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FHSU one of 25 schools across the nation selected for 'hackathon' -9/19/2014, 3:55 PM

Cities to receive funding for road improvement projects -9/19/2014, 2:24 PM

Kansas Farm Bureau celebrates Farm Safety Week -9/19/2014, 2:15 PM

McDonald’s of WaKeeney invests in library -9/18/2014, 5:45 PM

State receives $3.5 million grant to reduce infant mortality -9/18/2014, 3:00 PM

Kansas highway system ranked 5th in national report -9/18/2014, 11:51 AM

Dixon joins FHSU with social media marketing as her mission -9/18/2014, 11:15 AM

In case of emergency, prepare a grab-and-go kit -9/18/2014, 9:08 AM

Birthday -9/18/2014, 9:07 AM

Association donates 105 car seats to KHP -9/18/2014, 4:50 PM

Kansas receives CDC funding to gather data -9/17/2014, 4:14 PM

Brownback orders flags lowered -9/17/2014, 11:08 AM

Life during retirement is still plenty busy -9/17/2014, 8:51 AM

Generations briefs (Sept. 17, 2014) -9/17/2014, 8:50 AM

Military marquee -9/17/2014, 12:00 PM

'No Good Deed?' More like, 'No good, dude' -9/16/2014, 9:38 PM

Delta Zeta Turtle Tug: Tug your heart out -9/16/2014, 4:19 PM

Moss-Thorns Gallery of Art hosts exhibitions throughout the year -9/16/2014, 4:19 PM

Moran names service academy selection board -9/16/2014, 4:19 PM

Department of Informatics offers a new concentration in health informatics -9/16/2014, 4:19 PM

Magician on this season's 'America's Got Talent' will perform on the FHSU campus -9/16/2014, 4:19 PM

Parenting adolescents takes many twists, turns -9/15/2014, 9:20 AM

-9/14/2014, 1:57 PM

Capital investments for cow-calf enterprises in profitable times -9/14/2014, 1:57 PM

Business briefcase (Sept. 14, 2014) -9/14/2014, 1:57 PM

Stork club -9/14/2014, 1:57 PM

Hays Recreation Commission calendar -9/14/2014, 1:57 PM

The Paradox of the cross -9/12/2014, 10:10 AM

Local celebs to get behind wheels of race cars -9/11/2014, 8:50 AM

Make and take a pizza for family meal -9/11/2014, 8:50 AM

Children's center hosting events in October -9/9/2014, 5:03 PM

NKAVI meeting Saturday -9/8/2014, 2:34 PM

During September, pay it forward by giving blood -9/8/2014, 4:54 PM

Ribbon cut on K-23 project north of Hoxie -9/8/2014, 11:46 AM

AG Schmidt to visit western Kansas -9/8/2014, 11:37 AM

Kansans invited to come to statewide transportation meetings -9/8/2014, 11:37 AM

Pilot projects to launch Kanstarter -9/8/2014, 11:28 AM

Parenting adolescents starts when they are younger -9/8/2014, 9:11 AM

Clubs and meetings -9/7/2014, 3:59 PM

NSP elects officers -9/7/2014, 3:23 PM

Busting myths about ticks in the U.S. -- Part II -9/7/2014, 3:23 PM

Business Briefcase (Sept. 7, 2014) -9/7/2014, 3:23 PM

Kansas Lottery launches new 'Frogger' game -9/5/2014, 10:26 AM

Dealing with mental illness -9/5/2014, 8:52 AM

Schodorf points to discrepancy in U.S. Senate ruling -9/4/2014, 4:58 PM

Kansas Emergency Preparedness Day is Monday -9/4/2014, 2:59 PM

Guidebook, videos offer convenient information for travel planning -9/4/2014, 12:24 PM

State treasurer announces $1K giveaway at state fair -9/4/2014, 12:23 PM

Extension series brings knowledge -9/4/2014, 12:24 PM

FHSU's Career Services hosts its 27th annual Career-Internship Day -9/3/2014, 4:28 PM

Discuss watering tips for the drought during Science Cafe -9/3/2014, 4:28 PM

Tigers in Service, Hays Rotary Club host 4th annual Paint-A-Thon -9/3/2014, 4:28 PM

FHSU's online degree program earns national recognition -9/3/2014, 4:27 PM

Massage therapy training now offered through Department of Health and Human Performance -9/3/2014, 4:27 PM

5th-graders will take a field trip to Forsyth Library -9/3/2014, 4:27 PM

Local grocery store partners with FHSU to donate food items -9/3/2014, 4:27 PM

FHSU alumnus accepted into the 2015 NCECA exhibition -9/3/2014, 2:56 PM

Dedication ceremony for K-161 in Bird City planned -9/3/2014, 2:56 PM

Local students awarded degrees from FHSU -9/3/2014, 1:44 PM

Estes brings unclaimed property to state fair -9/3/2014, 11:01 AM

Awards announced for Sept. 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance Mini-Grants -9/3/2014, 11:01 AM

Delving into the past to discover language barriers -9/3/2014, 8:28 AM

KDOT announces approved August bids -9/3/2014, 2:56 PM

'The November Man' brings an end to summer -9/2/2014, 10:37 AM

A busy weekend full of family, food, fun for Yoders -9/2/2014, 8:48 AM

Public record, Aug. 29, 2014 -8/29/2014, 8:23 PM

The storm is a moment of grace -8/29/2014, 10:00 AM

6th annual majors, graduate programs fair coming this fall -8/27/2014, 10:15 AM

State receives USDA training grants to help schools -8/27/2014, 10:24 AM

Forsyth Library gets new leader -8/27/2014, 10:15 AM

FHSU Management Development Center schedules 4 fall workshops -8/27/2014, 10:15 AM

Patent issued for research that alleviates pain in cattle -8/27/2014, 8:22 PM

Thanking God for teachers -8/27/2014, 8:22 AM

Bowers selected as 2014 CSG Toll Fellow -8/26/2014, 2:04 PM

Water vision draft survey developed -8/26/2014, 1:55 PM

Governor proclaims campus fire safety month -8/26/2014, 11:04 AM

Leadership class visits Kansas City -8/26/2014, 10:55 AM

Take KDOT along on your fall travels -8/26/2014, 10:45 AM

The meeting of boy and girl turns into husband and wife for Yoders -8/26/2014, 9:39 AM

Free screenings offered for children -8/25/2014, 10:55 AM

2014 survey shows motorists continue to pass stopped buses -8/25/2014, 10:55 AM

Authoritative parenting has pluses for adolescents -8/25/2014, 8:34 AM

What you see is (not) what you get -8/24/2014, 2:30 PM

Public record, Aug. 22, 2014 -8/22/2014, 6:53 PM

Business Briefcase (Aug. 24, 2014) -8/22/2014, 2:30 PM

The journey often is part of the gift -8/22/2014, 8:44 AM

Bucks rewarded to drivers who buckle up -8/21/2014, 10:55 AM

A look back at the early years -8/19/2014, 9:01 AM

Parenting adolescents through stages of life crucial -8/18/2014, 10:16 AM

Weed control on rangelands -- Part III -8/17/2014, 1:30 PM

Business Briefcase (Aug. 17, 2014) -8/17/2014, 1:30 PM

Church should help mentally ill -8/15/2014, 8:49 AM

Final 4-H recipe from Ellis County Fair is a winner -8/14/2014, 9:09 AM

Great Bend resident appointed Rotary District Governor -8/14/2014, 9:08 AM

Remembering the start of school back in the good ol' days -8/13/2014, 9:19 AM

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' is uninspiring -8/12/2014, 9:02 AM

Actor, comedian Robin Williams dies at 63 in apparent suicide -8/11/2014, 8:38 PM

Adolescents' actions vary depending on parenting style -8/11/2014, 8:55 AM

Clubs and meetings -8/10/2014, 3:19 PM

Weed control on rangeland -- Part II -8/10/2014, 3:19 PM

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SPOTLIGHT
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'Catching Fire' burns brightly

Published on -11/26/2013, 11:29 AM

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There's a very simple formula to how drama works. In Act I, you introduce the characters and the problem. In Act II, the problem grows and envelops the characters -- stifling any chance of victory. Then, in Act III, the good guys usually win.

That basic outline is the structure almost all stories follow. My personal favorite is Act II. When things get darkest, you get to see who the characters really are or what they can really do.

When it comes to trilogies, I find that I almost always like the second movie the most. "The Empire Strikes Back," "The Two Towers" and "The Dark Knight" are my favorite installments of their respective franchises. Reassuringly, "Catching Fire" is shaping up to be part of that mighty company.

Before writing this article, I reread my review of the first "Hunger Games" movie, and I'm inclined to think I was a little generous. I liked "The Hunger Games," but I was far from awed.

My biggest problem was the distance between the main characters and the overtones of the world at large. By virtue of its place as an Act II story and its cinematic execution, "Catching Fire" tells a more tightly woven tale.

"Catching Fire" not only made me believe in the world I was seeing, but it also made that world grand in scale and intimate in heart.

The story of Batman fighting gangs of thugs while single-handedly saving Gotham is ultimately secondary to the story of an emotionally broken Bruce Wayne turning his inner demons on the society that spawned them. Similarly, "Catching Fire" succeeds where "The Hunger Games" failed in that the heart of the story is a young girl finding herself the unwilling symbol of a revolution instead of a kid being thrown into a ring with a bow and a love triangle.

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" should be a crowd pleaser any way you slice it. While it's certainly not a varsity member of the "Empire Strikes Back"/"Two Towers"/"Dark Knight" team, it can very comfortably play first string on the junior varsity team.

5 of 6 stars

James Gerstner works at Fort Hays State University Foundation. james.gerstner@gmail.com

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