First off, condolences to Kevin Michael's family. Kevin was a real asset to the Park School, and the fact that he's gone leaves a gaping hole in the Ithaca College community as a whole. He will be missed.
Of course, we've got to move on from tragedy. So let's talk Hunger Games; which, I suppose, isn't really any better. That's not a stab against the movie -- from the trailer, it looks great -- but the story, if you don't know, isn't the happiest-go-luckiest of the bunch.
Quick summary: Post-apocalyptic world. In the nation of Panem -- which was once the US -- a government punishes their people for past protests in a televised annual event called The Hunger Games, where one boy and one girl from each "district" is called to fight to the death. The winner will bring their district prizes and live in luxury. Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen year old girl from the impoverished District 12, is called to play in the games; but she has other ideas for the Games and the government of Panem.
It's not often that I rave about how good a film adaptation of a book looks; but watching the trailer, I was drooling. When I read the books this summer, I had a vivid idea of how the sets would look, how the characters acted, how they fought, the music, etc. Everything in this trailer is exactly how I expected it, except for the actors. They look a little too clean and pretty for poor and oppressed citizens living in the slums and woods. But that's Hollywood; and to be honest, everything else about this movie so far has overshadowed that one little thing.
What's most impressive about this movie is how natural everything looks for a movie that's so unnatural. Maybe it's the rapid fire nature of the trailer, but nothing looked artificial or choppy; the makers of this film really devoted their time and energy into making every detail exactly right, and it shows. Watching the trailer immersed me in this universe. It's something amazing when a trailer can do that.
The movie comes out on my 21st birthday, so I might have to miss opening night for "celebration" and "good decisions." But I predict that The Hunger Games will be the movie event of 2012. What? Twilight? Get that weak mess out of here. Katniss Everdeen will kick Bella's pregnant ass around the block this way and that way. Like, you don't even know.