Characters

A Hunger Games Movie Prequel Idea We Don’t Hate

Happy 2015, or as it’s otherwise known, THE YEAR MOCKINGJAY PART 2 COMES OUT AND EVERYTHING IS OVER. Granted, 11 months from now is still quite a bit of time, but the questions swirl around about what will happen after the final movie comes out. The pipeline of Hunger Games stuff won’t be completely over then. For fans of the Hunger Games stories, there’s the curiosity of what they will do with the London stageshow in 2016. And there’s that theme park that Lionsgate keeps bringing up during their conference calls that concerns us a lot.

Beyond putting the story into those formats, what about more movies? Or tv? We think there needs to be a lot more time (like 15 yearsish) before thinking about a true reboot. Prequels or sequels are something that could come sooner. Hollywood loves to tap into successful franchises again and again so it’s not a ridiculous notion for it to happen. Suzanne Collins would presumably need to be behind it, and all public indications are that she’s not really looking to go back to Panem for an extended period of time. We’re not so sure we want to either. A huge part of why we love this story is because of these characters and expanding the world beyond the core characters is a risk.

Uncle Haymitch, tell us a story?

Uncle Haymitch, tell us a story?

But what about a prequel that’s already been teased in the books? In the Catching Fire movie, a lot of fans hoped to see Haymitch’s Games in some form, but it was not to be. He’s a beloved character, and as a teenager he was smart, charismatic, snarky, and rebellious, with tragic results. His games were also a Quarter Quell, which would satisfy Hollywood’s Capitol-esque tastes for MORE MORE MORE.

I have a huge amount of love for Haymitch, so developing his story further is the one prequel/sequel idea that I think I could really get behind. Especially if they frame the movie flashing back/forward to Haymitch, Katniss, and Peeta in the Mockingjay Epilogue-era for a few scenes (and that means getting Woody/Jen/Josh to come back for a little reunion, who wouldn’t love that?)

If/when this or other movie ideas come around, I hope it’s not for a few years. If another film idea comes right on the heels on Mockingjay Part 2, it would be too soon. Let us have our ending for a while before asking us to dive back in. In the meantime, we can watch the now “classic” Mainstay Productions version of the 2nd Quell.

Maybe it’s too soon to start thinking this way, but we can’t help it.

JJ

 

Mockingjay Missing Scene Mayhem

What are you trying to do to us, Lionsgate?! We’re having palpitations over here!

See, you’ve been releasing a lot of gorgeous new stills over the past month. This one is a fave:

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But they’re stills that probablyyyy would have been better served in the pre-release drought that lasted until about a month prior to the film. Instead they came afterwards in the midst of Christmastime award-contending releases when the steam behind your movie is already 94% gone. Not your best move. IMJUSTSAYIN.

But then to make it worse, you quote them up. Mostly it’s movie related, but sometimes it’s this:

What? WHAT?!

This amazing, fierce confrontation between Katniss and Haymitch didn’t happen in the movie. We know! We desperately wanted it to happen in the movie, so we watched out for it during our multiple viewings. NEVER HAPPENED. Our fangirl hearts were crushed.

So what does it mean? Is this an actual deleted scene from the film? Or are you just taking book quotes that were never even part of the movie and torturing us with them?

We’ve stared at these pictures long enough and tried to riddle it out, but we’re honestly not positive. Both characters were in those same outfits A LOT. Backgrounds are blurred. The exact moments featured aren’t coming to mind, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t in the movie. The character in the foreground of Katniss’ still doesn’t have Haymitch’s long wavy hair, so it’s probably not a scene in which she was talking to him.

And we won’t even theorize that any part of this is from Part 2 (though we’d be thrilled of it got squeezed in there.) Learn from the past year, you eternal optimists. If we’re lucky, we might get something from Part 2 by the end of June. Maybe!

We’re somewhere between two and three months away from the DVD, so we can only hope the mystery gets solved when the deleted scenes are announced. If it’s in there, we will then suggest a few other scenes that probably could have been cut in order to include this one.

No More Non-Scene Teases, PLZKTHX!
The Girl With The Pearl

Unnerving Characters of The Hunger Games

Cross-fandom inspiration time!

On Day 11 of the 12 days of Pottermore, JK Rowling talked about Draco Malfoy. Particularly, she mentioned how “unnerved” she was by the massive amounts of Draco fangirls who assumed that under all the bullying, bigotry, and general cowardice, the character actually has a heart of gold. The author said she’d had to drop some truth about the character plenty of times in the past: As much as people will romanticize him, he’s still a pretty awful person who never really shook off all that bigotry.

Now, Draco Malfoy is the victim of fans romanticizing him under the “Bad Boy With A Heart Of Gold” stereotype. We loathe this trope beyond all others. Draco is not this trope, nor are Hunger Games characters that fanon (fan canon, that is) wants to trope up, like Finnick and Gale.

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other characters for which the immense fan love might be considered a bit “unnerving” in the eyes of Suzanne Collins, even if they don’t necessarily romanticize the character. Perhaps they love him for the sheer fun and easy entertainment, the swagger and the smile.

You know who we’re talking about…

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No, seriously!

Caesar Flickerman has pizazz FOR DAYS. He makes us laugh. His style is unmatched. So we all love him, right?!

What we often overlook is that underneath it all, Caesar Flickerman is a pretty fucking awful human being.

We might think he’s just the standard vain, mindless Hollywood entertainer type, but not really. Caesar maintained his fame because he was the best spokesperson for the annual systematic sacrifice for children. He reassures and perpetuates lies in order to give a dictatorship the upper hand. When he interviews Peeta in Mockingjay, he absolutely knows that Peeta is being tortured and repeating carefully rehearsed falsities.

Book!Caesar is pretty much President Snow’s right-hand man. In the films, we’re provided with Antonius and Egeria, who kind of serve as intermediate Ministers of Propaganda. In the books, they don’t exist, so it’s easy to imagine Caesar is involved in plotting media relations that oppress and mislead the people. Especially since Snow sits off to the side and monitors all his segments. Even if he’s not so much involved in the planning in the films, he’s still the mainstay responsible for the execution of said plans.

So he manipulates, oppresses, and coerces. But he does it in a glitter tux with purple hair and a day-glo grin, so we forgive em!

We’re all quite susceptible to Caesar’s charms. And really, it’s not our fault– It’s Stanley Tucci’s!

But now that you think about it… isn’t that character adoration kinda unnerving?

Stick That In Your Holiday Pipe And Smoke It!
The Girl With The Pearl

The Girl on Fire, Made of Wax

Her face has been everywhere the past few years for the movie promotion, but yesterday marked another milestone in the cultural life of Katniss Everdeen. Yes, she has made it to another level now. Wax.  She’s a popular enough character that Madame Tussaud’s has made Katniss Everdeen wax figures for its London, NYC, and LA locations.

Here they are:

London Katniss

London Katniss

Katniss in NY (top) and LA (bottom)

Katniss in NY (top) and LA (bottom)

The likeness to Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss is pretty incredible. And we like the choice to have District 12/Catching Fire Katniss in two of the locations. This isn’t Katniss all glammed up for the Capitol in her fire dresses (although when you’re modeled after Jennifer Lawrence, you’re going to be gorgeous no matter what). This is Katniss in the woods (or in the woods of the first Hunger Games). She’s frowning. She’s concerned. She’s sad. She’s not fake smiling for the audience.

We’re happy they chose to immortalize this version of Katniss, and not “The Mockingjay.” Potential promotional partners, take note.

But while we really do like the serious take on Katniss, we wouldn’t mind if Jennifer Lawrence paid a visit and did some Jon Hamm/Don Draper type silliness.

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THAT, we think, would burn down the internet.

JJ

Mockingjay Emoji Magic

Sometimes, it’s the little things that count.

See, there’s lots of big things to talk about in the wake of Mockingjay Part 1’s release: Themes and box offices and reactions and…

OMG FACEBOOK JUST RELEASED A MOCKINGJAY STICKER SET!

A small sampling thanks to HungerGamesDWTC.Net

A small sampling thanks to HungerGamesDWTC.Net

Yes, we’re that easily amused. No, we’re not even a little bit sorry.

For all the marketing campaigns and contests and fancy schmancy apps created to promote the film, we’ve had about ten thousand times more fun sneak attacking everyone we know with these silly little stickers on messages and comments. Because as much as fans want to analyze the series and its deep meaning, sometimes you just gotta have fun with it!

The sticker artist was clearly taking the caricature approach, but we totally dig it. From ridiculous faces and giant jaws, it isn’t actually about actor worship. Instead it’s about the characters. Who woulda thunk it?!

And there’s a Mockingjay based emoticon for everything, people!
Too much spiked eggnog? Boozy Haymitch!
Can’t answer a simple question due to too much spiked eggnog? Cross-eyed, shrugging Peeta!
Getting overconfident with someone attractive? Lovestruck Finnick!
Pissed about their rejection of your overconfident flirtations? Katniss about to shoot someone with an arrow!
And for just about anything else? Caesar throwing his head back and basking in glory!

BOOM! THAT JUST HAPPENED!

So let’s take a moment to celebrate the little moments in fandom that make us happy… then let’s harass our Facebook friends with them!

Just Call It Sticker Shock! GET IT?!
The Girl With The Pearl

The Hanging Tree: Breaking All the Rules

Jennifer Lawrence may have been more apprehensive shooting the pivotal Hanging Tree scene in Mockingjay Part 1, than she was shooting most other scenes in the entire franchise, but I think her nerves benefited her performance rather than hindered it. Money talks in so many ways, if people don’t spend it items for sale are considered failures, if people buy them in droves they’re a success– The Hanging Tree by that definition is a success then, because it’s breaking sale records left and right. As of Saturday the 29th of November, The Hanging Tree is the second most purchased song on the US iTunes chart. In the UK it’s in the number seven position, and on the Continent in countries like the Netherlands it’s at number four, and Germany where it’s at number one. I’m not sure if the popularity of this song is due to the fact that it’s sung by Jennifer Lawrence, that it’s part of the Hunger Games mythology, or that it’s just a good song– so I’m going to chalk it up to all three factors.

Jennifer Lawrence has said it numerous times that she doesn’t think she’s a good singer. The proof is in the recording however, ’cause as much humming and hawing as she did pre-Mockingjay Part 1’s release, the audience and her co-workers and friends say otherwise. I’ll even admit that I believed the pre-movie hype that Jen’s singing chops were sub par, but I think all the objections she’s made may be the vocalizations of years of childhood insecurity rearing its ugly head. Jen, lemme put it into words that you will never read, ’cause this is a fan-written blog, and you’re clearly a smart young woman who stays away from the Internet 90% of the time– but, you’re a good singer, and you should be nicer to your self, and also stop listening to your dad– dad’s are notorious assholes to their daughters. Dad’s pour ice water on us to wake us up before school, they also tell us there are monsters in our closets, or that gummy worms are real worms, or that chocolate is dirt– or they make fun of our singing voices after talent shows–so, for the love of god, tell your memories of your dad making fun of you to the back the hell up, and look at the song buying charts, and feel a little proud.

Give Jen a hand, she sang in front of people and she didn’t die! She cried a little, but she did not die!

Them There Eyes

P.S Anyone hoping Hanging Tree gets nominated for an Oscar? If that even possible?

My One Mockingjay Part 1 Gripe

It’s hard to believe it but after three films in The Hunger Games franchise, and after so many gripes about Gary Ross’s treatment, and then my barely there gripes about Francis Lawrence’s treatment of Catching Fire– I only have one, count it ONEMockingjay-gale-poster gripe about Mockingjay Part 1. And that gripe is this, Gale Hawthorne is effectively an orphan.

I know, I know there’s something wrong with me, ’cause my gripe is for all intents and purposes the stripping away Gale of pretty much everything that made him sympathetic in the first place. The fact that he had a family to take care of, not just Katniss, and Katniss’s family, but one all of his own. There was Posy, and Vic, and Rory, and his mother Hazelle. But like Madge Undersee, or Greasy Sae, or Delly Cartwright, Gale’s family was cut down to a brief mention of his “brothers” in The Hunger Games, and then a feigned responsibility to them in Catching Fire by taking up work in the mines, and then finally in Mockingjay Part 1, they’re just no where.

So what happened to Gale’s family? Were they seen as extraneous, or an unneeded distraction from the main points of the story? In my head I’d like to imagine that Gale’s family was on the story boards for a while, they may have even had thoughts of casting them. But then it got away from the creators of the franchise, that they figured Gale alone, stately, tall, and handsome would be enough, and that expanding his home life would not have made him more easy to love, and more of a rival for the affections Katniss has for Peeta. But from where I’m sitting, even though Gale is all of those things, stately, strong, handsome, and solo– he’s not an island, and knowing more about him as a person rather than just a hunter, and a soldier, and a friend– may have been a boon to the story, and perhaps to Liam Hemsworth as an actor. That being said, I loved Mockingjay Part 1 as a film, and if Gale’s family was the sacrifice they made to make it as good as I believe it is, I’ll take it.

So, that’s my one gripe– Gale Hawthorne’s is a storyboard orphan.

Them There Eyes

Preparing For Mockingjay: Girlie Style

No I have not seen Mockingjay: Part 1 yet! So while I’m doing my best to avoid Twitter, most of my friends Facebook updates, Instagram, and basically every single internet platform not yet hacked by some miscreant cyber gang from Russia– I’m boiling over with unfettered anticipation, and I’m doing what any semi sane Hunger Games fan would be doing– I’m planning out my movie going outfit, of course!

Is it sad that I plan out movie going outfits? Specifically outfits that I’ll be wearing to see Hunger Games movies? I’ve already mapped it all out though, and yes I am wholly aware of how ridiculously girlie this behavior is. I can’t begrudge myself that though, ’cause last time I checked I am a girl! Anyway, if you must know, because I’m likely not going to take a massa_560x0 amount of selfies on the occasion, I’ll be in black, and I’ll be sporting red lipstick, because it’s become sort of a tradition. Every year since The Hunger Games world premiere in Los Angeles, I have warn red lipstick to see the movies for the first time. I guess I’ve always done this because I like idea of old Hollywood glamor, and in my world glamor equates to mildly uncomfortable makeup, and impossibly high heels. This year I’m foregoing the heels though. But what about the rest of me though? But of course since I’ve got one I gotta take it out for what’s probably going to be its only adventure outside ever, a replica headscarf of Effie’s District 13 kerchief. Why? ‘Cause I really want to annoy the people around me with the little ears it’ll put on top of my head. Also, because it’s honestly the only wearable piece of Hunger Games merchandise that I own. Nope, I don’t even own a Mockingjay pin.

So, while I’m probably going to smear lipstick all over my chin during the course of the film, and my mascara is going to run when it gets to any scene involving Peeta– I’m hoping beyond any modicum vanity that I have that Mockingjay: Part 1 lives up to the expectations that I’ve had for it since I read the novel in 2010, four years ago. I think out of all the books Mockingjay is the one that I read and said “this needs to be on a screen!” It might be the scope of war, or the propos, or the emotional rise and fall of the story– but this is the one, the one I need to be better than the last two. Because while The Hunger Games was good, and Catching Fire was as well, Mockingjay can’t rest on its laurels. That’s just my point of view though, not anyone else.

I’ll be seeing Part 1 tomorrow in a 21 and over theatre, so I may take a tipple to help the Peeta feels, cheers Tributes! See you on the other side.

Them There Eyes

Human Flesh, Christmas Carols, and Mockingjay Press

Despite the veritable plague that has over taken half of the principle cast, everyone seems to be putting their best foot forward, and in Jennifer’s case Strep Throat diagnosis or not, she’s stepping foot on nearly every stage, carpet, or otherwise, in a stylish black and white ensemble.

Today I was home in the morning, this was an unprecedented occurrence as I’m usually up and out to work by 8am most days. But not today, today I had the morning off, which meant one thing: I was able to catch Josh Hutcherson on Live with Kelly and Michael, AKA the second most irritating couple on morning American TV next to Hoda and Kathy Lee! So, while I figuratively bit my hand so I wouldn’t fling the remote at Michael or Kelly’s giant heads, I was able to watch two sugary sweet segments of Josh being regaled with pat questions about hair conditioning, and then less sugary sweet subjects like his desire to try human flesh if it was ever offered to him. This only made me think one thing, maybe Josh really wants to do a remake of Alive, the 1993 film about the Uruguayan rugby team that survived after a plane crash in the Andes by resorting to eating the bodies of their dead friends, and fellow passengers. And, none of that can be considered a spoiler any longer, because it came out in ’93, twenty or more years in my humble opinion is ample time to know the plot of films like like Alive. Yes, Josh is a weirdo, but he’s our weirdo– which brings me to Jennifer’s appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman.

As of when I am writing this article on the west coast of the United States, Letterman has not aired yet. However, a two-minute clip of Jen’s appearance was released well before air-time of the show in its entirety. And this is what we learned from the clip: Jen and Dave still have an unshakable rapport. Jen looks amazing even though she’s probably still sick as a dog. Dave tried to get her to sing, but Jen was Jen– and ended up demonstrating her singing chops with an anecdote involving her father’s merciless teasing, and a guttural rendition of Holly Jolly Christmas. The most important thing to be learned from this clip however, is that apparently Jen’s voice will be the voice we’ll hear when Katniss sings The Hanging Tree in Mockingjay Part 1. So from the horses mouth, or the girl who likes horses mouth, we now know it’s true– Jen’s singing for reals in Mockingjay Part 1.

Have a holly jolly Christmas guys! Oh wait, it’s November!

Them There Eyes

VICTOR’S VILLAGE STUDENT SERIES: Bread and Circuses in The Hunger Games and the Roman Empire

SURPRISE! We have one more entry in the Victor’s Village student series! This last one is a thought-provoking, meaty article from HGBC’s “assistant fangirl” (aka teaching assistant), peetasgirl!

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In the Roman Empire:

The phrase, “bread and circuses,” was coined during the time of the ancient Roman Empire by Juvenal, a satirical writer. In its original Latin form, the phrase would have been “panem et circenses,” or “bread and games.” This statement has become a common phrase, even in modern political satire. It describes a self-serving government (or emperor) who has done nothing to serve the people, yet is able to maintain popularity by offering state-sponsored “gifts” of food and entertainment. Essentially a bribe, which is unknowingly taken, but which still has the desired effect. It is an underhanded tactic to maintain power and control over a people.

“Panem et circenses” was an actual political strategy, used by the Roman Emperors and Senators to maintain their powerful positions of authority over an ever-increasing span of Empire. These leaders correctly realized that if the general populace – vast in number – were to become dissatisfied with their government, it would be easily overthrown. Later in the Roman Empire, these entitlements had become so popular, that sponsoring the “games” became the peoples’ expectation. Rulers were often judged, not by their effectiveness as public servants, but by the quality of the games/gifts sponsored.

When “panem et circenses” was first penned by Juvenal, he was attempting to awaken the common people to their pathetic attitude of complacency. It was a wake-up call. Juvenal saw himself as a voice to the people, and decried the selfishness and ignorance that he witnessed in the general populace. Roman citizens, who had once proudly participated in their government, had willingly laid aside their civic responsibilities. Instead, they had become satisfied with temporary appeasements from a self-serving government. The citizens had sold their inheritance for a bowl of soup, satisfying the immediate appetites, but at a terrible cost – the loss of their rights in government.

zekhwkg

In The Hunger Games:

The post-apocalyptic nation of Panem draws its name from the first part of Juvenal’s phrase. At first, it seems quite ironic to name a nation “bread,” when its people have so little food. As I think about this, I think it was a brilliant move on the part of the author – it sets up the entire dystopia.

imagesThings are not as they ought to be in Panem. The nation’s name is Panem (bread), which is the one thing that everyone needs in order to survive (food). Naming a nation “bread” implies a land of plenty and promise – provision for all. This is implied in the name. It is a very hopeful name. The government wants to capitalize upon this hope, and BECOME the hope of the people. For this reason, any other source of hope (Katniss) can be dangerous.

The government of Panem made some very calculated moves, in order to be viewed as the sole provider of both bread and hope. There is plenty of bread, but not for everyone. The government (the provider) decides who gets the bread. They use the people’s hope and need as a means of both physical and psychological control. They keep the people hungry, keep them hoping for more, giving grain to the Districts monthly (but never too much), in order to maintain their image as “the provider.” What Panem’s leaders have created is a state of total dependence. By so doing, they ensure that the citizens in the Districts would never rebel against the hand that literally feeds them. The Districts cannot rebel against the Capitol – it is their only hope of survival.

The Capitol itself is another matter. If the citizens in the Capitol were to rebel against the government, there would be upheaval in all of Panem. The Capitol’s citizens live in such close proximity to President Snow and the government agencies, they could easily stage an effective coup. So, it is in the Capitol that we see the Roman Empire’s strategy of “panem et circenses” employed to its fullest extent.

Capitol citizens receive much more than bread – they may have all the food they wish. It is a society where excess has become the status quo. Their entertainment – the “circenses” – is sponsored by the state via The Hunger Games. Tributes fight to the death for the amusement of the Capitol’s citizens, giving them an exciting diversion, and distracting them from the reality of Panem’s national condition.

Crafted by one of HGBC's students

Crafted by one of HGBC’s students

We read about them in the books, living lives of extravagance, and we want to shake them and shout, “Wake up! Can’t you see how all the other Districts in your country are suffering, while you live so luxuriously? It’s not fair!” This is what Juvenal thought about the Romans, and why he made his famous “bread and circuses” statement long ago. Like the citizens of Rome, the citizens of the Capitol are completely ignorant of others’ hardships; they are asleep. The government prefers this, and carefully controls the media to portray the Districts as they see fit.

Capitol citizens are content to never think beyond their own self-centered lives, because they have been appeased by the government, and pacified by the media. They, too, are prisoners of the state of Panem, dependent upon the government as the sole provider of their “bread and circuses.” Unlike the citizens of the Districts, however, the Capitol’s people are completely unaware. They fail to realize their true position.

In Mockingjay, it becomes an especially harsh reality for the Capitol citizens to face, having the thin veneer of “bread and circuses” ripped away. For the first time, they witness what the government – and, unknowingly, themselves – had been carefully orchestrating for 75 years: A volatile nation, filled with governmental corruption and lies, where the wealth of the few weighs heavily upon the shoulders of the poor and starving.

Is it any wonder why Snow works to hard to keep everyone in the dark? To be the only hope?
Peetasgirl