Saturday, November 23, 2013

Hunger Games Catching Fire is the Hottest Ticket in Town!

I’ll be the first to admit that I am no movie critic.  My husband and I don’t go to the theater on a regular basis.  When we do, it is usually to see a comedy.  I very rarely take a chance with a movie based on a book I’ve enjoyed.  The reason is that they never live up to the show that played out on my mind’s big screen.  I won’t mention any specific book to screen movies that were let downs but I’m sure you have a list of your own.

I read the Suzanne Collins’ “Hunger Games” trilogy as they came on the market.  It didn’t take many chapters to fall in love with Katniss, Peeta, and Gale.  Her writing captivated me as I imagined a world of chaos, fear, and death.  I was skeptical when the announcement came that the series was coming to the big screen.  Some of the costumes and settings were so well defined in my head; I didn’t believe anyone could recreate them to match my imagination.

I held out and did not go watch Hunger Games when it debuted.  I received the DVD as a Christmas present last year.  It was wonderful!  I have watched it several times.  I am still amazed that the director and actors are spot-on in adaptation of the book.  It is one of my favorite movies in my collection.

I was anxious for the release of Hunger Games ~ Catching Fire.  When my daughter-in-law, Jackie and her sister, Jaime invited me to join them to see it this morning, I jumped at the chance.  Wow, it is AWESOME!  Believe me when I tell you that it live up to all of the hype that it has received.  If it does not win the Oscar for costume design then something is seriously wrong.  It has some of the most spectacular clothing that I have ever seen in a movie.  Katniss wears many wonderful dresses but one in particular is breathtaking.  Of course, Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket sports some of the most outlandishly fabulous clothes imaginable!

The scenery and special effects could not be more realistic.  I think I jumped out of my seat at least four times!  If we are keeping emotional count, I cried at least once, okay probably three times, hated President Snow no less than ten times, and cringed a lot.  I told Jamie that it was exactly what I saw in my mind and she agreed it was also, what she had imagined.  As two avid readers, I don’t think a movie can get a higher compliment!

As far as the actors in Catching Fire, all of the original cast members are back.  Well, the ones that weren't killed during the last Hunger Game!  Jennifer Lawrence as the beautiful, brave Katniss, Josh Hutcherson is the handsome, protective Peeta Mellark, and Liam Hemsworth breaks our hearts as Gale Hawthorne.  All three of them play their characters believably and with heart.  Woody Harrelson as the alcoholic Haymitch Abernathy along with the aforementioned Elizabeth Banks as Effie trinket is pure joy.  As usual, I love to hate Donald Sutherland as President Snow.  As you can tell, in my opinion, the entire cast is brilliant and I think they all deserve to win as many awards as kudos as their industry can bestow on them.

I can’t think of enough different adjectives to praise Hunger Games~ Catching Fire.  If you get a chance run, don’t walk into your local theater, grab a bucket of popcorn, and settle down for a fantastic time.  It is truly an example where a movie IS as good as the book. 

**Recipe of the Day**

King's Copycat Hawaiian Bread   
makes 3 loaves or 24 large rolls
6-7 cups all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 (1/4 ounce) envelopes yeast
1/2 cup butter (one stick) melted


Beat the eggs. Add the pineapple juice, sugar, salt, ginger, vanilla, and butter.
Place 3 cups of flour in a large bowl. Stir in the egg mixture until well-combined. Sprinkle in the yeast, one packet at a time, and mix. Add the remaining 3 cups of flour and mix in. If dough is sticky and difficult to handle, add more flour. Dough should be slightly tacky, but not wet. Knead the dough for 5 minutes until it forms a smooth ball. Place dough in a greased bowl and set aside to rise until doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours).

Punch dough down and either divide into three equal parts for bread loaves or 24 balls for dinner rolls. Place in greased loaf pans or shape into rolls.

Cover and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in size. The secret to light and airy rolls is making sure they've risen enough....this is an exercise is patience

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or golden brown.

Brush tops with melted butter. Serve warm

***Pet Tip of the Day***

Thanksgiving Turkey Talk

Check out the following tips from ASPCA experts for a fulfilling Thanksgiving that your pets can enjoy, too.

Talkin’ Turkey
If you decide to feed your pet a little nibble of turkey, make sure it’s boneless and well-cooked. Don't offer her raw or undercooked turkey, which may contain salmonella bacteria.

Sage Advice
Sage can make your Thanksgiving stuffing taste delish, but it and many other herbs contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression to pets if eaten in large quantities. Cats are especially sensitive to the effects of certain essential oils.

No Bread Dough
Don't spoil your pet’s holiday by giving him raw bread dough. According to ASPCA experts, when raw bread dough is ingested, an animal's body heat causes the dough to rise in his stomach. As it expands, the pet may experience vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring surgery.

Don't Let Them Eat Cake
If you’re baking up Thanksgiving cakes, be sure your pets keep their noses out of the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs—they could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.

Too Much of a Good Thing
A few small boneless pieces of cooked turkey, a taste of mashed potato or even a lick of pumpkin pie shouldn’t pose a problem. However, don't allow your pets to overindulge, as they could wind up with a case of stomach upset, diarrhea or even worse—an inflammatory condition of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. In fact, it’s best keep pets on their regular diets during the holidays.

A Feast Fit for a Kong
While the humans are chowing down, give your cat and dog their own little feast. Offer them Nylabones or made-for-pet chew bones. Or stuff their usual dinner—perhaps with a few added tidbits of turkey, vegetables (try sweet potato or green beans) and dribbles of gravy—inside a Kong toy. They’ll be happily occupied for awhile, working hard to extract their dinner from the toy.

 Charles M. Schulz "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving"

1 comment :

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