Hunger Games Trailer Is Amazing

It’s finally here!  We’ve been waiting for so long to see an official trailer for the movie adaptation of Suzanne Collin’s “The Hunger Games,” and this morning it finally arrived.  Premiering on Good Morning America with an appearance by Josh Hutcherson, who plays Peeta, the trailer is already online as well.

And it. is. amazing!

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss is PERFECT, as I knew she would be.  I love what they included of the Reaping, (the ceremony where the tributes are selected), because it made me cry and reminded me of the part in Mockingjay when the PR team in District 13 is trying to think of what made people love Katniss to begin with, what moments were best to remind people of or re-create in order to exploit that attachment and admiration of her.  Someone mentions that when she sacrificed herself for Prim, when she volunteered in her place, that it was a very powerful moment.  (Sorry, I can’t look up the exact quote because I lent my copy out to a friend).  It is incredibly moving to see the way Katniss screams in desperation, as the guards hold her back while Prim walks towards her doom, “I VOLUNTEER!”  That little clip perfectly encapsulates Katniss’s situation.

Katniss volunteers as Tribute in her sister's place, (and I cry my eyes out at this part every single time).

I guess the trailer didn’t actually indicate that Katniss is the sole breadwinner for her family, that her father is dead, that she must survive the Games in order to continue taking care of her sister and her unstable mother, but the goal of survival is secondary to her goal of protecting Prim.  And they did include that line, when Katniss and Peeta are on the roof, and he says he wants to “think of a way to show them that they don’t own me.  If I’m gonna die, I wanna still be me.” (!!! fanTASTIC line by the way, great decision to include it, one of the reasons we all love Peeta so much, he is so good!)  Katniss replies, “I just can’t afford to think like that.”  So we do get the sense that Katniss, although she volunteers for the Hunger Games because it is her only option, is going to fight to survive, and may be willing to do whatever it takes to win, whereas Peeta is fighting too, but for a different cause.  (He’s so noble!  I can’t stand it!)

Peeta says, "I just keep wishin' I could think of a way to show them that they don't own me. If I'm gonna die, I wanna still be me."

It’s perfect, I tell you, this trailer is perfect!  It sets everything up excellently, and it doesn’t betray a single character.  Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket is terrific.  Her overly cheerful and colorful “Welcome, welcome!” when everyone in the crowd is depressed and drab, the fancy flourishes of her hands.  Did you see the way she waves Peeta up on stage so ridiculously, like he’s five, coming to get a prize and not a death sentence?  What a bitch!  Perfect.

I have watched it maybe six or seven nine twelve nineteen times now.  I keep pausing in the middle of writing paragraphs to re-watch it.  The music is great too, I think.  It’s haunting, and it doesn’t sound too modern.  I mean I know this story is set in the future, but most of the districts are actually deprived of the technological advances that exist.  The music sounds a lot more District 12-y than Capital-y.  The music for this trailer ends the same way that the teaser trailer did, by the way, with a Mockingjay whistling Rue’s song.

There are so many more things that I want to see, (like more Haymitch, and Katniss’s mom, and Peeta being the Boy with the Bread, and a lot more of Cinna, and the beauty team, and more of the stuff that happens in the Arena, especially the cave),  but what was included was all really good.  I mean we really hadn’t seen anything except some shots of the filming of the Reaping, and the eight character posters that were released a couple weeks ago.  Oh, and the teaser trailer, but that was just Katniss.  I’m definitely convinced now that Josh Hutcherson is going to make an excellent Peeta, even though they didn’t really let him shine in this trailer.  Everything they showed of him was great, I’m just saying they didn’t develop his character in this two minute, thirty-six second trailer as much as they did Katniss’s.  Which is fine.  Because I know they will in the movie.  (Is it March yet?!)

The boy from District 12 looks out as he arrives in the wealthy Capital in awe.

Okay.  Getting a little more book-nerd with it, did you notice the actual “girl on fire” part?  I think this is the entrance parade of the Tributes, and we see Katniss, in the pyrotechnic dress that Cinna designed for her, projected on a large screen to viewers in the Capital, and then it pans back and we see two Capital dwellers watching the show with their little blue drinks and tiny iPod-ish screen, right?

The Girl on Fire

Also, towards the end we see the District 12 salute.  Katniss appears to be sending a shout-out to her District from the Arena, and the crowd watching at home responds with the same gesture.  In the book, they do this when she volunteers at the Reaping, and Katniss does it in the Arena when an ally dies.  But this looks like the very beginning of the Games, before the buzzer goes off, when each contestant is standing on their little circle.  She’s pretty unscathed, and it’s too grassy to be the forest death scene I’m thinking of.  Or, I don’t know, maybe she’s doing a farewell to the body as it’s taken away by the helicopter, and then the shot of District 12 doing it too is actually from the Reaping?  (If so I think that’s the only clip in this trailer from the second half of the movie.  Everything else is before the Games or the first few seconds of the 74th Annual Game itself).  I think it’s an interesting way to include the sorts of scenes we didn’t get to see from Katniss’s narration, (like people watching the Games and reacting back home, or in the Capital).

The District 12 salute.

Here’s the description of the first use of this symbol in the book:

Then something unexpected happens.  At least, I don’t expect it because I don’t think of District 12 as a place that cares about me.  But a shift has occurred since I stepped up to take Prim’s place, and now it seems I have become something precious.  At first one, then another, then almost every member of the crowd touches the three middle fingers of their left hand to their lips and holds it out to me.  It is an old and rarely used gesture of our district, occasionally seen at funerals.  It means thanks, it means admiration, it means good-bye to someone you love.

I thought the styling of the Capital characters was spot-on.  I saw someone with pinkish, reddish skin in one quick shot.  I loved the swirls in the head Gamemaker’s facial hair.  I liked the shot of the Capital we saw, nestled in the mountains of what used to be Colorado.  I loved the ornateness of it all.  It’s perfect.  This looks like it’s going to be an incredibly faithful adaptation.  Hooray!

Oh, and it looks like they’ve included the scene where the red-headed girl trying to escape the Capital is captured by the pursuing aircraft in the woods outside of District 12.  In the books, this is a flash-back that Katniss remembers when she sees the same girl serving as her Avox, (a servant who’s tongue has been cut out so they are literally “without voice”),  in the Capital.  But it’s a good change to make this actually happen at the beginning of the film rather than as a flashback to sometime before the main narrative, because it won’t disrupt the flow of action as much, and it will give a little more time on screen to develop Gale and Katniss’s relationship.

If you haven’t read this book series yet, why the hell not?!  Get cracking.  You have until March 23, 2012.  It’s amazing.  And may the odds be ever in your favor!

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12 Comments

Filed under Books, movies, trailers

12 responses to “Hunger Games Trailer Is Amazing

  1. At first the movie looked like it would be crud, thanks to that lame teaser trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nUM5YyFdeg

    However, this trailer is a remarkable improvement. Even Cinna looks like he might do a good job, and I had low expectations for their portrayal of that character. The locations and music create an atmosphere very true to the books, which is great. Hopefully, the movie will be able to stand up to the excellence of the trailer.

  2. Love your enthusiasm, and I share it. But Hutcherson is the weak link for me, which is cause for serious concern considering the weight of the narrative responsibility that rests on his shoulders. Real or not real?

    • Agreed, I was/am the most concerned about Hutcherson’s role, but I guess I am so relieved and excited about how much I like the tiny glimpses we get of him in action here that I am willing to believe he’s going to be great. Suzanne Collins and Gary Ross have both said that his audition blew them away, so I’m really hoping they are withholding a greater display of Peeta in order to wow us later. This being the first trailer, it’s necessary to set up the situation and center more on Katniss. But maybe later trailers or T.V. spots will feature more Peeta? I do love Gale in this trailer, but he won’t be in the movie nearly as much…

      …I think I have now watched it about 30 times…

  3. kem

    You are hilarious and I totally agree “he’s so noble I can’t stand it!”

  4. brooke

    it looks so amazing and ive watched it like 7 times now and i swear i tear up at the same part… the reaping when katniss yells she volunteers! its so awesome i was worried about the character that was going to play katniss but shes awesome. but the scene on the roof seemed weak on both Peeta and Katniss’s part. i just hope there hoarding the good stuff 🙂 i cant wait to see the cave scene 🙂

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  6. i read this post and watched the trailer before i read the books, so didn’t get most of it. now i’ve read the books and the trailer is so much more exciting! i kind of love how they showed so much without telling anything that would ruin any part of the story. kind of nervous about actually watching the hunger games played out, but thinking this is going to be really good movie!

  7. Good review of the trailer. I, too, am excited to see the movie. Regarding the silent salute shot, it has to be in the middle or end of the Games because she has the arrows on her back. She wouldn’t have it toward the beginning. So it’ll be interesting to see how “injured” she really gets before she gets the weapons from Glimmer’s body (if they play it out like that). I also noticed how they don’t use the left hand, but the right for the salute. Not sure why that detail was changed. I think the movie will be like getting a new novel; so many untold stories will be shared.

  8. I don’t have any doubts about the characters. I absolutely LOOOOOVVVVE Peeta. Jenifer Lawrence got Katniss Strait on! I think the District 12 solute is in the middle of the movie but can’t quit tell because she has her bow and arrows from Glimmer but she isn’t beat up because of that fire and the Tracker Jackers.

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