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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4


Blu-ray review by David Blackwell


DETAILS: 146 minutes,audio commentary, making-of documentary, deleted scenes, Divergent promo featurette, Divergent trailer, DVD, digital copy, Target bonus DVD with three featurettes

VIDEO: 1080p High Definition- 2.40:1/ 1.78:1 Imax sequences (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO (Blu-ray): English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 2.0 Dolby Digital for late night viewing, English Descriptive Audio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish


STUDIO: Lionsgate/ Color Force

Theatrical RELEASE DATE:  11-22-2013/ 11-21-2013 (US sneak previews)

Blu-ray/ DVD RELEASE DATE: 3-7-2014


STARRING Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Stanley Tucci, Jena Malone, Sam Claflin, Amanda Plummer, Lynn Cohen

SCREENPLAY by Simon Beaufoy and Michael Ardnt

based on the novel by Suzanne Collins

DIRECTED by Francis Lawrence

Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) is still recovering from the 74th Hunger Games when she and Peeta (Mark Hutcherson) go on tour of the 12 Districts of Panem.  She is visited by President Snow (Donald Sutherland) at the Victors Village in District 12 and he urges her to play up the romance between her and Peeta or her family (and loved ones) will be killed.   The tour of the Districts shows people rising up against the Capitol as they see Katniss as a symbol of hope and rebellion.  Soon Katniss and Peeta are thrown into the third Quarter Quell for the 75th Hunger Games as President Snow is looking for a way to rid Panem of what the Victors stand for. 

CATCHING FIRE is a worthy follow up to THE HUNGER GAMES as Francis Lawrence puts his own mark on the sequel as a director (he will be back to direct Part 1 and 2 of MOCKINGJAY).  The story is expanded as it explores the emotional side of the characters and the politics of Panem.  Jennifer Lawrence is great as Katniss again while Josh Hutcherson is a little better as Peeta this time while Liam Hemsworth gets the short shaft again for his character Gale, but they do feature Prim's cat a little bit more this time.  Also Jena Malone is fantastic as Johanna Mason for the screen time the character has in CATCHING FIRE and she impresses me more than Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair (who I am more impressed with in the book than the movie).   I would definitely want to see CATCHING FIRE again and revisit THE HUNGER GAMES on Blu-ray.    

CATCHING FIRE is one of the better adaptations of a book and I hope they keep it up as they adapt MOCKINGJAY into two movies (and not flat in some places like when Summit split BREAKING DAWN into two movies).  The adaptation of CATCHING FIRE hits the right beats in the story even though they again rush the first part of the story like they did with the adaptation of THE HUNGER GAMES. This sequel is on fire as one of the best book to film adaptations I have ever seen.


Audio commentary with director Francis Lawrence and producer Nina Jacobson

SURVIVING THE GAME: MAKING THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE (2:24:00)- an extensive making-of documentary (exclusive to the blu-ray disc) that feature interviews with cast and crew with loads of behind-the-scenes footage, clips from the first two movies, and animatics.   Director Francis Lawrence wanted to shoot as much practical elements as he could and use the visual effects to enhance the world.

A NEW KIND OF HUNGER: CONTINUING THE SAGA- getting a new director to carry on the saga after the director of the first HUNGER GAMES decides not to return

VISUAL VOCABULARY: BUILDING A WORLD- a look at the production design of CATCHING FIRE

STIRRING THINGS UP: THE CAST- all about the cast old and new.  Jennifer Lawrence remarks how she likes having a girl to hang with (Jenna Malone) and how she is glad her co-stars have new actors to work with in addition to much love for Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

FASHION FORWARD: COSTUME, MAKE-UP & HAIR- a look at the costumes of CATCHING FIRE as done by the same costume designer involved in the David Fincher adaptation of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO in addition to a look at the hair and make-up (with make-up headed up by Ve Neill who features in some interviews during this segment)

LET IT FLY: PRODUCTION IN ATLANTA- behind-the-scenes of the production in Atlanta as they transform Atlanta to look like the Capitol and deal with train noise and creating a circular pool in a water park (which had cold water and the actors didn’t love being in that water).

MOVE AND COUNTERMOVES: STUNTS & WEAPONS- a behind-the-scenes look at the stunts and weapons.  They digitally created the arrows and had Jennifer Lawrence practice shooting without an imaginary arrow

TICK TOCK: PRODUCTION IN HAWAII- behind-the-scenes in Hawaii

THREADING THE NEEDLE: POST-PRODUCTION- a detailed look at the post-production process from editing to sound effects to the music score from James Newton Howard

THE REVOLUTION LIVES: REFLECTIONS & LOOKING FORWARD- cast and crew reflect on CATCHING FIRE and look towards working on MOCKINGJAY.


Five deleted scenes cut for pacing, but the scene with talk of the Jabberjays is interesting.

The Divergent Sneak Peak is a six minute promo featurette with clips, behind-the-scenes footage, and interviews with cast, crew, and author Veronica Roth.   A trailer for DIVERGENT is marked as mandatory viewing the disc starts playing.   The only things missing from the blu-ray and DVD discs are the theatrical trailers and TV spots.


The movie is also included on DVD in standard definition with all extras except the making-of documentary.   A code for an ultraviolet HD copy of the film is also included for streaming and download.

Exclusive to Target stores is a three disc edition with a bonus disc that includes three featurettes:

THE ALLIANCE: RETURNING CAST (14:27)- interviews with the cast returning from the first movie

FRIEND OR FOE: NEW CAST (18:24)- interviews with the various new cast in CATCHING FIRE

ONE VISION: FAITHFUL ADAPTATION (12:37)- discussion on how to make CATCHING FIRE be faithful to the books in addition to discussion of the first two movies


FINAL ANALYSIS:   CATCHING FIRE blu-ray has great picture and sound for a sequel that is even better than the first film.  The making-of documentary is the best extra on the blu-ray and the Target disc featurettes are of better caliber than the bonus featurettes for the first bonus disc that came with THE HUNGER GAMES.  I hope they finally include the trailers and TV spots with future releases in THE HUNGER GAMES series.

This review is (c)11-24-2013 and 3-9-2014 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments and questions to feedback@enterline-media.com and visit the tumblr at http://enterlinemedia.tumblr.com/ for additional content