Trailer Reaction: “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (Teaser)

File:THGCF-teaser.pngOver the past two days we’ve lightened up on blogging in order to reflect with friends and family on the tragic Marathon bombings here in Boston, an event that shook our Emerson campus to its core since we’re located only a few blocks away from the area that was the Finish Line. But, as they say, life goes on and luckily the movies do too, and we couldn’t think of a better way to ease back into our daily routines then with a Trailer Reaction for the teaser for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Last March, The Hunger Games stunned the world with a massive domestic gross of $408 million – more than every other Harry Potter and Twilight film – and catapulted the luminous Jennifer Lawrence into permanent superstardom. Just another Twilight wannabe? No way! In the story of Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games became a phenomenon all its own thanks to a story about the undying fight of the human spirit against horrific odds, a theme we’ve seen take hold of Boston since the bombings Monday afternoon. Like Katniss, Bostonians have been extremely strong and selfless in the wake of extreme terror and the city’s ability to unite and have one another’s back in times of hardship is extremely reminiscent of Katniss and Rue in the original film. This November, the next installment in the franchise brings with it a wave of insurmountable hype thanks to the first film’s mind blowing performance and Jennifer Lawrence’s Oscar win for Best Actress in March. Can Catching Fire top the original? Watch the new tease trailer and get our reaction below:

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Why We’re Excited:

1) Jennifer Lawrence: Did you honestly expect to see anything else in the #1 spot for why we’re most excited about The Hunger Games: Catching Fire? Jennifer Lawrence is dynamite, there’s no other way to say it, and while many are looking closely to see how the young actress will perform in her first role since winning the Oscar for her sensational turn in Silver Linings Playbook, this teaser should reassure everyone that Lawrence means business as Katniss Everdeen, the strong but vulnerable teen at the center of a chaotic dystopian society. It’s this vulnerability that Lawrence nails so well – you can see it in her fragile eyes as she witnesses a District member being shot with outright terror – and that helps pull the viewer into the humanistic emotions running through this unfamiliar world. Lawrence makes us feel every nerve, and the fearful determination she expresses as she runs to protect Gale from gunfire looks to be a wowing moment, as do her tender moments with sister Pita, which were some of the most emotional moments of the first film. All in all, this teaser shows Lawrence effortlessly slipping back into Katniss’ shoes and we couldn’t be more excited to return to Panem and join Ms. Everdeen on another enthralling journey.

2) Tonal Transitions: Aside from Lawrence’s mesmerizing performance, the next best thing about the first film was Gary Ross’ deft direction which turned the world of Panem into a haunting futuristic society. With expertly crafted close-ups and plenty of shaky camera movements, Ross gave The Hunger Games a startling rawness that one would expect to see more in a gritty independent movie than in a young-adult blockbuster. When it was announced that Francis Lawrence would be stepping into the director’s chair this time around, our first fear was whether or not he’d be able to match that unshakable tone that Ross perfected in the first film and this teaser seems to suggest all the directorial pieces are intact despite a new director. Though Lawrence’s films like I Am Legend and Water For Elephants are polished and stylized, he seems to be keeping Ross’ raw vision with Catching Fire, evidenced by the extremely cold greys and blues and the shaky camera that gives scenes of political revolution a frightening and immersive tone. While many are still skeptical, this new teaser is making us a bit warmer to the idea of another director helming a Hunger Games movie.

3) The Perfect Teaser: Anyone who has read or who is familiar with the books has to admit that this is one of the best teaser trailers of all time. Even though it’s the same length as most traditional trailers, the teaser is exclusively focused on the opening events of the movie, from Katniss and Peeta’s tumultuous victory tour to President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and his persistence that Katniss is a serious threat for political rebellion. Wisely, the trailer makes no reference to the actual Hunger Games at the center of the movie, an event that brings together past winners from the previous 25 years of the games, and as a result we don’t see any of the new characters besides Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s new game-maker, a character that looks just as slyly devilish as President Snow (the two menacingly laughing is quite the sight). Showing Phillip Seymour Hoffman is a smart move since he’s a well-respected actor that brings a level of prestige to a teenage franchise that could use all the adult support it can get. Furthermore, the teaser succeeds in setting the stage for an epic rebellion while hinting at the Game to come thanks to Snow’s ominous voice-over which talks about the fear he has of Katniss sparking other winners to rebel as well – a fear that will cause Snow to create an all-star addition of the Hunger Games. Fans of the book no what to expect but blind audiences have no idea what’s to come and the teaser perfectly gives fans and newbies enough to chew on and enough to speculate that all of us are equally itching to see what the cast and crew have in store for us come November.

Are you guys just as excited for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire as we are?

Article by Zack Sharf

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