Quote of the Day

"We're only here briefly, and while I'm here I want to allow myself joy. So fuck it."
- Amy, Her.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Trailer Tuesday: The Hunger Games

After that short teaser earlier this year, The Hunger Games has now launched an official trailer (like, 2 minutes long!) jam packed with everything... except the games, that is. Nope, this trailer is all about the pre-games build up - so the Reaping, the Make-Overs and the Training. Of course, for those unaware of the books, this means nothing to you, so feel free to read this before proceeding to the breakdown, while the in-the-knows should just ride on through:

"Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. Part twisted entertainment, part government intimidation tactic, the Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains.
Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love." - Wikipedia

And the main event, the trailer itself:

So let's get a-analysing on this thang! (Some Spoilers ahead!)

  • 0:05 - The opening shot treats us with a good look at District 12, Katniss (X-Men: First Class's Jennifer Lawrence)'s home. Looks a bit farm-y, what with the houses and trees, but not quite as grungy as I had imagined. But I guess this is on the edge of the district, as it look like Katniss is on her way to the woods just outside the border, so the lack of my pictured grey is understandable. Also, this accentuates the difference between rich, futuristic Capitol living and the starving, struggle of District lifestyle. 
  • 0:07 - Katniss sneaking through the District fence, detailed in the book as not being live, because the threat of the Capitol itself is enough to keep people from escaping. Can you say fascism!
  • 0:11 - Katniss' hunting buddy, and potential love interest, Gale shows his face. Played by Liam Hemsworth here, I still feel he looks perhaps too much of a pretty boy to place as the bad-boy hunter. But who knows, I'm sure he'll do a fine job. Sticking to the source material it would seem, with the whole "we should run away" conversation.
Crack-shot Katniss lines the arrow. Also: Grittiness
  • 0:16 - Katniss proves her prowess with a bow and arrow, pinching a bird out of the sky flawlessly. Could this be a Mockigjay she just downed, as a hint of foreshadowing? 
  • 0:22 - A Capitol hovercraft shows up, ruining all the fun. If my memory serves me right, this was not actually in the books, or was at a later date at least. Again, we are seeing how the idea of control is going to be played out through the film and that we're not in our current world with the setting.
  • 0:25 - As these guys run away, the camera shakes and blurs, which is actually rather important. Hopefully, this kind of camera work will be displayed all throughout the non-capitol scenes, including the games, because it'll really hit home that imperfect and grungy feel that the books had going on when outside of the polished and tidy Capitol. If that stays true, we'll see smooth, straight cut shots during the makeovers and what not, which will just really make this movie for me with such attention to detail. It's a small thing, but when looking at it as a whole, it'll be awesome. 
  • 0:28 - Alright, now for some dingy greys! As we enter the reaping where the Tributes shall be chosen, a swathe of woefully tidy kids walk to the proceedings. Everyone would dress as best they could for this, as Katniss demonstrates with her mothers blue dress (source=stuck with!).
  • 0:30 - The menacing block of District 12 that is the Justice Building gives stage to the crowded reaping. Once more, bang on with the books.
  • 0:32 - Elizabeth Banks as the glamorous (in this universe at least) Effie Trinket, standing creepily joyful at the front and centre. I think they've really nailed her look with the overloaded pinks and ghastly whites. Her face is almost bursting with make-up and that voice from Banks is spot on. 
  • 0:53 - In the background here you can see some of the peace-keepers of the District, distinctly contrasted to the modest, nondescript look of the people. Not going to lie, the outfit looks a little camp, but that's not a bad thing. The whole Capitol is basically one huge mess of glorified campness, so if the peace-keepers want in on that, I've no objections. Just a little different from the traditional uniforms I'd imagined. At least it's telling us we are in fact in the future here (albeit a dark and depressing one). Meanwhile, Effie's fabulously sticking out like a sore thumb.
  • 0:59 - That desperation in her voice there with "I'll volunteer!" inspires me with more and more confidence that Lawrence can pull of an amazing Katniss. Shame about the eye colour not being brown on her, but it's no biggie. 
Peeta was a modest bread boy before all this shizzle. Also: Grey.
  • 1:08 - A few fast shots later and we have Peeta, Katniss's District 12 counterpart tribute and another potential love interest (I smell a traingle!). Just as long as the whole romance thing doesn't get in the way of everything, a la the Twlight series (ugh, I hate even typing it!), then the movie should turn out fine among everyone. Anyway, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta with a stunned, solemn and generally pissed off face. Well he has just been chosen to fight for his life. Also, that look for him is very Sunday School.
  • 1:18 - The train to the Capitol takes off, with some snazzy CGI and a chandelier! Plus Danny Elfman's score kicks in a bit more with some violin. From this trailer, the music sounds sweet, with some really good techno mixes in among the usual emotional Elfman stuff.
  • 1:20 - Yikes! The Capitol gets a full in shot, bathed in shininess and an aura of pristine. Looks about right, but I can't help but think it may have been played a little safe with the generic scrapers and roofs. I was hoping for a some off-the-wall, bizarrely superficial architecture, but this is only one tiny glimpse and director Gary Ross may still surprise us yet.
  • 1:23 - See, what did I tell you? Straight up, clean shot of the Capitol facility. GEEKIN' OUT!
  • 1:27 - Katniss's stylist Cinna, portrayed by Lenny Kravitz (yeah, he acts now), makes an appearance. His character is pretty accurate, and I'm glad they didn't go for a really camped up approach for him. Although to be fair, I couldn't help but always picture Gok Wan as Cinna...
  • 1:29 - Katniss is all dolled up for her appearance with The Hunger Games host, Caesar Flickerman. Again, another character is nailed with the looks - blue hair, pale blue lips, sparkling blue suit. And this is Stanley Tucci we're seeing here; with hair! Also, she looks rightly uncomfortable.
  • 1:31 - A sliver of a shot of President Snow, the evil bastard running Panem and the Districts. Donald Sutherland plays him with a casual frown of menace, which I'm sure we'll see a lot more of in the future, especially that blood red suit. 
  • 1:32/1:34 - Another quick shot, this time depicting a digital banner (ooh, techy!) with Katniss and the iconic flames behind her. In the latter shot, there's that sneaky glimpse of the tributes chariots rolling through he processions. And right at the back is our Katniss, toting her legendary flames that set her apart from the rest. Look close now.
  •  1:35 - Training time: another set perfectly envisioned. The outfits and colours just work so well with it all and seems like it's been pulled straight from the pages.
  • 1:38 - And who can forget little Rue - the District 11 girl who has  major part to play in the story, as anyone familiar with the book will tell you (probably with a tear in their eye).
  •  1:39 - In the next second we see Cato, the District 2 "Career" Tribute, volunteer into the games in search of fame and sport. And he's not the only "Career", as a whole band of them are just waiting to try their fates in these games... Also, he is nasty with a sword as that dummy in 1:45 will testify.
  • 1:48 - Finally, the bumbling, drunk oaf of a mentor to our heroes, Hamish! I simply can't wait to see Woody Harrelson play this most pivotal of characters, with the eccentricity and likeability he's  been known for with Zombieland and Friends with Benefits. Just a shame he's been largely ignored inthis trailer, which hopefully won't represent his role in the film (highly doubt it). Oh well, at least it leaves us with something to look forward to. 
  • 1:53 - Another awesome scene, where Katniss surprises the Game Makers with a bullseye shot. Seneca Crane, the head game maker's beard style is fraggin' awesome too!
  • 1:56 - The iconic rooftop exchange between Katniss and Peeta is going to be played out, where we start to see the chemistry between the duo. Hutcherson's performance is looking to be on par here.
  • 2:04 - Is that an Asian influence I hear in Elfman's score? Interesting...
  • 2:07 - And there's the Mockingjay pin. The most symbolic piece of Katniss's attire, as it represents the Capitol's mistake in accidentally creating a bird it didn't want; the Mockingjay. Now it is her emblem, her shining badge of rebellion in the cruel heat of the games, and she will carry it with her to the death.
  • 2:11 - Rue's signal *Sniffle* inspires the people of District 11 ( I think). 
  • 2:14 - The epic moments before the games begin, as Cinna says goodbye to Katniss, possibly forever. Readers of the book will know there is something else pulled out here (for obvious spoiler reasons) which will be an interesting thing to see the film tackle.
  • 2:24 - Countdown to the rush. Can you say tension? No sign of the giant golden cornucopia that holds all the supplies though. Maybe it was cut, maybe it wasn't, although it becomes quite important toward the end, so I think it'll be in there.
  • 2:29 - And BOOM. That's your trailer. Listen carefully for that all important whistle at the end there too, as it'll be quite the ditty come March 23rd. 
Phew. I for one am all trailer'd out. Oh alright, I'll watch it once more because it's just so good...

Any doubts  or fears I had for the film have now and truly been expelled, as Ross and the cast look like they're really on to something in this adaptation. As long as the romance doesn't take over and the action is kept realistic and brutal, then this has got to be a solid movie. If anything, this trailer has said "I am not an action movie" by steering clear of the games themselves (which we'll probably see in a future trailer) and has instead proved that it's, first and foremost, going to be as faithful to the novels as possible in the most fan appealing way. 

23rd of March: Get here NOW!

And may the odds be ever in your favour...


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