAS
– Divergent Sneak Peak (Blu-ray Disc Only)
– Audio Commentary with Director Francis Lawrence and Producer Nina Jacobson
– Surviving the Game: Making The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
– Deleted Scenes
Quality of Transfer: 98%