Trailer Tuesday: The Hunger Games - Catching Fire

Honestly the film I am most looking forward to seeing before the end of 2013 is novel adaptation and sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It took a while to get going, and I wasn't a big fan of the altered ending but I thought the first Hunger Games film was a solid adaptation of Suzanne Collins' hit Young Adult novel, a page-turner that mixed action, survival and science-fiction... and had genuine cross-audience appeal.

The Hunger Games sequel looks like much of the same, although this time the scope extends beyond the Arena and District 12, to reveal the dissatisfaction in other Districts of Panem (a future Dystopian America), and the totalitarian measures put in place by the Capitol to squash unrest.

Catching Fire kicks off in the weeks following the events of the first film. Having emerged as the victor of the 74th annual Hunger Games - a reality TV spectacle where teenagers are selected by "lucky" draw and forced to fight to the death - Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) finds herself an unwilling symbol of rebellion against the Capitol. Despite her best efforts she can't convince a furious President Snow (Donald Sutherland) that she doesn't mean to upset the status quo, leading to a crackdown on Katniss's home District and everyone she loves - including her fellow victor Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and childhood friend Gale (Liam Hemsworth).

Then Snow hatches a scheme to show rebels that "even the strongest cannot overcome the power of the Capitol" with the special 75th anniversary edition of the Hunger Games.

The trailer above goes into a bit more detail about what exactly Snow's plan entails. However, for those who prefer a bit more of a surprise - and haven't read the book - the initial teaser trailer does a surprisingly good teaser job (for a change), outlining the basic plot while leaving out a big chunk of the narrative. And that is always appreciated.

For the record, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks and Lenny Kravitz all return in their supporting roles as part of Katniss and Peeta's Hunger Games support team. Sam Clafin, Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright and Philip Seymour Hoffman are notable newcomers to the cast meanwhile.

I'm currently in a bit of a race to finish the second book in the trilogy before the film version comes out in a month's time. Certainly the overall literary experience is darker, with higher stakes than its predecessor, and the movie seems to be reflecting this as well.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens in North America AND South Africa on 22 November. For the record, it will be the second film to screen at Ster Kinekor's new IMAX cinema in Durban (with bookings already open). This may actually be the ideal format in which to experience the NON 3D film (yay!), as the Hunger Games scenes have been shot specifically for IMAX's extra-large screen.


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