Caught on fire

Last night, I witnessed Francis Lawrence pee on Gary Ross.

I liked Ross's work on The Hunger Games. It was a suitable adaptation with some additions and omissions that puzzled me, but still captured the spirit of the novel.

Catching Fire is a cinematic masterpiece. This is Francis Lawrence's masterpiece.

The screenplay: brilliant. No unforgivable cuts, no unnecessary dialogue, no dragging in the middle. The performances: phenomenal. The arena: like something out of a horror movie. The impact: so evocative that my husband, who is pretty hard to get a rise out of, was talking about how moving and powerful it was.

I was mildly disappointed in the sugar cube scene but not in Sam Claflin's performance. He is a wonderful Finnick. I wish they'd at least mentioned the Quarter Quell that Haymitch won. I wanted to see Katniss and Peeta's pre-Games picnic. I'm trying to think of anything else I disliked and nothing is coming.

Prim taking the morphling syringe from her mother's hands and assuredly treating Gale after the flogging was beautiful and really showed how capable she is even though Katniss thinks she's fragile. The scenes with Snow and his granddaughter were brilliant. The glimpses of real romance blooming from Peeta and Katniss's showmance melted me. And I really lost it when Katniss spoke to District 11 about Rue and when Peeta painted her in the training facility.

Eric thought they'd tone down Cinna's beating while Katniss was in the tube, but they did not. It was brutal and bloody, and Katniss's horrified reaction was gut-stirring. I thought they'd tone down or axe Johanna's stripping in the elevator. Oh no, they went there and then some. Making Peeta unzip her, having her wink at Haymitch and seeing both men perving out while Katniss looked like someone had farted in her face was GENIUS.

Jena Malone, whom I loved in Saved! was a FIERCE Johanna. She was just psychotic and eccentric enough to scare you but restrained enough to not be a caricature. More, please. More Johanna!

She will cut you. WITH AN AXE.

Finally, the costumes made me want to weep. Suzanne Collins uses fashion as a storytelling device, not as filler, and the execution was marvelous here when it was certainly lacking in the first movie. So shall it be written that costume designer Trish Summerville will win an Academy Award for this film.

Here's a thematically appropriate track for you to #backthatazzup. Because Katniss Everdeen is a survivor. Because you know this was your anthem in high school. And because this week has kind of sort of sucked butt and yet I'm not going to diss anyone on the Internet because my momma taught me better than that.

Survivor by Destiny's Child on Grooveshark

Be well, go to the movies this weekend, and wish me luck on finishing NaNoWriMo!

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