Catching Fire

Sam Claflin Lets Us #AskFinnick and It Made Our Friday

Sam Claflin QAWe’re still processing all the amazingness from yesterday’s Mockingjay Part 2 theatrical trailer but a full trailer reaction post will be coming this weekend. In the meantime, we got a treat today thanks to @LionsgateUK and Sam Claflin with a little twitter Q&A. As with any Twitter Q&A with the fandom, there is a lot of spam with people repeatedly asking the same questions (STOP THAT) and the hilariousness of the Lionsgate account tweeting some fan accounts with very “fandom” names.

Here are some of the highlights.

If he could play any other character in the Hunger Games:

Softball question, but we’re with you, Sam.

As for his favorite part of yesterday’s trailer:

Well, he’s certainly being gracious about those lizards, considering they bite off Finnick’s head. But it looks like Finnick will go out heroicly from the way he’s taking them down in the trailer.

What did he think of the Hunger Games Exhibition?

I may have included this response because @cuddlyjoshifer asked it and it makes me smile. But we agree on this one too!

On his training to fight those nasty lizards in Mockingjay Part 2:

Killing lizard mutts with a trident, nbd.

Favorite quote from Finnick:

Moving past the account name asking that one too… A great, meaningful line that has stayed with us from the first reading.

Can he picture Finnick as being the Mockingjay?

Attn: fanfic writers you have a new prompt.

Did he keep anything from set?

Thanks @sassyjoshifer.

How did he injure himself on set THIS TIME (he got hurt filming Catching Fire, but this question seems a little mean lol):

Ouch. Reminder of the pain these actors go through to bring your beloved book characters to life.

On Finnick’s inspiration to fight:

This is incredibly sweet, and we agree.

What district would SAM live in?

We really love this, District 14, cause he lives in the UK!

If he could be a superhero:

Hahaha people, so clever.

On any behavior/character traits of Finnick rubbing of on him:

Things are getting silly now and we’re loving it.

His favorite thing about Finnick:

Now we’re on to more serious matters. That switch from silly to serious & genuine seems to fit both Sam and Finnick well.

And finally, was the wedding scene fun to shoot?

I don’t know, that dancing looked pretty lovely to us.

Just one final question from us… can we have cast/crew Q&A’s every week?

JJ

REVIEW: The Hunger Games Exhibition Experience

Welcome, welcome to our review of The Hunger Games Exhibition!

A few lucky fansites were given an early preview of this massive undertaking over the weekend! Kait and JJ attended the event (though JJ very skillfully avoided all the cameras). Now, we’re breaking down everything you need to know if you’re considering a visit to what seems like the franchise’s very first East Coast attraction!

Without any further ado…

THE COSTUMES AND SETS

Yes, all the major costumes and set pieces are there, perfectly positioned and lit in all their glory. You’ll be tons of familiar outfits, designs, and set arrangements. You’ll also see so things you didn’t notice in the films. For instance, did you know Effie was wearing these shoes in District 13?!

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We’ve never seen them before and it’s tragic!

The costumes are spectacular, but there’s also full set pieces to adore. They’re set up in ways you’d easily recognize the film and pretty dazzling up close. For example, the Hob set in full of props that look faded and distressed, but seeing it all in person adds a whole new dimension to it. As you end with one section and walk into another, you’re usually turning a corner to find a massive, beloved scene RIGHT IN YOUR FACE. It was enough to make us squeal, even enough to make some others get all teary-eyed!

Just a real casual Capitol party display... SQUEE!

Also, Josh, Jen, Willow, Jena, and Francis went through the exhibit yesterday, the day after the fansites. They touched what we touched. WE PRACTICALLY EXCHANGED FRIENDSHIP BRACELETS. Just kidding, but it’s still pretty awesome!

INTERACTIVE FEATURES

If you’ve gone to an exhibition for Harry Potter and/or The Lord of the Rings, you probably think you know the drill by now. What you’re NOT accounting for are the boatload of unique interactive features that make this stand out, even for people who are not super familiar with the series (you know, in case you bring a mostly clueless friend or parent along!)

INTERACTIVE AUDIO DEVICE
When you enter the exhibition, you’ll be given a handy cell phone sized device. It seems like it’s just an audio guide, but there’s lots to do with it! Namely, it finds “Hidden Spots” throughout the exhibit that unlock deleted scenes and show how the props in front of you. They also pull up holographic maps, allow you to take pictures, and give you a special ally with whom you can explore!

POLLING STATIONS

Every here and there, you’ll find polling stations that ask how you would react in certain Hunger Games style situations. Turn the lever and your vote is counted– a pellet falls into a glass cylinder. Then you can examine the cylinders to see how your vote compares to others.

THE TRAIN TO THE CAPITOL
Be prepared for your photo op! Get cozy in the back of the train to the Capitol, where Katniss and Peeta worked out their tentative friendship in Catching Fire, and snap a pic! Built-in screens give the illusion that you too are headed to the Capitol.

Kait with Adam from HG Fireside Chat and Brittany from Down With The Capitol

Kait with Adam from HG Fireside Chat and Brittany from Down With The Capitol

INTERVIEW WITH CAESAR
Caesar Flickerman is one hell of an interviewer, even when his head is a television screen! You can stop and have a photo op with The Capitol’s favorite television host but be warned, those fancy seats are really hard to sit upright in!

Also, it's hard to get his face to show up at certain angles!

Also, it’s hard to get his face to show up at certain angles!


FIGHT TRAINING

Think you got the moves? A movie stunt coordinator is ready to test them! See how well you can learn and bust out a quick defensive sequence used in the films. It’s harder than you think!

JOIN THE MOCKINGJAY’S PROPO
A special station in the Mockingjay section of the museum allows you to choose your setting and record a propo message in support of the Rebellion! Your image will then show up on the big ol’ HD TV screen behind you.

YOUR VERY OWN TRIBUTE PARADE

It’s your turn to join the Tribute Parade! Instead of explaining, here’s a video of me and Down With The Capitol’s Ellie making fools of ourselves for good old fashioned fun! Shelve it under “So horrible that it’s actually kind of amazing.”

THE GIFT SHOP

At the end of the road, we hit the gift shop!

Like most, there’s lots of items in here that seem a bit random, like mints and “Capitol confections” that are just regular candies bottled up pretty. But there’s also some really awesome stuff, exclusive mug and t-shirt designs, Buttercup plushes, Tim Palen’s new photo book, and jewelry ranging from simple ($5 arrow ring) to “SERIOUSLY.. WHO THROWS AROUND MONEY LIKE THAT?!”($7400 diamond encrusted gold Mockingjay pendant necklace.)

Disappointing news– the Katniss Cowl is in the gift shop, but it costs $130. Yup, the mass produced version is just as much as (if not more than) most Etsy sellers. We just want to own a Katniss Cowl and still pay off our student loan debt in a timely fashion, Lionsgate!

For a small fortune, all this can be yours!

For a small fortune, all this can be yours!

And so ends our adventure. If you’re a Hunger Games lover and you’re heading to New York City this year, we highly recommend it!

Want more images? Check out our full gallery!

GALLERY: The Hunger Games Exhibition

You’ve probably noticed that there’s been lots of goodness from The Hunger Games Exhibition all around the web, including over on our Instagram page. Now, we’re sharing all the photos from our Hunger Games Exhibition with you!

If you like these glimpses, stay tuned for a detailed report on the super fun exhibition!

Looking Through Tim Palen’s Photographs from The Hunger Games

Today Tim Palen’s Photographs from The Hunger Games became available. Even as a super fan, I was on the fence about this purchase with the $75 list price, but when I saw it in person I had to take the plunge.

imageThis is a hefty, gorgeous book, filled with large beautiful pictures from the first three movie campaigns (or to be more fair, 3.5 movie campaigns) and explanations of the creative choices behind them in the introduction. As the title indicates, the photos are the focus – specifically character portraits, with movie and Suzanne Collins’ book quotes interspersed throughout the pages.

For The Hunger Games, we see alternate shots of the characters with their eyes closed, as well as different takes on released promotional images. For Catching Fire and Mockingjay Part 1, we again see the familiar images from posters and other promotional images with unreleased versions or additional character shots.  Some of the unreleased images from Mockingjay Part 1 are staggering.
imageWhat about Mockingjay Part 2? Well, as anticipated, there’s not that much you haven’t seen. There’s no Katniss in that mysteriously red Mockingjay outfit that we’ve been hearing about from CineEurope. Nope, nothing new. Unless you mean the several new pictures of Peeta (one in a hospital gown and several in battle gear) and one of Gale crying in the style of the “Sister’s Portrait.”

Oh, yeah, I guess those count. You might like those. A lot.

This book is clearly a collectable item at the size and price tag. I think the best way to decide if it’s worth it to you is to see the book in person, either at an Assouline bookshop or the Hunger Games Exhibition Gift Shop (it should be available more widely in about a month). My only twinge of regret is that I wish this were released next year so that the Mockingjay Part 2 section could be more complete.

Every book needs to leave room for a sequel?
JJ

Creating a Fun-Filled Panem, in Dubai?

There were lots of funny pranks pulled throughout the fandom last week in celebration of April Fools, however there was one legit piece of news that was real, but it ALMOST sounded like a joke.  The Hunger Games Theme Park Attraction – It’s happening. In Dubai.

dubaiWhen the news came out on March 31, we knew it wasn’t a joke, because Lionsgate executives have said on multiple occasions that they were exploring opportunities to add the Hunger Games as a theme park attraction. It will be a part of a larger Hollywood theme park, Motiongate Dubai. According to the press release, it will “feature state-of-the-art theme park attractions and a retail facility inspired by … The Hunger Games franchise.” Not much in the way of details beyond that were released, other than it would be located in Dubai and another Lionsgate movie property, Step Up, will also be a part of the attractions when it opens in October 2016.

We’ve been very wary of this theme park idea all along and nothing about the announcement has changed our perspective on it. The Hunger Games costume exhibitions and the upcoming touring Exhibition starting this summer in New York have focused on showing how the books have been turned into movies. They’re basically extensions of the behind the scenes goodies of a Blu-ray, and we like that. The word “theme park attraction” invites broader world-building that could be problematic if not handled with care. So what are they going to do? Will this be some amped up version of the Samsung-sponsored Comic Con event last year, complete with Capitol Gallery and a Capitolized Peeta’s Bakery? District 12 themed rides? An arena?????

Ok, we need to stop thinking of the possibilities cause this is just getting dark and we’re probably just thinking of the worst possible scenarios. After all, remember this passage from The Hunger Games when Katniss is about to enter the arena?

Arenas

They wouldn’t do that, right? No. No, they couldn’t. THEY WOULD NOT DO THAT. True, these books/movies are just stories, so if they created an arena attraction no one would have truly died there. But it would definitely be creepy and way too “Capitol” for us to fathom.

Even if they don’t make the “attraction” an arena, placed in the context of the super-wealth of Dubai, there’s a lot of ways for this to be way too Capitol for our tastes. But then again, us three American women of Victor’s Village are clearly not the intended visitors for this attraction. I spent a week in Dubai in 2011, and while it was a fascinating experience, I’m certainly not taking that long of a journey again simply to go to a theme park when there are plenty of other places still to visit in the big, beautiful world. The Hunger Games attractions will draw in people who live closer to the geographic area, people who were planning to visit Dubai anyway for the larger theme park experience, or people visiting to gawk at the fabulous buildings and ski slope inside a mall.

We just hope they keep the story’s themes top of mind when putting this all together, otherwise it’s going to be really awkward and gross.

We really don’t want this to get awkward and gross.

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

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

 

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.

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THAT, we think, would burn down the internet.

JJ

Victor’s Village Holiday Giveaway 2014!

It’s the most wonderful tiiiiiime of the year!

Well, kinda. We mean, Mockingjay Part 1 hype is mostly over and there’s roughly 8,000 things to do and everyone’s finances are pretty bleak… BUT we’re going to put a little pep in your step this holiday season with a chance to win some incredible Hunger Games themed prizes!

There’s no major tasks or hoops to jump through this year, mainly because we totally procrastinated on this sucker. You’re welcome!

So let’s look at the stellar prizes, shall we?

Custom Hanging Tree Lyrics Mug by CuppaCharisma

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As if winning this gorgeous mug with some poignant Hunger Games lyrics on it wasn’t enough, CuppaCharisma is going to customize the back of the mug with a bare tree and the winner’s first name!

Mockingjay Shot Glass Set by CosplayKreations

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A set of 3 of these etched 1.5oz beauties could also be yours! Glassware is a great way to show off fandom without getting too flashy and… what can we say? We like shots!

Catching Fire Best Buy Steelbook Edition
The Hunger Games/Catching Fire Wal-Mart DVD Combo Pack

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Looking to collect ALL the Catching Fire DVD editions or know someone who is? You’re in luck! Two runners up will receive either a Catching Fire Best Buy Steelbook edition or The Hunger Games/Catching Fire Wal-Mart DVD Combo Pack!

ENTER THE HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY HERE!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Our holiday contest is open internationally. Contest ends on December 27th. Winners will be contacted on December 28th.

No matter what you celebrate, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Mockingjay Press Has Begun!

Over the last several years of covering all things and everything Hunger Games, there are a handful of things that always remain the same. Two of them are that when there’s no news, it’s like a desert wasteland. However, when there is Hunger Games news and/ or press, it’s like a crashing avalanche down a mountain side. I can’t keep track of all the press, and the announcements for press that have come out within the last couple of days! I know that the majority of the cast are in Europe in preparation for the world premiere of Mockingjay Part 1 this coming week in London. So when Liam and Jennifer show up on German television sans Josh, ’cause Josh is ill– I’m not in as much of a clamor as

Perfectly coiffed, and fresh from the ER, that's our Jen!

Perfectly coiffed, and fresh from the ER, that’s our Jen!

I maybe should be, ’cause if I am at level 100 on the excitement scale every single time these people show up on TV over the next few weeks, I think I’ll die of exhaustion, or an aneurism, take your pick. All that being said and done, if anything is like how it was last year during and after the whirlwind press for Catching Fire, the cast are going to be sick as dogs by the time they get to Los Angeles– and in perfect Jennifer Lawrence fashion, she’ll be whisked off to the emergency room with acute abdominal pains, then show up to the premiere looking coiffed, and refined in Chanel.

I suggest you start somewhere though, press coverage wise– because following it all as it unfolds is near impossible unless you spend your life on Twitter, or your phone– or both. Most of the top Hunger Games fan-site are keeping track of everything for us lazy lots though, so if you get lost– go here, and just start clicking! You can’t go wrong with watching a few of the interviews that have come out, or will be coming out, but mix it up a bit, because they are going to start repeating them selves, ’cause journalists have a tendency of asking them same questions over and over again. So if Josh Hutcherson starts to look glazed over, and not just from the fevered illness he’s already infected with, and he starts sounding incredibly robotic, switch to something else! Like perhaps Jennifer Lawrence drawing horses on cakes.

Pace your selves guys! And remember to hydrate. BTW, props to Jen for still doing press while she feels like death warmed over!

Them There Eyes