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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!

GALLERY: The Hunger Games Exhibition

You’ve probably noticed that there’s been lots of goodness from The Hunger Games Exhibition all around the web, including over on our Instagram page. Now, we’re sharing all the photos from our Hunger Games Exhibition with you!

If you like these glimpses, stay tuned for a detailed report on the super fun exhibition!

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…)

The Mockingjay Part 2 Trailer: Reactions on the Fly

No, this is not this official bomb diggity trailer reaction post we do for every film, sadly. Getting a bunch of busy ladies together to chat takes time, but it’s coming!

Here's a hug. We all need one!

Here’s a hug. We all need one!

In the meantime, let’s discuss some off the cuff reactions!

For me, this was probably the best trailer for the series we’ve seen so far (followed by the second Catching Fire trailer, if you’re curious!) Some really awful fans have been jumping all over Nina and Francis on Twitter demanding that this trailer be freaking fantastic because they’d had to wait so long– as if Nina and Francis control the release of trailers– and now those two can be smug. It WAS freaking fantastic!

We got a major sentimental scene, Finnick and Annie’s wedding, for which the visuals were gorgeous. We see the extreme sister love between Katniss and Prim. And then the tension seeps in and we remember that it is NOT ALL GOOD. War is happening, people are rallying, Katniss is dressed up as the Mockingjay, and Effie and Haymitch are there to attempt to be reassuring but probably kinda failing.

Then there’s the hug continuation that hit all the feels, as noted here by a Twitter user:

Shot through the heart!

Shot through the heart!

From there, the action begins! Did anyone else think the Star Squad was running from a crazy huge deluge of oil when those set photos from Paris hit the Internet? WE SURE DIDN’T.

Altogether, it was an exciting, uplifting, heartbreaking, INSANE experience to watch the first trailer for the final film.

However, there has been one thing pointed out to us that we can’t un-see. Something straight out of the Catching Fire trailers:

THIS NOVEMBER
COMES THE EVENT
THE WORLD HAS BEEN WAITING FOR

We mean… both “events” have that November release and the world is waiting / waited for both (not the whole world, of course. There’s undoubtedly some countries out there where people do not give a daaaaamn about these films.) The lettering is the same in each but the background is different– CF is black, MJ2 is crimson with little embers floating. Still, are there NO OTHER WAYS to say “Everyone is anticipating this movie coming in November” without recycling?! Are we budgeting the biggest franchise Lionsgate has?

Still, we’ll try to let it go because all the other stuff.

Real Freak Out Reaction Post Coming Soon!
The Girl With The Pearl

The Sight That Made Our Mockingjay-Loving Souls Weep

Finally, things are happening in the fandom! FINALLLLLLLY!

There are brand spankin’ new Mockingjay Part 2 stills that we’ll be talking about soon– but they’re still coming so we’ll wait a little while longer.

Instead, we’re gonna soak in all our really, really intense fandom feels, thanks to Nina Jacobson:

There are two thoughts that came to mind as we saw this:
1) OMG THEY’RE FINALLY DOING THE EPILOGUE AND IT’S GOOD! The setting is beautiful, Jen and Josh are doing their Everlark thing, and it’s all coming full circle. And despite some division among the fans, we freakin’ love the epilogue.
2) OMG THEY’RE FINALLY DOING THE EPILOGUE AND IT’S SO VERY PAINFUL! This means that in just a couple days, filming is over. This is the last time Katniss and Peeta are happening on screen (bar an awful remake in 20 years or so), everyone else is donezo, and in a few short months, all we’ll have is the memory of fandom anticipation. THE END IS NIGH.

Either way, we kind of want to collapse into a ball and cry, rocking ever so slightly as we cradle this image in our arms. We’re pretty sure Nina Jacobson was trying to kill us (but not really).

Hell, the overall feel of the scene is just so enormous that it’s making us nostalgic and downright sappy. And then… What is Katniss holding?! Is that a baby? And is that another tot standing off to the side? Jen’s nephews, nonetheless! WE CAN’T EVEN HANDLE IT!

So are you prepared to be a bucket of outrageous feelings for the next several months? Because I’m pretty sure that’s where all this is headed!

Off To Listen To Sad Music And Contemplate Existence…
The Girl With The Pearl

The Creepiest Sisters EVER

WE HAVE MOCKINGJAY PART 2 PROMOTION! …Kiiiiiinda.

“The Sister Portrait” is a chilling look at Katniss and Prim from the upcoming coffee table book “Tim Palen: Photographs from The Hunger Games”. A commemorative print is going around at Cannes (because apparently the rich industry folk at Cannes need that) and Vanity Fair debuted it for the rest of the masses as well.

OBSERVE!

55520ccdb80bcc99383a280d_hunger-games-sister-portrait

Let’s just say that there is something gut-wrenching and foreboding about this image and it has EVERYTHING TO DO with Willow Shields’ face. It’s like her eyes are piercing our souls and screaming “Dammit, I’m about to die!” Katniss is looking away trying to figure stuff out, but Prim is looking at you because… Oh shit, it’s about to go down!

We must admit, we started looking through promotional images and paparazzi photos from Mockingjay Part 2 scenes to see if Katniss’ Mockingjay outfit has never been covered in bondage weapons straps. It looks like that’s unique to the photo shoot! Or it’s a design that was considered but ultimately scratched.

While Prim blends in with the old timey looks and the muted colors, Katniss sticks out like a sore thumb. Though they’re standing together, they look very separate. We’re having a hard time deciding if that’s intentional artistry of some sort or photoshop mishap.

But back to our initial point– Is that really Mockingjay Part 2 promotion? The image could easily be from Part 1 or Part 2. Nothing about it specifies either way. If it turns out there’s a whole collection of more specific Part 2 character portraits with this same look and feel, sure! Otherwise, it’s kinda just promotion for Tim Palen’s book (which is cool, but not as cool as obvious, tangible promotion for the final film in a major franchise.) WE NEED MORE in order to make that call!

Because RIGHT NOW feels like a good time for character posters,
The Girl With The Pearl

Those MTV Movie Award Shenanigans

It’s that time of the year again, when the people at MTV try to annoy the crap out of fandoms by having social voting for those magical internet ponies (you might just call them awards). You can vote for various ponies on their website. But every year they do some kind of social vote award too. Last year they made the “Best Hero” category something you voted for just on their website (and Katniss was left out of that in lieu of more traditional male action hero types). We remember being really annoyed about that. The fandom even started a petition about it, which was nice, but ultimately ineffective.

Like Gale, we're sitting this one out.

Like Gale, we’re sitting this one out.

But yes, last year their “social vote” category was “Best Character” and the two main contenders were beloved YA heroines. It wrecked havoc on our social feeds for over a week, and if you followed the voting on the day of the awards, the huge voting comeback for the character with the actress actually attending the awards was quite amazing. Pretty much unbelievable actually. MTV even overtly helped that along by keeping voting open long after their own communicated deadline. So in the end, all the time the fandom spent clogging every timeline was for naught. And we learned not to bother and spend our time doing more enjoyable things.

This year, here we go again. Although MTV has made the social vote category for “Best Hero” and actually including our dear Katniss Everdeen this time. Gee, thanks a lot for including her this time. How generous of you. Also included are the two other big YA book to movie characters, whose fandoms really love to vote for the internet ponies. And also Bilbo Baggins and Starlord, whose fandoms seem less inclined to care.

We get the purpose of these shows – they’re one big ad for movies and MTV. And MTV wants to award the actors and actresses who are willing to attend to promote movies and MTV. If you want to devote yourself to voting, go for it. We love Katniss too, so we can’t blame anyone for wanting to sing her praises everywhere. But please, don’t take the results too hard and realize that there are other agendas at play in all these games.

Jen Can't Eat The Award

Katniss won’t hold it against you – she doesn’t have any use for golden popcorn either.

JJ

Josh and Franco

While we’ve been toiling away wishing for more Mockingjay Part 2 news, the principle cast of our favorite franchise have all gone off and got them selves some fancy new gigs. Now this is where I’d usually wax on and on about Jen working with David O. Russell again, but not today! Today it’s all about James Franco. Yes, you read me right– JAMES FRANCO, shout-y letters and all. Our beloved Peeta is currently filming a film with James Franco, the man who collects advanced degrees, and makes memes out of himself on Instagram, has about 80 different jobs at once, is starring and directing. Awkward runs on sentences aside, this is pretty interesting news! Why? ‘Cause the film is an adaptation of one of John Steinbeck’s lesser known novels, In Dubious Battle. Steinbeck of course is the American fiction writer best known for novels like East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, Cannery Row, and a collection of short stories including The Red Pony.

This is the second Steinbeck adaptation I have heard anything about in the last twenty years. The last was oddly enough Gary Ross’s announcement that he’d like to try his hand at a two part adaptation of East of Eden, starring Jennifer Lawrence no less. However, instead of our dear Jen stepping into a role created by Mr. Steinbeck– it’s Josh. I gotta say I like this development.

Now everyone stare at Josh in Great Depression Era clothes, and not think “District 12 is calling for its clothing back!”

Check out that pageboy cap!

Check out that pageboy cap!

Yes, that's Selena Gomez.

Yes, that’s Selena Gomez.

All right, that’s enough! Now everyone go read In Dubious Battle!

Them There Eyes

Why We Come Back to The Hunger Games

Mockingjay Part 1 DVDs should all be in our hot little hands now, and our DVD or Blu-ray players should be whirling away as we watch every last tidbit. Or, um– maybe you’re like me and work too much, and instead of being the good Hunger Games fan, you fall into bed every night, and in place of having a re-watch of your favorite scenes, you pick up a book that has nothing to do with the Hunger Games, perhaps the book even takes place on another planet, continent, in an other century, and in the end are able to only read a handful of pages at a time– because you’re just that tired.

Hi, I’m a Hunger Games fan who hasn’t done much Hunger Games fan-ing in a while. Some of us live our fandom lives like there’s no tomorrow, they have Tumblr’s, and Etsy shops, they host fandom meet ups, and make manips, and write fan fiction, others only delve into them when the timing is right. Drinking Games, re-watches with enthusiastic, but fandom-ignorant family members, excitement over the beginning of promotional materials for the last and final installment of the film series be damned– fandom is an ephemeral thing that for many can only be sustainable for short bursts

OMG it's 19th century Peeta! No... it's Oliver Twist.

OMG it’s 19th century Peeta! No… it’s Oliver Twist.

of time over a smattering of years, because seriously– if we stayed at the excitement level we’re at when Peeta goes Hijacked!Peeta on us– we might all be dead.

I burn for the days when every last scrap of Hunger Games gossip, and minimal legitimate material was enough to keep us going for weeks, hell– months on end. Philosophical blithering aside, I question almost constantly why we keep coming back for more?

Are we gluttons, are we masochist? Or is fandom something else entirely?

The Unofficial Mockingjay Part 1 Drinking Game

Now that we’ve all likely got our hands on a copy of Mockingjay Part 1, it’s time to return to an old tradition!

We realized today that we never did one of these for Catching Fire (Here’s The Hunger Game version), which is an utter shame because we really would have loved a complete set! Still, it’s time to grab your DVD or Digital HD copy and prepare foooorrrr…

THE UNOFFICIAL MOCKINGJAY PART 1 DRINKING GAME

The way it's meant to be!

The way it’s meant to be!

Required:

Your poison of choice (or, you know, water..)

One regular glass

One shot glass

An underwhelming sense of dignity

Take a gulp when…

Someone references “The Mockingjay”

Boggs escorts Katniss or alerts her that she needs to be somewhere

Prim gives Katniss sympathetic doe eyes

Katniss totally loses it over Peeta

Someone talks about Beetee breaking through the Capitol’s systems

President Snow has a shiny new scene

Cressida’s role is much bigger than it was in the books

Tears glisten in a character’s eyes

Buttercup is more endearing than the humans in the scene

OBVIOUSLY.

OBVIOUSLY.

Down the glass or bottle when…

Gale gets indignant on behalf of the rebellion

Something blows up. ANYTHING.

Sam Claflin’s British accent breaks through a bit

Take a shot when…

Coin gives a speech and you think “I can see right through your act, bitch!”

In your opinion, the scene in question could have totally been traded out for one of the deleted scenes

__

Got your own brilliant suggestion for The Hunger Games movie drinking game? Leave it in the comments and we’ll add in our favorites!