Category Archives: Actors

The Hunter Games and Other Sad Misunderstandings

FANDOM: Some people just don’t get it. Or they get some fandoms, but perhaps not yours. Sometimes it’s just a little faux pas that’s a whole ton of hilarious.

The MTV Movie Awards were pretty uninteresting and uneventful this year despite plenty of Hunger Games WINNING (Jen for Best Female Performance, Josh for Best Male Performance, and Catching Fire for Movie of the Year!) Perhaps the most amusing moment of the night came just after Josh gave his first acceptance speech:

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JUST LOOK AT JOSH’S FACE. LOOK AT IT!

Yes, there’s not that much of a difference between The Hunger Games and The Hunter Games. It could have been a slip of the tongue, because we doubt Cameron Diaz lives under a rock THAT big. But it’s not the first time we’ve heard someone say “The Hunter Games”.

There’s a chronic thing among people who just don’t get the series:
They can only manage one of the two words.
Either “Hunger” is replaced with any two syllable word ending in -er, or “Games” is replaced with a kinda sorta rhyming word.

The Hunter Games. The Hunger Dames. The Bunker Games. The Hunger Pains. And these are people genuinely suggesting this is the title. It’s exhausting.

We’re sure you’ve heard some good ones too. Even people who enjoy the series (but aren’t super enthusiastic about it) do this on occasion. It’s like a disease! As fans, we’ve gotten used to this ridiculousness, but perhaps it can be cured.

That’s right: They got a fever and the only cure is more Hunger Games. If we all reach out, maybe we can save them from their embarrassing, grievous misnomers!

Advocating, Annoying… What’s The Difference, Really?
The Girl With The Pearl

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Mysterious Movies

Mockingjay Part 1 is a really mysterious movie. Keeping things under wraps big time. Sure, there’s a logo, some cat tweets and a few paparazzi set pics. But it’s all super-hush-hush-deny-everything-this-movie-practically-doesn’t-exist so far. Some other movies’ official twitter accounts go crazy retweeting grainy fan-posted set pics and have their actors tease things on their accounts. These things are not for us, my friends. And so we sit here and stew. I think I may be developing anger issues about it, but let’s not dwell on that.

jennifer-lawrence-serena-2I can only imagine how it feels if you’re a person obsessively anticipating the movie Serena. Cause that’s been quite a run of rumor and no confirmed news. If you’re not familiar, this is a movie Jennifer Lawrence filmed with Bradley Cooper back in early 2012. The movie is based on the novel by Ron Rash, which I have not read, but takes place during the depression in a North Carolina logging town. If you read the synopsis, the story gets pretty dark. Interesting, but dark.

Once the filming wrapped, the director, Susanne Bier seemed to take quite a while putting it together. She’s won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language film, so the woman knows how to make films. It seems like her perfectionist streak was a big reason why the film has taken so long to come together. But, in the absence of other information, there are rumors circulating that it hasn’t found a distributor yet because it’s too slow and boring. This is a prime example where keeping quiet for too long hurts you. Have a PR person issue a statement. Give a short interview with the trade press and quash the doubt.

jennifer-lawrence-serena-1About two weeks ago several stills were released from the film. But there’s still no distributor, and no confirmed release date either. Although there are rumors that it will be releasing somewhere in September of this year.

All so mysterious. I’m very curious about the film, and hope it took so long to come together because the director had a passion to have it made right.

Meanwhile, Lionsgate, your mystery is no longer cute. Promote the movie!

JJ

The Mockingjay Treatment

Another day, and also it’s another day without any Mockingjay news to speak of. Or, no legitimate Mockingjay news, because if you know me, you know I’d prefer to not give paparazzi shots, or trumped-up rumors that much credence, or any modicum of my precious time. So, what’s there to discuss today if there’s nothing Mockingjay related happening in our little corner of the world? Um, well how about we pick up where JJ took off yesterday, yep– where she ripped the concept, and the news that the last book in the Divergent series is too, just like Harry Potter, and Twilight, and The Hunger Games– is being split into two films as opposed to one. Let’s pretend we’re living in an alternate universe for a second or two? And in this world The Hunger Games franchise is going just as well as it has been, but instead of splitting the last installment of the book series into two, that they’re keeping it a singular film?

What would a single film for Mockingjay be like? That’s where my mind’s at right now. When the news broke years ago that Mockingjay was getting the Harry Potter/ Twilight treatment I disapproved, I said it was about making more money not about the story. However I came around, and now I’m struck thinking what would happen to the story of Mockingjay if it was adapted as one film? The word that comes to

Hey, who made this!?

Hey, who made this!?

mind first is the word “truncated”. I know how I’ve felt before when seeing favorite novels of mine adapted into film, and seemingly half the story is missing. I’m serious, I can think of two great novels where the film adaptations quite literally left out entire, great, all-encompassing chunks of the story. For Example: East of Eden, the 1955 adaptation directed by Elia Kazan. It’s touted as a masterpiece, as well as being one of the three films James Dean starred in before his untimely death at 25. What’s missing though is the disheartening fact that the film starts the story’s original narrative in the last third of the story. Yep, they started the film at the back end of the story, and did they backtrack and fill in the gaps? Not really, nope. Second example I can think of I’m actually happy to state that I’m happy with: The Cider House Rules (1999), is a gem of a book to film adaptation, not only because the film stays true to the novel it’s based on, but because the essence of it, even though entire sequences, years even of the story are cut– but, because it worked. Why I think it worked though is this: The screenplay was adapted and written by John Irving, the man who wrote the novel The Cider House Rules. Aye there’s the rub.

 

Truncated is the word we’re still fixated on, got it? East of Eden and Cider House Rules are perfect examples in my opinion, of films adapted from great novels that used the editing process to both enhance, and well– alter a story to the unfortunate point of dilution. Mockingjay if it was made into a singular film adaptation I feel in my heart of hearts would suffer the poor treatment of East of Eden, edited to the point of scant recognition. What would be taken away though? First, and the most sad– Buttercup. I believe Buttercup would be cut out of the story almost completely. And judging from all the tweeting the executive producer, Nina Jacobson has been doing featuring the cat portraying Buttercup– his being cut would leave us as a fandom with even less to grasp onto during this news drought. Second: Say good-bye to possibly another one of Katniss’ friends being omitted! Who would it be though? Delly’s probably cut anyway, and Madge is a ghost, or Taylor Swift, that leaves someone from the Capitol! Flavius? Octavia? Venia? Well, Venia may have been cut anyway, and I don’t think we’re going to cry into our cereal over that, are we? Are we?! Hm, what else? Welp, I think realistically the world building would go out the window? I mean sure, there would be some– but it would be very loose, and not wide and expansive. I basically think we’d get the same amount of world building that we got in The Hunger Games, and then go on our merry disgruntled way wishing there was just, well… more. Thank god we’re getting two films, all’s I’m saying.

Now, someone pitch East of Eden to HBO so we can get a mini series out of that masterpiece of a novel, and cast someone hot like Timothy Olyphant as Adam Trask!

Them There Eyes

Jealous of Jennifer Lawrence

The fanfare, and the whispers, and screams over the new X-Men film are starting to assault us here in Pop-Culture-World. And I gotta confess, I’m kind of jealous of Jennifer Lawrence. Her first X-Men film was released in

Why can't I hate you?!

Why can’t I hate you?!

May of 2011, a good year or so before The Hunger Games, and truth be told– I don’t remember a whole bunch about it, except that three actors I’d been keen on for a good while, or a good long while were in it. And those three actors are James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Nicholas Hoult.

If you’ve been a regular reader here at Victor’s Village, you’ll know that I’m a fan of the 2007 film Atonement, one of James McAvoy’s first projects after his awards nominated work in The Last King of Scotland, both films I highly recommend by the way– not only for James’ work however, okay maybe a lot for James’ work. And then there’s Michael Fassbender, or “Fassy”, as some people call him. Man, oh man, is that a actor who’s not afraid to look like a totally disgusting, abhorrent, example of a human being. There’s just something about Fassbender, I think it’s a lack of ego– or maybe the biggest ego you’ll ever come across in history. I say this because not that many people have the guts to play a sex addict, and have the character work, the story, or anything about the project be glamorous. Or maybe it’s playing a slave holding, alcoholic, angry, abusive, rapist? Oh, and then he played an

Photo from The Guardian

Photo from The Guardian

android. I don’t know, all I know is is that Fassbender is going to win big awards in the future once those awards giving out people get over the fact that he has a giant man-hood, and they do not. Yep, I went there. Nicholas Hoult, what can I say about Nicholas Hoult? I know! He will always be the little, sensitive boy in About A Boy opposite Hugh Grant, and then there’s Tony. Tony Stonem, one of the main characters from the first generation of the ground breaking, British drama called Skins. Nicholas, or Nick as I believe his friends and family call him, showed a remarkable amount of range in the 19 episodes he was privileged enough to portray Tony Stonem, a cocksure, arrogant, arsehole at first glance– later a numb tongued, insecure, memory addled recluse. The character’s Nick has chosen to play aren’t typical, if I do say so myself. He could have very easily gone from About A Boy to doing more sweet and unassuming work, but instead he aged up and chose to grace us with his presence as Tony. Now the world knows him as Beast though, and Jack the Giant Slayer– but mostly Beast. He’s got several other projects in the works, and I’m crossing my fingers toes and eyes that one or more of those projects will show the world that he’s more than just a Brit who can do a decent North American accent who looks good in blue hair, fur…? Is it fur?

To add to the jealousy factor, the X-Men: Days of Future Past cast list is rounded out by none other than everyone’s favorite New York tourist/ Star Fleet Captain, everyone’s favorite Aussie, everyone’s favorite Canadian FBI agent, everyone’s favorite little serial killer/ Ryan Murphy’s muse, and everyone’s favorite, and sexiest little person ever.

Our love is strong for Jen, but if I was in a room with all of those people and her– I’d have a nervous breakdown.

Them There Eyes

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The Most Important Award Ever

Help me. I’ve gotten sucked in to the MTV Awards voting thing and I kind of hate myself for it. I mean, they blatantly left Katniss out of the Best Hero category AND THEN made up a “Favorite Character” social vote category and put her up against that other dystopian series heroine. You don’t need even half a brain to see right through what they’re doing.  They’re using the fervor of two fandoms to build buzz for their show and destroy everyone’s social feeds for two weeks. AND I HATE THEM FOR IT.

Yet even seething in hatred about it, I still made a new voting-only twitter account and tweeted the hell out of #votekatniss during the past few days. I know I shouldn’t care, but I want the magical internet pony for Katniss. So I do it, and hate MTV even more for using my love for this fictional character to build up their dumb ass awards show. [And how this will inevitably happen for the next two years as well. I hate when the media manipulates my love for things for their financial gain. Bastards.]

I’m trying to make peace with it and embrace the stupidity. So beyond the whole #votekatniss craziness, I’ve decided that the award I most want Catching Fire to win is…

BEST SHIRTLESS PERFORMANCE

It’s just Oh, So Capitol of MTV.  MTV can try to class up their show by nominating Oscar winners like 12 Years a Slave and Dallas Buyers Club, but it’s very off-brand of them to do so. The show made a name for itself by having silly categories like Best Shirtless Performance, Best Kiss, and Best WTF moment. No one’s tuning in for another Oscars so it amuses the hell out of me that they’re trying to mix both together and pretend it works. And with the silly categories, just the fact that they call it a shirtless PERFORMANCE feels like they’re trying to class that up somehow too?  Hilarious.

Sugarcube

Go get it, Sam.

Back to the all-important BEST SHIRTLESS PERFORMANCE category, Sam Claflin has some stiff competition among the likes of Chris Hemsworth (the amazingly gratuitous Thor-thinking-deep- thoughts-while-washing- up scene. If it sounds like I’m mocking it please know I’m mocking it with deep love and admiration.), Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Aniston, and Zac Efron. Good job at not wearing shirts while acting, all of you.

Damn it though, Catching Fire/Sam needs to take this one home. Why?

  1. Vindication for Sam after all the crap he got when he was cast that he wasn’t “hot enough” for the role. Bam, go away haters. The guy pulled it off. Give the man some inedible popcorn to go with his chicken and asparagus.
  2. Because that scene is actually really iconic in the series. As much as I love seeing Thor pensively bathe, it can’t come close to sugarcubes.
  3. The unabashed mirroring of our world with the Capitol. Just as the Capitol paraded Finnick Odair as a shallow piece of meat, so does MTV.

Suck it, MTV. I can’t wait until next Monday when this is over.

JJ

Game of Mockingjay

christieAfter the long drought of no Mockingjay-related news, we finally got some, but very much on the unexpected side. Today we learn that Lily Rabe had to back out of her role as Commander Lyme due to a scheduling conflict. That’s sad news because she would have undoubtedly been awesome in the role. We were really pleased when her casting was announced back in September.

But don’t be too sad for long, because there are lots of amazing actresses in the world, and count on the Mockingjay team to find one that will undoubtedly be great as well. Gwendoline Christie, best known for her role as Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thrones, will be taking on the role!

brienne

Christie as Brienne of Tarth

I love Game of Thrones, and Christie’s role as Brienne is one tough woman. She’s a female knight who’s had to deal with an enormous amount of pain and bullshit for being a strong, brave woman in the sexist, oppressive world of the series. No doubt she can take a lot of her experience in that performance and channel it to her role as Lyme. She’ll be a powerful presence and I can’t wait to see her and Katniss go toe to toe.

This announcement also reveals that Lyme is in Mockingjay PART 2, there’s no mention of 1. This could be an oversight of whoever is reporting the news, or it could be another clue as to where the two movies are split. Hmm.

The Mockingjay movies already have a Game of Thrones actress on board with Natalie Dormer, though I don’t think Dormer and Christie have every had any scenes together on the show… yet?  It’s a well-timed announcement, since Season 4 of Game of Thrones begins this Sunday. So if you haven’t watched before, you’ve got some extra reason to now!

Fight on, ladies.

JJ

 

The Hunger Games Casting Effect

Every now and then, we see a casting announcement for one of The Hunger Games actors and think “PERFECT!” This is especially true when it’s one of the young tributes from the first film, because we get all sentimental about the fledgling careers of budding young actors. They were just baby tributes yesterday! *sniffle*

#Swag #Boss Remember those days?!

#Swag #Boss Remember those days?!

When we heard earlier this week that Dayo Okeniyi has gone from Thresh to a lead role in Terminator: Genesis, we were pretty stoked. Dayo will be playing the adult version of Skynet creator Miles Dyson’s currently unnamed son, who almost met his fate at a young age in Terminator 2, but apparently lived through the apocalypse after that.

In the world of action movies, the Terminator films are surprisingly more tolerable than most, even in their later versions. We’re actually way more knowledgeable about this series than should ever be warranted. There isn’t a full plot breakdown yet, but this looks like the original Terminator retold mainly from the post-Skynet POV. Lots of time travel and all. And whether the plot is good or not, this movie is going to get a looooot of attention for Dayo!

Because that's not creepy... *hides*

Because that’s not creepy… *hides*

The newness of Dayo’s character in the future setting could mean a couple things: 1) Because he’s not deeply rooted in the mythology, he’s easy to kill off or 2) Because the mythology says Kyle Reese and John Connor both kick the bucket, Dyson Jr takes over as leader of the rebels. We’re hoping for the latter, because Dayo is a bona fide actor and we know he deserves better roles than the smartass best friend in a romantic comedy. We mean… his last movie was Endless Love. Ouch.

This, along with roles like Alexander Ludwig on Vikings and Jack Quaid’s upcoming HBO pilot, only helps prove that there were some really stellar actors even in the not-so-big roles in The Hunger Games. We wish we saw more of it! But, ya know, we’re cool most of those actors finishing high school before they bombard the big and small screen!

Who knows! At this rate, I just may have to fancast several ex-tributes in the inevitable “re-imagined” versions of popular movies!

I’LL BE BACK,
The Girl With The Pearl

Some Mockingjay Ideas for the Soul

Let’s be honest again, ’cause it’s kind of a forte here anyway– we really need some freakin’ Mockingjay: Part 1 news! And I don’t mean a blurb in some entertainment news publication that’s a reiteration of information we got snip-its of several months ago. Nope, we need honest to god NEWS. In a better world, in other words in a world where as a collective fandom we had the power to convince a major motion picture studio to release such wonderous news-y bits, I think we’d have them by now. Alas we do not have that power despite the size of our collective community. Until such news-y bits are released however, bear with me for a time or two, and well– let me spin a yarn on what this particular non-professional-semi-marketing-savvy fandom member wishes were some of the bits to be released, well– yesterday. And by “particular fandom member”, eh-hem– I MEAN ME

Use the propos: It’s already built into the canon of the series, and it’s– to be sort of blunt, an already solid, and climatically perfect feature. In my mind’s eye, which is kind of a visual place to begin with as a photographer, the propos Suzanne Collins envisioned in her book work on many, many levels. They’re transformative, they’re a call to arms, they’re a rallying cry to the little people, and they’re visually stunning. I can see it now, Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen standing on that roof top, a smoking and burning cityscape behind her, her face set in look of anger, fortitude, and conviction, speaking words that come from her inner most gutteral instincts– throwing down the gauntlet on President Snow, and transforming for the first time under her own terms, into the Mockingjay. Or, things could go another direction: The first attempt at a propos with Katniss was a monumental failure. I’m sure you all remember the tumblr_mla1llMN2R1qb8lw8o1_500telling line that Haymitch uttered, his first in the entire novel of Mockingjay, “And that, my friends, is how a revolution dies.” However, from a cinematic POV that propo could very well work. It’s got the swirling flames, the Capitol look, the lines– however stiffly delivered, but if you saw that on TV, or at least clips of it artfully cut together, I think it would work as a more than decent facet of a viral marketing campaign.

Other propos, or bursts that get pushed past the Capitol’s firewalls, in my head can all become major aspects of the upcoming advertizing campaigns that will eventually make their way to us. I can see it unfolding, flashes of wartime news footage, footage that looks like it could have been taken at any time during our own world’s most recent political, and wartime events– only this footage will feature burning Capitol flags, and Peacekeepers in their white, exoskeleton riot gear, pushing, and beating District citizens down, and out-of-the-way. Of course this could all be intermixed with scenes of Katniss in the bowels of District 13 curled into a ball with boxes of school supplies behind her, and smash cutting from her mind’s eye to the last time she saw Peeta, to another smash cut of what she imagines is happening to Peeta in the Capitol. It could prove to be a visually stunning, and visceral experience– which is kind of what we want, hm? No more games, no more pretty about it, just raw, unadulterated PTSD, grey clothes, and snap-shots of a mind that’s not quite on an even keel.

It won’t happen this way of course, but a True Detective loving girl can dream– right?

Them There Eyes

March Madness on the Mockingjay Set

KY JoshIt’s the time of year when college basketball fans (and fans of guessing things and gambling in office pools) get crazy. And I imagine the crazy is hitting the Mockingjay set quite a bit. The usually tweet-taciturn Josh Hutcherson is clearly excited – he’s actually tweeted THREE THINGS in the past two weeks, all March Madness related. But we already knew that Josh was a big Kentucky Wildcats fan, and I really dug the crowd’s reaction to him when he was at a UK game last December *THREE FINGER SALUTES FOREVER*.

But I’d imagine there’s definitely some fun sports-related tension going on now with fellow Kentucky native Jennifer Lawrence and her preferred team, the University of Louisville Cardinals. As the odds, and the teams’ quality of play would have it, Kentucky and Louisville are playing each other in the Sweet Sixteen round of the championship tonight. Louisville is a 4 seed and Kentucky an 8, which theoretically means Louisville is favored to win. But if there’s one thing March Madness teaches us every year, it’s that the seedings don’t dictate the outcome, especially this year with all the upsets.  I watched the Kentucky game during the last round, and even a relatively sports-phobic person like me enjoyed it – it was exciting right down to the end.

Jen louisvilleFor undergrad and grad school, I attended universities where basketball is a religion, so I understand what it’s like to get caught up in the fervor of March, even when the rest of the year I could usually care less. But the schools I went to also mean another thing for me tonight– I don’t want either Kentucky or Louisville to win! So while I have no stake in the outcome, I hope that Jen and Josh have some kind of bet going on related to it. That always makes the game more interesting.

I’ll probably be watching tonight out of curiosity and remembering fondly how North Carolina beat both Louisville and Kentucky in the regular season this year. (Ok, I revealed one of my schools, you’ll have to guess at the other).

All I know is that Katniss and Peeta would’ve been UNC fans anyway.

JJ

Josh Hutcherson In Mockingjay Peeta Mode

OMG MOCKINGJAY PHOTO!

Okay, it’s not official, but it’s still pretty freaking stellar.

Laura Simpson, aka Jennifer Lawrence’s BFFL who went to the Oscars to support Jen and spent a decent chunk of it at the bar with Jen’s dad (for which we already love her), posted up a photo of herself and Josh Hutcherson on the Mockingjay set.

BEHOLD!

Mockingjay-Set-Josh-580x573
(Gracias, Jabberjays!)

PEETA! He’s back! …And he got the shizz beat outta him!

Observe the black eye, the burned and bruised chest, and the locket! Oh, the locket! Of course, this is not DURING actual filming because Josh is in a gym sweatshirt, but a scene was either being prepped or just finished.

What does it meeeeean?!

Most likely, we’re talking District 13 scenes, post-hijacking. Josh is wearing THE LOCKET. You know the one! The Capitol wouldn’t be letting Peeta hold onto that. He’s got himself a partially-healed shiner too. Unless Peeta gets roughed up by Katniss or Gale or maybe even Boggs in a newly added scene (though we doubt it, because that’s just asking for THE ATTACK OF THE FANGIRLSSSS), he’s still sporting that injury from the Capitol. He’s also got extensive scarring on his chest from Capitol torture, right? This could be batshit crazy hijacked Peeta!

… At least, that’s the popular theory. BUT WE HAVE ANOTHER!

Remember when Nina Jacobson told us Buttercup was back on set? JJ thought it was time for “She’s dead, you stupid cat!” and thus the ending scenes to be filmed. We think she’s totally right! Peeta just proves it.

The shattered remnants of Star Squad 451 reach the Capitol Square. They’ve been put through hell and are likely bruised and bloodied. When the bomb detonates, both Katniss and Peeta are burned extensively. Assuming we skip over or even speed up the imprisonment and trial of Katniss Everdeen and ship her back to District 12, she’d be there in a few weeks, shortly followed by Peeta. Remember when he gets back?

“He looks well. Thin and covered with burn scars like me, but his eyes have lost that clouded, tortured look.”

Peeta, with treacherous burn scars across his body. Peeta, possibly still sporting a black eye from the battle in the Capitol. Peeta, wearing the locket that ties him to Katniss, still caring about her no matter what they’ve both done during the war. Peeta, planting evening primroses.

*gaspsnifflesob*

Aaaaaand of course, we could be totally wrong. This could be anywhere, at any time. But a fangirl can dream!

We’re Just Assuming Peeta Is Not In Total Distress Because His Hair Is Still PERFECT,
The Girl With The Pearl

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