Friday, February 3, 2012

Tribute News

I know Hunger Games madness has descended at an alarming rate as the release date nears, and I know the unaffected minority is seeking a safe place to weather out the storm.

This is not that place.

I read the first Hunger Games book a few years ago on the advice of a classmate. To be honest, I didn't expect it to be very good, because I wasn't impressed by the synopsis she gave. I expected the book to be tortured and gloomy and probably just a bit cheesy, a la Twilight (she liked that series, too). Instead, I found myself completely lost in this amazingly kick-tuckus world with fantastic characters and believable relationships.

I could gush about the series for hours, but that's not the point of this post. Lionsgate, the company producing the movie, has just released the second theatrical trailer. Bibliophiles around the world shouted for joy, and I could hardly consider myself a proper blogger or a proper shelver if I didn't share for the ignorant few who have somehow escaped the frenetic social media blitz of thousands of teenagers typing "OMG!!!!1! HUNGER GAMES TRAILERRRRR@!!!!11!!1"

Wasn't that absolutely beautiful? Several sites, including Entertainment Weekly (who always do an excellent job), have scoured each frame for clues, so I won't rehash, but I do want to make just a few observations.

First, as EW mentions, poor Madge! Madge, the mayor's daughter, is the one who gives Katniss her mockingjay pin in the book. However, in the movie, it seems Madge has been erased completely, as the pin is passed from Katniss to Prim instead of Madge to Katniss. I think this is a good choice. Madge is a minor character who isn't utilized in the later books. Adding her to the movie would just be a nuisance.

Second, Donald Sutherland as President Snow still... sounds like Donald Sutherland. I had expected him to sound a bit slimier, but that will probably come in time.

Third, does Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket remind anyone else of Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka, especially during that breathy "I just love that"?

Fourth, in some of the District Twelve shots, does Jennifer Lawrence (the actress who plays Katniss, for the uninitiated) seem unnaturally tall? Or maybe it's just that she's blockier in those clothes than the average Hollywood starlet, something that I think is fantastic. Yes, Katniss is chronically underfed and superbly agile, but the woman works hard, dagnabit! Keep some muscle on those bones!

Fifth, Arena shots! Woot!

And lastly, I. love. Cinna. He was always such a gem in the books, and I'm really starting to feel Lenny Kravitz in the role, based on the few shots we've seen in the trailers.

Any thoughts out there on the trailer? On Hunger Games in general? This is an unabashed gushing zone, so feel free to share.

[And for those who missed the first trailer, it's embedded below.]