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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Catching Fire Comes to Theaters on Friday

Written by Jon Williams

The biggest buzz in the worlds of entertainment and pop culture this week surrounds Catching Fire, the second film in the Hunger Games series. The first film was one of the biggest blockbusters of 2012, a year that was full of them, grossing over $400 million in the U.S. The second film is expected to bring in similar numbers at the box office.

If there’s still anyone out there who’s unfamiliar, the films are based on a trilogy of dystopian young adult novels by Suzanne Collins dealing with a futuristic society that keeps its citizens in line, in part, by requiring each District to submit two teenage contestants to an annual reality show-type competition in which the winner is the only survivor. The first novel and film follow protagonist Katniss Everdeen, who volunteers for the Hunger Games in place of her young sister, who is selected to participate. In Catching Fire, Katniss is thrust into competition once again when the Games draw contestants from past champions.

The films are complemented by soundtracks featuring an all-star lineup of names from popular music performing tracks that set a thrilling and atmospheric vibe that perfectly capture the mood. The soundtrack to the first film, Songs from District 12 and Beyond, was produced by T Bone Burnett (known for other soundtracks like O Brother Where Art Thou, Walk the Line, and Crazy Heart) and featured two tracks from Taylor Swift, along with notable names like Maroon 5, Miranda Lambert, and Arcade Fire, to name just a few.

The Catching Fire soundtrack (available in a standard version and a deluxe edition which includes three extra tracks), which came out on Tuesday this week, is just as impressive. The lead single “Atlas” comes from platinum-selling rock band Coldplay, accompanied by a song (“We Remain”) from pop songstress and The Voice judge Christina Aguilera. It also contains tracks from two recent favorites of mine: the National (who I discovered when they performed “The Rains of Castamere” for Game of Thrones and whose work I’ve been greedily consuming ever since) and teen sensation Lorde, who provides a haunting and propulsive cover of the Tears for Fears hit “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.”

Interest in all things Hunger Games is sure to be at a fever pitch throughout Catching Fire’s theatrical run. Be sure to have the first film, the music, and the audiobooks on your shelves for patrons to enjoy, and visit our website to find more music from the outstanding artists featured on the soundtracks.

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