Category Archives: Actors

Compare and Contrast: The Hunger Games and Catching Fire

Our latest guest post comes from the hilariously tag-named Caesar’s Scrunchy, who has a few awesome points about the relationship between Katniss and Peeta (with visuals!)

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You know you’re desperate for more “Mockingjay” action when you’re willing to do a school writing assignment in the summertime, which wasn’t assigned and will never be graded! But we’ve got to do something to pass the time waiting for the next propo, right?

So I’ve done a “compare and contrast” assignment just like in school, where we take two different things – two poems, two books, two films, etc. – and see what is different and what is similar about them. These assignments aren’t always fun, but when we do them, we can learn a lot more about each one by looking more closely at them. And it can be especially fun if you compare “The Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire” movies (because what else are we going to do
besides watch these two fave movies, amiright?!) The books have these parallels as well, but that REALLY feels like a school assignment, and doing it this way, I got to watch the movies again as “research.”

In some cases, the exact opposite from what happened in HG happened in CF (I noted those with the arrows). I used to think the first two books were a bit similar, but the more I worked on this, I appreciated how hard the filmmakers worked to give us an amazing number of little details that created great symmetry between the two movies. Or, to quote Haymitch, “Genius!” When you look at the comparisons, I hope you agree.

If you like this, feel free to watch the movies again (as if anyone needs an invitation?) and see if you can find more contrasts and comparisons. I wonder what would happen if we added Gale to the mix? Or compared Seneca Crane vs. Plutarch? Or HG Buttercup vs. CF Buttercup? J

PS – I own none of the images here, they are just for illustration purposes to show each point. AND: this is the first thing I’ve ever written for VictorsVillage.com, and I hope you like it.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST: THE HUNGER GAMES AND CATCHING FIRE
Katniss Peeta Chart 1
THE BALANCE BETWEEN THEM

Katniss Peeta Chart 2

Caesar’s Scrunchy

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Unity: President Snow’s Second Address

The second Mockingjay: Part 1 teaser trailer rolled out today, or more like this morning around 9am PST. We were better prepared this time I’d like to think, what with the rumors, and then the um, well this thing.

Unity

I like surprises as much as the next person, and face it surprises are few and far between on this wonderful thing called the Interwebz (yes… with a Z). Where it comes to promotional material however, especially promotional material for gigantic film franchises that have grossed a bazillion dollars world-wide– the element of surprise is as rare as a polar bear on a tropical island. In the case of this mega-huge franchise, surprise is really more of a game of cat and mouse between some movie theatre employees with loose morals, and perhaps under paid Lionsgate employees and/or contractors. Loose morals seem to mostly be what the Interwebz is based on though, so it really shouldn’t be so disappointing that snippets, or entire swaths of secreted promotional material keeps leaking out before it’s planned release date. Like I said, it’s a game of cat and mouse, but this time around I think Lionsgate won the round, and I’m not exactly sure who was the cat or the mouse anyway.

Who cares about all that though, jeeze! Let’s talk about the damn teaser trailer!

I hate saying this, who am I kidding– no I don’t! But, Peeta’s pats are very distracting, perhaps I was sleep watching the first teaser, or perhaps I was too busy being simultaneously creeped-out, and amazed at Josh’s turning his face to the camera, and looking down the lens like a soulless Child of the Corn. But, yeah– damn Peeta’s pants are on the screaming side of tight. Not painted on tight, more– “oh hey, I’m noticing things I don’t always want to notice on a person who’s supposed to be playing a character who is significantly younger than my self.” I digress though, ’cause even if my previous words sound a little Judge-y McJudgerson, I’m not complaining about the tightness of Peeta’s pants, I’m just noticing it like the heterosexual female that I am, and forever dubbing Josh the new carrier of the name Captain Tightpants.

Pants aside, the subtlety of these first two teasers is something I’ve been personally yearning for as a Hunger Games fan. The fact that the teasers themselves are based on content from Mockingjay the novel, or information from Mockingjay the novel, tickles my little booknerd heart. Because as much as Lionsgate has tried to play the audience as the Capitol and nothing else seemingly, what with its partnership with cosmetics companies, and fast food restaurants, I think they’ve finally realized that the series’ content its self was material enough for some killer concepts behind promotional material, and also that the audience is not solely the Capitol, we’re also the Districts. That’s why the teasers are augmented and/or altered versions of the propo addresses Snow conducted in the novel.

I brought up subtlety a bit ago, and I’m attesting that to the background players. Hats, shoes, socks off to Josh Hutcherson for either his choice, or Francis Lawrence’s direction to very slightly shake his head at certain points in President Snow’s address. Like when Snow says “never have we been more unified…” Peeta shakes his head. Or when Snow says “Panem is speaking with one voice.” Now, the head shaking can be interpreted several ways, one of which could be that he’s shaking his head to try to clear his foggy hijacked brain thing. Or two, that he’s disagreeing with what Snow is saying. Either way, the choice looks and feels like a good one from this particular fans point of view. There is a third possibility of what those head shakes mean however, they could mean nothing at all. As a fan of the series though, I’m hoping with every fiber of my being that they do mean more than head tremors, and that Josh can’t stand still to save his life!

Oh yeah, and then Beetee broke through the transmission, said his line, and the crowd went wild!

Is it November yet?

Them There Eyes

The Hunger Games Franchise: No Foodie In Sight

I like food, no I love food, and one joy I have in being a self-proclaimed Foodie is this– Foodie Movies. The Hunger Games franchise are not foodie movies however, and to say that I’m disappointed by this would be a mild understatement. The Hunger Games books were Foodie books though, what with Suzanne Collins’ pros about delicious dishes like lamb stew with dried plums, and back story that Katniss was named for the wild Katniss tuber (potato like plant). Safe to say it, but the book entire series is chock-a-block full of heavenly Foodie enticing material, right down to even the squirrels, and the unfortunate exposition that the people of District 12 sometimes had to prepare mice as food for themselves.

There are Foodie movies out there though, a lot actually. And thankfully you have me here to tell you about a select few, well– if you’re into that kind of thing. And face it, if you’re a Hunger Games fan you just might be if you think about it. Let’s start with the classics, no not Arsenic and Old Lace, ’cause believe it or not there are a lot of food references in that one– I do highly recommend that one however. Let’s go with the award-winning 1980s classic Babette’s Feast though, winner of the 1988 Oscar for best foreign language film, and there are several reasons why it won. One of them is most definitely the amazing food that’s cooked and displayed, one other is the comedy of culture, and cultural biased. Watch the movie, you’ll get what I mean, and also have a mad craving for French food afterwards. Oh, and the story was originally a novel, hmmm.

Like Water for Chocolate is a film that probably gets taught in a lot of film studies courses, because it’s a perfect example of surrealist film making. Think Pan’s Labyrinth only less scary, and a lot more funny. Like Water for Chocolate is a love story, a love story about people who can’t be together, and the food that’s made to quell the need to be together. It’s a sexy piece, but it’s a moving piece, so if you’re squeamish about nudity, oh and hate reading subtitles, steer clear. However, if you like to watch Mexican food being made expertly, watch it now, now, now. Or read the book! ‘Cause guess what?! The film was originally a novel and a cookbook in one!

Chocolat, like the last two films mentioned was also originally a novel, a delicious novel full of chocolate and the stories of an emotionally repressed town in France in the 1950s. The film version was released in the year 2000, it starred Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, and my favorite cameo performance was from none other than Leslie Caron (An American in Paris). Stellar cast, right? Hell yeah. But the real star is you guessed it… the chocolate. The center focus of the entire story in the shocking opening of a chocolatier (chocolate shop), in this small very catholic town during seemingly the entire towns observance of lent. The shop owner however is not catholic and sees no problem with her opening her shop during a time of self deniance. Her food, her sweets become a subject of great contention amongst the townspeople, and it’s seriously great fodder for character development, and examinations on culture, as well as human nature. Also, did I mention there’s chocolate?

Lastly we have a recent film, one that may or may not be still playing in your own respective towns. It’s the Jon Favreau passion project called Chef. Chef is as clCHEF_OSose to a family film as you’re going to get in the Foodie movie category, it’s a gooey heartwarming story focused around the redevelopment of a stagnated relationship between a semi absentee father, and his prepubescent son. Favreau is a celebrity chef in the piece, and one that has reached a point in his career where he’s sort of backed into a corner creatively by obligations to the people who pay the bills. He shucks their yoke however, buys a food truck, and spends probably the best summer of his life driving from Miami to Los Angeles with his best friend, and sous chef John Leguizamo, and Favreau’s character’s son. They cook great food all across the south, and southwest of the United States, cultivating relationships together, and a great appreciation, and education in each other and of course food. It’s a sweet, modern film that utilizes some of today’s favorite social media tools, Twitter, Vine, and Instagram. Oh, also it’s got so many cameos from famous-y people, blink and you might miss ‘em! But that’s okay, ’cause you learn about Cuban sandwiches, and see the most delicious grilled cheese ever being made. I made noises watching this grilled cheese, lots of noises.

About The Hunger Games franchise though, it’s no great surprise that the food aspect of the series was seemingly omitted from the plot. The film makers took thematic stance, and they did choose wisely. Food is awesome, but we all know that it’s a niche audience they’d be pleasing if they’d focused on the stew, the focus they chose was right on many levels– oppression, war, social injustice.

I’m content with the message, but damn I did want to see Katniss going gaga over the food more.

Them There Eyes

President Snow’s Message To Panem Is Here!

In case you’re like us and you fell asleep before the release of TheCapitol.PN’s latest advertisement, IT’s HEEEEEEERE!

We dare you to try and hold back your Katniss-style screech of “PEETAAAA!” as you watch President Snow rally the districts with a special guest by his side!

Click the photo below to watch:
onepanem peeta snow

A Note Regarding Our Trailer Contest
Our trailer contest defines the trailer as “the first montage of footage from Mockingjay Part 1″. Based on this criteria, this release DOES NOT COUNT toward the trailer contest! If you haven’t done so already, you can make your guess from the actual trailer release date for a chance to win a poster signed by Josh Hutcherson, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone and Jeffrey Wright here.

The Beginning of the End

While we’re all having a bit of an emotional time with the news yesterday that the franchise we’ve all collectively become obsessed with, having wrapped. I’d like to reiterate the sentiment JJ wrote yesterday, “… while we’re all sad, just think of all the good stuff yet to come!” She’s right, while an exorbitant amount of us were crying into our proverbial hankies yesterday, there’s so very much to look forward to where it comes to the fruition, and/or “true completion” of this film series!

We’re all on our tippy-toes now, ’cause there’s a brand, spankin’ new rumor that a teaser trailer will be debuting in cinemas next week during the midnight premieres of the new Transformers film. Yeah, so if you’re one of the people who likes that particular franchise (Transformers I mean), I’m sure you’ll be the first ones to start tweeting, Instagraming, Youtubing, and Facebooking about how “The teaser trailer is so freakin’ awesome you guyz! Go see Transformers, Mark Wahlberg

Because it's Mark Wahlberg with a chimp on his back, that's why!

Because it’s Mark Wahlberg with a chimp on his back, that’s why!

FTW! : D” Meanwhile back on earth, the people who prefer films like Begin Again will be tweeting about how they snuck into Transformers showrooms to watch the trailer reel, and then promptly left after The Mockingjay: Part 1 teaser ran, and then had an awesome time watching Keira Knightley not die… finally. So, trailer rumor, I’m good with it.

Ah yes, but trailer releases are just the beginning of the fanfare to accompany the gradual release of promotional material for the first and last Mockingjay film. We’ve also got soundtrack artists announcements to wait for, new product ads to fawn, and gag, and gasp over, as well as contests both fan-run, and mainstream media run to enter, and win, as well as lose. And then, and then we’ve got interviews, so many quirky, Gif-able interviews that Jennifer Lawrence and co. will do together, solo, and jointly. Personally, I’m waiting for the soundtrack list, ’cause my gut is telling me that Lorde may be on it, also maybe other solid female artists– ’cause that would make me happy. Cross my heart, and hope to die that Ingrid Michaelson is on there as well!

Fingers, toes, and eyes crossed guyz! Psst, please don’t make me watch Transformers Lionsgate, release it online first!

Them There Eyes

That’s a Wrap

The day has come. The final day. The day that has brought out great sadness in the fandom. And great appreciation for the cast and crew.

Yes, today was the last day of principal photography on the Hunger Games movies.

Group hug time.

fandom hug

Knowing that the cast and crew have completed principal filming is a big deal. There may be reshoots. But 99% of the filming is inevitably done. And I’m sure it’s a very emotional day for those who were involved in the production of the movies.

Ok, another group hug for all those fine people.

joshifer hug 2

Don’t worry, there’s more of this to come.

 

But, while this is a huge milestone in the movie production, let’s be real. After they’re done hugging a lot of them will still have significant Mockingjay-related responsibilities. Francis Lawrence and the post-production team still have a lot of work to do, I’d imagine. Especially on Part 2. And the cast will be together again for the marketing blitz for the two remaining movies.

So yes, while this is the beginning of the end, the journey is not over.  Don’t despair too much.

Remember, we’re still waiting on the FIRST trailer of Part 1! There’s a ways to go before you can truly call this THE END.

So, while we’re all sad, just think of all the good stuff yet to come! (When the hell did I become an optimist?)

JJ

The Newsy Round Up

Mockingjay: Part 2 filming is drawing to a close, and X-Men: Days of Future Past was released in theaters in the US yesterday. This means one thing to the Interwebz! Tons of Jennifer Lawrence appearances on the talk show circuit, and yep pesky paparazzi shots of her milling around Berlin, the last location allegedly being used on Mockingjay: Part 2 film shoot. I say “allegedly”, ’cause I’m not the location scout, and for all we know, or I know, they’re off to Belgium to film, and drink awesome, tasty, delicious beer!

I’m sure you’ve heard, or seen, or perhaps done your best to ignore the press of Jennifer Lawrence repeated

20140524-173756-63476797.jpgchatter over the last several days. I know I would be one of those people however! So, yeah… Gotta admit that this particular editorial writer has very little to say about Jen’s mounting social faux pas, i.e I saw a blip about a rape joke she made, then immediately knew to turn and virtually walk away. Erm why? Because I wasn’t in the room the so-called joke was let loose in, and I’d rather not examine a joke or whatever the hell happened, as a second or third, or billionth party, because in my humble experience it would be like playing the worst game of Telephone ever. Or make me dislike her, which is something I’m not ready for yet, thank you very much!

Anyway, if you’re like me and like to do your best not to care that Jen is sometimes not a role model, and is just a 23 year-old girl! I suggest relishing in going to see X-Men, or… Yeah, maybe not.

Happy Memorial Day!

Them There Eyes

Party with the Mockingjay

Saturday was the day for Mockingjay in Cannes! As mentioned before, the Cannes events are about the big money of film production, so from a fan perspective, it’s mostly about getting pictures of the stars looking really good in expensive clothes.

And they certainly did. Look at the attractive cast in day attire.

MJ Cannes Photocall

And now the attractive cast in more formal night attire. Whoop.

attractive mj party

There was also an amusing article about some of the shenanigans of the evening.  Hey, if your boss makes you work on the weekend, might as well have some fun with your co-workers, right?

(She follows up on this with a "Just kidding." btw, but there's a lot of truth here.)

(She follows up on this with “I’m kidding!” btw, but there’s a lot of truth here.)

The Mockingjay party, like last year’s, was heavy on the Capitol vibe. But I read accounts from attendees about how this year’s party was more “subdued” than last year’s. Maybe attribute it to the tone of Mockingjay?  Or maybe Lionsgate (and sponsors Skullcandy and Chopard) realized they don’t need to spend insane amounts of money on a party at Cannes for the film to be successful. Instead they settled for spending just a WHOLE LOT of money.

The sponsors of the event made me very curious too. Last year, Cover Girl sponsored the party, and then came out with the Catching Fire licensed Capitol Cover Girl line of makeup. Does this mean there are Mockingjay licensed headphones and watches in the works? Or is this merely a party-only sponsorship?

Back to the party, even if it were a bit more “subdued,” a party held at a Russian oligarch’s 230 million euro villa is going to be contrary to the tone of Mockingjay no matter what. With the success of these movies, the whole “THE CAPITOL IS A REAL AND PRESENT DAY” aspect becomes more difficult to hide. With these Cannes parties, it’s like they try to be meta about it, but there’s no escaping the fact that Katniss Everdeen would be judging it HARD.

The Mockingjay don’t have no time for that.

JJ

A New Address for Effie Trinket

The Mockingjay First Look is full of lots of goodies, but the news that made me burst with happiness was that Effie Trinket would be in District 13!  According to the Filmmaker Roundtable, Effie has an interesting journey ahead of her.

We’ve known that Effie Trinket would make an appearance in at least one of the films, as Elizabeth Banks mentioned in an interview about a month ago that she had recently wrapped Mockingjay. But this is confirmation of how she will be folded into the movie. In the book, Effie makes a reappearance at the end as Plutarch’s assistant when Katniss is prepped to execute Snow, but that’s all Katniss sees of her.  For the movie, I had wondered if she might have some role in the “Peeta in the Capitol” storyline, but Effie in District 13 will allow for some interesting developments in her character.

Per Nina Jacobson,

What makes Effie interesting is that she does not want to be there. Unlike Plutarch, she does not want to be part of the revolution. She has to be convinced to help, and she helps for personal reasons, not political reasons.

 

This seems very fitting of Effie. She’s Capitol born and bred. It’s only when she develops a bond with Katniss and Peeta that she turns on the events of the Quarter Quell. For Book Effie and especially Movie Effie, it’s her affection for Katniss and Peeta that drives her to think the Quarter Quell is unfair. If it were  another crop of kids, her feelings on the games would have been status quo.

Effie CFSo it seems right that Effie would be miserable in District 13 and not be behind the revolution. The lifestyle and culture will be completely abhorrent to her, which will inevitably cause the same type of clashes Katniss’s stylists face in 13. But perhaps when she sees what Snow does to Peeta, or the toll that all of this takes on Katniss, that she finally rallies behind the revolution for their sakes.  And imagine a wig-less Effie Trinket dressed in District 13 greys. Quite the transformation ahead for Ms. Trinket.

Suzanne Collins picked up on it. We all picked up on it. Elizabeth Banks did such an amazing job bringing Effie to life in Catching Fire, that if she didn’t continue on in Mockingjay we would have felt her absence dearly.

Can’t wait to see culture shocked Effie!

JJ

Top 5 Things We Learned From The Digital Look at Mockingjay

FINALLY, FINALLY, FINALLY!

He's in a bunker and NOW he needs a hat?!

He’s in a bunker and NOW he needs a hat?!

Lionsgate is done holding out on the fans and they’re making up for the wait in big ways!

Feast your eyes upon TheHungerGamesExclusive.com, which in its first incarnation includes..

  • Six Mockingjay Set Photos
  • A Video Interview with Julianne Moore
  • A Roundtable with Francis Lawrence, Nina Jacobsen, and Peter Craig
  • A Page from the Script (That You Can Win!)
  • The Hunger Games Franchise Motion Poster

THIS. This is the glorious stuff we were looking for when we found ourselves totally underwhelmed with the sheer consumerism of Capitol Couture! Not that the fashions aren’t cool, but it’s great to see that there’s some more tangible facts about the themes and overall filmmaking processes this time around.

In that spirit, let’s discuss the five most important things we learned today!

Look at that wonderful REAL PERSON who will be featured!

Look at that wonderful REAL PERSON who will be featured!

1) Plutarch Heavensbee will not be a freaky animation!

We were seriously concerned with rumors immediately following Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death that stated he would be added into his final scenes via CGI. It just seemed wrong and… what’s the word? CREEPTASTIC. Thankfully, it’s just a rumor!  Francis and Nina revealed that for PSH’s non-dialogue scenes, previously recorded footage of the other was cut into the scene (thank you, consistently monotonous D13 uniforms!) and his dialogue was written out, with some lines occasionally given to Haymitch or Effie when appropriate. There’s no mention of him missing out on a *major scene* as suggested in early reports.

2) Effie Trinket is in District 13, bitches!

Fulvia who?! Rather than work in Plutarch’s assistant, the script was repurposed to include Effie Trinket in District 13, at the request of Suzanne Collins! But don’t expect Effie is be a punchline– the filmmakers make it clear that while she brings some levity, Effie is NOT adjusting well and is not there for a higher moral purpose. We’re so glad with get more than one or two scenes of Elizabeth Banks in action!

3) The Capitol tunnels are NOT in Paris (at least not totally in Paris!)

In the intro to the roundtable, the indoor Atlanta set is described as being in part “filled with dingy tunnels”. And here we thought filming was going to Paris for the tunnels! It’s set possible that they will utilize the Paris tunnels to a degree, but it looks like a hefty part of that sequence is coming off a soundstage!

Yes! TELL ME YOUR SEEEECRETS!

Yes! TELL ME YOUR SEEEECRETS!

4) Danny Strong ain’t the only screenwriter up in here!

It turns out Danny Strong was not as involved in the Mockingjay films as we thought! Scripts go through multiple drafts and it looks like Strong only wrote draft numero uno. Obviously, that’s a damn important draft, but after that, things went into the hands of Peter Craig, novelist and screenwriter most famously known for his work on The Town. Not only did he finalize the script, he’s been a near constant presence on the set and works with Francis to help the script change and evolve as needed. In case you didn’t know, this almost NEVER HAPPENS. It’s like spotting a unicorn!

5) District 13 probably ain’t so techie in the film version!

In her interview, Julianne Moore described District 13 has a bomb shelter in which the citizens barely manage, which sounds like a far cry from the tech-savvy District 13 from the books. Sure, the look is minimalist and food rations are puny, but Book!D13 is still slick with both food and weapons technology. Movie version seems a bit bleaker, but we suppose they can develop double exploding bombs either way, right?

Now When Do We Get MOAR Mockingjay News?!
The Girl With The Pearl

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