Actors

REVIEW: The Hunger Games Exhibition Experience

Welcome, welcome to our review of The Hunger Games Exhibition!

A few lucky fansites were given an early preview of this massive undertaking over the weekend! Kait and JJ attended the event (though JJ very skillfully avoided all the cameras). Now, we’re breaking down everything you need to know if you’re considering a visit to what seems like the franchise’s very first East Coast attraction!

Without any further ado…

THE COSTUMES AND SETS

Yes, all the major costumes and set pieces are there, perfectly positioned and lit in all their glory. You’ll be tons of familiar outfits, designs, and set arrangements. You’ll also see so things you didn’t notice in the films. For instance, did you know Effie was wearing these shoes in District 13?!

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We’ve never seen them before and it’s tragic!

The costumes are spectacular, but there’s also full set pieces to adore. They’re set up in ways you’d easily recognize the film and pretty dazzling up close. For example, the Hob set in full of props that look faded and distressed, but seeing it all in person adds a whole new dimension to it. As you end with one section and walk into another, you’re usually turning a corner to find a massive, beloved scene RIGHT IN YOUR FACE. It was enough to make us squeal, even enough to make some others get all teary-eyed!

Just a real casual Capitol party display... SQUEE!

Also, Josh, Jen, Willow, Jena, and Francis went through the exhibit yesterday, the day after the fansites. They touched what we touched. WE PRACTICALLY EXCHANGED FRIENDSHIP BRACELETS. Just kidding, but it’s still pretty awesome!

INTERACTIVE FEATURES

If you’ve gone to an exhibition for Harry Potter and/or The Lord of the Rings, you probably think you know the drill by now. What you’re NOT accounting for are the boatload of unique interactive features that make this stand out, even for people who are not super familiar with the series (you know, in case you bring a mostly clueless friend or parent along!)

INTERACTIVE AUDIO DEVICE
When you enter the exhibition, you’ll be given a handy cell phone sized device. It seems like it’s just an audio guide, but there’s lots to do with it! Namely, it finds “Hidden Spots” throughout the exhibit that unlock deleted scenes and show how the props in front of you. They also pull up holographic maps, allow you to take pictures, and give you a special ally with whom you can explore!

POLLING STATIONS

Every here and there, you’ll find polling stations that ask how you would react in certain Hunger Games style situations. Turn the lever and your vote is counted– a pellet falls into a glass cylinder. Then you can examine the cylinders to see how your vote compares to others.

THE TRAIN TO THE CAPITOL
Be prepared for your photo op! Get cozy in the back of the train to the Capitol, where Katniss and Peeta worked out their tentative friendship in Catching Fire, and snap a pic! Built-in screens give the illusion that you too are headed to the Capitol.

Kait with Adam from HG Fireside Chat and Brittany from Down With The Capitol

Kait with Adam from HG Fireside Chat and Brittany from Down With The Capitol

INTERVIEW WITH CAESAR
Caesar Flickerman is one hell of an interviewer, even when his head is a television screen! You can stop and have a photo op with The Capitol’s favorite television host but be warned, those fancy seats are really hard to sit upright in!

Also, it's hard to get his face to show up at certain angles!

Also, it’s hard to get his face to show up at certain angles!


FIGHT TRAINING

Think you got the moves? A movie stunt coordinator is ready to test them! See how well you can learn and bust out a quick defensive sequence used in the films. It’s harder than you think!

JOIN THE MOCKINGJAY’S PROPO
A special station in the Mockingjay section of the museum allows you to choose your setting and record a propo message in support of the Rebellion! Your image will then show up on the big ol’ HD TV screen behind you.

YOUR VERY OWN TRIBUTE PARADE

It’s your turn to join the Tribute Parade! Instead of explaining, here’s a video of me and Down With The Capitol’s Ellie making fools of ourselves for good old fashioned fun! Shelve it under “So horrible that it’s actually kind of amazing.”

THE GIFT SHOP

At the end of the road, we hit the gift shop!

Like most, there’s lots of items in here that seem a bit random, like mints and “Capitol confections” that are just regular candies bottled up pretty. But there’s also some really awesome stuff, exclusive mug and t-shirt designs, Buttercup plushes, Tim Palen’s new photo book, and jewelry ranging from simple ($5 arrow ring) to “SERIOUSLY.. WHO THROWS AROUND MONEY LIKE THAT?!”($7400 diamond encrusted gold Mockingjay pendant necklace.)

Disappointing news– the Katniss Cowl is in the gift shop, but it costs $130. Yup, the mass produced version is just as much as (if not more than) most Etsy sellers. We just want to own a Katniss Cowl and still pay off our student loan debt in a timely fashion, Lionsgate!

For a small fortune, all this can be yours!

For a small fortune, all this can be yours!

And so ends our adventure. If you’re a Hunger Games lover and you’re heading to New York City this year, we highly recommend it!

Want more images? Check out our full gallery!

REACTION POST: Mockingjay Part 2 Trailer

We’ve got a Mcokingjay Part 2 trailer and lots of new feels along with it!

To celebrate our first glimpse at the franchise finale, we’re presenting you with another zany reaction post! We’ve got a lot to say about the new trailer, so let the gushing begin!

Oh, and this sucker is pretty long, so don’t forget to click READ MORE the see the whole thing.

THE FEELING IS BACK!

THE GIRL WITH THE PEARL: So how does this trailer stack up against the mountain of other THG trailers we’ve seen?

JJ: It’s right at the top for me. I love the teaser and theatrical trailers for CF, and this one made me feel that same level of astonishment/amazement.

normal_Mockingjay-Part2-Unite024TGWTP: I’m in the same boat. The second CF trailer was my favorite up until now, but I think this one actually beats it!

JJ: That feeling of “THIS IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN I EVEN DREAMED. PRAISE FRANCIS LAWRENCE” type of feeling. I didn’t quite get it with the MJ1 trailers. But now it’s back, baby!

THEM THERE EYES: Not joking, I’ve had to go back and watch them all… I tend to forget.

TGWTP: Nina and Francis got harassed about wanting an amazing trailer a lot on Twitter. WE DO NOT APPROVE OF THIS. Buuuut they certainly delivered!

TTE: I wonder if they have the same team on the trailers?

JJ: It varies. I believe this one was by Trailer Park. But they’ve had different companies work on them.

TGWTP: I have no idea. The teams behind trailers obviously need way more credit than they get.

JJ: But it was just overall well done. The structure, the shots they chose, it gave us hints at a lot of scenes throughout the movie… but not TOO much.

TTE: Yes, even the music they choose to buy, and sample from the scores are perfectly placed.

WEDDING FEELS HIDDEN BEHIND SOME SERIOUS HAIR

normal_Mockingjay-Part2-Unite017TGWTP: How many feels did you have when you realized it began with the wedding scene?

JJ: THAT was a great choice.

TGWTP: I made an uncomfortable gaspy-sob sound that was probably not meant to come out of a human.

JJ: First, it just LOOKED beautiful, but then you realize what it actually is, and as a fan, you’re hooked in completely from the start. And Katniss’s voiceover for that moment is so perfect. Well played.

TTE: Well, the first time I viewed it I was in a hot car, watching it on my cell phone… but I had the sound up on my car’s stereo… so that made it kind of dramatic in probably not the way they wanted it to be… for me at least.

TGWTP: I must admit though… I didn’t notice Johanna in that scene until about the fifth time I watched it. Too distracted by Effie’s Edward Scissorhands hair

JJ: I didn’t notice her either. But that doesn’t take points away for me. There will be moments with Johanna later, I’m sure.

TTE: I didn’t see her! *runs off to pause video like crazy person*

TGWTP: How could you behind Effie’s flair, really? Though man… Jena is handling that bald cap like a champ in the scene when you DO notice her

TTE: Oh, there she is… ten seconds in, over Effie’s shoulder.

normal_Mockingjay-Part2-Unite081TGWTP: And did you guys notice that when we finally see Katniss talked to Coin, she’s still got the bruises on her throat?! *weeps* Then you realize that her voice sounds REALLY ROUGH.

JJ: Yes, the bruises are a great detail. And her voice. Poor dear.

TTE: I was about to say “Her voice sounds really trashed.”

TGWTP: Obviously, we know the story picks up immediately after Peeta’s attack. But knowing and seeing are way different

JJ: “Snow has to pay for what he’s done…” Cue Lionsgate logo lol

TGWTP: BAM!

EFF YOU, SPEECHES!

TGWTP: I also find it funny that Katniss says “I can’t make another speech about it…” and then is launches into her District 2 speech shortly thereafter lol

JJ: “Can’t” versus “God help me I DON’T WANT TO”

TTE: I think that’s on purpose! she’s very speech-y.

JJ: But Katniss, you do some pretty good speeches. Impromptu is hard to do after all.

TGWTP: Exactly. Poor girl is just like “NO MORE FUCKING SPEECHES! LET ME TAKE OUT MY RAGE ON THE BATTLEFIELD.”

(more…)

Trailer Hints from the New Stills

Tomorrow is a long-awaited day. We waited, we implored, we got indignant, and then waited some more and tomorrow a Mockingjay Part 2 trailer will be released (even if Lionsgate won’t flat out admit it, Nina Jacobson will).

The big debate going on right now is whether this trailer will be an in-universe propo without film footage, or a more traditional teaser trailer that sets the tone for the film with actual film footage.

Our guess it that it’s going to be the latter. Yes, the poster released last week tied back to the President Snow propaganda videos, but last week we also got STILLS released on the actors’ Facebook pages (YAY). When stills are released prior to a trailer, they often are from scenes IN THE TRAILER, and we think that will happen this time. Or that’s what we’re hoping!

Still 1 was released on the Jennifer Lawrence Facebook page and shows Katniss, Gale, Messalla, and Finnick in the field… somewhere. Presumably District 2. We were struck by how particularly young and innocent Katniss looks in this picture, while in her battle gear. She’s also in the standard D13 gear not the Mockingjay suit.

mj2 jen

Still 2 was released on Josh Hutcherson’s Facebook page and shows Peeta, looking good. As in not hijacked which is of course fabulous news but also good as in really really attractive. Wow, Peeta.

peeta

Looking carefully at the darkened background it appears to be a richly decorated space. We’re thinking it’s either Tigris’s shop or a Capitol apartment.

Still 3 was released on Friday via Liam Hemsworth’s Facebook and is Gale, looking intense with his crossbow in another darkened space. Once we looked beyond the Hemsworth hotness, we noticed a pipe and lots of wet, drippy concrete, which indicates the scenes of them in the Capitol sewers.

MJ2 Gale

If our guess that the stills tie in to the teaser is correct, this means we’re going to see (very short) parts of all three of those scenes. There will likely be scenes with other characters like Snow or Coin as well (gotta remind people of the conflict). And according to a message received by some in the entertainment media, the “Mockingjay will be heard.”

We can’t wait.

JJ

Serena Movie Review and Blu-Ray/DVD Giveaway

No, not another bit of Mockingjay Part 2 news, but there is a new Jennifer Lawrence movie to watch (and win). Yes, it was a movie that we’ve been wondering about for a while, and now Serena, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper is coming to Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital HD June 9.

jennifer-lawrence-serena-2In the film, based off the novel of the same name by Ron Rash, Cooper plays George Pemberton, an aspiring timber tycoon in North Carolina facing the economic pressures coming from the stock market crash in 1929. He meets Serena (Lawrence) and they immediately fall in love. Yes, immediately. He sees her riding a horse at an exhibition, his sister tells him the sad story of how she grew up in a timber industry family but the rest of her family died tragically. Then boom, he follows her on that horse. They have a brief interaction where he says they should get married, then there’s some cuts in of a ballroom and a sex scene. It’s quite abrupt, and intended as a “love at first sight” scenario so we’re just supposed to go with it, because there’s lots more story to go in this film. When the happy couple returns to the timber camp in North Carolina, they face financial pressure, threat from the US government to take over the land for a national park, and a “complication” between George Pemberton and a former employee, Rachel. There’s even more twists and turns, a great many of them tragic, that shape the characters and their decisions. Not to mention there’s a panther roaming around that George Pemberton is obsessed with hunting which I’m sure has more thematic relevance in the novel.

The characters are designed to be flawed and thus they make some really bad decisions along the way, motivated by ambition, jealousy, and self-preservation. George and Serena Pemberton aren’t particularly likable characters, but you do have moments where you feel sympathy for them. Cooper and Lawrence do a fine job in their roles, but the quick jumps from one subplot to the next never give them enough time to fully develop these characters (and their relationship) enough. I haven’t read the novel, but I have to imagine that Rash fleshes out at least his title character more than we have time to see here. You’ll also notice The Hunger Games’ Claudius Templesmith (Toby Jones) as the town sheriff. Overall, the visuals of the film are impressive with care taken to reconstruct Depression-era rural North Carolina.

The Blu-Ray features include deleted scenes and some featurettes on the making of the film. The deleted scenes help to fill in the blanks of some of the plot points, especially dealing with the character of Rachel. The behind the scenes featurettes include interviews with the director, producer, cast and crew (Hello, Jen and her 2012 Hunger Games promo hair!)

Bottom line – if you’re a big fan of Jennifer Lawrence, you’ll want to check it out just from pure curiosity. But be prepared to NOT approve of some of her character’s decisions.

We can make the decision to see it even easier for you! Enter here to win a copy of the film*.

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*Contest is only available to US residents. Ends at 11:59pm EST on Monday, June 8.

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Liam Hemsworth’s CUT BANK Is a Gritty Conspiracy Thriller

The Hunger Games world is mostly quiet these days, but a Hunger Games actor still has a big movie release happening today! Liam Hemsworth’s Cut Bank is available on DVD, Blu-Ray, and Digital HD today. We’re celebrating with a review AND something for you!

First off, let’s freak out over the amazing cast: Liam Hemsworth stars alongside Teresa Palmer (Cut Bank is not to be confused with Love and Honor, another straight-to-DVD release they co-starred in), but we’ve also got John Malkovich, Billy Bob Thorton, Bruce Dern, Oliver Platt, and Michael Stuhlbarg on board. And it’s easy to see why all these great actors signed on– This film has a definite allure to it!

cut-bank-poster-11Dwayne McLaren (Hemsy!) wants nothing more than to get out of his small idealistic Americana hometown– Cut Bank, Montana. While recording a video of his girlfriend (Palmer), the two witness the brutal murder of an elderly postman, Georgie Wits (Dern). Better yet, they catch it on tape. Now, Dwayne is set to gain $100,000 in reward money from a Postal Service agent (Platt). It doesn’t take long to realize that there’s much more to the video than anyone suspects and the local sheriff (Malkovich) isn’t equipped to deal with the first murder that’s ever occurred in town.

Even worse? The loss of the postman and his parcels has incidentally set off the only person in town who’s a genuine threat to society.

In the DVD special features, screenwriter Robert Patino describes Cut Bank as a 70s-style conspiracy thriller. It’s pretty accurate. It’s not just about the grand scheme. It’s about the unexpected ways that scheme can go horribly, horribly wrong. But the movie has its hits and misses– There’s some amazing character acting, but it starts off slow. Things pick up and get intriguing, but you never quite get the big Tarantino-style “OMG WHAT JUST HAPPENED?” moment that you anticipate. Still, there’s a decent amount of suspense and twists that’ll have insanely curious to see how to all plays out.

With the actors involved, it’s no surprise that the characters are superb. The script goes for dark humor and doesn’t always hit the mark, but the actors make the best of it and develop unique, fun characters. Extra points go to Michael Stuhlbarg– an actor whose name you might not know but whose face you probably recognize– for expertly playing the creepiest creepster in existence, Derby Milton. The performances and the aesthetics of Cut Bank really made the kitschy town stuck in the 1950s come to life and an amusing, believable way.

Cut Bank is plenty enjoyable, all crime and conspiracy with a touch of modern-day Western. It’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you want to see Liam Hemsworth play a more in-depth, calculating role than Gale Hawthorne.

Want to watch? Well, you could win the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Combo Pack!

cutbankblu

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

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*Contest is only available in countries utilizing Region A Blu-Ray systems. Ends at 11:59pm EST on Sunday. May 31st.

Better Have Jen’s Money

Not too long ago, Rhianna came out with a horrible song. But the title has never been more appropriate:

If you’re not sure why, look no further than this article on Jennifer Lawrence’s upcoming project, Passengers.

And we just need Jen in a movie with Chris Pratt. BECAUSE.

And we just need Jen in a movie with Chris Pratt. BECAUSE.

Essentially, when Jen signed on for Passengers, she signed a deal in which Sony agreed to pay her $20 million. Yes, that number is OBSCENE for most of us. Even for Hollywood standards, it’s pretty high. Which is why the new head of Sony is very uneasy and reportedly wants to lower the salary deal. (Also, because it’s sci-fi and nooooobody in Hollywood trusts original sci-fi concepts to profit well.)

But there’s reasons why Jen should get paid the big bucks, especially for this film: She is perhaps the most bankable young female actress in Hollywood these days. She’s proven she can carry a film and attract audiences. She got a little golden friend called Oscar. And oh, Sony screwed her over on the last film she did with them, American Hustle.

In many film deals, the actors get an additional stipend based on profits. Turns out that for American Hustle, Jen got a lesser percentage than all of her male co-stars, including Jeremy Renner, whose part was smaller and less significant overall. In one of the many hacked emails, the Sony President even referred to the situation as “a joke”. BECAUSE IT IS.

Some people are blaming it on Jen’s team not haggling enough to get her a better profit share, but it’s not as if they knew the men were getting a crazy-generous offer elsewhere. In fact, they could have pitched the same deal and been rejected. Either way, Sony wasn’t willing to pay Jen (or Amy Adams, it seems) as much as the boys. So we think that it’s a brilliant form of justice if they pay her the money she deserves this time around, even if it makes them uncomfortable.

Passengers is still in the very early stages so lots could change, but it seems pretty clear that Sony wants and needs star power for this project, which may not be an easy sell otherwise. And it doesn’t matter than Jen is already rich, it’s a dignity thing. So they better be willing to shell it out!

SHOW ME THE MONEY!
The Girl With The Pearl

Ranting and Raving

Time keeps marching on and still no news on the Mockingjay Part 2 front. None. At all. If you’d like to hear me and some of our friends at Jabberjays.net be baffled by this, you can listen to the latest Jabbercast, “Age of Ranting.” Laugh, cry, get angry, laugh some more. It’s therapeutic.

What else? What else?

Well, tonight, Jennifer Lawrence is co-hosting the Met Gala in NYC. ($25,000 a ticket). Here she is in some fabulous Capitol Couture (er- Dior).

Jennifer looking gorgeous.

Jennifer looking gorgeous.

Elizabeth Banks was there too, being on-point with the fashion herself. Yay, more pretty pictures!

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Yep, that’s pretty much it. 

JJ

The Rogue Rumor

Let’s focus on good news, even if it’s,just a rumor: A resident of Panem may be headed to a galaxy far, far away!

Sam Claflin aka our very own Finnick Odair is reportedly being considered for a role in Star Wars: Rogue One! It’s still a rumor, but we’re clinging on to this rumor for dear life because it makes our fandom-loving hearts want to burst!

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In case you’ve been living under a rock (or you don’t follow Star Wars), Rogue One is the first of many planned standalone spin-offs set to hit the franchise. Chronologically, it will take place before Star Wars IV: A New Hope, aka the first movie.

He's probably a little short for a Storm Trooper...

He’s probably a little short for a Storm Trooper.

Sam is reportedly being eyed to play one of several freedom fighters without Jedi powers who fight back against the Empire and form the rebel alliance. According to The Wrap, the role would be more substantial than his role in The Hunger Games.

AND PLEASE LET THIS BE TRUE BECAUSE WE LOVE IT!

First and foremost, Sam is an excellent actor. He’s got chops and thankfully, he’s been given many more opportunities to display them following the end of Hunger Games filming. But we think there’s something particularly special about joining the Star Wars universe, the franchise that exposed the magic of cinema to many. It would be amazing for any actor, so we want that for an actor we adore!

More than other actors in the franchuse, Sam also comes off like a massive fanboy in general, so we imagine he’d have a lot of fun with this opportunity. Also, Sam Claflin isn’t commenting on the rumors, which means we’ve avoided the Fight Club casting jinx!

So what do you think? Are you ready to see Sam playing an action star in a galaxy far, far away?

Because We Just Need Something To Happen!
The Girl With The Pearl

“I Don’t Have A Fuck To Give!”: The Hunger Games and Fan Award Shows

As massive Hunger Games fans, we try to be active in all facets of fandom. But man, it’s just not as simple as it seems! That’s especially true with one fairly regular fandom happening: Fan voting based award shows.

See, we should be really excited about Jennifer Lawrence winning Best Musical Moment and Elizabeth Banks winning Best Transformation at this year’s MTV Movie Awards. They’re great! Maybe we should even be bummed about the other awards the film didn’t win. But like Effie says in the show’s opening monologue…

I don’t have a fuck to give!

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We’ve mentioned this one part time and time again: Voting-based award shows that don’t limit voting in any way are pointless. Winning isn’t even based on who has the most fans. It’s based on who has the most fans willing to sit in front of the computer all day and vote repeatedly. We’re too busy and important for that shit! We got stuff to do! NO. *mic drop*

Of course, some members of The Hunger Games fandom still get really caught up in winning fairly meaningless awards, so we get comments on the MTV site like this:

mtv comment

YOU HEARD HER, FANDOM! YOU DIDN’T DO YOUR JOB! Bill Belichick would be very disappointed in you!

But really? What is the job of a fandom, other than to like the stuff their fandom is based around? We certainly advocate for the series plenty, but we also talk about the things we don’t like. We don’t always jump up and down screaming every time the series is mentioned, nor do we care enough to vote for every award the fandom or movies are nominated for. Does that mean we’re not doing our “job”? WHOOPS!

There’s also lots of people bashing the actual winner of that category, Shailene Woodley. Which will forever drive us crazy, because seriously guys, the rivalry between Jennifer Lawrence and Shailene Woodley and their various movies is NOT REAL. There’s also a fair amount of hate for The Maze Runner and The Fault In Our Stars for beating out Mockingjay Part 1, which is equally silly. Why hate on everything that beat out the THG fandom? It’s okay, really! Hell, you can even like all three of those fandoms without a nitpicky bitchfest! We know it’s a novel idea for many, but you should try it sometime!

If this is your thing, that’s cool! Let it be your thing! But please, respect those of us who aren’t going to take up fandom arms around every corner just for the sake of doing so.

And THIS Is Why These Awards Drive Us Cray Cray,
The Girl With The Pearl