Breaking Down That New Clip

Among all the many presents dropped on October 1 to entice us to buy Mockingjay Part 2 tickets, was A MOVIE CLIP. A pretty nice sized one too! We loved the clip – it showed Squad 451 as Boggs explained the mission. This clip is a good way for the uninitiated to get a sense for what Katniss & Co will be doing in the Capitol. We waited until today to post this because technically you were only supposed to see this clip if you purchased tickets on Fandango. But the fandom said, “Fuck that, here’s my link guys – enjoy.” But now that Fandango’s hold on it is over, hello YouTube!

First things first, Finnick’s here! We love Finnick and Katniss’s friendship but Katniss’s line about him having a “short honeymoon” made us need a hug too.

katniss finnick hugs

Then Boggs introduces the team (hi Jackson) and lays out the mission.

boggs laying down the mission

Katniss doesn’t have much to do in this clip other than listen and look worried, but that’s ok. We’ve seen plenty of ACTION KATNISS in the trailers.

katniss listening

Then, (ohhh we love this part) Gale has to get all huffy that since they’re the “star squad” they’re “not going to fight.” AND BOGGS SHUTS HIM DOWN and tells him to do as he’s told. Jackson’s face in this shot is GREAT too.

boggs takes gale down a notch

Sorry, sorry. Yes, Gale. Dial it back.

gale backs down

Then, there’s the holo that shows very prettily the places of things that promise horrible death.


For the finale, Finnick, and his on point WELCOME TO THE 76TH HUNGER GAMES.

finnick 76th

So, a great clip to start us off, and it gives us further confidence about the look and tone of the film.

More please, but maybe spread it out to multiple days?


What Those Mockingjay Part 2 Stills Are Really Saying

For so long, we sat at our computers bemoaning the total lack of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 promotion, begging Lionsgate to “just give us something!”

Now they’re giving us ALL THE THINGS. Right now. At the same damn time as all the other things. Yesterday, we got a poster. Today, tickets went on sale and Fandango users will get a new clip if they purchase when 24 hours (if you’re in a prominently region like us, look to the inevitable piracy). Entertainment Weekly also released a still cover featuring photoshop-y Katniss, Peeta, and Gale from Tim Palen’s upcoming book o’ portrait wonders and eight new stills. Tomorrow, the final trailer hits… but only at Best Buy. Again.

Clearly, that’s a lot to talk about. AND WE WILL. But today, we’re gonna focus in on those stills. You may not realize it, but there’s a message in each character’s eyes. There’s some serious thought there that they’re trying to get out. We’ll translate for you.


“Urghh… It looks like we’re still committed to playing out the love triangle that nobody wants. Seriously, it’s giving me a migraine…”



“Da na na na, da na na na, da na na na, da na na na… CROSSBOW! The weapon for guys who want to impress chicks but don’t have any real skill!”



“We’re all pretty psyched about confronting the enemy! ..Except Peeta. He still doesn’t know what the fuck to do with his gun.”



“I’m just the basic bitch behind the camera, so Imma sit back and encourage the real badass to do all the killing despise her worst fears blooming to life before her eyes. How else do you think I keep my hair firmly to one side?”



“And then those freaking mutts showed up and I was like… tumblr_mvhy9xAFC41s822dfo1_250


“Why are we in The Hunger Games franchise playing bad cop/reluctant cop, again? We were born to play Legolas’ twin sisters in Lord of the Rings, thank you very much!”



“Look, Katniss, it’s not that I’m not saddened by your sister’s death. It’s just that.. if I’m going to drop you off in District 12 in place of Plutarch and mourn with you for a moment, I’m gonna look fly as fuck as I do it. Plzkthx.”



“You thought you had your shit together by this point in the movie, didn’t you? THINK AGAIN, WOMAN!

That’s Our Story And We’re Stickin’ To It,
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.


The Samsung Exclusive Trailer – Part 2

Here we go again…

We knew that the Samsung partnership with Lionsgate was continuing through Part 2, we just hoped that things WOULD BE DIFFERENT (BETTER) THIS YEAR. This morning, discovered the Samsung users website was announcing another Samsung event at Best Buy stores for the weekend of October 2.

exclu trailer

So let’s break it down. Over the weekend of Oct 2, you’ll be able to go to Best Buy stores to watch the Final Mockingjay Part 2 trailer before it debuts anywhere else. You can also try the Hunger Games Virtual Reality Experience via the Samsung GearVR.

If you were around the fandom last year during San Diego Comic Con time, you’ll remember that Samsung/Best Buy/Lionsgate did a similar type exclusive preview weekend of the Mockingjay Part 1 teaser trailer. Instead of just dropping the FIRST LOOK at Mockingjay Part 1 online for all fans, Best Buy stores with a Samsung Experience shop had the trailer to preview on Samsung tablets. Samsung was able to buy the goodwill of US fans who came to that preview weekend with free movie tickets and Mockingjay pins, but the rest of the world (and the US that didn’t have a special Samsung Experience Store Best Buy nearby) were left out. It created a lot of negativity in the fandom. So much angst. It was not a fun time in the fandom, and made what should have been a happy time – THE FIRST MJ1 TRAILER very sour.

SO WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS AGAIN? WITH THE FINAL TRAILER? There’s plenty of other ways to extend a Samsung/Mockingjay partnership – they even have a good one as a part of this weekend event. The demo of the Hunger Games Virtual Reality Experience could be pretty fun – and the GearVR isn’t even on sale to the public yet so there isn’t any OTHER WAY to see this content. So if you want to give a demo of your snazzy VR device with a new Hunger Games app, that’s cool. We know you can’t make that accessible to everyone in the world. That’s A NICE EXTRA. WHY COULDN’T YOU LEAVE IT AT THAT????

Doing a trailer exclusive like this again – for the FINAL TRAILER is just unnecessary and mean. The response from the fandom last year was clear. Don’t create that ill will again, the week tickets go on sale!  There’s only 2 months left to go. We want happiness in the fandom, not angst. Why knowingly create it?

There’s a lot of question marks in this post, but we still feel like there aren’t enough.


Mockingjay Is SO Down With The Kids

Thanks to the power of social media, The Hunger Games fans have been able to keep up with Mockingjay Part 2 promotion from all over the world. Most recently, the official Mockingjay UK Twitter account has gathered a lot of attention for its latest Mockingjay ploy: DubSmash.

We don’t use DubSmash, but thanks to off-screen Marvel television cast “wars”, we have an idea what the app does. It’s essentially soundboard app with which you record yourself lipsyncing to popular songs or movie quotes. And The Hunger Games is now part of the soundboard.

We’re not saying there’s no fun in this. It’s good, silly fun! We partake in silly funs sometimes too! All fandoms have a bit of that, though usually it’s a natural occurrence among fans and not something marketers promote for an action drama franchise.

The more important question is… What audience are they trying to reel in? Between the Facebook stickers and Snapchat and now DubSmash, we have one message for Mockingjay Part 2 marketing teams worldwide:


SnapChat and DubSmash: Advertising is legit as a District 13 make-up job!

SnapChat and DubSmash: Advertising as legit as a District 13 make-up job!

You know who really loves and supports The Hunger Games and has done so all along? Teens and younger 20-somethings. You know who you’re gearing all your advertising dollars toward? The people who will watch the movie and fangirl it without you proving you totes understand their love of smartphones.

Sure, it could be argued that the marketers are giving back to the fans. But really, they’re only giving back to a small slice of them. The fansite types we know are all in their mid-twenties or older, and really, we were over all the marketing ploys mentioned above before they even started.

Come November, we know pre-teens to the college-aged crowd are pretty much a lock. They have been since around the time Catching Fire. Now, how the heck are you gonna convince everyone else to see the movie? The fact is, marketers need to care about interesting the outliers too, because a truly successful movie needs to attract a really wide audience. If you’re narrowing your advertising down to impress only a portion of the people you’ve already impressed, how does that help the film? How does they convince the hesitant adult to gather up some interest in the series?

We just ask, THG marketers— lovingly, kindly– that you have your fun, but also grow up a bit. We’re kidults at best. Just get on our level!

The Girl With The Pearl

The Missing Mockingjay Part 2 Soundtrack

It’s less than two months until Mockingjay Part 2, and we’re pretty surprised that there’s been no news about a soundtrack yet. In previous years, we had confirmation of it’s existence and at least the credits song by now. SO WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN????

There’s probably only two possibilities here:

  • There will be no “inspired by” original soundtrack this year, just a score and maybe an original song that plays during the credits.
  • There will be a separate “inspired by” original soundtrack and a score, like with the past 3 movies but it’s taking more time than usual to get the details all worked out.

With every day that passes and no news, we’re starting to think that it’s the first option. Moreover, as pointed out by, the latest poster does not list a Music Supervisor (THG and CF had them, and these people were responsible for the original soundtrack albums, MJ1 did not as Lorde “curated” the original soundtrack album).

soundtracksWe were big fans of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire original soundtracks but thought Mockingjay Part 1’s missed the mark. The Mockingjay Part 1 original soundtrack had far lower sales than the two previous as well. (Jennifer Lawrence’s The Hanging Tree was the biggest hit, and that was originally packaged with the theatrical score). Just because we weren’t fans of 1 out of 3 doesn’t mean we wouldn’t be open to a final one… if the music truly captured the tone of the movie. We’re sure lots of fans feel the same way. Would Lionsgate really just say “screw it” to the possibility of extra money for this last installment? Sounds strange to us, but maybe our rioting over the horrible Hanging Tree remix made them decide not to bother?

Granted, if it’s the first option, having the score (which we know will be solid) and a truly fitting end credit song could be enough to really tap into those final movie feels. We’re all about QUALITY over QUANTITY. If the right songs aren’t there, we’d rather they not release an “inspired by” album. We respect that. But ARE THE SONGS REALLY NOT THERE?

Who wants to bet that end credits song gets a dance remix?


“Trailer” Talk: Prim-O-Rama

Okay, people! Let’s talk about that “For Prim” trailer!


Starting with this question: IS IT REALLY EVEN A MOCKINGJAY PART 2 TRAILER?

Yes, it’s over two minutes long and it hints at the importance of Katniss and Prim in the final movie. But it’s only got a few seconds of footage from Mockingjay Part 2! Ninety-seven percent of this sucker is a recap of the previous movies! Isn’t it most of a promo or a sister-centric franchise trailer than anything?

If you’re not sure, watch again and decide for yourself!

Perhaps it’s an unpopular opinion but we’re just gonna go out there and say it: This one just didn’t get to us.

We know the final movie really needs to emphasize the importance of Prim so fans really feel the loss of Prim as something horrific. We struggled with this in both the books and the movies. We get that Katniss loves Prim dearly but we were never felt invested in her personally. Don’t get us wrong– It’s sad that she dies! We see Katniss mourn and we mourn for her, because anyone can imagine the pain of losing someone close to them. When we watch the movie, we’ll probably get a bit emotional when it happens. But in the meantime, this is kinda just feels like stalling without actually giving us new things from the movie.

Visually, this is a fun experience. The smoky, blended images lend a really unique look to this, but it sometimes reminds us of a good fan-made video or a music video rather than an actual studio-made trailer for a major franchise. But we suppose that’s a compliment to fan video creators, right?!

REMINDER: Fragile 12-year-old is fragile.

REMINDER: Fragile 12-year-old is fragile.

The song, however, kills it. In a bad way. M83 is a talented group and I think most of their songs are a great choice for films and film promotion, but this doesn’t work for us here. It’s properly moody, but the random yell-y bits in between nostalgic dialogue were super jarring and took us right out of the moment.

Of course, it also comes back to another big question: IS THIS A GIANT SPOILER?

We don’t think all unfamiliar audiences will see this trailer and immediately know that Prim is going to die, but it certainly raises red flags. We’ve all seen enough movies to know that when a relationship that’s NOT romantic is emphasized, something significant is about to happen to them. More often than not, one of the people involved is about to die. And this focuses very specifically on Prim– not on family, not on District 12. It’s Prim-o-rama!

Not to mention the cyclical clusterfuck of a “possible spoiler” warning inadvertently making people aware enough to look for said possible spoilers when they wouldn’t have found them otherwise.

So Lionsgate going “SISTERS ARE IMPORTANT, Y’ALL!” doesn’t quite guarantee death, but it hints at death well enough. They likely made the trailer with the diehard types in mind, but we diehards also like the unfiltered, unspoiled reactions of the non-book reading masses on occasion!

At Least We’re Doin’ It All For Prim, Right?
The Girl With The Pearl

FEAST YOUR EYES! Mockingjay Part 2 Trailer and Poster

Consider this a PSA of sorts, people!

There’s a new Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 trailer and poster! Watch! Observe! PREPARE YOURSELVES FOR THE IMPENDING BREAKDOWN ON VICTOR’S VILLAGE!


Right now, the real world beckons. But we’ll discuss this all as soon as possible. The effects! The possible spoilers! The Photoshop! That WTF tagline! Charlie Brown connections!

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.