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TRAILER REACTION: Our Leader The Mockingjay

The first traditional trailer for THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 is finally here!

That means two things:

  1. Congratulations Glenn, the winner of our Third Anniversary Guess The Trailer contest! He won a Catching Fire fan camp poster signed by Josh Hutcherson, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, and Jeffrey Wright!
  2. OMG IT’S TRAILER REACTION TIME!

So watch the trailer again and prepare for pure, exuberant fangirl reaction!

Remember, our reaction posts get kinda long, so most of this baby is under the cut! Also.. SPOILERS. DUH. (All screencaps courtesy of Jabberjays.net!)

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Yep. A little haunting.

IN WHICH THE TRAILER DARKENS OUR SOULS
The Girl With The Pearl: Let’s start with the usual– describe the trailer in one word!
There Them Eyes: Teasing
JJ: You took mine… I’ll say appropriate?
TGWTP: I’ll go with haunting. Which is not my usual direction with these, because trailers usually make me giddy.
TTE: PSH
JJ: Ok haunting is better But for me, it did its job. It set the stage for what the movie’s about.
TGWTP: Which is scary, messed up shizz
TTE: There’s nothing happy about Mockingjay… ok, wait… yes there are happy points, but it’s not full of as many light moments as the previous stories.
TGWTP: And yes, PSH was a big part of the haunting feel, though not the only reason for it
JJ: But no it didn’t make me dance around the room. It was much more dark. But yes, the subject matter here is a whole different level
TTE: Even the trailer music is somber.

Our-Leader060

EEEEEEEVIL, WE SAY!

PLUTARCH, COIN, AND A SHOWDOWN WITH FICTIONAL CRITICS
TGWTP: Where you surprised that they opened it with Plutarch and Coin?
JJ: Before I was spoiled?
TGWTP: Yes LOL
JJ: Yes, I was surprised with it. But I think it was a good choice. So much of the movie is Plutarch and Coin’s planning.
TTE: Pleasantly surprised. Oh, wait.. I was the only one who was surprised?! This is what happens when you work all day, and don’t spend a lot of that time searching Twitter!
JJ: Twitter is life, ok?
TTE: Twitter is… yeah, I’ll leave my Twitter opinions at the virtual door.
TGWTP: Maybe it’s just me, but I got the feeling Coin will be more openly eeeeevil in the films. She had one line and I was like “YOU DECEITFUL WENCH!”
JJ: Hmm. Yes, maybe they don’t want there to be any doubt that she’s a baddie to avoid confusion for those non-book readers
TGWTP: True. Anyone who sees her as ambivalent or possibly decent will be raging about the end.
TTE: I think having Coin and Plutarch being the first characters we see in the trailer is a very strategic move. It’s playing both on the mythology of the series, which will make fans happy. But to newbies, seeing Julianne Moore and Philip Seymour Hoffman is a draw, sort of like “Whoa, it’s those people! They’re in this… take my money!!”
JJ: TAKE THIS MOVIE SERIOUSLY!
TTE: Stop calling it the next WHATEVER! If you want to call it the next Star Wars… sure, fine– but stop with the teen drama comparisons.
TGWTP: You’re not too cool for fantasy, jackass!
TGWTP: I love yelling at this fictional critic person!
TTE: Fictional critic person looks like a troll and we love to poke him.

Is this just here to piss off Peacekeepers? We doubt many district rebels are airbourne!

Is this just here to piss off Peacekeepers? We doubt many district rebels are airborne!

THIS REBELLION IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE X-FILES
TGWTP: Anywayyyyy… Next, we get district drama! Starting with— How long do you think it would take a person to pull off that crop circle?
TTE: One night.
JJ: It was not people. It was aliens. Plot twist!
TGWTP: OMG DISTRICT 13 IS FULL OF ALIENS MASQUERADING AS PEOPLE!
JJ: Explains a lot, right?
TGWTP: YES.
TGWTP: And how did they get it so accurate?!
TTE: How you make a crop circle accurately: You take geometry in high school, ace it, and then use those skills. I learned this from The X-Files.
JJ: Or aliens.
TGWTP: That was probably the only part of the trailer that allowed me to be happy. Death, depression, distrust, CROP CIRCLE!
JJ: Yes, that was a bit weird now that you mention it, but a cool effect.
TTE: I know I think I texted JJ, like “Well, that crop circle thing is pretty cool.”

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Fandom– Recognize

credit to - turntherightcorner.com

credit to – turntherightcorner.com

San Diego Comic Con 2014 is in full swing, and the Internet is a buzz with all things Benedict Cumberbatch, Marvel, Hobbit-y, Game of Thrones-y and oh yeah– Lionsgate-y. I’m one of the sad few who is not attending the convention, and frankly will probably never attend, because crowds of that magnitude give me the heebie-jeebies, and trust me when I say this– you don’t want to be around me when I have the heebie-jeebies. Anywho, Comic-Con is a place of fandom-wide fun and excitement, and just all out nerd-gasmic heaven.

Y’all like cupcakes, right? I betcha do! Why not, they’re delicious, and fluffy, and if they’re made right they are moist (not in the naughty way), and light, and put a smile on your face with their fondant, and they’re butter cream goodness. Lionsgate apparently likes cupcakes too, or baked goods if we’re speaking in broad terms. I know this because this weekend at San Diego Comic-Con, part of the fun and festivities are baked goods, including cupcakes. That’s right folks, they have a sleek-looking, Capitol-esque bakery set up on display for the burgeoning public to ooh and ah over. This is awesome for all intents and purposes, ’cause everyone and their glutton tolerant aunt likes some free baked goods every now and again. The only fly in the ointment of this sweet, little gesture is the slightly glaring fact that who ever, or whatever marketing firm chose the designs for some of these goods, well– stole them.

That’s right folks, I just used the S word, and it’s not the shit kind. Nope, I call foul on who ever, or whatever person, or group of people who decided stealing other people’s ideas is an acceptable business practice!

Crystal Watanabe has been a staple in this fandom for years, she’s involved more than a random fan as well– and on top of that she’s got more than a life outside of her endeavors involving The Hunger Games. Crystal used to pretty much run Mockingjay.net, now she’s the founder, and head at Jabberjays.net. Crystal is a master at bento, as well as artisan baking. Which brings me to the previously used S word. Crystal’s designs for two Effie Trinket themed cupcakes are being used without her permission right now at one of the biggest entertainment themed conventions in the world, and all of this is going down without what’s probably most important– credit where credit is due.

I’m just going to say it, but this is not cool! I know that the big guys on top of the money-making machines that supposedly dictate our lives, wholly believe that taking a “little persons” ideas and shilling them as their own, is acceptable. But damn it all to hell– it’s not! I know they’re just cupcakes, but even cupcake designs are things that deserve to be credited to the originator, the designer– who in this case is Crystal Watanabe.

So Hunger Games fandom, if you think it’s cool to steal other people’s ideas– by all means eat up. But if you don’t– say something, that’s what the Internet is for– other than porn of course. This credit issue could be easily remedied with a simple piece of card stock going up on display in that bakery set up. Simple, concise and easy, because this is potential revenue lost to an artist.

Effie Trinket cupcakes designed by Crystal Watanabe of Fictionalfood.net.

Them There Eyes

The Hunger Games Franchise: No Foodie In Sight

I like food, no I love food, and one joy I have in being a self-proclaimed Foodie is this– Foodie Movies. The Hunger Games franchise are not foodie movies however, and to say that I’m disappointed by this would be a mild understatement. The Hunger Games books were Foodie books though, what with Suzanne Collins’ pros about delicious dishes like lamb stew with dried plums, and back story that Katniss was named for the wild Katniss tuber (potato like plant). Safe to say it, but the book entire series is chock-a-block full of heavenly Foodie enticing material, right down to even the squirrels, and the unfortunate exposition that the people of District 12 sometimes had to prepare mice as food for themselves.

There are Foodie movies out there though, a lot actually. And thankfully you have me here to tell you about a select few, well– if you’re into that kind of thing. And face it, if you’re a Hunger Games fan you just might be if you think about it. Let’s start with the classics, no not Arsenic and Old Lace, ’cause believe it or not there are a lot of food references in that one– I do highly recommend that one however. Let’s go with the award-winning 1980s classic Babette’s Feast though, winner of the 1988 Oscar for best foreign language film, and there are several reasons why it won. One of them is most definitely the amazing food that’s cooked and displayed, one other is the comedy of culture, and cultural biased. Watch the movie, you’ll get what I mean, and also have a mad craving for French food afterwards. Oh, and the story was originally a novel, hmmm.

Like Water for Chocolate is a film that probably gets taught in a lot of film studies courses, because it’s a perfect example of surrealist film making. Think Pan’s Labyrinth only less scary, and a lot more funny. Like Water for Chocolate is a love story, a love story about people who can’t be together, and the food that’s made to quell the need to be together. It’s a sexy piece, but it’s a moving piece, so if you’re squeamish about nudity, oh and hate reading subtitles, steer clear. However, if you like to watch Mexican food being made expertly, watch it now, now, now. Or read the book! ‘Cause guess what?! The film was originally a novel and a cookbook in one!

Chocolat, like the last two films mentioned was also originally a novel, a delicious novel full of chocolate and the stories of an emotionally repressed town in France in the 1950s. The film version was released in the year 2000, it starred Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, and my favorite cameo performance was from none other than Leslie Caron (An American in Paris). Stellar cast, right? Hell yeah. But the real star is you guessed it… the chocolate. The center focus of the entire story in the shocking opening of a chocolatier (chocolate shop), in this small very catholic town during seemingly the entire towns observance of lent. The shop owner however is not catholic and sees no problem with her opening her shop during a time of self deniance. Her food, her sweets become a subject of great contention amongst the townspeople, and it’s seriously great fodder for character development, and examinations on culture, as well as human nature. Also, did I mention there’s chocolate?

Lastly we have a recent film, one that may or may not be still playing in your own respective towns. It’s the Jon Favreau passion project called Chef. Chef is as clCHEF_OSose to a family film as you’re going to get in the Foodie movie category, it’s a gooey heartwarming story focused around the redevelopment of a stagnated relationship between a semi absentee father, and his prepubescent son. Favreau is a celebrity chef in the piece, and one that has reached a point in his career where he’s sort of backed into a corner creatively by obligations to the people who pay the bills. He shucks their yoke however, buys a food truck, and spends probably the best summer of his life driving from Miami to Los Angeles with his best friend, and sous chef John Leguizamo, and Favreau’s character’s son. They cook great food all across the south, and southwest of the United States, cultivating relationships together, and a great appreciation, and education in each other and of course food. It’s a sweet, modern film that utilizes some of today’s favorite social media tools, Twitter, Vine, and Instagram. Oh, also it’s got so many cameos from famous-y people, blink and you might miss ‘em! But that’s okay, ’cause you learn about Cuban sandwiches, and see the most delicious grilled cheese ever being made. I made noises watching this grilled cheese, lots of noises.

About The Hunger Games franchise though, it’s no great surprise that the food aspect of the series was seemingly omitted from the plot. The film makers took thematic stance, and they did choose wisely. Food is awesome, but we all know that it’s a niche audience they’d be pleasing if they’d focused on the stew, the focus they chose was right on many levels– oppression, war, social injustice.

I’m content with the message, but damn I did want to see Katniss going gaga over the food more.

Them There Eyes

The Fan-Made Phenomena

It’s no big secret or anything, but The Hunger Games fandom is kind of into take our favorite trilogy by the proverbial, throat or balls, and making it our own. We love making manips in our fancy, or not so fancy computer software, we like making memes, and daaaamn do we like our fan-made film adaptations, and our original content based shorts and full length films (yes, they do exist!).

Suzanne Collins’ work was published in a sort of golden age of Audience Participation, ’cause come a decade or more ago the trilogy would have had to suffice with fan-fiction, and maybe some wearable fan-art sold at Comic-Cons, or on Cafepress, that’s if Cafepress existed a decade or more ago– and I’m making an educated guess here, ’cause I don’t think that it did. Did it? Tell me if it did Internet-y people!

In our little corner of the Interwebz though, I think the fan-made phenomena that’s the most intriguing, and also sometimes the most disappointing are the many, many, MANY fan-made films. It’s hit or miss with the multitude of Youtube, and Vimeo postings of such fare, I’ll be the bold one though, and call it like I see it, a crap-shoot. Because, as much effort goes into all these projects, only a small collection of them are up to snuff. And when I say “up to snuff”, I mean if they had had a little bit more of a budget for things like scoring with quality, and original music, or better fight choreography, they’d be hard to pick out of a line up of What’s Fan-Made and What’s a Major Studio Project.

I did my research, yerp– I watched a whole lot of Youtube Hunger Games themed videos. From projects made by a group of bored sounding, and looking Australian teens, to a painful depiction of Finnick Odair doing his “I drag myself out of nightmares each morning and find there’s no relief in waking.” Speech, where it was delivered with such amateur earnestness that I dare anyone to not look away, because it’s just that bad, car-crash bad. But then there’s the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel full of blood thirsty Undead! John Lyde’s videos are of course counted on the list of quality Hunger Games fan-vids, and then there’s the 2011 The Hunger Games- Johanna Mason short by Wellwood Productions, which I

Yay fan-art!

Yay fan-art!

can say without qualms has one of the most heartbreaking Johanna performances put to film. Honest– watch it, watch it til the end (it’s only 9 minutes long), there’s a moment that turns on a dime– and if you don’t feel all the feelings, something may be wrong with you. I don’t know how it slipped my notice for so long, but it did, because I can’t spend my life swaddled in sweats, watching Hunger Games fan-videos– but there’s this fan-fiction, feature length film called Cirrus Quell — A Hunger Games Story, that’s been up on Youtube since November, 2012. This film is quality stuff, the performances are believable, the fight choreography is good, the writing is good, and the camera work is more than good, yes with the right amount of shaky-cam that Gary Ross was unable to attain even with that huge budget footed by that major motion picture studio.

I’ve noticed something about these top-tier, fan-made Hunger Games videos over the years, blood– they really like the stuff. It’s a repeated complaint I’ve had with the big-studio made Hunger Games films, a sheer lack of that red sticky stuff that keeps all of us alive. We don’t see a lot of it in either Gary Ross’ The Hunger Games, or Francis Lawrence’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and I’ll bet you a big basket of kittens that both Mockingjay: Part 1, and Part 2 will be lacking in the stuff as well, which is odd considering that the entire series is focused on life and death, and also features a whole lot of the latter– some of them bloody as hell too. Like for instance Cato’s in The Hunger Games; in the novel, as we we all should remember, he was ripped apart by Capitol engineered Wolf Muttations as Katniss watched, and then she listened for hours as he groaned, and cried as he slowly, and painfully bled out, that is until she killed him by shooting him with an arrow. in the film however, Katniss watched for seconds as a pack of Dog Muttations swarmed him, and then she quickly took pity on him, shooting him through the skull– a swift mercy kill. It’s all to get around the MPAA, who seem hell bent on showing the world every actresses breasts, but never an actors penis– because, I don’t know– they’re scared of them?

It’s true that there’s not a lot of Mockingjay anything news like coming out right now, you’d have to be seriously out of the loop if you’re not aware of that fact by now as well. So, when there’s the news that a fan-made Mockingjay themed film being made with its eye towards quality, and the other thing that all top-tier Hunger Games fan-made films has in spades– it’s this wonderful thing called grit. I say “hell yeah, bring it on!” Only one problem, to adhere to this particular group of filmmakers desire, and frankly their need to put out quality work– they need our help, the fandom that is, not solely Victor’s Village. You guessed it by now hopefully, ’cause they’re doing the crowd-sourcing thing. They’re shooting for the stars on this one people, and hoping to rent a top of the line motion picture camera, the same model used by Peter Jackson’s crew on The Hobbit films. I’m no stranger to crowd-sourcing films, I’m a Veronica Mars fan– and I put in my hard earned twenty bucks to help the Veronica Mars film get made. And then I shelled out another to see it in theatres, and another to get the digital download. And also, because I’m a forever Veronica Mars fan, I support that cast of the series’ other projects, so I put in twenty to help Chris Lowell’s (Piz) film make it to theatres all over the US and probably Canada. I like supporting projects that I’m confident won’t disappoint me, like Veronica Mars, and Beside Still Waters. And I’m going to be bold again, I don’t think the Hunger Games fandom has ever been witness to the prospect, or the beginnings of a fan-made film project of the magnitude of quality this project is aiming for.

The objective, and feeling of the film is kind of right up almost every Hunger Games fans alley. I’ve had a little time to chat to the woman set to portray Katniss in this film-short, she’s also one of the brain-trusts behind the project– (über fan status is her’s in spades, someone should get her a crown or something), and she’s said some intriguing things that I’m very much on board with. Things like her and the director’s desire to focus on the affects of war on an individual and a society, and the want to depict that in a realistic, and thoughtful way– a way that hasn’t shown its self in the studio films as of yet, or at least not in the full on way that many fans have been hankering for. They don’t have the MPAA to deal with, just Youtube viewers tattling on them for using swear words, which they probably won’t use anyway, but I wish they would. There’s a reason the saying is “swearing like a sailor” sailors go to war!

So, take a chance, if you think about it donating to this project out of most others is less than the price of a premium cup of coffee at Starbucks. Also, anything Mockingjay related is a welcome reprieve from the lull of all lulls we’ve been under for the last several months.

Them There Eyes

Scandalous: Parallels between Panem and Youtube

This is a pure work of speculation, and not a defamation of character, or characters– but today I learned about the YouTube sex scandals that have been rocking parts of the Internet for days. And low, because this is a Hunger Games directed blog my brain latched onto the thought of “what if YouTube was Panem, and instead of people like Tom Milsom allegedly taking advantage of an under age fan, it was Peeta Mellark or someone as innocent looking in the public consciousness?” Not much to go on, but considering that Panem is supposed to be based on our own world, but exploitationaugmented, or jacked up to an acid trip level of weird. Say that seven times fast! The thing is, Panem isn’t without its own scandals, so why add-on the hypothetical, and uncharacteristic idea of someone like Peeta being an uber asshole, and finding the opportunity to ruin everything he may have going with Katniss by screwing around with a, well– fan? I don’t buy it.

If we’re going to talk sexual exploitation, The Hunger Games universe, and scandals– we have at least two people to talk about, maybe three– perhaps four. Finnick Odair, Johanna Mason, Coriolanus Snow, and about a couple of thousand, or few hundred money-grubbing Capitol citizens who love, love, love the idea of doing naughty things with some sanctioned murderers, erm Victors. Finnick of course we know has been abused to the nth degree since he won his games when he was 14, which if you don’t shudder at the thought of a 14 year-old boy being forced to perform sexual acts with strangers for fear of his family, and loved ones being tortured or killed– you need to go get some help. Why? Because, say it with me now “ewwwwwww!” Right then, I’m sure there are about a bazillion horrible, half way decent, and maybe a handful of good fan fiction stories about this, but I’m gonna posit that Johanna was also exploited by the Capitol in almost the exact same way as Finnick. It’s already known that everyone she loves is dead, catching-fire-johanna-mason-full-2she said it her self in Catching Fire, but we don’t know how it all went down. Me thinks like Finnick, because she was one of the more attractive, and feisty tributes to become a Victor that she also forced into the elite Capitol prostitution ring that Finnick had already been part of for so long. This is also why I think that Finnick and Johanna’s friendship is on a level that many people could never fathom. Why? Because in my head I imagine some pretty horrid shit going down in that ring of sexual exploitation, stuff out of Requiem for a Dream, stuff out of Eyes Wide Shut, stuff out of The Story of O, sick, twisted stuff– and I think they experienced some of this trauma together. But how did Johanna lose everyone she loves if she was supposedly going along with this horribleness? Easy, she stopped not saying no, and they murdered her family, loved ones, and friends for her insubordination.

Now, that would never happen on Youtube, would it?

Them There Eyes

Starving For News

Are you starving? ‘Cause I’m starving! Yes, for legit Mockingjay: Part 1 news! Sorry if you thought I meant I was starving for food, and yes I know making jokes about starving for food isn’t in the best taste, but come on! We’ve never toted our selves at the most PC of blogs, have we? The answer to that question would be a succinct, and a definite “nope!” So where was I? Oh yes… WHERE’S THE BLOODY MOCKINGJAY: PART 1 news we’re bloody well starving for?! Um, no where to be seen or heard from that’s where.

Let’s put things into a bit of perspective, shall we? Some of the most secretive, and anticipated films of the decade have been releasing information on their productions almost every other week for the last several weeks. I’m talking about Star Wars: Episode VII, which you have to agree is one of the most talked upped sequels in history. Well, casting news for that one is happening all the time. And then there’s Captain America’s third installment, we now know that it’ll be released the same day as the Batman/ Superman film that every other person and their dad is up in arms about the casting of Ben Affleck in (I don’t care, I like Ben). But the

Sorry, forgot this happened too

Sorry, forgot this happened too

Mockingjay films that have been in production for months, we’ve got zilch legit news, unless you count Danny Strong saying in an interview that he’s under a gag order not to speak about his working on the screenplays, or the cellphone footage of Liam Hemsworth participating in filming a super secret black ops looking Peeta rescue scene in a hotel atrium in Atlanta? Yep, that’s about all we’ve got! Not satisfying, huh? Uh uh.

There’s nothing to do but bide our time, and theories abound that we won’t have to wait too long for something substantial to reach us poor, unfortunate fans. MTV awards shows as we know by now is the place where all the teaser trailers for The Hunger Games franchise have had their debuts. And one is coming up pretty fast. Yep, the one where Katniss Everdeen has been snubbed in the hero category, because we’ve all stuck in a world where those with lady parts are not considered hero worthy for silly cable television awards shows. Anywho, the awards ceremony is on the 13th of April, meaning we’ve got a little under a month to go. So I say sit tight fellow fans! We’ll get our teaser trailer, and then have fun over analyzing that for about six weeks, and we’ll be sated for a time!

29 days!

Them There Eyes

Charity and Mockingjay Set Visits

Who wants to visit the Mockingjay set? Sorry, that was a dumb question. Of course you want to visit the Mockingjay set, unless you are one of those severely spoiler-phobic people who doesn’t want to know any details about the film until you actually see it (in which case, you’ll probably want to stay away from 75% of the posts on this site, cause obsessing over every detail is kind of what we do.)

You could end up witnessing a Mockingjay version of this moment!

You could end up witnessing a Mockingjay version of this moment!

But rejoice, because now for the low-low price of a $10 charitable donation you can enter to win a trip to the Mockingjay set and tour with producer Jon Kilik. There are several donation levels that get you varying entries in the contest and before you complain to me that you don’t have any money, there is a free entry option if you read the fine print.  And it’s an even sweeter prize when you consider air travel and hotel  are included from virtually anywhere in the world – there are some exclusions, so again, read the fine print.

According to the prize administrator’s website,

Jon will personally show you around, introduce you to some of the cast members who are working that day, watch behind the scenes and have lunch with you on set.

You know those DVD features we all went nuts for? It’s a chance to get some of that IN PERSON. *Commence heavy breathing* Ok, I need to calm down.

Or this!

Or this!

Entries are weighted based on the amount of charitable contribution in a kind of reverse-tesserae scenario. So it’s true, if you don’t donate much, the odds aren’t in your favor. But hey, Prim only had her name in once. It can happen. And if you don’t win the trip, well, you just made a charitable donation. You’re a winner in the Generosity Olympics. You can feel good about that.

If you’ve got more cash to throw around, you can enter an auction to win a non-speaking extra role in Mockingjay though at a current bid of $8,500, that’s quite a financial commitment for most of us. Though even if I were super-rich I don’t think I would do this one because I would be afraid that my mere presence in the movie would screw it up somehow. I don’t need that kind of guilt hanging over me.

Beyond how awesome it would be to actually win this set visit or be in the actual movie, the contest reveals some clues about production.  The Charitybuzz site with the walk-on role auction says that shooting will continue in Atlanta until April 18, so presumably filming will shift to Europe after that.  Travel dates for the set visit with Jon Kilik are either April 14, 15, or 16.  You know that MTV Movie Awards shindig that’s happening on April 13? Well, these dates still leave it open that some of the cast may be attending if you consider that April 14 is a travel day, not a set visit day.

So if you’re inclined, go ahead and enter/bid. And may the odds…. you know the rest.

JJ

If The T-Shirt Fits

Hollywood is not a nice place, okay maybe it is on the surface. The sun’s out 90% of the time, people smile a lot, they’re tan, and fashionable for the most part, but you know what? Beyond all that surface crap, it’s a really cut throat, superficial place, and populated also in part by some pretty disingenuous souls. Which brings me to this fact: We’ve got some more than nice people populating the cast of our favorite franchise.

Jennifer Lawrence, quirky-no-filter Jen is the head of the nice cast. Or at least she’s never come off as faking her weird, or the gratitude for the exceptional places her career has taken her over the last several years. She’s too odd, and unapologetic for her personality traits to be a back stabbing, evil, Hollywood starlet like so many we’ve seen and heard about over the years. Great for us I think, because it means if we run screaming at her down the street (don’t do it kids), she’ll maybe not snub us if we give her a compliment, and of course tell her she needs to be our best friend (also don’t do this kids).

Which brings me to this other fact: Sometimes the really nice people who populate the cast of our favorite franchise are nice even to us– personally. If you haven’t noticed over the last few years here at Victor’s Village when we write about the cast, we don’t exclusively write about the principles, i.e. Jen, Josh, Liam, and Woody. No, we also write about the other players, the Amandla’s, the Dayo’s, the Jackie’s, the Jeffrey’s, the Meta’s, and the Bruno’s. So, here’s the deal– one of those people has been very nice back to us, and we have to acknowledge that right here, and right now, because it’s the right thing to do damn it.

Bruno Gunn– we’ve written about him more than a handful of times, and he has returned the favor in a rather public, and perfect way. This is how it begins, several months ago The Girl With The Pearl and I were in LA to attend the US premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and we decided as a team that we should wear matching Victor’s Village t-shirts to the fan camp grounds down at LA Live to stand out as more than just random fans milling about aimlessly waiting for Sam Claflin to show up– which he did, and he was also a genuine, and pleasant chap.

Yep, this happened

Yep, this happened

Conveniently we were photographed in those t-shirts, and well– Bruno saw them, because as we should all know by now he’s very up on social media. Long story short, he told us through the magic of social media that he wanted a Victor’s Village t-shirt. Well, we got him one, and we sent it to him– and finally he had a good place to sport it proudly and publicly, and no we don’t mean at the gym, although that would be okay with us as well. Nope we mean a much better place than the gym, we mean at The Hunger Games: Catching Fire DVD/ Blu-Ray release in Chicago this past week. So in freezing cold climes he dawned his short sleeved black and yellow Victor’s Village t-shirt, and posed graciously with fellow fans, talked with parents of fans, more fans, and also gave our little site that could, some pretty snazzy free advertizing. Can I get a big giant “hell yeah!” And also add an equally giant “thank you!”?

Guess being all inclusive pays off every now and again, huh? Now to get Sam to read our blog and forgive the fandom for being asshats when he was first cast, ’cause we were– and we’re sorry. 

Follow Bruno on Twitter and Instagram, also follow ours as well– it’s how all this nice happened to begin with!

Them There Eyes

Winning

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

Yeah... I think we'll keep her.

Yeah… I think we’ll keep her.

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

Sunday, be there or be square

Sunday, be there or be square

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

Puh-puh-puh-Paris?

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,9sa1a2ixkpc6i2ka 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

Oooh la la.

Oooh la la.

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

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