California Doubling: Whereas the entirety of the first movie was shot in North Carolina, Catching Fire and both parts of Mockingjay were filmed in Atlanta, Georgia. Notably:
The town square and Justice Building of District 11 is actually a warehouse complex on Murphy Avenue, southwest of downtown Atlanta
President Snow's mansion is the 1920s Swan House in Buckhead, in northern Atlanta. The estate's Morning Room was transformed into Snow’s office.
The Justice Building of District 12, where Katniss and Peeta once again find themselves drafted to fight the deadly games, is the Goat Farm Arts Center, a complex of 19th Century former industrial buildings on Atlanta’s west side.
The victors’ living quarters in the Capitol is actually Atlanta’s Marriott Marquis Hotel
The backstage area for the chariot parade, where Katniss meets Finnick, is actually the parking garage for the Georgia World Congress Center. The Victory Tour stage itself is the city’s Peachtree DeKalb Airport – embellished with CGI.
The island of Oahu, Hawaii represents the Quarter Quell arena.
Because Georgia apparently couldn’t provide the wintery backdrop for the opening scenes of Katniss suffering post-traumatic flashbacks as she hunts in the woods with Gale, the scene was filmed in Ramapo Mountain State Forest in northern New Jersey.
The Panem Anthem, "Horn of Plenty." It's really amped up for the Quarter Quell.
Ear Worm: …and, due to the sheer number of times they play it, that tune is all but guaranteed to be stuck in you head after the movie.
Points also for Howard's by turns reflective and exciting scoring. A lot of the score is on-target.
The song-based soundtrack ain't half bad either, what with Coldplay's soaring "Atlas," The National's Tear Jerker "Lean," and Sia's "Elastic Heart." It's more poppy than the first one, but by no means does that mean it's bad. (Incidentally, "Atlas" is the only one of these songs to actually be in the movie!)
The Weeknd's emotionally tragic "Devil May Cry" is a fitting narration to the tale.
Johanna Mason, the Deadpan Snarker, borderline Ax-CrazyAction Girl. Her rant during her interview and the scene with her in the elevator have pretty much secured her as "the best thing about the film". As one commenter put it "The next Hunger Games movie could just be Johanna axing a bitch and I'd still love it."
Finnick as well, but no surprises there.
Even Better Sequel: The sequel has been better received by critics and surpassed the numbers of the original film.
What's worse than comparing it to Battle Royale? Comparing it to Twilight and its ilk, and insisting that you refused to watch/read it because it's "just another melodramatic teen love story".
Fanon: Many fans take the comment of "What if we set your backyard on fire?" from Johanna's rant in the arena to mean Snow had her family (ergo, those she loved) burned to death as a result of her refusing to be the Capitol's sex slave. After all, Johanna is from the lumber district, so fires would be common there and not too suspicious.
Game-Breaker: The revolutionaries turn out to be a literal game breaker, by destroying the arena.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: When talking with Finnick, Katniss's snarky quip about "what people pay for the pleasure of your company" seems just that, snarky and funny. However, it kind of stings when one finds out that Finnick was forced to be a prostitute after his victory, and many did indeed "pay for the pleasure of his company."
Of course, the scene is nearly word-for-word as it is in the book, even "How do people pay for the pleasure of your company?"
Misaimed Fandom: When the movie came out, a number of companies tried to capitalize on the popularity of the franchise, including Subway ("Where victors eat!") and Covergirl with their Hunger Games makeup line ("Soon, you can look a little bit more like Katniss or your fave Capitol citizen!"). Remember that Katniss was made famous because she killed other teenagers in a sadistic gladiatorial game for the entertainment of a corrupt upper class. Ironically, the in-universe Capitol might have put out ads just like these, given the amount of popularity the victors had.
The Hunger Games makeup line from Covergirl was especially misaimed, given that Katniss never wore makeup on her own and hated wearing it in the Capitol since it was another opulent luxury (in her homeland of District 12, the people could barely afford food). Plus Catching Fire was about Katniss helping to start a rebellion against the society wearing this sort of makeup.
President Snow's ridiculously cliched villain line, "They're holding hands. I want them dead," had an entire theater burst out laughing.
Something about the combination of the closeness, camera angle, and bizarrely detached expression in Katniss's Crucified Hero Shot when she was being lifted from the arena. Though considering she did almost just electrocute herself she might just be in shock.
Katniss spends roughly a third of the movie in tears and screaming. It's heartwrenching the first few times, but after a while one tends to start thinking "Here we go again..." In particular, the scene where she gets a PTSD attack after shooting a turkey and the scene where she wakes from a nightmare are heavy narm.
The movie may have implied that Johanna has and/or had one-sided feelings for Finnick.
Johanna: Love is weird.
There was already some Haymitch/Effie in the first movie, but the "we are a team" scene, where Effie and Haymitch briefly hold hands along with Katniss and Peeta, without Haymitch saying anything snarky, probably pleased quite a few Hayffie shippers.
Considering that Katniss never develops romantic feelings for Gale in the book and the scene where she kisses him before the Games was invented for the movie many fans have complained about adding this for the Galeniss ship.