Media

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

Why We Come Back to The Hunger Games

Mockingjay Part 1 DVDs should all be in our hot little hands now, and our DVD or Blu-ray players should be whirling away as we watch every last tidbit. Or, um– maybe you’re like me and work too much, and instead of being the good Hunger Games fan, you fall into bed every night, and in place of having a re-watch of your favorite scenes, you pick up a book that has nothing to do with the Hunger Games, perhaps the book even takes place on another planet, continent, in an other century, and in the end are able to only read a handful of pages at a time– because you’re just that tired.

Hi, I’m a Hunger Games fan who hasn’t done much Hunger Games fan-ing in a while. Some of us live our fandom lives like there’s no tomorrow, they have Tumblr’s, and Etsy shops, they host fandom meet ups, and make manips, and write fan fiction, others only delve into them when the timing is right. Drinking Games, re-watches with enthusiastic, but fandom-ignorant family members, excitement over the beginning of promotional materials for the last and final installment of the film series be damned– fandom is an ephemeral thing that for many can only be sustainable for short bursts

OMG it's 19th century Peeta! No... it's Oliver Twist.

OMG it’s 19th century Peeta! No… it’s Oliver Twist.

of time over a smattering of years, because seriously– if we stayed at the excitement level we’re at when Peeta goes Hijacked!Peeta on us– we might all be dead.

I burn for the days when every last scrap of Hunger Games gossip, and minimal legitimate material was enough to keep us going for weeks, hell– months on end. Philosophical blithering aside, I question almost constantly why we keep coming back for more?

Are we gluttons, are we masochist? Or is fandom something else entirely?

Still Julianne– Also Alma Coin

Tomorrow is the Academy Awards, aka the Oscars and lo, nothing Hunger Games was nominated! That means one thing, right? Yup– we don’t have to watch! I’m imagining that crickets are sounding across the interwebz now. Sorry folks! I mean yes watch, tune in, make fake ballots, and themed mocktails, and cocktails to your hearts content, while you watch pretty people, and more pretty people traipse a red carpet in the Los Angeles sunshine, then read out loud from teleprompters like feeble, farsighted, novices! It’ll be a gas and

I think she's gonna win

I think she’s gonna win

a half!

There’s something very Capitol about the Oscars, no? Because when push comes to shove characters like Caesar Flickerman, and the style teams, are just morphed versions of the Fashion Police on the E! Network, or Ryan Seacrest, whom I think still hosts American Idol– but I’m not sure, ’cause I’ve never watched the show in my life. American Idol that is, I have watched the Oscars numerous times.

Tomorrow, however since The Hunger Games is yet again not recognized by the Academy for its feats in film making, we’re going to have to suffice with rooting for Julianne Moore for her work in the film Still Alice, as well as crossing our fingers, toes, and eyes that Josh walks across that stage without tripping, fumbling, or having his presenting partner be a foot taller than him!

Tune in at your own discretion everyone! I for one will sparingly do so, and the entire time I’ll be pretending that Boyhood is really about Peeta.

Them There Eyes

BTS and Video Clip Virgin

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

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

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

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

Them There Eyes

We’d Like to Thank the Academy

This year’s Oscars ceremony is less than two weeks away. We’re pulling for Julianne Moore to take home her first Oscar for her role in Still Alice.¬†She’s won a lot of the other Best Actress awards this season, so things are looking good, but there are always surprises. No surprises in this category, ok Academy? Julianne for the win!

We now have another reason to look forward to the Oscars. New Academy member Josh Hutcherson will be a presenter! You know what that means. JOSH. IN. A. TUX.

The last time Josh was at the Oscars was 2011. How time flies.

The last time Josh was at the Oscars was 2011. How time flies.

Please excuse the excitement, but it’s somewhat of a rare occurrence for him, or any man for that matter. It’s special attire. Why not dress up to the max, though? Being asked to present is a big honor, but very stressful as well. Even for the most comfortable of public speakers, there’s the massive pressure of having to speak in front of an audience of about 1 BILLION¬†people worldwide. So just… enjoy it, you’ve earned it, Josh.

Another part of the whole Oscar presenter gig is the requisite Red Carpet gauntlet. That means talking to lots of Caesar Flickermans about that tux you are wearing and answering obvious questions like, “Does presenting make you nervous?” Dear Ryan Seacrest, please see the paragraph above and avoid that question. Instead, may I suggest you ask him if he has any additional (ie final) scenes to film for Mockingjay so we can put that speculation to rest?

Good luck to both Julianne and Josh. Be careful with those steps!

JJ

Stepping Out On The Hunger Games

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

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

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

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

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

James Alexander Malcolm McKenzie Fraser... er Sam Heughan

James Alexander Malcolm McKenzie Fraser… er Sam Heughan

The Hanging Tree: Breaking All the Rules

Jennifer Lawrence may have been more apprehensive shooting the pivotal Hanging Tree scene in Mockingjay Part 1, than she was shooting most other scenes in the entire franchise, but I think her nerves benefited her performance rather than hindered it. Money talks in so many ways, if people don’t spend it items for sale are considered failures, if people buy them in droves they’re a success– The Hanging Tree by that definition is a success then, because it’s breaking sale records left and right. As of Saturday the 29th of November, The Hanging Tree is the second most purchased song on the US iTunes chart. In the UK it’s in the number seven position, and on the Continent in countries like the Netherlands it’s at number four, and Germany where it’s at number one. I’m not sure if the popularity of this song is due to the fact that it’s sung by Jennifer Lawrence, that it’s part of the Hunger Games mythology, or that it’s just a good song– so I’m going to chalk it up to all three factors.

Jennifer Lawrence has said it numerous times that she doesn’t think she’s a good singer. The proof is in the recording however, ’cause as much humming and hawing as she did pre-Mockingjay Part 1’s release, the audience and her co-workers and friends say otherwise. I’ll even admit that I believed the pre-movie hype that Jen’s singing chops were sub par, but I think all the objections she’s made may be the vocalizations of years of childhood insecurity rearing its ugly head. Jen, lemme put it into words that you will never read, ’cause this is a fan-written blog, and you’re clearly a smart young woman who stays away from the Internet 90% of the time– but, you’re a good singer, and you should be nicer to your self, and also stop listening to your dad– dad’s are notorious assholes to their daughters. Dad’s pour ice water on us to wake us up before school, they also tell us there are monsters in our closets, or that gummy worms are real worms, or that chocolate is dirt– or they make fun of our singing voices after talent shows–so, for the love of god, tell your memories of your dad making fun of you to the back the hell up, and look at the song buying charts, and feel a little proud.

Give Jen a hand, she sang in front of people and she didn’t die! She cried a little, but she did not die!

Them There Eyes

P.S Anyone hoping Hanging Tree gets nominated for an Oscar? If that even possible?

MockingHate: Negativity, Click Bait, and Media Strategy

District 13 isn’t the only one coming up with a plan when it comes to Mockingjay Part 1.

If you’re on the Internet on a regular basis, you’ve probably heard the term “click bait”. It’s when a headline or even an entire article is designed to be somewhat controversial in order to draw people in to either agree with or defend the topic at hand. It’s mainly useless pieces on popular subjects without much in terms of real depth, even if provided in essay form.

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Fishing For Hits!

And Mockingjay Part 1, dear friends, has been a serious victim of click bait.

The media has been saying just about anything they can to get our attention and let’s face it, most of it is negative. Why? The fandom is massive and enthusiastic and not afraid to run to the film’s defense, but there’s also plenty of “Academy Award winners only, please” types who will gladly agree with them on anything that demerits the franchise. Therefore, they get ALL THE CLICKS.

Though this happen with lots of series and has happened to The Hunger Games in the past, the horrendous articles meant to induce click bait have really hit new heights. So let’s go through these atrocious claims and set some things straight.

1) MOCKINGJAY PART 1 IS A FAILURE!
Mockingjay Part 1 is estimated to finish at $123 million for the weekend, making it the highest opening weekend of the otherwise lackluster year. It will almost definitely be the highest grossing movie of 2014, seeing as the current highest (Guardians of the Galaxy) reached $331 million over the course of its entire run. Mockingjay earned a third of the #1 movie’s entire run total in one damn weekend. Yes, $123 million is less than Catching Fire’s opening weekend and short of estimates, but as Variety points out excellently– it’s actually quite common for opening weekend and overall totals to fluctuate for a franchise and box office estimates are a hugely inaccurate system. Also, that’s only in the US. Mockingjay Part 1 is actually doing better than Catching Fire overseas. So this “Oh noes! The movie made less so the franchise is a sinking ship now!” approach the media is taking is ridiculousness to the nth power.

YEP.

YEP.

2) NO CRITIC LIKES IT, EITHER.
If you read enough negative reviews of MJ 1 (for which the reviews are still largely positive), you’ll realize that very few people seem to be reviewing the actual movie. They’re reviewing the fact that it’s Part 1 of a two-part finale, a trend that critics just don’t like. JJ already responded to that beautifully. Entertainment Weekly went so far as to claim that Mockingjay Part 1 may not actually be a movie, saying it didn’t have a concise beginning, middle, or end, leaving us to wonder if they watched the same movie we did. If so, what the hell were they smoking? That must be some good shit! Or maybe they’re just high off that movie critic ego. The movie is not all action, as we’ve mentioned before, but to say it essentially has no point or value other than to set up the end is a pathetic attempt at pretending you know best. We can name plenty of films that we about a thousand times slower or less meaningful than this one. Really, this just feels like media outlets jumping on the Hipster Express as the uber critical types begin to label the popular franchise as “overrated”, which they’d do no matter what the subject.

3) OH AND FANS AGREE WITH US!
These are our favorite. Articles in which fans’ negative social media statuses or random tweets are displayed as the end-all-be-all of the franchise and the guarantee that we’re all in on the lambasting too. So what constitutes a “fan”? Anyone who has seen the movie, apparently. I saw Dude, Where’s My Car? when I was like 12. Does that make me a fan? Also, there’s a widespread assumption that these fans expressing disappointment in certain parts of the film means they hated all of it all day every day. THR even wrote an obvious click bait article about common “fandom gripes” throughout the history of the films, portraying us all as racists who hated that Rue was black and sexists who hate Peeta for not being masculine enough. “Offensive to fans” doesn’t even begin to cover it, but they’re getting lots of views from stirring up old, nasty comments from a few outliers that in no way represent the fandom as a whole, as if we all feel this way.

Most definitely started out at a click bait media outlet.. except not really

Most definitely started out at a click bait media outlet.. except not really

4) NO WAIT– EVERYTHING IS AWESOME ALWAYS AND FOREVER!
This is the type of click bait we tend to be more agreeable to because it works in our favor, but we need to acknowledge this too. Because it happens. Like basically everything on BuzzFeed. We can’t say for sure that some of these sites are getting paid to advertise via positive articles, but we know that method absolutely exists. You’re more likely to want something when someone writes an article saying “This Is My Favorite!” than if you just saw a graphic on a sidebar. Again, we know so much nothing that Jon Snow would be proud, but we know it happens in advertising in general. But it could also just be these sites playing off how enthusiastic fans are, knowing they’ll click because the articles validate the things they love.

In between the cracks you can find articles that at least try to find a balance. But overall– and maybe it’s just us– but isn’t it just better to ignore the media and like what you like? We’ve all probably enjoyed some movies that the media had some gripes with or largely ignored or even HATED, but then you remember that you really don’t give a fuck what they think, because you liked it for your own personal reasons.

As for all that really obvious click bait?

Well… DON’T CLICK IT.
The Girl With The Pearl

Human Flesh, Christmas Carols, and Mockingjay Press

Despite the veritable plague that has over taken half of the principle cast, everyone seems to be putting their best foot forward, and in Jennifer’s case Strep Throat diagnosis or not, she’s stepping foot on nearly every stage, carpet, or otherwise, in a stylish black and white ensemble.

Today I was home in the morning, this was an unprecedented occurrence as I’m usually up and out to work by 8am most days. But not today, today I had the morning off, which meant one thing: I was able to catch Josh Hutcherson on Live with Kelly and Michael, AKA the second most irritating couple on morning American TV next to Hoda and Kathy Lee! So, while I figuratively bit my hand so I wouldn’t fling the remote at Michael or Kelly’s giant heads, I was able to watch two sugary sweet segments of Josh being regaled with pat questions about hair conditioning, and then less sugary sweet subjects like his desire to try human flesh if it was ever offered to him. This only made me think one thing, maybe Josh really wants to do a remake of Alive, the 1993 film about the Uruguayan rugby team that survived after a plane crash in the Andes by resorting to eating the bodies of their dead friends, and fellow passengers. And, none of that can be considered a spoiler any longer, because it came out in ’93, twenty or more years in my humble opinion is ample time to know the plot of films like like Alive. Yes, Josh is a weirdo, but he’s our weirdo– which brings me to Jennifer’s appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman.

As of when I am writing this article on the west coast of the United States, Letterman has not aired yet. However, a two-minute clip of Jen’s appearance was released well before air-time of the show in its entirety. And this is what we learned from the clip: Jen and Dave still have an unshakable rapport. Jen looks amazing even though she’s probably still sick as a dog. Dave tried to get her to sing, but Jen was Jen– and ended up demonstrating her singing chops with an anecdote involving her father’s merciless teasing, and a guttural rendition of Holly Jolly Christmas. The most important thing to be learned from this clip however, is that apparently Jen’s voice will be the voice we’ll hear when Katniss sings The Hanging Tree in Mockingjay Part 1. So from the horses mouth, or the girl who likes horses mouth, we now know it’s true– Jen’s singing for reals in Mockingjay Part 1.

Have a holly jolly Christmas guys! Oh wait, it’s November!

Them There Eyes

Mockingjay Press Has Begun!

Over the last several years of covering all things and everything Hunger Games, there are a handful of things that always remain the same. Two of them are that when there’s no news, it’s like a desert wasteland. However, when there is Hunger Games news and/ or press, it’s like a crashing avalanche down a mountain side. I can’t keep track of all the press, and the announcements for press that have come out within the last couple of days! I know that the majority of the cast are in Europe in preparation for the world premiere of Mockingjay Part 1 this coming week in London. So when Liam and Jennifer show up on German television sans Josh, ’cause Josh is ill– I’m not in as much of a clamor as

Perfectly coiffed, and fresh from the ER, that's our Jen!

Perfectly coiffed, and fresh from the ER, that’s our Jen!

I maybe should be, ’cause if I am at level 100 on the excitement scale every single time these people show up on TV over the next few weeks, I think I’ll die of exhaustion, or an aneurism, take your pick. All that being said and done, if anything is like how it was last year during and after the whirlwind press for Catching Fire, the cast are going to be sick as dogs by the time they get to Los Angeles– and in perfect Jennifer Lawrence fashion, she’ll be whisked off to the emergency room with acute abdominal pains, then show up to the premiere looking coiffed, and refined in Chanel.

I suggest you start somewhere though, press coverage wise– because following it all as it unfolds is near impossible unless you spend your life on Twitter, or your phone– or both. Most of the top Hunger Games fan-site are keeping track of everything for us lazy lots though, so if you get lost– go here, and just start clicking! You can’t go wrong with watching a few of the interviews that have come out, or will be coming out, but mix it up a bit, because they are going to start repeating them selves, ’cause journalists have a tendency of asking them same questions over and over again. So if Josh Hutcherson starts to look glazed over, and not just from the fevered illness he’s already infected with, and he starts sounding incredibly robotic, switch to something else! Like perhaps Jennifer Lawrence drawing horses on cakes.

Pace your selves guys! And remember to hydrate. BTW, props to Jen for still doing press while she feels like death warmed over!

Them There Eyes