Watched Catching Fire today. It turned out to be as good as expected (in other words, mediocre) with a couple of bonuses. First – Jena Malone as Johanna Mason. The character was far more enjoyable in the movie than in the books. In fact, the movie makes me want to go back and re-read Johanna’s parts. Aside from the elevator scene, I didn’t find her character memorable in the novels - ok but nothing special. However, IMO, she was the best part of the movie. Second – Sam Claflin as Finnick. I truly hated his initial casting and maintain that physically he really was not the correct choice. That said, I don’t think anyone could have ever been ‘right’ for Finnick based on how I see him (except maybe Finn Jones). Movie Finnick turned out to be quite different from Book Finnick – and not necessarily in a bad way. I think they matured the character which, too an extent, is a good thing. Not that Finnick isn’t mature, in fact you see more of that in the third novel…. he was just so over-the-top flamboyant in the second book that it was difficult to take him seriously. Movie Finnick comes across older, wiser, more serious and yet just as loveable. Sam Claflin was perfect as that Finnick and I maintain Sam would make an excellent Ash if they were ever casting the Julie Kagawa Iron Fey series (albeit he may be a tad too old now). In fact, I think this version of Finnick will be even more compelling in the final movies. A word on the reaping ceremony - I hope that flash from the District Four draw was not a legitimate preview of the girl who has been formally cast as Annie – she looked way too old for the part…I cannot buy her and Finnick as a couple. Oooh that reminds me…I loved Mags. Not enough of her. Overall the movie was great – as good as the first one – with an obviously larger budget to allow them to be a bit more whimsical and extravagant in their depiction of the Capitol. Definitely worth seeing!!