The Fantastic Mockingjay Part 2 Score – And that Cynical Remix

Yesterday the Mockingjay Part 2 Soundtrack went on sale on iTunes and Google Play. This soundtrack is just the musical score, not songs “inspired by” the movie but we LOVE it. James Newton Howard has once again blown us away with music for the movie, and has brought back many of the musical cues from previous films that give us ALL THE FEELS.

mj2 soundtrackIf you’ve seen the film, you know that Jennifer Lawrence sings “Deep in the Meadow” over the beginning of the closing credits. The song is a lullaby, and with the final scene of MJ2 featuring Katniss comforting her baby, it’s a lovely, quiet way to end the film. The song carries a huge amount of emotional weight throughout the series, as it’s the song Katniss sings to comfort Prim at the beginning of the first movie, and the song she sings to Rue as she dies. Fans have been talking about how much they love the inclusion of this song since the movie’s release.

The peace and happiness was short-lived however, since yesterday as well saw the release of this lullaby AS A DANCE REMIX. Cue the awful Hanging Tree Remix flashbacks, everyone!

Having a dance remix of this song is so out of place and unnecessary it seems like a joke. Add on top of it the fact that fans more or less hated the “Hanging Tree Remix” and preferred the version from the movie, this decision feels like awful trolling. In fact, back in January I joked that they would do this.

There’s definitely a huge disconnect between what Republic Records and/or Lionsgate thinks is appropriate or what even in the slightest way works as music. As long as they see some money to be made, they seem to think anything is worth trying. Our friends at Jabberjays.net explain our frustration very well.

…all this remix signifies is a clear-cut showing of corporate greed and exploitation of Jennifer Lawrence and Katniss Everdeen. Never mind that any fan of The Hunger Games would gladly buy Deep in the Meadow in its pure, original format. Never mind that the song is supposed to have a beautiful, lasting legacy and provide peace for fans new and old alike. Never mind that this song is supposed to comfort, not inspire finger-tapping on the steering wheel.

If there was any question about the fan response to the remix, it can be found in the replies to this promotional tweet.

I don’t think the fandom could be any clearer.

So anyway, let’s go back to enjoying the score, cause it’s fantastic. And we’ll listen to THE SCORE’S version of “Deep in the Meadow” and try to forget about remix nightmares.

We need some comfort, Katniss.



Critics, Box Office, and Mockingjay Part 2

The opening weekend of Mockingjay Part 2 is in full swing, and the reactions to the film have been very interesting. Fans seem happy with it on the whole. We all have our things that we wish were included or changed, but all in all it seems like the fans are pleased because this is a solid, faithful adaptation of the book. We got to see this story end in a way that is true and respectful to the source material and the important themes we value.

297A9B5D00000578-3117094-image-m-29_1433866860839Movie critics have been mixed. Some have really loved it, some liked it, but some are on the way other extreme calling it a major disappointment. The reasons why some critics have panned the movie offer an intriguing look into expectations of blockbuster movies, and the Hunger Games movies themselves. They say it’s too bleak, somber, gray, slow. It also seems like they were expecting some kind of exciting battle at the end, for Katniss to lead the rebels to triumphant glory of a new day in Panem.

As fans of the books, we knew not to expect that, and frankly the fact that there ISN’T a triumphant final battle and Katniss doesn’t go on to some glorious future of power, wealth and fame is what really hits home to us. An ending like that would have been a complete fairy tale and out of step with what these stories are trying to teach. But we understand the surprise that there isn’t one here. The story structure that the negative critics expected is as old as time. It’s one that appeals to people because of its extreme fantasy. You fight the brave fight and win and all is well.

We all know Mockingjay doesn’t portray the struggle in such a simplistic or clean way. Mockingjay Part 2 may be a PG-13 war movie, but it’s a war movie that doesn’t gloss over the ugliness of war. It doesn’t pretend that there’s anything glorious about the violence and destruction of war. That these things are arbitrary, unfair, and cruel. That discerning from “good” and “bad” actions are impossibly difficult. There’s a subtlety and lack of easy answers. AND WE LOVE THAT ABOUT THIS STORY.

The fact this film doesn’t offer a massively fun, popcorn chomping Hunger Games-y time may also be a reason why this film will open domestically as the lowest of the four movies. It’s still expected to rake in $100 million plus this weekend, plus a massive amount overseas, so without doubt this movie will still make everyone involved a nice pile of cash. The pile just won’t be so obscenely big this time. For fans though, whether this movie just makes A LOT of money versus A SHIT TON is moot.  It’s about having a film that met OUR expectations, and it looks like we got it.

The desire for panem et circenses persists, but we’re happy that the popularity of the franchise is getting lots of people to see this film. It’s good to see something different from the movies sometimes.

Now go remind the normals to see this movie.



Inside the Mockingjay Part 2 New York Screening

Tonight, I was super lucky to attend the Mockingjay Part 2 “Special Screening” in New York. Not a premiere, so it didn’t have the huge atmosphere of what we’ve seen in the previous days & weeks, but a huge number of cast attended, as well as Francis Lawrence, Nina Jacobson, and Jon Kilik.

The red carpet was in a tent located outside the AMC Lincoln Square theater. It was filled with press, who missed out on the LA premiere, and the small “fan pen” where I was. As per usual, everyone was very nice about accommodating fan requests for pics and signings. Here are some of my pics in the zoo-like media madness. (You will notice a lack of selfies, I don’t really do selfies, and I doubt you all care so it’s cool).




It’s been a lot to take in, so we’ll dig into the movie after official release (but spoiler alert, we’re really happy).

Nothing could prepare us for the end, so we didn’t.


Jennifer Lawrence and Those Dirty Rumors

Oh, media. You sure know how to make something out of nothing!

Surviving weeks of nearly non-stop travel and press interviews and premieres is infamously taxing on celebrities– recall the great Catching Fire influenza of 2013– so they deal with it however they can. Usually, it involves getting a little loopy and messing with each other.

Fans have watched the dynamics through three previous press tours. So when Jennifer Lawrence said she didn’t wash her hands after going to the bathroom in an interview with MTV, getting the proper gross-out reaction from Josh and Liam, the sarcasm was pretty evident to us. But not to everyone, apparently!

After the interview, the Internet blew up with outlets talking about Jennifer’s dirty bathroom habits. Like it was a dark, disgusting secret they must expose to make the world know she is not perfect. DUN DUN DUNNNN!

It’s amazing what folks will post in the hopes of clicks, but fear not! Our girl Jen had it handled!

When the rumors began to fly, she took it upon herself to put a little something on Facebook.

As Jen said, it’s pretty amazing that she even HAS TO clear it up, but we cannot give her enough kudos for handling an awkward rumor with wit and sass.

With so much judgement out there and essentially no margin for error for stars, it’s always great to see the celebs have the occasional crack at parodying the ridiculousness of it all.

She washed up pretty good after that, we’d say:

At least she’s not rumoredly hooking up with Josh, Liam, or both of them in some strange menage a trois this time around, AMIRITE?

We Have Faith In Your Hygiene!
The Girl With The Pearl

Testing Out The MJ2 App (And Looking Like An Unconvincing Drag Queen)

O hai, it’s a Mockingjay Part 2 app!

In a less complicated, cutesy twist, the OLTM (Our Leader The Mockingjay, in case you forgot) app has become MJ2 to promote the final Hunger Games movie.

Honestly, not too much has changed. The big new draw is that that graffiti feature has been readjusted for YO FACE!

This post contains my face… and for that I apologize.

First off, the Mockingjay war paint!


Apparently, my forehead is not big enough for this feature. But otherwise, not terrible!

Fun fact: You CANNOT smile when you take this picture. Something about the facial shift angers the overlay and it disappears. So go for your war face!

Next, you can get into the Capitol spirit and become Effie with a bazillion different make up options. Mind you, all of these options will make you look like an unconvincing drag queen or perhaps a six-year-old who has raided mom’s make-up stash.


The stupid duck face WAS intentional. I regret nothing.

The old feature has also been given an upgrade. You can still point and shoot at certain clear surfaces to add “graffiti” to your surroundings, but there are plenty of new graffiti options.

Remember the MockingToilet? IT JUST GOT BETTER.

mockingjay (1)

Katniss is on the throne while ON THE THRONE and we are not even a little bit sorry for this.

So if you love The Hunger Games and like to go crazy with funny picture sharing on social media, today is your day! Dance through the fields of Internet glory! …But charge your battery first, because this app will kill it in about 5 seconds.

I Barely Wear Real Makeup And I AM OVERWHELMED,
The Girl With The Pearl

The Final Trailer You’ve Probably Already Seen

After a weekend only at Best Buy and lots of online leaks, the FINAL Mockingjay Part 2 trailer has hit the web officially.

The trailer has extended shots of footage seen before with some sneaks of new things (hi Johanna). We have a new impassioned plea from Katniss to “STOP KILLING FOR HIM (Snow), but we definitely understand some of the fan criticism about a lack of new footage. It’s more extensions of what we’ve already seen, but there ARE lots of new things to see within the trailer. You just need to slow things down to truly dissect them.  Also creating a sense of deja vu is the drum arrangement from this summer’s propo and featured in a lot of THG’s social edits. We wish they had chosen a different piece of music. It didn’t create the same sense of building tension that we’ve felt in other trailers.

Maybe it was the exclusionary “preview weekend,” the leaks, or the fact that there wasn’t much true build up to this trailer’s online release (it was just plopped up on YouTube at noon eastern time today without public warning) that dampened our excitement. But it’s here, and we’re glad it’s out for everyone to see. FINALLY.

No more trailer angst, please.


Fallen Snow Steals the Show

Five years ago yesterday was the publication of Mockingjay, and to celebrate Lionsgate released a new Mockingjay Part 2 banner.

MJ2 banner

It instantly gave us deja vu of Catching Fire’s “Victors Revealed” banner. Fortunately this time, the whole banner was revealed at once and not a slow 2 week ordeal of one character per day like with Victors Revealed. And yes, each of the characters suffer from a little bit of awkward photoshop placement. But the more you look at it, the more you realize the distinction between this new banner and Victors Revealed. As the title suggests, Victors Revealed was all about the characters. The arena background looked cool, but it was not meant to be the main feature of the piece, the victors were.

However, this new banner, aptly titled “Fallen Snow” is more about the background. The massive, broken statue of Snow is what draws your eye. The image of a dictator’s statue being pulled down is very evocative in the real world, but the SIZE of the statue is what takes it a bit more to the realm of fantasy. The statue threw us off guard because the scale is so large compared to Squad 541. It actually looks a little like Ant Man promotion with Katniss so tiny (yet victorious) on Snow’s arm. While lots of fans eagerly zoomed in to their favorite characters, we don’t see this as a character piece. If it were a character piece we’d be a little disappointed that other members of 541 were left missing and their overall teeny tiny size on the banner.

We see this more as a continuation of the earlier movie posters of the decapitated statue and red Katniss chillin on Snow’s throne. But now it’s not clean. Now there’s fire and smoke and ruin. This collective of small, vulnerable warriors amidst all the destruction. These tiny figures have felled a powerful giant, but at great cost.

This type of snow removal is way worse than the frozen water kind.


Is Trailer Peeta the REAL Peeta?

One subject that’s been debated in the fandom since the theatrical trailer release has been… Peeta. Because we will always want to talk about Peeta, and analyze every last detail about this character. It’s what we do. Relating to this particular debate is whether Peeta’s speech in the trailer is out of character for him (Thanks to Satsumarena for bringing this up in our Trailer Reaction post comments).

Peeta says,

Our lives were never ours. They belong to Snow and our deaths too. But if you kill him, Katniss, if you end all of this, all those deaths…they mean something.

peeta trailer 2I think the main question is whether we think Peeta would be encouraging Katniss to kill Snow at this point in the plot. Or even broader, if he would ever encourage killing Snow. Considering the blurry objects in the background, I’m assuming this is in Tigris’s basement. At this point, Peeta has struggled with the deaths that his hijacking episode helped provoke, but felt real remorse and sorrow at it. He was suicidal after this happened. This is after the “Stay with me. Always” kiss in the sewers. All of his energy is being taken up with staying in control so he doesn’t hurt any more people. He’s fighting to get back to his “Real” self in the most stressful of circumstances, but you can see the real Peeta is slowly winning that battle.

Book!Peeta tells Katniss this in Tigris’s basement

I think…you still have no idea. The effect you can have… None of the people we lost were idiots. They knew what they were doing. They followed you because they believed you really could kill Snow.

We know Francis & Co have put book quotes in the movie whenever possible. So why the change? What is it about this reworked version that’s more evocative? And does it make sense for Peeta to say?

Well, first of all, I think Trailer!Peeta’s speech fits better for a trailer, and I think it will work well in the film. And Trailer!Peeta is raising the personal stakes here a bit. When he says OUR lives, I interpret that as his and Katniss’s lives, how their lives and deaths belonged to Snow from the reaping on. And when Peeta speaks of all those deaths, there’s a cut to Finnick fighting the lizard mutts (SO heartbreakingly good there). The reworked version flows so well.

Although worded more strongly in favor of killing Snow in the movie, from the book quote above, Peeta is telling Katniss she should kill Snow for all those who have been lost. And Katniss gets it. She thinks to herself

I don’t know why his voice reaches me when no one else’s can. But if he’s right, and I think he is, I owe the others a debt that can only be repaid in one way.

And then she makes plans to kill Snow.

So what we have here is some nice reworking of the book to help us more clearly see what both Peeta and Katniss are thinking very quickly. Well done.

Movie Peeta is Real Peeta. And we can relax.



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

The Ladies Of Mockingjay Get Badass

Interviews with actors are always great, but it never feels all that authentic. Reporters all have the same questions to which the actors have the same answers. There’s always a thin level of discomfort, even when things are very silly and fun.

That is why we are currently LOVING Elizabeth Banks’ ASK A BADASS segments.


See, Elizabeth Banks is actually really friends with the other Hunger Games actors. So she knows their story, their lives, the funny things they wanna talk about. There doesn’t seem to be any intimidation or fear that something uncomfortable was going to be asked. And you know what? The actors she interviews really open up to her fun, cheery chat.

First, we got a much heralded spot with Jennifer Lawrence.

Jennifer Lawrence is always light in interviews, but she had a lot of genuine fun here. She even opened up about her own meekness, something fans generally don’t see. And the reference to Aqua’s “I’m A Barbie Girl”? Well, let’s say I once owned that CD (and I was like 9).

We also learned that Elizabeth Banks handles her career like a total no-holds-barred boss, as told by JLaw. Color us impressed!

But even better than Jen’s segment, in our opinions, is Julianne Moore’s.

Julianne is usually very calm and professional during interviews. She’s got some great insights and we’re happy to hear them, but it’s really refreshing to see her get silly talking about old guys’ somewhat creepy love of Boogie Nights and her massive collection of Birkenstocks.

Mostly, we love these segments because they remind us that the whole cast is wonderfully close. It’s not just us gushing about them. They gush about each other! It’s fun to hear little fun details shared between friends and we’re seriously hoping there’s more with the rest of the cast.

Because EVERYONE In That Cast Is A Badass,
The Girl With The Pearl