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Money, Money, Money

Date check time – tomorrow is the first day of April! Maybe a month where we actually get news about a Mockingjay movie!?! Tomorrow is also April Fools’ Day, an annoying day where you can TRUST NO ONE. So I’m going to hate that. But maybe, after April Fools’ Day we can get some Mockingjay news? I’m dying here.

Happy New [Fiscal] Year, Lionsgate!

Happy New [Fiscal] Year, Lionsgate!

But enough of my desperate begging, did you also know that tomorrow is the first day of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp’s fiscal year?  Yep, I was so bored with the lack of Mockingjay news, I spent some time on their investor relations site.  Their year closes today, and then the auditors come in to check that the money was counted right. The annual report, or 10-K, won’t come out until late May but it did spur me to check in to see where the final totals for Catching Fire ended up. You may have heard a few months ago that Catching Fire surpassed Iron Man 3 to be the number one US domestic grossing film of 2013, which is especially impressive when you realize the film was only released in 2D and IMAX, not those extra 3D formats that bump up total receipts.  But it raked in even a few more million after surpassing Iron Man 3.

Congratulations.

Congratulations.

Here are the stats per BoxOfficeMojo.com

Domestic – $424,645,577

Foreign – $439,897,616

Total –  $864,543,193

 

That’s a whole lot of money. I doubted that Catching Fire would surpass The Hunger Games’s domestic gross (just because THG’s success was so very massive). Though I did see Catching Fire in theaters 7 times compared to The Hunger Games 4 times, so maybe a few other fans like me did the same thing and ca-ching ca-ching. Happy days.

I had higher expectations for Catching Fire’s foreign take however, especially with all the extra emphasis on international markets (the parties at Cannes, more international premieres, etc). The more or less 50/50 split domestic/foreign is increasingly rare for blockbuster movies. More and more blockbusters make 2/3 of their total box office overseas. Though Catching Fire still made $157 million more internationally than it did with The Hunger Games (and improved from a 60/40 domestic/international spit). $157 million is basically an entire hit movie’s US box office in itself, so it’s huge growth. But I bet there will be a continued focus on getting the rest of the world watching so that the Mockingjay movies are even stronger internationally, and of course, keeping US audiences energized so they can try and top the success of Catching Fire.

Now that the new fiscal year has started let’s start spending some of that marketing budget on Mockingjay Part 1!

JJ

 

 

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Hunger Games Fans: Stop Drinking the Media Wars Kool-Aid

Ah, the media! Every now and then, there’s a kernel of real depth and knowledge in there, but not nearly as often as you think. (Unfortunately, I realized this mid-way through a Journalism degree, so on top of no longer wanting to work for the media, I’m in massive debt!) Mostly, it’s about getting people to pay attention to what you’re saying and make them think it’s important, even though it’s usually not. This is especially true of entertainment media.

Not the same. Both inspiring the world to take action and think for themselves. Where's the downside, again?

Not the same. Both inspiring the world to take action and think for themselves. Where’s the downside, again?

So let us repeat a sentiment we’ve stated before. One more time with feeling!

There is no real fandom war between The Hunger Games and Divergent. Or between The Hunger Games and any other franchise, for that matter. Quit drinking the media wars Kool-aid. Seriously.

Them There Eyes already covered that EW pulled a seriously dick move by trying to deflate The Hunger Games series to up Divergent. Surely, other media sites have done it as well. Entertainment Weekly, especially, has stock in the success of the Divergent series. Note that they have stock in the success of THG as well, but it’s already a proven success so they don’t have to coddle it anymore, just cover it. Hence the clueless “Katniss is from District 9 and Victors are reaped in every Quarter Quell” review Catching Fire got. Successful fandom-centric franchises are huge readership draws. And Lionsgate? They don’t care which one you like better because they are both owned by Lionsgate. Though it should be noted that a lot of THG fan outrage is hypocrisy, given that most people seem perfectly okay with people deflating Divergent in favor of The Hunger Games. It shouldn’t be either way.

Of course, The Hunger Games/Divergent media wars have the desired effect. Everyone has preferences. We rush into the conversation to pick a side. Fans run out to say “I think Series A is better and anyone who thinks Series B is better is an idiot!” and vice versa.

Even we sip the Kool-aid a bit without realizing it. Them There Eyes was quick to call the movie mediocre based solely off critical reviews. When someone commented on one media post about how Mockingjay was awful and Allegiant was great, I was quick to respond with the inverse opinion. And I REALLY LIKE BOTH FRANCHISES. Not in love with the last Divergent book, but I still like both on the whole. Plus, we believe everyone should read and decide for themselves.

A beautiful little reminder.

A beautiful little reminder. Same for their adaptations.

People like what they like. Some like The Hunger Games. Some like Divergent. Many, many people like both. And that’s fine! Don’t let the media make you think otherwise! Critics are not gods. While they make valid observations about film now and again, they’re often self-important jackwads. A movie isn’t good or bad or special or fun because a conglomerate of cynics tells you so. Seriously, that takes all the fun out of moviegoing. If you’ve ever had to stop asking a friend to go to the movies because they shot down everything you suggest based on critics, you know. So don’t let them push you around, m’kay?

This is not a war and nobody needs to pick sides. When the next potential franchise comes out, the media will do the same damn thing because people will STILL get hyped up over it. IGNORE THEEEEEMMMM. Have your preferences, have your personal tastes, but cutting down someone else’s fandom just to up yours, whether you’re Owen Gleiberman or just some random person on Tumblr, just makes you look like a petty ass.

Again: The Kool-Aid. STOP DRINKING IT.

WE JUST LIKE LIKING THINGS!
The Girl With The Pearl

The Waiting Games

It’s been another week of no Mockingjay news. My patience is really wearing thin and I want to delay becoming too whiny about it. So in the interest of improving my mood, and the composure of all my fellow suffering Hunger Games fans, here are some suggestions for how to kill time during this news drought.

1)      Watch Catching Fire… with a laser focus. Watch it one time just focusing on Jennifer’s performance. And then praise the heavens that we got her as Katniss. Then do it again for other actor.  Watch once just focusing on costume design, or on the score, or the editing. You’ll get an added appreciation for the movie. And at 2.5 hours a pop, that’s a nice chunk of time.

Drinking games are ok, but DO NOT not challenge Haymitch to a drinking contest. Book Haymitch at least.

Drinking games are ok, but DO NOT not challenge Haymitch to a drinking contest. Book Haymitch at least.

2)      Watch Catching Fire… with a drink. So many drinking game options.  Drink every time someone says Peeta. Drink every time the Mockingjay symbol appears or the word is said. Just maybe keep them to small sips (and be of legal age of course).

3)      Re-read Mockingjay.  We’re probably due for another read through. I appreciate Mockingjay more with every reading. And you can be the hero of knowing all the places Cressida is mentioned in the book. Every minute detail of District 13. Think of new theories of how they are adapting it to the screen. Where are they cutting the two movies? You have the luxury of time to consider all these things with another reading of the book.

4)      Watch things that the Mockingjay team have worked on. Have you seen Game Change yet? It’s a political drama based on the 2008 US election written by MJ screenplay writer Danny Strong and stars Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson. Freaky. Or you could watch Buffy The Vampire Slayer (tv show), Gilmore Girls, or Mad Men and see Danny Strong acting. More freaky, and three of my favorite tv shows of all time.

5)      Read some fan fiction. There’s a lot of Hunger Games fan fiction out there. And yeah, it’s not all primo stuff, but there are some talented writers in the fandom. Canon, AU, whatever you want, it’s probably there for the reading.

It's been so quiet even Katniss is sleeping

It’s been so quiet even Katniss is sleeping

6)      Write some fan fiction. Even with the huge amount of HG fic, can you believe that there doesn’t seem to be anything set in the Scandal Universe? Which is a shame because, come on! You could set it up as Katniss=Olivia, Gale= Fitz, Peeta=Jake, Haymitch=Cyrus, Coin=Sally, Snow= Olivia’s dad. There is so much potential for trippy fun here. (I should explain that I consider Olivia/Jake endgame. I know, how scandalous, but I want it because Scott Foley is everything).

7)      Read through the archives of Victor’s Village. There’s loads of stuff here. Years of stuff to reminisce about. Or at least enough to give you a chuckle or two while we CONTINUE. TO. WAIT.

8)      Umm. Help me out. If you have other ideas please bring ‘em on.

Sure, you could also spend the time enjoying other interests, but nah, that’s stupid.

JJ

How Peeta Mellark Won The Capitol (Sort Of)

This post actually comes after a request! Carrie emailed us to see what we thought of The Capitol’s perception of Peeta, which is a damn good question. She also said she didn’t feel comfortable writing a post because she’s not “a Hunger Games scholar” (implying that we are, which is both adorable and HILARIOUS).

Winning Capitol hearts...

Winning Capitol hearts…

Let’s start off by saying this: There is noooooo easy answer. Capitol views of Peeta are both positive and negative, depending on the time and the circumstances and the people involved.

In the beginning, it’s easy for everyone in the Capitol to love Peeta. He’s sweet, quick-witted, and appears to be a hopeless romantic. The star-crossed lovers routine he masterminded is insanely popular, so even Snow and the Gamemakers appreciate him. There’s a temporary usefulness they see in him, because citizens would be saddened by his death, but they weren’t going to turn around and overrun the games because of it. His death probably wouldn’t have even caused a Rue-like uprising, just a collective “Oh, that’s a bummer!” He’s a convenient element of the show. That is, until the berries. The Capitol audiences love him even more– What a special ending! What romance! What showmanship!– but Snow certainly ain’t drinking that kool-aid!

Peeta takes part in that berries ploy, too, but it wasn’t his idea. He’s got Snow’s attention just as much as Katniss, but he’s not seen as the threat. Snow sees straight through both Katniss and Peeta’s different intentions, sees Peeta’s genuine affection for Katniss and his almost comfortable life in District 12 that he probably doesn’t want to lose, and thinks “How can I use this?” Note that Peeta isn’t the one Snow needs to threaten into compliance before the Victory Tour.

... Aaaaand then crumbling the constructs of their society. NBD.

… Aaaaand then slowly breaking down the constructs of their society. NBD.

We’ve said before that Peeta has a gift for words, but Katniss has a gift for action. Great speakers have really positive effects on people. The Capitol wants to live vicariously through his words. They want to understand him. They want to believe in what he has to say. But action really gets attention. While the Capitol is really fond of Peeta, it’s the “DAMN! Did you just see that?! I LOVE HER!” response to Katniss Everdeen that really catches their attention and poses a threat to Snow. Words can be reshaped and spun in ways bold actions cannot. Though Peeta causes some trouble with his public speaking engagements in Catching Fire, stirring the districts into uprising and getting Capitol audiences to finally take some issue with The Quarter Quell, it’s nothing that can’t be contained. In fact, his speeches are ultimately what saves his life.

Snow knows that The Capitol still has a very favorable opinion of the star-crossed lovers from District 12 after the clock arena’s destruction. With the acquisition of Peeta, Snow can leverage Peeta’s feelings for Katniss and loyalty to others involved in The Rebellion to get what he wants. Peeta is forced to spin the story in The Capitol’s favor in propaganda across Panem, talking about how Katniss has been brainwashed and Rebellion is not worth it. Snow gets comfortable in the concept that Peeta would never become a threat. He’s more of a puppet. Of course, we know Snow is wrong for two reasons:
1) Peeta does what Snow says, but only after being ruthlessly beaten. He makes his shaken state obvious throughout his segments, giving audiences the subtle message that all is not as it seems.
2) When he realizes that Snow is out to kill the others no matter what he does, Peeta busts open his plan on national television to save the lives of the people in District 13. His thanks is a good ol’ hijacking.

Snow and The Capitol continuously underestimate Peeta. They think he’s the weak link and maybe, at first, he is softer than Katniss. What they don’t count on is the different kind of strength he possesses. He stands up to the Capitol in systematical ways that convince people that the government is deceptive without putting on a big show. He recovers from a brainwashing most people never do because he’s got some serious mental fortitude. And even in the end, when Katniss Everdeen has been labeled a deeply disturbed byproduct of war, the truth of Peeta Mellark’s troubles remains mostly under wraps and it’s likely Panem audiences are still quite smitten with him.

Snow never even saw it coming.

Essentially, Peeta Wins The “Most Popular” Superlative In The Capitol Yearbook,
The Girl With The Pearl

Katniss Everdeen is Our Hero (Whatever, MTV)

The Magical Internet Pony has let us down. Well, not really, but it has stung us a little. The MTV Movie Awards nominations were announced a few days ago, and Catching Fire got a bunch of them. Best movie, Best Female Performance (Jen, duh), Best Male Performance (Josh), Best Fight (Jen/Josh/Sam vs. the monkey mutts), Best Shirtless Scene (Go Sam! No need to be self-conscious), Best On Screen Transformation (Elizabeth Banks), and Best Villain (Donald Sutherland). Very impressive. And a nice job of spreading out of the love to several actors.

However, Catching Fire was not included in two categories that had fans crying foul. Best Hero and Best Kiss. I agree that there is a tremendous case for CF to be nominated in these two categories as well, but I’d guess that it was left out as a way to include other movies in the show. You nominate more movies, you have a better shot of having more actors come, more movie fans are inclined to watch and you make more movie studios happy. If Catching Fire and Jennifer Lawrence won everything, it might be a bit too much for some people. Not me, but I could see it annoying other people.

Katniss gets included twice in the Oscars Hero Montage. MTV just has different standards?

Looking at some of the nominees in those two categories irritates me though. Channing Tatum, you are adorable and lovely and quite the strong buff guy. But MTV, are you seriously telling me that his role in White House Down deserves a Best Hero nod over Katniss Everdeen in Catching Fire? No. The only reason he’s nominated is they want to include him in the broadcast for a reason other than just promoting 22 Jump Street. The other noms are Marvel/DC superheroes and Bilbo Baggins. Fine, I can understand you picking superheroes and another beloved literary figure. But you leave out Katniss Freaking Everdeen when Catching Fire was the number one domestic release of 2013 MTV? Tsk, tsk. That is one big miss, and it kind of stinks of sexism, which makes it even more uncomfortable.

For what it’s worth, some fans have channeled their outrage into online petitions. The Best Hero one already has over 11,000 signatures and I even saw E! News posting on it today. I mean, I don’t know what would possibly come of it, but it makes me smile to see fans support Katniss. It’s nice.

Your love is beautiful and it's probably best that The Capitol (er MTV) doesn't sully it further.

Your love is beautiful and it’s probably best that The Capitol (er MTV) doesn’t sully it further anyway.

[I don’t even want to dwell the Best Kiss category because we all know it’s a travesty that the beach kiss was not included. Completely ridiculous oversight made for some of the reasons mentioned above. It makes me angry. And then I get angry at myself for being mad about a silly MTV awards show. It’s a cycle of just bad feelings so I must stop.]

Yes, I’m very annoyed at myself for even writing this post because really, the true value of the MTV Movie Awards for Hunger Games fans is that last year it gave us the Catching Fire teaser trailer premiere. And maybe this year, it will give us something else (purely rumor at this stage). I can’t say I enjoy watching the rest of the show. So why am I wasting my life writing about this. Damn you, MTV and your Movie Brawls, Movie Awards, etc. Just. Ugh.

After all this MTV, I hope for your sake that Lionsgate is hooking you up with something Mockingjay-related to make us forget.

REACTION POST: Catching Fire DVD Special Features

Sometimes, the best way to really review something is to gather ’round and discuss it! Which means it’s time for another Victor’s Village reaction post!

We’re laying it all down and getting a little crazy as we recount our latest Catching Fire binge! These posts get quite long, so look for most of it under a cut!

 

IT REALLY HAPPENED!

IT REALLY HAPPENED!

SCENES THAT SHALL NOT BE SEEN (EXCEPT ON DVD EXTRAS)
TGWTP: Let’s start with the deleted scenes, shall we? Which was your favorite?
JJ: Finnick with the Knots, no question for me.
Them There Eyes: It’s a toss between the Mockingjay scene with Snow and Plutarch, or the knot tying scene with Finnick and Katniss.
TGWTP: I’m torn on that one. I like the Finnick scene, but I get why it wasn’t used. The Mockingjay speech? I was like “WHY IS THIS NOT IN THE MOVIE?”
Them There Eyes: Both would have added a little bit more brevity, and a little more background to characters, and the story in general.
JJ: Yes, I think the sugar cube scene made the knot scene unnecessary. But I still loved it.
Them There Eyes: Yeah, but we like seeing more Finnick, it makes us happy in all kinds of places! Got that Sam? WE LIKE YOU!
TGWTP: CLEARLY. I mean, they essentially created a Best Shirtless MTV Movie Award for Sam Claflin. And Liam Hemsworth’s brother.
Them There Eyes: Truth be told… I pay no attention to MTV except to Josh Horowitz, ’cause he’s funny, and has slumber parties with Tom Hiddleston.

SWITCHING IT UP
TGWTP: The other scenes were cool but they just didn’t have any beef behind them (other than Liam Hemsworth… BAZINGA!)
JJ: You had to.
Them There Eyes: Can we do winky faces on this, or will I be smitted?
TGWTP: OH, winky faces are totally in!
Them There Eyes: Honestly though, the Plutarch switches the envelopes scene made no sense to me… granted I had just watched all the other blu-ray extras, so I was a little bit bleary, and confused by life in general… But… that one took me a bit to get.
JJ: I agree, the Plutarch envelope scene was just confusing. And long. You can see why they cut it.
Them There Eyes: Yes…. and also emotional. But for completely unintentional reasons.
TGWTP: It’s a theory in the book that the envelopes are switched. But considering that the pre-planned Quarter Quell envelopes are never expressly explained to movie audiences to begin with, it didn’t make sense to keep it in.
JJ: And really, do you need it emphasized that this was all a plot to kill the victors? No. But yes, all PSH scenes are loaded with extra meaning now. That was a really tough thing about watching the movie again.
TGWTP: And watching him talk about making the movie. I loved the “making of” documentary, but that definitely added some bittersweetness in there.
Them There Eyes: Yep, I hate to think that any scene with Philip Seymour Hoffman is now considered superfluous, but at least we know that the film makers were very focused on getting background information to the audience, even if it did turn out to be unusable.
TGWTP: True!

 

 

"Pack your Target edition, we're leaving."

“Pack your Target edition, we’re leaving.”

WE’LL TAKE ALL THE STUFF, PLZKTHX
TGWTP: Speaking of background, what did you guys think of SURVIVING THE GAME? Did you learn anything super new and interesting there?
Them There Eyes: Not new per se, but interesting!
JJ: The fun thing was seeing all the behind-the-scene video
TGWTP: YES. I particularly loved Josh and Sam dance-fighting like they were straight out of West Side Story
JJ: So cute! And of course the famous pants splitting engagement scene.
Them There Eyes: Wait, which one was surviving the game? The nine part thing? So confused… ’cause there’s the three part extras on the Target Blu-Ray edition.
TGWTP: There was. And some of it is the same, but there’s much more in the full documentary
Them There Eyes: If it wasn’t clear yet… THE TARGET BLU-RAY EDITION HAS EVERYTHING… and a kitchen sink.
JJ: Yes. Lots of stuff. Some of which overlapped. Not that I’m complaining about that. Give me more stuff

BRB, DISTRACTED BY A CHILD’S TOY
TGWTP: Any things you loved about the doc?
Them There Eyes: Ve Neil, Trish Summerville, Jo Willems, the artists who made pretty much everything except Jennifer Lawrence’s amazing stare down. And I want the head film editors editing bay in my life.
JJ: I love that they touch on so much of what went in to production. They covered a costume, makeup, SFX, music. So much. It just made me appreciate the work they did that much more.
TGWTP: MINI JEN was my homegirl! Obviously a minor detail, but I live for those. You guys are all serious and I’m like “Did you see that action figure?!”
JJ: LOL, I did mention the pants splitting before.
Them There Eyes: I literally paused the doc. during the makeup scenes, turned to my room mate, and said… I HAVE THOSE INSPIRE PICTURES ON MY CAPITOL PINTEREST!
TGWTP: So you and Ve Neill have the same Capitol inspirations?! Why don’t you work in film, darling?
Them There Eyes: Because I only have ideas, and no ability to execute them without complaining constantly.
TGWTP: Fair ‘nough.

Read the rest of this entry

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire DVD Review + Giveaway

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!

Catching-Fire-on-Blu-Ray

THE REVIEWS

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/

THE GIVEAWAY

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.

Tell Me About It

It’s almost here! Yes, Friday is the release day for the Catching Fire DVD (well, in the US/Canada at least). Exciting! Now we can watch the movie any time the mood strikes us. And watch those deleted scenes and behind the scenes featurettes. If you’ve been on Tumblr in the past week, I bet you’ve seen some pretty good gifs that hint at the awesomeness of those features. But the extra feature that I’m most looking forward to with the DVD release is the audio commentary.

In my recent purchases of DVDs of movies and tv shows within the past year or two, I’ve noticed fewer audio commentary features. To my disappointment, the Hunger Games DVD had no audio commentary. Whether it’s because of logistical difficulties (the people behind these movies are really busy MAKING THE MOVIES and just don’t have time) or a perceived lack of interest by DVD distributors (they think DVD buyers just don’t care so why bother) I would like to state for the record that I LOVE AUDIO COMMENTARIES AND PLEASE ALWAYS INCLUDE THEM.

Tell us more about Catching Fire!

Tell us more about Catching Fire!

Audio commentaries give you that unique opportunity to *kind of* watch the movie with the people behind it. Depending on the individuals involved, sometimes the participants take it seriously, sometimes it’s full-on joke-a-minute silliness, and sometimes you get the impression that the participants would really rather not be doing it at all (and then it’s just awkward).  Regardless, the fans get extra little nuggets of information about scenes. Funny stories. A glimpse into their personalities and motivations. It’s usually interesting stuff.

So I am very pleased that the Catching Fire DVD includes an audio commentary with Francis Lawrence and Nina Jacobson. Because it’s the director and producer who have clearly put their heart and soul into this project, I have full confidence that the audio commentary will be worth a listen.  I can’t wait to hear what extra bits of insight they have for us.  Advance request for audio commentaries from Francis and Nina for Mockingjay 1 & 2 please!

And please wrangle Jennifer, Josh, Liam, Sam (and anyone else who wants in) for an actor audio commentary AT LEAST for Mockingjay Part 2 because you know that would be comedy gold.

JJ

Sorry Delly, But Prim Needs You

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.

What do those Mockingjay scripts have in store for you, Prim?

What do those Mockingjay scripts have in store for you, 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.

JJ

“Hunger Games Adventures” Time

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…galeSomeone 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 guess this is Panem, until Suzanne Collins tells me otherwise.

I guess this is Panem, until Suzanne Collins tells me otherwise.

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.

Anytime, Peeta. Anytime.

Anytime, Peeta. Anytime.

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.

JJ

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