Author: The Girl With The Pearl

REVIEW: The Hunger Games Exhibition Experience

Welcome, welcome to our review of The Hunger Games Exhibition!

A few lucky fansites were given an early preview of this massive undertaking over the weekend! Kait and JJ attended the event (though JJ very skillfully avoided all the cameras). Now, we’re breaking down everything you need to know if you’re considering a visit to what seems like the franchise’s very first East Coast attraction!

Without any further ado…

THE COSTUMES AND SETS

Yes, all the major costumes and set pieces are there, perfectly positioned and lit in all their glory. You’ll be tons of familiar outfits, designs, and set arrangements. You’ll also see so things you didn’t notice in the films. For instance, did you know Effie was wearing these shoes in District 13?!

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We’ve never seen them before and it’s tragic!

The costumes are spectacular, but there’s also full set pieces to adore. They’re set up in ways you’d easily recognize the film and pretty dazzling up close. For example, the Hob set in full of props that look faded and distressed, but seeing it all in person adds a whole new dimension to it. As you end with one section and walk into another, you’re usually turning a corner to find a massive, beloved scene RIGHT IN YOUR FACE. It was enough to make us squeal, even enough to make some others get all teary-eyed!

Just a real casual Capitol party display... SQUEE!

Also, Josh, Jen, Willow, Jena, and Francis went through the exhibit yesterday, the day after the fansites. They touched what we touched. WE PRACTICALLY EXCHANGED FRIENDSHIP BRACELETS. Just kidding, but it’s still pretty awesome!

INTERACTIVE FEATURES

If you’ve gone to an exhibition for Harry Potter and/or The Lord of the Rings, you probably think you know the drill by now. What you’re NOT accounting for are the boatload of unique interactive features that make this stand out, even for people who are not super familiar with the series (you know, in case you bring a mostly clueless friend or parent along!)

INTERACTIVE AUDIO DEVICE
When you enter the exhibition, you’ll be given a handy cell phone sized device. It seems like it’s just an audio guide, but there’s lots to do with it! Namely, it finds “Hidden Spots” throughout the exhibit that unlock deleted scenes and show how the props in front of you. They also pull up holographic maps, allow you to take pictures, and give you a special ally with whom you can explore!

POLLING STATIONS

Every here and there, you’ll find polling stations that ask how you would react in certain Hunger Games style situations. Turn the lever and your vote is counted– a pellet falls into a glass cylinder. Then you can examine the cylinders to see how your vote compares to others.

THE TRAIN TO THE CAPITOL
Be prepared for your photo op! Get cozy in the back of the train to the Capitol, where Katniss and Peeta worked out their tentative friendship in Catching Fire, and snap a pic! Built-in screens give the illusion that you too are headed to the Capitol.

Kait with Adam from HG Fireside Chat and Brittany from Down With The Capitol

Kait with Adam from HG Fireside Chat and Brittany from Down With The Capitol

INTERVIEW WITH CAESAR
Caesar Flickerman is one hell of an interviewer, even when his head is a television screen! You can stop and have a photo op with The Capitol’s favorite television host but be warned, those fancy seats are really hard to sit upright in!

Also, it's hard to get his face to show up at certain angles!

Also, it’s hard to get his face to show up at certain angles!


FIGHT TRAINING

Think you got the moves? A movie stunt coordinator is ready to test them! See how well you can learn and bust out a quick defensive sequence used in the films. It’s harder than you think!

JOIN THE MOCKINGJAY’S PROPO
A special station in the Mockingjay section of the museum allows you to choose your setting and record a propo message in support of the Rebellion! Your image will then show up on the big ol’ HD TV screen behind you.

YOUR VERY OWN TRIBUTE PARADE

It’s your turn to join the Tribute Parade! Instead of explaining, here’s a video of me and Down With The Capitol’s Ellie making fools of ourselves for good old fashioned fun! Shelve it under “So horrible that it’s actually kind of amazing.”

THE GIFT SHOP

At the end of the road, we hit the gift shop!

Like most, there’s lots of items in here that seem a bit random, like mints and “Capitol confections” that are just regular candies bottled up pretty. But there’s also some really awesome stuff, exclusive mug and t-shirt designs, Buttercup plushes, Tim Palen’s new photo book, and jewelry ranging from simple ($5 arrow ring) to “SERIOUSLY.. WHO THROWS AROUND MONEY LIKE THAT?!”($7400 diamond encrusted gold Mockingjay pendant necklace.)

Disappointing news– the Katniss Cowl is in the gift shop, but it costs $130. Yup, the mass produced version is just as much as (if not more than) most Etsy sellers. We just want to own a Katniss Cowl and still pay off our student loan debt in a timely fashion, Lionsgate!

For a small fortune, all this can be yours!

For a small fortune, all this can be yours!

And so ends our adventure. If you’re a Hunger Games lover and you’re heading to New York City this year, we highly recommend it!

Want more images? Check out our full gallery!

GALLERY: The Hunger Games Exhibition

You’ve probably noticed that there’s been lots of goodness from The Hunger Games Exhibition all around the web, including over on our Instagram page. Now, we’re sharing all the photos from our Hunger Games Exhibition with you!

If you like these glimpses, stay tuned for a detailed report on the super fun exhibition!

The Red Mockingjay Suit of Chaos

We’ve already got a “teaser” for Mockingjay Part 2, which was trailer length but WE’RE NOT COMPLAINING. Now it’s time to prepare for the theatrical trailer!

See, we know it’s out there! Some lucky folks in Spain got to see it today as part of Cine Europe, which is an event for studio types and film distributors that’s similar to CinemaCon. There isn’t too much description out there yet, but there was ONE gem in the reports:

J-Law was like "I'll take it in RED, plzkthx." (No, not really.)

J-Law was like “I’ll take it in RED, plzkthx.” (No, not really.)

Come November, Katniss will be rocking a red Mockingjay suit!

You may be thinking back to April right now. Because in April, Funny Or Die released a gif of Jennifer Lawrence in a red Mockingjay suit talking into a banana as if it were a cell phone. We assumed nothing of the suit, only that it was a discolored imitation of the suit from the films. Hell, it’s Funny or Die! They clearly weren’t being serious!

Buuuuuuut then Lionsgate started asking that all the image be taken down pronto. From all the places. At the time, we just assumed this was Lionsgate getting antsy over their ownership of all things even kinda sorta mentioning the series and shrugged it off as silly. LO AND BEHOLD, THERE WAS A SECRET IN HERE!

Lionsgate nixed the images, so we can’t post them here, but the Internet is a vast entity where nothing ever disappears, especially if you check tumblr. Just sayin’!

Now to the big question — WHY ADD A RED MOCKINGJAY SUIT?

Artistic flair, we suppose! To give the audience something they didn’t expect and make Katniss stand out. We would assume it was used for was the execution scene if we didn’t already see that in the teaser. Maybe it’s another propo outfit designed to make her stand out more on screen. In which case, goal achieved!

To be clear, we give zero fucks about the additional of this suit. It’s actually pretty cool and not everything is always going to be straight off the page. We’ve been blessed with pretty minimal changes throughout the series and the color of an outfit in now way changes the plot. So yeesh, naysayers, calm yourselves before you pop a vein or something, ‘kay?

It’s More Of A Crimson, Anyway. The Crimsonjay!
The Girl With The Pearl

Mockingjay Part 2: Proud To Be 3D Free

…In the US anyway.

Look, we get it. 3D is a big thing. Some people really like it and in the grand scale of things, it’s revolutionized the way that audiences view and appreciate films in recent years. But can we just say…

THANK GOODNESS MOCKINGJAY PART 2 WON’T HAVE THAT BS!

Yes, 3D is amazing, but only when it’s done right.

Personal favorite 3D experience!

Personal favorite 3D experience!

There’s two ways 3D comes about:
1) The film is intended to be a vast visual experience from the get-go and the director and studio agree to shoot the film with 3D technologies and that style in mind.
2) The studio decides to convert the film to 3D in post, creating a lesser quality version that adds little to the film and gives some people headaches.

The Hunger Games franchise uses the latter. Why? We assume it’s because 3D ticket prices are higher, driving up overall profits when people inevitably get lured in by the idea of seeing the biggest, “best” version of the film. But in recent years, audiences have wised up to the conversion method most studios use and 3D sales have declined. And ya know, those tickets are effing expensive!

Sadly, this guy was only available in Fake 3D.

Sadly, this guy was only available in Fake 3D.

Don’t get us wrong, there are some GREAT 3D films out there. But we weren’t planning Mockingjay Part 2 in IMAX 3D because we weren’t about to pay extra for poorly converted nausea. Now, we’re really, really excited to see it in IMAX 2D without the silly, unnecessary “effects”. We’re just bummed that IMAX versions are still only being offered in 3D for the rest of the world!

So movie studios, know this– We’re not total fools. If you’re not going to commit to REAL 3D for your films, don’t come at us with the cheap conversion. We don’t want it!

2D Or 3D? You Tell Us!
The Girl With The Pearl

REACTION POST: Mockingjay Part 2 Trailer

We’ve got a Mcokingjay Part 2 trailer and lots of new feels along with it!

To celebrate our first glimpse at the franchise finale, we’re presenting you with another zany reaction post! We’ve got a lot to say about the new trailer, so let the gushing begin!

Oh, and this sucker is pretty long, so don’t forget to click READ MORE the see the whole thing.

THE FEELING IS BACK!

THE GIRL WITH THE PEARL: So how does this trailer stack up against the mountain of other THG trailers we’ve seen?

JJ: It’s right at the top for me. I love the teaser and theatrical trailers for CF, and this one made me feel that same level of astonishment/amazement.

normal_Mockingjay-Part2-Unite024TGWTP: I’m in the same boat. The second CF trailer was my favorite up until now, but I think this one actually beats it!

JJ: That feeling of “THIS IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN I EVEN DREAMED. PRAISE FRANCIS LAWRENCE” type of feeling. I didn’t quite get it with the MJ1 trailers. But now it’s back, baby!

THEM THERE EYES: Not joking, I’ve had to go back and watch them all… I tend to forget.

TGWTP: Nina and Francis got harassed about wanting an amazing trailer a lot on Twitter. WE DO NOT APPROVE OF THIS. Buuuut they certainly delivered!

TTE: I wonder if they have the same team on the trailers?

JJ: It varies. I believe this one was by Trailer Park. But they’ve had different companies work on them.

TGWTP: I have no idea. The teams behind trailers obviously need way more credit than they get.

JJ: But it was just overall well done. The structure, the shots they chose, it gave us hints at a lot of scenes throughout the movie… but not TOO much.

TTE: Yes, even the music they choose to buy, and sample from the scores are perfectly placed.

WEDDING FEELS HIDDEN BEHIND SOME SERIOUS HAIR

normal_Mockingjay-Part2-Unite017TGWTP: How many feels did you have when you realized it began with the wedding scene?

JJ: THAT was a great choice.

TGWTP: I made an uncomfortable gaspy-sob sound that was probably not meant to come out of a human.

JJ: First, it just LOOKED beautiful, but then you realize what it actually is, and as a fan, you’re hooked in completely from the start. And Katniss’s voiceover for that moment is so perfect. Well played.

TTE: Well, the first time I viewed it I was in a hot car, watching it on my cell phone… but I had the sound up on my car’s stereo… so that made it kind of dramatic in probably not the way they wanted it to be… for me at least.

TGWTP: I must admit though… I didn’t notice Johanna in that scene until about the fifth time I watched it. Too distracted by Effie’s Edward Scissorhands hair

JJ: I didn’t notice her either. But that doesn’t take points away for me. There will be moments with Johanna later, I’m sure.

TTE: I didn’t see her! *runs off to pause video like crazy person*

TGWTP: How could you behind Effie’s flair, really? Though man… Jena is handling that bald cap like a champ in the scene when you DO notice her

TTE: Oh, there she is… ten seconds in, over Effie’s shoulder.

normal_Mockingjay-Part2-Unite081TGWTP: And did you guys notice that when we finally see Katniss talked to Coin, she’s still got the bruises on her throat?! *weeps* Then you realize that her voice sounds REALLY ROUGH.

JJ: Yes, the bruises are a great detail. And her voice. Poor dear.

TTE: I was about to say “Her voice sounds really trashed.”

TGWTP: Obviously, we know the story picks up immediately after Peeta’s attack. But knowing and seeing are way different

JJ: “Snow has to pay for what he’s done…” Cue Lionsgate logo lol

TGWTP: BAM!

EFF YOU, SPEECHES!

TGWTP: I also find it funny that Katniss says “I can’t make another speech about it…” and then is launches into her District 2 speech shortly thereafter lol

JJ: “Can’t” versus “God help me I DON’T WANT TO”

TTE: I think that’s on purpose! she’s very speech-y.

JJ: But Katniss, you do some pretty good speeches. Impromptu is hard to do after all.

TGWTP: Exactly. Poor girl is just like “NO MORE FUCKING SPEECHES! LET ME TAKE OUT MY RAGE ON THE BATTLEFIELD.”

(more…)

The Mockingjay Part 2 Trailer: Reactions on the Fly

No, this is not this official bomb diggity trailer reaction post we do for every film, sadly. Getting a bunch of busy ladies together to chat takes time, but it’s coming!

Here's a hug. We all need one!

Here’s a hug. We all need one!

In the meantime, let’s discuss some off the cuff reactions!

For me, this was probably the best trailer for the series we’ve seen so far (followed by the second Catching Fire trailer, if you’re curious!) Some really awful fans have been jumping all over Nina and Francis on Twitter demanding that this trailer be freaking fantastic because they’d had to wait so long– as if Nina and Francis control the release of trailers– and now those two can be smug. It WAS freaking fantastic!

We got a major sentimental scene, Finnick and Annie’s wedding, for which the visuals were gorgeous. We see the extreme sister love between Katniss and Prim. And then the tension seeps in and we remember that it is NOT ALL GOOD. War is happening, people are rallying, Katniss is dressed up as the Mockingjay, and Effie and Haymitch are there to attempt to be reassuring but probably kinda failing.

Then there’s the hug continuation that hit all the feels, as noted here by a Twitter user:

Shot through the heart!

Shot through the heart!

From there, the action begins! Did anyone else think the Star Squad was running from a crazy huge deluge of oil when those set photos from Paris hit the Internet? WE SURE DIDN’T.

Altogether, it was an exciting, uplifting, heartbreaking, INSANE experience to watch the first trailer for the final film.

However, there has been one thing pointed out to us that we can’t un-see. Something straight out of the Catching Fire trailers:

THIS NOVEMBER
COMES THE EVENT
THE WORLD HAS BEEN WAITING FOR

We mean… both “events” have that November release and the world is waiting / waited for both (not the whole world, of course. There’s undoubtedly some countries out there where people do not give a daaaaamn about these films.) The lettering is the same in each but the background is different– CF is black, MJ2 is crimson with little embers floating. Still, are there NO OTHER WAYS to say “Everyone is anticipating this movie coming in November” without recycling?! Are we budgeting the biggest franchise Lionsgate has?

Still, we’ll try to let it go because all the other stuff.

Real Freak Out Reaction Post Coming Soon!
The Girl With The Pearl

The Sight That Made Our Mockingjay-Loving Souls Weep

Finally, things are happening in the fandom! FINALLLLLLLY!

There are brand spankin’ new Mockingjay Part 2 stills that we’ll be talking about soon– but they’re still coming so we’ll wait a little while longer.

Instead, we’re gonna soak in all our really, really intense fandom feels, thanks to Nina Jacobson:

There are two thoughts that came to mind as we saw this:
1) OMG THEY’RE FINALLY DOING THE EPILOGUE AND IT’S GOOD! The setting is beautiful, Jen and Josh are doing their Everlark thing, and it’s all coming full circle. And despite some division among the fans, we freakin’ love the epilogue.
2) OMG THEY’RE FINALLY DOING THE EPILOGUE AND IT’S SO VERY PAINFUL! This means that in just a couple days, filming is over. This is the last time Katniss and Peeta are happening on screen (bar an awful remake in 20 years or so), everyone else is donezo, and in a few short months, all we’ll have is the memory of fandom anticipation. THE END IS NIGH.

Either way, we kind of want to collapse into a ball and cry, rocking ever so slightly as we cradle this image in our arms. We’re pretty sure Nina Jacobson was trying to kill us (but not really).

Hell, the overall feel of the scene is just so enormous that it’s making us nostalgic and downright sappy. And then… What is Katniss holding?! Is that a baby? And is that another tot standing off to the side? Jen’s nephews, nonetheless! WE CAN’T EVEN HANDLE IT!

So are you prepared to be a bucket of outrageous feelings for the next several months? Because I’m pretty sure that’s where all this is headed!

Off To Listen To Sad Music And Contemplate Existence…
The Girl With The Pearl

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Liam Hemsworth’s CUT BANK Is a Gritty Conspiracy Thriller

The Hunger Games world is mostly quiet these days, but a Hunger Games actor still has a big movie release happening today! Liam Hemsworth’s Cut Bank is available on DVD, Blu-Ray, and Digital HD today. We’re celebrating with a review AND something for you!

First off, let’s freak out over the amazing cast: Liam Hemsworth stars alongside Teresa Palmer (Cut Bank is not to be confused with Love and Honor, another straight-to-DVD release they co-starred in), but we’ve also got John Malkovich, Billy Bob Thorton, Bruce Dern, Oliver Platt, and Michael Stuhlbarg on board. And it’s easy to see why all these great actors signed on– This film has a definite allure to it!

cut-bank-poster-11Dwayne McLaren (Hemsy!) wants nothing more than to get out of his small idealistic Americana hometown– Cut Bank, Montana. While recording a video of his girlfriend (Palmer), the two witness the brutal murder of an elderly postman, Georgie Wits (Dern). Better yet, they catch it on tape. Now, Dwayne is set to gain $100,000 in reward money from a Postal Service agent (Platt). It doesn’t take long to realize that there’s much more to the video than anyone suspects and the local sheriff (Malkovich) isn’t equipped to deal with the first murder that’s ever occurred in town.

Even worse? The loss of the postman and his parcels has incidentally set off the only person in town who’s a genuine threat to society.

In the DVD special features, screenwriter Robert Patino describes Cut Bank as a 70s-style conspiracy thriller. It’s pretty accurate. It’s not just about the grand scheme. It’s about the unexpected ways that scheme can go horribly, horribly wrong. But the movie has its hits and misses– There’s some amazing character acting, but it starts off slow. Things pick up and get intriguing, but you never quite get the big Tarantino-style “OMG WHAT JUST HAPPENED?” moment that you anticipate. Still, there’s a decent amount of suspense and twists that’ll have insanely curious to see how to all plays out.

With the actors involved, it’s no surprise that the characters are superb. The script goes for dark humor and doesn’t always hit the mark, but the actors make the best of it and develop unique, fun characters. Extra points go to Michael Stuhlbarg– an actor whose name you might not know but whose face you probably recognize– for expertly playing the creepiest creepster in existence, Derby Milton. The performances and the aesthetics of Cut Bank really made the kitschy town stuck in the 1950s come to life and an amusing, believable way.

Cut Bank is plenty enjoyable, all crime and conspiracy with a touch of modern-day Western. It’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you want to see Liam Hemsworth play a more in-depth, calculating role than Gale Hawthorne.

Want to watch? Well, you could win the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Combo Pack!

cutbankblu

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Contest is only available in countries utilizing Region A Blu-Ray systems. Ends at 11:59pm EST on Sunday. May 31st.

The Creepiest Sisters EVER

WE HAVE MOCKINGJAY PART 2 PROMOTION! …Kiiiiiinda.

“The Sister Portrait” is a chilling look at Katniss and Prim from the upcoming coffee table book “Tim Palen: Photographs from The Hunger Games”. A commemorative print is going around at Cannes (because apparently the rich industry folk at Cannes need that) and Vanity Fair debuted it for the rest of the masses as well.

OBSERVE!

55520ccdb80bcc99383a280d_hunger-games-sister-portrait

Let’s just say that there is something gut-wrenching and foreboding about this image and it has EVERYTHING TO DO with Willow Shields’ face. It’s like her eyes are piercing our souls and screaming “Dammit, I’m about to die!” Katniss is looking away trying to figure stuff out, but Prim is looking at you because… Oh shit, it’s about to go down!

We must admit, we started looking through promotional images and paparazzi photos from Mockingjay Part 2 scenes to see if Katniss’ Mockingjay outfit has never been covered in bondage weapons straps. It looks like that’s unique to the photo shoot! Or it’s a design that was considered but ultimately scratched.

While Prim blends in with the old timey looks and the muted colors, Katniss sticks out like a sore thumb. Though they’re standing together, they look very separate. We’re having a hard time deciding if that’s intentional artistry of some sort or photoshop mishap.

But back to our initial point– Is that really Mockingjay Part 2 promotion? The image could easily be from Part 1 or Part 2. Nothing about it specifies either way. If it turns out there’s a whole collection of more specific Part 2 character portraits with this same look and feel, sure! Otherwise, it’s kinda just promotion for Tim Palen’s book (which is cool, but not as cool as obvious, tangible promotion for the final film in a major franchise.) WE NEED MORE in order to make that call!

Because RIGHT NOW feels like a good time for character posters,
The Girl With The Pearl

Better Have Jen’s Money

Not too long ago, Rhianna came out with a horrible song. But the title has never been more appropriate:

If you’re not sure why, look no further than this article on Jennifer Lawrence’s upcoming project, Passengers.

And we just need Jen in a movie with Chris Pratt. BECAUSE.

And we just need Jen in a movie with Chris Pratt. BECAUSE.

Essentially, when Jen signed on for Passengers, she signed a deal in which Sony agreed to pay her $20 million. Yes, that number is OBSCENE for most of us. Even for Hollywood standards, it’s pretty high. Which is why the new head of Sony is very uneasy and reportedly wants to lower the salary deal. (Also, because it’s sci-fi and nooooobody in Hollywood trusts original sci-fi concepts to profit well.)

But there’s reasons why Jen should get paid the big bucks, especially for this film: She is perhaps the most bankable young female actress in Hollywood these days. She’s proven she can carry a film and attract audiences. She got a little golden friend called Oscar. And oh, Sony screwed her over on the last film she did with them, American Hustle.

In many film deals, the actors get an additional stipend based on profits. Turns out that for American Hustle, Jen got a lesser percentage than all of her male co-stars, including Jeremy Renner, whose part was smaller and less significant overall. In one of the many hacked emails, the Sony President even referred to the situation as “a joke”. BECAUSE IT IS.

Some people are blaming it on Jen’s team not haggling enough to get her a better profit share, but it’s not as if they knew the men were getting a crazy-generous offer elsewhere. In fact, they could have pitched the same deal and been rejected. Either way, Sony wasn’t willing to pay Jen (or Amy Adams, it seems) as much as the boys. So we think that it’s a brilliant form of justice if they pay her the money she deserves this time around, even if it makes them uncomfortable.

Passengers is still in the very early stages so lots could change, but it seems pretty clear that Sony wants and needs star power for this project, which may not be an easy sell otherwise. And it doesn’t matter than Jen is already rich, it’s a dignity thing. So they better be willing to shell it out!

SHOW ME THE MONEY!
The Girl With The Pearl