Fandom

Francis Lawrence Fiesta!

GUESS WHAT GUESS WHAT GUESS WHAT?!

Hemsy and Lawrenced Squared. BECAUSE WE SAID SO.

Hemsy and Lawrenced Squared. BECAUSE WE SAID SO.

Today is Francis Lawrence’s 44th birthday! And we’re celebrating with this appreciation post!

Francis Lawrence is THE main man behind the last three films in The Hunger Games franchise. Though we’ve yet to see Mockingjay Part 2, we can definitely say they we loved his work on Catching Fire and Mockingjay Part 1.

If you were around when Gary Ross left the franchise after the first film, you remember the collective groan from the fandom and the general sense of “Now what?” It’s not that Gary Ross was the undeniable leader of the film franchise, but he had done a solid job on a limited budget. Who knew what to expect from a new director?! It definitely had the potential to be a disaster.

Then rumors of Francis Lawrence directing came about. He had three movies under his belt– one of which was Constantine (In retrospect, we blame the screenwriters, Francis!), but another one was I Am Legend, which was actually really good. More than his limited movie history, we went into throwback mode because F-Law started off with music videos and HE DIRECTED THIS:

This alone is proof of what this man could do with effects (which weren’t a strong point in the first movie) and a limited budget.

Soon after, Francis was announced as the definite director for Catching Fire. The first photos of Francis and Jennifer meeting wound up online and LAWRENCE SQUARED WAS BORN! Because unnecessary nicknames are our favorite!

This guy is immediately MOBBED by the fandom. He definitely feels the pressure. But he shoots his movie and the same and when fans get their first trailer… It’s really, really good. As more clips and footage finds its way online, it’s more than good. This movie looks fan-freaking-tastic!

Lionsgate announces that Mockingjay will be split into two films and Francis will direct both before Catching Fire is even out. We’re divided on the split, but no one has any complaints about Francis directing. He talks about the films passionately and articulately.

At the Catching Fire premiere, Francis comes out for a signing. The fansites stand in a media pit a few feet away, not expecting much attention. He introduces himself (as if we didn’t know!), asks up how we’re feeling as we stand in the hot sun, asks us what sites we’re from (Them There Eyes is wearing a Victor’s Village shirt and replies “It’s on my chest!” He doesn’t even flinch.) Someone thanks him for saving the franchise from a sophomore slump and we all agree pretty heartily. He’s nothing but gracious.

And then we watched Catching Fire and Mockingjay Part 1, which were tonally different but both superb. And we are super thankful for his part in this franchise!

At Least We’ve Stopped Calling Him Frank,
The Girl With The Pearl

Dancing With Willow

Okay, I did something I’m not necessarily proud of. I watched Dancing With The Stars. TWICE.

Participation perks include free Glamor Shots!

Participation perks include free Glamor Shots!

When Willow Shields aka Primrose Everdeen was first announced for the show, we discussed our mixed feelings about a young, talented actress going on a television show typically populated by burnouts (and the occasional legend who is just really bored).

But then something else kicked in… persistent, unnerving CURIOSITY.

Well… Was she good? How complex are the dances? What’s the production quality on a show like that, anyway?

Someone retweeted Mark Ballas saying she was underscored. Was she underscored? We had to discover for ourselves. So we watched:

And hell, Mark was right! She kinda WAS underscored. Because if Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper’s dance in Silver Linings Playbook managed an average of 5, that shit was AT LEAST a 7, dammit! Why are you trying to take this joy away from a 14-year-old?!

But I know from my cheerleading days (I was 12. Allow me to keep my dignity!) that clean lines are really important in competition and.. *sigh*

And that was all it took. The morbid curiosity could only build from there. Oh damn, those dance actually look really difficult. Were they easier on her the next week? There were a couple problems in the first routine. Could she improve?

So yesterday, my bum met the couch once again for round 2:

And it was much better. And there’s still hope for Team MarkingJay– tackiest thing we’ve ever heard, by the way– despite the fact that she’ll eventually lose to Rumer Willis’ crazy-ass legs brought to you by years of personal trainers.

No, we’re not keeping this up. This show just ain’t our jive. But now that we’ve got a couple views out of the way, it’s nice to see that Willow is genuinely having fun with it and not allowing the competition element to drive her crazy. She’s too young for any drama!

But Not Too Young To Cuddle With Mark Ballas Sooooo Heyyyyy,
The Girl With The Pearl

3 Years of THE WORLD WATCHING

hunger games world will be watchingMarch 23, 2012. A date that lives in many a Hunger Games fan’s fond memories. Because it was the day that the first movie came out in the US and many other countries, give or take a day. Yes, three years ago, we saw the first Hunger Games, and watched it become a legit phenomenon. No spin needed here- the massive $152 million US opening weekend broke all kinds of records.

You see, waaaay back then, when a movie came out on a certain weekend, it TRULY came out that day. No 8pm showings the night before. No, back in 2012, if you wanted to see the first showing of The Hunger Games you had to stay up until midnight. And so at 12:01, the showings began.

From my personal experience, that 12:01 showing definitely indicated what a BIG DEAL this movie was going to be. I saw it in one of those megaplexes with 18 screens. And they had at least 8 of them reserved for 12:01 showings. And they had 3am showings as well! And the place was PACKED. I think they used all 8 of those theaters with nary an empty seat to spare. There were lots of people dressed up. The most popular were the Capitolesque Effie types, but there were also those decked out in t-shirts of various districts. The excitement was REAL all throughout the movie. I remember feeling very overwhelmed. There were a few parts that fell flat for me, like the tribute parade. I’m sorry, but that was just badly executed. And not enough time given to develop Peeta’s character. Why Gary Ross, WHY?

But overall I really loved the movie and felt that the book was treated respectfully while also understanding the necessity of making it work for the screen. I went back 3 more times in the next two weeks, so I must have felt pretty good about it.

One more to go!

JJ

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!

BTS and Video Clip Virgin

I haven’t seen ‘em, and “‘em” would be the myriad of Behind The Scenes pictures, and video clips that have been circulating the internets for the last several days. Yeah, clearly there’s something wrong with me, but the thing is– I don’t want to see ‘em.

Call my crazy, but I kind of like the element of surprise, and not having to see the infamous Finnick In B8csmw4IYAA9RpIHis Undies scene on my iPhone… on Instagram, is more than a let down– dare I say it, but anti-climactic. See I’ve got this thing in this room in my home, it’s called a Blu-ray player, and it’s attached to this other thing called a High Definition Television set. And there’s this amazing thing that happens when you put this other thing, consequently called a Blu-ray disc, into the Blu-ray player. I think you might have got the idea! I’d much rather not see anything new concerning Mockingjay Part 1 in an inferior platform in comparison to the said technology that lives comfortably somewhere in my home, whereas my cell phone mostly lives in my pocket. Tiny Finnick will not do, I say! He must be at least bigger than my palm!

All that being said, I do know that releasing all these images and videos is to create buzz, and buzz is good– even though I think we all know that no matter what Lionsgate does to promote the release of Mockingjay Part 1 on disc, they’re going to make boat loads of money. BOAT LOADS.

We are moths to the flame! Bring on the release all ready, my Blu-ray player is humming at the ready!

Them There Eyes

Exhibiting The Mockingjay: We’ve Got Expectations!

Straight on the heels of the IMAX 3D announcement, another big Hunger Games news story hit the web: We’re getting an exhibit, y’all!

Exhibits are trendy for franchises nowadays. It started with Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, as most recent movie series trends do. Now, just about every franchise out there has to prove its worth by making sure it has a museum exhibit in its repertoire. We’ve been to the Harry Potter exhibit and it was straight-up delightful, but Potter has a much different tone, on the whole.

We don’t know much about this baby yet, except that it’s starting up July 1st in New York City and has a vague description on its website:

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The Hunger Games: The Exhibition™ will ignite fans of the blockbuster Hunger Games franchise as never before. Immersive themed environments, hundreds of authentic costumes and props, and highly interactive digital and hands-on experiences will invite visitors to step inside and explore the world of Panem as created by the films.

So clearly, we’ve got expectations, especially for those interactive bits.

1) FULLY FUNCTIONING REPLICA OF THE DISTRICT 13 WEAPONS ROOM
We understand that we shouldn’t shoot the explosive arrows inside. Beetee told us so! But damn it all, we better be able to shoot the incendiary ones! Gale got to!

2) 3D MONKEY MUTT ATTACK OF DOOM
If you’re going to try to make fans interact with the special effects, it better not be chillin’ and singing songs with Mockingjays. We want excitement and TERROR! How about the monkey mutt attack from Catching Fire? Preferably with a replica of Finnick’s trident on hand so we can stab at those suckers!

3) CORNUCOPIA WRESTLING
We fully expect to be able to climb the cornucopia with another person, then try our damnedest to throw them off before they manage to throw us off. Nobody even has to get eaten by mutts afterward because the shame would be enough!

4) EFFIE TRINKET SALON
Seeing Effie’s outrageous costumes won’t be enough. Without the opportunity to dress ourselves up in Capitol clothes with extreme hair and makeup that would make a drag queen look tame, the interactive portion of this exhibit is SIMPLY NOT COMPLETE!

5) OH… AND SOME PART 2 STUFF, WE GUESS
You’re probably shooting yourself in the foot a little by doing all this before MJ2 is out in theaters. Maybe so you can do the “bigger, better” version of this later? But hey– Book readers know what happens. So maybe give people a look at how that all goes in the exhibit too, plzkthx!

You’re welcome to our ideas, exhibit folk! Just holla at us somewhere in there!

Better Than Staring At Costumes, Right?
The Girl With The Pearl

Stepping Out On The Hunger Games

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I have a confession to make. I’ve been stepping out on The Hunger Games, meaning I’ve been cheating on it. So loudly, and proudly I’d like to declare it here and now that I’ve cheated on The Hunger Games trilogy with Diana Gabaldon’s epic Outlander series, or as she calls it sometimes “the big books”. Don’t be mad, or be mad, it’s your prerogative– but as my need for new and exciting, and unknown outcomes, and characterization up the wazoo, I fell into the swirling, faceted story that is Claire Randal’s amazing Technicolor world.

I love The Hunger Games, I’m a crazy ass THG fan, that’s why I’ve written for this fantastic blog for over two years now. Although I must acknowledge that I’ve been absent for several months due to familial obligations that have made writing twice a week, or anything beyond text messages– next to impossible. It’s a long story, a boring one actually, let’s just leave it at this– broken bones, not mine. The Hunger Games though is like a little baby that I found on the side of the road, and now it’s all grown up, and is making billions of dollars in the foreign markets, and I’m left at home knitting, saying “I remember when!” in a haggard, world-weary voice. The Hunger Games has become nostalgic for me, kind of like The X-Files (my oldest, truest, and longest fan obsession). I like to visit it, pick up my copies off my book shelf, thumb through the pages, find passages again, and relish in the memories, the feelings. But I’m a big fat cheater now, because I do almost the same thing with the Outlander books, as well as the television series.

Before I get comments flung at me saying things like “Outlander is a romance novel series! Ew!” I’m going to preemptively defend the stance that it’s not. It’s a science fiction fantasy, and historical drama, that also has an intense, complicated, heated love story weaving through its probably more than a million pages. If I was going to compare Outlander to anything though, I’d say that it reminds me of Battlestar Galactica in its scope, its drama, its humor, its world building, and its characterization. And coincidentally the executive producer of the Starz adaptation of the book series is the executive producer of Battlestar Galactica. Go figure!

Things that Outlander and The Hunger Games have in common: The lead character is a strong, capable, willful, opinionated female. That said character, just like Katniss is thrust into an impossible situation and has to make due with her wits, and the skills she possesses. Sensitive, brave, and charming male counterparts, that are equal in characterization to the female lead. Bad things happen, really bad things, like death, and limbs being lost, also sea sickness. Epic story that spans years, locations, and there’s surprisingly a lot of fashion talk. A love triangle, a really really complicated love triangle. Livestock.

I’m a cheater, and I admit it– but Jamie Fraser made me do it, and it was so worth it. Sorry Peeta.

James Alexander Malcolm McKenzie Fraser... er Sam Heughan

James Alexander Malcolm McKenzie Fraser… er Sam Heughan

The Many Fandom Reactions to any Gale Post

During movie off-season, as we’re in now, Lionsgate keeps the social sites active by posting something at least once a day. Since we’re months away from anything substantial from Mockingjay Part 2, it’s usually a recycled still or maybe an edit of the Mockingjay Part 1 content. So for the most part, a non-event. But when they post something concerning Gale, I take another look.

Not because I particularly like Gale. Liam Hemsworth is nice to look at, so I’m not complaining, but he’s not a character that I spend much time thinking about within the scope of the series. There are lots of other characters I prefer to think about. No, I enjoy when Lionsgate posts something about Gale because THE COMMENTS GO CRAZY IN EVERY KIND OF DIRECTION and I find that really entertaining.

Lionsgate posted this still over the weekend with the caption: Gale Hawthorne… a soldier, a friend, her strength. #Mockingjay

Click the image to go to @TheHungerGames Facebook post and read the fun comments for yourself.

Click the image to go to @TheHungerGames Facebook post and read the fun comments for yourself.

Oh yeah, they gave fans a lot to work with on that caption. Well, some people were just focused on the fact that Liam is a hottie so there are comments like “bae” followed by 10 hearts. Some people were excited that they called him a friend, which meant lots of FRIENDZONED comments. Others were mad that he was called Katniss’s strength, cause damn it, Katniss has her own strength. She don’t need him! Some comments questioned why do you always post Gale and not Peeta? More PEEEEETA. And some people just flat out wrote MURDERER.

Yikes. Without question, Gale brings out a lot of emotion in the fandom. It’s only going to get more extreme as we head into Part 2. I’m sure Lionsgate will be ready with lots more pictures and captions to bring out those reactions. Cause, come on, they totally know that fans will react this way.

Thanks for keeping us entertained in the meantime, fandom.

JJ