While there are a ton of great movies being released this month, the kind that will likely walk away with large number of various golden statutes in early 2014, the November box office race boils down to two big-time sequels. Thor: The Dark World pounded the competition in the face with a massive hammer, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will rule the latter portion of the month. The hotly anticipated follow up hits theaters next week, and we’re waist deep in the final promotional push, which includes this latest short clip.
When experts and pundits anticipate that your movie is going to bring in $150 million on its first weekend, and the early reviews have been almost entirely positive, you have to wonder how much more marketing is actually necessary. But when has that ever stopped a studio from pushing?
After winning the Hunger Games—the teenage battle-to-the-death that passes for mass entertainment in this particular dystopian future—Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) become instant celebrities. Their newfound fame pulls them from the bleak poverty of their home district, and thrusts them headfirst into the lavish, bizarre high society of the Capital. In this clip from Apple the victors, accompanied by their liaison Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), attend an extravagant gala.
Their discomfort is readily apparent, but Effie is in her element. She may look like a cracked out alien Muppet, but her look is actually rather restrained in comparison to many of her compatriots. The out of control style, outlandish body modification, and excess on every front, is intended as an illustration of the corrupt, decadent lifestyle in the Capital, and stands in sharp contrast to the stark existence of most of the nation of Panem. Given the disparity, you can understand why rebellion simmers among the populace. It makes the Cover Girl line of Capital-themed make up even funnier. Talk about completely missing the point.
While I enjoy the first Hunger Games movie, I didn’t go nuts for it like a lot of people. It’s fine, and I’ve watched it multiple times—the early world building is well done, but once they get into the actual Games portion of the movie, I find myself noticeably less interested—though it doesn’t live up to the books. That said, I’m still looking forward to Catching Fire. Gone is the intrusive shaky-cam of the first chapter, and if early word is any indication, this has built upon what came before it, which is something any good sequel should do. There’s a ton of room to grow, and an excellent cast to pull it off.
In addition to Lawrence, Hutcherson, and Banks, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire stars familiar faces Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci as Caesar, and Donald Sutherland. Beyond the returning cast, new additions include the likes of Jenna Malone, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Amanda Plummer, and Sam Claflin.