Guys, let’s be honest now– there’s not a bloody decent thing to yammer on about right now where it comes to the productions of Mockingjay: Part 1 and 2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is out on DVD and Blu-ray, and everyone and their grandmother has seen it. Seriously, even my waxer has seen it! There is nothing of great interest going on right now, the lull is great, and vast, and boring as all get out, and I’m tapped out where it comes to topics that will engage, titulate, or even enrage you guys. Until we get news, and I mean real news, not grainy photos taken from thousands of feet up, or away from some pretty much indiscerible scene from either Mockingjay: Part 1, or 2. Yeah, I know, I know! To some people those shots are fuel that will keep you going for weeks on end, but I’ll be honest– I need a hell of a lot more than grainy shots to keep me engaged! I need freakin’ Sam Claflin huddled on the floor of a huge underground bunker, tying, and re-tying an endless string, of endless knots, hands steady, and sure– face stone like, eyes troubled. Well, until we get real news– I don’t know what we’re going to be able to joke, jab, or even write about! Oh yeah…
I could wax philosophic over the voting shenanigans surrounding the MTV Movie Awards, but I’ll be honest again– doesn’t interest me. ‘Cause I already know that Katniss is an awesome character, I also know that the Dowager Countess of Grantham is a great character, and so is Lars von Trier’s Joe from Nymphomaniac Volume I and II. We do not need a silly awards show to tell us this, do we? I know I don’t! Grand scheme guys, big-ass, screaming, loud, totally huge scheme– MTV is a zygote to the Academy Awards, the BAFTAS, hell most reputable and note worthy awards shows. Yeah, again– I know! “But the MTV Movie Awards are for fun!” Erm, I don’t think they’re fun– I didn’t even think they were fun when I supposedly fell into the age bracket they seem to still be shooting for. Also, when I was a teenager I didn’t have cable TV, and only ever saw MTV at friends houses, who’d more often than not would rather marathon watch Animal Planet– which we did, thank you very much.
So, y’all want to get all wrapped up in an awards show that’s already done a bang up job of pissing us off by snubbing the heroine of our series out of the category she should be included in, be my guest. I’m gonna go watch Game of Thrones, which has real news being released about it on a regular basis!
Them There Eyes
Date check time – tomorrow is the first day of April! Maybe a month where we actually get news about a Mockingjay movie!?! Tomorrow is also April Fools’ Day, an annoying day where you can TRUST NO ONE. So I’m going to hate that. But maybe, after April Fools’ Day we can get some Mockingjay news? I’m dying here.But enough of my desperate begging, did you also know that tomorrow is the first day of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp’s fiscal year? Yep, I was so bored with the lack of Mockingjay news, I spent some time on their investor relations site. Their year closes today, and then the auditors come in to check that the money was counted right. The annual report, or 10-K, won’t come out until late May but it did spur me to check in to see where the final totals for Catching Fire ended up. You may have heard a few months ago that Catching Fire surpassed Iron Man 3 to be the number one US domestic grossing film of 2013, which is especially impressive when you realize the film was only released in 2D and IMAX, not those extra 3D formats that bump up total receipts. But it raked in even a few more million after surpassing Iron Man 3.
Here are the stats per BoxOfficeMojo.com
Domestic – $424,645,577
Foreign – $439,897,616
Total – $864,543,193
That’s a whole lot of money. I doubted that Catching Fire would surpass The Hunger Games’s domestic gross (just because THG’s success was so very massive). Though I did see Catching Fire in theaters 7 times compared to The Hunger Games 4 times, so maybe a few other fans like me did the same thing and ca-ching ca-ching. Happy days.
I had higher expectations for Catching Fire’s foreign take however, especially with all the extra emphasis on international markets (the parties at Cannes, more international premieres, etc). The more or less 50/50 split domestic/foreign is increasingly rare for blockbuster movies. More and more blockbusters make 2/3 of their total box office overseas. Though Catching Fire still made $157 million more internationally than it did with The Hunger Games (and improved from a 60/40 domestic/international spit). $157 million is basically an entire hit movie’s US box office in itself, so it’s huge growth. But I bet there will be a continued focus on getting the rest of the world watching so that the Mockingjay movies are even stronger internationally, and of course, keeping US audiences energized so they can try and top the success of Catching Fire.
Now that the new fiscal year has started let’s start spending some of that marketing budget on Mockingjay Part 1!
Every now and then, we see a casting announcement for one of The Hunger Games actors and think “PERFECT!” This is especially true when it’s one of the young tributes from the first film, because we get all sentimental about the fledgling careers of budding young actors. They were just baby tributes yesterday! *sniffle*
When we heard earlier this week that Dayo Okeniyi has gone from Thresh to a lead role in Terminator: Genesis, we were pretty stoked. Dayo will be playing the adult version of Skynet creator Miles Dyson’s currently unnamed son, who almost met his fate at a young age in Terminator 2, but apparently lived through the apocalypse after that.
In the world of action movies, the Terminator films are surprisingly more tolerable than most, even in their later versions. We’re actually way more knowledgeable about this series than should ever be warranted. There isn’t a full plot breakdown yet, but this looks like the original Terminator retold mainly from the post-Skynet POV. Lots of time travel and all. And whether the plot is good or not, this movie is going to get a looooot of attention for Dayo!
The newness of Dayo’s character in the future setting could mean a couple things: 1) Because he’s not deeply rooted in the mythology, he’s easy to kill off or 2) Because the mythology says Kyle Reese and John Connor both kick the bucket, Dyson Jr takes over as leader of the rebels. We’re hoping for the latter, because Dayo is a bona fide actor and we know he deserves better roles than the smartass best friend in a romantic comedy. We mean… his last movie was Endless Love. Ouch.
This, along with roles like Alexander Ludwig on Vikings and Jack Quaid’s upcoming HBO pilot, only helps prove that there were some really stellar actors even in the not-so-big roles in The Hunger Games. We wish we saw more of it! But, ya know, we’re cool most of those actors finishing high school before they bombard the big and small screen!
Who knows! At this rate, I just may have to fancast several ex-tributes in the inevitable “re-imagined” versions of popular movies!
I’LL BE BACK,
The Girl With The Pearl
It’s the time of year when college basketball fans (and fans of guessing things and gambling in office pools) get crazy. And I imagine the crazy is hitting the Mockingjay set quite a bit. The usually tweet-taciturn Josh Hutcherson is clearly excited – he’s actually tweeted THREE THINGS in the past two weeks, all March Madness related. But we already knew that Josh was a big Kentucky Wildcats fan, and I really dug the crowd’s reaction to him when he was at a UK game last December *THREE FINGER SALUTES FOREVER*.
But I’d imagine there’s definitely some fun sports-related tension going on now with fellow Kentucky native Jennifer Lawrence and her preferred team, the University of Louisville Cardinals. As the odds, and the teams’ quality of play would have it, Kentucky and Louisville are playing each other in the Sweet Sixteen round of the championship tonight. Louisville is a 4 seed and Kentucky an 8, which theoretically means Louisville is favored to win. But if there’s one thing March Madness teaches us every year, it’s that the seedings don’t dictate the outcome, especially this year with all the upsets. I watched the Kentucky game during the last round, and even a relatively sports-phobic person like me enjoyed it – it was exciting right down to the end.
For undergrad and grad school, I attended universities where basketball is a religion, so I understand what it’s like to get caught up in the fervor of March, even when the rest of the year I could usually care less. But the schools I went to also mean another thing for me tonight– I don’t want either Kentucky or Louisville to win! So while I have no stake in the outcome, I hope that Jen and Josh have some kind of bet going on related to it. That always makes the game more interesting.
I’ll probably be watching tonight out of curiosity and remembering fondly how North Carolina beat both Louisville and Kentucky in the regular season this year. (Ok, I revealed one of my schools, you’ll have to guess at the other).
All I know is that Katniss and Peeta would’ve been UNC fans anyway.
OMG MOCKINGJAY PHOTO!
Okay, it’s not official, but it’s still pretty freaking stellar.
Laura Simpson, aka Jennifer Lawrence’s BFFL who went to the Oscars to support Jen and spent a decent chunk of it at the bar with Jen’s dad (for which we already love her), posted up a photo of herself and Josh Hutcherson on the Mockingjay set.
PEETA! He’s back! …And he got the shizz beat outta him!
Observe the black eye, the burned and bruised chest, and the locket! Oh, the locket! Of course, this is not DURING actual filming because Josh is in a gym sweatshirt, but a scene was either being prepped or just finished.
What does it meeeeean?!
Most likely, we’re talking District 13 scenes, post-hijacking. Josh is wearing THE LOCKET. You know the one! The Capitol wouldn’t be letting Peeta hold onto that. He’s got himself a partially-healed shiner too. Unless Peeta gets roughed up by Katniss or Gale or maybe even Boggs in a newly added scene (though we doubt it, because that’s just asking for THE ATTACK OF THE FANGIRLSSSS), he’s still sporting that injury from the Capitol. He’s also got extensive scarring on his chest from Capitol torture, right? This could be batshit crazy hijacked Peeta!
… At least, that’s the popular theory. BUT WE HAVE ANOTHER!
Remember when Nina Jacobson told us Buttercup was back on set? JJ thought it was time for “She’s dead, you stupid cat!” and thus the ending scenes to be filmed. We think she’s totally right! Peeta just proves it.
The shattered remnants of Star Squad 451 reach the Capitol Square. They’ve been put through hell and are likely bruised and bloodied. When the bomb detonates, both Katniss and Peeta are burned extensively. Assuming we skip over or even speed up the imprisonment and trial of Katniss Everdeen and ship her back to District 12, she’d be there in a few weeks, shortly followed by Peeta. Remember when he gets back?
“He looks well. Thin and covered with burn scars like me, but his eyes have lost that clouded, tortured look.”
Peeta, with treacherous burn scars across his body. Peeta, possibly still sporting a black eye from the battle in the Capitol. Peeta, wearing the locket that ties him to Katniss, still caring about her no matter what they’ve both done during the war. Peeta, planting evening primroses.
Aaaaaand of course, we could be totally wrong. This could be anywhere, at any time. But a fangirl can dream!
We’re Just Assuming Peeta Is Not In Total Distress Because His Hair Is Still PERFECT,
The Girl With The Pearl
Just to prove once again that we here at Victor’s Village have accepted, like, and genuinely think that Sam Claflin is, and was a great casting choice for Finnick Odair, I’m going to take it upon myself to gratuitously promote all his other projects, yes– that includes when he takes to le Twitter and does sporadic (points if you think of the same hit ’90s film when you see or hear that word!), and planned Q & A’s. They do happen on occasion, less than they do on other cast members Twitters’, like say– um, what’s his name again, he’s on that really violent series, he’s blond, tall, what’s his name!? Oh yeah, Alexander Ludwig! Anyway, Sam’s Q & A’s are always pleasant, always a little bit cheeky, and always a little bit self-deprecating. Poor man, someone needs to bolster his confidence! I’ll leave that job to his wife however.
The Internet is a great place sometimes, allowing us little’uns to have a modicum of a connection to famous-y people like in this instance, Sam Claflin. And this past evening Mr. Claflin did not disappoint, although I was slightly disappointed because last night I was out celebrating my birthday by watching Grand Budapest Hotel, and thus missed the amazing, stupendous, Q & A put on by Digital Spy that he participated in! You can read the highlights here, and bathe in the funny, and sweet, and the dogged. However, here’s the gist, or my highlights!
He’s still shocked that he got the role of Finnick, because at the time he looked nothing like the fan-art he made the terrible, horrible very bad mistake of Googling before he auditioned. Sam, love you– but even I hated pretty much all the Finnick fan-art out there before people started taking it seriously and using real people as models. And even then they still were rather amateurish and crude. It’s no wonder his confidence was seemingly shot before he went in to those initial auditions, but he rallied. Which brings us to the second highlight for me from the Q & A session, he read the trilogy in five days! Ah, this means one thing to me– he’s a crazy-ass fan too, which should make all of us very happy.
Thinning out the highlights though, I have to ignore the anecdotes he’s already shared, like dropping Lynn Cohen in the frigid water– you know the drill. However, highlight number three for me is this tasty morsel of taste– he wishes that he could work with Tom Hardy in the future. More so than that he added that he’d also like to work with Christian Bale, as well as Bradley Cooper. Johnny Depp was also mentioned. So there you have it my fair folks, Sam’s our Finnick, Sam’s a funny chap, and Sam’s also got good taste in hopeful scene partners.
To bolster his confidence, because we really can’t leave it all to his wife– go see his new film The Quiet Ones. Comes out April the 1st!
Them There Eyes
Big scoop for you today. We’ve discovered the secret training exercise of the District 13 military – laser tag.
Finnick Odair (he goes by the code name Sam Claflin in some circles) shared a picture of him and some of his District 13 compatriots recently, and you can be sure he’s taking the training seriously.
— Sam Claflin (@samclaflin) March 17, 2014
What a way to practice strategy, maneuvers, and teambuild! I can just see Boggs now. He’s concerned about the upcoming mission. Wants to make sure everyone is ready for the perils at every turn.
Mandatory afternoon at the laser tag arena!
BUT WAIT. THERE ARE MEMBERS OF THE SQUAD MISSING! How can they become a cohesive unit with some of the members absent? Troubling, indeed.
I hope the Mockingjay and Soldier Hawthorne will be able to clock some hours soon. Probably best to keep Peeta Mellark away from such situations however. The lasers could set back progress in his rehabilitation. (Or perhaps lasers could BE the solution? Somebody tell Prim.)
Interesting additional point about the laser. It seems that District 13 has discovered the existence of weaponized cats. Amazing, isn’t it? LASER CATS. Just brilliant, and I’ve heard their leader Buttercup is quite the strategist as well.
I think the rebels are well on their way to victory with this whole laser strategy.
Yes, I brought the silly today. Major pop culture points to the person who notices the Parks and Recreation reference.
Ah, the media! Every now and then, there’s a kernel of real depth and knowledge in there, but not nearly as often as you think. (Unfortunately, I realized this mid-way through a Journalism degree, so on top of no longer wanting to work for the media, I’m in massive debt!) Mostly, it’s about getting people to pay attention to what you’re saying and make them think it’s important, even though it’s usually not. This is especially true of entertainment media.
So let us repeat a sentiment we’ve stated before. One more time with feeling!
There is no real fandom war between The Hunger Games and Divergent. Or between The Hunger Games and any other franchise, for that matter. Quit drinking the media wars Kool-aid. Seriously.
Them There Eyes already covered that EW pulled a seriously dick move by trying to deflate The Hunger Games series to up Divergent. Surely, other media sites have done it as well. Entertainment Weekly, especially, has stock in the success of the Divergent series. Note that they have stock in the success of THG as well, but it’s already a proven success so they don’t have to coddle it anymore, just cover it. Hence the clueless “Katniss is from District 9 and Victors are reaped in every Quarter Quell” review Catching Fire got. Successful fandom-centric franchises are huge readership draws. And Lionsgate? They don’t care which one you like better because they are both owned by Lionsgate. Though it should be noted that a lot of THG fan outrage is hypocrisy, given that most people seem perfectly okay with people deflating Divergent in favor of The Hunger Games. It shouldn’t be either way.
Of course, The Hunger Games/Divergent media wars have the desired effect. Everyone has preferences. We rush into the conversation to pick a side. Fans run out to say “I think Series A is better and anyone who thinks Series B is better is an idiot!” and vice versa.
Even we sip the Kool-aid a bit without realizing it. Them There Eyes was quick to call the movie mediocre based solely off critical reviews. When someone commented on one media post about how Mockingjay was awful and Allegiant was great, I was quick to respond with the inverse opinion. And I REALLY LIKE BOTH FRANCHISES. Not in love with the last Divergent book, but I still like both on the whole. Plus, we believe everyone should read and decide for themselves.
People like what they like. Some like The Hunger Games. Some like Divergent. Many, many people like both. And that’s fine! Don’t let the media make you think otherwise! Critics are not gods. While they make valid observations about film now and again, they’re often self-important jackwads. A movie isn’t good or bad or special or fun because a conglomerate of cynics tells you so. Seriously, that takes all the fun out of moviegoing. If you’ve ever had to stop asking a friend to go to the movies because they shot down everything you suggest based on critics, you know. So don’t let them push you around, m’kay?
This is not a war and nobody needs to pick sides. When the next potential franchise comes out, the media will do the same damn thing because people will STILL get hyped up over it. IGNORE THEEEEEMMMM. Have your preferences, have your personal tastes, but cutting down someone else’s fandom just to up yours, whether you’re Owen Gleiberman or just some random person on Tumblr, just makes you look like a petty ass.
Again: The Kool-Aid. STOP DRINKING IT.
WE JUST LIKE LIKING THINGS!
The Girl With The Pearl
Yeah, I said it– and I’ll say it loudly! Owen Gleiberman was probably paid a nominal fee to tear down The Hunger Games franchise, and tout Divergent as better, more perfect, more– whatever than The Hunger Games times a billion zillion! In the grand scheme of things, and also in the tiny scheme of things, Gleiberman’s opinions are a moot point. Some people just have varying tastes, some people think that pickles and ice cream is yummy times a thousand, and also not when pregnant– as popular culture has deemed that food combination to be appropriate when a lady person’s hormones are going every which way, and therefore she craves crazy-ass combos, like ice cream and pickles. Weird food combinations aside, I know people who rant and rave about how great Divergent is! Me though? I’ve never read the books, and I’m not going to see the movie, because yep– I’m a movie snob, and if a film is not fresh rated on Rotten Tomatoes, I’m not going to waste my hard earned money on it. Just my stance on my fun-money, no wasting it on mediocrity. So, let’s talk about some different films for a second, because that’s where in a better world, you’d be spending your money, and maybe having a better time.
I’ve seen some good films lately, and none of them are part of any huge flashy franchises. I tend to see smaller films anyway, it’s just how I roll. So if you’re more inclined to skip the box office monsters in the next few weeks, or just want to stay home and jammy-pants it whilst watching NetFlix, by all means read on.
Tim’s Vermeer: It’s a documentary, but made by one of the most unlikely documenterians ever, Penn of Penn and Teller fame, followed the process of his good friend
Tim, a genius in his own right, attempting to prove that Johannes Vermeer used lenses, or camera obscura, as well as mirrors to achieve his masterful true to life paintings. The painstaking process Tim goes through is daunting, and fascinating, and if you like art, classic art, nerds being nerds, and science– watch this movie as soon as you possibly can!
About Time: It’s by the same team that brought us to tears with Love Actually as well as Four Weddings and a Funeral. It’s classic Brit humor, quiet, sweet, thought-provoking, and well acted. It stars Domhnall Gleeson, best known for portraying Bill Weasley in The Harry Potter franchise. The story is odd, a young man is told by his father (Bill Nighy) that all the men in their family possess the power to go backwards in time, however only within the confines of their own personal lifetimes. Time travel, I know!? Crazy, weird idea! But this is a much less science fiction-y way of doing time travel, it’s more about letting a person become the person they always had the potential to be by allowing him (Domhnall) to get to do do-overs. It’s how he meets his wife, it’s how he can say good-bye to his father in the sweetest way possible, it’s how he saves his sisters life. It’s wonderful, and if you’re not into soft, quiet films– stay the fuck away.
That’s all folks! Go watch movies!
Them There Eyes