FINNICK ODAIR IN HIS UNDERWEAR

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is out on Digital HD on February 17th, so the behind-the-scenes clips are starting to roll in. There have been three so far, but we’re only going to take about ONE. Because as great as hair and costumes are, there’s something else involved here.

FINNICK ODAIR. IN HIS UNDERWEAR.

The infamous Finnick scene from Mockingjay, the book, was cut from the movie. And we understand why! Finnick was so emotionally heavy in this movie that a sudden joke and strip tease may have come off as awfully out of character.

But man, did we miss that scene. It’s funny! …And Sam Clafin shirtless, obviously. (We’re not even gonna try to pretend that we didn’t care whether or not we saw Sam shirtless. WE CARED.)

Thankfully, the very first bit of behind-the-scenes goodness we get is all about Sam Claflin’s experience as Finnick. AND THERE IT IS!

Unfortunately, it’s a brief flash with a District 13 weapons room missile blocking off part of the view. Which makes it really, really hard to screencap. But we sure tried!

finnick 1

finnick 2:

This confirms something great for us: Even though the deleted scene may not be on the DVD (There’s a possibility that is could be in the announced “Katniss and Boggs walk through District 13″ scene mentioned but we doubt it), they’re probably going to discuss the hilarity of that sequence somewhere in there.

Underwear aside, we love Sam. Because he talks about how he still gets nervous coming on to set and feels such a great responsibility to the franchise. And to us, that’s both very modest of him and massively important. Confidence is wonderful and he should have it, but it’s amazing to see just how much he wants to get things right and impress the fanbase.

Also, FINNICK ODAIR IN HIS UNDERWEAR!
The Girl With The Pearl

We’d Like to Thank the Academy

This year’s Oscars ceremony is less than two weeks away. We’re pulling for Julianne Moore to take home her first Oscar for her role in Still Alice. She’s won a lot of the other Best Actress awards this season, so things are looking good, but there are always surprises. No surprises in this category, ok Academy? Julianne for the win!

We now have another reason to look forward to the Oscars. New Academy member Josh Hutcherson will be a presenter! You know what that means. JOSH. IN. A. TUX.

The last time Josh was at the Oscars was 2011. How time flies.

The last time Josh was at the Oscars was 2011. How time flies.

Please excuse the excitement, but it’s somewhat of a rare occurrence for him, or any man for that matter. It’s special attire. Why not dress up to the max, though? Being asked to present is a big honor, but very stressful as well. Even for the most comfortable of public speakers, there’s the massive pressure of having to speak in front of an audience of about 1 BILLION people worldwide. So just… enjoy it, you’ve earned it, Josh.

Another part of the whole Oscar presenter gig is the requisite Red Carpet gauntlet. That means talking to lots of Caesar Flickermans about that tux you are wearing and answering obvious questions like, “Does presenting make you nervous?” Dear Ryan Seacrest, please see the paragraph above and avoid that question. Instead, may I suggest you ask him if he has any additional (ie final) scenes to film for Mockingjay so we can put that speculation to rest?

Good luck to both Julianne and Josh. Be careful with those steps!

JJ

Exhibiting The Mockingjay: We’ve Got Expectations!

Straight on the heels of the IMAX 3D announcement, another big Hunger Games news story hit the web: We’re getting an exhibit, y’all!

Exhibits are trendy for franchises nowadays. It started with Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, as most recent movie series trends do. Now, just about every franchise out there has to prove its worth by making sure it has a museum exhibit in its repertoire. We’ve been to the Harry Potter exhibit and it was straight-up delightful, but Potter has a much different tone, on the whole.

We don’t know much about this baby yet, except that it’s starting up July 1st in New York City and has a vague description on its website:

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The Hunger Games: The Exhibition™ will ignite fans of the blockbuster Hunger Games franchise as never before. Immersive themed environments, hundreds of authentic costumes and props, and highly interactive digital and hands-on experiences will invite visitors to step inside and explore the world of Panem as created by the films.

So clearly, we’ve got expectations, especially for those interactive bits.

1) FULLY FUNCTIONING REPLICA OF THE DISTRICT 13 WEAPONS ROOM
We understand that we shouldn’t shoot the explosive arrows inside. Beetee told us so! But damn it all, we better be able to shoot the incendiary ones! Gale got to!

2) 3D MONKEY MUTT ATTACK OF DOOM
If you’re going to try to make fans interact with the special effects, it better not be chillin’ and singing songs with Mockingjays. We want excitement and TERROR! How about the monkey mutt attack from Catching Fire? Preferably with a replica of Finnick’s trident on hand so we can stab at those suckers!

3) CORNUCOPIA WRESTLING
We fully expect to be able to climb the cornucopia with another person, then try our damnedest to throw them off before they manage to throw us off. Nobody even has to get eaten by mutts afterward because the shame would be enough!

4) EFFIE TRINKET SALON
Seeing Effie’s outrageous costumes won’t be enough. Without the opportunity to dress ourselves up in Capitol clothes with extreme hair and makeup that would make a drag queen look tame, the interactive portion of this exhibit is SIMPLY NOT COMPLETE!

5) OH… AND SOME PART 2 STUFF, WE GUESS
You’re probably shooting yourself in the foot a little by doing all this before MJ2 is out in theaters. Maybe so you can do the “bigger, better” version of this later? But hey– Book readers know what happens. So maybe give people a look at how that all goes in the exhibit too, plzkthx!

You’re welcome to our ideas, exhibit folk! Just holla at us somewhere in there!

Better Than Staring At Costumes, Right?
The Girl With The Pearl

Stepping Out On The Hunger Games

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I have a confession to make. I’ve been stepping out on The Hunger Games, meaning I’ve been cheating on it. So loudly, and proudly I’d like to declare it here and now that I’ve cheated on The Hunger Games trilogy with Diana Gabaldon’s epic Outlander series, or as she calls it sometimes “the big books”. Don’t be mad, or be mad, it’s your prerogative– but as my need for new and exciting, and unknown outcomes, and characterization up the wazoo, I fell into the swirling, faceted story that is Claire Randal’s amazing Technicolor world.

I love The Hunger Games, I’m a crazy ass THG fan, that’s why I’ve written for this fantastic blog for over two years now. Although I must acknowledge that I’ve been absent for several months due to familial obligations that have made writing twice a week, or anything beyond text messages– next to impossible. It’s a long story, a boring one actually, let’s just leave it at this– broken bones, not mine. The Hunger Games though is like a little baby that I found on the side of the road, and now it’s all grown up, and is making billions of dollars in the foreign markets, and I’m left at home knitting, saying “I remember when!” in a haggard, world-weary voice. The Hunger Games has become nostalgic for me, kind of like The X-Files (my oldest, truest, and longest fan obsession). I like to visit it, pick up my copies off my book shelf, thumb through the pages, find passages again, and relish in the memories, the feelings. But I’m a big fat cheater now, because I do almost the same thing with the Outlander books, as well as the television series.

Before I get comments flung at me saying things like “Outlander is a romance novel series! Ew!” I’m going to preemptively defend the stance that it’s not. It’s a science fiction fantasy, and historical drama, that also has an intense, complicated, heated love story weaving through its probably more than a million pages. If I was going to compare Outlander to anything though, I’d say that it reminds me of Battlestar Galactica in its scope, its drama, its humor, its world building, and its characterization. And coincidentally the executive producer of the Starz adaptation of the book series is the executive producer of Battlestar Galactica. Go figure!

Things that Outlander and The Hunger Games have in common: The lead character is a strong, capable, willful, opinionated female. That said character, just like Katniss is thrust into an impossible situation and has to make due with her wits, and the skills she possesses. Sensitive, brave, and charming male counterparts, that are equal in characterization to the female lead. Bad things happen, really bad things, like death, and limbs being lost, also sea sickness. Epic story that spans years, locations, and there’s surprisingly a lot of fashion talk. A love triangle, a really really complicated love triangle. Livestock.

I’m a cheater, and I admit it– but Jamie Fraser made me do it, and it was so worth it. Sorry Peeta.

James Alexander Malcolm McKenzie Fraser... er Sam Heughan

James Alexander Malcolm McKenzie Fraser… er Sam Heughan

Maximizing the Mockingjay Movie Money

Today we got news that Lionsgate would offer Mockingjay Part 2 in IMAX 3D, 3D, and 2D formats.

MJ2 3D

We’re not surprised at this news.  Lionsgate seemed headed in that direction by putting Mockingay Part 1’s Chinese release in 3D. And as someone who works in the business world, I’m not surprised either. Especially for a publicly-traded company, the name of the game is growth. Sales growth, profit growth, these things must keep going up or your stock will be headed down, down, down.  Offering Mockingjay Part 2 in 3D and IMAX 3D gives an instant boost to the box office potential and assures shareholders that they are going for all the money they can with this final film.  It’s also why Lionsgate also said during their conference call with Wall Street analysts that they were exploring prequel and sequel ideas. They have this asset in the Hunger Games franchise, and their shareholders expect them to use it to its full money-making potential.

As someone who loves Suzanne Collins’s books first however, this all just feels so uncomfortable. Although set in some fictional future, we know these books are all about our world now.  The widening gap between those with extreme wealth and those in poverty.  The use of war and violence as some kind of grotesque entertainment.  We love these books for the way they criticize this culture.  We know this final film will indeed be “action packed” but a lot of this action, if it follows the book, is very violent, and filled with death. Violence and death are not something to be glorified but something with awful consequences. Putting this story in 3D format, even if done with the utmost care, runs a huge risk at glorifying those things. Francis Lawrence has done a tremendous job with the past two movies, but a 3D conversion of this subject matter concerns us a lot.

The message in the graphic above talks of giving the fans choice. And it’s true, we can choose to see the film in 2D or 3D. I’m sure there will be no shortage of screens for us to see the movie in either format. (IMAX may only be 3D). But all in all, we can’t help feeling that the Capitol has won this battle.

At least we got some news today?

JJ

That Time Lenny Kravitz Got Screwed

CONSIDER THIS A LENNY KRAVITZ APPRECIATION POST!

Because goodness, he needs some after the total lack he got from Katy Perry.

Sure, Lenny is not in the Mockingjay movies, but he still has a place in our fandom-loving hearts! So when we heard he would be part of the Super Bowl halftime show with bubblegum pop princess Katy Perry and another special guest, we were relieved that Lenny would be there to break up what was mostly a very well-crafted live performance of Yo Gabba Gabba.

Reference stolen from John Green, side-by-side comparison by some other brilliant person.

Reference stolen from John Green, side-by-side comparison by some other brilliant person.

And then we got to showtime. And Lenny was there– for perhaps a full minute. I wasn’t fully paying attention to the halftime show, I must admit. I thought maybe I missed most of his appearance or his eventual reappearance? NOPE!

There’s Lenny singing two lines and the chorus of a Katy Perry song. Katy dances all up on that, Lenny shows about 20 seconds of mad guitar skillz, and then he’s GONE.

WTF?!

Of course, there was another guest who got a much larger spot: Missy Elliott. She got a medley of her own songs. But we don’t blame Missy! She was probably the best thing in the whole show because HOLY FLASHBACK, BATMAN!

But really? The NFL advertised Kravitz’ guest appearance for weeks and Katy Perry essentially gave him a cameo. Could he at least have finished a whole verse? Or played one of his own damn songs? There was a very disappointing lack of “Are You Gonna Go My Way?”, for sure.

Lenny is super fun and seemingly enjoyed the hell out of the experience. We just wish we got to enjoy the hell outta his performance for a little longer. Great talent, totally under-utilized!

Whatevs… Missy Won It All Anyway,
The Girl With The Pearl

The Many Fandom Reactions to any Gale Post

During movie off-season, as we’re in now, Lionsgate keeps the social sites active by posting something at least once a day. Since we’re months away from anything substantial from Mockingjay Part 2, it’s usually a recycled still or maybe an edit of the Mockingjay Part 1 content. So for the most part, a non-event. But when they post something concerning Gale, I take another look.

Not because I particularly like Gale. Liam Hemsworth is nice to look at, so I’m not complaining, but he’s not a character that I spend much time thinking about within the scope of the series. There are lots of other characters I prefer to think about. No, I enjoy when Lionsgate posts something about Gale because THE COMMENTS GO CRAZY IN EVERY KIND OF DIRECTION and I find that really entertaining.

Lionsgate posted this still over the weekend with the caption: Gale Hawthorne… a soldier, a friend, her strength. #Mockingjay

Click the image to go to @TheHungerGames Facebook post and read the fun comments for yourself.

Click the image to go to @TheHungerGames Facebook post and read the fun comments for yourself.

Oh yeah, they gave fans a lot to work with on that caption. Well, some people were just focused on the fact that Liam is a hottie so there are comments like “bae” followed by 10 hearts. Some people were excited that they called him a friend, which meant lots of FRIENDZONED comments. Others were mad that he was called Katniss’s strength, cause damn it, Katniss has her own strength. She don’t need him! Some comments questioned why do you always post Gale and not Peeta? More PEEEEETA. And some people just flat out wrote MURDERER.

Yikes. Without question, Gale brings out a lot of emotion in the fandom. It’s only going to get more extreme as we head into Part 2. I’m sure Lionsgate will be ready with lots more pictures and captions to bring out those reactions. Cause, come on, they totally know that fans will react this way.

Thanks for keeping us entertained in the meantime, fandom.

JJ

Hunger Games Expansion Woes!

Lionsgate has made it pretty clear that they want to ride The Hunger Games franchise into the sun. And we get it! They have the right to… buuuuut that doesn’t always necessarily mean they should.

Possible harbinger of post-2015 THG DOOM?

Possible harbinger of post-2015 THG DOOM?

The only majorly WTF moment outside the usual memorabilia and games you’d expect in a franchise has been the expensive, “luxury” Capitol Couture clothing line and an upcoming stage show. But there have been threats of other outrageous things like a theme park and more recently, additional movies added in to the franchise.

Here’s what Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer has to say:

The Hunger Games franchise wraps in November. What’s the future for Lionsgate in the YA space?

We’re always looking for ways to extend all of our intellectual property. We’ve seen that’s what happened with Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. So we’re always looking for worlds within the IP that we haven’t explored yet.

So you’re saying something else in the Hunger Games world isn’t out of the question?

Not saying specifically for The Hunger Games, but we have other franchises, too. If you look at Divergent, for example, after the third book, [author Veronica Roth] actually put out a novella called Four. There may be other material there. One never knows when we dig into the treasure troves of these brilliant writers what we might find.

Like the short, but with a bigger budget!

Like the short, but with a bigger budget!

We’ve said previously that we could probably deal with a Haymitch Quarter Quell movie if it was really, really well-made. But really, that’s it. And the idea of Lionsgate working beyond that is kind of horrifying.

So we have some questions for the studio as they consider all this:

1) What does Suzanne Collins have to say about all this?

THIS IS IMPORTANT. Consider Harry Potter, because Feltheimer brought it up. Yes, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is happening. But it’s being written and produced by JK Rowling, who clearly supports the project very much and will ensure it’s true to Harry’s world. Suzanne Collins gives interviews about one every forever or so, but we’re really interested on her thoughts about Lionsgate expanding upon the intellectual property she sold to them. Would she be involved? Would she openly support this? Suzanne certainly doesn’t seem the type who would smile and nod if she didn’t like the direction in which Lionsgate is taking the franchise.

2) Where’s your source material?

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them started with a companion book JK Rowling wrote, followed by a script she’s writing. The Hobbit trilogy is loosely based off JRR Tolkien’s actual Lord of the Rings prequel– just expanded to the point where a lot of fans are kinda offended. We’ve started to use the term “hobbiting” to describe unnecessary additions to popular book or movie series that clearly exist for the sake of cashing in. We say that we could handle Haymitch’s quell because there’s an outline in the books. But very little else could really be considered part of the fandom’s source material like the other two franchises.

3) Can you handle fan reaction?

If you expand a franchise and it’s not up to fan expectations, you’re in for a world of backlash. We’re not stupid and we have A LOT to say. Many people already calling out the cash ploy that is splitting both Mockingjay and Allegiant (Mockingjay, we can handle. Allegiant was going to be bad as ONE movie. Why draw out that torture?!) We hate to tell you, but if any spinoffs aren’t damn near perfect, you will face fan criticism until the end of time. The media won’t be nice to you, either. Hell, they aren’t even nice when you follow the source material!

4) Is there no other YA worth adapting in your eyes?

Okay, so massive popular YA franchises are few and far between, but let’s give up on the cash cow model for a moment. Other studios have been pretty successful in creating decent adaptations of modern YA that connects well with audiences. And there are amazing stories to be told in the modern day. Or what about some of the amazing fantasy coming out in YA? But instead you just cast Emma Roberts and Dave Franco in Nerve, which is based off a little known book, seems to be The Hunger Games + Internet, and is marketed specifically to THG fans (which we hate, btw). If you think you’re going to get the same reaction every time if you just keep playing that YA dystopian hand, YOU’RE WRONG. Switch up your game plan before you really get hurt. We say that with love!

We know your audience because we are your audience.

Trust us!
The Girl With The Pearl

Finnick (and Sam’s) Darkest Day

While Sam Claflin has been making the rounds to promote Love, Rosie, he’s left a few crumbs about Mockingjay Part 2. In particular, during a chat with Josh Horowitz of MTV, he mentioned his “worst day of filming” on the movie (around the 35 minute mark). We know what that means.

barbie finnick lizard

Sam does’t say much other than to paint a picture that it was horrible for him as an actor, and that it was just him, all alone, all day (*sobs*). So if you were holding out hope that this was not gonna happen, sorry. It’s gonna happen. The question remains, how the scene will play out.

Some readers don’t like Finnick’s death scene because it’s so quick. Three mutts attack him, bite off his head, and then he’s dead, but not before these very poetic thoughts from Katniss,

It’s as if I’m Finnick, watching the images of my life flash by. The mast of a boat, a silver parachute, Mags laughing, a pink sky, Beetee’s trident, Annie in her wedding dress, waves breaking over rocks. Then it’s over.

And it is over. The remaining crew move on with the mission. There is no time to mourn while in battle. Suzanne Collins gives Finnick, through Katniss, a final goodbye to his life, but then Katniss has to move on quickly because the perils in the Capitol don’t give her time for a breather. Granted, in these books, it’s a scenario we see time and time again in the arena deaths. I suppose it is harder for fans because they feel more connected to Finnick and they want more time spent acknowledging the loss. Will they try to translate the “life flashing before his/her eyes” moment visually in the movie or will it stay grounded in the action at hand?

Come back all year as we wonder about the death scenes of so many other characters!

I know we say this about every one of these movies but this one is going to hurt.

JJ

Mockingjay Part 1 Edition Additions

If you’re like us, DVD Special Editions are IMPORTANT!

Yes, seeing the movie over and over is great. But the opportunity to dig into the experience, get behind-the-scenes perspectives, see the running gags on set, watch deleted scenes, etc is priceless.

Well, not priceless… if someone wanted me to pay $100 for a special edition DVD, we’d tell them exactly where they could shove it. But you get the point!

Now, our special editions have been unveiled and they. look. glorious! Dive into the details with us, okay?! Start off with all that’s included in the Blu-ray/DVD Combo pack (and thus the Target edition) courtesy of DWTC!

THE TARGET EDITION

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We start with Target, which always has the bomb special edition that everyone actually wants in comparison to the others. Because Target offers all the features you’re going to get out of this film until they introduce some sort of MAC DADDY EDITION at least five years from now.

On top of that mega-list of features, Target with also have a whopping 45 minutes of additional footage! This sucker is like the extended edition!

They’ve also got another fabric poster available if you pre-order, which straight up makes us gigglesnort. Does anyone really want the fabric poster? EVER?! Why do they still think that’s a selling point?

THE WALMART EDITION

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This cover irks us. Cressida is being amped up in this movie in comparison to the book. But so much that she’s cover art? WE THINK NOT. We’re not anti-Cressida, but this is kinda ridic.

This edition will have the basic DVD features– Audio Commentary with Director Francis Lawrence and Producer Nina Jacobson, Deleted Scenes, and a Sneak Peek of Insurgent– plus a behind-the-scenes featurette from Vudu. How long, entailing what? We don’t know! You’d think they’d want to give us that information!

THE BEST BUY EDITION

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Speaking of mystery… Enter the Steelbook Edition!

Other than the basic three DVD features, once again, we literally have no idea what is going on with this. Other than a shiny, shiny steelbook cover. And that’s enough for some people, so it’s cool!

The last steelbook came with a freebie ticket for Divergent, since the two films do technically market to the same audience, but whether that’s worth it to you is a personal choice. I like mostly Divergent, but wouldn’t buy the steelbook just for a ticket.

So there you have it, ladies and gents! The special editions!

Will you go for one of these babies or will the regular Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack do it for you?

We Want ALL THE EDITIONS!
The Girl With The Pearl