Well, here it is.

I've gotten to the point where I was tuning out any and all talk about "The Hunger Games" because I didn't want to feel exhausted by the  movie before I ended up getting a chance to see it.

Today, I'm ready to take a look at the new trailer and finally get a real look at what it is that Gary Ross has done adapting this monster hit series of books into what Lionsgate hopes is going to be a monster hit series of films.

I watched the trailer twice this morning, and my reaction so far is that it looks like Ross has done it.  It's a tonally interesting bit of world building based on the footage we've seen here, and I'm really liking the sense of reality that the trailer establishes.  Jennifer Lawrence looks like she's going to be a strong presence as Katniss Everdeen, the girl who is chosen to compete in The Hunger Games, a gladiator battle to the death that's held once a year in The Capitol.  We get a glimpse of almost everyone in the trailer, including Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, and, of course, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson as the two young men who represent different paths Katniss might take in her life.

The big question with a trailer like this is "How does it communicate to someone who hasn't read the books?", and it seems to me like it's cut to introduce the ideas and the characters.  I think it cleanly explains the premise, and I love the way it builds to the start of the Games and then wraps it up immediately.  It makes it look like they haven't shied away from the brutal nature of the Games, while still trying to make something that can play to a broad audience.  This is never going to be as bloody and disturbing as something like "Battle Royale," but it does seem like they're going to make it pay off as a tough emotional ride.

 



So I ask you… if you've read the books, does this work with what you imagined?  And if you haven't read them, did you get a good impression of what the film's going to be like from this?  I think it's a solid effort, if not amazing, and I'm curious how you'd rate it.

"The Hunger Games" arrives in theaters March 23, 2012.