I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but I’ve been feeling a tad bit smug since The Hunger Games: Catching Fire came out. There are a few good reasons for it.
1) Catching Fire blew that other November sequel out of the water, both critically AND at the box office.
For those not catching my drift, I mean Thor: The Dark World. The first Hunger Games came out in March with practically no competition in sight, but we’ve known for a long time that Catching Fire would have serious competition with a Marvel sequel. But as soon as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire came out, it was a little like “Thor who?” And generally, Catching Fire is thought of to be the better movie (89% vs. 65% on Rotten Tomatoes if you want to quantify it). Catching Fire also took the November box office, even though Thor has been out longer.
2) We can finally stop hearing about the goddamn shaky cam.
Ok, that’s just one example. But, in general, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire seemed to take care of the most complained about parts, especially those from the type of viewer that might not be too familiar with The Hunger Games. That would be shaky cam (nixed) and visual effects (upgraded big time). I’ve always felt that Catching Fire would be the one to snag the more action-oriented moviegoer more so than the first, and I was proven right when several friends and family members who were underwhelmed by The Hunger Games told me over Thanksgiving how impressed they were. It took every bit of willpower I had not to dance around them singing “I told you so”.
3) Catching Fire seems to be less divisive than the The Hunger Games among fans.
Not that there aren’t any haters or mild complainers, because the movies can never be perfect for everybody, but I’ve noticed that people who have had serious problems with the first movie seemed far more content with Catching Fire. And that’s awesome!
So forgive us if we hold our heads high for a little while, at least until The Hobbit sequel comes out and has its day in the sun. It’s a good time to be a Hunger Games fan, wouldn’t you say?
Let’s just bask in the glory of it all, shall we?
There’s one particular truth that eludes a lot of Hunger Games fans ignore when it comes to their opinions, especially just after a film release:
You are NOT the most important person on the effing Internet. Crazy, we know!
From professional critics to casual fans, they’re always there: The people who don’t know how to sit down, shut up and just enjoy the ride, for once! We’ve seen a whole tide of them roll in since the release of Catching Fire and we’re sure you have too!
To be clear, we’re not talking about everyone who pointed out a thing or two they wished they’d seen or didn’t like. We don’t think any movie, even Catching Fire, is perfect. It’s especially difficult with an adaptation. Everyone will have moments we wish were included or different.
It’s the people who say “I loved Catching Fire, but…” and then go on to provide a fucking LIST of every nitpicky, typically inconsequential issue they saw with the movie, a large portion if it based on their own fanon more than the actual book.
Common Issues on These Lists:
- Pacing was too fast / too slow and contained too much but also not enough action.
- The relationship between any combination of Katniss/ Peeta/ Gale/ Haymitch/ Effie/ Cinna/ Finnick/ Johanna/ Prim/ Buttercup/ Those Turkeys in the Woods wasn’t exactly what existed in their headcanon. It was too intense or not intense enough and why can nobody ever read their minds right?!
- Why wasn’t so-and-so featured more?! GOOOOOOSH!
- The adaptation wasn’t true enough of the book / too true to the book (Seriously, we’ve heard both.)
- One scene or another that offered some extra character development but was not entirely necessary to plot was left out for time and IT RUINED EVERYTHING.
- The movie did not include enough yet was too long… or vice versa. Because if there’s one thing we’re seeing among the nitpicking, it’s a total lack of consistency.
Essentially, these people will accept no less than the film as written and directed by themselves. Everyone is suddenly a skeptical popular film critic of hipster-esque portions. Even after reading this, there’s likely to be one or two who make their way to the comments to explain why they’re right in pointing out Catching Fire’s flaws, thank you very much. Because again, they think their opinion is the most important one on the Internet.
All things considered, both The Hunger Games and Catching Fire are excellent adaptations. We consider Catching Fire to be the richer, more character-driven of the two. If you think differently than us, that’s fine! But to claim to love the movie, then proceed to tear it apart because you can’t just allow yourself to enjoy how lucky you are to have solid adaptations of your favorite books? REALLY?!
There are fandoms out there who would kill for the level of care, talent, and attention put into this franchise. Maybe you also belong to one of them. You know! The ones where books they love have fallen into the hands of movie studios who repeatedly bang their heads against the wall, trying to create a popular film while casually ignoring everything but a thin outline of the original book because they think they can create something better than a bestseller.
Again, it’s okay not to like everything! You know what’s not okay, though? HATING EVERYTHING. Pointing out everything you dislike about something that’s well-loved (in what often seems like an attempt to prove you’re above the hype) does not make you insightful, intellectual, or even book savvy. It makes you THAT GUY who, by virtue of his or her inability to fully enjoy the big picture despite the occasional flaws, drowns out the positivity for everyone else.
There’s another name for the hyper-critical– Giant freaking buzzkills.
C’mon, Hunger Games fandom. You’re better than that.
DON’T BE THAT GUY!
The Girl With The Pearl
As we all prepare for the release of the Catching Fire movie, we’ve noticed a big trend. It seems everyone is picking up their copies of Catching Fire and getting their re-read on!
Then I think “Is it just me? Am I crazy?”
Though I know Twiffidy talked about the joys of re-reading prior to the first film, I can’t do it. Re-reading is an awesome experience… just not right before a movie. I can’t. Can’t! WON’T!
When you re-read a book directly before a movie, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment in my book. Even when you’ve re-read a book a million times and think you’ve memorized it, a re-read right before a movie keeps all the details fresh. Your expectations are higher, though perhaps not consciously. And then you realize every. single. difference. Suddenly, every heartwarming line missed feels like a heavier blow. Every small scene or character quirk brushed over is a missed opportunity. Even if the movie is stellar, it’s not as fulfilling because yes, you WOULD sit through a 5 hour line-by-line adaptation of the book!
As long as it’s faithful to the book on the whole, we don’t need to analyze every change between the book and the movie. It will only drive us crazy and we’re neurotic enough already, thank you very much! Why set ourselves up for that?!
Strangely enough, we only have this problem with books we re-read. Reading a book for the first time and going to see the movie the next day? No problem! Re-reading and watching? NIGHTMARE.
It seems like everyone involved in fandom has their own little traditions surrounding book or movie releases. Maybe I’m alone in this one, but you know what? It works for me in the way that avoiding press junkets or clips works for some others (though press junkets and clips are my lifeblood.)
Really, it doesn’t matter how you prepare. Because guess what?
YOU ARE SO NOT PREPARED.
The Girl With The Pearl
Premiere madness is upon us! If you missed all the fandemonium of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire premiere in London, view it here!
In other news …Oh man! Premiere madness is upon us! That means that in a few days time, the whole Victor’s Village staff will be traveling around Los Angeles with little Internet access! We could write some posts on our cell phones, but that’s about as fun as grinding down your teeth with a nail file.
You know what that means!
WE NEED YOUR GUEST POSTS!
And we ain’t too proud to beg.
We’re seeking out some stellar guest posts because, believe it or not, we know that our opinions aren’t the only ones that matter!
If you’ve got ANYTHING to say about The Hunger Games books, movies, merchandise, actors, fandom, etc. that you’d like to share with tons of members of the fandom, write it up and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org! Wit preferred, but not required. As long as your writing isn’t a hot mess (we have faith in you!), we’ll post it up to be shared with other fans!
Send in your posts by Friday, Nomveber 15 at 5pm EST and we’ll love you forever!
So many bright, shiny, sexy things are going on in this fandom right now. Jen, Josh, and Liam have done about 10,000 interviews in the past week. Sam and Jena are getting fans all excitable in new ways. And the other victors have been so full of win! Fans are already camping out for the world premiere in London (shout out to Joan!) and that glitz and glam is right in the horizon. We’re not talking about that tonight, so bear with us and remember that The Hunger Games fandom is not inherently flashy. It’s supposed to make you think.
There are some Catching Fire advertising partnerships that you have to take a moment to laugh at, like the Net-A-Porter clothing line and Subway’s “Fiery Footlongs” et circuses. Sriracha isn’t even fiery, Subway! Get your hands on some Ghost Chili Salsa and we’ll talk! Also, what does eating mildly spiced subs/grinders/hoagies/heros/whatever the hell else you call them have to do with standing up for my beliefs, exactly?
BUT ANYWAY, there are other partnerships that are kind of important! They actually mean something other than getting stuff. Namely the #IgniteTheFight campaign partnerships with Feeding America and The World Food Programme. In case you’ve been living under a rock, these two great organizations are out to end hunger, in both the US and other countries in need.
Over on The Official Hunger Games website, #IgniteTheFight is dishing up some pretty devastating facts about the realities of hunger (some of which we’ve added to this post), complete with comprehensive United States and Worldwide maps charting food insecurity and what we can do to help.
This was a big part of the Victory Tour, but it’s downright silly to think you can only donate if you had perishable items handy at one of five localized mall tour stops.
It’s easy to say “In the totally non-existent dystopian future of Panem, hunger is an issue.” It’s not so easy to admit that it’s also an issue right this very second, right under our noses. We’re all vaguely aware that there are major issues like hunger that exist out there, but being aware and acknowledging the issue are different things. Especially when you have never been in that particular situation. And there’s nothing wrong with that! We’re not claiming to donate all our time and money advocating world peace, because we got bills to pay and all that jazz.
But when an opportunity like #IgniteTheFight is presented directly to you, it’s a special opportunity to prove yourself. Here’s your chance to show that you actually understand that the books are about recognizing the troubles of the less fortunate and helping those in need. We know this fandom enough to know that it’s NOT full of mindless drones that only wear Capitol Couture makeup and eat Fiery Footlongs. We’re not saying you’re a bad person if you’ve indulged in any of that, of course! We have too! We just know that’s not specifically why you’re part of this fandom.
If you’re a little skeptical of charities, you can do your research on both charities and choose the one that seems most reputable. Or choose whichever charity tugs at your heartstrings more. Hell, choose both! A couple dollars, LITERALLY a couple dollars, makes a huge difference.
And yes, if you enter your email address, you’ll be entered to win some pretty sweet prizes, too!
Turns Out I’ve Got Nothing Witty to Say About the Worldwide Hunger Epidemic,
The Girl With The Pearl
Katniss, Peeta, and Haymitch Clip
Facebook Live Event
Jennifer Lawrence and Francis Lawrence Tumblr Chat
The Los Angeles premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is creeping up upon us in a matter of 26 days, that’s less than a month from now– which means several things. One: You’re allowed to be overly emotional about it being so freaking close. Two: If you haven’t read the book by now, you might want to get on that, or drink your self into an oblivion. Three: I got nothing, ’cause I’m probably driving a few of my family and friends to the ER, to have their stomach pumped from alcohol poisoning.
Any who, there’s one other teeny tiny thing that you might want to do if you have any inkling of attending the LA Premiere, and that is– registering for the campsite lottery that will allow you possible access to tickets to the said premiere. You heard me, or you probably heard about twelve other fan-sites, and a few major media outlets telling you about this yesterday! But still, get on it fast. However, you should prepare yourself if you do in fact get picked to set your behinds down for 48 hours outside The Nokia Theater in downtown LA! Preparation tools are as follows!
1. If you do not in fact own camping equipment, look into renting, borrowing, or taking the plunge and buying some. Camping equipment that I personally believe will be an absolute must whilst quite literally camping on concrete– padding. Seriously, look into getting air mattresses, or good, thick, comfy folding camp mattresses. Or, forgo the mattress and get a raised camp bed, they come in two models in my experience, easiest-thing-to-set-up-ever, or RAGING-OH-MY-GOD-WHY-IS-THIS-SO-HARD-TO-SET-UP?! And yep, I own both! Oh, air mattresses require pumps, get the battery-powered one, you won’t be sorry, but your neighbor will when your cheap mattress deflates in the night and you have to re-inflate it! A tent would be good as well, just sayin’.
2. Buy some gift cards: To be more specific– get gift cards for the eateries around The Nokia. Why? Because cash is passe, and who am I kidding! Most of you will just skip off to the Starbucks that’s a 2 minute walk away, and gorge your selves on caloric pastries, and possibly tolerate buying a 6 Oz bottle of San Pellegrino for way too much money! Oh, and be prepared to drink bad coffee for two days, ’cause that’s all Starbucks makes!
3. Books, bring ‘em, ’cause your cell phone batteries will die, and you will get bored. So, head to your local library and take out a few volumes, or hell– bring your copies of The Hunger Games trilogy and re-immerse your selves in Katniss and Co. That’s why you’re there, right?
4. Sunscreen! I’m not bloody kidding, guys. Buy it, use it, share it. Los Angeles has sun, and it will hurt you, especially if you’re from out-of-town and your town doesn’t get a lot of sun is not the norm. I’m speaking from personal experience here!
5. Sunglasses, also see above. You can likely get both sunscreen and sunglasses in the same location, and also for not very much money. So stock up people, go to Rite Aid, CVS, Wallgreens, Target, or god forbid Wal-Mart, and save your skin, and save your precious, young eyes from the evils of the sun.
5. A sense of humor: You’re camping in downtown LA to get in to see a movie, that in and of its self is hilarious. So, please, don’t get your panties into a twist about minute things like, I don’t know I’m not you. But, yeah– breathe, laugh, make some new friends, keep the old…
…One is sliver and the other’s gold.
Them There Eyes
We have a confession to make. Most fansites are too nice or perhaps too sane to think like this, but– Oh! We’re not! Here goes: We take some sick pleasure in watching tiny factions of the fandom lose their minds over nothing. IT. IS. HILARIOUS.
We’ve touched on Peeta Paranoia, the completely unfounded and totally irrational fear that Peeta’s role in Catching Fire will be overshadowed because Gale is also featured in the advertising, in the past. But recently, it’s been taken to a whole new level after the reveal of a Catching Fire soundtrack number entitled “Gale Song”. A new, pathetic level.
Mockingjay.net posted an infographic detailing how Peeta is actually way more dominant in the Catching Fire advertisement. It breaks down stills, promotional images, lines and appear times in the trailer, and appearances by the actors, among other things. To be clear, we think this is BRILLIANT. It spells out how this is an irrational fear… unless you are SO very irrational that you assume it’s a conspiracy, of course!
The comments on MJ.net are enough to throw us into a giggle fit (though some of them are just plain rude to the awesome, hardworking MJ staff and that is NOT COOL)! They accuse the site of going along with “The Gale Agenda” and a couple even question how much Lionsgate is paying them to side with their marketing campaign.
AHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *gasp* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA! Do you honestly think Lionsgate pays fansites for anything? Like ever?! REALLY?! Literally, there’s giggles happening as I write this, because the very thought is so ludicrous. Also, a “Gale Agenda”? Have they read the books?! Besides the fact that Peeta is featured much more heavily in the campaign, anyone who knows Suzanne Collins’ endgame should be bright enough to realize that a Gale Agenda would be completely counter-productive. Lionsgate would be shooting themselves in the foot come Mockingjay Part 1, when the audience needs to be so emotionally attached to Peeta that they are in constant fear for his safety and shocked by his hijacking.
Also, Peeta and Katniss end up together so it is not an actual competition, kids! And we assume Lionsgate would not set up the series to make non-readers root specifically for the character that’s maligned in the end, because they like it when their movies get good ratings.
The more reasonable portion of the unreasonable try to argue that it’s not the time that the characters have been promoted, but the context in which they’re been promoted. Gale kissing Katniss and tackling a Peacekeeper is shown, along with some heady quotes inspiring revolution. Peeta’s lines are more quiet and introspective, his relationship with Katniss is strained and not particularly loving. This small faction of Peeta fans has got their panties in a bunch because apparently, they’ve never read the first half of Catching Fire, in which this is almost exactly what happened. The tackled Peacekeeper is the only considerable difference and it won’t make or break character favoritism.
In case you forgot, Gale DOES spout off talk of revolution often, get in trouble with Peacekeepers, and kiss Katniss on a whim. Peeta and Katniss DO struggle to discover where they truly stand and during that time, Peeta is very careful in what he says to Katniss. This isn’t fanfiction. Gale is strong but a bit loud and showy in his rebelliousness, Peeta is strong but quiet and careful– at least, at the points we’re being shown in the trailer. If you don’t like that, you’re not yet fully aware of your own hypocrisy. Not to mention that audiences crying about Peeta not being portrayed correctly HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE and have no idea how he is portrayed throughout! They’ve seen about three scenes.
Real talk, guys. If Peeta is portrayed as poorly as he was in the first movie, we’ll be right there with you complaining. But we can only say that about the first movie because we’ve watched it several times and analyzed it at an almost unhealthy level. Nobody has seen Catching Fire yet. You’re judging a whole movie by a two-minute trailer meant to show you a very restricted peek at specific scenes.
Where is Peeta’s kiss, you ask? Or Peeta being a badass in the arena? Or Peeta being a brilliant spokesperson during the Victory Tour? That stuff is probably being saved. Not because it’s not worthy of showing audiences, but because those are the big moments! You don’t show your whole hand at once or you’re destroying the element of surprise! We haven’t seen anything passed the countdown in the arena, because that’s when things get really good and 98% of it involves Peeta. Be patient!
Re: “Gale Song”: There are a couple songs about Peeta or Katniss/Peeta on the Catching Fire soundtrack, as there were on The Hunger Games soundtrack. Just because it’s not called “Peeta Song” doesn’t mean it doesn’t count for anything. There could be songs about Snow, Finnick, Effie or Haymitch for all we know. So let’s stop freaking out just because The Lumineers (who we’re just happy to see featured on the soundtrack!) didn’t come up with an alternate title to what was probably their placeholder title during the submission process. Also, the song is FREAKING BEAUTIFUL. Stop hatin’!
Way to Embarrass The Sensible Peeta Fans,
The Girl With The Pearl
Welcome to another Guest Postapalooza entry! Panem Propaganda’s Arowana Flounder is here to talk about her addiction to fan fiction… and how it might be slowly driving her crazy when it comes to all other things Hunger Games!
I stand before you today as a control-freak fanfiction writer. I have written two Hunger Games Fanfiction stories and am currently writing a series of Victory Tour related articles for PanemPropaganda. It has been one hour since I last wrote something based on someone else’s work.
Suzanne Collins did all of us aspiring writers a HUGE favour when she glossed over the finer details of things like: the finer details of life in the other Districts, the other Victors’ back stories, and what happens to the other characters between the end of Mockingjay and the epilogue. This has given fangirls (and boys) reign over certain aspects of their favourite book series.
Personally I found myself intrigued by the story of Johanna Mason and spent just under a year writing my version of her biography (which, by the way, you can read here. Thanks for asking!). I’ve always tried to keep to the original book canon whenever possible, and reverted to film canon if available in the event of a gap in the book. This kind of (some may say obsessive) attentiveness means that over time I’ve gotten rather attached to Jo. She’s evolved from one of the relatively minor main characters to the star in my eyes. I figured that Lionsgate would stick with the rebellion theme for the trailer, just like in the teaser, so Johanna and the other Victors would be saved for the main feature. However, after seeing an ambiguous grainy photo a few days ago, it looks like they may include some arena scenes in the trailer revealed at Comic-Con in July.
So, what if the trailer comes out containing a sneak peak of the arena and I don’t agree with any of it. I, and the peace and quiet of my friends, were safe after the teaser trailer because it all took part in the districts and my writing has laid no claim to any of that part of the book. A part of me feels absolutely sick with anticipation for the movie to come out. What if something is different to what I’ve written? That control-freak part of me will definitely have an enormous anxiety attack.
Am I alone in this? Possibly, possibly not. Will the movie theaters be wtf-ing around the world if Peeta doesn’t paint Rue on the floor of the Training Room? What if…gulp… Cinna walks out of the Launch Room unharmed?
I’m well aware of the fact that I’m probably the only one throwing a wobbly about Jo’s hair, but whether it’s that or Finnick’s trident having one too many prongs, die hard fans and dedicated fanfic writers, will be watching with bated breath to see if our long thought out predictions come true on the big screen.
Katniss Everdeen is a badass. Sorry we’re not sorry!
See, it all started with a recent article on Divergent, which included a line from Shailene Woodley about her character, Tris Prior:
“What I like about Tris is that she isn’t perfect. She’s not a super-hero — she’s not Katniss. She doesn’t know how to shoot a bow and arrow, she’s not a badass by nature.”
We read the article and didn’t even blink twice at this quote. Come to find out, it became A BIG FREAKING DEAL at some point because fangirls are sensitive lil’ snowflakes.
Let’s break it down: First, we don’t believe Shailene was trying to insult Katniss Everdeen. She auditioned for the role of Katniss Everdeen and has talked about her love for the series regularly. Nor do we think she was calling Katniss “perfect” or “a superhero”. In journalism, we know so because of that dash: “She’s not a superhero — she’s not Katniss”. Zee dash typically represents one of two things: 1) Someone getting caught up in their thoughts mid-sentence and altering things. She was probably trying to think of a good contrast and eventually stumbled upon Katniss after saying those first couple things. Or 2) A piece of a quote that the writer chose to omit, usually because they think it’s irrelevant or too similar to what’s already been quoted.
Anyone who has read both books should actually be able to see what Shailene is talking about. Katniss IS badass and there is zero shame in it! She knows how to hunt (and effectively kill), she’s got survival skills, and she’s a quick learner who’s able to win hearts. She’s mature and hardened by her difficult upbringing. She’s fully aware of what it means to be in The Hunger Games and faces that head-on. Being badass in such a way doesn’t make her a Xena-style archetype. She’s still vulnerable and scared and fucked up in many ways, despite her badassery. The worst thing for us is the fans arguing that Katniss isn’t as badass as she is to try to make her seem less like a stereotype. She’s super kickass! She’s just other things too!
Tris, on the other hand, is a clean slate at the beginning of her story. She essentially joins the military without knowing what the military is about. No weapons training, no special skills, no endurance, little social skills, and the… emotional squishiness of your average 16-year-old girl. While Katniss has some grit to her, Tris is building that grit up from scratch and in many cases, failing miserably. Realistically, we’re all more Tris than Katniss in this sense (unless you’re a Doomsday prepper or an outdoor survival enthusiast!) And no, we’re not dissing Katniss when we say that.
When an actress says something regarding The Hunger Games other than “OMG I love it (though I don’t plan to be in it)”, the fandom then turns around and tries to EAT THAT ACTRESS, Walking Dead style. Shailene Woodley seems to be a popular target because The Secret Life of An American Teenager was that bad of a show, which wasn’t all her fault, and maybe 3% of the fandom has seen her Golden Globe-nominated performance in The Descendants.
Is Shailene justified in explaining ways she believes Tris and Katniss are different? Absolutely! After all, the Entertainment Weekly cover read DIVERGENT: IS THIS THE NEXT HUNGER GAMES? She’ll have to explain over and over that there are a lot of differences between Divergent and The Hunger Games in the same way that The Hunger Games actors were constantly explaining that their movie wasn’t anything like Twilight. And everyone who understands fandom better than the media will let out a collective sigh of frustration every time.<
But let’s get this straight: Nobody’s turning this into a rivalry between The Hunger Games and Divergent or whatever-the-hell-else dystopia/fantasy comes out in the next few years. WE REFUSE TO PARTICIPATE. It wouldn’t be controversial had another actress called Katniss “a badass by nature”. We might even love them for it. It’s all about the context. Because Shailene says she likes Tris for not being badass, we assume she doesn’t like Katniss for being so when she probably only meant to say she loves how Tris overcomes a more drastic state of unpreparedness.
Written word is a bitch, y’all! Everyone assumes you’ve got a hidden meaning or a snide remark behind a sentence that was said without a bit of malice. EW was smart in using that fact to their advantage and highlighting that quote, thus leaving it up for fan interpretation. Hell, maybe Shailene Woodley DID have the intention of starting fandom wars, because lord knows that’s what multi-million dollar actresses in their 20s apparently like to do in their spare time! … But we’re doubting it.
Take a few breaths, punch a pillow, untwist your panties, and QUIT YA BITCHIN’,
The Girl With The Pearl