Counting Down to Catching Fire

Jansen Trahan

Tick, Tock.

Tributes, Mockingjays, whatever we choose to call ourselves, our wait is nearly over. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire hits theaters on November 22 (approximately 22 days and 14 hours from the time I published this blog post), BUT I MEAN WHO’S KEEPING TRACK IT’S NOT LIKE I’VE HAD A COUNTDOWN ON MY PHONE FOR OVER A YEAR NOW.

This Sunday, a World Series Game was scheduled around the release of the final Catching Fire trailer, a fitting debut for America’s favorite pastime: televised dystopian death matches. While previous teasers and clips have focused on the post-Games lives of Peeta and Katniss, as well as the growing rebellion in Panem, the latest trailer has finally given us what we’ve all been dying to see:

THE ARENA

Katniss Everdeen, chillin'.

Katniss Everdeen, chillin’.

Our first real glimpse tells us one thing for sure: we’re not in Kansas anymore. The wooded landscape of the previous arena has been replaced by a lush, tropical rainforest. And Katniss Everdeen showcases her marmoset-caliber climbing skills (seriously, you can’t tell me they don’t do parkour in Panem).

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From Katniss’ point of view, we get a better sense of the scope and sheer magnitude of the arena. So many trees, so many hiding places; it’s reminiscent of Peter Jackson’s take on Skull Island (and if you haven’t seen 2005’s King Kong, let me just say that some pretty vile critters like to hang out in the rainforest). If anything, at least you can work on your tan down at the lakefront…

Sittin' on the dock of the bay.

Sittin’ on the dock of the bay.

…like these two lovebirds here! Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, the star-crossed lovers of District 12 and victors of the 74th Hunger Games, share an intimate moment by the water’s edge. It’s so romantic, until you think about how slim the odds are of both (or either) of them surviving another Games. I suppose if you were going to die, it might as well be on a beach with the government-mandated love of your life.

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WOAH WAIT WHAT. THERE ARE TSUNAMIS IN THIS ARENA? EVERYONE EVACUATE THE BEACH AND FIND SOMEWHERE ELSE TO DIE. In spite of this impending water wall of doom, however, we do get a lovely view of the Cornucopia, which has been beautifully updated since the previous Games. Post-postmodern architecture. Take notes, Londonthis is how you commemorate a games.

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We’ve just seen what the water in this arena is capable of as a liquid, so perhaps we shouldn’t test it in a gaseous state, either. Perhaps it’s smoke, not vapor, in which case you should always feel with the back of your hand, Katniss Everdeen. You’re the girl on fire – get your shit together.

People say we monkey around.

People say we monkey around.

You remember the dog muttations from the previous arena, right? THESE ARE NOT THOSE DOGS. THESE ARE RABID BABOONS. Not only are they infinitely more human-like, they can swing faster than you can run and THEY CAN ATTACK YOU FROM ABOVE. Good luck scrambling to the top of the Cornucopia and waiting these fellas out. They’ll beat you there with enough time to fire up the pit and have a cold one.

Hey, how you doin' lil mama? Lemme whisper in ya ear

Hey, how you doin’ lil mama? Lemme whisper in ya ear…

Katniss Everdeen faces one of the cruelest tricks of the Gamemakers in this arena: the Ying Yang Twins on repeat. I’m totally joking (that would be a treat). Without giving too much away for those of you who haven’t read the book, I’ll just say the Gamemakers are getting very personal this time around, hitting Katniss where it hurts the most.

And now, we wait. Tick, tock.

Be sure to catch The Hunger Games: Catching Fire when it hits theaters and IMAX November 22.

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