Film

The Fire Will Burn… Out?

Plutarch: May I speak freely?

Coin: You don’t appear to do anything else.

Plutarch: I’m only talking about salesmanship. The thing with revolutions, they’re a tender flame. They need to be nurtured with a little kindling. And warmth. A bit of oxygen. One sure way to put it out is to smother it.

We all know this exchange from Mockingjay Part 1 and it feels fitting for the state of the Hunger Games fandom. It’s depressing right now, with the desperate back and forth speculation about when a trailer will be released. Yes, 6 months out from release (and 11 months from the end of filming) it’s high time for a teaser trailer to debut. But perhaps even worse than no trailer news is THERE’S NO OTHER NEWS ABOUT PART 2.

Today's "Secret Message" word of the day. Hope it doesn't strain you too much to figure out.

Today’s “Secret Message” word of the day. Hope it doesn’t strain you too much to figure out.

The Hunger Games social media accounts seem to spend most of their energy promoting Willow Shields on Dancing With the Stars, and while we love Willow, can we all agree that this does not count as Mockingjay Part 2 promotion? Sure dress her up in a red fire dress to dance to Atlas. That’s a fun call back to THE PREVIOUS FILMS that makes us smile, but it isn’t really getting us hyped for the upcoming one.

Starting this Wednesday, a graphic has been released daily with a “secret message” for us to uncover, the first three being “THE FIRE WILL” and the fandom seems pretty assured it’s the tagline on the Mockingjay Part 2 logo poster, THE FIRE WILL BURN FOREVER.

But, will it though? Will it “burn” even through this last installment, or will our beloved franchise go out with a whimper? Last year, when we were stuck in the “no news” black hole, we speculated that it was because The Hunger Games franchise had reached “Cash Cow” status for Lionsgate and so they were going even more lean than usual on promotion. We don’t know what they spent on marketing Mockingjay Part 1, but we can all agree that from a fan perspective, it was definitely leaner.  Sure, Part 1 suffered from some “two parter” backlash and an overall weak year at the movies in 2014, but the opening weekend being down more than 20%? That means you didn’t create the same urgency from fans too.

One would think that kind of drop would indeed motivate a stronger push this year, THE FINAL YEAR. GO OUT WITH AN INFERNO! We know now that the trailers for Mockingjay Part 1 were delayed because a lot of the District 8 footage was shot at the tail end of filming in May/June. What’s the reason for the dearth of news this year? We hope it ends soon. Maybe this “secret message” will lead us to some Part 2 goodies and there will be joy again in the fandom. We are completely ready to keep the fire burning, but it’s hard to maintain excitement when we keep waiting… and then there’s nothing to feed it.

In need of some kindling, warmth, and oxygen, STAT.

JJ

Mockingjay Part 2 Trailer Speculation Shootout

Look, we get it. Waiting for an anticipated movie trailer sucks. Waiting for a Hunger Games trailer is perhaps even worse because Lionsgate is obsessed with keeping it sooper sekret right up until the day of release, whenever the high hell that may be.

But seriously guys, stick a fork in us… because we’re done.

THE OBSESSIVE TRAILER TALK IS TOO FREAKING MUCH.

It started off pretty chill with the Age of Ultron rumors. Someone said the Mockingjay Part 2 trailer would come out in front of Marvel’s surefire smash, which was easy to believe because regardless of whether it’s true or not, Lionsgate would be straight up idiotic is they DIDN’T do this. LG’s upcoming release Age of Adaline was also named as a potential suitor for the trailer. Then somebody asked Lionsgate and they denied it all, and the people who are new to this rodeo actually believe Lionsgate’s denial without question. Hint, folks! LIONSGATE NEVER TELLS THEIR FANS ANYTHING UNTIL MAYBE A COUPLE DAYS IN ADVANCE, IF WE’RE LUCKY. They deny all rumors straight up to that point. Don’t know why they think this method is useful, but they do it anyway!

Speaking of overdone...

Speaking of overdone…

Then somebody confirmed with a source that the trailer isn’t happening until summer, while somebody else confirmed with a source that the trailer IS indeed coming with Age of Ultron/Age of Adaline. THE AGES, if you will. All these sources, by the way, tend to be movie theater employees. So someone in there is completely fucking clueless and just making answers up.

And somebody in South America has now posted a trailer list for Age of Ultron without a Mockingjay Part 2 trailer on there, so now we’re supposedly meant to believe that the rest of world isn’t getting it either because that one theater isn’t with that one particular film? Because all theaters always show the same things internationally and trailers never end up under codes names and these lists never change, right?!

Then the superfans and even some fansites (though most have wised up to this by now) are posting and retweeting and commenting on every. freaking. rumor. Sometimes we’re pretty sure they just want to sound like they’re in the know. It’s enough to make us want to tune out any mention of the trailer.

Look, we honestly don’t know whether the trailer is coming with Age of Ultron or not. We don’t believe any of you on either side anymore. You know when we’ll know? WHEN IT HAPPENS. And all this constant, rampant speculation ain’t gonna make it happen any faster.

So let’s try some patience, okay guys? We know it’s new to everyone, but it’s time.

Sorry, Temporarily Possessed By The Spirit of Lewis Black This Time,
The Girl With The Pearl

“I Don’t Have A Fuck To Give!”: The Hunger Games and Fan Award Shows

As massive Hunger Games fans, we try to be active in all facets of fandom. But man, it’s just not as simple as it seems! That’s especially true with one fairly regular fandom happening: Fan voting based award shows.

See, we should be really excited about Jennifer Lawrence winning Best Musical Moment and Elizabeth Banks winning Best Transformation at this year’s MTV Movie Awards. They’re great! Maybe we should even be bummed about the other awards the film didn’t win. But like Effie says in the show’s opening monologue…

I don’t have a fuck to give!

CCbitq2WMAA1-IQ

We’ve mentioned this one part time and time again: Voting-based award shows that don’t limit voting in any way are pointless. Winning isn’t even based on who has the most fans. It’s based on who has the most fans willing to sit in front of the computer all day and vote repeatedly. We’re too busy and important for that shit! We got stuff to do! NO. *mic drop*

Of course, some members of The Hunger Games fandom still get really caught up in winning fairly meaningless awards, so we get comments on the MTV site like this:

mtv comment

YOU HEARD HER, FANDOM! YOU DIDN’T DO YOUR JOB! Bill Belichick would be very disappointed in you!

But really? What is the job of a fandom, other than to like the stuff their fandom is based around? We certainly advocate for the series plenty, but we also talk about the things we don’t like. We don’t always jump up and down screaming every time the series is mentioned, nor do we care enough to vote for every award the fandom or movies are nominated for. Does that mean we’re not doing our “job”? WHOOPS!

There’s also lots of people bashing the actual winner of that category, Shailene Woodley. Which will forever drive us crazy, because seriously guys, the rivalry between Jennifer Lawrence and Shailene Woodley and their various movies is NOT REAL. There’s also a fair amount of hate for The Maze Runner and The Fault In Our Stars for beating out Mockingjay Part 1, which is equally silly. Why hate on everything that beat out the THG fandom? It’s okay, really! Hell, you can even like all three of those fandoms without a nitpicky bitchfest! We know it’s a novel idea for many, but you should try it sometime!

If this is your thing, that’s cool! Let it be your thing! But please, respect those of us who aren’t going to take up fandom arms around every corner just for the sake of doing so.

And THIS Is Why These Awards Drive Us Cray Cray,
The Girl With The Pearl

Getting Trailer Twitchy

560x829xfirst-poster-692x1024.jpg.pagespeed.ic.88GNMkj7CVWe’re getting closer and closer to the time when we all assume there will be a Mockingjay Part 2 teaser trailer.  (Basically we’re assuming it comes out the week of April 20th and yes we know that’s a dangerous game considering the unpredictability of last year). We’re going to keep the faith and hope it happens anyway.

Of course, in this fandom, the teaser trailer itself must be teased, so by our math this means –

STUFF NEXT WEEK. PLEASE LET THERE BE STUFF NEXT WEEK. WE NEED SOMETHING!

What stuff? Well, since we learned our lesson last year about expecting too much too early we’re not even gonna go there with a wish list. We just hope that a teaser trailer release date is announced next week. Maybe a little gif/quick video tease/still. Oh shit, we started a wish list. Stopping now. Please at least just announce it next week. Yes, that will give us something to look forward to in the days ahead.

But of course, if Lionsgate would be so kind as to relaunch Hunger Games Explorer with some new content, that’d be even sweeter. (Ugh, MUST STOP THE WISH LIST).

In the meantime, we’ll be here, waiting for the cool stuff to go down.

Let’s get the positive vibes going.

JJ

Live From San Diego, It’s Comic-Con International!

Wait… Did Lionsgate actually listen to the fans orrrr….? This could be a massive coincidence, but maybe somebody– Lionsgates of all somebodies– heard our plea!

comic-con-logoSan Diego Comic-Con International, aka THE MAC DADDY OF ALL CONS, is working with Lionsgate to develop a streaming service. HALL H PANELS FOR EVERYONE! Of course, it can’t just be that simple. The streaming service for Comic-con related movies, shows, and original content will play year-round. So instead of paying a one-time fee to watch the panels on a livestream from the comfort of our couches, you have to pay monthly and hope the rest of the content is actually worth your time.

Here’s what Lionsgate’s Jim Packer has to say about the service:

“The fan base for the kind of films and television series showcased at Comic-Con has grown exponentially, and a subscription video-on-demand service is the ideal platform to capture the magic excitement of the Comic-Con experience year-round as well as the perfect vehicle for Comic-Con fans to discover new content.”

AND WE ACTUALLY AGREE.

But will this mean Lionsgate will actively focus on getting its important content featured at Comic-Con this year and in years to come?!

One of the major faux pas of the Mockingjay Part 1 campaign was not breaking away from filming for a bit to attend SDCC. Yeah, they stole the idea for some Hunger Games pastries and distributed them last year, but that didn’t do much of anything to hype people up for the film. Yes, the film’s are popular, but any good studio worth its weight knows you can’t take that for granted. Getting a Mockingjay Part 2 panel together this year will (hopefully) be easier.

Assuming the MJ2 panel makes it this year (and we feel confident it will), it works. But it’s still pretty lousy timing. The Hunger Games is LG’s major property and they’re only going to catch the tail end of it in this deal. No, we don’t count Divergent as a MAJOR property. A large one, but clearly it’s not quite as big. There will be “undisclosed other studios” involved, so hopefully some of them will have blockbuster movies and television programs to sweeten the deal.

But sadly… RIP Free versions excluding footage that will eventually make their way onto YouTube. You’ve been good to us over the years!

Think There Will Be A Free Trial?
The Girl With The Pearl

Creating a Fun-Filled Panem, in Dubai?

There were lots of funny pranks pulled throughout the fandom last week in celebration of April Fools, however there was one legit piece of news that was real, but it ALMOST sounded like a joke.  The Hunger Games Theme Park Attraction – It’s happening. In Dubai.

dubaiWhen the news came out on March 31, we knew it wasn’t a joke, because Lionsgate executives have said on multiple occasions that they were exploring opportunities to add the Hunger Games as a theme park attraction. It will be a part of a larger Hollywood theme park, Motiongate Dubai. According to the press release, it will “feature state-of-the-art theme park attractions and a retail facility inspired by … The Hunger Games franchise.” Not much in the way of details beyond that were released, other than it would be located in Dubai and another Lionsgate movie property, Step Up, will also be a part of the attractions when it opens in October 2016.

We’ve been very wary of this theme park idea all along and nothing about the announcement has changed our perspective on it. The Hunger Games costume exhibitions and the upcoming touring Exhibition starting this summer in New York have focused on showing how the books have been turned into movies. They’re basically extensions of the behind the scenes goodies of a Blu-ray, and we like that. The word “theme park attraction” invites broader world-building that could be problematic if not handled with care. So what are they going to do? Will this be some amped up version of the Samsung-sponsored Comic Con event last year, complete with Capitol Gallery and a Capitolized Peeta’s Bakery? District 12 themed rides? An arena?????

Ok, we need to stop thinking of the possibilities cause this is just getting dark and we’re probably just thinking of the worst possible scenarios. After all, remember this passage from The Hunger Games when Katniss is about to enter the arena?

Arenas

They wouldn’t do that, right? No. No, they couldn’t. THEY WOULD NOT DO THAT. True, these books/movies are just stories, so if they created an arena attraction no one would have truly died there. But it would definitely be creepy and way too “Capitol” for us to fathom.

Even if they don’t make the “attraction” an arena, placed in the context of the super-wealth of Dubai, there’s a lot of ways for this to be way too Capitol for our tastes. But then again, us three American women of Victor’s Village are clearly not the intended visitors for this attraction. I spent a week in Dubai in 2011, and while it was a fascinating experience, I’m certainly not taking that long of a journey again simply to go to a theme park when there are plenty of other places still to visit in the big, beautiful world. The Hunger Games attractions will draw in people who live closer to the geographic area, people who were planning to visit Dubai anyway for the larger theme park experience, or people visiting to gawk at the fabulous buildings and ski slope inside a mall.

We just hope they keep the story’s themes top of mind when putting this all together, otherwise it’s going to be really awkward and gross.

We really don’t want this to get awkward and gross.

JJ

Those MTV Movie Award Shenanigans

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

Like Gale, we're sitting this one out.

Like Gale, we’re sitting this one out.

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

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

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

Jen Can't Eat The Award

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

JJ

The Hunger Games Fandom Prank Parade

As fandom lovers, we have a bittersweet relationship with April Fools Day. Because it’s okay to get tricked every once in a while, but fangirls and fanboys are OBSESSIVE, it put it lightly. We believe everything. We react strongly to everything. We lose our cool… A LOT.

Yesterday, watching Twitter was essentially watching a bunch of fans freak out when they read a fake headline, then freak out again when they realize what day it is and feel like an idiot. But it’s okay, people! Everyone falls for April Fools Day jokes! So let’s recount the best of them.

It started with THG Australia. BECAUSE TIME ZONES. They came right out the gate with this baby:

Without calling anyone out specifically, we think it’s straight out hilarious that actual entertainment websites picked this up and reported it as fact. Did they look at the schedule?! The cast toured six countries for Catching Fire and had massive issues with exhaustion and disease, to the point where Jennifer Lawrence went straight from the last stop on the LA red carpet to the hospital. An 11-country tour schedule would kill them.

For getting news outlets to truly believe this, THG Asutralia wins the day. But there were still tons of other funny ones!

Down With The Capitol played on the fandom’s worst (and most irrational) fear:

Jabberjays worked that angle in a different way. One in which Liam Hemsworth pulled a Kim Kardashian:

Quarter Quell stirred up the crowd by announcing the Mockingjay Part 2 has been pushed back until March of 2016 to properly celebrate the first film’s anniversary. People were pretty sure that one was the end of the world, for which we applaud them.

It is fun getting duped? NOPE. But on that special day, we were all reminded not to take ourselves too seriously and always, ALWAYS consider what you’re reading before you react. Kudos, guys!

We Would Have Participated But We Take Our Days Off SERIOUSLY,
The Girl With The Pearl

Commence (The Final, Final?) Blond Josh Watch

The fandom had a quick, yet fun, freakout this weekend because of a picture from the In Dubious Battle set (where Josh is currently filming).

In dubious battle set

fake blond joshDon’t see it? Look beyond all the people in costume towards the person in the plaid shirt.

Is Josh Hutcherson blond again?!?! Epilogue time!!!

Well, no, more like blond Josh doppelganger, unfortunately. But thanks for freaking us out, guy we don’t know.

Now, it doesn’t make sense for Josh, who’s been seen in period attire and his natural brown hair on Friday to just suddenly pop up in the middle of set platinum blond. I mean, I suppose the set hairstylists could be trusted to do a first round of the Peeta blond before sending him off to film any of that final epilogue-y goodness. But I think we all know it’s too soon for that. Jen is also still in the middle of filming Joy as well.

So even if we’re crazy impatient, it is not quite time yet. We need to be a bit more into deep spring. That meadow needs more time to be in full growth.

You can’t blame the fandom for having a momentary freakout though. Josh is known to favor the “plaid + sunglasses” casual uniform. Observe the Google Image search results.

josh plaid

This was a good drill though. Get ready for the final blond Josh meltdown. Cause while it won’t be this week, it’s coming.

Unless it doesn’t and he just wears a wig or something ;(

JJ

Josh and Franco

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

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

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

Check out that pageboy cap!

Check out that pageboy cap!

Yes, that's Selena Gomez.

Yes, that’s Selena Gomez.

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

Them There Eyes