First off I should make it clear I saw this film in the best of all possible circumstances. Today was the opening day for the film in France and I saw the first showing - and high school kids don't have school on Wednesdays. So, the theater was entirely high school fan girls and me.

And high school fan girls are the best audience to watch anything with. Unlike high school fan boys they want to listen to every bit of talking humanly possible and are dead silent during conversational scenes. But, they also are willing to let off steam and be loud when they think it's appropriate - which is fine because it gives off positive energy. So, them clapping when Gale kisses Kat - and again when we first see gigolo boy shirtless is fine. It's not interrupting anything . Them crying loudly when xxxx is beaten to death is also amusing. And them screaming (in French) "fuck your mother" at xxx when its' revealed that xxx has been left behind is also fun. It was just cool to be around people so clearly enjoying something.

As to the film itself. It's very loyal to the book - much more so than the first move. "The Hunger Games" played out like the director thought he was shooting a video game. "Catching Fire" is directed by someone who understands that this needs to be a family friendly "Saw" movie.

I felt about the movie nearly exactly how I felt about the book. The start is slower than it has to be and drags a bit, but once it picks up steam it's super fun. I do wish they had included in the beginning one scene from the book that I thought was crucial for foreshadowing. But, I guess they wanted to keep up the surprise element as much as possible.

I like that unlike the first movie this is mostly Kat POV. That makes for much better surprises - because while Kat is a great hunter she's clueless about how people feel and react to things and so is surprised by things that happen. In the first movie we had so much non Kat POV that we were sometimes like "Why the fuck can't you figure this out Kat?" Keeping it in her POV makes much more sense because as an audience member you are stuck in the same "Why the fuck are people acting this way" mode that Kat is.