After months of speculation - an appropriately excessive amount, of course - the time has finally come; the Hunger Games theatrical trailer is here! Bright and early this morning, Peeta Mellark himself, Josh Hutcherson, hit the pavement to unveil the two-minute-and-35-second piece right in the heart of Times Square during Good Morning America. Moments later, the trailer arrived on iTunes in all of its high definition glory to be watched over and over again, and, sure enough, even after arriving home from work a mere hour ago, I've already logged quite a few viewings.
First, from the obsessive fan side of me – wow. I’m quite literally blown away by how well the imagery matches what I’ve been picturing all along. Then, Lionsgate takes it one step further by pinpointing the perfect assortment of scenes to both appeal to the hardcore fans and provide newcomers with just enough information to feel as though they can now have one foot in the door without knowing too much. Then again, this trailer also stops just short of showing us Hunger Games die-hards anything that could trickle into spoilery territory. The folks behind this trailer read my mind; there’s no better way to leave moviegoers of both denominations wanting more than by wrapping the trailer with a tease of the Cornucopia massacre.
Look: Over 40 Hi-Res Images from the New Hunger Games Trailer
On the technical front, the trailer is impeccable. Not only is the editing quite slick, but the score does a fantastic job at nailing the film’s tone. Then there’s the cinematography. It really looks as though we’ve got some grade-A filmmaking to look forward to, with Gary Ross nailing the necessary wide shots to set the scenes, but then coming close at the most opportune moment with a handheld camera to make you feel as though you’re right in midst of the action as Prim hears her name called at the Reaping. If that’s not enough to break your heart, just take a look at poor Peeta’s expression as he ascends the stage.
Then there’s the downright mesmerizing design of the Capitol set and costumes. Wes Bentley stands out as a fantastically maniacal-looking Seneca Crane, as does Stanley Tucci who’s just barely recognizable as Caesar Flickerman. But then, just before you think you don’t have an ounce of emotion left to spare, Katniss rises through the tunnel and the games begin, each tribute making a mad dash for their life. I’ve been looking forward to March 23rd, 2012 ever since the film’s release date was revealed, but now my excitement has transcended a normal degree of anticipation and very well might be quite crippling over the next 129 days.
Before I embarrassingly spill all of the contents of my heart all over this article, I turn it to the fandom for their thoughts on The Hunger Games trailer.
Tanvi of Hunger Games Network
Wow. The Hunger Games trailer exceeded all expectations. Yes, as a fan I always love anything to do with The Hunger Games, but the trailer has really actually made me an emotional wreck. They showed so much, yet left so much to imagination. I don't think I can pick up any one thing that I loved the most, but it has to be that tiny look at Katniss as she's introduced to the Capitol audience. And hey, Josh Hutcherson really is Peeta. He's so, so perfect with his expressions! It's like he pulled them straight out of the book. The most difficult part of the books was supposed to be the Capitol, but I'm much relieved now. It looks wonderful and perfect, the place and the people. I did notice there was a lot of Seneca Crane, which is a plus since I think he's quite a pivotal character in inciting Katniss to act. People who haven't read the books can catch more of the Panem politics. The trailer gave me chills and I can't wait to watch the actual movie!
Tiffany of Victor's Village
I have never been so blown away by just a theatrical trailer. In two and a half minutes, Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of Katniss felt gut-wrenchingly real, so much so that the Reaping scene broke my heart into a million tiny pieces, leaving me in tears for the rest of the trailer. Seeing the glimpses of the citizens of Panem watching the games, especially the three-finger salute in District 11, is a very welcome perspective and much needed addition. District 12, the Capitol, the training center, the arena – all places that have been no more than words on paper and images in my head – are now concrete, and what’s better is that they are as I have imagined. These places sacred to me have been treated with respect. Finally, the countdown at the end of the trailer as a panicking Katniss is rising up into the arena provides such an ominous feeling that even a stranger to the series will know that this will be a movie to be taken seriously. The trailer brought it in terms of stunning visuals, true to the book scenes, emotion and depth, and phenomenal acting.
Savanna of The Hunger Games Fireside Chat
Though I know it might make me sound like a gushing fangirl, I'd be lying if I said that the trailer was anything less than absolutely perfect (in my eyes, anyway). It contained everything that I had hoped to see - and more! The reaping scene was heartbreaking, Effie's accent was spot-on, the Capitol looked stunning (I was thankful to see the Rockies in the background), and I nearly fainted when I saw Katniss get into the tube. Oh, and how about Caesar Flickerman? Every worry and anxiety I had been harboring washed away - along with lots and lots of tears - as I watched it this morning on Good Morning America. It's no secret that I haven't exactly embraced the idea of Lenny Kravitz playing my beloved Cinna. Well, guess what? I don't care anymore! Even though the trailer is less than three minutes long, you can just tell that Gary Ross and everyone else involved in the making of this film have managed to truly capture the heart, spirit, and tone of Suzanne Collins' trilogy. And that's what really matters - to me, anyway. This is going to be a powerful, phenomenon-starting movie, and I can't wait for the entire world to discover it. People who aren't familiar with The Hunger Games will totally freak out when they see this trailer and want to learn more. As for fans like me? I'm now more eager than ever for March 2012 to get here. Where's my time-turner?
Adam of The Hunger Games Fireside Chat
Consider this Lionsgate's official debutante ball, where - after being tucked carefully away for some long stretch - we finally get to see the lady and all her charms. Well, let's just say this one's dazzlingly beautiful, inspiringly substantive, and pulse-poundingly suspenseful. I can't wait to ask her to dance.
Crystal of Mockingjay.net
I have to admit that my first viewing didn’t blow me away that much because it was 3:30 AM. My eyes were barely open and I was watching it on a Ustream of someone’s television. However, once I was able to see the iTunes version, I was able to appreciate it so much more. I teared up when Katniss volunteered and when Prim was taken away by Gale. I had done a prediction for the trailer last week and was pretty thrilled to see almost exactly what I had envisioned come alive on screen. My favorite part was seeing Peeta stare in awe outside of the Capitol train. I could barely even recognize Elizabeth Banks as Effie and Stanley Tucci as Caesar. Seneca Crane and Haymitch looked flat out amazing. I loved Woody’s voice, even if it was just for one line. I know I’m going to love him. It was beautiful and I really can’t wait until March now!
We think the trailer was perfect for both fans and non-fans. For fans, it gave us everything we wanted to see - a glimpse of all the characters, the reaping scenes, the Capitol, the cornucopia - without giving too much away. And for those not familiar with the books, we think the trailer really introduced them to the story and left them wanting to know more about it. It's definitely a must-see on the big screen!
HG Girl on Fire
Watching the Hunger Games trailer today, I was mesmerized. I found myself getting tearful during the reaping, while getting goosebumps and the chills as I got my first look at the Capitol, Effie, Cinna, Haymitch, Caesar, and the tributes. I was absolutely blown away by the emotions on screen, and the scene with all the tributes standing in a circle was just heartbreaking. For fans of the series, I think the trailer exceeded any expectations we may have had, and for those unfamiliar with the story, it was
just the right amount of footage to get them curious and want more. My hat's off to Lionsgate, Gary Ross and the entire Hunger Games cast for delivering what I'm sure will be a wonderful movie.
The Hunger Games Examiner
I think the trailer was phenomenal. Lionsgate pretty much nailed it. They included all the key moments and crucial characters that fans were dying to see, without giving away the whole film. And they also presented a trailer that will hook in audience members unfamiliar with the series. I remain cautiously optimistic about The Hunger Games film, emphasis on the cautious - though I can safely say my optimistic side has grown exponentially since seeing the trailer. Everything about it was pitch-perfect: the look, the feel, the mood, the emotion. It hit all the right notes.
Down With The Capitol
In a word: INCREDIBLE. The trailer was a perfect representation of the books - everything from the actors to the sets to the props looked as if it had walked straight off of the pages of The Hunger Games and onto our screens. We all had tears in our eyes as Katniss volunteered for Prim, and we cheered when we saw her hit the target and catch the attention of Seneca Crane. Peeta gave us the sensitivity we fell in love with, and Gale showed off a lighter side as well. We also loved that they cut the trailer before the Games actually started, giving the audience just enough to wet our appetites without spoiling too much. Perfection all around, even down to confirming the presence of the orange backpack! Our only problem with the trailer is that it's made us that much more anxious for March!
We absolutely loved the trailer! It touched on the major points of The Hunger Games, the reaping, the Capitol itself, the ‘fire dress,’ the start of a rebellion with the three-finger salute, the drive for survival and the countdown to the start off the games. The Reaping was perfectly grim and eerie, and a wonderful contrast to the colorful and vibrant Effie who gives us a taste of what we will fully see at the Capitol. We really wanted to see the Cornucopia, but we must leave something for the theatrical release! We felt the trailer was able to deliver the plotline without giving too much away, so we believe it was a success!
If you feel like you can take a break from watching the trailer over and over again, you can check out 40 high-resolution stills from the trailer right here at Movies.com. Also, over at The Hob, they’re accepting trailer reaction videos to be featured on their site. On top of that, tonight at 10pm ET, you can tune in to the Hunger Games Fireside Chat for a scene-by-scene analysis and discussion of the trailer.