Oh, the things we do for fandom!
Without realizing it, our love of The Hunger Games fandom has seeped us in a deep sense of ridiculous sense of paranoia about completely insignificant details and events.
For instance, The Teen Choice Awards are on right now. Deep down, we realize that the TCAs are fun, but they’re also so silly that your average teenager probably feels too mature to be watching. It’s for the “OMG OMG OMG!!!1!11!!” fangirls and frankly, we try to keep our shit together a little better than that. And yet… Guess what we’re doing right now? Watching the show and following updates!
Why? BECAUSE FANDOM, THAT’S WHY!
We can’t lie and pretend that our interests are only Hunger Games related, because we do like quite a few things that the awards show will cover (even if we can’t always stand the manner in which they cover it.) Still, we watch because fandom is a living, breathing, very in-the-moment business.
In layman’s terms: Something might happen!
A big actor moment, a hilarious Internet meme in the works, or a surprise crazy reveal of some sort. All of it would be important to the fandom in some capacity and we feel the unquenchable need to be there to witness it.
Even as a write this, I worry that something awesome will somehow happen after it’s posted. Since I started writing this, Josh Hutcherson has accepted two three awards on behalf of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, meaning he now has a bunch of cheap surfboards to put into storage until he ultimately decides to sign them and donated them to charity:
Shiny, colorful storage. Hooray! We know that’s what it is for these actors and musicians on many levels– though surely they do love and appreciate their fans, which is why they come in the first place. And because they’re there, we can’t miss it!
It’s not just us, right? Everyone kinda has this tick, right? PLEASE TELL US IT ISN’T JUST US!
We May Have A Problem,
The Girl With The Pearl
SO MANY EDITIONS! How do you know which edition of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire to grab for yourself?
Luckily, we had the honor of review the different DVD versions are all the special features. We’ve broken down our thoughts on the special features so you can decide which you’d like and which DVD to buy!
Deleted Scenes (All Versions) – We got the breakdown on these babies weeks ago, but rest assured that seeing them is very, very different! It’s fairly easy to see why most of them were left out.
The first two scenes, featuring Gale and Katniss at The Hob and Katniss talking to her mother and Prim as she returns from the Victory Tour are short and not very pressing.
Another scene featuring Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch switching the Quarter Quell envelopes, while harrowing, might have confused non-readers who were never told that the Quarter Quell designations were planned decades prior and wasn’t totally necessary.
We thoroughly “Finnick Ties the Knot”, it may have left a sour taste in audiences mouths. We’re seeing the cocky, obnoxious side of Finnick that would have made it hard for everyone to think of him as a sympathetic character later on. But it is so very GIF-able!
The deleted portion of a scene we’re most disappointed was left out of the scene was the Mockingjay explanation given by Snow in one of his meetings with Plutarch. Besides being a vital part of the series, Donald Sutherland delivery is FLAWLESS.
Bonus Content Featurettes (Target Edition) - Forty-five minutes of exclusive bonus content made its way onto the Target Special Edition. It’s broken up into three separate featurettes focusing on the returning cast, the new cast, and adapting the books. Though the topics are pretty standard, there are some gems in there, in the form of behind-the-scenes cast antics, hilarious quotes, or previously unknown tidbits. Also, lots of stuff that will make you fall in love with Francis Lawrence’s take on these films. For the diehards like us, this is totally worth it.
Surviving The Game: Making Catching Fire (Blu-Ray exclusive) – It’s long, and when I say long I mean over two hours worth of behind the scenes footage, interviews with the cast, crew, director, producers, and tons of fun content. It’s divided into nine parts, each one focused on a specific aspect of the film making process. My favorites being the sections focused on costume, hair, and makeup, because Ve Neil is awesome, and Trish Summerville is her partner in crime along with Nikoletta Skarlatos, and then there are the chats with Jo Willems the D.P., the IMAX tech experts on location in Hawaii, and then the glimpsing and mellow explanation of the creating and editing process from the head film editor, sound editor, and the super talented visual effects artists from all over the world (they made water, so much water!) However from a fannish POV it was nice to see the named Victors getting to speak, and discuss the process they went through along with the principle cast. It’s long though, so do not expect to watch The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and then watch the nine part documentary in one sitting– you’ll lose your head, but yes watch it it’s worth the numb butt, and cramping leg muscles.
Audio Commentary with Francis Lawrence and Nina Jacobson (All except the Walmart Double Feature Version) – You know we were excited about this feature, and happily it does not disappoint! Francis and Nina give a lot of added insight into the making of the film. You’ll learn more about where scenes were filmed, some of the challenges of filming (one of them is NOISE, everywhere noise), where and why they made changes from the book, the performances, decisions about hair, makeup, and more. They really touch on all areas of the production. And every now and then they give a little hint about Mockingjay production (there’s a public square outside of Snow’s mansion that will be a set. Ok, not a huge revelation, but exciting!). The two talk throughout the movie, so you’ll definitely want to watch the whole movie on its own first before delving in to this feature. But a must-watch for fans!
AND THE WINNER IS…
If you want all the features, there is no contest! The Target Special Edition has it! Added bonus? Really really snazzy packaging/
Leave your answer to the following question in our comments! Amuse us!
If you had to face down one of the challenges in the Catching Fire arena (other than the lightning tree!), which would you choose and why?
Two winners will receive the Walmart Double Feature Special Edition. One runner-up will receive The Hunger Games: Catching Fire DVD + Digital Copy. Winners will be chosen and contacted on Monday, March 10th.
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.
Lionsgate has confirmed it, ladies and gentlemen! Catching Fire will be available on DVD and Blu-Ray on March 7, 2014!
The best news? It’s already available for pre-order!
In case you missed it, here’s the DVD Sneak Peek that aired on ET:
Here’s a look at the special features (including commentary! OMG we’re excited!):
BLU-RAY COMBO PACK SPECIAL FEATURES*
• “Surviving the Game: Making Catching Fire” – 9-part feature-length documentary
• Audio Commentary with Director Francis Lawrence and Producer Nina Jacobson
• Deleted Scenes
• Sneak Peek of Divergent
*Subject to change
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES*
• Audio Commentary with Director Francis Lawrence and Producer Nina Jacobson
• Deleted Scenes
• Sneak Peek of Divergent
*Subject to change
We always have high apple pie in the sky hopes for The Hunger Games franchise, but we know that Catching Fire wasn’t going to get a shot at anything but technical awards, thanks to that “We don’t recognize anything that’s popular with the peasants” Academy attitude we’ve discussed before.
So you can imagine our reaction as we read down that list of nominees…
*scanning the acting categories*
JENNIFER LAWRENCE GOT NOMINATED FOR AMERICAN HUSTLE! AYYYYYYYYY!
Admission: We haven’t actual seen American Hustle yet. We’ve heard from others that Jen was fantastic, though the movie on the whole was a bit overrated. So YAY J-LAW!
We knew it would be the coldest day in hell when the Academy considered any actor for their role in a fantasy blockbuster aimed at young adults, even ones they love like Jen, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Stanley Tucci. Thus we’ll take little victories like actors we love getting nominated for other things.
*scanning the technical categories*
Bad Grandpa? The Lone Ranger… TWICE?! We don’t know what Disney is putting in that Academy kool-aid but DAMN, it must be powerful! But wait… No Catching Fire?!
Let’s talk costumes. Many media outlets have repeatedly discussed the possibility of Catching Fire winning the Academy Award in this category as if the nomination itself was a no-brainer. And they’re right! Trish Summerville created a showcase of brilliantly crafted designs that not only looked spectacular on film, but told the story of each individual character. The intricate detail is honestly some of the most impressive costume design we’ve ever seen. Instead, pretty but same-y era movies got the recognition instead.
How about makeup and hairstyling? Are they really giving a nomination to The Lone Ranger for throwing sloppy face paint on Johnny Depp and Jackass for making Johnny Knoxville look geriatric? Yet the outrageous Capitol hair and makeup is totally overlooked! Then again, these are the same people who said the makeup that made Meryl Streep look like Margaret Thatcher was more award-worthy than the hundreds of intricate, unique designs found in the seventh Harry Potter film.
A small part of me wonders if Capitol Couture marketing hype, including the push into clothing and makeup sales (even going back to the nail polish line for the first film) , put a bad taste in the mouths of prominent Hollywood voters. Or maybe they don’t like that the style kinda mocks them. Who knows?
Don’t even get us started on visual effects! We’re glad Peter Jackson’s WETA got nominated for Desolation of Smaug, their work alongside the rest of the FX team on Catching Fire should also get recognition over most of the films actually nominated, which probably featured MORE special effects, but not necessarily effects of the same quality.
Alas, we should just accept that we’re talking about a bunch of old white guys making picks based off studio politics and this year, there was even less variety than usual. They stuck to their faves and they stuck to them HARD. Too bad it makes them look like total asses.
OH OH OH OH OH and MUSIC! Coldplay practically tailored ‘Altas’ specifically for the Academy. Plus, they tend to get attention of awards circuits in general. Now NOTHING? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Go Home, Academy. You’re Drunk.
The Girl With The Pearl
The Golden Globes were last night – one of my favorite nights of the year. I love Awards Season. It’s the little bright spot in the middle of the dark, frozen gloom of January and February. And fortunately, with so much talent in the Hunger Games franchise, our favorite actors, writers, etc. are often nominated or sometimes even win… for work they do outside the franchise. I mean, last year’s Jennifer Lawrence Awards Bonanza was sweet. I loved watching every minute of it. And last night, she did it again with her Best Supporting Actress win in American Hustle! It’s amazing that she is getting recognized two years in a row.
Still, in my excitement for this year’s awards season, I get a little twinge of annoyance. The Girl With the Pearl wrote about the two different types of awards; ones selected by people within the entertainment industry, and the awards from fans voting obsessively over and over again on the internet. The fan awards will likely give Catching Fire some love, but I have to agree with her and Them There Eyes that the industry ones are probably going to be few and far between for our beloved movie.
Catching Fire got lots of well-deserved critical praise when it premiered and may get awards recognition in the music, makeup, and costume categories. It was a fantastic movie on all counts and is breaking records at the box office. I should be satisfied and happy with this. But I’m not.
I want the acting to be recognized too. While Jennifer Lawrence gave a fantastic performance in American Hustle, it seems odd to be talking about this role when I think many of us would argue it’s not her top performance of the year. It was her role as Katniss. The emotional range she goes through in Catching Fire and the authenticity she brings to the role is stellar. She OWNS this role. This is the role that should be standing out for her this year, shouldn’t it?
Listen, I know how the awards process works. And Catching Fire is a sci-fi blockbuster movie with a female lead. The odds of Catching Fire and Jen’s performance as Katniss getting recognition with the highbrow industry awards set were never in their favor. And I’m happy she’s getting such praise for her work in other films. At least the Critics’ Choice Awards are kind enough to have a “Best Action Movie” and “Best Actress in an Action Movie” category. So look out for that on January 16.
And yes, it’s a good thing to spread around the award season love to smaller films and other actors. I get it.
The movie-going public certainly voted for Catching Fire with their wallets, so I guess that should be enough.
But nah, STILL NOT ENOUGH. All the awards of my heart to Catching Fire.
Tis the season for awards! Now the question is this… Which type of award would mean the most for The Hunger Games franchise and its actors?
There are two basic types of award shows:
1) The “We’re Too Prestigious for Whatever These Peasants Find ‘Popular'” kind like The Academy Awards and The Golden Globes
2) The Magical Internet Pony voting-based kind like The People’s Choice Awards and the MTV Movie Awards
Both definitely have their faults. For instance, The Academy Awards are sometimes considered Hollywood politics that aren’t really based on the actor’s/director’s worthiness in one particular film. The MTV Movie Awards is based on whose crazed fans are more inclined the vote over and over again and not necessarily on the quality of the work. But in both cases, doesn’t just being nominated mean you’re doing SOMETHING right?!
Catching Fire has already snagged Golden Globe nominations for music, Coldplay’s “Atlas”, and Jennifer Lawrence is up for Best Supporting Actress for American Hustle. Both noms are expected to carry over to The Oscars, with additional Catching Fire nominations for Hair, Makeup, and Costumes. Of course, the movie and its team are expected to be nominated for a whole slew of voter based awards and just picked up a People’s Choice Award last night.
But what makes the Golden Globes and Academy Awards prestigious? Because critics and people in the movie industry so? And what about those Magical Internet Pony awards? Are they important because the fangirls pump up the adrenaline to support movie that are typically already successful? CAN WE GET A HAPPY MEDIUM?
We’re competitive. When Catching Fire or the actors get nominated, we want to WIN ALL THE THINGS! And we do tend to put more stock in the snooty award shows, maybe because they’re not also rewarding Britney Spears and that Beauty and the Beast sci-fi show. But even so, we’re trying to understand the appeal of both.
As long as Team Hunger Games beats out all those other bitches. Yup!
“It’s An Honor Just To Be Nominated”… LIES!
The Girl With The Pearl
Mark your calendars, people! MARCH 4, 2014! ..Kind of. Probably. Maybe March 7th.
Catching Fire hasn’t even finished its run in theaters and already, we’ve already got DVD release date rumors stating up. March 4th or March 7th. Please note that this has NOT been confirmed by Lionsgate, so we may be liars… but Amazon and Target already have it available for pre-order, sooooo we’re feeling lucky.
As we all experienced with The Hunger Games, there will be a multitude of editions to explore and agonize over as you try to pick the perfect one for you. Which features do you love best? And which of those little collectors trinkets that sometimes come with a DVD?! It’s a hard decision!
All special features are great, there are some features we CRAVE (that inevitably won’t be on the same DVD, of course). You know, the ones that we’re really hoping for because they get you all pumped up for the DVD to begin with!
Movie Making Documentary - The is kinda mandatory on blockbuster DVDs these days. Pretty sure they’re be fans at Lionsgate with pitchforks if it was NOT included. Why? Because seeing how everything comes together is the bomb diggity! This will be especially true with so many new elements this time around– Francis Lawrence, new actors, and loads of new behind-the-scenes geniuses. We want to see!
Commentary, Commentary, Commentary - Call it cheesy if you want, but we will FOREVER stick by commentary! We love it from the actors, directors, producers– any will do! We love people talking candidly about the experience of making the movie as they watch. There’s something real about it you just don’t get in prerecorded, diced up interviews.
Deleted Scenes - Thankfully, Francis Lawrence is owning up to deleted scenes (unlike someone else! *cough*) From his interviews, it looks like there’s several of them, from book scenes that didn’t translate well to patches of character development that lost to the time crunch. WE WANT TO GO TO THERE.
Actor Cam - Another point for the “real” factor. It’s fun to have actors narrate their own story. The tribute cam on the first DVD was a bit long and tedious, but the actors enthusiasm was contagious and fun. With a combination of serene and zany adult actors this time around, it would be unpredictable goodness!
Trivia With The Stars - It’s always fun to see how much celebrities really know about the series, about each other, or about pop culture. Trivia night is feel-good amazing no matter what the circumstances. It’s the simple pleasures in life.
We doubt all of these features will exist on the Catching Fire DVD, but damn, we hope those one or two bits afforded to each addition turn out well! Because we need more than the inevitable feature on the Capitol Couture clothing line that will leave us conflicted because Trish Summerville is spectacular but Capitol Couture is.. *facepalm*
Until The Official DVD Special Feature Announcement,
The Girl With The Pearl
We told you those annual nostalgia lists might find their way here! With only a day left in 2013, we thought long and hard about the embarrassment of fandom riches that has been 2013 and compiled our top moments! Prepare to get all sentimental!
Note that this is a general fandom list, because our personal list would include things like “Suddenly becoming mute when facing the actors” and “Walking like drunk idiots at the Catching Fire after party thanks to the devil’s shoes”. Not nearly as fun, now is it? We decided not to include actor moments here either, given that there’s too many good ones to whittle it down!
First Catching Fire Trailer - We didn’t know what to expect when we heard about a Catching Fire first look at the MTV Movie Awards back in April. The Hunger Games teaser was a :23 look at one scene, after all. But it was a FULL TRAILER that really set the tone. It. was. glorious.
Julianne Moore Cast As Alma Coin - All the Mockingjay casting news has been good news, but none more thrilling than the announcement of Julianne Moore portraying President Alma Coin. She’s got the chops that will make Coin a sharp, ambiguous character. Plus, every recognized actor cast proves this is more than some teen franchise.
Peeta Gets Manned Up - Remember the big, controversial Josh Hutcherson quote in Entertainment Weekly and the fandom flip out that followed? We knew it meant that Peeta would get a bit of a do-over that put him more in line with Book!Peeta, but some others went into a panic mode. Now that we’ve all seen the movie, this is why we always tell you NOT to panic!
Global Fan Day - Press junkets and late night talk shows are fine and dandy, but on November 6, Lionsgate opened the questions up to fans via the social networks. Yes, there were still some uber fangirl “OMG I TOTES LUV U UR SO HAWT!” questions out there embarrassing us, but there was also a rarely afforded time for intelligent, fun celebrity-fan interaction.
Final Mockingjay Scene Announced - Who else freaked out when Francis casually mentioned that Jennifer Lawrence had already filmed the final scene in Mockingjay? Also, when he said that scene featured Katniss serenely hunting in the woods! Is it an extension of the book epilogue or did they cut the book epilogue all together? WE MUST KNOW!
Catching Fire Fan Camp - Three days of Hunger Games fans playing games, partying, red carpeting, watching movies, and getting visits from the people involved in the film? MAGICAL.
Catching Fire Premiere And Screenings - So many great quotes from the stars come during premieres, plus it’s basically a giant fandom lovefest! But Lionsgate also did a great thing this year in realizing that not all fans can make it to the premiere and holding 24 simultaneous red carpet livestreams and premieres in cities across the US!
Catching Fire Crushes Box Office Records - This franchise don’t mess around! Winning the single weekend box office was expected, but we also broke records for the highest grossing film in November– a popular, blockbuster-packed movie month– and had one of the highest grossing opening weekends of all time. As in EVER.
Francis Lawrence AMA Reddit - It takes a lot to make a movie, but it takes some serious guts to go on Reddit a couple days after the movie’s release and hold an “Ask Me Anything” session. Plenty of questions were along the lines of “I didn’t agree with something you did. Why did you do it?” Francis was beyond graceful and gave great answers that let us know he really thought this series through and tried everything (Many excluded book scenes were filmed but later cut for time or because they didn’t translate effectively.) It gave us a whole new respect for him!
First Look At Mockingjay Filming - A few pictures from the Mockingjay set have popped up, but nothing compares to actual fan filmed footage of Gale and Boggs busting into the Capitol set, confirming that the next movies will provide us with a deeper look into things happening outside Katniss’ POV and more action!
Looking back on this list, we know there’s still tons to look forward to in 2014.
Happy New Year!
The Girl With The Pearl