Category Archives: Actors

When Camera Crews Go Renegade

So we’ve definitely settled on the fact that the new posters are cool. Not perfect, but pretty damn cool. Still, there’s one isty-bitsy teeny-weeny fairly obvious detail that is driving us crazy…

Since when does a two-man camera crew, their director, and her assistant = BADASS WARRIOR MOTHERFUCKERS?

Observe!
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Rebels_Cressida2

Rebels_Castor2

Rebels_Pollux2

Mind you, we like the idea of badass warrior motherfuckers in general. BWMFs, if you will. But in comparison, we must admit this feels kinda forced.

While some tactical gear and even the small side guns on Castor and Pollux seem reasonable, check out the massive weapons Cressida and Messalla are sporting. That is meant for once thing: Taking out large numbers of enemies in a relatively short time period. Those are for straight up soldiers, not the people hired to film soldiers.

Meanwhile, Pollux is described as “the silent soldier” and Messalla, who seems skittish at best all the way up to his brutal end in the books, is called “the fearless renegade”. Seriously, somebody had way too much fun misappropriating these character descriptions while scripting this film!

In my initial commentary on these posters, I mentioned that Cressida and Messalla didn’t look much like Capitol defectors who, despite not agreeing with political choices, were still culturally Capitol at their core. The more we think about it… What if the filmmakers found it easier to not have them be Capitol defectors at all? The District 13 area doesn’t have many recognizable faces other than Boggs in the books, especially in what will be considered Part 1 territory. Audiences will connect with the District 8 scenes more if they see who Katniss is fighting with and what they stand for, so why not take already recognizable names and match them up with the mostly unrecognizable soldiers?

Yet we hesitate to wholeheartedly accept that theory. There is value to Cressida and Messalla being wet-behind-the-ears rebellion propo makers who don’t fully understand the dangers and implications of their work until they experience it firsthand. Their Capitol origins show that not everyone in the city is a drone supporting Snow and display tensions within the fragile alliances. Yes, it would be nice to have another kickass chick in the mix and Effie will be more firmly taking on the role of “Capitol lady who doesn’t truly get it”, but are there not shades of gray that can distinguish characters adjusting to the same situation differently as Cressida gets more and more proactive?

Maybe we’re just opposed to change.. but usually we’re not opposed to change when it seems reasonable and justifiable. We just don’t get why this group now has to be fierce soldiers. We’re hoping this pans out into something spectacular that we aren’t seeing yet, but right now, we must admit that we’re a liiiiiiittle weary!

If Camera Crews Are Now Super Soliders, Are The Original District 13 Soldiers Like.. X-Men?
The Girl With The Pearl

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Gale Hawthorne– Blue Steel

So, this happened.

Rebels_Gale2

Along with that we also got the other equally as anticipated for character posters. The Girl With The Pearl, and JJ both covered this topic, but they didn’t cover this topic. Liam Hemsworth has one facial expression. You can take that one of two ways, that I’m poking fun at him, or that he’s got to make the best impression on casting directors– because if they paid more attention to his ability to express emotions with his face alone– he’d have to do a whole lot more than chat, or say lines, or whatever the hell those crazy kids are doing in casting rooms now.

In all seriousness, look at the evidence.

Exhibit A. Remarkable that he hasn't aged as well.

Exhibit: A. Remarkable that he hasn’t aged as well.

I don’t know about you, but to me that looks like the same expression he has in the character poster! Maybe I’m being overly critical, because there’s been so very little promotional material of real circumstance for this film as of yet. Yeah, we’ve got the tie-in propos, we got the teaser trailer, but we’re only now getting in character representations of new and old favorites– it feels a little stagnated. And then we get a patented Hemsy Blue Steel expression.

Exhibit B. Same every time.

Exhibit: B. Same every time.

Exhibit Do I Really Have to Say C?

Exhibit: Do I Really Have to Say C?

I feel like we’ve been hoodwinked a little bit, ’cause seriously! That’s the same friggin’ facial expression! True, it’s the same person in all of these photos, but isn’t he supposed to be expressing something else? Capitol Portrait Gale looks a little like he’s holding down a sneeze, I’ll give him that much! But the rest, even the examples of Liam not playing a character other than himself, those are undeniably similar to uncannily similar facial expressions. I’ll throw Liam one bone, ’cause I know I haven’t been that nice to him today. He’s much better outside of still photographs, granted he’s done his fair share of modeling, and he is without a doubt a very handsome young man, but his acting ability is not in his Blue Steel, it’s in his presence on screen, his entire body in movement, acting opposite other people– or with a better director off to the side giving him feedback. Stills are not his game, it’s just unfortunate, or fortunate depending upon how you look at the world, that the world at large’s first impression of Commando Gale looks about as annoyed as he might if his mom asked him to take out the trash. 

Until next time– this has been Them There Eyes with her wacky point of view on a piece of still photography.

District 13 Rebel Reaction

IT’S MOCKINGJAY PART 1 Posterama! We got six brand spankin’ new posters of what will be Star Squad 451 minus Finnick, Peeta, and Katniss; our first official look at the crew in their gear.

And OF COURSE we’ve got lots of feelings we need to share about all this! BEHOLD!

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Oh, Hemsy! Your eyebrow game is just through the roof in this poster. We just want to brush them methodically for you (as we assume someone else did shortly before this picture was taken.) But we don’t love this image nearly as much as we should.

Book!Gale most certainly had some rage at this point in the story line. Yes, he’s finally made it to the rebels, but Katniss still describes him as intensity and fire when all is said and done. WHERE IS THAT? We all know Liam has epic emo face, but what about the other faces?! This is stern, at best. We want RAAAAAGE! He pulled that off much better in the Catching Fire character poster.

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Dammit, Natalie Dormer! Even in 1,000 layers including various padding, you still look glam! The last time we tried to look fancy, we still looked worth than that. URGH!

We’ve also discovered the new game we’ll be playing through the rest of the Mockingjay Part 1 promotional period: What exactly is the proper brightness of Cressida’s tattoo? It looked much darker and less green in the trailer, but it might have just been the lighting?

Rebels_Boggs2

YES! THIS! THIS FOREVER AND EVER!

If you can’t tell, we really like this poster! The image alone justifies Mahershala Ali’s casting as Boggs. Intimidating but serene, focused and powerful. The kind of guy who seems serious but has a solid sense of humor underneath it all. He definitely comes off as a leader and we are officially excited!

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Is it just us or was anyone else thinking Messalla had more of a Capitol flare?

Yes, he’s relocated to District 13, joined the rebellion, and probably toned down has look a bit. But still, we expected more than a bridge piercing and a line tattooed on the bottom lip. That modifications aren’t as “Oh so Capitol!” as we’d expected and despite not believing in the government, Messalla was still culturally Capitol. In the book, he stood out much more drastically. Why change that here?

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When… When did one of the camera guys get kinda sexy?

We understand why it was easier to make Castor and Pollux brothers instead of twins… even though it kills the whole Greek mythology reference but WHATEVS. Still, aren’t these guys the “insects”, the background characters that have their special moments but mostly kinda blend in? How are we supposed to focus on military strategy and political strife when there’s lean muscle and faux hawks in our faces?!

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Not sure how we feel about ponytail and beard combo, but we’ll let this one slide because its FULTON REED (aka Elden Henson). Pollux is a former Avox and admittedly, the styling choices give the character the look of someone who’s been worn down after seeing too many horrors in the world. Also, you can see their “insect” camera bags really well in this one ad we’re digging it!


Everyone’s Worried About Katniss and I’m like “BUT WHERE IS FINNICK?!”

The Girl With The Pearl

The Hunger Games Cast and Emmy-Worthy TV

Tonight is the Emmy Awards, celebrating “the best in television.” The Emmys can be frustrating because the voters have a tendency to give the same shows and actors awards year after year.  Will this behavior continue this year? Probably. But some our favorite actors from the Hunger Games movies are on shows that are being recognized. Which means they know how to repeatedly pick good projects, or maybe good projects are smart enough to pick them. Ok, both.

true detectiveWoody Harrelson is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his work on True Detective. He plays a ….detective (shocking, I know) working on a very horrific case and dealing with a lot of personal demons as well. Meaty stuff that Emmy voters love, however he faces stiff competition from his fellow detective played by Matthew McConaughey, whose character was so odd it probably gives him an advantage that could lead him halfway to an EGOT. There’s also Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, who  is really awesome and has won several times before in this role, and tonight is his last shot to win again for the role of Walter White. So who will win? Don’t even try to guess.

Though not nominated himself, House of Cards with Mahershala Ali (Boggs) is nominated for Outstanding Drama Series. The show is also up for lead actor, actress, directing, writing, and basically everything. It got a lot of nominations. People love this show because you can watch it all weekend and and still feel like it was a good use of your weekend.

Boardwalk Empire also received a couple nominations. Jeffrey Wright plays a quiet but utterly menacing gangster on this show about Prohibition-era Atlantic City. Boardwalk does an amazing job at recreating the time and place with the gorgeous costumes and sets too. The violence is pretty traumatizing, but I suppose that’s the point.

If you haven’t seen any of these shows, it could be a nice use of the Mockingjay down time. (And the final season of Boardwalk Empire starts September 7!)

Remember what they say about JUST being nominated.

JJ

 

The Mockingjay Challenged (with the #ALSIceBucketChallenge) Continued

Yesterday JJ wrote about the internet phenomena now termed the Ice Bucket Challenge. In truth it has become a phenomena, sort of like Planking, or Grumpy Cat– only in the case of this so-called fad, money is being put to good use, and more remarkable than that– it’s being donated to a good cause. When I think of viral money-making ventures on the internet, I am left with very few times in our most recent history where the money being gathered was for an all out altruistic cause. Kickstarter for instance has been home to some pretty fast-moving, and lucrative viral money gathering campaigns– but those campaigns were more often than not to gather money to help make a fan favorite TV show come back from stasis in the form of a feature-length film like Veronica Mars, or help with packaging and distribution of DVDs box sets for web video series’ like The Lizzie Bennett Diaries. The Ice Bucket Challenge is quite the fad for sure– but it’s for a good cause, and it’s bringing awareness to the masses about a debilitating, degenerative disease that has no cure, and is in near constant need of funding for research. Government subsidies can only take certain causes so far, and that includes medical research. ALS is not a sexy disease, meaning there are no famous people that are in the limelight right now who will come out and say “hey, I’ve got ALS– we need to pay attention to this disease right now!” That’s why it’s still known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, for an American baseball player whose hay-day was in the 1920s and ’30s. Soon however more people might become aware of another famous sufferer of the disease, Stephen Hawking the world renowned physicist– as a biopic about his early life will be out in time for the Oscar season.

Celebrity endorsements always seem to give the masses a good jolt though, right? That’s why when 90% of Hollywood starts to post seconds long videos of them selves dousing them selves with icy water– makes well, such a big splash. And since this is a Hunger Games themed blog, when a quarter of the principle cast, and the director, and producer of the film franchise step onto the band wagon– we pay attention like hungry Disney orphans. So, when Josh Hutcherson, and Sam Claflin posted their Ice Bucket Challenge videos a couple of days after the 24 hour challenge clock was set for them, the Hunger Games fan sites had a little 3 am Field Day in their jammies.

Sam however was dressed from head to waist in a rain coat, and waist to knees in swim trunks. And our dear Peeta (Josh), joined the ever growing club– AKA the White Wet T-Shirt Club– then ran like crazy to jump into a warm swimming pool’s depths. Sam wins for originality, Josh wins also for failing to keep a stiff upper lip. The videos will keep us entertained for days on end, the GIFs alone should more like. However, as this point for The Hunger Games community buckets filled with ice water are a mere distraction from the near constant, and nagging mantra of “where is the full length trailer, where is the full length trailer, where is the full length trailer?”

It’s cold, it’s hard– but I’m just saying what everyone is thinking, right?

Them There Eyes

The Mockingjay Challenged (with the #ALSIceBucketChallenge)

It’s swept the internet over the past couple of weeks and made over $50 million (and counting for) ALS Association. Some think it’s wasteful and silly, but from a fundraising perspective, it’s worked phenomenally. And it’s given us some priceless videos of people getting cold water dumped over their heads.

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And some of the Hunger Games Mockingjay crew have taken up the challenge too, offering us a fun little respite from the August blahs.

Thanks to a fan and PanemPropaganda, the challenge got on Nina Jacobson’s radar, who took up the call and nominated the Mockingjay cast’s leading ladies.

Then Francis Lawrence joined in the, fun, nominating the Mockingjay boys.

Julianne Moore heard your cries for MORE WATER.

Liam Hemsworth showed love for Ninja Turtles his challenge.

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Willow Shields put on a brave face (but it was COLD).

Jena Malone has plans to take part too. Anyone else thinking about how Johanna was tortured with water? Ok, this just got dark.

Sam Claflin seemed to be game, but we’re still waiting on him too.

He’s probably just devising a plan to out-water Benedict Cumberbatch (I know he’s not Mockingjay, but this was impressive. *Applause*)

And what about Natalie Dormer, Josh Hutcherson, and Jennifer Lawrence? No word on their plans. Though Josh and Jen may be having flashbacks to those freezing days filming Catching Fire water scenes?

Update: Friday night, Josh took up the challenge (while wearing one of his signature white tees, of course). The person pouring the water did it tortuously slow too. Eeeevil.

Update #2: On Saturday, Sam bundled up and got dance-y!

You can show thanks to all those who’ve spread the word with their challenges and support ALS by donating.

Stay chill.

JJ

Our Leader the Mockingjay

Over the last two days the internet has been inundated with photos featuring the hashtag #OLTM, an acronym for Our Leader the Mockingjay. The photos have been spread, and shared all over social media, from Tumblr, to Twitter, to Facebook, and of course Instagram. The photos them selves started out pretty broad, pretty scenes from famous locations across the globe, places like the Great Wall of China, Times Square in New York City. And then they started to get less predictable in location, or– they became photos featuring indiscernible buildings, and landscapes that lacked mundane clues to their specific locations. Corrogated steel sided buildings, graffiti covered walls.

The photos have been steadily streaming in over the last day, and they’ve been diligently collected by most, or all prominent Hunger Games fan sites. Every time a new photo was shared by a fan site or sometimes a seemingly random Hunger Games fan usually known through Twitter, all the fan sites like Welcome to District Twelve for example, would latch on to it, and post it for the masses to gobble up, and spit out. This morning, to be honest, I was starting to wonder when Victors Village would be sent an email containing our stock photo, decaled with the now almost infamous hashtag, and phrase. It showed up though, and I honestly don’t know where the photo was taken, or what it’s of. But who cares! We got one! Yaaaay!!

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Perhaps the most important detail has yet to be addressed however? There’s a series of number, a date actually, that has accompanied all of these photos– 21.08.14. Also known as August 21st, 2014– tomorrow to be precise. The question on everyone’s finger tips, and lips, and brains is this though–

What’s happening tomorrow? Also, why did Liam Hemsworth decide to wear a Ninja Turtle costume when he accepted, and did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?

Them There Eyes

President Coin – A Role Worth Seeking Out

After last week’s little blurb of an article and repetitious “first still” of Katniss Everdeen in Entertainment Weekly come two online articles today with a little more to chew on. There’s some hints about the tone and greater world building and also about the expansion of President Coin’s character in the movies.

One surprising thing about Coin’s casting was that Julianne Moore approached them about the movie. According to Francis Lawrence,

She actually sort of tracked us down and had an interest in the books through her kids.

First of all, a big THANK YOU to Julianne Moore’s children for getting the books into mom’s hands. Last spring/summer Coin was THE top role that we were all wondering about with Mockingjay casting. Fansites collaboratively did a “Campaigning for Coin” set of posts thinking about different actresses who could fit the role. Julianne Moore was included in the lot. (Read it, it’s fun to see now).

And seems like Francis Lawrence saw it right away too because,

She didn’t audition. Once we knew she wanted it, that was it—done.

Did anyone question this casting? No. Why would you???

Did anyone question this casting? No. Why would you???

When she was cast, I think there was resounding joy among fans that someone of her caliber would play the role. But the fact that she already knew about the books and was captivated enough by them to pursue playing Coin makes me so happy. She didn’t have to be courted. She knew the power of the story and the potential of the character.

With big movies like this sometimes you worry that top actors are just “in it for the money” so they can then go off and do low-paying indie passion projects without going broke.  I’m sure she’s getting paid well to play Coin (as well she should, it’s only fair considering the box office of these films) but seeking out Francis Lawrence with her thoughts on the character is a good sign for the complexity of the role, which the article says has been expanded for the films.

Yay, President Coin! Wait, that sounds weird.

JJ

Missing The Mockingjay And Her Friends

We’ve still got another full year of promotional images and trailers and premiere and press junkets for The Hunger Games franchise, but man.. It’s certainly starting to feel like the end is nigh.

Filming wrapped weeks ago, but only now are we starting to see the celebrities out and about at events, answering the media’s questions (and in doing so, totally filling us with our fandom end-of-days dread). In particular, Josh Hutcherson was out for the TCAs and Straight But Not Narrow celebrity basketball tournament. He talked about preparing for the press tour and friendship with Jennifer Lawrence:

(Thanks for tip, HG Girl On Fire!)

It’s one thing to hear the stars say in the past that they were going to miss each other, but it’s another to hear them say they are missing each other. PRESENT TENSE. At least they still see each other, according to Josh. And they’ll probably be outright sick of each other after spending days and days together on the press tour. But besides the obligatory answering of monotonous questions over a probably-too-long stretch of time, we’re reminded again that the actors have done their part.

How can you NOT root for them, though?!

How can you NOT root for them, though?!

We’d like to think that they’ll all be BFFLs once Mockingjay Part 2 press time is said and done, but who knows? It doesn’t always work out that way. While many actors remain friendly, they move on and seem to mostly forget about each other. More importantly, who are we to say how things should work out for them? Shipping celebrity coworkers-turned-friendships isn’t as weird as starting a tumblr to obsess about your favorite celebrity couple or anything, but it’s still a little odd.

Our take is that people (including us) get attached to the idea of the celebrities starring in a fandom franchise staying friends because deep down, it represents the idea of the fandom sticking together. The Hunger Games franchise isn’t just going to go “POOF!” and disappear once the last movie is on DVD, but things slow down. They change. We fear change the way Johanna fears genuinely happy social situations. We just don’t know how to handle it.

So hopefully, Josh’s words about remaining friends with the cast remain true. But either way, let’s not let the end of the movie release road get us down, because this fandom isn’t going anywhere even after the actors are officially done with their jobs.

Viva La Revolution!
The Girl With The Pearl

96 Days And Counting

We have 96 days and counting until the release of Mockingjay Part 1, but in reality a select few thousand only have about 80 something days to go. Yep, and those few thousand would be the people who will be attending the world premiere. Getting it out-of-the-way, I do not think I will be one of those few thousand. Why? Because if the world premiere is in London, or anywhere in Europe like it was for Catching Fire, there’s no way in hell I could afford to go. However for the sake of this article, let’s pretend I’m attending! In that case going along with the trend of wish lists that JJ started yesterday, this is what I wish will happen at the world premiere of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 1.

This guy needs to be in attendance, and inappropriately dressed.

District 7 dude, AKA the underwear model.

District 7 dude, AKA the underwear model.

Yes, because that seems to be his lot in life, and he’ll likely be paid a hefty sum, and that tends to sway most people to do things they wouldn’t do otherwise. However he seems to be adverse to pants, so– meh, who cares! I mean, I’m sure they’ll require pants, but like I said he seems adverse to them– I know this because I’ve fallen into the black hole that is Google image searching this man. And lemme just break it down for you younglings out there– it was eye-popping even for me, who is very much so not a child, I may be blushing right now actually. Or maybe I’m not, maybe I’m just drunk on life?

We all have wish lists for our lives, or for experiences in our lives. Weddings, parties, vacations, perhaps some of us out there hope to find that perfect pair of black heels that won’t kill us after ten minutes of walking. No? I cannot be the only one!? Anyway, aside from the fantasy of District 7 Underwear Model Dude attending the world premiere, and possibly magically making eye contact with him, and not bursting out laughing because, have I mentioned that Google image searching him leads to a black hole of Doctor Who sized proportions? Think about it, Doctor Who’s been in existence since 1962, that means the black hole is friggin’ huge. Where was I? Ah yes, what else my sick brain wants for the world premiere!

I’ve been to two Hunger Games premieres, the world premiere of The Hunger Games in Los Angeles, and then the domestic premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire also in Los Angeles. The secondary cast was in attendance of course at the Catching Fire premiere, and the top billers, Jen, Josh, Liam, and Woody showed for the red carpet, and a photo op inside the venue (Woody only for the photo op). But then Lenny Kravitz walked by in black leather, and then Elizabeth Banks sauntered by as well, and then Aaron Sorkin walked by looking for his seat– and I started to quietly lose it. I need better celebrity sightings at the next world premiere! I kept hearing murmurs about Matt Damon being at the Catching Fire premiere, but I never saw the man– and I had good seats. So, if Matt Damon shows, or hell– Ben Affleck, I’ll have a lovely time in this sweet little fantasy I’ve got going on.

I’d like Donald Sutherland to do something thoughtful, and also entertaining. We know from his past behavior that he’s no stranger to small, but mighty gestures of appreciation towards the audience. What with him just recently showing up to the Teen Choice Awards wearing a tux, and throwing “Nightlock” at the audience after accepting his award for Best Villain, he’s undoubtedly up for seemingly anything. At the world premiere of The Hunger Games, he showed similar solidarity as well, yes by turning around, facing the “cheap seats”, and giving them the three finger salute whilst he was being introduced. So, if he can somehow get the concessionaires to show up in the aisles and douse the fan-section with complimentary bags of blue berries dressed up as Nightlock– that’d be awesome I have to admit. Or, y’know– pay for everyone’s parking.

How many times do I have to say it? Is it November yet?

Them There Eyes

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