Author: Kait

Mockingjay Spots and PEETAAAAA Feels

WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS!

For months and months, we waited, practically begging and pleading for some Mockingjay news. This week, we have Mockingjay news in droves. So much that we’re totally. freakin’. out as we try to take it in all at once, but in a good way!

We know some people don’t want the extra footage and the spoilery clips and all, but we do. OH, WE DO. So imagine our sheer, boundless joy when not one but two TV spots featuring featuring new footage hit the interwebz.

OBSERVE.

We’re not gonna lie– We probably liked these more TV spots more than we liked the trailer. Yes, they’re shorter, but they also pack way more punch. The trailer had a lot of exposition shots to set up the movie. With that over with, the TV spots had room for more tearjerker moments, more action, a more feverish sense of war all around.

Basically, it all comes down to one thing… PEETA FEELS. Both of them left us having a panicked Katniss moment.
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NO, PEETA. NO, WE ARE NOT OKAY. WE WILL NEVER BE OKAY AGAIN.

Also, we need a little sound effect of Katniss screaming “PEETAAAAA!” for this post more than we’ve ever needed anything.

Katniss watching in horror as Peeta speaks out against war, the bruises clear on his face despite all the makeup (and we assume this is when he warns Katniss about the bombs). Our first good look at Peeta saved from the Capitol, tears in his eyes and a CT scan in the background (and we’re almost positive this is about 5 seconds before a choking). The brilliant reminder/tagline that “THEIR FREEDOM BEGINS WITH HIS.”

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We can barely handle it! We worry more about these fictional characters than we do some actual people and we’re pretty certain that’s not healthy behavior. And on top of that, these TV spots are featuring all the epic quotage:

“Whoever you are, whatever it is you’re doing, you are going to want to witness this.”

“Everyone has a choice, Katniss. And I’d rather die than say what he just said.”

“When you love somebody, you don’t leave them behind.”

“Everyone’s either going to want to kiss you, kill you, or be you.”

“What have they done to you?”

It seems like everyone has at least one really terrific line here. We never doubted Danny Strong as his track record speaks for itself, but now we kinda want him to be our new best friend. Because without copying things word-for-word from the book, he absolutely captures its essence from what we’ve seen so far.

Though we must ask– if there were a richter scale for asshole behavior, how far are we pushing Gale here? We all know that his serious hatred of the Capitol, but releasing such a heavy-handed quote in promos suggesting that Gale thinks Peeta should have died instead of spoke publicly to not be murdered shows us that audiences will probably be given some reasons to dislike Gale pretty early in the overall Mockingjay story arc. We just hope its a more subtle change, because he is obsessed with war and defeating the entire Capitol ideology that it turns out to be his downfall in many ways, it’s seen more through his actions in the last book than from him being like “GRRRRRR! I’M A FIERY RAGEBALL OF LOATHING!”

Naturally, we’re hoping that somehow TV spots featuring new goodies are also released by Mazda and Whole Foods, the other major American sponsors. After all these two TV spots we have now were originally supposed to be spread out more, as the Samsung one says TICKETS ON SALE NOW and that’s not til next Wednesday. Our theory is that they’re trying to distract everyone from the horrendously disappointing soundtrack list.

But That’s A Different Post For A Different Day,

The Girl With The Pearl

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The Courage of One… In Liquid Form

Once upon a time, 16-year-old me had typical teen job working concessions at a local arena. It did have its upside because I was technically in attendance at every concert there and also got to watch lots of hockey fights, but ANYWAY…

One very memorable concert we had was headlined by Nelly. Why, you ask? Because Nelly had his own special beverage that we were required to sell at the show.

I remember our supervisor, who was probably 21 and kinda old-ish in my eyes at the time, trying to ignore everyone’s snickering and control his voice as his radioed our manager to ask “So… Catherine… how much are we charging for the… Pimp Juice?”

Obviously, courage is found in your local organics market!

Obviously, courage is found in your local organics market!

This is how I imagine Whole Foods workers feel about the Mockingjay themed Courage of One juice.

Sure, it’s way less ludicrous than Pimp Juice (which seemingly received its own parody in Tropic Thunder with the fictional “Booty Sweat” energy drink), but it’s still odd. Not just because it’s called “Courage of One” juice, though we refute that whole tagline for pretty obvious reasons, but because it’s a juice based off of Mockingjay. And there’s nooooo good names for a Mockingjay juice. Because Mockingjay doeesn’t ave anything to do with juice and it’s kinda silly! It’s okay to giggle at it. REALLY!

Yes, selling that title IS indeed a challenge!

Yes, selling that title IS indeed a challenge!

But if food is the way they’re sponsoring these films, we’re going to take Whole Foods over Doritos and the various candy companies involved. First, because using something delicious yet extremely unhealthy and fattening to advertise a film in which a major issue is starvation just seems twisted and cruel. Second, because Whole Foods is the ONLY sponsor this time around who has any intentions to use their partnership with Mockingjay to fight back against poverty.

Whole Foods is home to the Whole Planet Foundation. Every time you buy a ridiculously named juice, a dollar of your money goes to this foundation, which provides loans to low-income entrepeneurs both in the US and abroad to start their own businesses and better their local economy.

Too embarrassed to go into a Whole Foods, grab a Courage of One juice, and try to look into the cashier’s eyes and feel their judgement as you pay? We are too. Thankfully, you can also go to the Whole Planet Foundation’s Courage of One page. There, you can make a donation, design a t-shirt, upload photos, watch videos, write essays, etc– and oh, be entered for a chance to win Mockingjay premiere tickets for every one of these! It’s a symbiotic relationship, y’all!

Is it a perfect campaign? The COURAGE OF ONE JUICE campaign? I just… *gigglesnort* Probably not? But are you really getting more satisfaction out of scanning labels for a few graphics and 5-second videos?

Though This Juice Could Be Made From Wheatgrass Or Something Equally Awful…
The Girl With The Pearl

#UnlockMockingjay Madness

So remember when we posted on Tuesday about the Mockingjay Mosaic campaign and how we felt better about something like that than social media campaigns that make fans work toward media the studio was ultimately going to give fans anyway?

Things got WAY uncomfortable about 18 hours later when Lionsgate released a social media campaign exactly matching that criteria. Whoops! WE HAD NO IDEA, LG! WE’RE NOT MIND READERS! WE SWEAR!

First came the bait! Retweet #UnlockMockingjay enough and you’ll get this shiny new preview!

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And oh man, did we want that shiny new preview. WANT!

Through the act of being wicked smaht (as we like to say in New England), someone somewhere– we honestly don’t know who because it was already common knowledge by the time we tuned in– realized that the algorithm involved would require 50k tweets to unlock the video. The hashtag challenge launched at 12pm EST. By the time I finished my lunch around 1pm EST, the buzz was firmly built, the fan tweets were rolling out, and the tweet-o-meter thingamabob was already at 60%.

Smooooooth sailing, right? WRONG!

4pm rolls around and it feels like victory (or as much victory as you can get out of a Wednesday afternoon.) WORK DAY DONE! COMFY SWEATPANTS ON! MOCKINGJAY-O-METER… BACK DOWN TO 44% PERCENT?

Apparently, at some point in there, Lionsgate remembered that Hunger Games fans are ravenous beasts who considered new Mockingjay previews their very lifeblood. 50k tweets probably took about 2 hours to complete and obviously, they were hoping NOT to release things that early. The re-calibration experts in the fandom looked into it and realized the new magic number was 360k tweets.

And that is when the hilarious, quote-filled fandom madness really took off, thanks to the brilliance of Jabberjays.net turning it into a bit of a game:

At a couple points, the widget jumped. Word on the streets of Twitter was that we only needed 261.5k tweets, then 260k. Baffled by the odd numbers but still wanting our Mockingjay preview, things started to get real cray cray:

Throughout this, we get a couple of pre-teaser teasers in the form of new stills. But it just wasn’t enough to satiated the NEEEEEED! Seriously. We make those zombies on The Walking Dead look tame. The frustration kicked in:

Even though we certainly felt that frustration, we were also starting to feel a little bad. Because this “unlocking” campaign despite its problems and the later-realized factoid that it was rigged to release at 7pm no matter how many tweets, we realized we were having a lot of fun. Not that Lionsgate necessarily planned it would turn into a quote-ridden meme fest, but other fans and fansites turned it into a really witty game and we really enjoyed getting involved.

Not to pat this fandom on the collective back too much, but WOW, WE ARE CLEVER AND HILARIOUS AND WONDERFUL! And #UnlockMockingjay kinda ended up bringing out the best in us.

Of course, we also got this spectacular sneak peek out of it:

But that deserves its own post, don’t you think?

It Was A Pleasure Being Ridiculous With You,
The Girl With The Pearl

Mockingjay Gets Self(ie)ish

As a collective fandom, it turns out that we like to do things BIG.

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A little mosaic sampler action!

Premiere turnouts, trailer views, book re-reads, merchandising, fan fiction obsessing.. whatever! We want it all in massive numbers and full force. It’s part of sharing the love, right?

So it should be no real surprise that the German film distributor for The Hunger Games (or Die Tribute Von Panem, as it’s known in that neck of the woods) wants to break a world record. For what, you ask? THE MOST GIANT COLLECTION OF FAN SELFIES EVER… formed into a Mockingjay poster.

Okay, maybe not just selfies. You can submit an actual photo taken by someone else (because when is that selfie angle EVER actually flattering?!) or a selfie over at the Mockingjay Mosaic website and be turned into part of a giant poster!

Is it the most daring, brilliant concept ever? No. But here’s why we’re liking it: In the first bit of publicity we’ve really noticed from an international distributor working alongside Lionsgate, we’re feeling the fan appreciation. The mosaic poster is the first notable effort in the Mockingjay campaign (so far) to have fans showcased as part of the overall experience. Sure, the OLTM app allowed you to make Mockingjay part of your life, but it didn’t make your life part of the Mockingjay campaign.
…Does that make sense? Can you see the forest through the trees? Are you hearing what I’m not saying to you?!

Also, it looks WAY COOLER spelled "Mosiak"

Also, it looks WAY COOLER spelled “Mosiak”

Oftentimes, it seems like movie campaigns are all about trying to get you talking about how much you love something. It makes sense, of course, word-of-mouth and continual references are how many people manage to crack and get into a series they’ve been avoiding, especially this late in the game when they’ve seen many of the official ads and probably weren’t all swayed by them. A friend saying “Trust me, it’s good” in some way, even if it’s through supporting an official movie campaign like the OLTM app, is way more convincing than media ads that easily make us cynical. But really, these campaigns don’t have much benefit for the people who are already fans other than probably “unlocking” content that the studio is going to release either way.

Instead, this easy little idea says “We KNOW you love The Hunger Games! We’re so glad, we want to make you a part of what we’re doing for the film! Let us include you!” And even though it’s a tiny, practically invisible photo in a massive mosaic that will ultimately mean next to nothing in our lives, a single tear runs down our collective fandom cheek because… they like us! They really like us! And it’s fun too, so why the hell not?!

Now If Only I Liked A Single Picture Of Myself,
The Girl With The Pearl

Oh, The Mockingjay Soundtrack Possibilities

Can you hear it?

No, not the red, orange, yellow flicker beat sparking up your heart (because the buzzing and thumping in that song make it too hard to hear that anyway….) THE SOUNDTRACK RUMORS! THEY’RE STARTING!

We’re hoping it’s just a matter of days before the whole glorious tracklist is announced, but in the meantime we’ll salivate over a few measly rumors.

It's coooommmminggg!

It’s coooommmminggg!

According to Page Six, Mockingjay Part 1’s soundtrack will include Grace Jones, Simon Le Bon, Diplo, Charli XCX, and Kanye West.

Let us be the first to say that PAGE SIX IS NOT THE MOST RELIABLE OF SOURCES. We know that as well as the next person. The only reason we believe it could possibly hold any weight is that of the publication wanted to spread salacious rumors per usual, they’d talk about something other than a movie soundtrack.

Also, we’re not going to talk about Kanye West. Because fuck that dude.

Let’s start with the 80s. Grace Jones isn’t exactly a household name nowadays, but she was fairly well known back then. Her music, it seems, is of the R&B avant-garde electropop nature that’s directly up Lorde’s alley. We can’t say that we love the music we’re finding during our research, but who knows how the decades since have changed her musical style? Even more surprising is Simon Le Bon. Admittedly, we only know him as “the guy from Duran Duran” and their sound is pretty straight-forward pop with a funky edge. But the man has a solo career as well, one in which he experiments with all different sorts of sounds.

Because someone out there made this horrid manip and WE NEED TO SHARE IT RIGHT NOW!

Because someone out there made this horrid manip and WE NEED TO SHARE IT RIGHT NOW!

Next up comes Diplo, who we’re not too familiar with, but we know he’s the DJ who worked with Sia and The Weeknd on “Elastic Heart” for the Catching Fire soundtrack. But let’s not kid ourselves into thinking many people were excited for anyone but Sia on that track. We would assume he’ll be working with someone else on this soundtrack, because most of us need more than beats thumping. Maybe our next artist, Charli XCX?

Charli gained her notoriety from “Boom Clap” from The Fault In Our Stars soundtrack, all the singing parts in Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”, and generally sounding like Gwen Stefani when she’s not doing that slow, jazzy thing. We’ve not totally reached the saturation point with her current two songs, but we’re getting pretty damn close. Lorde would probably dig her sound because it has the same vibes, but the choice isn’t quite as innovative as any of the others. Charli XCX is pretty cool in the moment, but we’re not putting her in the next big thing category quite yet.

So until we get an actual track listing.. We’ll see!

This Slightly Nonsensical Post Brought To You By A Fever,
The Girl With The Pearl

Spine Spoilers, Story Secrets, And Whether It Still Matters

Victor’s Village has never been a spoiler-free zone. In fact, we relish in our spoiler discussion. It’s pretty freakin’ awesome ’round here! However, when it comes to most of the media covering the Hunger Games outside fandom-related websites and forums, we’d still like to think most sites and media outlets are relatively spoiler-free. It’s not that they won’t discuss or hint, but they’ll probably give a warning so you’re not diving into unwanted information. That way, someone who finally, FINALLY decides to delve into the series can have a relatively fresh start and experience everything the same way many of us did: Laughing, crying, gasping, and otherwise freaking out because

WHAT THE HELL WAS HAPPENING?!

But that seems to be changing.

Imagine the facepalming that ensued when Crystal from Jabberyjays.net pointed out the brand new Scholastic UK editions of the series, complete with a major spoiler right on the spine of the Mockingjay cover:
HUNGER-GAMES-BOOKS

Quick note that we love these covers! Between them and the luxury editions in Australia and New Zealand, our jealousy of foreign editions grows by the day.

But effectively, Scholastic is spoiling their own damn series for newbies. I know it’s hard to believe that people with little knowledge still exist, especially with the success of the films, but THEY’RE OUT THERE, MAN. Sure, the District 12 line was at the end of the Catching Fire movie, but not everyone saw (or paid attention) to that, necessarily. So if you’ve only seen or read Book One and you see that Mockingjay spine, you can safely assume that a) District 12 gets obliterated or b) District 12 is a figment of Katniss’ imagination, the latter of which just seems too damn far fetched. Aaaaaand there’s a major plot point!

Do we wish they had read the books by now? YES. EVERYONE SHOULD BECAUSE THEY’RE AWESOME. Are we going to hate on them for considering the books a little later in the game by shaming them for probably not being much of a reader? NOT TODAY.

Still, at this point, it seems like the large majority of people are very well-read (or well-watched, should we say?) on at least a chunk of the series. As such, it seems like information that’s technically a spoiler gets released pretty nonchalantly these days, almost as if to say to outsiders “Well, if you wanted to discover this on your own sometime, too bad. It’s your own damn fault for not doing it sooner.”

It’s not just The Hunger Games, of course. For instance, I’ve never seen Game of Thrones, but I can give you a pretty solid synopsis of all the major plot points on Game of Thrones. And because of this, I strangely feel LESS compelled to ever catch up on the show despite friends raving about it. Sure, knowing and experiencing are two different things, but knowing does take some of the fun out of experiencing it all. There’s this feeling that I’m too far “behind” and un-surprised by in everything for it to really matter.

So even though a huge amount of people can practically quote The Hunger Games books and movies, there’s still some value to keeping things relatively spoiler-free when possible. Again, we don’t really expect this from fansites and forums because the whole purpose of them is to thoroughly cover the series, but blatant spoilers elsewhere are pretty sucky. Because who knows how many potential fans won’t bother trying to get into the series now that they’re learning too much?

Or Are We Too Hopeful That New Fans Will Still Arise?
The Girl With The Pearl

Violence, Lies, and Videotape– The Parallels Between Panem and Ricegate

The good news: We’ve got a guest post today!

But there’s some important notes about this post: The subject is heavy and possibly triggering for some people. The opinions are those of the writer and they ain’t rainbows and kittens.

With that said… Take it away, Satsuma!

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NOTE: The following contains, toward the end, spoilers (though vague) for Game of Thrones Season 4, and another vague spoiler for (the original) Dr. Who.

First of all, let me apologize for not exactly bringing the funny in this post, because I just couldn’t figure out a way to do it.

Most of you likely know of, or perhaps even seen, the infamous video featuring the talented Mr. Rice, formerly an employee of the Baltimore Ravens, punching his then-fiancee (now wife) so hard she was knocked unconscious. Now, I have always been fascinated by the many parallels between Panem and the real world, but I must admit I didn’t notice any here, until I read the timely post by JJ regarding Josh Hutcherson revealing that Peeta is shown saving Katniss after she’s set on fire by the parachute bombs, and her comment that: “It may also help buy back some goodwill from the purely movie-going audience for all the times he *gulp* tries to hurt her in hijacked rage.”

And then I realized, that there IS a parallel between the Ray Rice video and Mockingjay. A pivotal MJ scene also features a video of a celebrated male contestant in a game known for violence, attacking his fiancee. Not only that, this incident is important in MJ not really because Peeta attacks Katniss, which he has before this point, but because, when he actually watches his actions on video, Peeta is shocked and horrified at himself, to the point of suicidality. The idea that SEEING something makes a unique impact on people, certainly seems to be the case in how quickly public outrage mounted after the Rice video was released, forcing powerful entities such as the NFL to make an about-face, and how even Rice’s defenders, who claimed earlier that “no one really knows what happened in that elevator”, were forced to as well.

Not that video footage is required for shock and outrage, of course; just see what happened in Ferguson, MO. And just because people see images of violence or its effects, doesn’t mean they’ll reject it; many of Adrian Peterson’s defenders admit to seeing the graphic pictures of the injuries he inflicted on his son, but still state that what he did was acceptable discipline. And certainly, what seems to be damning video can be edited or taken out of context, as the torturers do with the Katniss videos they show Peeta; Ray Rice is now claiming as much, as he appeals his indefinite suspension.

And then there's this in Part 2...

And then there’s this in Part 2…

But in general, it does seem images have an impact on people that the written word just doesn’t have. And now we get to JJ’s point about movie-only fans, and the idea that perhaps adding more positive Peeta-Katniss interaction in MJ might counter-balance the impact of seeing Peeta physically attack Katniss. I suspect that even for book readers who know what happened, actually SEEING him try to strangle her, as opposed to the brief, fade-to-black one-liner we get in the book, will have a quite different kind of impact. In general, the only fandom players I have really seen hate on Peeta, are anti-Everlakers who’d prefer Katniss wind up with Gale, Haymitch, Finnick, etc. Indeed, it’s KATNISS who seems to get most of the vitriol for her reactions to hijacked Peeta. But will this change when we actually SEE what he does?

Now, even before Ricegate raised the general awareness of intimate partner violence, I have thought that the MJ film runs a risk of coming across as condoning or excusing violence in relationships. Now, certainly, as far as we know, nobody gave Ray Rice toxic hallucinogens, BUT it’s certainly plausible he may have had alcohol in his system, or even that the hits he’s received on the field have affected his brain. Yet, the conventional wisdom about what he did now seems to be, “There is never ANY excuse for a man to hit the woman he claims to love”. So, what will the casual movie fan, think about Peeta’s actions? And what will they think of Katniss? Note that the public hasn’t exactly been THAT supportive of Mrs. Rice, either; many people have sighed at yet another example of a woman standing by a man who doesn’t deserve it, or even cynically suggested that she finds the occasional KO a reasonable price for the fame and fortune she can access through her husband.

Certainly, there are many incidents of male – on – female violence in the story so far in the context of the Games, but fans seem to have accepted that there is nothing specifically “gendered” about, say, Thresh killing Clove, or Marvel killing Rue; it was fairly obvious that they would have handled a male tribute in the same position, no better or worse. And some fans argue that Peeta’s acted out of perceived self defense, and that this motivation is MUCH different than that of an abuser. But there’s also the take that, as JJ stated, Peeta acted out of “hijacked rage” and vengeance, not just self-defense, which comes a lot closer, uncomfortably closer, to real-life stories of spurned suitors turning violent.

IMHO, many people who commit acts of domestic violence are NOT inhuman monsters who we can safely consign to the “Other” category; Adrian Peterson seemed honestly perplexed as to why anyone would label him an abuser, and he very well might NOT have beat his son to satisfy some twisted sadistic urge; many of his defenders seem to honestly think harsh “discipline” is the only way to prevent their kids, especially in tough neighborhoods, from becoming juvenile delinquents. But then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if, say, Mrs. Mellark reacted the same way to an abuse allegation. “How dare you call me an abuser? I’m just trying to show my sons how to survive in this cold, hard world, and if I have to be a little harsh to make my point, so be it. Would you rather they get a few swats from me, or be whipped in the public square?”

So, just because Peeta is not a monster (even though he actually calls himself one), does that make his actions acceptable? I’m not talking about legal prosecution, certainly he’d likely qualify for an insanity defense. The issue is, will people who actually see visual images of him attempting to strangle Katniss to death, then later attempt to beat her head in with a rifle butt, find these actions forgiveable? Will they find the eventual Peeta-Katniss ending to be acceptable, or send some kind of dangerous message to women that “if the man in your life was mentally ill at the time he attacked you, you should forgive him, marry him, and have his kids”? Or will the casual fan conclude, “See, I told you this was just another Twilight. Why do those silly teenage girls lap up this nonsense that there’s something noble about loving a man who has insidious urges to kill you?”

And here’s another interesting example (beware, GOT S4 spoilers ahead) of fictional scenes that stir up controversy about real life issues.

Remember the tremendous controversy around a scene in GOT S4, that most show-only fans interpreted as an obvious rape? The source scene from the book, which is notably in the POV of the more sexually aggressive partner, is more ambiguous, and GRRM himself denied that he meant to write a rape scene. But one interesting fan debate that took place was this; are the showrunners at fault for misinterpreting canon and writing a rape scene without realizing it? Or, does a close reading of the original book scene, reveal that it was GRRM himself who did so, it only became apparent that he did when we actually got to SEE the scene, not just read about it?

So, I am very curious as to whether the movie WILL manage to redeem Peeta, and the P-K ship, or whether movie-only fans will wind up with a far different take on whether an Everlark ending casts a ray of hope, or just adds to the tragedy of war. I have wondered myself if Peeta and Katniss really were capable of raising well-adjusted children, or if they were doomed to repeat their respective cycles of family dysfunction. And since Peeta’s mental state certainly seems to be based in part on real PTSD sufferers, flashbacks and all, I wonder if the wider fandom wind up debating, whether SC wrote an apologia for acts of domestic violence committed by military veterans and other PTSD sufferers against their families, without realizing it.

Of course, as I have noted before, the idea that Peeta CONTINUED to be violent toward Katniss during flashbacks post-war, despite his treatment, is fanon, not canon. Also, SC never claimed that she was trying to provide her readers with models for healthy romantic relationships. But neither did GRRM, yet that didn’t quite shield him from criticism.

(And now my Who spoiler):

On the other hand, the original Dr. Who program managed to show the Doctor almost strangling a woman while in a temporarily insane state, without apparently detracting from his hero status; and that was when Dr. Who was still considered a safe kiddie show. IMHO, the Doctor post-reboot is NOT really that much darker than his pre-Time-War self, though he apparently received a testosterone infusion during his hiatus. (Okay, I finally managed to bring in some humor).

I suppose only time will tell.
Satsuma

The Mockingjay Revolution Will Be Televised

If you’ve learned anything from The Hunger Games fandom over the course of these movies, it’s that interactivity is KEY in making fans happy. We like new features. We like having puzzles to solve. Thankfully, we got some of that today!

Image from QuarterQuell.Org

Image from QuarterQuell.Org

It started with an update of TheCapitol.PN, specifically the first weekly update from CapitolTV.

It hints at issues The Capitol is facing in the midst of rebellion, but tries to cover them up in silky-voiced fraudulence. It gets a little redundant with the word “system” in that first line, but overall it’s super exciting. Because you know what the real issue is? Of course you do! REBEL SCUM.

Speaking of which… The new Capitol website was met by an even bigger response from District 13! Search through their hacks and you’ll find new images, character files, and several censored Capitol Concerns (or so I’m told. Something about that site makes my computer go “Oh, FUCK YOU!”) Remember when fans were asked to fill those out as Panem citizens? Well if you participated, you’re now apparently responsible for a bunch of District 7 citizens getting marched to their death:

WAY TO GO, CONCERNED PANEM CITIZENS.

While we’re okay with the shortness of the D13 propo, but is their production value so low that they could manage any sound?! No ominous music, no Peacekeepers shouting orders in the distance, no static, NOTHING?! Really kills the intensity!

But by keeping things mysterious and short, Lionsgate is setting MOCKINGJAY PART 1 up for a viral video campaign. It’s something that the franchise has never done before, but it’s been extremely successful for other films and if the continuation is done well, it could be the desperately needed perk-up this campaign needs! So if nothing else, today we got some hope.

Except For The Part Where Our Complaints Led People To Slaughter,

The Girl With The Pearl

The Courage of Tacky Taglines

As we’ve mentioned before, the new issue of The Hunger Games Exclusive is practically exploding with fandom goodness, including stills and lengthy interviews with the stars. But among all that glorious, visually lovely magnificence, something happened. Something we weren’t quite as enthusiastic about.

Issue-2

No, we’re not talking about how Samsung Galaxy seems to present just about everything in this fandom nowadays. Or the level of Photoshop achieved here. It’s that damn movie tagline.

THE COURAGE OF ONE WILL CHANGE THE WORLD.

Is that really the best we can do?

Yes, Katniss does have courage by the ton. And though she struggles, said struggles ultimately end in her defeating the Capitol and thus changing the world. But to suggest that she simply does it alone without extreme amounts of pressure and/or encouragement from people behind the scenes is just preposterous. Does she deserve credit? HELL TO THE YES. Her alone? NOPE. She is the symbol of the rebellion, a rallying figure and a catalyst for action, but she is not the whole damn rebellion.

But it’s not even that, really. It’s the actual phrasing of the slogan. Something about it just screams “CHEESY 80s ACTION FILM!” This tagline seems more suited to Chuck Norris or Arnold Schwarzenegger, running in slo-mo toward a helicopter in camouflage, than Katniss Everdeen. Or one of those inspirational films about the fight to change some unfair, old-fashioned political policies. Again, not The Hunger Games.

It’s also reminding me of those really persistent military ads from a few years back:
ArmyOfOne

For those of you outside the US, this campaign was EVERYWHERE for a number of years and apparently did its job well with the branding, so much so that we think of it every time we hear something referring to the general power or strength “of one”.

Maybe we were spoiled by the first two films, which both had taglines that referenced back to the books and got us excited. “May the odds be ever in your favor.” “The world will be watching.” “Every revolution begins with a spark.” “Remember who the enemy is.” By comparison, this latest tagline feels like it was picked out of a general action movie slogan catalog.

But we only get one trailer, so I’m assuming there’s only one tagline. In the meantime, I’m putting the tagline with a movie that seems more suited for it:

THE COURAGE OF ONE WILL CHANGE THE WORLD.

THE COURAGE OF ONE WILL CHANGE THE WORLD.

The Girl With The Pearl

What We Learned From The New Mockingjay Part 1 Stills

In case you missed it, with “The Mockingjay Lives” trailer also came a new edition of Hunger Games Exclusive featuring interviews with Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, and Natalie Dormer, quick bios of Boggs, Pollux, Castor, and Messalla, and a boatload of new stills.

And oh, there’s messages behind messages about the movies in those stills!

1) Gale and Cressida either hate each other or totally get each other

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There are a couple pictures of Gale and Cressida together that make us wonder about how other character relationships will be expanded in the TWO parts of Mockingjay (because hell, that’s definitely room to expand things!) Yes, they’re facing away from each other which suggests that this isn’t a romantic twist– THANK GOODNESS– but there’s some sort of deal going on between these two. On one hand, neither looks particularly happy and they won’t look at each other. On the other, they have each others’ back and it seems like these two share a similar ideology that might have them teaming up quite a bit.

Are we just talking nonsense? We’ll find out in two months!

2) Jen’s wig is pretty solid.. except for when there’s running.

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Witness ZEE WIG.

Not bad, right? Flowy, realistic frizz, and a hair line that doesn’t make you facepalm. It’s not very noticeable at all!

Now.. a second glance:

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IT JUST GOT SO MUCH MORE NOTICEABLE.

Stills of action scenes are very rarely kind to the characters involved. This just proves it. We probably won’t notice it so much with actual, rolling footage, but this shot is a definite reminder that our homegirl got wigged up for these movies.

3) There’s always that one guy.

Extras. Very rarely does one really catch your eye because they’re out of place, but it happens.

Take the District 8 shot. Almost everyone looks tense, resilient, perhaps even a bit frightened and then… Wait. Is that one guy smirking at her?

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It may not be enough to draw most people’s attention, but something about this guy’s look here says “Dude! They put me right next to her! I’m totally going to be in the movie.”

4) Everyone posed in those D13 uniforms (also, see #1)

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Military or not, we’re guessing everyone had a photo-op in District 13’s gray fatigues, just to reassure us that all the characters hate them and even the pretty ones look a bit drab. Alas, more reassurance that District 13 is a fashionista’s worst nightmare.

5) Someone put a tiny braid in Natalie Dormer’s hair EVERY. DAY.

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And yet we can barely manage to braid our own hair without it looks like a rat’s nest. Kudos to Mockingjay’s official braider (we assume that’s their title) and their tiny little hands!