Author: themthereeyes1

Avid reader, writer, and TV, and film watcher. I am also a photographer.

The Lumineers and The Hanging Tree

I like hanging out under rocks lately, especially where it comes to Mockingjay Part 1. And now you’re all scratching your heads, and wondering what is wrong with me. Welp, dear readers, I just want to watch the movie at this point, and everything else, trailers, interviews, it’s all just fodder, The_Luimneers509and distractions. Luckily on occasion something good passes under my nose, or my rock, that makes my ears perk up and like my trusty, sleep depriving kitty. In this weeks case it’s the news that The Lumineers, the old school, folky, Americana based band out of Colorado, are contributing to the score on Mockingjay Part 1.

I like the Lumineers, they’re one of the few bands that I’m pretty sure I don’t butcher when I sing along with them in the car, when they’re played on my local alternative rock station. The melodies are catchy, the singing is airy, and harmonious, and the instrumentation is soulful as well as heartwarming. Therefore when I say the following, I only liked one song off the Catching Fire Motion Picture Soundtrack– and that song was Gale Song, I’m not mincing words. I’m happy The Lumineers are contributing to the score for Mockingjay Part 1, I’m more glad that they’re contributing to the section of the score where their folk roots styling expertise will be optimally utilized, in other words they’re perfect collaborators on the actualization of The Hanging Tree. James Newton Howard however is no slouch where it comes to musical knowledge, his scores are a testament to that– however his ability to possibly say “hey, maybe these guys can help me out?!” speaks volumes to me about his adherence to keeping the quality of the score in mind, rather than just getting it done.

Now to the hard-hitting stuff– er, yeah— with the news that The Lumineers are back, there was also the tid bit that Jennifer Lawrence will be singing a capella, then be joined by Mockingjays, then be joined by a swell of Rebels, then an invisible boys choir, then a crashing orchestra. Um, well– I still don’t think it’ll be Jennifer Lawrence’s voice we’ll be hearing.

*tiptoes away*

Them there Eyes

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Something To Look Forward To

Over the last several months, it’s sadly come to my attention that there’s a vital part of The Mockingjay story that keeps getting looked over, or forgotten from the fan perspective. The music, or most importantly, The Hanging Tree.

I’m no music expert, But I’m a music the_hanging_tree_by_alys23-d4temogfan– I listen to all sorts of genres, but one genre I listen to in particular has a thread that weaves its way throughout The Hunger Games series, traditional American folk music, or Americana. Music that originated in Scotland, England, and Ireland, but immigrated along with the influx of immigrants from the British isles in the 18th century, and earlier to North America. The Hanging Tree however is an original song, penned by Suzanne Collins, but in the style of the folk music that amazingly was preserved for more than 200 years in the Appalachian mountains, purely by the isolated nature of the location, and its people.

The Appalachian mountains is where District 12 is located though, so that means that if and when we hear The Hanging Tree sung on-screen in Mockingjay Part 1, or 2, it may sound like this, rather than the multitudes of fan-made versions that from my experience are decent, but rarely take traditional folk rhythms, and lyrical cadences into account.

The Hanging Tree is a haunting song, a dirge, like “O Death”, which was brought back to the worlds attention when it was used in the Cohen Brother’s film O Brother Where Art Thou in 2000. That was 15 years ago though, and nothing like the Oscar winning O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack has come about since. And, get this– T Bone Burnett the producer of The Hunger Games soundtrack, produced O Brother. The Hunger Games soundtrack was good, I’ll give it that– I like to pretend however that it was better, and that certain pop singers had not recorded certain songs that were written and performed by a certain other Oscar winning singer/ song writer originally. The Hanging Tree, like the song I’ve feigned to above, will probably get the same treatment– erm, how do I say this nicely–? Jennifer Lawrence is not the best singer, in fact in the film The House at the End of the Street where she played a teenager with musical proclivities– they dubbed her voice out during the portions of the film where she was required to sing. So, I think for The Hanging Tree, we’re going to get someone else’ pipes being heard by that placid lake. That is unless Jen has become an amazing singer since House at the End of the Street was filmed.

Until then, if you’re at all interested in hearing and seeing more American traditional folk music performed on film, I recommend the 2000 film Songcatcher, O Brother Where Art There of course, Cold Mountain, and Inside Llewyin Davis.

Them There Eyes

Let’s Go Scan Stuff

This morning the app Our Leader the Mockingjay got a new facet, a partnership with Doritos. Yaaaaay! Okay, maybe not a yay, but if you’re into snack food doused in electric orange powdered cheese, that inevitibly will get all over your hands, and your clothes, and make you look a fright– yay to those people! Doritos love or not, the newly launched section of Our Leader the Mockingjay’s app is pretty darn snazzy, well more so after you’re able d13targetto scan a bag of Doritos and unlock the entire, shiny, new schematic of District 13! Yeah, that’s what scanning nacho flavored corn chips gets us! A 3D map of the underground world of District 13.

I’m not a big app person, in fact the apps on my phone are pretty practical. Like the CNN app, the Google app, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (of course), and the more frivolous ones, Pinterest, and Flixter (Rotten Tomatoes app). I downloaded the = This is the best thing on the app– BUTTERCUP[/caption]Our Leader the Mockingjay app though, and well– if you’re like me and don’t use your cell phone to keep you occupied all the damn time, it’s kind of a foreign thing– more like I’m staring at it, flipping through everything that’s there to the best of my knowledge and going, “so does it do anything? Can I get movie times? Pin stuff? What?” I’m not over the moon about this app in other words, because it’s geared to the lot of people out there who love playing with their phones! Me? I use my phone as a communication tool, and a tool for getting information.

More power to the boring people! Just be November already, I’m not a game-y/app-y person– I just want to watch the damn movie!

I’ll go back to my hole now.

This is the best thing on the app-- BUTTERCUP

This is the best thing on the app– BUTTERCUP

Them There Eyes

Eating Your Way To The Hunger Games

I think by now the message of The Hunger Games trilogy is pretty ingrained in our brains, right? That gluttony is bad, and that the haves and have-nots should be less pronounced. Welp, apparently someone didn’t get the message.

CandylandThere’s this contest being put on in Canada. And by the way this is no dig at Canada, it’s– I don’t know what it is really. Perhaps shock and awe? So, the contest is this– Snack Your Way to LA, where the object of the game is to take a photo of specific snack food items UPC codes, and send enter them into this handy-dandy little entry form thingie. Awesome, right? Um yeah, only if you’re oblivious and can’t see the irony in a context to win prizes, and tickets to see Mockingjay– involves the excesses of snack food, the least nutritious food on the mass market, BTW– good luck.

Slow clap for the genius who didn’t think backwards or forwards when they came up with this one. ‘Cause I’m about ready to forfeit my common sense, and call this quite possibly the best joke since Subway had a partnership with Lionsgate and The Hunger Games franchise. What is going on with people’s brains on this one?! Do they not get that the series has a message, a message that belittles, and looks down on excess, and well– um, contests for that matter?

I give up… hold you’re ridiculous contests, forget that The Hunger Games is the opposite of snack food material. Don’t ask people to think, just have ‘em eat chocolate ’til they burst. Just once… ONCE I’d like to see a robustly sponsored prize for this franchise involve something altruistic, something good, something decent.

Until then… we’ve got snack food to take pictures of.

Them There Eyes

The Hunger Games TV Series

I’m a TV lover, I also love film, I can name a smattering of favorite films more quickly than I can tell you the Hunger-Games_imagesquare root of anything, and I’ll readily admit that when I graduated with my BA in English, that I was 16 credits shy of a film studies minor (16 credits is two terms of work). So when I say I love film, I’m being honest. Over the last several years however, TV has become a staple in the few hours of downtime that are mine throughout the week. I do go see the occasional film though, but it’s not a weekly occurrence, more in part to the fact that I’m a self-proclaimed film snob, and refuse to spend my money on crap, and there’s a lot of crap out there in those cinemas. So, yep– TV, and books are my go to sources of entertainment. Over the last three years, (that’s how long I’ve been a writer for Victor’s Village), several television series have come to the forefront, they’re popular, they’re critically well received, and more than one of them is based on previously known, and beloved book series. The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and just this past August Outlander has been added to the list. These series have strongly moved me, and without remorse I admit have changed my mind. I believe The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins would have made a phenomenal television series rather than a series of four feature films.

The Hunger Games on the surface is a different animal from book series like George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, or a graphic novel series like The Walking Dead. The main protagonist, Katniss, is a teenage girl for one thing, but she’s not your average teenager. This is one reason I think The Hunger Games would have worked on TV. Putting aside the ever present stigma of plucking a Young Adult novel off the shelves, and attempting to adapt it into something the masses would devour off a screen. It is a tough task, but it’s not impossible. if they had attempted to make it into a television series, they could have thrown the Young Adult label out the proverbial window, and built the world of Panem into the gritty, oppressive, vast, frightening, beautiful, and fascinating place that it became when we all read about it for the first time, instead of the glimpses, and sometimes mild impressions we’ve gotten so far from the film franchise. Television affords an almost no-holds-bard playground for producers, writers, and directors, and sadly films, especially if they’re supposedly geared to a particular demographic, is kept on a tight leash so to speak. This is where I admit that I do not think that Lionsgate has gone far enough where it comes to the plot, the subject matter, or the settings of The Hunger Games series. I know why as well, it’s because they’re boxed into time constraints, budgets, and the ratings requirements. The requirements that only allow one F word to be used in a PG-13 film, and only if the word is uttered not in reference to sex– yep, those requirements.

I’m a big fan of character development, I’m also a big fan of characters from books not being cut, or combined, or simply put– if The Hunger Games had been made into a television series the following questions never would have been asked by book fans: Where’s Madge? Why is that old lady giving Katniss the Mockingjay pin? Where’s Peeta’s dad? Doesn’t Gale have like 10 immediate family members, where the hell are they? Where’s Lady? Why did they change the time line, and make Peeta and Katniss teenagers when the Burnt Bread Scene happened, aren’t there like a million child actors who could have done that for them? So, is the old lady who gave her the pin in the movie Greasy Sae, does she have a name… what’s her name!? Doesn’t Peeta have brothers? Where’s the mayor of District 12, y’know Madge’s dad? Um, Delly Cartwright, has she been cut too? What happened to those beautiful, moving scenes between Katniss and Lavinia? What the hell happened to Lavinia? And Venia, so she’s gone, did she die, she died didn’t she? Why is Effie in District 13? And my question… Where the hell are the fluffy killer squirrels? That’s right folks, if The Hunger Games had been made into a television series, it’s safe to say that none of the questions above would have been asked, no new characters would have been invented, no previously known characters would have merged, been cut, or truncated. Nada. The only thing that could have happily happened to all of those plot points, and characters is this– they would have been expanded, realized, and appreciated– including, god forbid, Katniss and Prim’s parents.

And this is where I admit that if The Hunger Games had been made into a television series, it would not be sharing the same network as shows like Modern Family, Bones, or NCIS. The Hunger Games television series would be on a network that puts out programs like Game of Thrones, Shameless, Outlander, Mad Men, Masters of Sex, The Knick, The Walking Dead, Rectify, and Sons of Anarchy, it would be on cable. And it would be on cable TV,

That was a fun episode

That was a fun episode

because to properly depict the horror, and the shame of having children being forced to play a game of kill or be killed, or the sexual exploitation of revered champions, forced marriages, mental breakdowns of the very un pretty kind, torture, violence, destruction, war, and revolution– you’d need a network that says “yeah, film in three countries at once!” or “Yes, you can set up a camp specifically to train day players to play walking corpses!” Or, “yes, film in Scotland, BUY ALL THE PLAID IN THE WORLD, and yes… you can totally show us that guy getting whipped nearly to death. And don’t worry your pretty little head, full frontal nudity is very OK!” And if you think that those made up statements aren’t based in reality, I assure you they are– and the shows they’re based on are all still on TV, are popular amongst viewers and critics, and are adapted from novels, and graphic novels.

Just picture it now, an entire episode dedicated to the cave sequence, instead of a few short minutes?

And scene!

Them There Eyes

More Blue Steel and a Pony

I’m just going to say it, Liam Hemsworth is giving us more Blue Steel, and there’s nothing we can do 10402038_900209023322649_5942859702756527118_nabout it. I think we just have to accept that that’s his face, and until he’s old, like 80 something, and will likely be one of the handsomest old men we’ve ever seen– maybe then he’ll be able to pull his jowly face into some semblance of an expression that’s not his un patented Blue Steel– we’ll just have to deal. Boo hoo, such an unfortunate face to endure! Kidding, he’s hot– everyone with eyes can see it plain as day, and at this point in the game– we’re practically begging for promotional material. Therefore Liam’s expressionless face is a welcome reprieve!

Now it must be addressed, or re-addressed, but Natalie Dormer may prove to be the break out star of Mockingjay Part 1. Or, at least that’s what the posters, and the pictures we’ve been slowly getting are saying to us. Cressida didn’t have a massive part in the novel however, but once again liberties have likely been taken– and we’ll just have to deal, grudgingly or not. I’m not going to argue it to death, because I like Natalie Dormer, and I think Cressida is a character that deserves a little expansion. Plus, um– Natalie’s real purtty.

I think it’s been said before, probably here at Victor’s Village even, perhaps by yours truly–
but Caesar Flickerman reminds me of a My Little Pony. It’s the hair ya’ see? It’s got this pompadour thing going on, and then there’s

You're like a magical pony.

You’re like a magical pony.

the tail bit, and obviously the ever-changing color of it that screams Pony to anyone with a memory for pop culture that goes back further than 1998. I’m not ragging on the choices that the hair and makeup heads came up with, because I think it’s a brilliant choice. Also, bear with me, I totally think that Caesar Flickerman could fit in the court of the Sun King, AKA Louis XIV. The brocade suits, the hair, the colors, the stance.

Maybe Caesar Flickerman is a time traveler?!

Them There Eyes

Sam and Natalie Do Oxford

We’ve got a good long couple of months to go until Mockingjay Part 1 is released in theatres across the world, so until the day comes when we can all sit back, and cry into our over sized soda cups, whilst sitting in a large dark room with a crowd of strangers– a select few will be privy to the joy of seeing Sam Claflin AKA Finnick Odair, and Natalie Dormer AKA Cressida in an entire other film together. The Riot Club (previously billed as Posh), is a film that Sam and Natalie filmed back in June of 2013, and it was released in its home country of England just this Friday. So far it’s gotten favorable reviews, and it is also holding strong on RottenTomatoes with a 78%, meaning it’s Fresh by their ratings, and thus not a waste of an afternoon at the cinema.

Let’s see, what should a lay person know about The Riot Club before they step up to the box office, plunk down their cold hard cash, and deem to spend a couple of hours with Natalie Dormer, Sam Claflin, Max Irons, Douglas Booth, and Jessica Brown-Findley (yes, Lady Sybil Crawley is in it). Well, Riot Club is based on a play produced and put on in England in 2010, about a fictional dining club. The Riot Club based on the real life Bullingdon Club, the Riot Club is exclusive, and full up with rich, over privileged, white conservative British young men, all students at Oxford University. It’s the kind of story where you watch fictionalized representatives of future captains of industry, and country leaders, act bombastically, treat women badly, and wholly believe that because of their so-called pedigree they are immune to the consequences of the law and society. It’s young white guys with accents, in suits, fucking up, hurting people, thinking they’re going to get away with it, and in the end probably not. Oh, yeah, and one of those young men happens to be portrayed by Sam Claflin, oh– and Natalie’s playing a Lady of the Night.

Can you tell that I’m wavering on this film? I implore all to just… go rent History Boys, you’ll get less pissed off, and learn who James Corden is, AKA the guy taking over for Craig Ferguson on CBS. Or, if you like being eternally frustrated by the glorification of the upper classes acting like jackasses– g’head, go see Riot Club! Yes, I am judging a film purely on its premise, and its trailer, I cannot help it, there is no release date for the US yet, and therefore I’m a little miffed– I’m just being honest!

Maybe the soundtrack will be good? These Boys-Will-Be-Boys films tend to have good soundtracks.

Them There Eyes

Reaction Post: Mockingjay Part 1 Trailer

It’s that time again, that time where the bloggers of Victor’s Village sit down at our respective computers, and chew the fat about the trailers, and in this case it’s the final trailer for Mockingjay Part 1! Yep, the one we’ve been waiting for for about four months!

 

WHERE SOUND OF MUSIC REFERENCES ARE MADE WITHOUT SHAME OR IRONY
The Girl With The Pearl
: Okay, let’s start at the very beginning (a very good place to staaaaaart!)

Them There Eyes: Sew… a needle pulling Katniss around like a marionette!

JJ: Katniss’s line is fantastic.

TGWTP: Katniss is talking, and there’s these nice shots of her and Prim and Gale… and then you realize she’s pretty much face-timing with President Snow?

JJ: A big new addition to the screenplay! Snow looks so fiendish there. It’s so unnerving.

TTE: Also Jennifer Lawrence has a Sexy Lauren Bacall voice, which is ├╝ber important to note.

TGWTP: I’m not sure if I like them chatting. Doubt it will ruin the movie, but it felt weeeeeird. Though the Lauren Bacall voice IS lovely. (more…)

The Mockingjay Is Revealed-ed

The Mockingjay has been revealed! And, and, and– um, well, she looks like a cross between Batman and Jesus. Take a look for your selves!

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To steal from a dear friend from the fandom (thank you Erin), we’re going to call this poster “The Beakness” from here on out. ‘Cause if you look, and not even that closely, the Mockingjay’s beak looks like it is in fact poking out of Katniss’s neck. That’s right folks, Katniss has been impaled by a giant, gold, bird. It’s just what we’ve always wanted, right?! Probably not.

tumblr_mw1rkweIrR1sgl0ajo1_500

Yesterday when I saw this poster for the first time, ’cause– hey it was up on a Lionsgate affiliated promotional materials website, so it was fair game, I thought thoughts that were none too flattering. These were not good thoughts to be having about something I’m supposed to hold in high regard, but– I couldn’t help it. I have high standards, like Vermeer kind of standards, and this poster looks like something that was worked over so much with Photoshop that Jennifer Lawrence’s cheeks have been whittled out so much that that may not even be Jennifer Lawrence! That’s a frightening thought, the entire poster could be computer generated, and they were working from a facsimile of Jen, that they forgot what she really looks like, and– and now whoever that is looks like a boy wearing a molded breastplate, or Bat-Jesus. I want to banish these thoughts from my mind! Also if you’ve got a problem with me saying Katniss looks like Jesus, she is a savior figure– it’s not an unfounded comparison. These are not good things to be thinking, damn it! I wish so hard that my impressions of this work had changed since yesterday, but obviously they haven’t. I want to be thinking good things about the materials that are being released in promotion for this film franchise! And to put a bright red cherry on top of this disappointment, we were given another teaser to tease the release of the final trailer!

WHAT?! My actual reaction to this information was a lot more colorful, lemme tell you! F words, people– F words, and C words, and phrases that sound like “flock meeses”, and “flu falls”. If that was not your reaction as well, I’d like you to explain to me how you can, in your right mind be all right with the way in which this film has been advertized so far. Because from where I’m sittin’, it’s been less than stellar– and if that pisses the Powers That Be Off, SO BLOODY BE IT. I’m disappointed! I’m not connecting to the material, it feels empty, and I want better for the franchise based on one of my all time favorite book series’! Is that too much to ask for?

Resting on your laurels only makes one thing happen– people forget you, and will find something else to pay attention to.

Them There Eyes

 

The Naked Pics

We should get this out-of-the-way, I’ve not seen the naked pictures of Jennifer Lawrence. Also, I don’t plan on ever seeing the naked pictures of Jennifer Lawrence. Why? ‘Cause I already know what a naked woman looks like, I see it every day, ’cause I just happen to share the same genetics as Jennifer Lawrence. No, we’re not related, but we are both women, so that’s something! I may be the billionth person to comment on the crimes against Jennifer Lawrence, which is exactly what they are– crimes. But, I do have a point of view on the matter. I hate that this happened to her, I hate that this kind of thing happens to anybody, I hate that sites like revengeporn.com exists, or that imageshuman beings after all that hard work of evolving from being hairy apes, still don’t have the common decency to stay the hell out of other people’s private lives.

I will never, ever, ever, ever blame the women who had their personal files hacked, and put on display for the world to see. In my view, and hopefully every one in The Hunger Games community agrees with me when I say they did nothing wrong except do what everyone else does– believe that they are safe in a world where we’re slowly figuring out that we’re not. No one should have to worry about this kind of thing happening, but the unfortunate reality is that is does happen– it happens all the time. And it’s not going to stop until people, men, women, all of us learn that privacy is not something to be trifled with. That women, famous women or other wise, are not fair game when it comes to violating their privacy. I know about a billion people have seen Jennifer, and others like Krysten Ritter naked, and without their permission– I know that some people got off to those pictures, laughed, joked, passed them around like trading cards, and thought nothing of the very real, very painful fact that they were participating in a sex crime. Yep, sex crime– just like rape, or molestation, of sexual harassment. Having those pictures stolen and posted on the internet is an all out, no holds barred, sex crime. And to top it off, some of those pictures it turns out were taken when one of the victims was underage. And that means that not only is it a sex crime, but it’s a child sex crime. Child pornography is no joke, and I can only hope that who ever stole the pictures in the first place will be found out, prosecuted, and jailed for a long length of time.

Imagine if this were Panem? In place of it being Jennifer Lawrence, it were Katniss, or Johanna, or Annie Cresta. Imagine if someone managed to get naked photos taken of Rue before she died, and they released them to the public? Imagine the shock, and the dismay, imagine the sick titillation people would feel as well? After all, they, I mean we are the Capitol– we have no souls, and the Tributes are only there to entertain us for as long as they’re around. That’s how we treat celebrities though, isn’t it? Well, that seems to be the point of view of a few people out there. Luckily, I think I’ve only personally come across those who think the crimes are reprehensible.

Please, let no one write Hunger Games fan fic about this.

Them There Eyes