Category Archives: Film

When Camera Crews Go Renegade

So we’ve definitely settled on the fact that the new posters are cool. Not perfect, but pretty damn cool. Still, there’s one isty-bitsy teeny-weeny fairly obvious detail that is driving us crazy…

Since when does a two-man camera crew, their director, and her assistant = BADASS WARRIOR MOTHERFUCKERS?

Observe!
Rebels_Messalla2

Rebels_Cressida2

Rebels_Castor2

Rebels_Pollux2

Mind you, we like the idea of badass warrior motherfuckers in general. BWMFs, if you will. But in comparison, we must admit this feels kinda forced.

While some tactical gear and even the small side guns on Castor and Pollux seem reasonable, check out the massive weapons Cressida and Messalla are sporting. That is meant for once thing: Taking out large numbers of enemies in a relatively short time period. Those are for straight up soldiers, not the people hired to film soldiers.

Meanwhile, Pollux is described as “the silent soldier” and Messalla, who seems skittish at best all the way up to his brutal end in the books, is called “the fearless renegade”. Seriously, somebody had way too much fun misappropriating these character descriptions while scripting this film!

In my initial commentary on these posters, I mentioned that Cressida and Messalla didn’t look much like Capitol defectors who, despite not agreeing with political choices, were still culturally Capitol at their core. The more we think about it… What if the filmmakers found it easier to not have them be Capitol defectors at all? The District 13 area doesn’t have many recognizable faces other than Boggs in the books, especially in what will be considered Part 1 territory. Audiences will connect with the District 8 scenes more if they see who Katniss is fighting with and what they stand for, so why not take already recognizable names and match them up with the mostly unrecognizable soldiers?

Yet we hesitate to wholeheartedly accept that theory. There is value to Cressida and Messalla being wet-behind-the-ears rebellion propo makers who don’t fully understand the dangers and implications of their work until they experience it firsthand. Their Capitol origins show that not everyone in the city is a drone supporting Snow and display tensions within the fragile alliances. Yes, it would be nice to have another kickass chick in the mix and Effie will be more firmly taking on the role of “Capitol lady who doesn’t truly get it”, but are there not shades of gray that can distinguish characters adjusting to the same situation differently as Cressida gets more and more proactive?

Maybe we’re just opposed to change.. but usually we’re not opposed to change when it seems reasonable and justifiable. We just don’t get why this group now has to be fierce soldiers. We’re hoping this pans out into something spectacular that we aren’t seeing yet, but right now, we must admit that we’re a liiiiiiittle weary!

If Camera Crews Are Now Super Soliders, Are The Original District 13 Soldiers Like.. X-Men?
The Girl With The Pearl

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Gale Hawthorne– Blue Steel

So, this happened.

Rebels_Gale2

Along with that we also got the other equally as anticipated for character posters. The Girl With The Pearl, and JJ both covered this topic, but they didn’t cover this topic. Liam Hemsworth has one facial expression. You can take that one of two ways, that I’m poking fun at him, or that he’s got to make the best impression on casting directors– because if they paid more attention to his ability to express emotions with his face alone– he’d have to do a whole lot more than chat, or say lines, or whatever the hell those crazy kids are doing in casting rooms now.

In all seriousness, look at the evidence.

Exhibit A. Remarkable that he hasn't aged as well.

Exhibit: A. Remarkable that he hasn’t aged as well.

I don’t know about you, but to me that looks like the same expression he has in the character poster! Maybe I’m being overly critical, because there’s been so very little promotional material of real circumstance for this film as of yet. Yeah, we’ve got the tie-in propos, we got the teaser trailer, but we’re only now getting in character representations of new and old favorites– it feels a little stagnated. And then we get a patented Hemsy Blue Steel expression.

Exhibit B. Same every time.

Exhibit: B. Same every time.

Exhibit Do I Really Have to Say C?

Exhibit: Do I Really Have to Say C?

I feel like we’ve been hoodwinked a little bit, ’cause seriously! That’s the same friggin’ facial expression! True, it’s the same person in all of these photos, but isn’t he supposed to be expressing something else? Capitol Portrait Gale looks a little like he’s holding down a sneeze, I’ll give him that much! But the rest, even the examples of Liam not playing a character other than himself, those are undeniably similar to uncannily similar facial expressions. I’ll throw Liam one bone, ’cause I know I haven’t been that nice to him today. He’s much better outside of still photographs, granted he’s done his fair share of modeling, and he is without a doubt a very handsome young man, but his acting ability is not in his Blue Steel, it’s in his presence on screen, his entire body in movement, acting opposite other people– or with a better director off to the side giving him feedback. Stills are not his game, it’s just unfortunate, or fortunate depending upon how you look at the world, that the world at large’s first impression of Commando Gale looks about as annoyed as he might if his mom asked him to take out the trash. 

Until next time– this has been Them There Eyes with her wacky point of view on a piece of still photography.

Getting Excited for Hunger Games 3 with the Hunger Games 2 Image

As we Hunger Games fans scrounge around for any news about our beloved Mockingjay, we got a few more bread crumbs in the October edition of Empire magazine.

Empire Mag

Yes! News about Hunger Games 3! Wait. Are you new, Empire?

Well, not really. But using Hunger Games and then a number is a big pet peeve of fans. Granted, the official title of the film, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is a REALLY long title. You can’t expect THAT to be used all the time. And Mockingjay by itself doesn’t mean much if you’re not familiar with the books. I don’t mind the use of Hunger Games on the cover. It’s the main brand of the stories/films. But right next to it they put Exodus: Gods and Kings.  Would it really have been so hard to find a way for Hunger Games: Mockingjay to work?

The naming issue wasn’t the only thing to irk fans though. The BIGGER wound is that they use A STILL FROM CATCHING FIRE on the cover. What happened here? Seeing above the use of Hunger Games 3, Empire is trying to remind people quickly about this movie.  So Hunger Games AND the lead – Katniss.  If they had used one of the Coin/Plutarch stills from May this could have confused non-fans. Beyond that, THIS IS THE COVER. YOU PUT THE STAR ON THE COVER. And the only still of Katniss in Mockingjay that has been released yet is the one from Entertainment Weekly’s Fall Movie Preview.  Did EW still have exclusive rights to it and that’s why you’ve got good ol’ Quarter Quell Training Katniss here? And since the article inside is just a short tease with very little new information, I guess we shouldn’t expect much on the cover either. But it stings that they used a still from the prior movie to promote Mockingjay in the October edition of their magazine. If it were a January edition promoting the whole year’s movies, ok that’s totally understandable.  There’s still 10 months to go. But for an October magazine of a movie opening in November, it’s just mind-boggling. What is going on here?

Which leads into the whole “where is Katniss?” refrain that’s been floating throughout the fandom all summer. The main two themes in the fandom for months have been “where is the trailer?” followed closely by “Is Katniss even in this movie?” Now that we’ve gotten a character poster of pretty much every main player except Katniss, we know it’s coming soon.  Though it seems I’ve been writing about “soon” since March, so we must always be careful to keep those expectations in check.

Fans are left to wonder at what the strategy was here – is this attempt to be REAAALY in-universe and have us pretend that Katniss is dead? But we all know she isn’t because Beetee told us that in early July. And if you’re completely out of it you’ve still seen her for a few seconds in the teaser trailer showing us that yes, indeed, THE MOCKINGJAY LIVES. How long is this game supposed to last?

Or does this no-Katniss approach have nothing to do with the storyline of the in-universe marketing at all? Rather, maybe it’s an attempt to keep the suspense by revealing as little as possible about the thing people want the most? Then, finally in October through November bombard the world with Katniss everywhere?  All we can do is speculate and hope that it happens before the November magazines come out.

No more Hunger Games 2 stills please.

JJ

District 13 Rebel Reaction

IT’S MOCKINGJAY PART 1 Posterama! We got six brand spankin’ new posters of what will be Star Squad 451 minus Finnick, Peeta, and Katniss; our first official look at the crew in their gear.

And OF COURSE we’ve got lots of feelings we need to share about all this! BEHOLD!

Rebels_Gale2

Oh, Hemsy! Your eyebrow game is just through the roof in this poster. We just want to brush them methodically for you (as we assume someone else did shortly before this picture was taken.) But we don’t love this image nearly as much as we should.

Book!Gale most certainly had some rage at this point in the story line. Yes, he’s finally made it to the rebels, but Katniss still describes him as intensity and fire when all is said and done. WHERE IS THAT? We all know Liam has epic emo face, but what about the other faces?! This is stern, at best. We want RAAAAAGE! He pulled that off much better in the Catching Fire character poster.

Rebels_Cressida2

Dammit, Natalie Dormer! Even in 1,000 layers including various padding, you still look glam! The last time we tried to look fancy, we still looked worth than that. URGH!

We’ve also discovered the new game we’ll be playing through the rest of the Mockingjay Part 1 promotional period: What exactly is the proper brightness of Cressida’s tattoo? It looked much darker and less green in the trailer, but it might have just been the lighting?

Rebels_Boggs2

YES! THIS! THIS FOREVER AND EVER!

If you can’t tell, we really like this poster! The image alone justifies Mahershala Ali’s casting as Boggs. Intimidating but serene, focused and powerful. The kind of guy who seems serious but has a solid sense of humor underneath it all. He definitely comes off as a leader and we are officially excited!

Rebels_Messalla2

Is it just us or was anyone else thinking Messalla had more of a Capitol flare?

Yes, he’s relocated to District 13, joined the rebellion, and probably toned down has look a bit. But still, we expected more than a bridge piercing and a line tattooed on the bottom lip. That modifications aren’t as “Oh so Capitol!” as we’d expected and despite not believing in the government, Messalla was still culturally Capitol. In the book, he stood out much more drastically. Why change that here?

Rebels_Castor2

When… When did one of the camera guys get kinda sexy?

We understand why it was easier to make Castor and Pollux brothers instead of twins… even though it kills the whole Greek mythology reference but WHATEVS. Still, aren’t these guys the “insects”, the background characters that have their special moments but mostly kinda blend in? How are we supposed to focus on military strategy and political strife when there’s lean muscle and faux hawks in our faces?!

Rebels_Pollux2

Not sure how we feel about ponytail and beard combo, but we’ll let this one slide because its FULTON REED (aka Elden Henson). Pollux is a former Avox and admittedly, the styling choices give the character the look of someone who’s been worn down after seeing too many horrors in the world. Also, you can see their “insect” camera bags really well in this one ad we’re digging it!


Everyone’s Worried About Katniss and I’m like “BUT WHERE IS FINNICK?!”

The Girl With The Pearl

POSTERS! Tough Scary Sexy Badass Mockingjay Posters!

That’s right; seemingly out of nowhere more character posters have arrived!  This time they’re of the field team – Gale, Cressida, Boggs, Messalla, Castor, and Pollux all in their gear with the Mockingjay symbol behind them.

So tough. So menacing. So dark. Just the right tone, we’d say.

rebel collage

We’ve got to digest on them a bit so we’ll have more on them later, but enjoy!

Katniss is next? KATNISS IS NEXT.

JJ

THG on TNT

While everyone has been busy with the very worthy cause of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (I’ll be doing mine soon!), some other exciting new has come our way… At least in America.

The Hunger Games is FINALLY coming to cable television!

Consider it the marriage of two fiery ring logos!

Consider it the marriage of two fiery ring logos!

After a predictable deal to air the series on ABC Family– the teen-friendly network that brings us the awesome joy of Harry Potter weekends– seems to have gone sour, cable television rights to The Hunger Games series (and the Divergent films) have gone to TNT.

TNT, for those who don’t know, is the “We know drama” network. They play a lot of syndicated and sometimes original shows and films that pride themselves on being high tension and action-packed. Only one of their original shows, SouthLAnd, was really worth its salt in our book, but they do well enough off the syndication to get solid ratings.

The Hunger Games is a surprising choice for TNT, whose shows seem to be geared toward the 40+ crowd. In comparison to a lot of their shows, The Hunger Games series is pretty light despite the death and political undertones. It’s less tedious and dull than their regular offerings, too, which offer up some action but not enough to make you really care.

Aaaaaand because ABC Family would probably cut moments like this.

Aaaaaand because ABC Family would probably cut moments like this.

But TNT ain’t no fools! YA sells big and will likely improve ratings by a landslide. Any network with a brain would capitalize on the franchise the way ABC Family has with Harry Potter and FX has with the Marvel superhero franchise. You know why? Because when a Harry Potter or Marvel marathon comes on cable TV during a lazy Sunday, PEOPLE WATCH ‘EM. A lot more people than your average episode of The Last Ship or another Law & Order re-run.

Of course, marathons are going to take some time because each movie will be introduced on a yearly basis beginning in Winter 2015. Not quite sure how it works in foreign nations, but it typically takes 3 years for a major film to hit a regular ol’ television network… We think that’s WAY TOO LONG, but what do we know? This schedule keeps things on par.

And will we waste numerous hours sitting around watching The Hunger Games and its follow-ups on television because they just happened to be on while we were unoccupied?
…Yes. Yes, we will.

Even Though We Have The DVD And Can Watch Without 8,000 Commercials At Any Time,
The Girl With The Pearl

The Mockingjay Challenged (with the #ALSIceBucketChallenge) Continued

Yesterday JJ wrote about the internet phenomena now termed the Ice Bucket Challenge. In truth it has become a phenomena, sort of like Planking, or Grumpy Cat– only in the case of this so-called fad, money is being put to good use, and more remarkable than that– it’s being donated to a good cause. When I think of viral money-making ventures on the internet, I am left with very few times in our most recent history where the money being gathered was for an all out altruistic cause. Kickstarter for instance has been home to some pretty fast-moving, and lucrative viral money gathering campaigns– but those campaigns were more often than not to gather money to help make a fan favorite TV show come back from stasis in the form of a feature-length film like Veronica Mars, or help with packaging and distribution of DVDs box sets for web video series’ like The Lizzie Bennett Diaries. The Ice Bucket Challenge is quite the fad for sure– but it’s for a good cause, and it’s bringing awareness to the masses about a debilitating, degenerative disease that has no cure, and is in near constant need of funding for research. Government subsidies can only take certain causes so far, and that includes medical research. ALS is not a sexy disease, meaning there are no famous people that are in the limelight right now who will come out and say “hey, I’ve got ALS– we need to pay attention to this disease right now!” That’s why it’s still known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, for an American baseball player whose hay-day was in the 1920s and ’30s. Soon however more people might become aware of another famous sufferer of the disease, Stephen Hawking the world renowned physicist– as a biopic about his early life will be out in time for the Oscar season.

Celebrity endorsements always seem to give the masses a good jolt though, right? That’s why when 90% of Hollywood starts to post seconds long videos of them selves dousing them selves with icy water– makes well, such a big splash. And since this is a Hunger Games themed blog, when a quarter of the principle cast, and the director, and producer of the film franchise step onto the band wagon– we pay attention like hungry Disney orphans. So, when Josh Hutcherson, and Sam Claflin posted their Ice Bucket Challenge videos a couple of days after the 24 hour challenge clock was set for them, the Hunger Games fan sites had a little 3 am Field Day in their jammies.

Sam however was dressed from head to waist in a rain coat, and waist to knees in swim trunks. And our dear Peeta (Josh), joined the ever growing club– AKA the White Wet T-Shirt Club– then ran like crazy to jump into a warm swimming pool’s depths. Sam wins for originality, Josh wins also for failing to keep a stiff upper lip. The videos will keep us entertained for days on end, the GIFs alone should more like. However, as this point for The Hunger Games community buckets filled with ice water are a mere distraction from the near constant, and nagging mantra of “where is the full length trailer, where is the full length trailer, where is the full length trailer?”

It’s cold, it’s hard– but I’m just saying what everyone is thinking, right?

Them There Eyes

Our Leader the Mockingjay

Over the last two days the internet has been inundated with photos featuring the hashtag #OLTM, an acronym for Our Leader the Mockingjay. The photos have been spread, and shared all over social media, from Tumblr, to Twitter, to Facebook, and of course Instagram. The photos them selves started out pretty broad, pretty scenes from famous locations across the globe, places like the Great Wall of China, Times Square in New York City. And then they started to get less predictable in location, or– they became photos featuring indiscernible buildings, and landscapes that lacked mundane clues to their specific locations. Corrogated steel sided buildings, graffiti covered walls.

The photos have been steadily streaming in over the last day, and they’ve been diligently collected by most, or all prominent Hunger Games fan sites. Every time a new photo was shared by a fan site or sometimes a seemingly random Hunger Games fan usually known through Twitter, all the fan sites like Welcome to District Twelve for example, would latch on to it, and post it for the masses to gobble up, and spit out. This morning, to be honest, I was starting to wonder when Victors Village would be sent an email containing our stock photo, decaled with the now almost infamous hashtag, and phrase. It showed up though, and I honestly don’t know where the photo was taken, or what it’s of. But who cares! We got one! Yaaaay!!

-1

Perhaps the most important detail has yet to be addressed however? There’s a series of number, a date actually, that has accompanied all of these photos– 21.08.14. Also known as August 21st, 2014– tomorrow to be precise. The question on everyone’s finger tips, and lips, and brains is this though–

What’s happening tomorrow? Also, why did Liam Hemsworth decide to wear a Ninja Turtle costume when he accepted, and did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?

Them There Eyes

President Coin – A Role Worth Seeking Out

After last week’s little blurb of an article and repetitious “first still” of Katniss Everdeen in Entertainment Weekly come two online articles today with a little more to chew on. There’s some hints about the tone and greater world building and also about the expansion of President Coin’s character in the movies.

One surprising thing about Coin’s casting was that Julianne Moore approached them about the movie. According to Francis Lawrence,

She actually sort of tracked us down and had an interest in the books through her kids.

First of all, a big THANK YOU to Julianne Moore’s children for getting the books into mom’s hands. Last spring/summer Coin was THE top role that we were all wondering about with Mockingjay casting. Fansites collaboratively did a “Campaigning for Coin” set of posts thinking about different actresses who could fit the role. Julianne Moore was included in the lot. (Read it, it’s fun to see now).

And seems like Francis Lawrence saw it right away too because,

She didn’t audition. Once we knew she wanted it, that was it—done.

Did anyone question this casting? No. Why would you???

Did anyone question this casting? No. Why would you???

When she was cast, I think there was resounding joy among fans that someone of her caliber would play the role. But the fact that she already knew about the books and was captivated enough by them to pursue playing Coin makes me so happy. She didn’t have to be courted. She knew the power of the story and the potential of the character.

With big movies like this sometimes you worry that top actors are just “in it for the money” so they can then go off and do low-paying indie passion projects without going broke.  I’m sure she’s getting paid well to play Coin (as well she should, it’s only fair considering the box office of these films) but seeking out Francis Lawrence with her thoughts on the character is a good sign for the complexity of the role, which the article says has been expanded for the films.

Yay, President Coin! Wait, that sounds weird.

JJ

Missing The Mockingjay And Her Friends

We’ve still got another full year of promotional images and trailers and premiere and press junkets for The Hunger Games franchise, but man.. It’s certainly starting to feel like the end is nigh.

Filming wrapped weeks ago, but only now are we starting to see the celebrities out and about at events, answering the media’s questions (and in doing so, totally filling us with our fandom end-of-days dread). In particular, Josh Hutcherson was out for the TCAs and Straight But Not Narrow celebrity basketball tournament. He talked about preparing for the press tour and friendship with Jennifer Lawrence:

(Thanks for tip, HG Girl On Fire!)

It’s one thing to hear the stars say in the past that they were going to miss each other, but it’s another to hear them say they are missing each other. PRESENT TENSE. At least they still see each other, according to Josh. And they’ll probably be outright sick of each other after spending days and days together on the press tour. But besides the obligatory answering of monotonous questions over a probably-too-long stretch of time, we’re reminded again that the actors have done their part.

How can you NOT root for them, though?!

How can you NOT root for them, though?!

We’d like to think that they’ll all be BFFLs once Mockingjay Part 2 press time is said and done, but who knows? It doesn’t always work out that way. While many actors remain friendly, they move on and seem to mostly forget about each other. More importantly, who are we to say how things should work out for them? Shipping celebrity coworkers-turned-friendships isn’t as weird as starting a tumblr to obsess about your favorite celebrity couple or anything, but it’s still a little odd.

Our take is that people (including us) get attached to the idea of the celebrities starring in a fandom franchise staying friends because deep down, it represents the idea of the fandom sticking together. The Hunger Games franchise isn’t just going to go “POOF!” and disappear once the last movie is on DVD, but things slow down. They change. We fear change the way Johanna fears genuinely happy social situations. We just don’t know how to handle it.

So hopefully, Josh’s words about remaining friends with the cast remain true. But either way, let’s not let the end of the movie release road get us down, because this fandom isn’t going anywhere even after the actors are officially done with their jobs.

Viva La Revolution!
The Girl With The Pearl

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