The Fantastic Mockingjay Part 2 Score – And that Cynical Remix

Yesterday the Mockingjay Part 2 Soundtrack went on sale on iTunes and Google Play. This soundtrack is just the musical score, not songs “inspired by” the movie but we LOVE it. James Newton Howard has once again blown us away with music for the movie, and has brought back many of the musical cues from previous films that give us ALL THE FEELS.

mj2 soundtrackIf you’ve seen the film, you know that Jennifer Lawrence sings “Deep in the Meadow” over the beginning of the closing credits. The song is a lullaby, and with the final scene of MJ2 featuring Katniss comforting her baby, it’s a lovely, quiet way to end the film. The song carries a huge amount of emotional weight throughout the series, as it’s the song Katniss sings to comfort Prim at the beginning of the first movie, and the song she sings to Rue as she dies. Fans have been talking about how much they love the inclusion of this song since the movie’s release.

The peace and happiness was short-lived however, since yesterday as well saw the release of this lullaby AS A DANCE REMIX. Cue the awful Hanging Tree Remix flashbacks, everyone!

Having a dance remix of this song is so out of place and unnecessary it seems like a joke. Add on top of it the fact that fans more or less hated the “Hanging Tree Remix” and preferred the version from the movie, this decision feels like awful trolling. In fact, back in January I joked that they would do this.

There’s definitely a huge disconnect between what Republic Records and/or Lionsgate thinks is appropriate or what even in the slightest way works as music. As long as they see some money to be made, they seem to think anything is worth trying. Our friends at explain our frustration very well.

…all this remix signifies is a clear-cut showing of corporate greed and exploitation of Jennifer Lawrence and Katniss Everdeen. Never mind that any fan of The Hunger Games would gladly buy Deep in the Meadow in its pure, original format. Never mind that the song is supposed to have a beautiful, lasting legacy and provide peace for fans new and old alike. Never mind that this song is supposed to comfort, not inspire finger-tapping on the steering wheel.

If there was any question about the fan response to the remix, it can be found in the replies to this promotional tweet.

I don’t think the fandom could be any clearer.

So anyway, let’s go back to enjoying the score, cause it’s fantastic. And we’ll listen to THE SCORE’S version of “Deep in the Meadow” and try to forget about remix nightmares.

We need some comfort, Katniss.



VV’s Spoiler-Free The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Review

We saw Mockingjay Part 2 last night and we want to scream all the details with absolute elation from the rooftops. But we won’t, because it’s only Thursday and we’re not terrible people who want to spoil it all for the masses. So we’re going to give a general, spoiler-free review.

12043070_10153658258916810_107667881438186217_nReally, this is all about THE FEELS. There are a lot of them. I went to the Mockingjay Double Feature and I started to tear up during Mockingjay Part 1, which is something I didn’t even do the first time I saw it, just from the sheer momentum of what was to come. It’s the end of an era, but if it’s gotta end.. Damn, at least it went out with a bang!

We’ve read the books more than once and talked about them at length here, so like many of you, we knew what was coming. Know this: Being aware of what will happen and watching it unfold in a visual medium are two very different things. There were several situations throughout the movie in which waiting for the other shoe to drop amped up either the tension or the excitement for me– sometimes both. It’s a testament to the way Francis Lawrence and his team purposefully crafted the film to squeeze every possible emotion from the tale.

297A9B5D00000578-3117094-image-m-29_1433866860839Likewise, the action is pulse-pounding and sharp. The film deftly portrays the horror of violence and war without glorifying it, exactly as its source material sets out to do. With the details covered pretty thoroughly in Part 1, this film wastes no time jumping into the action. The pacing isn’t too breakneck, but you don’t have much downtime until the last few scenes.

More than being utterly gripping, this film is the franchise’s best tribute to Suzanne Collins’ work. The film follows the book more closely than any movie before it without losing its cinematic glow. The popular scenes and quotes that you’re waiting for are there, perhaps delivered in a way you didn’t always expect but powerful nonetheless. That’s not to say there aren’t any changes, but they were pretty minor and didn’t affect the overall viewing experience for us. We were hit hard by one scene change in particular, knowing it was due to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s untimely passing.

19291497-20776541-thumbnailThe acting has always been superb in the franchise, but I genuinely think they give their best performances to date. Liam Hemsworth transforms Gale’s broody nature into something more fierce and palpable and Jennifer Lawrence just is Katniss Everdeen, but this is especially true for Josh Hutcherson, who truly rose to the occasion and portrayed Peeta’s compromised mental state with a zinging undercurrent of desperation and earnest. Of course, the supporting cast was also wonderful as always, particularly Julianne Moore as Alma Coin and the members of Squad 451, who really got to sink their teeth into this script.

new-effie-stillWhile I ultimately loved the film and its sweet ending, we do imagine that– as is the case with most epilogues– it will become a source of debate in years to come. It’s more about your perception of the characters and their lives in the aftermath than the actual content.. aaaand that’s all we shall say about that for now.

Urgh. We love this film. We love this franchise. We are clearly biased as all hell, but if you’re here, we think you will too. If you’re a Hunger Games fan, this final movie has so much to offer you and you will not be disappointed!

We’ll Do The Crazy Spoiler Edition Soon,
The Girl With The Pearl

Inside the Mockingjay Part 2 New York Screening

Tonight, I was super lucky to attend the Mockingjay Part 2 “Special Screening” in New York. Not a premiere, so it didn’t have the huge atmosphere of what we’ve seen in the previous days & weeks, but a huge number of cast attended, as well as Francis Lawrence, Nina Jacobson, and Jon Kilik.

The red carpet was in a tent located outside the AMC Lincoln Square theater. It was filled with press, who missed out on the LA premiere, and the small “fan pen” where I was. As per usual, everyone was very nice about accommodating fan requests for pics and signings. Here are some of my pics in the zoo-like media madness. (You will notice a lack of selfies, I don’t really do selfies, and I doubt you all care so it’s cool).




It’s been a lot to take in, so we’ll dig into the movie after official release (but spoiler alert, we’re really happy).

Nothing could prepare us for the end, so we didn’t.


MJ Interviews

Mockingjay Part 2 Interview Silliness

The Mockingjay Part 2 promotional tour is in full swing, which means press and various personalities lucky enough to get a sit down with the cast all compete to get the silliest moments on tape. We won’t lie, we’re total suckers for this stuff, which must be why this is the approach every year. We would feel cheated without it. So here we go…

First up, was the OFFICIAL Fan Tribute Event, which landed online this week. It definitely has its moments with funny stories, forehead kisses, and Liam doing a hilarious line reading of “If we burn you burn with us” that he swears was not him making fun of Jen, but Conan (at around 4:30 on the video – if you don’t watch the whole thing AT LEAST watch that).

Moving beyond Lionsgate events, we get to enjoy everyone making the trio do different challenges. Like spelling Mockingjay backwards (which went about as well as you’d think). Still, it’s good times. And Jen got a muffin/cupcake.

Finally, how about real life games of Real or Not Real? (Warning, after this initial question at the beginning of the video, it veers off into spoilerish movie territory).

It’s hard to imagine the amount of interviews that are involved with this scale of press tour. But we’ll be seeing them flood the internet in about 3..2..1.

Might as well try to have fun with it.


Mockingjay Part 2 Premieres: The Beginning Of The End

The last round of The Hunger Games franchise premieres have begun. We’re trying really hard to to get too sentimental, but man, it’s hard to know the days of this wonderful promotion-driven lunacy are numbered. There’s a lot of monotony, but there’s always some brilliant moments that rise from the ashes.

With Berlin and London already in the bag, here’s a little catch-up on those premieres!

First off, the ladies of our franchise are not afraid of their boobs. To which we say YOU GO, LADIES!

These dresses are gorgeous and we’re glad they look so confident, because we’d just be a mess of double-sided tape and anxiety in anything that sassy. Hell, Jena looks like a work of art!

Meanwhile, Elizabeth and Willow probably hid their movie theater snacks in their dresses and we forever applaud their ingenuity.

In London, Julianne Moore wore in 19th century nightgown designed by Chanel. At least she seemed comfy?


Yeah, we’re not sure what to make of it either.

As for the news we’ve actually been freaking out about? SAM CLAFLIN IS GOING TO BE A DAD! Like really soon! And somehow they managed to keep it a total secret until the premiere! He and wife Laura Haddock were absolutely adorable, all smiles and cuddles and fawning over the baby bump. AWWWWWWW!


Mainly, it’s just good to see the reassurance that these cast members love each other and have so much fun together. Urgh, we love them!


This isn't goodbye, it's a see you soon. #friendsforlife #mockingjaypart2 #londonpremiere

A photo posted by Sam Claflin (@mrsamclaflin) on

The Girl With The Pearl

We’re Emotionally Damaged by the New Clip, Real or Not Real?

Who wants to see the scene where Peeta discusses some of his confusing memories and plays “Real or not real?” with Katniss? OH, THAT’S RIGHT, EVERYONE DOES!

We had to suffer a bit to get it in high quality though. First they debuted it during the weekend’s fan event, where you could watch a low quality phone recording of the scene online. Then Lionsgate gave the clip as an exclusive to TEENS REACT where we could only watch it with silly commentary and squealing interrupting the mood.

But today, finally we get the scene on its own, in all its quiet, beautiful glory.

Do we love this clip? Did it break our hearts? Did it make us feel really good about how Josh handled the tricky arc of “hijacked Peeta in recovery?” Yes, yes, and yes.

hijacked peeta

We know the screenshot on the video has Peeta, but we thought more Peeta would hurt more. ENJOY!

Hello gravely voiced Peeta, we can feel your pain and your exhaustion. Bravo, Josh. And the suffering in his face (and Katniss’s) is so painful to watch in the most appropriate way. Then you get to hear the ultra-beloved “Real or not real” uttered from Peeta. They change Katniss’s line slightly from “we protect each other” to “we keep each other alive” but that’s no biggie. It’s good. This is the good stuff here, guys. And it’s sweet.

We’d make a “but it felt like we had to go through torture to get it” joke about this clip, but we can’t joke about hijacked Peeta. Nope, can’t do it.

We’re too busy hurting at the moment.


The Final Fiery Action Hero Katniss

In the midst of earlier chaos, the final movie poster for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 arrived! And with it, the last misguided attempt at convincing non-readers that Katniss is a sleek, shoot-em-up style action hero.

Let’s start with the image, which may also end up being the DVD cover, if existing patterns remain:


Particularly with Mockingjay Part 2, Lionsgate has been trying to make Katniss look like a badass war hero who will destroy ALL THE THINGS that oppress the Districts of Panem, gloriously outfitted and armed to handle to worst of situations with ease. For instance, in a red suit (that’s gotta be a District 13 propo suit… Irony kills us), bow and arrow pointed in the distance as a fiery, freed Mockingjay symbol bursts into flame just behind her.

It’s probably a sexy concept for people who aren’t too familiar with the books or the movies so far. If they’re into mostly mindless action, perhaps it will draw them in. But then they’ll be kind of shocked because they were presented with a totally false version of the story’s heroine and a bit of a disservice to the character.

Don’t get us wrong! Katniss Everdeen is a badass. But she’s not a badass because she runs out, arrows blazing, to single-handedly destroy the enemy in fearsome battle. It’s because she hates battle. She hates killing people, but she’s constantly put in situations in which she doesn’t have a choice. She wants to save her loved ones and she’ll go through hell to do that. Because she hates the attention and the way people look to her for answers she doesn’t have. Because she’s frightened and scarred, not some goddess warrior chick come to lead the troops and save the world. Katniss Everdeen is a badass because she doesn’t want any of it, but she comes to terms with her reluctance in the hopes that she can make a difference for the people she loves. To us, that matters so much more than the action, adventure, high-powered-thrills appeal this poster wants to convey.

We don’t know about you, but that’s not what this poster conveys to us. Yes, “reluctant hero” is a harder message to convey, but we don’t think anyone even attempted that route here. Instead, they just got stuck on the whole “Let’s try to make it look like the wings are hers” bit again.

It’s cool, though. We know the real Katniss Everdeen, thanks to the books and the much more accurate ways she’s portrayed in the movies. That Katniss Everdeen is our homegirl.

At Least The Beak Isn’t Coming Out Of Her Neck This Time,
The Girl With The Pearl

What Those Mockingjay Part 2 Stills Are Really Saying

For so long, we sat at our computers bemoaning the total lack of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 promotion, begging Lionsgate to “just give us something!”

Now they’re giving us ALL THE THINGS. Right now. At the same damn time as all the other things. Yesterday, we got a poster. Today, tickets went on sale and Fandango users will get a new clip if they purchase when 24 hours (if you’re in a prominently region like us, look to the inevitable piracy). Entertainment Weekly also released a still cover featuring photoshop-y Katniss, Peeta, and Gale from Tim Palen’s upcoming book o’ portrait wonders and eight new stills. Tomorrow, the final trailer hits… but only at Best Buy. Again.

Clearly, that’s a lot to talk about. AND WE WILL. But today, we’re gonna focus in on those stills. You may not realize it, but there’s a message in each character’s eyes. There’s some serious thought there that they’re trying to get out. We’ll translate for you.


“Urghh… It looks like we’re still committed to playing out the love triangle that nobody wants. Seriously, it’s giving me a migraine…”



“Da na na na, da na na na, da na na na, da na na na… CROSSBOW! The weapon for guys who want to impress chicks but don’t have any real skill!”



“We’re all pretty psyched about confronting the enemy! ..Except Peeta. He still doesn’t know what the fuck to do with his gun.”



“I’m just the basic bitch behind the camera, so Imma sit back and encourage the real badass to do all the killing despise her worst fears blooming to life before her eyes. How else do you think I keep my hair firmly to one side?”



“And then those freaking mutts showed up and I was like… tumblr_mvhy9xAFC41s822dfo1_250


“Why are we in The Hunger Games franchise playing bad cop/reluctant cop, again? We were born to play Legolas’ twin sisters in Lord of the Rings, thank you very much!”



“Look, Katniss, it’s not that I’m not saddened by your sister’s death. It’s just that.. if I’m going to drop you off in District 12 in place of Plutarch and mourn with you for a moment, I’m gonna look fly as fuck as I do it. Plzkthx.”



“You thought you had your shit together by this point in the movie, didn’t you? THINK AGAIN, WOMAN!

That’s Our Story And We’re Stickin’ To It,
The Girl With The Pearl

The Untitled Lawrence/Schumer Project

In case you missed it, Jennifer Lawrence and comedienne Amy Schumer are recent BFFLs. And we freaking love it!

Whether they’re vacationing on a lake or dancing on Billy Joel’s piano or writing a script together, these two seem to be two peas in a pod having the time of their lives. Yup, that’s right– WRITING A SCRIPT TOGETHER.

Jennifer Lawrence talked about it with The New York Times a couple weeks ago:

And they're both got red carpet posing down!

And they’re both got red carpet posing down!

“We play sisters,” Ms. Lawrence said. “We’re almost done writing. It just flowed out of us. We’ve got about 100 pages right now.”

She continued, “Amy and I were creatively made for each other. We have different flavors. It’s been the most fun experience of my life. We start the day off on the phone, laughing. And then we send each other pages. And we crack up. I’m flying out tomorrow to see her in Chicago. We’ll write a little bit with her sister, Kim, who worked with Amy when she was writing ‘Trainwreck.’”

We’re really excited about this!

First of all, Jennifer Lawrence is a funny person who has yet to really be funny on screen. She’s had some quirky, funny character moments, but they were in mostly serious movies. She’s never had the chance to do a full-on crazy, raunchy comedy. Judging by her interviews alone, can you imagine how great that would be?! It would be GLORIOUS!

We’re excited that Amy Schumer is involved too! We recognize she’s a controversial figure because she likes feminism and dislikes guns, triggering asshats to grumble “Murica!” and hate on her, but let’s stick with the comedy. The lady is funny! She’s plays a snarky, hilarious everywoman with ease. Seeing her play Jennifer Lawrence’s sister on-screen sounds like an absolute ball.

The final reason is purely speculative and perfect: Bette Midler heard about the project and wants to play their mom. WE NEED THIS. DESPERATELY.

Now that The Hunger Games is long done with filming (*sniffleweepsob*), we need to see the cast involved with awesome new projects. It’s what keeps up going!

Yes, Please!
The Girl With The Pearl

The Mockingjay Part 2 Trailer Will Blow Your Fandom-Loving Mind

The countdown is over! The trailer is here! IT IS OFFICIALLY TIME TO FLIP OUT!

It’s been two weeks since the first full Mockingjay Part 2 trailer was previewed at Comic-Con (that previous 2 minute preview was considered a “teaser”) and now, the rest of us are finally getting a glimpse of the action. And damn, is there action! We were pretty psyched with the last trailer, but Katniss and her crew have never been more intense than what we’re getting here!

Expect a full trailer breakdown soon. Today we’ll be too busy watching and re-watching to firmly express our thoughts without melting into fangirl mode!

What do you think of this latest trailer?!