Category Archives: Media
We’ve pointed out a lot of incidents of “life imitating art” over the years. Cases in which things remained us of something for The Hunger Games universe. But now, The Hunger Games has become a legitimate part of a political movement.
On May 22, a coup upheaved the government in Thailand, with the Thai army replacing the democratically elected leadership. While the coup was not the gory, violent kind, it still wasn’t welcomed by much of the nation, particularly among younger generations. Yup, the same generations that have taken the political messages of books like The Hunger Games under their wing.
As a sign of their discontent, some protestors began to hold up District 12′s three finger salute. Though symbol was derived from fiction, the Thai army caught on to the fact that the three-finger salute was essentially the people’s veiled one finger salute. They banned it from being used by five people or more in the same space because that would be considered a group protest. Any group using the symbol will be arrested. Of course, this only made the gesture spread around the nation like wildfire through the entire population.
Protest leaders have encouraged everyone to throw up the threefinger salute at least three times in a public place daily. The Internet is flooded with photos of small groups of hidden faces holding up the symbol. The protestors have labeled the three fingers in a new graphic:
1. No Coup
While it’s not exactly what the sign means in the books, it all boils down to the same thing: A sign of respect of things that have been lost. In this case, the government of the people. It’s actually quite beautiful to see a popular fiction reference being used to bring people together in a peaceful protest (though hopefully it stays that way). Now it’s more than an idea from a book series. It’s history.
Now Let’s See If It’s Used In Mockingjay…
The Girl With The Pearl
A tragedy occurred last Friday in Santa Barbara, CA. And per usual, rather than turning this into an opportunity to have a national discussion about issues like caring for the mentally disturbed and gun control (especially in this case, where the gunman, Elliot Rodger, has a known history of mental illness stretching back to his childhood, yet still had no trouble registering three guns), the media looks for someone to blame.
Conveniently enough for the media, Elliott Rodger is the son of the one of the second unit directors on The Hunger Games, Peter Rodger. So instead of even attempting intellectual analysis, we get this:
Blaming Hollywood, particularly movies that feature any sort of violence, is the oldest trick in the book. In this case, it meshes so well with the “Blame the parents! He must have been raised wrong!” excuse that everyone goes to as a secondary means of blame (not to say there’s never any legitimacy in that argument, but we don’t know details here) that the sensationalist math was just too easy to compute: If the father played a part in creating a movie that contains violence, that MUST have played a part in making the son violent!
Never mind that The Hunger Games series intends to show the terrifying, raw wrongness of such violence and its general acceptance in society. Never mind that Elliott probably wouldn’t be the type to support a strong female heroine fending for herself and eventually overpowering an oppressive male figure, given the disturbing, misogynistic manifesto he’d been writing for the past three years and the video explaining his plans for revenge against women. He certainly didn’t take in the message of doing everything you can to protect the ones you love, as his loved ones will now be shamed and broken for the rest of their lives because of his purely selfish actions.
So is the media really going to argue that he missed everything else that the film was about and went straight to the killing part? REALLY?!
Also, we’re not film experts, but we’re pretty sure the 2nd unit directors take care of all the cutaways and scenic or stunt shots that don’t involve the core cast. The principal cast did almost all their own stunt work in the first film, so that would’ve been handled by Gary Ross. The only time something violent occurs in a “second unit” setting is the District 11 riot, which was directed by Steven Soderbergh, not Peter Rodger. So the father in question was responsible for approximately zero percent of the violence relayed on screen.
Of course, The Hunger Games isn’t the whole brunt of the media blame game. Hollywood in general has been picked at a lot here. The Washington Post went so far as to blame Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow for starring in/creating movies in which a socially awkward, “shlubby” underdog manages to enter or maintain a relationship with a hot female because it promotes wish fulfillment and entitlement. Personally, we’re calling bullshit on this too. Anyone with a steady head on their shoulders understands that romantic comedies or dramadies, in fact movies in general, are not the stuff by which real life is measured and does not represent everyday interactions. Anyone who doesn’t recognize this probably has what Elliott Rodger did— more profound mental issues that need to be addressed. Of course, nobody will simply consider mental illness because, as Judd Apatow pointed out, that doesn’t sell papers. (The irony being that the attention that one gets from from the media after attempting or committing a killing spree helps perpetuate the cycle of violence. A fact forever lost on the media.)
Let’s Stop With The “Bad Influences” Blame Game,
The Girl With The Pearl
It’s Katniss Everdeen’s birthday, but we’re all being spoiled with presents!
New photos AND video from the Mockingjay Part 2 set made their way online over the past day, giving up our first bits of Mockingjay related news in PRETTY MUCH FOREVER.
It started with photos of Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, and a whole bunch of Capitol extras on the streets of Paris. Observe!
This bit started pretty hilariously. Media outlets shared plenty of headlines similar to “Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth hide from paparazzi and/or hide costumes behind overcoats!” Of course, we’re sure that like us, most of you noticed immediately that THOSE COATS ARE THEIR COSTUMES because this is the scene were Katniss and Gale disguise themselves to blend into the crowd evacuating to Capitol Square.
Seriously, did they think Liam Hemsworth just happened to have a little shredded leather number that makes him look like Andre the Giant handy?! And Jen’s coat has an over-the-shoulder cape situation. C’MON NOW!
Spoiler-ish in nature as it may be, we’re thrilled to get a first look at the fashion and Capitol “look” behind this film. It’s definitely going to be hard (perhaps impossible) to meet our Trish Summerville standards, but Kurt and Bart are doing well so far!
It seems the filming continued to take place in a pretty public area, because it wasn’t long after that that we got video of the actors, this time with the addition of Josh Hutcherson and Natalie Dormer:
And… SWEET BABY JESUS! WHAT HAPPENED TO JOSH HUTCHERSON’S HAIR?!
Peeta’s always been slightly blonder than you average blond man, but never has it been such an invasive shade of straight up yellow. Blonds don’t look like that! Did the Capitol somehow permanently fuck with his hair color during hijacking? Do you think it’s just the poor lighting? Seriously, somebody help us understand this. It hurts our eyeeeeees!
Now we need promo photos and video just to confirm that his hair is not as yellow as we think it is. For serious!
On another note, damn you Natalie Dormer for being one of like four women in the world who can rock the half-shaved head look! You’re unknowingly encouraging people other than you four to make terrible hairstyle decisions!
Sure, this is paparazzi info and not anything official. But hopefully now that SOME of the movie details are already out there, Lionsgate will actually feel compelled to release some quality looks into the film! We may not be that lucky, but a girl can hope.
Wishing For The Beginning Of The End Like A Dummy,
The Girl With The Pearl
… Just not the ring you’re thinking of!
Yup. J-Law went out on the town wearing a really adorable turquoise and gold ring that looked like any other piece of fairly common fashion jewelry. But she wore it on her left ring finger! Therefore, the media went apeshit.
The general media speculation was “OMG! OMG! OMGGGGG!!!!1!1! Is she engaged?! Why else would she wear that? What an unconventional ring!” SLOW YOUR ROLL, PEOPLE!
First off, since when can you only wear a ring on your left hand ring finger if you’re engaged? We know there are probably some old school superstitions that keep some people from wearing a ring on that particular finger, but in the past, we’ve worn rings on whatever finger we damn well please! None of us were engaged at ten-years-old, but if our shiny new ring only fit that finger, SO BE IT. If I weren’t engaged, I’d continue with that trend, too!
We’re sure even starlets don’t want to get every freaking ring they own resized, so it goes on whatever finger it fits on. It’s not rocket science!
We get it. Really we do! Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult have dated for like.. TWO YEARS all together, which is practically an eternity by Hollywood standards. They’re old enough and wealthy enough to consider marriage without everyone thinking they’ve completely lost their minds. Speculation will happen.
While we’re all dreaming of an X-Men themed wedding in which Sir Ian McKellan officiates (because that would be the natural course of action for these two, we assume), there are some things you just don’t make assumptions about! Clearly, someone’s engagement is one of those things.
So wear whatever jewelry you want on whatever finger you want, Jen. If it were something bigger, we know your people have press releases for that.
Til Then.. LIVE YO LIFE!
The Girl With The Pearl
Yes, he got an exciting premiere and a vacation in Hawaii out of it, but this has probably been a bit of a rough week for Sam Claflin.
Why, you ask? He’s been busy promoting his new movie, The Quiet Ones. We’ll even help by throwing in the trailer here:
But there’s not a whole lot of focus on the film at hand. If you’ve been watching the interviews, you know what we mean. There’s four questions tops that most media sites bother asking Sam:
1. So what’s this movie about?
2. It’s scary! What scares you?
3. How was all the 70s costuming?
4. Catching Fire! Mockingjay! Finnick! TELL US MORE.
We should note that it’s definitely not Sam-clusive. We know the same thing happened to Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth when they promoted other films, even on The Academy Awards red carpet. And in a way, we feel a little bad for them. We’re sure they don’t mind talking about The Hunger Games, but it must make them feel like their projects outside the series are pretty inconsequential in the eyes of the public (as we are represented by the media. Horrifying, isn’t it?!)
Of course, it doesn’t necessarily help that The Quiet Ones is a Lionsgate property and some of their advertising looks like this:
Now the young and/or easily confused among us Hunger Games fans believe Finnick has taken up a time-warp side job of filming supernatural phenomena! Not really… we hope.
We get it, interviewers ’round the world. The Hunger Games is a <strong>really big freaking deal</strong> and the fact that these actors are in the franchise is part of the reason why many fans will go see their other films in the first place. But let’s take it one film at a time.
We all know you’re going to ask Sam the same slew of exhausting questions once promotion for Mockingjay: Part 1 rolls around, so why not ask them then? Do you really think he’ll give you some crazy scoop in the meantime? Doubtful!
In the meantime, please try to come up with some creative questions surround the movie the actor in question is actually promoting. We know it’s not as big of a media draw, but this is something of value to them that they put work into, even if it’s not a major blockbuster. Give em some credit there! We’ll get back to Mockingjay en masse later!
He Sported That Hairdo, So Sam Deserves Credit!
The Girl With The Pearl
OMG OMG OMG YOU GUYS! DO YOU KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING! IT’S BIG! IT’S EXCITING! IT’S TOTALLY NOT CONFIRMED OR EVEN HINTED AT BUT WHATEVS!
“THE REBELLION” IS TOTALLY GOING TO HACK THE MTV MOVIE AWARDS WITH NEW MOCKINGJAY STUFF!
At least that’s what the Internet speculates. Who cares if the sources aren’t at all reliable? It’s on the Internet! If it’s on the Internet, it’s totally true!!!1!11!
Okay, maybe that last statement isn’t totally true… but I’m writing this on the Internet, so I’m not really sure what to believe. It’s like a puzzle covered in an enigma swathed in mystery wrapped in bacon. Anyway…
It would definitely be cool to use the “hacking” angle to promote Mockingjay in all its glory. Do we think it will actually happen? Probably not this time. See, when MTV has something special, even if it’s “secret”, they tend to promote the hell outta that bitch through copious hint-dropping and rumors about appearances. Remember Beyonce’s “secret” VMA performance a couple years ago? Was it really secret to anyone?
But the thing is, these hints aren’t coming from MTV. They’re mores coming from hopeful Hunger Games conspiracy theorist fans on social media. That’s not to say they’re never right, but there’s usually something else to back it up.
So before you go placing all bets on Sunday, remember that there’s still quite a ways ’til November and there’s still filming going on. We imagine Francis Lawrence would kinda sorta REALLY want to oversee the production of the first trailer (we want that too!) and he’s a liiiiiittle too busy for that at the moment.
It’s not that The Hunger Games promotion won’t be handled quite extensively by MTV. We’re sure it will. Commercials? Definitely. Sneak peeks that we’ll have to sit through some horrible MTV original show to see? Certainly. The Mockingjay special with cast interviews? Inevitable. Just not right now.
We’re not gonna sit in front of our televisions this Sunday, MTV. It’s nothing personal. You’ll get our ratings some other day.
If We’re Wrong, That’s What DVRs Are For,
The Girl With The Pearl
We’ve always applauded Lionsgate for creating video games for the series that were NOT entirely based in violence. Though not particularly full of depth, The Hunger Games Adventures, Girl on Fire, and Panem Run do a great job sticking to the franchise’s message that violence should never, ever be glorified. They entertain fans without being blood-soaked and death-filled.
So naturally, some other idiots had the brilliant idea that they should create a video game, not so cleverly titled THE SURVIVAL GAMES, that very purposely capitalizes on and glorifies the violence of the arena. They claim gamers have “cried out” for a Hunger Games based experience.
NO. NOPE. NUH UH. STOP THE RECORD RIGHT THERE.
For some reason we’re doubting it’s really Hunger Games fans calling for this experience. One of the main themes of the series practically screams “DON’T GLORIFY DEATH AND VIOLENCE! THAT IS FUCKING HORRIBLE!” Hence the use and abuse of victors, the seemingly endless string of tragedies, the PTSD, etc. More like a bunch of slaughter-happy fools who don’t understand a thing about the series other than “they go in there and kill each other until there’s only one left” cried out for it. We guess you can still be a fan under those circumstances… a really pitiful, ignorant fan, but a fan nonetheless? Right? …Right?!
The hilarity of it all is that though the creators claim they’ll be distancing themselves from The Hunger Games in many ways, they’re using roughly a million key concepts. For example…
- Players cannot leave their start point until a countdown has finished.
- Players start unarmed be can get weapons from a structure known as “The Trove”… which is absolutely, positively, in no way the same exact thing as the Cornucopia.
- Players are encouraged to form alliances, even though they’re oh so unpredictable! “Still, when all is said and done, there can only be one victor!” says the website. Yup, still the victor.
- Players will encounter hostile wildlife and random storms that could easily kill them.
- No guns allowed because they take away from the excitement of battle.
It may be a good thing that these guys aren’t anywhere near their goal for game creation, because we’ve seen various projects of a harmless and far less troublesome nature that hint at The Hunger Games shut down by Lionsgate legal in roughly ten seconds.
To the alleged gamers, “crying out” for this: Yeahhhhh… thanks but HELL TO THE NO. Go play one of the million other video games out there, plenty of which will satisfy your need for violence (if that’s your thing) AND have an original concept at the same time! Crazy how that happens 98% percent of the time! The Hunger Games is NOT about the awesome power of violence, so get your fix elsewhere and don’t try to butcher this franchise, k?
Add This To The List Of Things That Make Me RAGE,
The Girl With The Pearl
The Hunger Games is kinda a thing nowadays, if you haven’t noticed! As such, you expect it to make its rounds through pop culture. Like the string of awful parodies and the joke Ellen made at The Oscars.
But some references are more ridiculous and hilarious than others! For instance, the latest song from rapper Drake, “Draft Day”:
On some Hunger Games shit I would die for my district
Jennifer Lawrence you can really get it
I mean forreal, girl you know I had to do it for yah
You can listen to the whole song here. We’ll wait. *blocks ears because once is enough*
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! WE CANNOT EVEN! REALLY?!
Though this is just more evidence showing how popular The Hunger Games and Jennifer Lawrence really are, it is pretty random in the middle of a fairly tough rap number (though Drake comes from a middle class background and once starred in DeGrassi, so no one’s really calling him hardcore.) It’s all bitches, fuck this and that, and n-bombs… and hey, Jennifer Lawrence!
Aaaaaand when exactly do we hit the wall with The Hunger Games references? When do we say “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”? Neverrrr! The song is bad, but this reference is so awesomely bad that it’s actually good!
For Drake’s next single, we’ve got some phat Hunger Games rhymes to suggest:
“I’m so fly I’d survive The Hunger Games arena,
Got more dough than Josh Hutcherson as Peeta”
“I’m a killah, I don’t fail
Droppin’ bombs, just call me Gale”
“Rappers be so obsessed with all the fame and riches,
Strutting around like they Snow’s Capitol bitches.”
*cough* Check my flow, y’all!
The Girl With The Pearl
Ah, the media! Every now and then, there’s a kernel of real depth and knowledge in there, but not nearly as often as you think. (Unfortunately, I realized this mid-way through a Journalism degree, so on top of no longer wanting to work for the media, I’m in massive debt!) Mostly, it’s about getting people to pay attention to what you’re saying and make them think it’s important, even though it’s usually not. This is especially true of entertainment media.
So let us repeat a sentiment we’ve stated before. One more time with feeling!
There is no real fandom war between The Hunger Games and Divergent. Or between The Hunger Games and any other franchise, for that matter. Quit drinking the media wars Kool-aid. Seriously.
Them There Eyes already covered that EW pulled a seriously dick move by trying to deflate The Hunger Games series to up Divergent. Surely, other media sites have done it as well. Entertainment Weekly, especially, has stock in the success of the Divergent series. Note that they have stock in the success of THG as well, but it’s already a proven success so they don’t have to coddle it anymore, just cover it. Hence the clueless “Katniss is from District 9 and Victors are reaped in every Quarter Quell” review Catching Fire got. Successful fandom-centric franchises are huge readership draws. And Lionsgate? They don’t care which one you like better because they are both owned by Lionsgate. Though it should be noted that a lot of THG fan outrage is hypocrisy, given that most people seem perfectly okay with people deflating Divergent in favor of The Hunger Games. It shouldn’t be either way.
Of course, The Hunger Games/Divergent media wars have the desired effect. Everyone has preferences. We rush into the conversation to pick a side. Fans run out to say “I think Series A is better and anyone who thinks Series B is better is an idiot!” and vice versa.
Even we sip the Kool-aid a bit without realizing it. Them There Eyes was quick to call the movie mediocre based solely off critical reviews. When someone commented on one media post about how Mockingjay was awful and Allegiant was great, I was quick to respond with the inverse opinion. And I REALLY LIKE BOTH FRANCHISES. Not in love with the last Divergent book, but I still like both on the whole. Plus, we believe everyone should read and decide for themselves.
People like what they like. Some like The Hunger Games. Some like Divergent. Many, many people like both. And that’s fine! Don’t let the media make you think otherwise! Critics are not gods. While they make valid observations about film now and again, they’re often self-important jackwads. A movie isn’t good or bad or special or fun because a conglomerate of cynics tells you so. Seriously, that takes all the fun out of moviegoing. If you’ve ever had to stop asking a friend to go to the movies because they shot down everything you suggest based on critics, you know. So don’t let them push you around, m’kay?
This is not a war and nobody needs to pick sides. When the next potential franchise comes out, the media will do the same damn thing because people will STILL get hyped up over it. IGNORE THEEEEEMMMM. Have your preferences, have your personal tastes, but cutting down someone else’s fandom just to up yours, whether you’re Owen Gleiberman or just some random person on Tumblr, just makes you look like a petty ass.
Again: The Kool-Aid. STOP DRINKING IT.
WE JUST LIKE LIKING THINGS!
The Girl With The Pearl
Sometimes, the best way to really review something is to gather ’round and discuss it! Which means it’s time for another Victor’s Village reaction post!
We’re laying it all down and getting a little crazy as we recount our latest Catching Fire binge! These posts get quite long, so look for most of it under a cut!
SCENES THAT SHALL NOT BE SEEN (EXCEPT ON DVD EXTRAS)
TGWTP: Let’s start with the deleted scenes, shall we? Which was your favorite?
JJ: Finnick with the Knots, no question for me.
Them There Eyes: It’s a toss between the Mockingjay scene with Snow and Plutarch, or the knot tying scene with Finnick and Katniss.
TGWTP: I’m torn on that one. I like the Finnick scene, but I get why it wasn’t used. The Mockingjay speech? I was like “WHY IS THIS NOT IN THE MOVIE?”
Them There Eyes: Both would have added a little bit more brevity, and a little more background to characters, and the story in general.
JJ: Yes, I think the sugar cube scene made the knot scene unnecessary. But I still loved it.
Them There Eyes: Yeah, but we like seeing more Finnick, it makes us happy in all kinds of places! Got that Sam? WE LIKE YOU!
TGWTP: CLEARLY. I mean, they essentially created a Best Shirtless MTV Movie Award for Sam Claflin. And Liam Hemsworth’s brother.
Them There Eyes: Truth be told… I pay no attention to MTV except to Josh Horowitz, ’cause he’s funny, and has slumber parties with Tom Hiddleston.
SWITCHING IT UP
TGWTP: The other scenes were cool but they just didn’t have any beef behind them (other than Liam Hemsworth… BAZINGA!)
JJ: You had to.
Them There Eyes: Can we do winky faces on this, or will I be smitted?
TGWTP: OH, winky faces are totally in!
Them There Eyes: Honestly though, the Plutarch switches the envelopes scene made no sense to me… granted I had just watched all the other blu-ray extras, so I was a little bit bleary, and confused by life in general… But… that one took me a bit to get.
JJ: I agree, the Plutarch envelope scene was just confusing. And long. You can see why they cut it.
Them There Eyes: Yes…. and also emotional. But for completely unintentional reasons.
TGWTP: It’s a theory in the book that the envelopes are switched. But considering that the pre-planned Quarter Quell envelopes are never expressly explained to movie audiences to begin with, it didn’t make sense to keep it in.
JJ: And really, do you need it emphasized that this was all a plot to kill the victors? No. But yes, all PSH scenes are loaded with extra meaning now. That was a really tough thing about watching the movie again.
TGWTP: And watching him talk about making the movie. I loved the “making of” documentary, but that definitely added some bittersweetness in there.
Them There Eyes: Yep, I hate to think that any scene with Philip Seymour Hoffman is now considered superfluous, but at least we know that the film makers were very focused on getting background information to the audience, even if it did turn out to be unusable.
WE’LL TAKE ALL THE STUFF, PLZKTHX
TGWTP: Speaking of background, what did you guys think of SURVIVING THE GAME? Did you learn anything super new and interesting there?
Them There Eyes: Not new per se, but interesting!
JJ: The fun thing was seeing all the behind-the-scene video
TGWTP: YES. I particularly loved Josh and Sam dance-fighting like they were straight out of West Side Story
JJ: So cute! And of course the famous pants splitting engagement scene.
Them There Eyes: Wait, which one was surviving the game? The nine part thing? So confused… ’cause there’s the three part extras on the Target Blu-Ray edition.
TGWTP: There was. And some of it is the same, but there’s much more in the full documentary
Them There Eyes: If it wasn’t clear yet… THE TARGET BLU-RAY EDITION HAS EVERYTHING… and a kitchen sink.
JJ: Yes. Lots of stuff. Some of which overlapped. Not that I’m complaining about that. Give me more stuff
BRB, DISTRACTED BY A CHILD’S TOY
TGWTP: Any things you loved about the doc?
Them There Eyes: Ve Neil, Trish Summerville, Jo Willems, the artists who made pretty much everything except Jennifer Lawrence’s amazing stare down. And I want the head film editors editing bay in my life.
JJ: I love that they touch on so much of what went in to production. They covered a costume, makeup, SFX, music. So much. It just made me appreciate the work they did that much more.
TGWTP: MINI JEN was my homegirl! Obviously a minor detail, but I live for those. You guys are all serious and I’m like “Did you see that action figure?!”
JJ: LOL, I did mention the pants splitting before.
Them There Eyes: I literally paused the doc. during the makeup scenes, turned to my room mate, and said… I HAVE THOSE INSPIRE PICTURES ON MY CAPITOL PINTEREST!
TGWTP: So you and Ve Neill have the same Capitol inspirations?! Why don’t you work in film, darling?
Them There Eyes: Because I only have ideas, and no ability to execute them without complaining constantly.
TGWTP: Fair ‘nough.