Author: The Girl With The Pearl

SNAP REACTIONS: The World Of The Hunger Games Store

A few weeks ago, we got the good news: The World of The Hunger Games official online store is opened!

Finally, one centralized location to find the majority of the official Hunger Games merch that’s out availa– Ehhhh, nevermind. There’s actually very little Hunger Games merch featured in the store at all. But there are still a few options! They range from fun stuff like those Funko POP! figurines (D’awww so cute! We want them all!) to Capitol Couture tees (for the love of all things, PLEASE stop trying to sell me on this crap.)

We looked through the store and while it’s mostly the usual fare, but we have a few quick reactions to make!

1) We will never own this fucking cowl

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We saw it in the physical store when The Hunger Games Exhibition hit New York City. We rushed over to it. We held it out in our hands. We checked the price tag and promptly said “Oh, to hell with that!” The funny part? It was $20 cheaper then! We realize that it isn’t necessarily being mass produced but.. seriously?! It seems our bank accounts are not big enough to support our Hunger Games habits.

2) Mellark Bakery is a regular ol’ Dunkin Donuts

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This must be Mellark Bakery post-revolution, at which time Peeta has apparently turned it into a corporate entity. Because isn’t coffee a rare commodity in Panem? And really, who said “You know what Hunger Games fans would love? COFFEE. Especially considering the rest of our advertising is geared toward teens, some of whom probably haven’t even discovered coffee yet.” Sorry, but I’m not gonna pay several dollars more for the branding here!

3) Cardboard Pocket Peetas (and Katnisses and Gales) seem pretty impractical

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This 8-inch cutout figurine is $10. BUT HOW DO YOU TAKE THEM ANYWHERE?! Do you realize how easily we could crush or mangle a cardboard standee that’s this small? We’re pretty sure we’d all pay more for legit action figures than live forever with tiny cardboard characters that forever maintain that “I got folded up once” look!

4) War just keeps on getting trendier

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This pink, orange, white, and brown phone case with some black arrows thrown in is called “Katniss At War”. Because obviously, the arrows scream KATNISS and the color scheme says WAR. And then we wonder why more casual audiences have trouble taking the last couple films seriously as war movies!

5) Someone needs to step up their character recognition game

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Look, Cressida and Boggs are cool. But if you expect someone to buy a $100 wall-to-wall fathead, they’re not necessary to our series dedication. How about some Finnick? You keep telling us Prim was important, so where is she? Effie, anyone? A little drunk Haymitch? We’d rather have a composite of Katniss, Peeta, and Gale with any of those characters than these fives just because they’re in matching outfits!

So now, per usual, you know have we really feel. This isn’t to say there isn’t anything cool in the store. There’s plenty we want! But merchandising is a crazy, crazy thing and well, we figured we should cover that too!

But Seriously, Those Funkos Are Uber Cute,
The Girl With The Pearl

Shiny New DVDs: Mockingjay Part 2 and the 4-Film Collection!

Seriously guys, how good is JJ? She posted late last week with some hopes for the Mockingjay Part 2 DVD release and while didn’t come true yet, there were some goodies that have been confirmed!

First, let’s talk about the actual DVD release for the movie that just happened, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2!

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Per usual, there’s lots of behind the scenes goodness, including commentary with Francis and Nina (none with the cast! *weeps*), the “Pawns No More” Making Of documentary, and lots of photo marketing goodness.

Also featured is a look into The Hunger Games: The Exhibition that has us reeeeal nervous because the camersa were there when we were there for the preview but OMG NO OUR FACES WEREN’T READY WE SWEAR! And sadly, that terrible “Jet to the Set” special that spent more time on a Real Housewife of Atlanta than the cast is there as well.

Overall, we’re very excited to grab to final DVD. BUT THEN BUT THEN BUT THEN…

The 4-Film Collection, you guys. THE 4-FILM COLLECTION.

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It’s like a freaking buffet spread of Hunger Games deliciousness!

Particularly, THIRTEEN never-before-seen scenes. Twelve from The Hunger Games (here’s hoping for all the ones JJ mentioned) and one from Catching Fire. So much new information! Let’s not kid ourselves, half of it is probably hallucinations, dream sequences, and the like, but WE CARE NOT. We want it all.

On top of that. there are two new featurettes: “Picturing Panem” and “Capitol Cuisine.” We’re guessing that the first one is about the early visualizations of the Capitol. The second is a little clearer, focusing on all the crazy foods Suzanne Collins created in the books, though we don’t think they were necessarily emphasized in the movies.

That being said, we don’t expect that this is the actual DIAMOND MAC DADDY EDITION we’re all hoping for. This is just the initial collection, but it’s not going to give away all the secrets of the final film with that DVD coming out. Oh no! This is just a start. There’s gonna be an anniversary edition in the future that’s gonna make us cry fat happy tears, even more so than this baby.

Will you snag Mockingjay Part 2 or the 4-Film Collection? It all drops on March 22nd!

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The Girl With The Pearl

That Golden Globes Fiasco

By now, you’ve all heard about it– because no one will shut up about it. Soooo let’s just confront this sucker head on!

In a not-so-surprising twist, Jennifer Lawrence won the Golden Globe for Joy. The movie really wasn’t great, but Jennifer was great in it. She got noticed. The backlash from the hipsters who want to paint her as overrated was inevitable, because HATERS GONNA HATE, AMIRITE?! But then it happened.

The headlines were loud and sheer clickbait, all along the lines of “Jennifer Lawrence scolds foreign reporter”. There were lots of rumors and embellishments surrounding this short interaction. And then the Internet seriously lost its shit.

If you missed it, here’s the full video clip so you have some context.

Let’s start with the rumors. Right after this happened, all people knew is that the journalist has an accent and some sources reported he was using a translation app, making it look like Jennifer poked fun at a man because English wasn’t his first language. Even when we first heard it, accompanied by a ultra-edited version of the video from Variety, we thought “Man… this actually might be pretty bad…” But of course, more details came out, like this:

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O RLY. So it turns out that the media agencies and anti-Jen folks calling her a racist are actually kinda racist themselves for assuming a man with an accent can’t speak English without help from technology. Funny how that works! It turns out the guy was stumbling over his question because he was too busy trying to get photos/video of Jen looking directly at him.

Under the circumstances, we kind of agree with Jen– it was actually pretty rude of the reporter. He only had one question to fire off. He could have held the phone somewhere other than eye level when asking, if that was his only recording device. He clearly let himself get too distracted to ask his question succinctly. From someone with a journalism background who has interviewed actors, there wasn’t a whole lot of professionalism going on there. So why is she a brat for jokingly telling the guy to get out from behind his phone, again?

People were mad about Jen making the “This is the Golden Globes” joke in there, but perhaps people don’t realize the reporter’s folly that likely prompted her to cut her off. He was asking about The Oscars– and we would guess Jen knew that– and that is a HUGE FAUX PAS. Superstition runs high everywhere, even among actors. Discussing the Oscars at the Golden Globes is considered a jinx and just bad form. A lot of actors would blow off that topic.

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We’re not saying Jen handled to situation perfectly. But damn, the lady is human. And automatically jumping to the conclusion that she’s a spoiled brat bullying a foreign man for just trying to do his job is pretty ridiculous. How about instead we try to get all the details instead of biting an actresses head off for asking a guy to interact with her in a way that made her feel comfortable, k?

God Forbid Actors Want To Be Treated Like People!
The Girl With The Pearl

A Hunger Games Resolution

How soon we do forget, huh?

It’s already January 7th and this is our first post of 2016. Why? Because we’re getting older, life is busy, and frankly, there just isn’t that much to talk about on The Hunger Games front in that topsy-turvy time period between the movie leaving theaters and the DVD release. There also the landslide of information from other fandoms we’re interested– every show restarting, every movie trailer, every new book released. And Star Wars. HOLY SHIT GUYS, STAR WARS.

But let’s be clear:

It ain’t over. It’s never over.

Yes, eventually this fandom will slow down as there’s a stop in new information. More than likely, it will pick up once again when Lionsgate goes through with a questionable sequel or two in future years. Somewhere in between there, Victor’s Village will probably say “Sayonara!” because running a website costs money and is a bit discouraging when you don’t have anything to post about. Yet in the infamous words of another fandom we really enjoy… BUT IT IS NOT THIS DAY!

hunger-games-district12-saluteThis fandom still brings us tons of joy. Not necessarily in news form at the moment, but with the friendships we maintain and fond memories and following the actors as they explore new ventures. Those things don’t disappear as soon as the steady stream of news does. There’s something bigger than the mass media we consume.

So here’s our Hunger Games resolution for 2016: We’re not going to be “so over it” now that the story is done playing out on the big screen and not being thrown into our news stream everyday. We’re not going to let the new things we may like to talk about make us forget about the things that originally got us talking five years ago. Our attention span isn’t that short, right?

Yes, we’re all probably going to be talking about The Hunger Games like a 92-year-old recalling their 20s in about two years, but when we do, we’re still going to champion the fuck outta this fandom. Because there’s meaning and value in the content, even when there isn’t something shiny and new to go with it.

Once A Tribute, Always A Tribute,
The Girl With The Pearl

Kissing Co-Stars

Just when the fandom beings to quiet down and we admittedly turned our attentions elsewhere– namely, Star Wars and basically every major 2016 movie that released big advertising in front of Star Wars– leave it to Jennifer Lawrence to get all The Hunger Games fans riled up again!

If you were in the fandom back in the early days of the movie production, you probably remember how the trashy magazine rumors about the torrid love triangle between Jennifer, Josh, and Liam, despite the fact that at least two of the three were in other relationships at the time. Even through Catching Fire, the hookup rumors never totally faded. Meanwhile, fans all rolled their eyes and said “Urgh, they’re all just really good friends! Why does the media have to be like that?! GAWD!

Well, we were right and we were wrong. Observe!

Now, before you get on the “Lyke OMG they’re totes together!” train that some fangirls immediately ran to, remember that no, they’re probably not. Sure, everyone has talked about how Liam has been decidedly more light-hearted and active in the final round of promotions, perhaps even a little flirtatious, depending on who you talk to. But that doesn’t mean anything.

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Here’s the thing about being in your teens and 20s– you have a core group of friends, probably people you grew up with like Jen said. These groups are damn near incestuous. Because these like-minded people are spending all their time together, they grow very close. Friends flirt with each other. They date people their other friends have dated. And yeah, occasionally, friends who aren’t planning to be in a relationship make out. Essentially, shit happens.

The media outlets are blowing this as if Jen and Liam have been secretly banging for months. AND MAYBE THEY HAVE. Who cares?! But all she admitted to was a kiss, folks, so don’t lose your mind quite yet. Lots of people kiss which later amounts to nothing. Speculation upon speculation upon speculation!

Frankly, we could care less with what’s goin’ on between these two. C’est la vie! We’re more thrilled about Jen’s reaction to being asked about Justin Bieber:

"That's a hard no."

“That’s A Hard No.”
The Girl With The Pearl

Apocalyptic Resurgences

TRAILERS. TRAILERS EVERYWHERE!

They’re not for The Hunger Games franchise anymore (*ragged breath*), but they’ve still got big names this fandom loves in ’em!

As you know (unless you are living under a rock– more like an entire damn tectonic plate, in this case,) Star Wars: The Force Awakens is out in mere days. It’s easily going to be the biggest movie of the year, without question. Rather than fight that, studios are taking advantage by dropped their trailers in front of the film for millions to see.

Take note, Lionsgate. That is how you market a big movie! …Sorry, we’re still not over the epic ball-drop that was not putting a MJ2 trailer with Age of Ultron.

As it turns out, both Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth are in movies that will be advertised with Star Wars and the trailers were dropped early so willing viewers can get a visual early.

First, X-Men: Apocalypse!

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X-Men is a big ensemble piece, which is part of its charm, but Jen did have a few moments to shine. The trailer briefly confronts Mystique’s wishy-washiness when it’s come to fair fights in the past and her propensity for sticking by less moral characters, while also showing her as a mentor figure for the newest mutants.

We were really excited about this one before the trailer and that still stands. Sure, there’s a chance things will get bogged down with too much going on, but it looks like a pretty straight shot in the trailer. The X-Men franchise is usually a crowd pleaser, so we’re ready!

Mostly, we’re just surprised that her hair is long and tied back, because we thought it was shoulder length all this time based off stills. Whoops!

But we’re even more surprised with Independence Day: Resurgence!

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Full disclosure: We were fully prepared to hate everything about this movie. And in all fairness, we still could. But the trailer was WAY BETTER than expected! There’s tension, suspense, and the very smart decision to hearken back to the original film with Bill Pullman’s epic speech. We never wanted this sequel and yet…

Liam shows up a few times: Strutting in a pilot’s uniform, canoodling with his movie love interest, and… on the moon or a meteor somewhere, apparently? It’s not a TON– Jeff Goldblum is still running this ship– but it’s definitely enough to pinpoint that he’s a major player in the film.

Liam has clearly done well in Hollywood, but hasn’t quite yet cemented his leading man status. Maybe this movie will be the one to help him make that transition? We’ll see!

*quietly waits for the “None of this even matters because STAR WARS, bro!” fanboy to show up*,
The Girl With The Pearl

Jennifer & Joy

It’s awards season once again! And for the third year in a row, Jennifer Lawrence is nominated on the awards circuit for her work in a David O. Russell film!

You know what definitely doesn't get an award? That fake ass snow!

You know what definitely doesn’t get an award? That fake ass snow!

For those of you keeping track at home, Jennifer won the Critics Choice, SAG award, Golden Globe, and Academy Award for Silver Linings Playbook in 2013, plus the BAFTA and Golden Globe for American Hustle last year. Those weren’t even her first big nominations, of course. She was nominated for the Oscar for Winter’s Bone in 2011, before she signed on for The Hunger Games.

It was absolutely no surprise to us that Jennifer was nominated once again for her latest, Joy. It’s become really hip to say she’s overrated these days, but that is PURE MELLARKY (See what we did there?! We’re proud.) The girl has more natural acting talent than some actors muster over a decades-long career. She’s acted the hell out of everything we’ve ever seen her in and we have no doubt that she’s great in Joy.

But here’s the kicker this time around: In early reviews, Joy is not doing too hot.

We try not to give too much credence to critics. There are just far too many snobs out there who hate just about anything, especially if its popular, because it distract too much from ~*~the art~*~. Like The Hunger Games or David O. Russell movies or Jennifer Lawrence or what have you! But many of the reviews we’ve seen seem pretty similar: They essentially say Jennifer acts the hell out of what she has to work with, but the script doesn’t offer much originality or do the story justice.

Tough lady wields a shotgun trope!

Tough lady wields a shotgun trope!

It’s definitely something we’re having trouble reconciling. Joy has a significantly worse score on Rotten Tomatoes than Mockingjay Part 2– which got a hefty chunk of critical hate– and it was still nominated in the Best Musical Or Comedy category. And generally, even if an actor is superb, they don’t often get nominated for films that aren’t critically-acclaimed on the whole. Perhaps its just one of those rare cases were the film appeals to the Hollywood Foreign Press, but not necessarily the industry of professional critique on the whole? Or is David O. Russell still somehow riding the perks of his last two successes? It’s hard to know!

One thing is sure: We’re going to have to figure this mystery when Joy hits theaters in a couple weeks!

Joy To The World, We Guess?
The Girl With The Pearl

Victor’s Village Hunger Games Holiday Gift Guide 2015

The final Hunger Games movie is out, but our hunger for cool Hunger Games merch is far from over. As in previous years, we’re back with our holiday gift guide with ideas for The Hunger Games lovers in your life… or to add to your own wish list!

The Hunger Games Funko POP! Figures

Funko POP! figures are our favorite collectibles of all the collectibles out there, so we’re in love with The Hunger Games collection! It covers all of Katniss’ major moments in four different figurines, plus Peeta, Effie, and President Snow! Was there ever a better desk decoration?

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Minimalist Poster Print by GreaterGeek

Besides having an excellent shop name, GreaterGeek also has stellar minimalist posters. This “Hope” poster offers up style, a favorite quote, and a pop of color!

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Peeta’s Necklace

Mockingjay symbols are thrown around all willy-nilly these days. Peeta’s necklace is an adorable choice for people who sometimes have to be a little quieter about their love for the series in everyday life. Fellow fans will get it and love it, but your strict boss will just think it’s a cute pendant.

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THG Color Changing Mug by MugDesignStudio

We’re a sucker for these color changing mugs. They’re deceptive: Plan black with a cold beverage, but revealing a great design with your morning coffee or tea to perk up the day!

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Mrs. Mellark Apron

We will forever associate The Boy With The Bread with our baking projects, though ours are way more haphazard. Now that the whole world knows the canon Katniss/Peeta ending (sorry not sorry, Team Gale!), why not celebrate your love for the character WHILE baking?!

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 score

We recognize that we live in a Wild Wild West in which nobody buys music anymore, but this isn’t any old music. The Mockingjay Part 2 score is lovely, intense, and emotional. It will help fans through their major ending feels. Plus, it’s got that original version of ‘Deep In The Meadow’ that we all covet!

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Mockingjay Movie Moments That Mattered

Back in our post about spoilers, we talked about how moments specific movie moments are important and have their own unique value. Now we’re going to talk about the special movie-only instances that caught our eye!

We should mention that a great one was already mentioned in JJ’s latest post: Castor and Pollux in the sewers, pooling their strength and solidarity to make it through a tough scenario.

“Plucked!”

President Snow’s need for control is so immense, he feels the need to correct President Coin when she misquotes him. No one can hear him and the rebellion is knocking at his door, but it doesn’t matter because dammit, Coin was misrepresenting him!

Those eyebrows though.

Those eyebrows though.

Leeg’s Last Stand

This isn’t what happened in the books, but we might have liked this better. Rather than Leeg 1 and Leeg 2 dying in completely separate instances, they take a final stand together. One is immobile, but the other stays by her side, knowing the inevitable outcome. There’s a really harrowing shot of the twins hunkering down and aiming their guns toward the stairs, where they expect the Peacekeepers to storm in at any minute.

Finnick’s smile during The Capitol’s tribute to his “death”

The Capitol tries to capitalize on the destruction of Squad 451 almost immediately, flashing a Hunger Games-style tribute to them with the anthem blaring in the background. No one is more amused than Finnick, who’s on hand when a mega-watt smile. It would be adorable… if you didn’t then remember that Finnick was minutes away from death, thus crushing your soul.

It's like this smirk but later away from Annie and... *lip quiver*

It’s like this smirk but later away from Annie and… *lip quiver*

F^%&KING MUTTS!

Yes, we knew they were coming. But the build up was so tense! Damn it all if we didn’t freak right the fuck out in the moment that the first lizard mutt jumped out. There’s a stark difference between reading about these thing and having them leap into your vision after being strung out by shadows and blurs for the three minutes prior. Jump scares get us every time, so frankly we’re just lucky we didn’t pee ourselves a little!

Plutarch’s Letter

We saw the stills from this scene, but we didn’t realize exactly what it was. Haymitch is reading Plutarch’s final words– or rather, Woody Harrelson was delivering them in the wake of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death. The speech is bittersweet to begin with, but read in this fashion, your heart sinks and you give it all a little more consideration. Not the best pick-me-up, but a really solid scene!

The Hayffie Kiss

Guys. GUYS. WHAT EVEN. Up until a couple weeks ago, Hayffie was a moderately popular bit of fanon supported by Elizabeth Banks. It always seemed to be an inside joke, but then they were kissing in the movie! Not a first-time passionate kiss, a “We’ve been at it for months while you were too busy looking elsewhere” kiss! It’s not quite Greedo shooting first (if compare book-to-movie against movie-to-“remastered”-movie), but it definitely affects opinion in the fandom going forward!

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This is way adaptations are a big deal from fandoms. Books are incredible, the life force behind most fandom. The screen adaptations add new layers of quirk, heartache, fear, and everything in between!

So Many Feels To Revisit…
The Girl With The Pearl

The Hunger Games: The Reunion

So something weird happened last night: I went to my 10 year high school reunion. YES I AM OLD. I accept this and you should too. Moving on!

It turns out the reunion situation was pretty similar to what I expected (read: fairly lackluster), but it got me thinking about the people I reunited with and how, inevitably, some of them exist in every crowd.

For instance, I was convinced to go thanks to the Effie Trinket-esque friend. The girl who still has lots of lovely memories from back in the day and remains largely positive, determined to see us take advantage of the fun promised by this event. “Its’ going to be a big, big day!” And once we got there, she was a total champ.

Naturally, it got me thinking where the rest of the characters would fall if they met in a function hall ten years later.

Still never mastered how to smile!

Still never mastered how to smile!

For instance, Gale would probably be the best dressed guy in the room. He’d make polite small talk with the girls he missed out on in high school. But ultimately, he’d have a few too many drinks, viciously insult one of those said girls and get her all upset, reminding everyone that he’s still kind of a dick.

Katniss sits at her table while almost everyone else kind of flutters around the room. She sticks with the people she knows best, but chats with anyone who comes over to say hi. She gets a little alarmed if anyone is too enthusiastic, because nobody cares about how you’re doing that much. Moderate alcohol consumption and avoiding eye contact is key to surviving the night.

Peeta is also looking decent, but in a more basic way than any of the other men. He’s friendlier than Katniss, but still sticks by her side for most of the night. Your single friends lament the fact that he’s still with “that girl he’s been dating forever” with a twinge of jealousy. Also, he gives the awkward welcome speech.

The “Oh hell he better have a ride home” guy

Haymitch is in ripped jeans and a t-shirt, drunk to the nth degree about 20 minutes arrival. He greets everyone as if they’re his best friend, even relative strangers. Upon seeing friendly faces, he thanks them for being one of the fellow “normals” to show up in comparison to the more popular folks from back in the day (P.S. That happened) and by the end of the night, he’s flashing everyone as they try to say goodbye (P.P.S. Also happened).

Annie Odair (Cresta? Cresta-Odair? WE DON’T EVEN KNOW) is there as well. She’s smartly dressed, a bit shy, but so lovely. She’s the person everyone hasn’t fully kept in touch with but is still a total joy to see. For a few seconds that the other characters catch up on news about her kiddo and life, a reunion feels like an actual reunion and not a giant puddle of awkward.

Plutarch is the guy who’s forcing everyone to take pictures, because the memories. And the Instagram account. Everyone knows he’s in not way a ruler of Panem, but he’s sure gonna act like it. He’s a little too slick for his own good and a lot of attendees roll their eyes when he turns away.

There are probably dozens of mostly nameless others involved in this reunion– Gale’s family and Katniss’ mom and several residents from both District 12 and District 13. If it were an actual Hunger Games reunion, we’d have this:

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Plus, with more people, you could probably repeat this formula several times over!

Or Just Leave For A Bar After 2 Hours. That Worked Too!
The Girl With The Pearl