Category Archives: Books

The Hunter Games and Other Sad Misunderstandings

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

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

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JUST LOOK AT JOSH’S FACE. LOOK AT IT!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Mockingjay Treatment

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

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

Hey, who made this!?

Hey, who made this!?

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

 

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

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

Them There Eyes

The Inevitable Final Book Movie Split

When it was announced that Mockingjay would be split into 2 movies, it was a met with controversy. No one was really surprised – the precedent had been set with Harry Potter and Twilight. For big movie franchises, it gives the opportunity for all involved to make more money. It can be a very good business decision. And for fans, when it’s done well, it’s great too. More of the stuff that you love.

Mockingjay, you're painful, but you have solid content for 2 movies

Mockingjay, you’re painful, but you have solid content for 2 movies

As I remember it, people who were against Mockingjay being split into two complained that 1) it was a blatant money grab and 2) Mockingjay is too dark of a book to run for two movies.  And, yes, a big complaint of Mockingjay is that you’re stuck in Katniss’s head the entire time, and Katniss is in a very dark place. Because she’s mentally ill, it can be a tough read emotionally. But the story itself is solid. The world building is solid. The brilliant thing about a movie adaptation is that the perspective can be broadened. In the movie adaptations of Mockingjay we’ll be able to see beyond what Katniss sees, to the decisions made behind closed doors in 13,  the other districts, and the Capitol.  We get to go deeper into this world, so all of this is exciting. And after Catching Fire, we’re confident that Francis Lawrence will be able to execute this in spades. Lionsgate gets a big thumbs up on the making of Mockingjay 1 and 2. Party till it’s November 2015!

But what happens after November 2015? Today came the announcement that the Divergent movie franchise would be following this same pattern of splitting the final book into 2 movies. The pattern continues, and the collective snark about this decision is strong. I know we’re not a Divergent site, but the movies are being made by a Lionsgate company and as Hunger Games fans, we are the bullseye target market for these films. ALSO WE ARE GETTING NO MOCKINGJAY NEWS TO TALK ABOUT, SO -

Another movie gives more opportunity for merch and longer shots of Tobias's back tats?

Another movie gives more opportunity for merch and longer shots of Tobias’s back tats?

I just had to laugh, because no, it’s not exactly a blatant cash grab. It’s a very risky attempt at a cash grab. The decision to split HP, Twilight, and THG came after these movies became mega-successes so it was clear the extra movie would make huge money. I don’t think that assumption can be made here yet. And the odds are even more against if because it’s doubtful that this particular book can support two solid movies or 4 hours of collective screen time.

Allegiant is a very divisive book. The most passionate of fans love Allegiant, but beyond that group, Allegiant is negatively viewed and not just because of the ending. For me, everything I had liked about the first 2 books came crashing down with Allegiant.  I was uncertain about seeing the Allegiant movie at all because I felt so burned by the book. But 2 movies? It’s adding insult to injury.

The negative perception of the book isn’t news to Summit/Lionsgate, so for the sake of their stock price, they better have one hell of a plan to make this work. Best case scenario – maybe some of the elements that are criticized – the uneven characterization, the world building, the plot – can be improved with a good screenwriter and director to create enjoyable and entertaining movies. The movies also won’t be burdened by chapter by chapter POV switching between Tris and Tobias. However, that’s a dicey situation, because if you change the story, your core fans who love the book are going to be angry and may not support it (or just go see it once, which is damning for the profitability of these movies). And you can’t draw in those who read the book and didn’t like it unless there’s been big changes. Major doubts on this decision. Massively huge doubts.

Good luck to all involved, because it was always going to be a challenge to adapt Allegiant, and now you’ve given yourself twice the job.

JJ

Some Mockingjay Ideas for the Soul

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

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

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

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

Them There Eyes

Josh Hutcherson In Mockingjay Peeta Mode

OMG MOCKINGJAY PHOTO!

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

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

BEHOLD!

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(Gracias, Jabberjays!)

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

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

What does it meeeeean?!

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

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

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

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

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

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

*gaspsnifflesob*

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

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

The Waiting Games

It’s been another week of no Mockingjay news. My patience is really wearing thin and I want to delay becoming too whiny about it. So in the interest of improving my mood, and the composure of all my fellow suffering Hunger Games fans, here are some suggestions for how to kill time during this news drought.

1)      Watch Catching Fire… with a laser focus. Watch it one time just focusing on Jennifer’s performance. And then praise the heavens that we got her as Katniss. Then do it again for other actor.  Watch once just focusing on costume design, or on the score, or the editing. You’ll get an added appreciation for the movie. And at 2.5 hours a pop, that’s a nice chunk of time.

Drinking games are ok, but DO NOT not challenge Haymitch to a drinking contest. Book Haymitch at least.

Drinking games are ok, but DO NOT not challenge Haymitch to a drinking contest. Book Haymitch at least.

2)      Watch Catching Fire… with a drink. So many drinking game options.  Drink every time someone says Peeta. Drink every time the Mockingjay symbol appears or the word is said. Just maybe keep them to small sips (and be of legal age of course).

3)      Re-read Mockingjay.  We’re probably due for another read through. I appreciate Mockingjay more with every reading. And you can be the hero of knowing all the places Cressida is mentioned in the book. Every minute detail of District 13. Think of new theories of how they are adapting it to the screen. Where are they cutting the two movies? You have the luxury of time to consider all these things with another reading of the book.

4)      Watch things that the Mockingjay team have worked on. Have you seen Game Change yet? It’s a political drama based on the 2008 US election written by MJ screenplay writer Danny Strong and stars Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson. Freaky. Or you could watch Buffy The Vampire Slayer (tv show), Gilmore Girls, or Mad Men and see Danny Strong acting. More freaky, and three of my favorite tv shows of all time.

5)      Read some fan fiction. There’s a lot of Hunger Games fan fiction out there. And yeah, it’s not all primo stuff, but there are some talented writers in the fandom. Canon, AU, whatever you want, it’s probably there for the reading.

It's been so quiet even Katniss is sleeping

It’s been so quiet even Katniss is sleeping

6)      Write some fan fiction. Even with the huge amount of HG fic, can you believe that there doesn’t seem to be anything set in the Scandal Universe? Which is a shame because, come on! You could set it up as Katniss=Olivia, Gale= Fitz, Peeta=Jake, Haymitch=Cyrus, Coin=Sally, Snow= Olivia’s dad. There is so much potential for trippy fun here. (I should explain that I consider Olivia/Jake endgame. I know, how scandalous, but I want it because Scott Foley is everything).

7)      Read through the archives of Victor’s Village. There’s loads of stuff here. Years of stuff to reminisce about. Or at least enough to give you a chuckle or two while we CONTINUE. TO. WAIT.

8)      Umm. Help me out. If you have other ideas please bring ‘em on.

Sure, you could also spend the time enjoying other interests, but nah, that’s stupid.

JJ

YA Books to Read Before They’re Movies

We’ve always had a thing for book-to-movie adaptations, particularly in YA. Not all of the adaptations are stellar, but there’s something inexplicably interesting about them. Then again, I don’t consider myself a very critical moviegoer. I recognize the flaws in many adaptations, but I don’t care.

Everyone’s making a huge deal about young adult novels being turned into movies, but really it’s NO DIFFERENT than any other type of adaptation in the sense that things have to be judged on a case by case basis. They’re different stories and visions. But that doesn’t mean they offer no value to the generations. There are people out there who wax poetic about Molly Ringwald movies, then call enjoying current YA adaptations immature. And worn out action movies flop all the time, but nobody’s railing against them. Holy hypocrisy, Batman!

In that spirit, we’re going to talk about YA books we love that will become (in some cases, hopefully become) movies. They range from dystopian to contemporary to fantasy, from “coming out next week” to “recently optioned for film”.

DIVERGENT trilogy by Veronica Roth (Dystopian)

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Not gonna lie. We really, really, really did not like the last book in the Divergent trilogy. After reading, I actually referred to screwing up the last book in the series as “pulling an Allegiant”. But we fell in love with the first novel and so far, the clips have looked interesting, bar the occasional hokey line. The first book is fast-paced, emotional, and really intense at times. Our butts will be in the seats next week!

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green (Contemporary)

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The following sentence requires a lot of commitment, but I’m going there: TFIOS, as fans lovingly abbreviate it, is my favorite standalone book of all time. At least at this point in my life. Yes, it’s about a terminally ill teen whose quiet existence is turned around after meeting someone who’s willing to connect with her despite it all. Everyone goes “Urgh! Cancer kid novel!” But it’s SO MUCH MORE than that. John Green is one of the most phenomenal writers in existence. TFIOS is smart, honest, and brave. It’s the kind of book that tears you apart and puts you back together again. And the trailer was so freaking good! We expect to laugh and cry and then do it all over again.

THE MAZE RUNNER trilogy by James Dashner (Dystopian)

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There’s a lot of back and forth about The Maze Runner, coming out in September, for two reasons:
1) The industry seems to have high hopes for it.
2) There’s a male lead and all but one co-star is also male. Some people believe that this is the reason the industry has high hopes for it.
We call shenanigans! The Maze Runner is a dystopian series, but it’s also a mystery series. You never know what’s going to happen next. Details trickle out only as they’re needed and you can’t help but want more. But you need to know. If the movie keeps that up, we’d certainly forgive the gender discrepancy.

DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE trilogy by Laini Taylor (Fantasy)

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DOSAB is in the very, very early stages. It’s only got a director, as of right now. The books are worth it anyway. Laini Taylor has this lyrical quality about her writing that makes it easy to flit between modern day Prague and another realm with Karou, a seemingly normal girl who just happens to serve as a currier for otherworldly creatures. The films are going to require some serious CGI, so let’s hope for an amazing technical team!

SHADOW AND BONE (Grisha) trilogy by Leigh Bardugo (Fantasy)

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This project was optioned by producer David Heyman of Harry Potter fame and it’s easy to see why. This series is BADASS! Leigh Bardugo has such a creative take on her world and a keen skill for molding stunning characters. The books are quite dark and intense, but there’s some amazing moments of levity in there too. They take on both whimsical and gothic elements of fantasy so effortlessly. If translated onto screen well, the films will be stellar!

PANIC by Lauren Oliver (Contemporary)

Panic_HC_JKT_des4.indd

Panic came out last week, but it was optioned by Universal months ago. You’ve probably heard people say it sounds exactly like The Hunger Games, but other than the competition element, these people are full of it. Panic is a contemporary based in the impoverished fictional small town of Carp, New York, where students pay into a pot throughout high school and after graduation, they can choose to compete in a deadly competition of dares to win the money. There are two narrators: Heather enters because she’s trying to outrun herself– she thinks she could be a better, more likable, even prettier person if she could just leave Carp– and Dodge desperately wants revenge, even if it means murder. Important note: THEY DO NOT FALL IN LOVE. THX.

Hopefully, this list will do you some good if you’re adaptation junkies like us!
The Girl With The Pearl

How Peeta Mellark Won The Capitol (Sort Of)

This post actually comes after a request! Carrie emailed us to see what we thought of The Capitol’s perception of Peeta, which is a damn good question. She also said she didn’t feel comfortable writing a post because she’s not “a Hunger Games scholar” (implying that we are, which is both adorable and HILARIOUS).

Winning Capitol hearts...

Winning Capitol hearts…

Let’s start off by saying this: There is noooooo easy answer. Capitol views of Peeta are both positive and negative, depending on the time and the circumstances and the people involved.

In the beginning, it’s easy for everyone in the Capitol to love Peeta. He’s sweet, quick-witted, and appears to be a hopeless romantic. The star-crossed lovers routine he masterminded is insanely popular, so even Snow and the Gamemakers appreciate him. There’s a temporary usefulness they see in him, because citizens would be saddened by his death, but they weren’t going to turn around and overrun the games because of it. His death probably wouldn’t have even caused a Rue-like uprising, just a collective “Oh, that’s a bummer!” He’s a convenient element of the show. That is, until the berries. The Capitol audiences love him even more– What a special ending! What romance! What showmanship!– but Snow certainly ain’t drinking that kool-aid!

Peeta takes part in that berries ploy, too, but it wasn’t his idea. He’s got Snow’s attention just as much as Katniss, but he’s not seen as the threat. Snow sees straight through both Katniss and Peeta’s different intentions, sees Peeta’s genuine affection for Katniss and his almost comfortable life in District 12 that he probably doesn’t want to lose, and thinks “How can I use this?” Note that Peeta isn’t the one Snow needs to threaten into compliance before the Victory Tour.

... Aaaaand then crumbling the constructs of their society. NBD.

… Aaaaand then slowly breaking down the constructs of their society. NBD.

We’ve said before that Peeta has a gift for words, but Katniss has a gift for action. Great speakers have really positive effects on people. The Capitol wants to live vicariously through his words. They want to understand him. They want to believe in what he has to say. But action really gets attention. While the Capitol is really fond of Peeta, it’s the “DAMN! Did you just see that?! I LOVE HER!” response to Katniss Everdeen that really catches their attention and poses a threat to Snow. Words can be reshaped and spun in ways bold actions cannot. Though Peeta causes some trouble with his public speaking engagements in Catching Fire, stirring the districts into uprising and getting Capitol audiences to finally take some issue with The Quarter Quell, it’s nothing that can’t be contained. In fact, his speeches are ultimately what saves his life.

Snow knows that The Capitol still has a very favorable opinion of the star-crossed lovers from District 12 after the clock arena’s destruction. With the acquisition of Peeta, Snow can leverage Peeta’s feelings for Katniss and loyalty to others involved in The Rebellion to get what he wants. Peeta is forced to spin the story in The Capitol’s favor in propaganda across Panem, talking about how Katniss has been brainwashed and Rebellion is not worth it. Snow gets comfortable in the concept that Peeta would never become a threat. He’s more of a puppet. Of course, we know Snow is wrong for two reasons:
1) Peeta does what Snow says, but only after being ruthlessly beaten. He makes his shaken state obvious throughout his segments, giving audiences the subtle message that all is not as it seems.
2) When he realizes that Snow is out to kill the others no matter what he does, Peeta busts open his plan on national television to save the lives of the people in District 13. His thanks is a good ol’ hijacking.

Snow and The Capitol continuously underestimate Peeta. They think he’s the weak link and maybe, at first, he is softer than Katniss. What they don’t count on is the different kind of strength he possesses. He stands up to the Capitol in systematical ways that convince people that the government is deceptive without putting on a big show. He recovers from a brainwashing most people never do because he’s got some serious mental fortitude. And even in the end, when Katniss Everdeen has been labeled a deeply disturbed byproduct of war, the truth of Peeta Mellark’s troubles remains mostly under wraps and it’s likely Panem audiences are still quite smitten with him.

Snow never even saw it coming.

Essentially, Peeta Wins The “Most Popular” Superlative In The Capitol Yearbook,
The Girl With The Pearl

Sorry Delly, But Prim Needs You

In the many Mockingjay casting announcements last year, one character has been left out that makes people worried– Delly. So, are they leaving her out or just keeping her a secret?  It seems likely to me at this point that she’s not in the movies. There’s no reason to keep her casting a secret. Well, other than inspiring this post. So I guess I should be thanking Lionsgate for the mystery of it all.

Them There Eyes has shared her displeasure with the possibility of cutting Delly back in September.  I agree that Delly has an important place in Peeta’s recovery so if not including her is sending the signal that they’re going to gloss over Peeta’s journey, then I don’t like it. But, my hunch is that this isn’t the case. Mockingjay is split into two moves, so cutting story for time is less of an issue. No, I think they’re cutting Delly in order to build up Prim.

What do those Mockingjay scripts have in store for you, Prim?

What do those Mockingjay scripts have in store for you, Prim?

See, I always feel bad about this, but I was never really invested in Prim. Katniss certainly thinks the world of her, and tells us over and over again how great Prim is. But it’s during the scenes with Prim that I’m the most bored. And I always feel bad when Katniss compares herself negatively to Prim. After all the amazing things Katniss does for her family and friends, I just can’t abide by the comparison. This is in no way Prim’s fault, since it’s Katniss narrating the story and making these comparisons.  I love the character of Katniss with all my heart, but Katniss is never able to convince me to love Prim. So when Prim dies, I mourn for her mostly because it destroys Katniss, not for the actual loss of the character.

One of the fabulous things about the Catching Fire movie is that I found myself warming to Prim. Credit to Francis Lawrence, Michael Arndt, Willow Shields, whoever had a hand in it, but this movie gave us hope that Prim’s character could be something more than it is in the books.

So returning back to Mockingjay – We have 13 year old Prim training at the hospital in District 13. And she’s AMAZING. GUYS SHE’S JUST THE BEST MEDICAL TRAINEE EVER. (*Rolls eyes* Come on, Katniss, she can’t be that good. But you love her and that’s nice). When Peeta is rescued, Prim fights for him and helps in his recovery. She even comes up with a reverse hijacking treatment idea. (Again, the 13 year-old trainee thinks of this and not any of the doctors/scientists?) Ok, realistic or not, when she is trying to help Peeta, I really like her. Especially when she says things like,

 Well, you’re going to try, aren’t you?” Prim persists. “You’re not just going to lock him up in some padded room and leave him to suffer?

And when she tells Katniss,

There’s a chance that the old Peeta, the one who loves you, is still inside. Trying to get back to you. Don’t give up on him.

YES, PRIM, YES. MORE.

Now, Them There Eyes also pointed out one really big problem with transferring Delly’s role in Peeta’s recovery to Prim. Delly has a past with Peeta that is not connected to Katniss. That’s why she is so helpful in grounding him. Katniss is his trigger, so how is having his trigger’s sister more involved in the treatment going to affect the recovery storyline? My thought is that they will have to reduce the importance of “any connection to Katniss” being a trigger and just make Katniss herself the major thing that sets him off. Peeta won’t freak out over Prim herself. Or maybe she and Peeta will have major issues at first, and she will find some way to break through to him. Maybe Movie!Prim finally lives up to Katniss’s esteem for her!

This is all complete speculation. Delly could end up being in the films. But after all, this whole journey began because of Prim. In Mockingjay Part 2, her death MUST have an emotional impact on more than just Katniss and her mother. For this movie to have done its job, the audience needs to feel the pain of her loss more acutely. And Delly may be sacrificed for us to have a stronger connection to Prim.

I’m sorry for it Delly, but this story just requires A LOT of sacrifice.

JJ

The Hunger Games vs. The Olympics

Oh, the Olympics! When several countries from across the globe come together to settle who’s better once and for all. At least as far as certain bouts of athleticism go!

And this year, things seem very Hunger Games-y. With a fine sprinkling of Rocky IV in the margins, because who can resist a good Ivan Drago reference? Seriously, though!

Exhibit A: The Tribute Olympic Parade Escorts

Who knew Effie had so many co-workers?!

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Between the giant decorative headpieces and the torso accessories, these women are clearly straight out of the Capitol. Not to mention how smiley they are as they escort most of these athletes toward likely defeat!

Exhibit B: The Stylist Waz Here

ralph-lauren-olympics

Yes, the Olympic games always involved countries entering in their own unique outfits. But every time, they seem to get more and more outrageous. Some countries were normal, but the USA went for that kitsch “panel sweater knitted by Great Grandma” look while Russia looked like one of those Santa Claus themed charity runs people do around the holidays. Also, Bermuda showed up on blazers and Bermuda shorts because DUH! THE NAME HAS BERMUDA IN IT and we just… can’t even… WHY? *facepalm*

Exhibit C: The Welcome

Let’s face it, Vladimir Putin didn’t look particularly happy to be hosting this shindig.

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Exhibit D: Sponsorship

There are A LOT of people who have a lot of money invested in the Olympic games. While some governments do produce financial backing to help their athletes attend the games and the competitions leading up to them, many countries including the United States leave their athletes dependent on corporate sponsorship (unless they come from very wealthy families). If they want to compete, they have to win over the sponsors by emulating their perfect little competitor. Someone fierce yet lovable with an excellent shot at winning.

So you know how you get really, really sick of seeing athletes in ridiculous amounts of commercials surrounding the Olympics? They’re sick of it too! We all have something in common!

Exhibit E: The Careers

While it’s not true of all athletes, it seems quite a few were born into their sport. Why do you think so many siblings compete together? Their parents had this life planned out for them since they were in the womb. They trained relentlessly, starting at a very young age. It was a full time job even then. They were raised believing that Olympic gold was the major goal of their lifetime. These aren’t just people who want to win, these are people who have kind of been trained to believe they’ve failed their country if they don’t win. (Here’s a great article by former luge competitor Samantha Retrosi on this.)

On The Upside, There’s No Murder!
The Girl With The Pearl

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