The Fantastic Mockingjay Part 2 Score – And that Cynical Remix

Yesterday the Mockingjay Part 2 Soundtrack went on sale on iTunes and Google Play. This soundtrack is just the musical score, not songs “inspired by” the movie but we LOVE it. James Newton Howard has once again blown us away with music for the movie, and has brought back many of the musical cues from previous films that give us ALL THE FEELS.

mj2 soundtrackIf you’ve seen the film, you know that Jennifer Lawrence sings “Deep in the Meadow” over the beginning of the closing credits. The song is a lullaby, and with the final scene of MJ2 featuring Katniss comforting her baby, it’s a lovely, quiet way to end the film. The song carries a huge amount of emotional weight throughout the series, as it’s the song Katniss sings to comfort Prim at the beginning of the first movie, and the song she sings to Rue as she dies. Fans have been talking about how much they love the inclusion of this song since the movie’s release.

The peace and happiness was short-lived however, since yesterday as well saw the release of this lullaby AS A DANCE REMIX. Cue the awful Hanging Tree Remix flashbacks, everyone!

Having a dance remix of this song is so out of place and unnecessary it seems like a joke. Add on top of it the fact that fans more or less hated the “Hanging Tree Remix” and preferred the version from the movie, this decision feels like awful trolling. In fact, back in January I joked that they would do this.

There’s definitely a huge disconnect between what Republic Records and/or Lionsgate thinks is appropriate or what even in the slightest way works as music. As long as they see some money to be made, they seem to think anything is worth trying. Our friends at explain our frustration very well.

…all this remix signifies is a clear-cut showing of corporate greed and exploitation of Jennifer Lawrence and Katniss Everdeen. Never mind that any fan of The Hunger Games would gladly buy Deep in the Meadow in its pure, original format. Never mind that the song is supposed to have a beautiful, lasting legacy and provide peace for fans new and old alike. Never mind that this song is supposed to comfort, not inspire finger-tapping on the steering wheel.

If there was any question about the fan response to the remix, it can be found in the replies to this promotional tweet.

I don’t think the fandom could be any clearer.

So anyway, let’s go back to enjoying the score, cause it’s fantastic. And we’ll listen to THE SCORE’S version of “Deep in the Meadow” and try to forget about remix nightmares.

We need some comfort, Katniss.



The Illegal Spoiler Games

Okay kiddos, let’s talk about over-excitement and why it could get you in some serious trouble!

When you’re as immersed in The Hunger Games fandom as most of us are, it’s hard to TALK spoilers. We’re not talking about the very movie-specific spoilers now, but we talk book spoilers all the time, so we get it. You know what’s happening, so you just want to go out there with other fans and DISCUSS.

Officially released stills = Fair game DUH

Officially released stills = Fair game DUH

We shouldn’t just throw all our obvious spoiler feels all over the Internet because, ya know, we’re all probably friends with someone who hasn’t read the books and didn’t get to see the movie right away for one reason or another. It’s obnoxious, but we’ve noticed it’s not even the worst of it nowadays.

Let’s talk technology, young’uns.

Pretty much everyone has a smartphone. And Twitter or Instagram or Tumblr or something like that. It is still 1000% illegal to take photos or clips of the movie screen during key moments and put them online. There’s a huge difference between visuals and the written word. There are specific revelations you can only get from visuals. But there’s more to it than that– not only does posting or reposting visual spoilers make you an absolute tool, there’s a wide variety of punishments awaiting, many of which involve a legal team coming after you.

Cressida says "Make smart plans so you don't look like a douche!"

Cressida says “Think before you post so you don’t look like a douche!”

Yes, your post could get lots of reaction from other fans. Please remember that getting lots of likes on a post on social media regarding a popular fandom does not actually make YOU popular or special (Trust us, we’ve reminded ourselves plenty. We are experts in this realization.) Is the inflated sense of ego worth an account suspension or a cease and desist letter? The answer is NO.

Also, a lot of fans just think what you’re doing is uncool and ruining the full experience for others. So there’s just that good ol’ “Don’t be a dick” factor.

If you haven’t seen this on your timelines much, this rant may sound odd. But we’ve been seeing it everywhere–some of it is even directed to us– and we know we’re not the only ones, which is pretty ridiculous. We want fans to have more respect for the film than that.

Let’s all learn our boundaries and the world will be a better place!

Everyone Deserves A Fair Spoiler Warning!
The Girl With The Pearl

Critics, Box Office, and Mockingjay Part 2

The opening weekend of Mockingjay Part 2 is in full swing, and the reactions to the film have been very interesting. Fans seem happy with it on the whole. We all have our things that we wish were included or changed, but all in all it seems like the fans are pleased because this is a solid, faithful adaptation of the book. We got to see this story end in a way that is true and respectful to the source material and the important themes we value.

297A9B5D00000578-3117094-image-m-29_1433866860839Movie critics have been mixed. Some have really loved it, some liked it, but some are on the way other extreme calling it a major disappointment. The reasons why some critics have panned the movie offer an intriguing look into expectations of blockbuster movies, and the Hunger Games movies themselves. They say it’s too bleak, somber, gray, slow. It also seems like they were expecting some kind of exciting battle at the end, for Katniss to lead the rebels to triumphant glory of a new day in Panem.

As fans of the books, we knew not to expect that, and frankly the fact that there ISN’T a triumphant final battle and Katniss doesn’t go on to some glorious future of power, wealth and fame is what really hits home to us. An ending like that would have been a complete fairy tale and out of step with what these stories are trying to teach. But we understand the surprise that there isn’t one here. The story structure that the negative critics expected is as old as time. It’s one that appeals to people because of its extreme fantasy. You fight the brave fight and win and all is well.

We all know Mockingjay doesn’t portray the struggle in such a simplistic or clean way. Mockingjay Part 2 may be a PG-13 war movie, but it’s a war movie that doesn’t gloss over the ugliness of war. It doesn’t pretend that there’s anything glorious about the violence and destruction of war. That these things are arbitrary, unfair, and cruel. That discerning from “good” and “bad” actions are impossibly difficult. There’s a subtlety and lack of easy answers. AND WE LOVE THAT ABOUT THIS STORY.

The fact this film doesn’t offer a massively fun, popcorn chomping Hunger Games-y time may also be a reason why this film will open domestically as the lowest of the four movies. It’s still expected to rake in $100 million plus this weekend, plus a massive amount overseas, so without doubt this movie will still make everyone involved a nice pile of cash. The pile just won’t be so obscenely big this time. For fans though, whether this movie just makes A LOT of money versus A SHIT TON is moot.  It’s about having a film that met OUR expectations, and it looks like we got it.

The desire for panem et circenses persists, but we’re happy that the popularity of the franchise is getting lots of people to see this film. It’s good to see something different from the movies sometimes.

Now go remind the normals to see this movie.



VV’s Spoiler-Free The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Review

We saw Mockingjay Part 2 last night and we want to scream all the details with absolute elation from the rooftops. But we won’t, because it’s only Thursday and we’re not terrible people who want to spoil it all for the masses. So we’re going to give a general, spoiler-free review.

12043070_10153658258916810_107667881438186217_nReally, this is all about THE FEELS. There are a lot of them. I went to the Mockingjay Double Feature and I started to tear up during Mockingjay Part 1, which is something I didn’t even do the first time I saw it, just from the sheer momentum of what was to come. It’s the end of an era, but if it’s gotta end.. Damn, at least it went out with a bang!

We’ve read the books more than once and talked about them at length here, so like many of you, we knew what was coming. Know this: Being aware of what will happen and watching it unfold in a visual medium are two very different things. There were several situations throughout the movie in which waiting for the other shoe to drop amped up either the tension or the excitement for me– sometimes both. It’s a testament to the way Francis Lawrence and his team purposefully crafted the film to squeeze every possible emotion from the tale.

297A9B5D00000578-3117094-image-m-29_1433866860839Likewise, the action is pulse-pounding and sharp. The film deftly portrays the horror of violence and war without glorifying it, exactly as its source material sets out to do. With the details covered pretty thoroughly in Part 1, this film wastes no time jumping into the action. The pacing isn’t too breakneck, but you don’t have much downtime until the last few scenes.

More than being utterly gripping, this film is the franchise’s best tribute to Suzanne Collins’ work. The film follows the book more closely than any movie before it without losing its cinematic glow. The popular scenes and quotes that you’re waiting for are there, perhaps delivered in a way you didn’t always expect but powerful nonetheless. That’s not to say there aren’t any changes, but they were pretty minor and didn’t affect the overall viewing experience for us. We were hit hard by one scene change in particular, knowing it was due to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s untimely passing.

19291497-20776541-thumbnailThe acting has always been superb in the franchise, but I genuinely think they give their best performances to date. Liam Hemsworth transforms Gale’s broody nature into something more fierce and palpable and Jennifer Lawrence just is Katniss Everdeen, but this is especially true for Josh Hutcherson, who truly rose to the occasion and portrayed Peeta’s compromised mental state with a zinging undercurrent of desperation and earnest. Of course, the supporting cast was also wonderful as always, particularly Julianne Moore as Alma Coin and the members of Squad 451, who really got to sink their teeth into this script.

new-effie-stillWhile I ultimately loved the film and its sweet ending, we do imagine that– as is the case with most epilogues– it will become a source of debate in years to come. It’s more about your perception of the characters and their lives in the aftermath than the actual content.. aaaand that’s all we shall say about that for now.

Urgh. We love this film. We love this franchise. We are clearly biased as all hell, but if you’re here, we think you will too. If you’re a Hunger Games fan, this final movie has so much to offer you and you will not be disappointed!

We’ll Do The Crazy Spoiler Edition Soon,
The Girl With The Pearl

Inside the Mockingjay Part 2 New York Screening

Tonight, I was super lucky to attend the Mockingjay Part 2 “Special Screening” in New York. Not a premiere, so it didn’t have the huge atmosphere of what we’ve seen in the previous days & weeks, but a huge number of cast attended, as well as Francis Lawrence, Nina Jacobson, and Jon Kilik.

The red carpet was in a tent located outside the AMC Lincoln Square theater. It was filled with press, who missed out on the LA premiere, and the small “fan pen” where I was. As per usual, everyone was very nice about accommodating fan requests for pics and signings. Here are some of my pics in the zoo-like media madness. (You will notice a lack of selfies, I don’t really do selfies, and I doubt you all care so it’s cool).




It’s been a lot to take in, so we’ll dig into the movie after official release (but spoiler alert, we’re really happy).

Nothing could prepare us for the end, so we didn’t.



FINALLY, a Pre-Mockingjay Part 2 Special Worthy of the Franchise

As we head into the final week before release, we were pleasantly surprised to see a Hunger Games special on our televisions Thursday night that gave us what we wanted. Totally lacking in silly Atlanta shopping tours or dinners with “Real Housewives,” The Hunger Games: The Phenomenon is a 13 minute recap of the movies’s story and production. Loaded with lots of behind the scenes shots (including some from Mockingjay Part 2), this was serious fan heaven.

We loved this trip down memory lane. The clips, the interviews, the behind the scenes moments, the music. All of it came together so nicely. After being hammered recently with a glut of oddly out-of-place Capitol Couture content, it was refreshing to see a recap that gears us up for the final chapter so well.

We really needed this.


Jennifer Lawrence and Those Dirty Rumors

Oh, media. You sure know how to make something out of nothing!

Surviving weeks of nearly non-stop travel and press interviews and premieres is infamously taxing on celebrities– recall the great Catching Fire influenza of 2013– so they deal with it however they can. Usually, it involves getting a little loopy and messing with each other.

Fans have watched the dynamics through three previous press tours. So when Jennifer Lawrence said she didn’t wash her hands after going to the bathroom in an interview with MTV, getting the proper gross-out reaction from Josh and Liam, the sarcasm was pretty evident to us. But not to everyone, apparently!

After the interview, the Internet blew up with outlets talking about Jennifer’s dirty bathroom habits. Like it was a dark, disgusting secret they must expose to make the world know she is not perfect. DUN DUN DUNNNN!

It’s amazing what folks will post in the hopes of clicks, but fear not! Our girl Jen had it handled!

When the rumors began to fly, she took it upon herself to put a little something on Facebook.

As Jen said, it’s pretty amazing that she even HAS TO clear it up, but we cannot give her enough kudos for handling an awkward rumor with wit and sass.

With so much judgement out there and essentially no margin for error for stars, it’s always great to see the celebs have the occasional crack at parodying the ridiculousness of it all.

She washed up pretty good after that, we’d say:

At least she’s not rumoredly hooking up with Josh, Liam, or both of them in some strange menage a trois this time around, AMIRITE?

We Have Faith In Your Hygiene!
The Girl With The Pearl

What’s Up With the New/Old Victory Tour Posters?

Yesterday, Mashable revealed a strange addition to the world of Hunger Games propaganda- posters from the “archives” of Capitol Couture covering the 38th Victory Tour.


Well, this was a surprise. And we don’t really understand why they’re doing this. What does it mean? First of all, why would the rebels, now controlling Capitol Couture, release old Capitol propaganda glorifying the games? Who is this Porter lady? Is she someone’s relative? WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?

The Mashable piece teases that there will be other Victory Tour posters revealed later this week, but doesn’t have any further information. So again, what the huh?

Stepping back from our confusion for a second, they are cool looking posters. Futuristic, yet not, with the weird neck brace (evidently from an injury suffered winning the games). It invited so many Mean Girls references on social media, which is always fun. But what is this leading to? Was this just a side project Tim Palen took on for kicks and decided to release now, or is this actually leading to something else? Is this the WORLD OF THE HUNGER GAMES spin-off building, or just another piece of in-universe color to get us excited for next week?

We’ll just have to wait, but it did bring up so many questions about what’s next.


The Hunger Games Disaster Theme Park

It’s been a looming threat for a long time, but as of last week, it became a reality in America: The Hunger Games theme park is being developed.

We’re not even close to the biggest Hunger Games superfans out there, but we think we’re not too shabby. We run a website dedicated to The Hunger Games and its fans, travel to premieres and big events in the fandom, buy some of the merch, discuss the promotional releases, occasionally chat on a podcast about the series, and generally pour our fangirl feels all over the Internet. Though we don’t always love every single morsel that comes out of the franchise, we’re big freaking fans!

So does that mean we want to see a theme park?



There are few words to describe what a moronic idea this is, guys! The foundation for a Hunger Games theme park is:
A) Making entertainment out of desolation, poverty, and children being forced to murder each other, desensitizing visitors to violence and the world’s struggles in the ways that Suzanne Collins was trying to warn us against.
B) Yet another attempt to hype the Capitol glam, willfully ignorant to the fact that the lush Capitol lifestyles are a harsh criticism of the way the rich often manipulate and undervalue human rights.
C) A combination of both A and B.

We understand that Lionsgate owns the rights and can milk this cash cow however they want– which they will, lest they be forced to create something new and original to intrigue audiences instead– but really, this just proves how utterly shameless they are. This is not Harry Potter or Star Wars. There is no magic, there is no adventure in space. This franchise is focused around slaughter, human rights violations, and the need to stop it. This is not a fucking theme park topic!

For goodness sake, the negligent, terrible Capitol citizens even turn the arenas into theme parks IN THE BOOKS. Suzanne Collins literally put a warning against this shit in the source material!

A spokesperson for theme park developer Avatron is defending their decision to be involved, of course:
“There are so many positives about these movies, starting with the fact that she’s an empowered young woman.”

And we agree with that. But please, do tell us how you’re going to tell build a theme park with the “empowered young woman” theme alone without the terror, war, murder, torture, or political corruption also involved. Pretty, pretty freaking please. We’d bet you our life savings that someone is going to try to dress us up as Effie Trinket and just– No thank you. Because you’re missing the entire damn point.

There’s still a little hope: Lionsgate needs financing for these parks. Hopefully, people will realize that this is not actually a good investment and it won’t come to fruition, at least here in the US. That is how much we’re against this.

Go home, Lionsgate. You’re drunk.

“They Say The Food Is Excellent”,
The Girl With The Pearl

MJ Interviews

Mockingjay Part 2 Interview Silliness

The Mockingjay Part 2 promotional tour is in full swing, which means press and various personalities lucky enough to get a sit down with the cast all compete to get the silliest moments on tape. We won’t lie, we’re total suckers for this stuff, which must be why this is the approach every year. We would feel cheated without it. So here we go…

First up, was the OFFICIAL Fan Tribute Event, which landed online this week. It definitely has its moments with funny stories, forehead kisses, and Liam doing a hilarious line reading of “If we burn you burn with us” that he swears was not him making fun of Jen, but Conan (at around 4:30 on the video – if you don’t watch the whole thing AT LEAST watch that).

Moving beyond Lionsgate events, we get to enjoy everyone making the trio do different challenges. Like spelling Mockingjay backwards (which went about as well as you’d think). Still, it’s good times. And Jen got a muffin/cupcake.

Finally, how about real life games of Real or Not Real? (Warning, after this initial question at the beginning of the video, it veers off into spoilerish movie territory).

It’s hard to imagine the amount of interviews that are involved with this scale of press tour. But we’ll be seeing them flood the internet in about 3..2..1.

Might as well try to have fun with it.