Hunger Games Trailer: First Impressions

Welp, if you were anywhere on the internet today, you’d know that the trailer for the Hunger Games film dropped. Didn’t see it? I got you.

So yeah, I’m definitely excited. I’m always excited to see a really good property turned into a film. I watched the trailer a total of four times today. The first two times, I squealed like a little girl and twirled around in my office chair in delight. The third time I watched it, I started to dissect the trailer. By the fourth time I watched it, I began to get a little worried.

Things I liked:

  • Katniss – I had never heard of Jennifer Lawrence before this film. While I don’t think she has that lean, hungry quality that i felt like Katniss possessed, she has a sort of charisma that I liked. Overall, I think she’s a solid pick for lead.
  • Lenny Kravitz – He would’ve been my first choice to play Cinna, barring Prince.
  • Tension – It was there, pressing against the edges of the screen and making me grip the arms of my office chair. It was in the book, and one of the reasons why I couldn’t put it down. If this movie is going to have any chance of succeeding, it needs to maintain the sense of tension that the book had.

Things I didn’t like:

  • Colors – I may be nitpicking, but I always imagined District 12 as really grimy, cramped, and brown, with dirty people and blinking lights under heavy, dark skies. In the film, District 12 looks well lit, and expansive, nothing at all like what I imagined. This may not be an issue for a lot of people, but for me…well, the reason why the books hooked me is partially because I was in love with the hues that I imagined.
  • Certain Casting Issues – Liam Hemsworth is a nice looking kid, don’t get me wrong. But where I could forgive the lack of hunger and tenacity in Katniss, I can’t forgive that in the person that was cast to play Gale. Gale is sad, but he’s hurt. And angry. I didn’t get that from Liam. And Woody Harrelson as Haymitch? Technically, yes. But the half a second of footage that he got in the trailer showed me that I might not enjoy him as Haymitch that much.
  • Rue – Rue also got about .003 seconds of face time in the trailer. However, I noticed something disturbing even in that fraction of time. In the book, Rue specifically had dark brown skin and hair. So why is Rue a little ethnically ambiguous young lady (h/t to my friend Hollye for the PC terminology) with *not* dark brown skin? I know that most of Hollywood thinks that it doesn’t make a difference, because they still found a little African-American girl to play Rue, but it does make a difference. If Rue is described as dark, she should be dark. Hollywood’s color complex is disgusting.

Those are just my thoughts, man. Right or Wrong.

But what do you guys think? Did you enjoy the Hunger Games trailer? Did you have any issues with it? Are you in a mad dash to finish Mockingjay before next year?

EDIT: I found out yesterday that the young lady playing Rue is Amandla Stenberg, who played young Cataleya in Colombiana, among other things. While i’m still a little peeved that the actress playing Rue isn’t as dark as I imagined, Ms. Stenberg has proven to me that she is a very capable actress, and I look forward to seeing her in the film.

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5 thoughts on “Hunger Games Trailer: First Impressions

    • It would be a *big* stretch for the movie to try and cover all three books. From the look of the trailer, I’d say that only one book was getting the film treatment. God, I really hope no one tries to smush multiple books into one movie…i mean, how can you even make money off of that?

  1. Funny, I sorta pictured Cinna as Prince as well.

    Anyway… about this Rue thing… I am completely sick to my stomach to see the whining and complaining on the internet from people who either:

    a) Thought she was white
    b) Read “Dark Brown Skin” and interpreted it as “tanned from being outside”
    c) Understood that she was black but insisted that she should be white or say something like, “She didn’t *seem* black to me”.
    d) Have this attitude of, “Okay she’s dark but not AFRICAN-AMERICAN dark”

    I mean, the list goes on. As a father of two very young black girls, it breaks my heart to see the hatred that they’ll be subjected to. Racism is alive and strong in this world.

    And even though young Miss Amandla (bless her heart) was cast as Rue, I agree with your point. They still got it wrong. Rue’s supposed to be the same as Thresh in terms of skin tone. But God forbid Hollywood cast an actual black girl in a movie role.

    However, the white folks criticizing the casting will think that this is some kind of affirmative action movie casting.

    I’m done!!!

    • All VERY valid points.

      I was shocked when I read that people thought that Rue was white. I mean, were we reading the same book? And, I realize that we are extremely lucky to have any POC cast as rue. If The Last Airbender’s cast is any indication, Hollywood isn’t afraid of completely eliminating all POC from a property just to bring in the big bucks. Still, It’s very sad that there are literally NO darker skinned African American child actresses who could’ve played Rue. I would think that Imani Hakim would be perfect, but I think she’s about twenty years old now.

      Also, did you let your daughters read The Hunger Games series?

      Thanks for stopping by!

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