The Hunger Games

When I first saw The Hunger Games trailer, I thought to myself, "I should probably read those books." So I did.

On second viewing, the trailer comes off as incredibly faithful. The source material is pretty good to start with, and the premise is simple but compelling. As with many adaptations, it's in the execution. The Hunger Games aims to execute well.

While I feel the first book will make for a good movie, the trilogy as a whole would likely make a better episodic series. The books are laced with cliffhanger chapters that rival some of TV's best, ala Lost, Alias, and True Blood. The second and third books especially will be hard-pressed to be condensed into the inevitable feature-film follow-ups. The second book, Catching Fire, is more of an extended conclusion to the first, and takes its sweet time setting up the next equally exciting "event," albeit one wholly worth the wait.

The third book, Mockingjay, poses the bigger issues for an adaptation. It's the contender to continue the recent trend of splitting the last part of a series into two separate movies. In this case it's entirely warranted, as Mockingjay is a huge story that plays out the series' somewhat-epic conclusion. I say 'somewhat' because while the events leading to it are indeed epic, the actual conclusion is not something one gives credit to the typical movie-going audience for accepting. Spoiler alert: It's depressing as fuck.

What strikes me even more is that the source material would make a great videogame. The concept alone lends itself to many gamer-centric features, and gruesome though some may be I can definitely see players clamoring for the chance to prove themselves. In an mash-up of Survivor and The Most Dangerous Game, players can move though generations of Games and their accompanying arenas, each fraught with deadly traps and the ability to form strenuous alliances. The social MMO aspect seems untapped-- actual, virtual Hunger Games could be held on a national and international level. Games can be sponsored, players could be "drawn," prizes could be awarded. And all you have to do is be the last man or woman standing by outlasting, out-witting, or straight-up killing every other opponent. Just sayin'.

The Hunger Games also seems to have spawned a multitude of fan films, many found easily by hopping around YouTube. If you've read the books, this one is particularly good. 


The Hobbit, near but far

Never have I seen-- and enjoyed-- so much footage from a movie so far off. Peter Jackson and crew have certainly been busy, each scene impeccably composed, shot, and colored. The results look as beautiful as ever, it would be hard to expect less from the teams involved in front of the camera and behind.

Here are some of my favorite shots from the trailer, each and eyeful in every way. Holding in the anticipation to see this played out at the unknown effect (to me) of 48fps will be tough!

Catch the whole trailer over at iTunes: The Hobbit Trailer