Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Trailer: Epic Trailer #2, Catching Fire Images and News

Due out May 24, the second trailer for the animated Epic has been released:
Given President Obama's message that Republicans want "dirty air and dirty water," and the near-religion status the environment has taken with liberals, this will probably be a liberal film, but not necessarily. There is the traditional demarcation between "good" (the green guys) and evil (the guys in gray). "When our world dies, your world dies, too," one character says, and I don't doubt that at all; the question is, identifying who the gray guys are in terms of real enemies threatening our world. One way in which this might be a conservative film, possibly bucking the stereotypes of conservatives not caring about the environment, is that gray is a traditional color for socialists' uniforms (think of the Chinese and pictures of Stalin). I do know that Mary Katherine (Amanda Seyfried) finds a group of glowing, falling leaves; when she catches one, she is immediately shrunken down. Depending on how it is done, these could be radioactive leaves, but not necessarily. Epic also features two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Bastards, Django Unchained), Steven Tyler, Josh Hutcherson and others.
Oscar-nominated and critically acclaimed Wreck-It Ralph is finally out on video this week; one reader commented to me they thought it was just a kids' film, but was surprised at how sophisticated it is; for example, it takes place in 1982 and kids aren't going to catch any of the references to a story taking place in 1982; let me put it this way, it wasn't nominated for an Oscar for nothing (my review is here: Children Of the Candy Corn: Wreck It Ralph & Game Jumping). Also out this week that you will want to catch, because the upcoming Olympus Has Fallen builds on the foundation laid here, is Red Dawn with Chris Hemsworth. Liberal critics thoroughly panned the film (one at Rotten Tomatoes committed plagiarism to call it the "Tea Party's wet dream" of a communist take-over) but, as I said, Olympus Has Fallen takes the same premise of a North Korean communist invasion to keep up the dialogue (my review here: Counter Insurgency: Red Dawn).  
Katniss and Peeta "won" the Hunger Games, the follow up, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, starts out with them on the Victory Tour, this being a poster in the film promoting them as they prepare to return for the next set of Games to take place in the film. The image on the left is a detail (a publicly released detail, not one made) of the image on the right with them against the huge metal sculpture. What do these two images say? Peeta and Katniss look like they are dressed for a wedding. Given how the committee "capitalized" on their love during the Games, the Victory Tour is probably meant to promote "their love" but really it wants to "wed them" (not to each other) but the establishment, the status quo, the Capitol and capitalism; by their victory and the fame and fortune they get from the Hunger Games, the thinking goes they will be grateful to the Capitol for the new life they and their families now have, and being such famous faces, they will support the Capitol and the continuing Games. If this line of logic is correct (because that's how it works in a capitalist society) then Katniss and Peeta are really being wedded to the Capitol and what it stands for. However, as they make the tour, the sparks of revolution start to pick up and it's to the revolution that Katniss and Peeta will become wedded. While the Capitol would want people to look at the image on the right and see the winners and the sign of civilization and progress in the metal sculpture, it really dwarfs them and makes them look irrelevant.
Due out November 22, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will undoubtedly be pro-socialist. There has been a great deal of dialogue regarding the film, people confused over whether it's pro-socialist or pro-capitalist, however, the revolution being "started" in the second film decidedly casts it as a socialist film (socialists are trying to undo the history of capitalism in the country and that's what the film will reflect; for my review, please see The Hunger Games: Hitler & America's Anti-Socialism). 
Why the "empty chair?" During the Republican Convention, Clint Eastwood started (or propelled) the idea that an "empty chair is better than Obama" and the empty chair movement was started as a way for Americans to protest President Obama's policies and practices. Like many of the images released for The Hunger Games, this specific image probably won't be in the film anywhere, but is meant to fuel interest in the film. Again, this dress is something of a haute couture wedding dress (not to mention the white rose she holds), and is meant to demonstrate the famous and popular Katniss as being "wedded" to the status quo (capitalism in the Capitol) and not supporting a revolution because it's the Capitol that gave her this new life. This is just speculation, but it's possible.
What happens is Katniss and Peeta get pulled into the Games again, and once more have to fight for their lives.  Like what we are seeing in Gangster Squad and Jack the Giant Slayer, Catching Fire will probably attack the idea that those who "make it" in a capitalist society won't "bite the hand that feeds them" because if you make it to the top, you want to stay at the top and the idea that only the poor want socialism, Catching Fire will try to demonstrate that the rich and successful want it too, or they should want it. There is at least one more film after this and the last "part" of the story might be split up and released as two separate films.
(Please click to enlarge the image) Effie, Caesar, Haymitch and Cinna. Is someone missing? Plutarch (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who is the revolutionary that gets put in charge of the Hunger Games and is trying to overthrow the Capitol. Each of these characters from the Capitol has filled their seat, "the seat of government" and shows how they probably support the Capitol against revolution because the Capitol supports them, so they don't want an overthrow.
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