The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - M - Action/Adventure - 147 minutes - Now Showing at Reading Cinemas Bundaberg

THE Hunger Games: Catching Fire stars Oscar winning actress, Jennifer Lawrence, teen "hotties" Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks and Woody Harrelson.

Gary Ross has left the directors' chair and the job has been handed to Francis Lawrence (No… Not at all related to Jennifer Lawrence).

Francis has directed "I am Legend" and "Water for Elephants".

Catching Fire follows the story of Katniss and Peeta who have just survived the 74th Annual Hunger Games. In the 75th games, Katniss and Peeta are once again chosen to survive these compulsory games in which they have to strategize killing other contenders.

Seems #legit. The catch is, that we have to sit through an hour and a half of a man named President Snow threatening Katniss… is it worth it?

So many people are praising Catching Fire.

I enjoyed it! It's actually better than I thought it was going to be. I hated the first Hunger Games, I thought it was bland and the camera wasn't still, which gradually annoyed me.

Especially through the "what-could-have-been" epic fight scenes.

Gary Ross had an annoying style when he came across the camera in the first Hunger Games, but I really liked Francis Lawrence's camera-work, and it turned out to be worthwhile on the screen.

The performances are the exact same as the first film… good.

The performers bring emotion and intensity when they have too, but, just in a few scenes, it was too staged.

The screen writing stayed loyal to the book in the first hour or so.

Then slowly goes into its own ideas.

Even though a lot of things from the book were missing in the actual "Hunger Game", I really liked the overall idea for the Hunger Games anyway.

It's a slow hour and a half lead up… I check my watch every five minutes for an hour straight.

Which is not a good sign for a film… My friend even leaned over to me and asked… "What's the time"… I hope this issue is fixed in the third and fourth film.

The visuals and cinematography is phenomenal! It's a lot more clear than the first film, because it doesn't have as much shaky camera.

Overall, the only things that the book followed were the important plot points.

It's quite slow, but it has really good performances (although at times cheesy), great directing by Francis Lawrence, a descent script with phenomenal visuals.

3.5 Joeden Stars (out of 5)

Joe's Before Oscars Awards - Tuesday 3rd of December 2013