It pains me to admit that it took me 4 movies to come to this personal realization: The Twilight Saga–no matter how much it earns and no matter how big the fan base–is not ideal for a big-screen adaptation. And I say this with all due respect to the filmmakers who tried and gave it their best: it’s not you, Directors, it’s the source material. And I also say that with all due respect to Stephenie Meyer. I admit I liked the books–they’re a guilty pleasure and please lower those eyebrows–but there are some books that are best left to a reader’s personal mental book-to-movie adaptation. Many people, of course, will disagree with me; I don’t mind. I’m not trying to get people to cross the line anyway. Everyone must live with their own epiphanies.
I’m a fan of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy, so this post about the brand-new trailer for the movie adaptation was inevitable. I just wouldn’t be able to keep my virtual mouth shut.
Let’s break it down, shall we?
Katniss and Gale, bonding and hunting in the woods outside District 12:
I’ve ranted about the casting of Liam Hemsworth as Gale too much already. But while he seems okay based on the scenes here and I can feel the rapport between him and Katniss, he still hasn’t won me over. Sorry, Liam. I like what I saw of JLaw’s take on Katniss though.
That was goosebumps-inducing. The ceremony felt as cold and faux-spectacular as it did in the book, so the scenes between Katniss and Prim and the “I volunteer as Tribute!” part had more impact. I like the look that Katniss and Peeta shared when Peeta was called to the stage. Gale and Katniss’ last talk before she’s whisked off to the Capitol looked good, too. Okay, let’s give Liam a few points for that.
Oh, but Katniss, Prim, Peeta, and Gale looked a bit out-of-place among the other District 12 residents–like they’re a group of Hollywood stars in the midst of a sea of extras, which is exactly what they are in real life, and it shows. Or maybe that’s just me. Hrmmmm… That’s not a bad thing, really, because they’re the focus characters but it would’ve been better if they looked more like the District 12 residents that they’re supposed to be.
The train ride to The Capitol:
The train has chandeliers? How very Capitol! ;p The look of the Capitol and the Training Center wasn’t at all like I imagined, though–they seemed a little too stereotypical future-era production design. I expected more opulence and general ridiculousness.
The Cinna that I conjured up in my head when I read the books was like Kyan Douglas with a bit of Christian Siriano’s flair. I admit that while I didn’t have a violent reaction towards Lenny Kravitz being cast, I wasn’t sold on the idea, either. The short glimpse I got here, though, makes me think he has more potential in the role than I thought.
Katniss’ gown wasn’t at all like I imagined, either–it looked rather Dolce and Gabbana, and therefore too much “in the now” and not quite dystopian. They should have made Christian Siriano design it! :p No, really. And was that Caesar Flickerman? Hrmmmm…
The training sessions:
That voice-over about the games is a good idea. I like the background music, too; it’s not cliché. And wow, Alexander Ludwig! I like that they showed glimpses of the main Tributes.
Ummmm… Haymitch. I imagined Haymitch as someone like Mad-Eye Moody but a little less mad. :p Woody Harrelson’s Haymitch seems too well put-together compared to how he is in the book. And he has nicer hair (Thor, is that you?). Oh, all right, benefit of the doubt granted…for now.
Seneca Crane and the Head Gamemaker’s Beard of Freaky-Stylish Awesomeness:
Just one glimpse of Crane and that wacky beard has got the internet all abuzz, someone even had to interview it! You know your facial hair has arrived when people talk about it as if it’s sentient. :p
“I don’t want them to own me. If I die, I still want to be me.” Peeta. I have a very strong attachment to Peeta’s character, so I desperately want Josh Hutcherson to turn in the perfect performance. I won’t go as far as to say he nailed it based on this scene, but he’s on the right track as far as I’m concerned.
Katniss makes the District 12 salute/gesture and the people salute back:
Yet another goosebumps-inducing scene. Yay! I was teary-eyed when I read this part.
The countdown to the Arena:
I love that we got a glimpse of the characters that matter to Katniss–Prim, Gale, Cinna–before she rocketed up to the Arena. Katniss and Peeta taking stock of each other’s location and condition as they run for the supplies was a nice touch.
The trailer struck a good balance between telling the viewers what the movie is about and showing off the good stuff that they’ve done with it, while still holding back a lot of surprises for the movie itself. It makes me curious even if I didn’t see any scenes from the Games at all. The editing and the over-all structure that the filmmakers went with was really good.
I am a tad disappointed with the production design, though, because it looked like they didn’t want to push the envelope; it felt too safe. They were on the right track with Seneca’s beard and Effie’s look already, to be honest! But I do realize that I’ve only seen roughly 2 minutes of footage, so I hope the rest of the film is better in that aspect.
Okay, enough rambling. I’m gonna go and watch it again!
Title: The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Read Date: 21 October 2011
Goodreads Status Updates: Click here. Contains spoilers and lots of ROFL-ness.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (It was amazing!)
Review in a nutshell: It was epic.
Moral of the Story: I want a Shardblade.