I’m not a YA fan, I’m never going to be a YA fan, I’ve read one Harry Potter book (the last one), and a smattering of John Green’s novels, and only after I’d been watching his and his brother’s YouTube channel for about a year– and thus knew he wasn’t a hack. I’ll be the first to admit it, but I am a literary snob, which is even harder to swallow when I come across even bigger literary snobs than me who out rightly write off The Hunger Games trilogy, because it’s A. Popular. B. Young Adult fiction, and C. It’s been bought and sold and turned into a successful film franchise. Which brings me to today’s fuming moment of well, fuming. Should The Hunger Games Be Read Or Watched? Was published today, and I read it, and while the author spouts a healthy dose of wishing more people read, and blah blah blah– he also comes off as a healthy, and giant ass-hat. Why? Because The Hunger Games trilogy doesn’t meet his apparent standards of difficulty. I’m sorry, are books that are worthwhile only worthwhile if you have to read them along with a dictionary, and then also read esoteric academic papers pulling the plot, characters, and nuances in the text apart, is that the only and proper way to read a decent piece of literature? Erm, if that’s so, then I need my English degree ripped from my cold dead hands, and also my giant copy of The Yale Shakespeare burned into a smoldering pile of ashes, ashes, we all fall down.
Have you noticed a growing theme through the last few paragraphs? If you haven’t, then buurrn (see, there it was right there). Okay, here’s the deal, while I’m a sizable proponent of encouraging reading, and basking in the lovely, warm glow of a good book, I am frankly irritated by the continuous, and pompous manner in which reviewers, and critics yammer on and on about the declining intellectual fortitude and engageability of the younger generations, especially where it comes to their literary proclivities, and yes I am wholly aware that I just used a non-word. Yeah, it happens, meaning reading falls in and out of fashion, I know it does, you know it does, but while it is disturbing I am also increasingly and somewhat equally disturbed by seeing junior high school kids in sweatshirts, and shorts walking to school in 28 degree Fahrenheit weather (yeah, That was another hint).
See here assholes who can’t get past the fact that The Hunger Games trilogy is categorized and cataloged under the Young Adult book sections of our book sellers and libraries, because I read them– and my favorite novels feature hard-core adult themes, including “the sex.” Nope, not Fifty Shades, I’m a literature snob remember, and I’m not going to read that, ’cause I could daydream up better kink than that woman whilst sitting in traffic. I’m talking the big books like East of Eden, and Nabakov, and other hard to read shit, because it’s about unpleasant, gritty stuff, and the authors liked to use ten cent words, and pretend I’m blowing a raspberry, ’cause I am that mature.
The size of it is this, or the biggest fuming moment (s) of the article linked to above was the author’s blatant, flippant, and ignorant bringing up of two things: One being Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, and how today’s youth are rapidly turning our world into the world in which Bradbury wrote, yes where books are lost forever in burning piles, and ignorance is rampant, tra la la la. And Second, the peice de resistance, he lets out a subtle hint (if you’re paying attention) that he probably has not read Mockingjay. Please, just sit with that for a second.
Someone call Star Squad 451! Also, it’s Friday the day I can find anything to be snippy about.
Them There Eyes
Every holiday season, Victor’s Village searches the joys of the Internet to find new Hunger Games holiday favorites. We realize that it’s already the last night of Hanukkah, but there’s never a bad thing to window shop with us!
Every Hunger Games fan is different, but if you or someone you know gets as obsessed as we do, maybe something on this list will excite!
Starting off a little simple, but the CATCHING FIRE soundtrack is a must-have! Like the first soundtrack, there are so many songs that connect specifically to the books to form a beautiful, emotional reference. What’s new this time around is the mixing of genres, so fans can hum along, air guitar, belt it out, and break it down all in the course of one album!
CATCHING FIRE ARENA WALL CLOCK by Artsy Allaire
When it comes to Hunger Games fandom related decorations, we’ve always appreciated the more subtle nods like this clock with the Catching Fire Arena obstacles painted on the hour they go into effect! Available in black or white, it’s one way to test newcomers to your home on their Hunger Games knowledge!
MELLARK BAKERY APRON by Studio Vim
Know someone who’s got skillz in the kitchen? Make ‘em an honorary member of the finest bakery in District 12 with a charming and super functional apron! Yup, the Mellark Bakery CAN be rep’d without a reference to Peeta’s buns. Who knew?!
KATNISS PRIMROSE CUFF BRACELET by Unique Art Pendants
We tried to keep this list mostly gender neutral, but we like shiny things. Not to mention that this handpainted cuff bracelet, featuring the literal Katniss and Primrose plants, tells the story of an epic family bond without being too in-your-face. There are pretty of more obvious Hunger Games options out there, but the elegance of this one has got us hooked!
CERAMIC HUNGER GAMES HOPE TUMBLER by B. Atwood Creations
The comfort of District 12 has a rustic feel to it and so does this HOPE tumblr created by ceramics artist Blaine Atwood. With a hot beverage inside and a good book by your side, this looks like the perfect companion on a cold wintry night.
THE KATNISS COWL by theLOVEstitch
Katniss’ cowl wrap in District 12 has been making fans fall in love since Catching Fire was released. There are several versions on Etsy varying in style and price (not the mention knitting patterns!), but this one by theLOVEstitch appears to be one of the more accurate looking designs. The downside? This is the most expensive item in this post BY FAR. But prepared to fork over the dough!
by SoCool Designs
Decals are kind of a classic way to show off things you love, whether it be on your laptop, your car, or somewhere around the house. And at only a four inches, you can fit these Mockingjay ones along decals from your other favorite fandoms and rest assured they’re not going to consume your whole living/driving space.
HUNGER GAMES CHARM SET by The Tiny Kangaroo
Were we sucked in by the cute factor? ABSOLUTELY. Charms are a totally flexible type of fun. They can be used for cell phone charms, necklaces, (really big) earrings, or kept as collectibles. We may be inclined to take them out and about to snap pictures with them in funny situations. Because that’s what grown ups do!
That’s our list. As you may know, this list is a precursor to our annual holiday contests! We see awesome Hunger Games prizes in your future! Will one of these awesome items make the list? Keep checking back to find out!
P.S. Looking for books or movies that interest a huge Hunger Games fan? Check out our recommendations page!
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has been released all over the world for a couple of weeks now, and that means that the world at large’s head vision of Finnick Odair should be transforming into one Sam Claflin for the most part, right? Wrong! Sadly as the person who was the mouthpiece behind the totally-defunct-dead-as-a-door-nail-dead-dead-dead campaign to have Armie Hammer cast as Finnick– I’ve unfortunately been privy to people just not fucking giving up and not accepting the very talented, the totally worthy, and the super nice person that is Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair. As of yesterday the Tumblr titled Armie Hammer for Finnick Odair was still in existence, but that doesn’t mean it had been updated for over a year– and get this, I was daily getting multiple follower alerts for it. Not only was I getting them daily mind you, they actually, and dumb-foundingly started increasing once The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was released. Pretty weird, huh? I think so.
Guess what I did yesterday!? G’head, guess? Yep, I deleted that floundering sucker! Why? Because as I said above, it hadn’t been updated in probably about a year, and also I think it was kind of sad that people were still following it. Yeah, I said it– sad. I honestly thought that once Sam was cast that people would give up, that people would fall away, that the campaign would just out quietly, and that my dears is exactly why I lazed and didn’t delete the stupid, silly thing. Erm, also I had relinquished control of it to PeetaToast over on Tumblr sometime towards the end of the initial campaign, and thought maybe she would eventually step up and say or suggest, “shall I delete this very dead thing?” But that never happened, and the follow alerts kept pouring in to my inbox, and well– annoying me. Yeah, you could say I deleted the thing because it was more annoying than painful to be reminded that who I wanted to be cast was in fact not? But, well– yes, that is the case. Annoyance thy name is silly, sad people who cannot accept Sam Claflin as Finnick Ordair, ’cause, damn it all to hell people– I sure as hell have, and I don’t know why you bloody have not!
Hey you guys! You annoyed me enough to make me delete something I didn’t care about anymore! Now to ditch the Facebook page as well!
Them There Eyes
PS. I’m still a fan of Armie Hammer’s.
I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but I’ve been feeling a tad bit smug since The Hunger Games: Catching Fire came out. There are a few good reasons for it.
1) Catching Fire blew that other November sequel out of the water, both critically AND at the box office.
For those not catching my drift, I mean Thor: The Dark World. The first Hunger Games came out in March with practically no competition in sight, but we’ve known for a long time that Catching Fire would have serious competition with a Marvel sequel. But as soon as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire came out, it was a little like “Thor who?” And generally, Catching Fire is thought of to be the better movie (89% vs. 65% on Rotten Tomatoes if you want to quantify it). Catching Fire also took the November box office, even though Thor has been out longer.
2) We can finally stop hearing about the goddamn shaky cam.
Ok, that’s just one example. But, in general, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire seemed to take care of the most complained about parts, especially those from the type of viewer that might not be too familiar with The Hunger Games. That would be shaky cam (nixed) and visual effects (upgraded big time). I’ve always felt that Catching Fire would be the one to snag the more action-oriented moviegoer more so than the first, and I was proven right when several friends and family members who were underwhelmed by The Hunger Games told me over Thanksgiving how impressed they were. It took every bit of willpower I had not to dance around them singing “I told you so”.
3) Catching Fire seems to be less divisive than the The Hunger Games among fans.
Not that there aren’t any haters or mild complainers, because the movies can never be perfect for everybody, but I’ve noticed that people who have had serious problems with the first movie seemed far more content with Catching Fire. And that’s awesome!
So forgive us if we hold our heads high for a little while, at least until The Hobbit sequel comes out and has its day in the sun. It’s a good time to be a Hunger Games fan, wouldn’t you say?
Let’s just bask in the glory of it all, shall we?
There’s one particular truth that eludes a lot of Hunger Games fans ignore when it comes to their opinions, especially just after a film release:
You are NOT the most important person on the effing Internet. Crazy, we know!
From professional critics to casual fans, they’re always there: The people who don’t know how to sit down, shut up and just enjoy the ride, for once! We’ve seen a whole tide of them roll in since the release of Catching Fire and we’re sure you have too!
To be clear, we’re not talking about everyone who pointed out a thing or two they wished they’d seen or didn’t like. We don’t think any movie, even Catching Fire, is perfect. It’s especially difficult with an adaptation. Everyone will have moments we wish were included or different.
It’s the people who say “I loved Catching Fire, but…” and then go on to provide a fucking LIST of every nitpicky, typically inconsequential issue they saw with the movie, a large portion if it based on their own fanon more than the actual book.
Common Issues on These Lists:
- Pacing was too fast / too slow and contained too much but also not enough action.
- The relationship between any combination of Katniss/ Peeta/ Gale/ Haymitch/ Effie/ Cinna/ Finnick/ Johanna/ Prim/ Buttercup/ Those Turkeys in the Woods wasn’t exactly what existed in their headcanon. It was too intense or not intense enough and why can nobody ever read their minds right?!
- Why wasn’t so-and-so featured more?! GOOOOOOSH!
- The adaptation wasn’t true enough of the book / too true to the book (Seriously, we’ve heard both.)
- One scene or another that offered some extra character development but was not entirely necessary to plot was left out for time and IT RUINED EVERYTHING.
- The movie did not include enough yet was too long… or vice versa. Because if there’s one thing we’re seeing among the nitpicking, it’s a total lack of consistency.
Essentially, these people will accept no less than the film as written and directed by themselves. Everyone is suddenly a skeptical popular film critic of hipster-esque portions. Even after reading this, there’s likely to be one or two who make their way to the comments to explain why they’re right in pointing out Catching Fire’s flaws, thank you very much. Because again, they think their opinion is the most important one on the Internet.
All things considered, both The Hunger Games and Catching Fire are excellent adaptations. We consider Catching Fire to be the richer, more character-driven of the two. If you think differently than us, that’s fine! But to claim to love the movie, then proceed to tear it apart because you can’t just allow yourself to enjoy how lucky you are to have solid adaptations of your favorite books? REALLY?!
There are fandoms out there who would kill for the level of care, talent, and attention put into this franchise. Maybe you also belong to one of them. You know! The ones where books they love have fallen into the hands of movie studios who repeatedly bang their heads against the wall, trying to create a popular film while casually ignoring everything but a thin outline of the original book because they think they can create something better than a bestseller.
Again, it’s okay not to like everything! You know what’s not okay, though? HATING EVERYTHING. Pointing out everything you dislike about something that’s well-loved (in what often seems like an attempt to prove you’re above the hype) does not make you insightful, intellectual, or even book savvy. It makes you THAT GUY who, by virtue of his or her inability to fully enjoy the big picture despite the occasional flaws, drowns out the positivity for everyone else.
There’s another name for the hyper-critical– Giant freaking buzzkills.
C’mon, Hunger Games fandom. You’re better than that.
DON’T BE THAT GUY!
The Girl With The Pearl
Welcome to your newest addiction!
If there’s one thing The Hunger Games franchise has done well so far, it’s creating games to go along with the series that don’t promote the violent aspects of the series, therefore ripping the whole message of the series to shreds (they’re too busy doing that with their other advertising, but anywaaaaay…)
For the first film, we were given mission-based The Hunger Games Adventures.
For The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Lionsgate teamed up with Reliance Games to create Panem Run, a mobile endless runner game that takes you through the districts!
In Panem Run, you control Katniss (you can also play as a male character, though the identity isn’t specified) as she moves through Panem, dodging, sliding, and leaping to avoid obstacles. Along the way, she collects sparks and resources to boost points. The more sparks you gather, the more hope you can spread to the districts! But if you fall behind or hit an obstacle, you’ll be greeted by a swarm of angry trackerjackers.
If you’ve never played an endless runner game before, they are strangely addictive! You’ll start off on wobbly legs if you’re not already an endless runner game expert, but don’t give up! My first few times playing, Katniss met her gruesome end pretty quickly. The controls are simple: Just swipe left, right, up or down to get your avatar to go that way. But in the hype of the moment, I swipe up to go down, down when I meant to go left, and directly into the nearest obstacle. Not to mention that we’re seeing a semi-official rendering of many districts for the first time, so there’s an urge to gaze at graphics and then, well… SPLAT! Eventually, even I managed to get a hold of it, so I know you can too!
Soon, it becomes a mission to see how long you can keep Katniss going. When you’ve got a hang of things, you can plug into your District or invite friends, then compete against others! It’s not all challenges, though– you can also share resources with each other.
In between gameplay, you can break things up with some high speed archery practice. Just flick your arrows in the right direction with a slide of your finger for some sweet bonus points!
While we wish we had l33t gaming skillz, we’re pretty much n00bs. But Panem Run is something everyone can manage and enjoy, either for an individual challenge or a neck-to-neck race to the top of the leaderboard against friends.
I don’t know if you’re aware of this or not, but Josh Hutcherson, our Peeta Mellark, hosted the North American comedy staple, Saturday Night Live last Saturday (November 23, 2013). And in my not so humble opinion, I think he nailed it. Sure there are some reviewers out there who aren’t so generous with their praise for his performance that night, but I’m basing my opinion on my gut, and also the fact that last Saturday I fell asleep before the broadcast, woke up in time for the broadcast, and managed to stay engaged throughout the program, i.e. I didn’t fall asleep in a fit of complete and utter exhaustion.
Saturday Night Live is supposed to be a reprieve from the average person’s mundane week, at least that’s what I’ve discerned over the last near twenty years of being a semi regular viewer of the program. Was last Saturday a welcome reprieve from my mundane work week? Damn straight it was, it made me laugh, it made me smile, and it made me a little bit proud of Josh. I know, I know, I hold no real ownership (for lack of a better
word), of Josh– but he’s one of the main faces of The Hunger Games franchise, and when he does well outside of the franchise, I think I feel a little bit like a big sister or something, like “he did good, this job isn’t ruining him for the world.” Yeah, I shouldn’t feel that way either, but I just hate the idea of someone as talented, and versatile as Josh being painted into a corner because his name’s synonymous with The Hunger Games. However, that phenomena doesn’t seem to be something that’s followed the heroine of the franchise, Jennifer Lawrence, because hell– she won an Oscar after she played Katniss the first time. So, I don’t know why I’m even fleetingly feeling apprehensive that Josh will be pitted as Peeta, and nothing else.
About the show last Saturday though, I think the surprising thing I picked up on during all the sketches, was that Josh can pull off a multitude of hair styles, including most shockingly– a mullet. Seriously, who looks good with a mullet?! Apparently Josh Hutcherson. He also can pull off tapered leg jeans in light blue, and a pink and green rugby shirt. That of course is the costume he donned for probably the best sketch of the night, which you can see here. And then there was the sketch where one of the newest cast members played a man with the motor function of a baby, but had the business brain of a business genius, yes– and Josh was his brand spankin’ new executive assistant. Erm, Josh ended up probably more than once with a grown man’s fingers in his mouth, and I think he also took the brunt of that same grown man’s full body weight, more than once. Did he seem daunted, did he seem flummoxed? Hell to the no! He took it, and the audience laughed their heads off. So, to the panning reviewers, next time you want to judge a host like Josh– let a grown man put his fingers in your mouth without asking permission, then I’ll listen to you with an open heart, and an open mind– ’cause I laughed, and I don’t know why the hell you didn’t.
Josh’s grade as first time SNL host by moi: A-.
Them There Eyes
Now that we’ve all reveled in THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE several times, it’s time for Victor’s Village’s infamous reaction post!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with our reaction posts, our three admins in a chat get together and say anything and everything we feel about the topic at hand… and it gets pretty damn hilarious, if we do say so ourselves!
This post is also long, mostly hidden under the READ MORE cut, and contains ALL THE SPOILERS. Beware!
THE FIVE WORD CHALLENGE
The Girl With The Pearl: Since we made our readers answer this: Give an overall review in FIVE WORDS or less!
Them There Eyes: Not the Hunger Games, bitches. Sorry, was channeling Spike from Buffy.
Twiffidy: Oh no this is hard.
TGWTP: Mine is turning out to just be “Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!” That could be taken several different ways.
Twiffidy: Spectacular with all the feels.
DRUNK HAYMITCH AND EFFIE’S ALIEN BABIES
TGWTP: And said feelings start with some MAJOR character development? Whose was your favorite?
Them There Eyes: I think everyone got an ample amount of character development, even Buttercup. But, I think I’m going to have to go with Effie!
Twiffidy: Effie for sure. I mean, they did finally say her name!
TGWTP: Buttercup was so very… orange! T’was lovely.
TGWTP: I agree Effie takes the cake. We finally get to see the pure Capitol in her that was downplayed before AND a more sensitive side!
Twiffidy: When it comes to Effie, I was relieved to see her humanized.
Them There Eyes: Effie crying was like watching an alien have a baby, and then you cry… because it had a baby.
TGWTP: Somehow, that description works. LOL
Them There Eyes: Okay, now we have to talk about how the joke could finally be made! “Go home Haymitch, you’re drunk.”
TGWTP: YES. He was ACTUALLY DRUNK.
Them There Eyes: Really drunk! I’ve never been so glad to see a man drunk before in my life!
Twiffidy: That entire scene like a slice out of my imagination when I read the books
Them There Eyes: I know! Right down to the bread, and the “burrrr!”
Twiffidy: He was the right amount of drunk from how the books describes without being too comical.
TGWTP: For sure! It’s a hard line to walk, but Woody knows what he’s doing.
Them There Eyes: Still made me wish for Drunk!Haymitch from THG, falling off the stage at the Reaping. I hope non book fans aren’t too surprised by his sudden change from social drinker to rubbing alcohol pilferer.
TGWTP: And you know what? Peeta was manned up! And it wasn’t some massive dissolution of his character like people made it out to be. Quelle surprise!
Them There Eyes: I know, just seemed like a boy grew up after he saw some pretty horrible things, and… also had his heart broken.
Twiffidy: Yes, it’s understated but that’s how it appeared to me. I’m a big fan of Peeta’s journey through this movie.
Them There Eyes: I loved Peeta, I had Peeta feels for days after seeing it… also sleep deprivation. People change, Peeta’s one of those people.
TGWTP: Peeta Mellark is the ninja-silent emo badass of Panem, though for good reason.
Twiffidy: It’s important to realize that this is the Peeta that Katniss will miss in Mockingjay.
TGWTP: URGH MOCKINGJAY. MY HEART IS NOT READY.
Them There Eyes: My body is.
Twiffidy: I almost involuntarily squeak out “No!” at that final look at Peeta as Katniss leaves with the wire. Every. Time.
TGWTP: I understand. It’s “Don’t do it, idiot! I know what happens and you don’t want that shit!”
Twiffidy: I’VE SEEN YOUR FUTURE AND IT IS BLEAK.
In order to score spots in the prestigious fan camp area of the Hunger Games: Catching Fire red carpet, I, along with the rest of the staff of Welcome to District 12, stayed two nights on Chick Hearn Ct. outside of the Nokia Theatre in LA Live.
Saturday started at 5:30AM, leaving early to make it to our 8:30 check in time with all of our stuff.
Our fansite friends, including fellow Victor’s Village staff members The Girl With The Pearl and Them There Eyes, arrived soon.
Good thing too since Willow Shields and Stephanie Leigh Schlund came to sign posters for fans.
There was also that Kindle Fire booth from the mall tour where we could take our pictures with Katniss.
After grabbing dinner, everyone took their camping chairs and blankets from the camping area to the square to watch the first Hunger Games movie. It was a pretty cool way to watch this movie we’ve seen so many times, considering it was a Saturday night and they were playing the movie in the midst of people heading to clubs and fancy restaurants.
The next day proved to be a big one, with even more Catching Fire people coming to sign posters for fans. We got to meet Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright, Josh Hutcherson, and Francis Lawrence, who are all awesome.
Throughout the day, the KIIS FM booth ran contests and giveaways, even a scavenger hunt that cause a kid to run up to us frantically asking for a belt (we thought at first he was trying to sell us one). The day ended with a dinner with the fansite runners that was delicious and fun.
At 5 AM the next day, we were all woken up by security to pack up and vacate at 6AM so they could set up completely for the red carpet later that day. Overall, the weekend was a lot of fun, and I would definitely camp again. It was great to be with the fans and to bond with others excited about The Hunger Games.