Hunger Games Halloween, Mockingjay Style

Brace yourselves! It’s our final look at how you can embrace The Hunger Games this Halloween!

We know fans may be dressing up at Hunger Games characters for years to come, but after Mockingjay Part 2, there won’t be any new designs for the crafty fans to minic and the rests of us to purchase in knockoff form.

But now, there’s still time. So like we did for The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, let’s consider our Mockingjay Halloween options!

Naturally, we start with THE MOCKINGJAY. Or “Warrior Huntress”, because legal purposes.

warrior huntress

There’s a strange spindly phoenix logo, but close enough. Unless you’re good with manipulating catcher’s pads into costumes, this is probably one of the closer designs you’ll find.

There’s even has a take on Katniss’ three-finger glove, which is key for fake arrow shooting!

katniss glove

Do the suit come in red? Not yet! But you can always gamble with red fabric paint!

We searched the Internet far and wide for suitable Star Squad replica costumes with no luck. BUT there’s costume body armor. Throw it over a long black collared jacket and some tactical pants and maybe it could work?

It’s pretty sad that there’s no Peeta specific costumes for Part 2, those guys could always grab a white suit and a turtleneck and go for Capitol Captive Peeta!


Still guys, remember, EFFIE IS THE BEST AND POSSIBLY EASIEST COSTUME. Poofy wig. Outrageous dress. Questionable makeup. Accessories, accessories!

Happy Halloween!
The Girl With The Pearl

The Hunger Games Tribute… And That Non-Tribute That Snuck In

Yesterday was the launch of THE HUNGER GAMES TRIBUTE campaign.  Per Lionsgate, this is “a celebration of the dedicated fans that have made this franchise a global phenomenon.”  Participants get a chance to win tickets to a Global Fan Appreciation Event in Los Angeles in late October (contest is US only but we presume a livestream will make it “global”). To participate, you can go the easy route and just vote in some of the categories, or you can submit your own fan works.

best drawing

We were some of the lucky few who were asked to help whittle down the nominees, and it was tough because there’s a lot of great fan work out there. Each week will have different categories and we’re happy with 4 of the 5 this week.  There’s some awesome fan art whether it’s drawing/painting or people channeling their inner Peeta with the edible variety. And there’s movie scenes to vote for – Best Katniss Moment and Best Action Sequence. It’s all good fandom fun.

best food

Well, it’s nice, fandom fun until we get to the Best Trailer Parody category. Most of these we enjoyed – they exaggerate and poke a little fun at the movies, but harmlessly. The Lego one is creative and lots of fun. “Jon Snow Must Die” is a great crossover if you’re a Game of Thrones fan. Literal Hunger Games, a little biting, sure, but still funny. The Honest Trailers Catching Fire video takes a lot of jabs at the movie but doesn’t come from a hugely mean place.

The Honest Trailers Mockingjay Part 1 video though. Why on earth is this a part of this awards? We have to wonder if anyone at Lionsgate actually watched this video before adding it to the contest. We almost don’t want to bring it to anyone’s attention. Just let it lose and hopefully not another soul watch it. But since it’s up there we have to think it’s getting some good extra exposure by being a part of this campaign, so we’ll address it. It’s so out of place. This video is four + solid minutes of hating on the movie. That it’s boring, a waste of time, Katniss cries too much, etc.  Bottle up all the overblown negative reactions from that movie and put it in a video, that’s this one. You really get the sense that the video makers HATED the movie. Oh, and just for good measure, throw in a gross joke about Jennifer Lawrence’s picture hacking at the end. We can handle people hating on Mockingjay Part 1, some people aren’t as invested in this journey as us, we get it. But adding in Jen’s picture hacking as a joke at the end really pisses us off.

Sure, Lionsgate could argue that “fans” nominated the video, but I’m sure somewhere in the extensive official rules, you’d think Lionsgate & Samsung would put in the ability to have some control over the nominations in cases such as these. And you’d think they wouldn’t want to include a video that makes light of a serious crime that happened to their lead actress. Moreover, Honest Trailers does videos for practically every big movie. It’s not that they are Hunger Games fans, they’re in it for the views. And the views may be why they included that awful joke, but it’s so out of place in a fan celebration.

So go have fun and vote, for anything but THAT.


Those Unquenchable Mockingjays

Before the debut of the FOR PRIM “trailer” on Wednesday morning, another Mockingjay Part 2 poster was released via Jennifer Lawrence’s Facebook page.


Again we have the red Mockingjay outfit, which we still don’t believe will be in the actual film, but is merely for these in-universe propaganda promotional pieces. The red makes for a bolder visual statement, but as a practical matter, we see the use of the red as a way to differentiate the Mockingjay Part 1 and 2 marketing pieces. Thinking back to May when the first promotional items for Part 2 came out with the Sisters poster or just the Effie image, a common complaint was that it looked just like Mockingjay Part 1 stuff. By making the suit red, they’ve instantly been able to make things seem “new” without being really new while creating a sense of continuity between the two films. Having her standing in profile reminds us of the first character posters for the Hunger Games. Much has changed for Katniss, but much remains the same.

The new element of this poster is the inclusion of a “real” mockingjay resting precariously on her shoulder (don’t fall off, little buddy!). Maybe he’s positioned like that because he’s about to fly away again – Mockingjays are busy creatures after all. We suppose it’s more interesting to have him with Katniss than just her by her lonesome, and he’s not sticking awkwardly out of her neck, so we’re grateful for that.

tom haverford artThis poster overall harkens back to Catching Fire’s “The Sun Persists in Rising” poster that had mixed reviews back in the day. As personal “confession,” I’m looking at the “Sun Persists” poster right now because I have it hanging in my living room. I know it gets criticism for a lot of reasons (the pose is too Pocahontas/Lion King/you name it) but I like it for three reasons: the tagline, the clouds, and overall color scheme. (The color scheme is PERFECT for my living room decor). “The sun persists in rising so I make myself stand,” is from the beginning of Catching Fire and fits with the overall look of the poster, and what Katniss has to do throughout the book/movie. It’s also nicely relevant to anyone’s life – you may go through great struggles in life but you have to continue on and face the days as they come. It’s a more “artistic” poster, and with all ART we all feel different things looking at it.

This new poster is in the same LOOK GUYS, THIS IS ART category.  It also has the same cloud motif and obscure book quote tagline. So sure, the clouds and colors are nice but that book quote is a WEIRD choice. Yes, we know it’s from the passage in Mockingjay after the parachute fire bombs go off.

Real or not real? I am on fire. The balls of flame that erupted from the parachutes shot over the barricades, through the snowy air, and landed in the crowd. I was just turning away when one caught me, ran its tongue up the back of my body, and transformed me into something new. A creature as unquenchable as the sun.

The only reason we can think of for including this quote is that it’s meant to be paired with the FOR PRIM trailer. The trailer is all about bringing you the #feels about the moment when Prim dies and Katniss’s devastation from that loss. How does that moment of Katniss becoming a “fire mutt” and subsequent limbo between life and death relate to this poster? We’re struggling with the choice.

This is not the final poster though, just as FOR PRIM is not the final trailer. These are extras, so at least it’s something new to talk about.

Wonder if this poster will be the cover of Tim Palen’s $850 ULTIMATE Hunger Games photography book?


Mockingjay Part 2 Premieres – It’s Business, Not Personal

Yesterday the long awaited Mockingjay Part 2 premiere locations were announced.  (Along with a couple stills -BLESS). image

Berlin as the host of the world premiere was a surprise, but a nice one and made sense to us since filming on the movie happened there, and it was where the film wrapped. This brings us to our main point – THE PREMIERE LOCATIONS MAKE SENSE. This clearly wasn’t a contest for which cities/countries have the “biggest” fans or who “deserves” a premiere. There are passionate fans everywhere on the planet because these books and movies are awesome and transcend borders. If you’re a part of the 99% of the population left out of the #MockingjayWorldTour, don’t take it personally! It’s just business, and it doesn’t mean premiere time won’t be fun for all of us.

Back to the “it’s just business” point, it’s really tough on the talent and the budget to go on a global publicity tour for weeks. They have to prioritize what makes sense in terms of money, time, and distance for these events.

Los Angeles and London are where Lionsgate’s main theatrical businesses operate. They are also entertainment hubs of the Hunger Games franchise’s biggest markets. These two are no-brainers. If they DIDN’T have premieres here it would be super weird.

Berlin and Paris were both shooting locations for Mockingjay Part 2, and it’s common for movies to host premieres where the film was shot (sorry Atlanta, LA trumped you again). France and Germany are also decently sized foreign markets for the films in the $30-40 million range each for Catching Fire. These locations are ALSO close to London, so it’s not as taxing on the talent in terms of travel.

They can’t go everywhere and meet every fan personally, but these premieres will inevitably have live streams and interviews galore, so it’s not like everything is closed off to fans that live far away. If a premiere isn’t in your city, it wasn’t because Francis Lawrence or Nina Jacobson wanted to snub you. They very likely had NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. When fans tweet them excessively whining about their country not having a premiere, it just makes Twitter a more hostile place for them, and they’ll be less inclined to share things with us. STOP IT.

The disappointment is understandable. I would love to go to a premiere. There’s lots of energy, excited people, and OH, THE MOVIE TOO, but the distance makes it unrealistic for me. It’s not Lionsgate’s fault that I live 3000 miles from LA. I’m still going to enjoy it all via the Internet and then travel a reasonable distance to see the movie when it’s out.

Screaming hysterically in your fave’s face is really awkward anyway.


Important Characters Die This Time

In the Girl With the Pearl’s round up of “alternate” Mockingjay Part 2 titles, there’s one that stands out because it’s just so true and tragic.

The Hunger Games: Important Characters Die This Time

We say THIS time because even though Mockingjay Part 1 had the highest body count of any Hunger Games movie, the named characters got through alive. The reason for this is the 2 movie book split. We haven’t gotten to the “games” portion of Suzanne Collins’ story structure that takes such a toll on major characters. And being the true series FINALE, the character body count is overwhelming:

Messalla, Mitchell, Leeg 1, Leeg 2, Boggs, Homes, Jackson, Castor, Finnick, Prim, Coin, Snow

Like THG and CF, in MJ2, having a character poster DOES NOT make you safe.

Like THG and CF, in MJ2, having a character poster DOES NOT make you safe.

I probably left some out – there’s a lot of loss in the movie. It’s a war movie, and from the few articles that have released about the film so far, that has been made plain. This movie will show you the consequences of war. Realistically, audiences need to go into it expecting death, just as they did with the first Hunger Games movie. “There’s 24 of us Gale, and only one comes out,” Katniss says in the first Hunger Games theatrical trailer. While that wasn’t exactly true, it did set the stakes for the movies and prepare the audience for what they would see. People were expecting to see all those other tributes fall and Katniss come out of it. The question was just how it would all go down.

Book readers know what’s going to happen, and it’s HUGELY unlikely for the filmmakers to make any changes from the book in terms of who dies. Fans are also VERY vocal about how this all ends. I can’t imagine if you have a friend or family member that’s a fan of the books that you haven’t yet been “spoiled” already. So the question becomes, how much will be revealed beforehand in the movie’s marketing? And does it even matter, since so much of the audience probably knows the major points of what’s going to happen?

Due to the heart-wrenching huggy time between Katniss and Peeta in the teaser trailer, movie-only audiences know that hijacked Peeta is going to get better, so that mystery is off the table. Will the marketing hint at other major things like Finnick and Prim’s fates? In Mockingjay Part 1, Coin was fairly positively portrayed. Will there be hints of an evolution in her character, or will general audiences be in for a huge surprise in late November?

The question of how much to reveal in movie marketing is always tricky. Some people want a lot of teases. Some want to walk into the theater and be completely surprised. Terminator Genisys got a lot of criticism by revealing a MAJOR plot twist in one of their trailers. While that movie had plenty of problems beyond the mere spoiling of that twist, I’d say they definitely went too far by revealing that. But when a movie is based upon very popular books, are there any plot points that must remain concealed before release? How far is too far? We as book readers enjoy these movies plenty knowing what’s going to happen, but at the same time you want to let people that like to discover the story in the theater have that experience too. When a film is executed well, you can find ways to surprise everyone.  Knowing Peeta was going to attack Katniss at the end of MJ1 didn’t keep me from jumping in my seat when it happened, but I imagine it was CRAZY to those going into the film blind.

We may see fire and death from those parachutes in the trailer, but Panem’s children are just expecting good things.


Spending All Year With the Mockingjay

Slowly the trickle of movie merch is coming upon us. Today we see a preview of the Mockingjay Part 2 2016 Calendar (available on Amazon US and UK).

MJ2 Calendar

The cover art is reminiscent of a lot of Mockingjay Part 1 merch – with the additions of Peeta (because we would riot if it didn’t) and Boggs (yay!). We’ve seen some fans sad about the absence of Finnick. We agree Finnick is more of a fan favorite character, so it’s an interesting choice. We wonder if her inclusion is 1) because they had her image anyway from last year’s merch so why not? 2) The hair and tatoos. Everyone loves the hair and tatoos.

We don’t mind Cressida’s inclusion because it balances out the genders a bit more as well. We know the movie has lots of women in all kinds of roles, and this gives a better impression than that tired 1 woman, lots of guys scenario that seems to be the norm in blockbuster movies.

Inside, there’s some new rebel propaganda art and those great character posts. (May looks like it’s all yours Finnick!)

mj2 calendar 2

mj2 calendar 3

We love those character posters, and pairing them with red/black propaganda makes this a more cohesive calendar than in year’s past when various stills were used. But damn, it we kind of wish there were some stills in here simply BECAUSE WE’D LIKE SOME MORE STILLS RELEASED. But hey, that should be happening soon. We hope.

We don’t think the calendar makers really thought about these things when assigning months to the different images, but placing Prim in December made us a little teary. Cause by most fan timelines of Mockingjay that we’ve seen. Prim dies in December. WHY ARE YOU SO CRUEL,CALENDAR?

Time for a tissue or two, and this is just a CALENDAR.


The Return of Samsung

On Saturday, we posted about how quiet things have been in terms of Mockingjay Part 2 sponsors, and we weren’t exactly complaining about it. But the next day, the silence was broken with this Samsung ad that aired twice during the MTV VMAs.

We agree with our friends at QQ. We’re not feeling it. We’re more or less thinking WTF?

We’re not surprised that Samsung is back as a sponsor this year. And we’re ok with it. We figure they deserve a shot to make up for the really awful way they bungled the Mockingjay Part 1 teaser trailer release with their “COME SEE THE TEASER FIRST ON OUR TABLETS AT BEST BUY” promotion. So sure, come back, and put together that’s something actually awesome for fans. We’re ready to hug and make up.

But we don’t think this ad is a very good start. We *think* that they’re being tongue in cheek with the voiceover talking about all the craziness of the VMAs and then inviting people to relax and watch the pretty explosions (hi-def!) of war on their snazzy tablet. To “enjoy your last moment of peace [watching Mockingjay Part 2 footage] before the VMAs insanity begins again.”

We have a sense of humor. And, as we said we *think* the intention here was to be tongue in cheek about things. But it doesn’t really work and rubs us the wrong way. Maybe it’s the tone of the voiceover guy’s voice. Maybe it was how they glorified the crazy awesomeness of the VMAs at the expense of our beloved final movie and its serious themes. Maybe we’re overly sensitive about things.

At least since the spot was VMA-specific, they won’t be repeating it again.

Try again, Samsung.


Snapping The Mockingjay

Yes, we’ve already complained about how we’re already over the SnapChat element of the Mockingjay Part 2 campaign. And honestly, that still stands! We will take one website reveal of images over twenty 10-second snaps ANY DAY. But today was kind of an exception!

Over the course of the week, the MockingjayPt2 Snapchat has been running various contests to celebrate the five-year anniversary of the Mockingjay novel. Today, fans were tasked with drawing their own version of the Mockingjay cover.

This contest proved something we already knew: The world has waaaayyyy too much time on its hands!

But also, somebody get these kiddos a real art-based program to mess around on, because some of them are pretty good!

CNbiJ3BWoAABAMR CNcS1QfWgAA_ssX unnamed (1)


We’re Snapchat amateurs, at best. We can barely manage to add short spurts of text to our snaps. Our drawn in hearts and smiley faces are lopsided like it’s nobody’s business. Yet these damn users created in tact shapes and shading!

Seriously, how long do you have to spend drawing with one finger to get that good at it?! Maybe they just have natural skillz that we don’t. Let’s hope it’s that and not the rabid dependency on the app!

My Mockingjay Would Look Like Tic-Tac-Toe Gone Wrong,
The Girl With The Pearl

Mockingjay Music Goes Premiere

So the coolest opportunity ever for young musicians was held in the UK a while back: James Newton Howard, the composer behind each score in The Hunger Games franchise along with loads of other good films, invited over 2,000 student musicians to submit pieces meant for the Mockingjay Part 2 soundtrack. Then 24 of those pieces were chosen to be featured in the film!

What a scoring session actually looks like!

What a scoring session actually looks like!

Besides being fwatured in an “OMG THIS IS A BIG DEAL!” type of film and having that on their resume for life, there was another prize involved as well. In an interview with a local newspaper (via QQ), one winner divulged she “has been told she can attend the film premiere at either London, Paris or New York.”


London, we expected. That’s the home base for pretty much any franchise that hits Europe. Paris has practically become a staple for The Hunger Games as well. We’re a little more skeptical about New York and here’s why: Technically, there’s been a premiere in NYC for every film in the franchise. But it’s what we’ll kindly refer to as a “Rich Kid Premiere”. Mostly private, held for the executives and distributors and important members of the press and their families. Fancy, but more quietly so.

And the boys choir is back to make things sound eerie as well!

And the boys choir is back to make things sound eerie as well!

And no, Lionsgate isn’t going to confirm anything at this stage. They don’t announce anything until juuuuust before it’s bound to happen. The premiere details will leak like a punctured water balloon all over the Internet before they confirm anything! It’s especially true for NYC if it’s another RK premiere– We know because we’ve asked about the New York promotion every year and Lionsgate never even acknowledges our question.

Then again, a public NYC premiere for Insurgent was held last year, though that film didn’t get a LA premiere and The Hunger Games has a track record of LA premieres to uphold. So maybe the actual US premiere will hit NYC instead? We’re just getting our hopes up now, aren’t we?!

Back to the students, it’ll be cool to see how JNH takes the student pieces and blends them in to form the overall arc, the highs and lows of the score that will offer so much to the final film. Just pick a really cool premiere destination, okay winners?!

It’s Music To Our Ears!
The Girl With The Pearl

Hunger Games On The High Seas

Every now and then, we get an email that makes us say “Hmmmm… Where the heck did that come from?”

One of those was from Angry Goat Productions, who wanted us to talk about their Cosplay Cruises— more specifically, The Hunger Games themed one. Because “It’s not just a Con… It’s a Concation!”


The idea of a con cruise is not an original or uncommon one, but it’s something that certain fans clearly enjoy. Angry Goat knows, because they’ve got Cosplay Cruises for just every about every major fandom out there right now. They’re working in the business of fandom, working on our passions and hopes of being around like-minded people.

But our first question, of all things, was this: How the heck do they think they’ll get this passed Lionsgate legal?! Either they have a deal in place or they’re about to face some fury, because LG comes down pretty hard on people who could even potentially profit using the namesake of their major franchise.

We’re not saying it’s a terrible idea, but we don’t know if this would take off YET. Most fandom cruises follow fandoms that are heavy on nostalgia and only 3 1/2 years after the movie franchise began, we don’t think the fandom is quite ready for nostalgia.

So what do you think? Would you celebrate with other fans on the high seas? Or is this something meant to cash in on fandom?

Thoughts Of The Island Arena In 3.. 2.. 1..
The Girl With The Pearl