Category Archives: Uncategorized
This is going to come as a shock to pretty much every single Hunger Games fan on the planet, but I do not want Jennifer Lawrence to win at the Oscars tomorrow night. Yeah, throw tomatoes, or bags of dog poo at me (I’d prefer tomatoes, thank you), but I think I have a good reason for not wanting her to win, or perhaps more than one reason.
Reason number one: I don’t want any more Jennifer Lawrence hate flooding the Internets at large. See, in our sick, twisted, stupid, and fucked up society, we tend to really, really, really, really like to kick people when they’re at a high point. Example: Remember when everyone loved Anne Hathaway, or at least liked her acting, and mostly tolerated her perkiness, and her eager to
please attitude? Yeah, well– have you seen much of Anne Hathaway lately? I’ll answer that question for you. NOPE! She’s been working, true– but she’s had one of the lowest public profiles since her breakthrough role in 2001. And do you know why she’s been so low-key lately? Welp, because the media, and the Internets started becoming an all out hate mongering death trap for her. Jen’s different though, talent wise she’s on par with Hathaway, because come on– even if you don’t like Hathaway you cannot deny that the woman is talented at her craft. However, where Jen and her differ greatly is their all out public persona. Jen’s kind of no-nonsense, quirky, and unapologetic for her inability to conform. Hathaway, um– yeah, she’s kind of a bit of a conformist, a bit faux, and kinda sorta a priss. Seriously, I don’t think we’ll ever see Hathaway making the faces that Jen does, which is okay– Jen’s doin’ her thang, and I will never not enjoy her weird. But Anne, even after all the praise, and the awards, and the hard work she put in, she got a hate storm of epic proportions thrown at her after she won, and was nominated for everything under the sun, and she got that storm thrown at her because she was doing well, and people got tired of her doing well. I do not want that to happen to Jen, therefore even though I do think that her performance in American Hustle was commendable, in full disclosure mode– I
don’t think it’s her year.
Which brings me to my second reason: Lupita Nyong’o– her performance in 12 Years a Slave is earth shatteringly good, actually everyone’s performance in 12 Years a Slave is more than good, all the way down to Garret Dillahunt, and one of my personal favorite character actors, Paul Dano. You know how there are films that just deserve to be recognized because they go places that have never been gone to before? For example Philadelphia, or Midnight Cowboy, 12 Years a Slave is like those films and the performances are above board, and without qualms, or mercy, or affectedness– American Hustle, and Jennifer Lawrence– I can’t with a clear conscience say that either has those same facets in my opinion.
May the best woman win!
Them There Eyes
Robert Knepper doesn’t know anything about the character he’s playing in Mockingjay: Part 1, and Mockingjay: Part 2, not his name, not his background– okay, maybe he knows a bit about the background, or at least a teeny-tiny-tid-bit. Other than that, Bob knows nil, zilch, nada! Um, and Bob would be Robert Knepper by the way, I’ve decided that since I’ve been a fan of his since 2005, that I’m allowed to call him by a nick-name, ’cause I’m cool like that, and a little bit self entitled, and all that jazz. Wait, there are other things things that Bob knows, like how to ski, and roller blade, but that’s not really something he’ll likely need to do on his job! He does however know one important factoid. He knows that in April he’ll be flying to Paris, France to partake of filming the scenes in which he will be portraying the character he knows only crumbs about! Yea verily, we now know that they’ll be filming in Paris, France! Now come the questions: Why Paris, and what in Paris?
Interiors? Paris is home to some of the most fashionable, and some of the oldest, and still working urban homes, restaurants, and other establishments. And as an interior design dork, the prospect of the Mockingjay films taking advantage of the artistic, and diverse array of interiors the City of Lights has on offer makes me giddy with delight. And
then (yes there’s more), Paris is one of the first cities to utilize the concept of urban planning in the world. Say thank you Napoleon III! “Thank you Napoleon III!” Or, actually let’s thank the real mind behind the planning, “Merci, Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann!” And what comes with the amazing that is the planned lay-out of the vast city of Paris? Um, well… a striking resemblance to the fictional Capitol in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy. Booya! Location shooting is always so much more authentic than when sets are built from scratch, plus I think it makes the cast and crew more happy, because they get better food like 99% of the time. The jet lag sucks though!
Who cares, they’re going to freakin’ France!
Them There Eyes
Coriolanus Snow, Coriolanus Snow, Coriolanus Snow. See, I wrote it out three times, because maybe he’s like Beetlejuice, and he’ll magically appear in my living room spouting calm, cool, and collected barbs of hatred? I don’t see that happening any time soon, so alas I will have to suffice with other Coriolanus’. Tonight I went and saw the National Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus starring none other than Tom Hiddleston, yep Loki from the Marvel films. I’m pleased to announce that Tom was formidable, present, and totally worthy of all the praise that’s been lavished upon him. He is truly a gifted actor, however truth be told– I only made it through an hour and a half of the production.
Aye there’s the rub. See, while I am a fan of Shakespeare, and all its rich, and splendid language, I however am not a fan of near continuous shouting. Bulging veins in Tom’s forehead are greatly welcomed, heaving chests too, Tom standing on
stage stripping to the waist and then screaming in pain as a stream of water falls on his head, clearing his face, arms, and chest of a red mask of blood he’d been sporting for several long, sticky minutes, hell the fact that he could carry off the costume they put him in is a feat in my humble, and mild opinion (skinny grey jeans, black mid calf lace-up combat boots, light green Henley, brownish red leather wrist guards/ cuffs, black leather fingerless gloves, and a vest/ body armor made of tough chocolate-brown leather– cheeky grin was just extra). However, here’s another truth for the bucket, I’m kinda sorta painfully ignorant where it comes to the story and/or play about Caisus Martius, later named Coriolanus after a battle he fights brutally at Corioles. Ah ha! Not as ignorant as I thought! So sadly I came to the play tonight fully open, and fully hoping I’d come away with material that could be used in this article you’re reading right now. Um, well– yeah, not so much.
I get why Suzanne Collins named the foul dictator of her made-up country, Coriolanus. That is what I got in an hour and half of simultaneously lusting after Hiddleston, and not exactly knowing why everyone wanted the truly un-political beast he was portraying, to become one of his societies top politicians. Both are brutes, however one in a more reserved, calculating, and scarily silent way, the other will get down in the muck, and the grit, and fight steel to steel with his foe. Both have little to no respect for the common man as well, they feel above them, entitled even, superior, supermen. However tact is where
Coriolanus Snow and Caisus Martius Coriolanus seem to diverge the most, sure they share a name and several personality traits. But Caisus Martius cannot quell a crowd, cannot lower himself to smile and nod, and interact freely and openly with his fellow citizens without insulting them in the process of begging their approval. Well, neither can Snow, but at least he knows that a smile, and putting on parties, and serving amazing food, and masking his sick blood disease from the world is a better way to go than calling out the masses as less than, plebeians, and minnows. In the end I came away with one thought– some day soon I hope to see Tom Hiddleston and Donald Sutherland in a feature together, preferably nothing based on a comic book. And a second thought– I could watch Tom Hiddleston scream whilst having a shower for hours– and I don’t care how perv-y that sounds.
Aptly named Miss Collins– aptly named.
Them There Eyes
Suzanne Collins has been quoted saying that one of her initial inspirations for The Hunger Games, was an innocuous, and very common time wasting moment in her life in the early 2000s, when she was caught channel surfing on her TV. She switched back and forth, and noticed a strange, and disconcerting, as well as disturbing trend. On one channel she’d see Iraq War footage, guns blazing, coffins being wheeled out of giant planes onto airport runways, and sometimes battle footage– and sandwiched between the stark reality of war she saw reality TV programs where people played head games in uncomfortable tropical conditions to win a lot of money, a complete disconnect from the blood, and the smoke, and the death of reality. And that’s when it came to her, what if reality TV went so far that instead of the game being make-believe like it is on series’ like Survivor, what if it was real?
Years later the trilogy is complete, and now the last installment of it is being put to film. Mockingjay is becoming a reality though, but not in the way we’d all like to think whilst sitting back in our comfortable homes. Today three major socially changing events are continuing to unfold. Kiev, Ukraine is burning, and shaking in protest to their pro-Russian government leaders. The internet, print news, radio news, and broadcast news are buzzing with the flames, and the angry, desperate faces and voices of the opposition. West of Ukraine an ongoing civil war has been raging in the country of Syria. People are starving, people are dying in their homes, and on the street as they forage for what ever they can find, and there’s no end in sight, even as leaders on opposing sides of the conflict are having so-called “peace talks”, in Geneva, Switzerland– thousands of miles removed from the mess back home. The talks aren’t working though, at least that’s what I keep hearing over and over again, and the people of Syria are still desperate, starving, and dying. To the east of both Ukraine and Syria is Thailand in Southeast Asia, people continue to take to the streets protesting their government calling their electoral system a sham– police officers are dragging every day, normal citizens away– and tourists still meander the streets of the capitol city of Bangkok. Suzanne Collins published Mockingjay in 2010, but the inspiration could be what’s plastering our TVs, Internet news feeds, and our broadcast news programs right now. We don’t need to wait and see how well Mockingjay is put to film, to see how well the scenes of Katniss and Squad 451 storming the streets of The Capitol– we just have to pay attention to what’s happening to our fellow human beings right now.
Them There Eyes
Our planet seems to be experiencing something called weather lately. From hearing about the cliffs on the coast of Dorset collapsing in places under the weight of the insane amount of water they’ve been pelted with over the last several weeks. Sad day, especially since the particular cliffs I’m talking about were pivotal background in the ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tennant, which amazingly is being remade in the US for Fox, and also starring Tennant. And then there’s extreme drought
happening in California, and then the clincher– the winter blows that have been inundating the east coast of the US, and of course even reaching the normally tolerable winter climes of the South. Yep, Atlanta, Georgia, where The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, was filmed and both Mockingjay films are being filmed as well, have been socked in by ice storms and snow. This means two things: One being that production has likely had to stop twice because of the cold ass weather. And two: Global warming is real, yep– in case you were on the fence about that or something.
The media has kind of had fun with these weather phenomena as of late, which is fine– we all like our disaster porn every now and again, right? However, I really don’t see how some journalists can bend frozen precipitation shutting down a film set as a colossal disaster in the making. Weather has affected film productions since, well– since people started making films. Hell, some film makers deliberately would wait for bad weather specifically to film in, because it would make the end result more dramatic– also because special effects didn’t really exist yet. I’m talking about early early film making. Meh, it is true though– the Mockingjay films being shut down because of any reason is a disaster for one reason though– financially that is. They lose huge amounts of money for each day they’re not keeping to a schedule. But what is there to be done when you’re filming in a metro area that only experiences real winter weather every 30 or so years? Um, well– nothing. I say hang tight guys, film’s are gonna get made– little ice and snow isn’t the end of the world!
The real tragedy is the loss of a major cast member, not keeping to a predetermined schedule.
Them There Eyes
Philip Seymour Hoffman’s funeral was held yesterday in his adopted hometown of New York City. It was attended by hundreds of people, so many people attempted to attend actually that many had to be turned away because the church was over capacity. People like his co-stars Amy Adams and Joaquin Pheonix from the film The Master attended, as well as fellow New York based actors like Ethan Hawke– whom I
believe lives in the same neighborhood as Hoffman’s family, in attendance as well was Michelle Williams, as well as acting icons like Meryl Streep. All signs in other words are still pointing to the fact that Hoffman was, and is a highly respected figure in our current culture. Respect is the word I think I want to be emphasized here, because while many of us were shocked, and amazed at Hoffman’s sudden passing, we also a lot of the time seemingly automatically thought about the affect his death would have on the Mockingjay films.
Is that a sign of disrespect though? I remember when another highly beloved, highly respected, and talented actor was taken long before his time, right in the middle of filming another highly anticipated film, although not a Tent-Pole style film like the Mockingjay films– I’m speaking of Heath Ledger. Ledger was in the middle of filming the Terry Gilliam film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, when he too died of an unfortunate drug overdose, and his death sent the film production into a proverbial tails-spin of “oh my god what do we do!?” However, also with a healthy dose of “this is so sad, this is so sad, who cares about making a film… this is so sad.” The film was finished though, ingeniously by having three other actors come in and play Ledger’s character– turning the character into a sort of manifestation of everything the female lead desires at that moment in time. See the film, it’ll make more sense, and you’ll also get to see Andrew Garfield in his first American film in the process of watching, also Christopher Plummer is amazing in it as well. And to be completely indulgent, I’m still not over Ledger’s death, I don’t think I ever will be– because he was the first contemporary of mine, first famous contemporary anyway, who died so terribly, and so publicly. I still remember the day it happened, and just being so angry at the older people in the office where I worked, who said “who cares!” When even the radio shared the news, and my saying “his family does, he has a little girl, also… I care.” He was only four years older than me, now he’ll always be younger than me, and I still can’t not remember him at 17 in this awful Fox series called Roar, which I faithfully watched when it was trying to make something of its self– and I knew the show sucked, but I also knew that he didn’t. Eleven years later he’d been nominated for an Academy Award, and after he passed he won Best Supporting Actor posthumously on his second Academy Award nomination.
All this Heath Ledger remembering is making me feel things! Respect is still the word I’m focusing on by the way– because I think it was innovative, and perfect, and respectful the way that Gilliam got around, and in a way enhanced The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus by casting Colin Farrell, Jude Law, and Johnny Depp to pick up where Ledger unknowingly left off. With the Mockingjay films though there’s only one scene left to be shot that features Philip Seymour Hoffman– meaning unlike with Doctor Parnassus where nearly half of Ledger’s role was yet to be shot, recasting the role of Plutarch Heavensbee isn’t feasible at all. So, what’s to be done about this conundrum so to speak? Well, hours after Hoffman’s death was announced, and I reeled, and quaked, and cried a little after getting the initial news texts from several of my friends– the discussion started. How are they going to finish this thing without him? And I said they’d use technology, that there’s more than 20 years of voice samples for the sound team to choose from, and they could make a computer synthesize his voice, and have the computer be Hoffman for that one remaining scene. Well, looks like I was right, and on top of it all they’re allegedly going to make a digital visualization of Hoffman as well.
My quarry is this though… is this creepy, is this disrespectful, is it too much?
Them There Eyes
There have been countless tributes, and out pourings of admiration, and love, and respect for Philip Seymour Hoffman ever since the news of his death this past weekend. And I think you’re about to get another. I’m not old, but I’m not young, I remember when I saw Scent of a Woman for the first time, yep– in a theatre, and saw him do what he’s now known to do so well– playing an unpleasant person on the surface, who you also somehow find compelling and interesting. George Willis Jr. was a
sniveling, conniving, snobbish, two faced, daddy’s boy– but, you kind of liked him. It was weird watching Chris O’Donnell play the sweet, innocent Charlie opposite pundgy, ginger headed, creepy George– but, honestly if you were playing attention– and I was even in 1992 amazingly, you somehow saw and likely thought, “who the hell is this guy, why is he making me pay attention to him, he’s only got three scenes!!??” But that’s simply the kind of performer Philip Seymour Hoffman was. The kind of actor who took small supporting roles from the start like in, Scent of a Woman– which got him his SAG card, and at the finish of his career, like the role of Plutarch Heavensbee in The Hunger Games franchise. And it must be said now, I absolutely, fucking, bloody hate saying the phrase “the finish of his career.”
Hoffman wasn’t done, that’s just the sad fact of it all. Not only was he far too young for this day and age to die at only 46 years old, but he wasn’t finished with multiple projects, like his new series Happyish, which is slated to be released this summer in North America, and he also had at least two directorial projects in the works– including one that had recently just had the boon of casting Jake Gyllenhaal for the lead in it, and then of course there’s the heart wrenching fact that he only had seven days left on his schedule for Mockingjay: Part 2, an that seven days was to film only one last pivotal scene. All these projects still in the proverbail air say a lot to me, and that a lot is this– he wasn’t planning on going anywhere. And we didn’t want him going anywhere for a very very long time.
Good-bye Mister Hoffman– I wanted to see you play Lear at 80.
Them There Eyes
“Howl, howl, howl, howl…” – Lear, Scene III
Inevitably you’ve heard that Philip Seymour Hoffman died yesterday. And like all of you, I’m sad. I’m also not feeling very articulate right now. There are many people who can write about his impressive career and talent better than me, so I’ll leave them to it. If you’re looking though, I thought these posts from Salon and The Atlantic were really good.
And I don’t feel like analyzing how the Mockingjay movies will be changed right now. My mind started going down that path and I realized how suddenly, the emotional weight that these films would have had just because of the STORY now have an added potency for the most awful of reasons. We can grapple with that later.
If you are anxious about the other ways it will affect the movies though, Lionsgate has released a statement on it.
Depending on your film-watching habits, you may have been familiar with his work prior to him gracing us with the performance of Plutarch Heavensbee. Or that role may be the your only experience viewing his work. Regardless, you saw in the outpouring of sorrow at the news yesterday that it’s clear that the man was respected by many and this is a tremendous loss. And we Hunger Games fans were lucky to have him as our Plutarch.
So what is left to say beyond that this is heartbreakingly sad? I don’t know. Instead, I’ll just leave you with this scene that I really love with him from Almost Famous.
Take care of yourselves.
Harvey Weinstein wants to distance himself from the über violence he’s been producing, and Schilling for the last decade plus. As a Hunger Games themed blog I have to put my two cents in about this, because while Harvey has been producing, and promoting some of the most violent, and the most highly praised films of the last several years– he’s also totes BFFs with Jennifer Lawrence, AKA our Katniss Everdeen the Heroin of one of the most violently themed series’ to come out in eons.
Weinstein did not produce nor does he have a hand in any of the future Hunger Games films, but since he’s pretty much the Dogs Tuxedo in Hollywoodland, and has spent time braiding Jen’s hair, and talking about boys over pizza, and in their jammies– I’d say his new stance may have after effects on the way Mockingjay is received. Or, okay… probably not at all. The way I see it is this, The Hunger Games series, either in book form, or film form in comparison to the extremely violent fare that’s been pummeled on our heads for the last few years, it’s um– kind of tame. Okay, the films so far are anyway, but the books, especially Mockingjay are full on bang, bang, shoot ‘em up, blow ‘em up– good damn times. For instance pretty much everything that takes place outside of District 13, minus Peeta losing it and showing his brand new shiny shiny colors, is non-violent where it comes to the confrontational kind– i.e in your face. But then there’s basically a free for all where it comes to vomit inducing violence, so vomit inducing in fact that Katniss herself can’t hold in her cookies and throws up all over her bodyguard, who later in the story gets his legs blown off in a blaze of bloody glory— outside of District 13.
I’m frankly a bit confused by Weinstein’s brand new stance, especially since he’s made his bread and butter, and more butter off of some of the most violent films to date. Including Django Unchained and Inglorious Bastards, which you don’t even have to open your eyes to see the violence, the sound affects alone tell you some pretty horrible shit is going down. Which brings me back to Mockingjay, there’s not a lot that they’re going to be able to get away with where it comes to violence, especially since it will absolutely be rated PG-13 here in the USA. I even know for a fact that with Catching Fire some of the more extensively violent scenes, i.e. the Bloodbath in the arena were shot, but ended up being cut either to appease the ratings boards, or for time. Here’s the question though– do we want the films to be as violent as they could be, do we want them to be Django level gruesome– are we desensitized enough like the Capitol citizens we’re repeatedly told we’re on the way to becoming, to take in Jena Malone being water boarded, or seeing a man in his prime getting his legs blown off, or seeing Sam Claflin ripped to shreds by a pack of genetically engineered monsters?
I have no bloody clue, but Weinstein’s new POV isn’t going to change much for me.
Them There Eyes
We got the first Mockingjay: Part 1 poster today. But, show of hands please, doesn’t it look a bit, I dunno, well– familiar? Yeah, yeah, it fits perfectly in with the last two first released posters for The Hunger Games, as well as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, but– because I’m a huge fan of buts– doesn’t it look remarkably like the fan-made poster for Mockingjay: Part 1 that popped up on the Internets this past November? Let’s have a little refresher, shall we?
Just imagine this one to the left is in motion, and has the crackling, roaring sounds of a fire accompanying it, yep– making us giddy, and excited, and stupid for the film we had not seen as of yet, but we’re so deadly sure would knock our proverbial socks off. And then the also proverbial symbols crashed, and we saw the film– and things happened. Now, below The Hunger Games poster we’ll now focus our eyes on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’s first poster. Loverly isn’t it? Sure, if you’re into all that orange, and fire, and stuff. I kid, I kid– of course we like orange, and fire, and stuff– god I could live off of stuff! True to form though, a pattern was emerging, and while it was predictable, it was also a bit on the comforting side, kind of like Split-Pea soup on a cold, rainy day, or your personal favorite flavor of ice cream (mint chip if you’re at all curious), when you’re depressed. So, with a particular pattern emerging, it was really no wonder that hours after Catching Fire was released in theatres, and we all saw the Mockingjay we’d gotten used to seeing transform, that a fan-made poster with an uncanny resemblance to the poster that has become the official first poster for Mockingjay: Part 1– would, erm happen? Um, yeah– not a wholly big surprise, but kind of wish that some acknowledgement was thrown the fandom’s way, y’know?
Oh well, better luck next time, perhaps? Yeah, probably not.