Fandom

Our Blu-Ray Extras Wish List

As we move into February, the release of Mockingjay Part 2 on Digital HD and then Blu-Ray/DVD is inevitably coming soon. Along with the benefit of being able to watch the movie over and over and over again comes the fun of digesting all the extra stuff they add in to entice you to purchase.

We expect the features to be similar to previous Hunger Games movies – audio commentary with Francis and Nina, a few deleted scenes, and lots of behind the scenes featurettes on making the film. The fact that this is the last film makes us a little antsy about what bits they add to this release versus what they choose to add to any ULTIMATE, SUPER-SHINY 4-MOVIE SET that will be coming later in the year, or in 2017, or both. You know they’ve got to hold something back for those later editions. What do they have in that treasure trove to look forward to?

So now we present our not-very-grounded-in-reality wish list of Hunger Games movie (all of ‘em) extras that we’re dying to see at some point:

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Prim, what kind of nightmare sequence was this? Gary, stop holding back.

Those scenes we’ve seen in stills or BTS footage but never the actual footage. Prim in the tribute costume? Gary, what was that about? Katniss and Peeta having a chat in the tribute center. Again Gary, share that with us! Peeta getting his arm painted by the morphling. Francis, please!

Catching Fire Katniss and Peeta rooftop footage. We know something was filmed. We suppose it hit the cutting room floor early because why would you NOT include this footage as a Catching Fire extra? We’ll forgive the quality. Whatever it is, we JUST NEED TO SEE IT.

Revisions to the end of Mockingjay Part 2 after the passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman. We know about the places where footage from other scenes was added. We know Haymitch reading Plutarch’s letter was a change. But we’re curious what the plan was originally, had tragedy not occurred.

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Don’t tell us you don’t want a cast audio-commentary. Not possible.

Cast audio-commentary. The Francis and Nina audio-commentaries give us some great insight into the making of the movies. But the fandom would completely lose their shit if Lionsgate were ever able to wrangle Jen, Josh, Liam, Woody, Liz et al into doing audio commentaries for the films.  It’s the dream, people. THE DREAM.

Everlark sex. JUST KIDDING, but with all the messages Francis gets about that from fans, we couldn’t NOT mention it. The thought of that actually being filmed makes us feel really awkward, and the inclusion of a scene of that nature would HAVE NOT fit the end of Mockingjay Part 2. If you want that, there’s a whole wide world of fan fiction to explore. BUT I would be really curious to know about the creative decisions that took place in the execution of the actual, final “real or not real” scene. As much as I hate to say it, as more time passes, I find it disappointing. Or maybe I just need to watch the movie again when it comes out and learn to let it all go.

What other extras should we be pleading for?

JJ

 

A Hunger Games Resolution

How soon we do forget, huh?

It’s already January 7th and this is our first post of 2016. Why? Because we’re getting older, life is busy, and frankly, there just isn’t that much to talk about on The Hunger Games front in that topsy-turvy time period between the movie leaving theaters and the DVD release. There also the landslide of information from other fandoms we’re interested– every show restarting, every movie trailer, every new book released. And Star Wars. HOLY SHIT GUYS, STAR WARS.

But let’s be clear:

It ain’t over. It’s never over.

Yes, eventually this fandom will slow down as there’s a stop in new information. More than likely, it will pick up once again when Lionsgate goes through with a questionable sequel or two in future years. Somewhere in between there, Victor’s Village will probably say “Sayonara!” because running a website costs money and is a bit discouraging when you don’t have anything to post about. Yet in the infamous words of another fandom we really enjoy… BUT IT IS NOT THIS DAY!

hunger-games-district12-saluteThis fandom still brings us tons of joy. Not necessarily in news form at the moment, but with the friendships we maintain and fond memories and following the actors as they explore new ventures. Those things don’t disappear as soon as the steady stream of news does. There’s something bigger than the mass media we consume.

So here’s our Hunger Games resolution for 2016: We’re not going to be “so over it” now that the story is done playing out on the big screen and not being thrown into our news stream everyday. We’re not going to let the new things we may like to talk about make us forget about the things that originally got us talking five years ago. Our attention span isn’t that short, right?

Yes, we’re all probably going to be talking about The Hunger Games like a 92-year-old recalling their 20s in about two years, but when we do, we’re still going to champion the fuck outta this fandom. Because there’s meaning and value in the content, even when there isn’t something shiny and new to go with it.

Once A Tribute, Always A Tribute,
The Girl With The Pearl

The Best “Presents” of the Past Year

‘Tis the season of giving, and it looks like many fans got some nice Hunger Games-related presents from friends and family. Tim Palen’s book has inevitably had a spike in sales thanks to the holiday season, along with the adorable Funko Pops, posters, pins and other merch. It makes us think about all the other Panem “presents” we got this year.  The top one, is obviously the actual Mockingjay Part 2 movie, but there was more.  Yes, there definitely were days where Lionsgate played GOOD Santa. Such beautiful days they were.

The release of the Mockingjay Part 1 Peeta/Snow Deleted Scene

We really wanted to see some of the behind the scenes world of the Capitol in Mockingjay Part 1, but we didn’t get much. Happily, there was this deleted scene between Peeta and Snow that was released on the eve of the Digital HD release.

 

After the Blu-Ray release, Lionsgate-Santa was pretty stingy for a while. There was that “trailer” with the logo animation and voiceover which played with Insurgent, but there wasn’t much in the fandom to cheer about until the summer.

 

Katniss chillin on Snow’s throne.

Suddenly we were psyched for the movie again when we got this amazing poster (my personal fave from the Mockingjay Part 2 campaign).

mockingjay part 2 poster throne

 

A fabulous teaser trailer that reminded us again how much we love these movies.

 

After talking and talking about it for months on end, the Hunger Games Exhibition opened. And it was really cool. You just had to get your butt to New York to see it. (Though next year, San Francisco is the lucky host).

On the heels of the Exhibition opening came those cool character posters.

And the Comic Con Panel.

Yes, June and July were very good months in the fandom. Matched only by the month of November with all those premieres. Lots of premieres. And “special screenings“. So many premieres yet we still wanted more.

We certainly have our meltdown moments when things just make us very unhappy, but there’s been a lot of great stuff too. So in this season of reflection, those were the presents that stood out the most.

Freaking out with all of you as we received these cool presents, yes, that’s the good stuff.

JJ

There Will Be Prequels

We knew that Lionsgate was going to do various things to keep the Hunger Games brand alive, from the stage show, to theme parks, and potentially prequels or sequels. Today they confirmed the prequel route during a presentation.

The world of Panem is intriguing, and we’ve been open to world expansion in ways that make sense and respect the themes of the source material. So we were dismayed when we saw this quote from the Vice Chairman of Lionsgate in The Hollywood Reporter piece.

“The one thing that kids say they missed (from the early Hunger Games films) was there was no arenas,” he said, referencing the stadiums where children killed each other and noting the prior films only covered the 74th and 75th competitions. “If we went backwards there obviously would be arenas.”

Kids these days love their arenas. Big money in the arenas!  MORE ARENAS!

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Was this actually a hint to what we’ll see in THG prequels?

Ok, from a business perspective, we understand what he’s saying. We also don’t doubt that they’ve done some research where some “kids” say they missed the GAMES part of Hunger Games. Violence sells. The first two movies had much better box office than the later 2, and the presence of the simple put-24-in-an-arena-to-kill-each-other structure was easier for general audiences to understand than more complex propaganda and consequences of war themes. But there were many more reasons why the first two movies did better. The fast pace of the 4 movies’ release and the book split played a part in the Mockingjay movies box office decline. Another big factor was the massive dip in resources put into marketing the final two films. The reason was not as simple as “no arena” (even though MJ2 has an arena, THE CAPITOL).

Overall, it’s such a cynical thing to say. And so contrary to the themes of the books (and movies!). We’re cool with you keeping this world alive and creatively vibrant but please tell us that’s not really how you’re approaching these prequels. We respect Lionsgate for allowing the creative team to make the Mockingjay movies as true to the book’s themes as they were. Maybe they didn’t make as much money as the first two, but the answer is not to just repeat the same formula from the first two movies. Just as the lack or arenas was not the sole reason for the lower box office of the Mockingjay movies, the presence of arenas was definitely not the only thing in THG and Catching Fire’s favor. It had great characters, story, and relevance to our lives. THAT was the brilliance behind it.  THAT is the bigger reason for the success.

With these prequels, at least put a creative team in place that sees beyond the bread and circuses path to easy money. Please tell us great stories that stay true to the themes that brought us to this world in the first place. If you do that, there’s a chance for these prequels. If you don’t, you’ll just destroy the legacy of the movies while diminishing this brand that is currently so valuable.

Tread carefully, and thoughtfully, and just maybe the odds will be in your favor.

JJ

 

 

 

Goodbye Gale

From “Damn you, Gale” to “Goodbye Gale” the movie story of Katniss Everdeen and Gale Hawthorne was full of quotable, meme-worthy moments. It’s been a contentious ride, and the “Goodbye Gale” scene ends with such a sense of finality, you just know those two won’t be talking again soon, if ever. I’ve seen Mockingjay Part 2 five times now, and the scene breaks my heart every single time. The sorrow at Prim’s death, the uncertainty about where Gale’s culpability lies, and the mutual understanding that something has broken between them that can’t (or won’t) be repaired.

So the question I ask myself is, “WHY DO I LAUGH EVERYTIME I SEE SOMETHING ABOUT IT?” It can be anything. Someone can just tweet the words and I laugh. Or they can do something like this, which was a literal LOL for me.

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(There’s a huge number of other ones people have added to the post. Check them out, you will not be disappointed).

So why do we find this scene so funny? Are we trying to avoid the sadness of the situation by laughing? Are we channeling our disdain for some of Gale’s douchier moments? It’s probably both those things. We are a complicated fandom, and we like it that way.

Laughter aside, there is an undeniable honesty to “Goodbye Gale.” Katniss is not great at expressing her feelings, and the abruptness, the coldness, to how she dismisses him rings true to her character (and the numbness she feels at that time).  It works for the movie, however hard it may be to watch.

Keep laughing through the pain.

JJ

 

 

Little Moments We’re Thankful For in Mockingjay Part 2

Now that the second week of release is here, we’ve had time (and multiple viewings) to digest more of our thoughts and emotions about Mockingjay Part 2. We’ve seen a lot of discussion about the BIG moments in the movie – from the craziness of the pods, mutts, Finnick’s death, “Stay with me… Always,” epilogue, etc, but it’s some of the little moments that stick with us too.  Sure, there are some little things we wish had been done differently, but we’ll focus on the positive today, with our favorite little moments from the book we’re thankful (and a little amazed) actually made the cut of the movie. We’re still full of Thanksgiving spirit, so we’ll go with it.

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“I’m planning for you to have a long life”

Boggs is a character that you fall a little more in love with upon each reading of Mockingjay. He’s an overall good dude, and time and again he’s there for Katniss. He sees her as a person, not a symbol or a pawn, but a brave young woman who’s had WAY more than her fair share of sacrifice, and his support of her warms our heart. I’ve always loved this exchange between Boggs and Katniss in the books. It serves a narrative purpose of explaining Coin’s ominous intentions, but also just reinforces Boggs’ loyalty to her. Considering Boggs leaves us way too soon, we’re glad he at least got this nice moment.

Pollux and Castor when they first go underground

It was wonderful to have Pollux’s backstory fleshed out a little, and the support Castor gives his brother as he starts to get a little panicky at all the revived memories of being underground was so sweet. (Funny how they give us these moments just before a character is about to die, huh?) But it was well done to reinforce the bond between these brothers, and we loved to see it.

“You’re a painter, you’re a baker…”

Much has been written about this discussion between Peeta, Katniss, and the squad. It’s our introduction to “Real or not real,” and the movie could have just left it at the favorite color discussion and moved on. But we got the gift of the painter, baker, windows open, double knotted shoelaces, unsweetened tea of details that shows just how much Katniss was paying attention to Peeta Mellark all this time. The mundane details that she knows about him reinforces how close they became before the Quarter Quell. This is a moment for the book fans and we’re forever grateful for it, film pacing be damned!

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Tigris’s small smile when Katniss reveals her mission to kill Snow

It wasn’t a long scene, but they took the time for Katniss to recognize Tigris as an ex-stylist from the Games. The horror of Tigris’s transformation is evident when she shares that Snow didn’t think she was “pretty enough” after all the disfigurement she inevitably went through to try to meet his unobtainable continued favor. Her tiny smile when Katniss shares her plan to kill Snow is another moment we’re glad made the cut. We already knew that among Capitol elites, Snow’s friendship was fickle, but this was a reinforcement that no one was safe under his regime.

What other small moments in the film stood out to you?

JJ

 

 

 

 

The Fantastic Mockingjay Part 2 Score – And that Cynical Remix

Yesterday the Mockingjay Part 2 Soundtrack went on sale on iTunes and Google Play. This soundtrack is just the musical score, not songs “inspired by” the movie but we LOVE it. James Newton Howard has once again blown us away with music for the movie, and has brought back many of the musical cues from previous films that give us ALL THE FEELS.

mj2 soundtrackIf you’ve seen the film, you know that Jennifer Lawrence sings “Deep in the Meadow” over the beginning of the closing credits. The song is a lullaby, and with the final scene of MJ2 featuring Katniss comforting her baby, it’s a lovely, quiet way to end the film. The song carries a huge amount of emotional weight throughout the series, as it’s the song Katniss sings to comfort Prim at the beginning of the first movie, and the song she sings to Rue as she dies. Fans have been talking about how much they love the inclusion of this song since the movie’s release.

The peace and happiness was short-lived however, since yesterday as well saw the release of this lullaby AS A DANCE REMIX. Cue the awful Hanging Tree Remix flashbacks, everyone!

Having a dance remix of this song is so out of place and unnecessary it seems like a joke. Add on top of it the fact that fans more or less hated the “Hanging Tree Remix” and preferred the version from the movie, this decision feels like awful trolling. In fact, back in January I joked that they would do this.

There’s definitely a huge disconnect between what Republic Records and/or Lionsgate thinks is appropriate or what even in the slightest way works as music. As long as they see some money to be made, they seem to think anything is worth trying. Our friends at Jabberjays.net explain our frustration very well.

…all this remix signifies is a clear-cut showing of corporate greed and exploitation of Jennifer Lawrence and Katniss Everdeen. Never mind that any fan of The Hunger Games would gladly buy Deep in the Meadow in its pure, original format. Never mind that the song is supposed to have a beautiful, lasting legacy and provide peace for fans new and old alike. Never mind that this song is supposed to comfort, not inspire finger-tapping on the steering wheel.

If there was any question about the fan response to the remix, it can be found in the replies to this promotional tweet.

I don’t think the fandom could be any clearer.

So anyway, let’s go back to enjoying the score, cause it’s fantastic. And we’ll listen to THE SCORE’S version of “Deep in the Meadow” and try to forget about remix nightmares.

We need some comfort, Katniss.

JJ

 

The Illegal Spoiler Games

Okay kiddos, let’s talk about over-excitement and why it could get you in some serious trouble!

When you’re as immersed in The Hunger Games fandom as most of us are, it’s hard to TALK spoilers. We’re not talking about the very movie-specific spoilers now, but we talk book spoilers all the time, so we get it. You know what’s happening, so you just want to go out there with other fans and DISCUSS.

Officially released stills = Fair game DUH

Officially released stills = Fair game DUH

We shouldn’t just throw all our obvious spoiler feels all over the Internet because, ya know, we’re all probably friends with someone who hasn’t read the books and didn’t get to see the movie right away for one reason or another. It’s obnoxious, but we’ve noticed it’s not even the worst of it nowadays.

Let’s talk technology, young’uns.

Pretty much everyone has a smartphone. And Twitter or Instagram or Tumblr or something like that. It is still 1000% illegal to take photos or clips of the movie screen during key moments and put them online. There’s a huge difference between visuals and the written word. There are specific revelations you can only get from visuals. But there’s more to it than that– not only does posting or reposting visual spoilers make you an absolute tool, there’s a wide variety of punishments awaiting, many of which involve a legal team coming after you.

Cressida says "Make smart plans so you don't look like a douche!"

Cressida says “Think before you post so you don’t look like a douche!”

Yes, your post could get lots of reaction from other fans. Please remember that getting lots of likes on a post on social media regarding a popular fandom does not actually make YOU popular or special (Trust us, we’ve reminded ourselves plenty. We are experts in this realization.) Is the inflated sense of ego worth an account suspension or a cease and desist letter? The answer is NO.

Also, a lot of fans just think what you’re doing is uncool and ruining the full experience for others. So there’s just that good ol’ “Don’t be a dick” factor.

If you haven’t seen this on your timelines much, this rant may sound odd. But we’ve been seeing it everywhere–some of it is even directed to us– and we know we’re not the only ones, which is pretty ridiculous. We want fans to have more respect for the film than that.

Let’s all learn our boundaries and the world will be a better place!

Everyone Deserves A Fair Spoiler Warning!
The Girl With The Pearl

Inside the Mockingjay Part 2 New York Screening

Tonight, I was super lucky to attend the Mockingjay Part 2 “Special Screening” in New York. Not a premiere, so it didn’t have the huge atmosphere of what we’ve seen in the previous days & weeks, but a huge number of cast attended, as well as Francis Lawrence, Nina Jacobson, and Jon Kilik.

The red carpet was in a tent located outside the AMC Lincoln Square theater. It was filled with press, who missed out on the LA premiere, and the small “fan pen” where I was. As per usual, everyone was very nice about accommodating fan requests for pics and signings. Here are some of my pics in the zoo-like media madness. (You will notice a lack of selfies, I don’t really do selfies, and I doubt you all care so it’s cool).

 

Then after that, IT WAS ACTUALLY TIME TO SEE THE MOVIE.

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It’s been a lot to take in, so we’ll dig into the movie after official release (but spoiler alert, we’re really happy).

Nothing could prepare us for the end, so we didn’t.

JJ

The Hunger Games Disaster Theme Park

It’s been a looming threat for a long time, but as of last week, it became a reality in America: The Hunger Games theme park is being developed.

We’re not even close to the biggest Hunger Games superfans out there, but we think we’re not too shabby. We run a website dedicated to The Hunger Games and its fans, travel to premieres and big events in the fandom, buy some of the merch, discuss the promotional releases, occasionally chat on a podcast about the series, and generally pour our fangirl feels all over the Internet. Though we don’t always love every single morsel that comes out of the franchise, we’re big freaking fans!

So does that mean we want to see a theme park?

NO. FUCK TO THE NO.

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There are few words to describe what a moronic idea this is, guys! The foundation for a Hunger Games theme park is:
A) Making entertainment out of desolation, poverty, and children being forced to murder each other, desensitizing visitors to violence and the world’s struggles in the ways that Suzanne Collins was trying to warn us against.
B) Yet another attempt to hype the Capitol glam, willfully ignorant to the fact that the lush Capitol lifestyles are a harsh criticism of the way the rich often manipulate and undervalue human rights.
C) A combination of both A and B.

We understand that Lionsgate owns the rights and can milk this cash cow however they want– which they will, lest they be forced to create something new and original to intrigue audiences instead– but really, this just proves how utterly shameless they are. This is not Harry Potter or Star Wars. There is no magic, there is no adventure in space. This franchise is focused around slaughter, human rights violations, and the need to stop it. This is not a fucking theme park topic!

For goodness sake, the negligent, terrible Capitol citizens even turn the arenas into theme parks IN THE BOOKS. Suzanne Collins literally put a warning against this shit in the source material!

A spokesperson for theme park developer Avatron is defending their decision to be involved, of course:
“There are so many positives about these movies, starting with the fact that she’s an empowered young woman.”

And we agree with that. But please, do tell us how you’re going to tell build a theme park with the “empowered young woman” theme alone without the terror, war, murder, torture, or political corruption also involved. Pretty, pretty freaking please. We’d bet you our life savings that someone is going to try to dress us up as Effie Trinket and just– No thank you. Because you’re missing the entire damn point.

There’s still a little hope: Lionsgate needs financing for these parks. Hopefully, people will realize that this is not actually a good investment and it won’t come to fruition, at least here in the US. That is how much we’re against this.

Go home, Lionsgate. You’re drunk.

“They Say The Food Is Excellent”,
The Girl With The Pearl