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
Last weekend it snowed. Again. So I took that as an excuse to binge all of Season 1 of House of Cards and some of Season 2. It was disturbingly easy to do. One of the fun things about watching House of Cards was that it was my first chance to see Mockingjay’s Boggs, Mahershala Ali, in action. He plays Remy Danton, a DC lobbyist and former press secretary to Kevin Spacey’s frighteningly powerful “moves and countermoves” politician. The role of Remy Danton in no way reminds me of Boggs, but the political gamesmanship brings to mind some aspects of Mockingjay.
Even though Remy is a very different character in a vastly different world, I couldn’t help getting pulled out of the story every now and then and thinking, “HEY, IT’S BOGGS. I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE HIM AS BOGGS!” This is not a negative reflection on the performance in any way. I just seem to have this problem a lot when actors in the series work on other projects.
It happened to me recently when watching Woody Harrelson’s character in True Detective have scenes of an adult nature with an actress from the Percy Jackson series. And then someone pointed out to me that the actress resembles Katniss and it got even more uncomfortable (though the added discomfort works in the show’s favor in that case. It’s all pretty messed up). Also, when watching Jennifer Lawrence’s Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook recount how she was having problems with her husband because she wasn’t ready for kids, I just think “Oh, Katniss, I’m sorry. For everything.”
It’s not that these actors don’t do a great job at inhabiting other characters. They do, and I still enjoy the performances and the movies/tv shows on their own. But it does bring to mind why some actors balk at taking roles in big movies or get annoyed when a movie is a surprise hit and their role becomes iconic. You get fans like me who love it so much that it’s always going to linger in their consciousness. Because when I wonder how many years/decades I’m going to associate the Hunger Games actors with their roles so strongly, House of Cards also gives some insight into that question. When I saw Robin Wright my first gut reaction was “BUTTERCUP, YES!” (Robin Wright is seriously so awesome in this show).
Looking forward to thinking “WOW, PEETA IS SURFING” during Paradise Lost.
Dear Hunger Games fans…
Y’all are dramalicious.
Not ALL of you, of course. But some of us like to see things. To create issues what no real issues exist.
Case in point: The Mockingjay/ Divergent marketing “scandal”.
As you may remember, Lionsgate ate merged with Summit Entertainment recently. Given this, many of their marketing efforts are intertwined. Lionsgate owns The Hunger Games and Summit owns Divergent. So far in their partnership, the merge hasn’t blatantly meant any unprecedented delays in marketing, but someone out in the Internet whispered (probably on the cesspool that is tumblr) “There hasn’t been much Mockingjay Part 1 promotion yet because of Divergent’s promotion.” And just like that, complaints and worries took off.
Suddenly, a portion of the internet dissolves into feisty grandmas watching their soap operas:
“That new slut Divergent thinks she’s gonna just come in and steal Mockingjay’s man! To hell with that hooker!”
You gotta calm down there, Chuck.
Yes, at this time last year, we had the new poster reveal and a couple images of Victory Tour promo featuring Katniss and Peeta. Contrary to popular internet belief, we did NOT have the Capitol Portraits yet. Those came in March.
So really, we’re on par for what we had for Catching Fire at this time last year. Yet everyone’s looking to another YA movie to blame for that. HUH?
First off, we forget that Mockingjay Part II is still being filmed and the studio could very well be waiting until the focus is off filming before they worry about promotion for Part 1. It’s going to make a killing at the box office either way. Even so, The Hunger Games and Divergent are still marketed by two different teams, so it’s not as if promotion for one negates the other. Lionsgate and Summit marketing have been known to work together in the past, not cockblock each other. And frankly, there’s no way in hell anything happening in November is going to affect a movie coming out in March. If people want to see Divergent, they’ll go see it regardless of whether or not Mockingjay character portraits show up in the meantime.
Secondly, can’t YA fandoms all just get along? YA fandoms like to get elitist, judge each other, and in this case, blame each other for their problems. Hunger Games fans want more stuff and they’re not getting it, so they look to blame Divergent. There’s already so many people out there trying to discredit and undermine the young adult adaptations out there (including the ones that will forever hate on The Hunger Games, even if it won all the awards) that we should support each other instead of running around hating on each other. Capice?
Stop Being Jealous When Another Pretty Girl Gets Attention, Wannabe Prom Queens,
The Girl With The Pearl
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
We’ve already discussed a handful of ways The Hunger Games and The Olympics aren’t all the different. But there’s one other comparison we’ve noticed that has blossomed into a very Hunger Games-like situation. America’s own Katniss and Peeta (Hunger Games, early Catching Fire), if you will!
Maybe we just weren’t paying enough attention four years ago, but this time around, ice dancing team Meryl Davis + Charlie White = America’s sweethearts LIKE WHOA. Besides the fact that they both look like Disney characters and seem to defy the laws of gravity on ice, there’s one really obvious thing about them: A bazillion total strangers ship them. HARD.
There’s a fine line when it comes to shipping real people. We tend to go against it, unless the people are definitely in a relationship already. Meryl and Charlie are not. And yet, it still feels a bit like the star-crossed lovers from District 12.
These two have known each other since childhood and obviously care about each other deeply. However, it’s probably very platonic, like siblings. But the media (mainly US Olympics broadcaster NBC) glorifies it. They never call it a love story, but audiences will only listen to two attractive people being interviewed about how amazing and special they think the other is before implications settle in.
Then there’s Charlie White’s actual relationship. Interviewers do ask about his model/ former ice skater girlfriend, but Charlie is quickly to brush them off and talk about how his relationship with Meryl is all that matters right now. He’s also said that it’s okay that people assume he and Meryl are dating, as they often try to portray people in love. We’re not sure that he’s trying to promote the idea that he and Meryl are together. He probably just wants to keep his private relationships private, but quotes like that sure do fan the shipper fire.
We know exactly where Meryl and Charlie stand (at the top of the podium! BOOM!), but it still doesn’t feel all that different than Katniss and Peeta being paraded around, trying to show their country’s citizens how good they are together and impress sponsors. Katniss feeling like she has to play down her life with Gale during the Victory Tour feel familiar? There’s no survival or political forces at sake, but the analyzing, attention, and shipping? Totally there!
Is it a little weird? For sure! We’re talking about real people and real media manipulation. But if this ain’t the real world spilling over into Suzanne Collins’ world, we don’t know what is!
Officially Filed Under “Comparisons We Can’t Stop Making” And Let Go,
The Girl With The Pearl
In the many Mockingjay casting announcements last year, one character has been left out that makes people worried– Delly. So, are they leaving her out or just keeping her a secret? It seems likely to me at this point that she’s not in the movies. There’s no reason to keep her casting a secret. Well, other than inspiring this post. So I guess I should be thanking Lionsgate for the mystery of it all.
Them There Eyes has shared her displeasure with the possibility of cutting Delly back in September. I agree that Delly has an important place in Peeta’s recovery so if not including her is sending the signal that they’re going to gloss over Peeta’s journey, then I don’t like it. But, my hunch is that this isn’t the case. Mockingjay is split into two moves, so cutting story for time is less of an issue. No, I think they’re cutting Delly in order to build up Prim.
See, I always feel bad about this, but I was never really invested in Prim. Katniss certainly thinks the world of her, and tells us over and over again how great Prim is. But it’s during the scenes with Prim that I’m the most bored. And I always feel bad when Katniss compares herself negatively to Prim. After all the amazing things Katniss does for her family and friends, I just can’t abide by the comparison. This is in no way Prim’s fault, since it’s Katniss narrating the story and making these comparisons. I love the character of Katniss with all my heart, but Katniss is never able to convince me to love Prim. So when Prim dies, I mourn for her mostly because it destroys Katniss, not for the actual loss of the character.
One of the fabulous things about the Catching Fire movie is that I found myself warming to Prim. Credit to Francis Lawrence, Michael Arndt, Willow Shields, whoever had a hand in it, but this movie gave us hope that Prim’s character could be something more than it is in the books.
So returning back to Mockingjay – We have 13 year old Prim training at the hospital in District 13. And she’s AMAZING. GUYS SHE’S JUST THE BEST MEDICAL TRAINEE EVER. (*Rolls eyes* Come on, Katniss, she can’t be that good. But you love her and that’s nice). When Peeta is rescued, Prim fights for him and helps in his recovery. She even comes up with a reverse hijacking treatment idea. (Again, the 13 year-old trainee thinks of this and not any of the doctors/scientists?) Ok, realistic or not, when she is trying to help Peeta, I really like her. Especially when she says things like,
Well, you’re going to try, aren’t you?” Prim persists. “You’re not just going to lock him up in some padded room and leave him to suffer?
And when she tells Katniss,
There’s a chance that the old Peeta, the one who loves you, is still inside. Trying to get back to you. Don’t give up on him.
YES, PRIM, YES. MORE.
Now, Them There Eyes also pointed out one really big problem with transferring Delly’s role in Peeta’s recovery to Prim. Delly has a past with Peeta that is not connected to Katniss. That’s why she is so helpful in grounding him. Katniss is his trigger, so how is having his trigger’s sister more involved in the treatment going to affect the recovery storyline? My thought is that they will have to reduce the importance of “any connection to Katniss” being a trigger and just make Katniss herself the major thing that sets him off. Peeta won’t freak out over Prim herself. Or maybe she and Peeta will have major issues at first, and she will find some way to break through to him. Maybe Movie!Prim finally lives up to Katniss’s esteem for her!
This is all complete speculation. Delly could end up being in the films. But after all, this whole journey began because of Prim. In Mockingjay Part 2, her death MUST have an emotional impact on more than just Katniss and her mother. For this movie to have done its job, the audience needs to feel the pain of her loss more acutely. And Delly may be sacrificed for us to have a stronger connection to Prim.
I’m sorry for it Delly, but this story just requires A LOT of sacrifice.
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
In a previous post, I wrote about how we’re still waiting for Mockingjay movie promotion to start. So what can an obsessed Hunger Games fan do to pass the time? Well, there’s fan fiction or fan art, but I’ll leave that subject for another time. I’m in the mood to talk games, specifically The Hunger Games Adventures. There are other Hunger Games-licensed games, like Panem Run, but I like Hunger Games Adventures because it doesn’t require quick reflexes or really much in the way of skills. You just have to be good at following directions and being patient as your energy supply refills. Those are two things that I excel at, so it’s really a game for me.
I got very motivated to play it in the months leading up to Catching Fire’s release, where it gave some sneak peeks into the designs of the new sets (like the Victor’s Village and inside the homes as well). Some of the “adventures” come straight from the story, while others take you a little deeper in the world. And then there are times when they make the characters say things that just kill me – like this one…Someone on game staff was in a mood for some foreshadowing, ha! (and then sob)
The gradual unlocking of district locations is also a fun tease we get from the game. Placing District 4 in the current Pacific Northwest area was a bit controversial because everyone assumed it was one of the more southern spots. But I’ll go with it and accept the placement as canon. (Side note – did you all notice the placement of Districts 5 & 10 in the southwest during the train portion of Catching Fire? That’s all I could make out but if you noticed others, let me know. I want to know).
I had been all caught up in the game for a while, waiting for an update so my character was baking up a storm in her forest escape kitchen (I know Peeta would be proud of me). Happily, there was a new update this week with stories leading up to the Quarter Quell. I can’t wait to see the kind of trouble my silly character causes during the next chapters.
I know she’s pissed about Katniss and Peeta having to go back into the arena, so I bet she’s gonna be feeling very rebellious.
We’re anticipating lots from the Catching Fire DVD, but we know we aren’t going to get everything. Even in the Special Editions!
Oh no! We won’t see all the good until well after Mockingjay Part 2 hits DVD when Lionsgate decides to release THE HUNGER GAMES FULL SERIES SPECIAL DIAMOND MAC DADDY EDITION.
We predict that will be the actual name, btw.
But in the meantime, Lionsgate is throwing us a bone by including SOME deleted scenes in DVDs on March 7th. Let’s take a look at those (thanks to Panem Propaganda):
THE HOB – SCENE 8 (00:21) – A short scene with Gale and Katniss at The Hob.
TRAIN STATION – SCENE 62 (00:23) – Katniss comes back from the victory tour and tells Prim and her mother they need to leave District 12.
A WRINKLE – SCENE 81 (01:42) President Snow talks to Plutarch Heavensbee about Jabberjays. Extended scene.
SWITCHING ENVELOPES – SCENE 84 (01:04) Plutarch Heavensbee switches Quarter Quell envelopes and destroys the original envelope.
FINNICK TIES THE KNOT – SCENE 119 (00:56) Finnick Odair teaches Katniss to tie knots in the training center.
You mean we finally get to see the knot tying scene that everyone who hasn’t read the books flipped out about?! It was one of the first stills we got, and it DOES look like Finnick is trying to get all up in Katniss’ training suit. We’re speculating, but all the movie only fans going “OMG THERE BETTER NOT BE THIS SLEAZY GUY AND SOME FREAKY LOVE POLYGON GOING ON IN THIS MOVIE” might have had something to do with the scene being cut. Finnick is supposed to be intensely likable! Still, a look at Finnick oozing bravado now that everyone knows about his soft candy center is much appreciated.
Snow and Plutarch scenes are the longest, but what else would you expect? Their characters were tasked with most of the back story and political tension in Catching Fire. Oh, and it’s DONALD SUTHERLAND and PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN (who will be bittersweet to watch, but we’re glad it’s there). We imagine Francis had to find the balance between displaying the powers that be and turning half of CF into The Snow and Heavensbee Hour.
The other two scenes in District 12 are essentially cutaway scenes that likely weren’t deemed necessary.
BUT…BUT… BUT BUT… What about all the other stuff we saw? What about the scenes Lionsgate showed us and Francis talked about?
What about Peeta painting with the morphling?! Or Plutarch and Haymitch in slightly comical outfits together?! Or the pocket watch take of Plutarch’s introduction that was filmed but wasn’t used? Again, we understand that some things must be saved for the SUPER FLY LIMITED EDITION, but does it have to be the stuff that’s already been seen, discussed, and (perhaps unintentionally) teased? We knoooooooow they’re around somewhere! Will we somehow get a peak in the next two years?!
Lionsgate, we know you can make it happen! Because you love us. And because we’ve made you lots of money. And we’ll probably still buy your COLLECTORS KILLER MINT EDITION, anyway.
Oh-So-Many DVD Editions!
The Girl With The Pearl
So here we are friends, stuck in the middle of February. The Catching Fire DVD doesn’t come out for a month. And it’s still too early for much marketing activity for Mockingjay. What to do, what to do?
Seems like some people are keeping busy by starting rumors.
When are we going to get a Mockingjay Part 1 teaser trailer and full trailer? This is an easy rumor to start. Since the Mockingjay release dates are the same weekend as Catching Fire, the lazy rumor is to just assume that Lionsgate will replicate their marketing calendar date per date. So, teaser trailer at the MTV Movie Awards in April and full trailer at San Diego Comic Con in July. This could very well happen. Both events are high-profile and the timing fits well. And their plan worked out pretty amazingly for Catching Fire. Why mess with success – maybe they’ll do it again. OR maybe they won’t. WE DON’T KNOW YET. What we do know is that an unnamed tumblr “source” shouldn’t qualify as a source.
April and July are too far away for me anyway. What about some reveals in February and March? There were Catching Fire reveals during this time period last year, like the awesome Capitol propaganda pieces announcing the Victory Tour and the Capitol Portraits. Those happened in late Feb and early March. So does this mean we need to be obsessively checking our various social media sites for news? Well, yes, and no. As the days tick by the inevitability of Mockingjay Part 1 marketing is more realistic. That’s just how time works. All this stuff is going to happen… eventually.
But I would caution that counting on a date per date replication of the Catching Fire marketing plan is setting yourself up for disappointment. The Mockingjay Part 1 plan has already strayed from Catching Fire. Remember in January 2013 when there was the Entertainment Weekly cover article and all those exciting stills?
Yeah, nothing yet for Mockingjay besides the logo poster. And that was great and exciting but it wasn’t much of a new reveal – it was basically shown to us at the end of Catching Fire. Though I always feel a spark of hope Tuesday/Wednesday each week that THIS WILL BE THE WEEK the EW thing happens. And then every week it’s something else and I go about my week.
So while I appreciate how the rumors are keeping the fandom excited during this downtime, I’m really not going to believe anything and and I will trust no one. Because I think the people that actually KNOW can’t and won’t tell us until they’re good and ready. And evidently, they’re not ready.
The upside? The awesome feeling you get when these things come completely out of the blue. And all the freaking out that ensues.
We know that all this stuff is coming. And that it will destroy us in the best way when it does.