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Trailer Park: "The Hunger Games" Delivers the Best Trailer of 2011!

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jennifer Lawrence stars in the long-awaited adaptation of the series of novels set in a future dystopia where child are sent into battle against one another. Co-stars Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Wes Bentley, Toby Jones and Lenny Kravitz. (Published Monday, Dec 16, 2013)

    Anyone can tell you if a trailer "looks good" or not. But Drew Magary, who spent over a decade working in advertising, is here to tell you whether or not a trailer WORKS. This week's trailer? "The Hunger Games".

    With "Harry Potter" finished and the "Twilight" series mercifully coming to a close, where oh where will American teenagers get their serialized blockbuster Hollywood book adaptations from? Fear not, for "The Hunger Games" arrives in late March of 2012, which isn't that far from now. I hope you've already grabbed your toy bow and quiver, and camped outside the local cineplex! Let's take a look at the new trailer that dropped this week and see if Katniss Everdeen will shoot her way into your heart.

    "The Hunger Games"

    [NATL] "The Hunger Games"
    Jennifer Lawrence stars in the long-awaited adaptation of the series of novels set in a future dystopia where child are sent into battle against one another. Co-stars Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Wes Bentley, Toby Jones and Lenny Kravitz. (Published Monday, Dec 16, 2013)

    Does the trailer let us know what the movie's about? Yes. Even if you haven't read "The Hunger Games" (I have), the trailer does a wonderfully concise job of letting you know what's gonna happen. Twenty-four go in. One comes out. Easy as that. I also really like that the trailer only highlights the build-up to the Games. Once the game begins, the trailer cuts off and leaves you wanting more. It's one of the few trailers I've seen that offers just the right amount of plot.

    Does Jennifer Lawrence look sufficiently gritty to play Katniss? Sure. She's BRUNETTE. That means she's crazy tough. Also, I saw "Winter's Bone," so I'm always waiting for Lawrence to grill a squirrel and call everyone around her a filthy varmint.

    Is that Lenny Kravitz? It is! He's the hairdresser. Perfect casting.

    Is that Woody Harrelson's real hair? Not a chance in hell. I think he picked up the scraps from Tom Brady's last haircut.

    Do we get a token shot of Katniss and Gale hanging out in the woods before the you-know-what hits the fan? Oh yes. And then a big ol' spaceship flies above them and you know that this is not a trailer for some loser indie movie. This is a REAL movie.

    Do we get the heartbreaking scene where Katniss takes her sister's place in the drawing? Yes. CHILLS AHOY.

    Are there little teasers for fans of the book? Yes. You get a quick glimpse of Rue, and you get Rue's little whistle call worked into the score at the end. Nice touch.

    Does lots of stuff blow up? No, but the threat looms. Instead, you get lots of arrows being fired, plus you get a cool training sequence featuring a dude with paisley sideburns. You also get a wide CGI shot of the dreaded Capitol, which looks quite stunning.

    THAT LOGO IS ON FIRE! I know! That means something is totally gonna burn.

    Do we have a slogan? We do. THE GAMES WILL CHANGE EVERYONE. Indeed it will. Jennifer Lawrence will totally be able to buy a villa in Lake Como once this movie drops.

    Does this trailer work? Yes. Best trailer of the year. You get a good sense of the story with minimal spoilers. You get a good sense of the cinematography (director Gary Ross has favored a washed out look that makes the action look pretty realistic). You get a masterful buildup to the action just before it cuts off and leaves you hooked. It's a brilliant trailer. A great looking trailer, especially compared to the "Twilight" movies, which look so cheaply done. After "The Dark Knight Rises," this will be the biggest movie of 2012. Bank on it.