Brawlin’ With The Mockingjay

This will be the first and last time I talk about the MTV Movie Brawl. Except for social media, possibly. We swear!

No, it hasn’t started yet. It’s still in the nomination phase. Yet… the heat is already on for the MTV Movie Brawl and Mockingjay Part 2. For some reason, this sucker always seems to be the one to get fans all sorts of riled up.

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And honestly, y’all? We don’t know if we’re with it this year.

How I Met Your Mother had a funny little gag called The Murtaugh List, aka a mental catalog of things that make you say the infamous line from Lethal Weapon’s Roger Murtaugh: “I’m getting too old for this shit.”

The MTV Movie Brawl is on our Murtaugh list. And it’s pretty easy to see why, as evidenced by a fellow VV writer and a friend of the site:

As we’ve pointed out before, these awards have more to do with which fans are most likely to vote repeatedly than which fandom is actually the most beloved. Sure, Catching Fire won in 2013. But in 2012 and 2014, the franchise lost to films that we very mildly popular by comparison.

See, we don’t mind losing in these races. It’s gonna happen, especially since we’re not all screaming from the rafters about voting like other fandoms will. And that’s okay! But it would feel a little more realistic if the results reflected the actual box office opening weekends a little more closely. For instance, losing to Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy, or even Divergent last year would have made some sense, as clearly large numbers of people were actually anticipating these films. We know this because they had solid opening weekends and a big box office pull. Veronica Mars was an indie and had a limited release including VOD so obviously the numbers weren’t going to as big, but the film didn’t even make back its $6 million budget. And while we definitely appreciate the Marshmallows enthusiasm, it didn’t leave much space for accuracy.

Surely, there’s quite the possibility that we’ll lose again because another crowd because there’s so many hardcore fangirls out there, people. Though it makes us slightly cringe-y, we’re betting on the Fifty Shades of Grey crowd to be the over-enthusiastic one this year.

So Yeah… We’re Murtaugh Listing It,
The Girl With The Pearl

Awards Season and the Hunger Games Fandom

The new year brings new opportunities for the entertainment industry to get together and receive AWARDS. So many types of awards. There are the most prestigious awards: The Oscars, SAG, BAFTA, Golden Globes, Writers’ Guild, Producers’ Guild, etc.

There are a lot of highly lauded actors in the Hunger Games franchise, but their fancy awards are all for non-Hunger Games movies, sadly, because big blockbuster movie performances are rarely considered by these groups to be worthy of recognition. (One caveat – The Critics Choice Awards which has an “Action Movie” category, but those awards are somewhere down the line in terms of prestige). Some of our favorite actors will no doubt be in attendance for these prestigious awards. Julianne Moore is in awards contention for her role in Still Alice. Jennifer is a past winner of pretty much every award so she may present at some of these awards (definitely at the Golden Globes, where she won last year). Lorde will no doubt be at the Golden Globes since Yellow Flicker Beat has the sole Mockingjay-related nomination there. The Hunger Games movies only seem to get love in the original song category, so it seems that will continue again this year. We’re used to it. We know how it goes. We’ll be watching them in all their Capitol-esque glory where everyone comments on the dresses, the hair, shoes, jewels, and the inane interviews that go along with it. But some are a good time, especially the Golden Globes, because Tina Fey and Amy Poehler make it soooo fun.

good times at the pcas

The Good ‘Ol Days, when Lionsgate forced these guys to do these type of appearances.

There are also highly corporately sponsored entertainment events masquerading as “awards” like the People’s Choice Awards brought to you by seemingly every single brand P&G owns (It’s a lot). The fandom seems to get really excited about the People’s Choice Awards, but I think it’s only because in 2013, the big three attended and were cute buddies together. Ever since the franchise moved to debut movies in November however, the movies have been too off-schedule to be “nominated” (the “nominations” began before Catching Fire or Mockingjay came out in theaters).  Jennifer Lawrence has nominations this year, and there are rumors that she could attend, but my money is on a tapped “thank you appearance” at best. She doesn’t need these type of appearances anymore, the events need her to get ratings. So we’ll see how that ends up.

Outside of the glamour of these award shows, the popularity of our Hunger Games movies means that so many websites want to draw us in with their own magical internet pony voting awards where usually you can vote as many times as you want to encourage hits on the site.  (Yes, the People’s Choice is like that too, though most other magical internet ponies don’t get televised on CBS).There were a few of these in December, and there will no doubt be more soon to come, like MTV’s Movie Brawl, which I bet they’ll do again this year. And it’s so exhausting. But we get it. You want the thing that you love to be recognized in some way as “the best” so you get sucked in and vote and vote and vote. Just don’t let it take over your life and your social accounts too much.

At least it fills the dark time when there is no movie news.

JJ

Mockingjay Part 1 Contends For The Top Spot

Yes, Mockingjay Part 1 technically came out last year, but it’s still earning its way toward some accolades.

While clearly not in the same running as The Hobbit, Into The Woods, or Unbroken right now, Mockingjay Part 1 is still in many theaters across the US and heading toward a big, big goal: The highest grossing movie to be released in 2014.

We’re almost afraid of jinxing it by talking about it too much, but look!

box office 2014

Since the charts are based on the year of release and doesn’t separate earnings by year, Mockingjay Part 1 can still overtake Guardians of the Galaxy. The movie did surprisingly well for a somewhat outdated option in the post-holiday movie surge and is now less than $10 million behind the top spot. That may still seem monumental, but in box office speak, it’s not bad at all. If the movie performs at it did before the holidays, it’ll take two or three weeks to surpass.

Because we don’t want to come off as overly confident, We’ll admit there’s risks. Audiences could drop off in forever of Taken 3 or something equally terrible (because in case you didn’t notice, studios tend to release the films they’re less-than-confident about in January). Theaters may decide to “pull” the movie before the goal’s reached.

But here’s why we really, reeeeeeally hope they don’t: So we can shove it in some faces!

Yup, pure spite and bragging rights. You were probably expecting something more poignant, eh?

Remember when everyone was talking about it disappointing domestic box office? Well, even if it is less than Catching Fire, it’ll still be the highest grossing movie in the freaking country! A bad box office year is a bad box office year for the film industry as a whole. Still, The Hunger Games fans will be able to laugh in critics and analysts faces, knowing that despite all their negativity, we still made 2014 our bitch! BOOYAH!

Hmmmm… maybe it’s time for another trip to the movies!

Also, Transformers Is In The Top Five? EWWWWWW.
The Girl With The Pearl

A Hunger Games Movie Prequel Idea We Don’t Hate

Happy 2015, or as it’s otherwise known, THE YEAR MOCKINGJAY PART 2 COMES OUT AND EVERYTHING IS OVER. Granted, 11 months from now is still quite a bit of time, but the questions swirl around about what will happen after the final movie comes out. The pipeline of Hunger Games stuff won’t be completely over then. For fans of the Hunger Games stories, there’s the curiosity of what they will do with the London stageshow in 2016. And there’s that theme park that Lionsgate keeps bringing up during their conference calls that concerns us a lot.

Beyond putting the story into those formats, what about more movies? Or tv? We think there needs to be a lot more time (like 15 yearsish) before thinking about a true reboot. Prequels or sequels are something that could come sooner. Hollywood loves to tap into successful franchises again and again so it’s not a ridiculous notion for it to happen. Suzanne Collins would presumably need to be behind it, and all public indications are that she’s not really looking to go back to Panem for an extended period of time. We’re not so sure we want to either. A huge part of why we love this story is because of these characters and expanding the world beyond the core characters is a risk.

Uncle Haymitch, tell us a story?

Uncle Haymitch, tell us a story?

But what about a prequel that’s already been teased in the books? In the Catching Fire movie, a lot of fans hoped to see Haymitch’s Games in some form, but it was not to be. He’s a beloved character, and as a teenager he was smart, charismatic, snarky, and rebellious, with tragic results. His games were also a Quarter Quell, which would satisfy Hollywood’s Capitol-esque tastes for MORE MORE MORE.

I have a huge amount of love for Haymitch, so developing his story further is the one prequel/sequel idea that I think I could really get behind. Especially if they frame the movie flashing back/forward to Haymitch, Katniss, and Peeta in the Mockingjay Epilogue-era for a few scenes (and that means getting Woody/Jen/Josh to come back for a little reunion, who wouldn’t love that?)

If/when this or other movie ideas come around, I hope it’s not for a few years. If another film idea comes right on the heels on Mockingjay Part 2, it would be too soon. Let us have our ending for a while before asking us to dive back in. In the meantime, we can watch the now “classic” Mainstay Productions version of the 2nd Quell.

Maybe it’s too soon to start thinking this way, but we can’t help it.

JJ

 

Victor’s Village 2014 Year In Review!

We know that 2015 is officially upon us, but we’re gonna reminisce about 2015 one last time!

Every year, we like to stop and say thanks to you lovely readers! We’ve been doing our thing here since 2014 and we’re super lucky to have had years of fun, debates, laughs, revelations, and interactions with you all! You keep us on our toes at times, but we love it.

And think of it! JJ has already been here for almost one year! She’s been such an incredible addition to the Victor’s Village team and we couldn’t be more thankful!

Thanks to WordPress, we also have some official fun facts to share along with our own observations. We’ll start with a graphic that blows our minds every time:

world map vv

Whoa! Mind you, we know people end up on various websites for a lot of funky reasons. It’s still amazing to see that people from all over the world have visited.

Also, we’re not quite sure what we did differently to see a surge in German viewers this year, but… DANKE!

Our busiest day overall was November 23, the Saturday after Mockingjay Part 1’s anticipated release. Most fans seemed to find a chance to see it by then and there was plenty discussion here! Still keeping major spoilers out of publication that time, our post that day was “My One Mockingjay Part 1 Gripe” in which Them There Eyes discussed the disappearance of Gale’s family from book to film.

However, our most viewed post written in 2014 deliberated Catching Fire’s deleted scenes– and the scenes that were teased during marketing and NOT released even as deleted scenes (at least, not yet).

We also got lots of love from regular commenters, all of whom have added great discussion to our oftentimes random thoughts!

commenters vv

Thanks, y’all!

We got a critically debated but immensely satisfying movie in Mockingjay Part 1 this year, but it came with a few lows. There wasn’t much marketing until juuuuust before the film release and we really, really did not care for the soundtrack (and earned some unintentionally hilarious trolls for saying so.) More than that, the world lost an incredibly talented and inspiring actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman, who we were lucky enough to have on board as Plutarch Heavensbee.

But we’ve also adopted #frappuccino, geeked out over THG’s lady badasses with Elizabeth Banks, and learned that somewhere out there, a deleted scene featuring Finnick Odair in his underwear definitely exists! We’ll take all that awesome, for sure!

2015 is going to be a tough but spectacular year for The Hunger Games fandom as the movie franchise comes to a close. We can’t wait to share it with all of you! It’s going to be the most crazy fun we’ve had together yet!

The Girl With The Pearl

Mockingjay Missing Scene Mayhem

What are you trying to do to us, Lionsgate?! We’re having palpitations over here!

See, you’ve been releasing a lot of gorgeous new stills over the past month. This one is a fave:

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But they’re stills that probablyyyy would have been better served in the pre-release drought that lasted until about a month prior to the film. Instead they came afterwards in the midst of Christmastime award-contending releases when the steam behind your movie is already 94% gone. Not your best move. IMJUSTSAYIN.

But then to make it worse, you quote them up. Mostly it’s movie related, but sometimes it’s this:

What? WHAT?!

This amazing, fierce confrontation between Katniss and Haymitch didn’t happen in the movie. We know! We desperately wanted it to happen in the movie, so we watched out for it during our multiple viewings. NEVER HAPPENED. Our fangirl hearts were crushed.

So what does it mean? Is this an actual deleted scene from the film? Or are you just taking book quotes that were never even part of the movie and torturing us with them?

We’ve stared at these pictures long enough and tried to riddle it out, but we’re honestly not positive. Both characters were in those same outfits A LOT. Backgrounds are blurred. The exact moments featured aren’t coming to mind, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t in the movie. The character in the foreground of Katniss’ still doesn’t have Haymitch’s long wavy hair, so it’s probably not a scene in which she was talking to him.

And we won’t even theorize that any part of this is from Part 2 (though we’d be thrilled of it got squeezed in there.) Learn from the past year, you eternal optimists. If we’re lucky, we might get something from Part 2 by the end of June. Maybe!

We’re somewhere between two and three months away from the DVD, so we can only hope the mystery gets solved when the deleted scenes are announced. If it’s in there, we will then suggest a few other scenes that probably could have been cut in order to include this one.

No More Non-Scene Teases, PLZKTHX!
The Girl With The Pearl

Jeffrey Wright Channels Beetee to #CrushEbolaNow

For the past week or so, Jeffrey Wright has been channeling Beetee, teasing of a “pirate transmission” to come, and today we got to see it. It’s a video featuring the Mockingjay cast to raise awareness of the need for more medical resources in West Africa to help fight Ebola and increase the survival rate there.

The video is called #MisinformationHack and follows the Beetee-like hacking structure from Mockingjay promotion. His voice cuts through American news clips during the media hysteria when the first patients were treated in US hospitals and then to Ebola survivors in West Africa and the Mockingjay cast.

If you follow Jeffrey on Twitter, you know that he has been very active in this cause this year, using the platform to raise awareness and even organizing a contest where donations to the Ebola Survival Fund gave the winner the opportunity to attend the Mockingjay Premiere with him and meet some of the cast. He’s clearly tapping into the huge audience of Hunger Games fans to increase awareness and try to raise money for the cause.  And we say KEEP IT UP!

We all recognize the truth in Jeffrey’s tweet – that we are often too much like the Capitol. We post about this tension we feel as fans a lot. We love that the movies have gotten as big as they have, but along with the success and the fancy parties and corporate sponsorships it’s important to remember the struggle of wealth/power inequality that is so central to the books. It’s one of the things that we connected with so strongly because Suzanne Collins was using Panem to make us think about the problems we face now, in our world. We love that the cast embraces causes such as this, and uses their fame to amplify attention to ways we all can help.

Rally that fandom, Jeffrey.

JJ

 

Unnerving Characters of The Hunger Games

Cross-fandom inspiration time!

On Day 11 of the 12 days of Pottermore, JK Rowling talked about Draco Malfoy. Particularly, she mentioned how “unnerved” she was by the massive amounts of Draco fangirls who assumed that under all the bullying, bigotry, and general cowardice, the character actually has a heart of gold. The author said she’d had to drop some truth about the character plenty of times in the past: As much as people will romanticize him, he’s still a pretty awful person who never really shook off all that bigotry.

Now, Draco Malfoy is the victim of fans romanticizing him under the “Bad Boy With A Heart Of Gold” stereotype. We loathe this trope beyond all others. Draco is not this trope, nor are Hunger Games characters that fanon (fan canon, that is) wants to trope up, like Finnick and Gale.

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other characters for which the immense fan love might be considered a bit “unnerving” in the eyes of Suzanne Collins, even if they don’t necessarily romanticize the character. Perhaps they love him for the sheer fun and easy entertainment, the swagger and the smile.

You know who we’re talking about…

Caesar-flickerman-catching-fire-movie-8

No, seriously!

Caesar Flickerman has pizazz FOR DAYS. He makes us laugh. His style is unmatched. So we all love him, right?!

What we often overlook is that underneath it all, Caesar Flickerman is a pretty fucking awful human being.

We might think he’s just the standard vain, mindless Hollywood entertainer type, but not really. Caesar maintained his fame because he was the best spokesperson for the annual systematic sacrifice for children. He reassures and perpetuates lies in order to give a dictatorship the upper hand. When he interviews Peeta in Mockingjay, he absolutely knows that Peeta is being tortured and repeating carefully rehearsed falsities.

Book!Caesar is pretty much President Snow’s right-hand man. In the films, we’re provided with Antonius and Egeria, who kind of serve as intermediate Ministers of Propaganda. In the books, they don’t exist, so it’s easy to imagine Caesar is involved in plotting media relations that oppress and mislead the people. Especially since Snow sits off to the side and monitors all his segments. Even if he’s not so much involved in the planning in the films, he’s still the mainstay responsible for the execution of said plans.

So he manipulates, oppresses, and coerces. But he does it in a glitter tux with purple hair and a day-glo grin, so we forgive em!

We’re all quite susceptible to Caesar’s charms. And really, it’s not our fault– It’s Stanley Tucci’s!

But now that you think about it… isn’t that character adoration kinda unnerving?

Stick That In Your Holiday Pipe And Smoke It!
The Girl With The Pearl

Looking Forward to Spring

As we in the northern hemisphere endure the shortest days of the year and the cold of winter, it’s good to remind ourselves of hope. It may be bleak now, but the seasons change, days get longer, the leaves return to the trees…

mj part 2

We obsess about the Epilogue, yet we don’t even have an official Part 2 logo yet, but zsoltzedd.tumblr.com has an idea.

Yes, we’ve reached that time of year where little tweet responses are the only news we get, but this one had fans in full meltdown mode if you look at the replies. Cause it’s the Epilogue, and we all get mushy about that. We’ve been following these Epilogue news bits carefully – from the fact that it would be included (YAY THANK YOU), to the tease that Jennifer Lawrence’s nephews would be a part of it in some way. I also think the enthusiastic response from some fans about this news is the fact that it’s not ALL OVER yet. It’s really not all over – there’s still another year of promotion AND THE ACTUAL MOVIE to go, but no doubt, this upcoming year is a big deal.

So leaves on trees are (at least one of) the reasons why there’s still the Epilogue left to shoot. They need nature in full bloom to get the right vibe. I’m betting there were other factors at play as well in terms of scheduling. Maybe they ran out of time. Maybe they wanted to give Jennifer (and Josh?) another year of maturity to reduce the amount of CGI/makeup aging-up required and avoid the less-than-well-executed aging of the cast in the Harry Potter Epilogue. Yes, please avoid that. Fans are only expecting perfection out of the ending.

No pressure or anything though.

JJ

The Girl on Fire, Made of Wax

Her face has been everywhere the past few years for the movie promotion, but yesterday marked another milestone in the cultural life of Katniss Everdeen. Yes, she has made it to another level now. Wax.  She’s a popular enough character that Madame Tussaud’s has made Katniss Everdeen wax figures for its London, NYC, and LA locations.

Here they are:

London Katniss

London Katniss

Katniss in NY (top) and LA (bottom)

Katniss in NY (top) and LA (bottom)

The likeness to Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss is pretty incredible. And we like the choice to have District 12/Catching Fire Katniss in two of the locations. This isn’t Katniss all glammed up for the Capitol in her fire dresses (although when you’re modeled after Jennifer Lawrence, you’re going to be gorgeous no matter what). This is Katniss in the woods (or in the woods of the first Hunger Games). She’s frowning. She’s concerned. She’s sad. She’s not fake smiling for the audience.

We’re happy they chose to immortalize this version of Katniss, and not “The Mockingjay.” Potential promotional partners, take note.

But while we really do like the serious take on Katniss, we wouldn’t mind if Jennifer Lawrence paid a visit and did some Jon Hamm/Don Draper type silliness.

hamm1

THAT, we think, would burn down the internet.

JJ