Friday the DVD and Blu-ray editions of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire are being released in the US and Canada, which means a lot of us are not leaving the confines of our homes this weekend. Why? Because we’ll be glued to our respective television sets, absorbing what we’ve all hopefully already viewed a handful of times in movie theatres. Me? I’ll be like everyone else probably, inconsolable and re-watching Peeta and Katniss’ last scene together until he attempts to choke her to death in Mockingjay: Part 1. It’s going to be an emotional weekend, and just for kicks and giggles, I’ve come up with a list of things we should all do, or have on hand whilst partaking of the emotional roller coaster that is The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
First off I highly recommend getting comfortable. That means if you’re a lady person, lose the bra, and put on some pajama pants, perhaps some ridiculously comfy socks, and forget about washing your hair– who cares, no one can see you anyway! And if anybody can see you, they should already know that The Hunger Games is not something they’re allowed to judge you on, therefore clean hair isn’t something for them to get their panties into a twist about, ‘kay? You may want to continue to wear deodorant though, just to keep the yelling at bay.
Stock up on tissues, I think two boxes will suffice unless of course you’re the type who cries during diaper commercials. And, yep– because you’ll be crying so much, and using all those tissues you’re going to get dehydrated therefore you must have a hydration station at the ready. Stock your fridge with water, I’m going to go buy a bunch of mineral water and lemons for myself, and just go to town crying my ass off, and drinking bubbles and tartness that I know won’t add any weight to my ass at all. However if you’re like every other person in North America you’ll probably stock up on less healthful carbonated beverages. I beg of you though that you drink more than soda this weekend, I hate for your dentists to look in your mouths weeks or months from now and proclaim that you’ve got cavities in all your teeth.
For the legal adults in the audience I’m now going to suggest other beverages to have on hand. If you’re not obligated to be anywhere, i.e. you have no where to drive to– by all means have a glass of wine or two! Don’t go over the top though, I don’t want to read about some poor Hunger Games t-shirt clad, braless, jammy pants wearing, body of a woman that was found in a pool of their own vomit after bingeing on Stella, or three bottles of wine. ‘Kay just don’t!
Munchies! I mean did you really think I would forget munchies!? Wrong! I suggest an array of salty meats, cheeses, and vegetables. Uh huh, think antipasti platter, only if you hate olives, go with pickled whatever you like, or here’s a thought, sliced fresh veggies! My, green olives stuffed with garlic sounds mighty tasty right about now, also fresh cucumbers, and red, yellow, or orange Bell Pepper, the green ones have no flavor. Cheese, if you’re feeling low-brow, and like American Cheese in all its artificial orange, salty glory, by all means have some! But even Effie Trinket would make faces at you, so try something a bit more um– real, I mean not even Katniss has access to that stuff. So imagine Peeta using American Cheese in his cheese buns, and then gag with me! Or, perhaps you’re not up for all the work of arranging food stuffs semi artfully on a plate, in that case order pizza and call it a successful weekend. Food snobbery done, moving on!
Have your Smart Phone at the ready, perhaps a laptop, or iPad. Why? Because live tweeting on Twitter, and live blogging your marathoning on Tumblr whilst watching all the extras and bonus features, along with finally rewatching the film– well, it’s going to happen, so may as well have everything fully charged so you can share all the feels with the Internets, and you’re friends, maybe you’re mom. Just do it, you know you want to.
Take breaks y’all, remember you can hit pause now and go to the bathroom without missing a damn thing!
Them There Eyes
Dear Hunger Games fans…
Y’all are dramalicious.
Not ALL of you, of course. But some of us like to see things. To create issues what no real issues exist.
Case in point: The Mockingjay/ Divergent marketing “scandal”.
As you may remember, Lionsgate ate merged with Summit Entertainment recently. Given this, many of their marketing efforts are intertwined. Lionsgate owns The Hunger Games and Summit owns Divergent. So far in their partnership, the merge hasn’t blatantly meant any unprecedented delays in marketing, but someone out in the Internet whispered (probably on the cesspool that is tumblr) “There hasn’t been much Mockingjay Part 1 promotion yet because of Divergent’s promotion.” And just like that, complaints and worries took off.
Suddenly, a portion of the internet dissolves into feisty grandmas watching their soap operas:
“That new slut Divergent thinks she’s gonna just come in and steal Mockingjay’s man! To hell with that hooker!”
You gotta calm down there, Chuck.
Yes, at this time last year, we had the new poster reveal and a couple images of Victory Tour promo featuring Katniss and Peeta. Contrary to popular internet belief, we did NOT have the Capitol Portraits yet. Those came in March.
So really, we’re on par for what we had for Catching Fire at this time last year. Yet everyone’s looking to another YA movie to blame for that. HUH?
First off, we forget that Mockingjay Part II is still being filmed and the studio could very well be waiting until the focus is off filming before they worry about promotion for Part 1. It’s going to make a killing at the box office either way. Even so, The Hunger Games and Divergent are still marketed by two different teams, so it’s not as if promotion for one negates the other. Lionsgate and Summit marketing have been known to work together in the past, not cockblock each other. And frankly, there’s no way in hell anything happening in November is going to affect a movie coming out in March. If people want to see Divergent, they’ll go see it regardless of whether or not Mockingjay character portraits show up in the meantime.
Secondly, can’t YA fandoms all just get along? YA fandoms like to get elitist, judge each other, and in this case, blame each other for their problems. Hunger Games fans want more stuff and they’re not getting it, so they look to blame Divergent. There’s already so many people out there trying to discredit and undermine the young adult adaptations out there (including the ones that will forever hate on The Hunger Games, even if it won all the awards) that we should support each other instead of running around hating on each other. Capice?
Stop Being Jealous When Another Pretty Girl Gets Attention, Wannabe Prom Queens,
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.
Thank you for being you, Suzanne Collins! For writing The Hunger Games series, of course, but also for allowing it to be loved for what it is.
Yes, we’ve talked about how we wished you were more actively involved in the fandom and that still stands. But at the same time, your lack of chatter regarding the series helps maintain the mystery and the purity and just recently, we’ve realized just how much we appreciate that!
As you’ve probably heard, JK Rowling recently put the Harry Potter fandom in an absolute tizzy when she recently described Ron and Hermione, one of the most popular relationships in literature, as “wish fulfillment” and a stubborn choice to stick to her original plans for the series even though it was “not for reasons of credibility”. It doesn’t help that these quotes have been sensationalized by media sources saying she regrets writing the relationship and that Hermione should have ended up with Harry (which would directly contradict many of her earlier interviews and was actually implied by Emma Watson, not JKR, during the interview in question.) Unfortunately, it was super easy for the media to imply all these things because JKR sliced that can of worms wide open, seven freaking years after the end of the series. Fans who understand exactly why Ron and Hermione worked as a couple (like us!) are outraged and Harry/Hermione shippers, would Jo once playful agreed were delusional for ignoring “anvil-sized hints” to the contrary, are simultaneously rejoicing and demanding an apology. Despite the full interview explaining the situation with a little more depth to show JKR is not anti-R/Hr and the fact that none if this changes the ending to the Harry Potter books or movies, the whole fandom is a complete clusterfuck.
Now imagine if Suzanne Collins did something similar? What if several years from now, she tells the media that in hindsight, Katniss probably should have ended up with Gale. Because they came from the same type of background and they presented each other with fewer challenges to see the world differently than they already did. That it just would have made more sense if she stuck with the totally stagnant cliche in which the hero falls for their best friend, suggesting that was the more credible option than what her intuition originally convinced her to write.
We’re pretty sure we’d rip all our hair out.
Relationships are not the only thing this could happen with, of course. New details on Panem’s infrastructure? The actual names of Katniss and Peeta’s children? Suzanne’s doubts about killing so-and-so or the severity of so-and-so’s attitude in Chapter X? Even these minor things would drive this fandom crazy!
Do we want to know every single detail, even the ones we don’t need? Sure! Do we need them? Prooooobably not! Sometimes it is better to wonder than hear all the answers and revelations, because as JK Rowling has proven– all the answers and the revelations can certainly take away from the magic and the mystery.
Live and let live (in a fictional plane of existence as originally concluded at the end of the final book.)
The Rest Is Up To Fan Fiction,
The Girl With The Pearl
Because it ain’t over til the last interview is over, we shall not discuss the BEST TOPIC EVER tonight!
Instead, here’s some fun for the regulars that we usually bring you earlier in the year, but Joan Rivers wouldn’t shut up then awards show season and shit got weird. ANYWAY… it’s time for the Year In Review, where we give you all the stats on the awesomeness of you, our readers!
But first, let’s start in a bittersweet note: 2014 is the year we say goodbye to our dear Twiffidy as she moves on to focus on other endeavors. She has been an amazing part of this site and we couldn’t be more thankful for her! Wishing you the best, Twiffidy!
On a happier note, this has given us the chance to take on a new writer here at VV! We’ve already seen her fresh perspective in her guest posts, including predicting a behind the scenes look at The Capitol in Mockingjay and calling out shipping gone bad.
WELCOME TO VICTOR’S VILLAGE, JJ!
We hope you guys are ready, because JJ starts bringing the noise tomorrow! *pops champagne cork*
As for those stats, let’s take a looksy, shall we?
188 COUNTRIES. Our minds = BLOWN. We’re still shocked by the regular readers who participate, but to see that people have been lead to this site from all over the world is enormous.
The only downside the those 188 countries is that many of those folks were probably looking up trusty search term #1. Which, funnily enough, leads them to a post that makes fun of people searching for that and similar terms!
Note the highlight! Only one post about Katniss’ much-coveted cowl is actually from this year, but another of our top 5 posts is actually a fanfic-style guest post from late 2012 by Hunger Games Bookclub! Kudos, HGBC!
Some of our regulars caught fire (Get it?! *nudge nudge*) as they chimed in on all things Hunger Games this year. It can be a messy task, but we’re glad you’re out there doing it!
So what we really mean to say is THANK YOU for a great year!
Let’s do it again in 2014, PLZKTHX!
The Girl With The Pearl
How about that title, huh? Yeah, so the big news in the fandom, or according to my Google Alerts, is
that Jennifer Lawrence, and I’m guessing probably Mahershala Ali, and Liam Hemsworth, possibly Lily Rabe as well– were involved, that is if they were in fact filming District 2 scenes, if not, welp, then I’m wrong and I will go drown my sorrows in cookies— any who, the smoke machine being used in a tunnel scene malfunctioned and choked out the actors, and probably a few of the crew as well. Heavy day on set I’d say, wouldn’t you? But no worries! Jen’s alive and well, and I’m also guessing back in Kentucky getting her post-Christmas binge on with her brothers goading her on, and her parents affectionately rolling their eyes at their children’s antics. That, or she’s stuck in a rented house in the greater Atlanta metro area, yep– still partaking in a post-Christmas binge with a choice number of family members, and friends goading her on.
I dunno, I just somehow doubt the woman took the experience to heart. Like, if she’s having nightmares, I hope they’re more Lost Smoke Monster, than billowing, choking smoke, encroaching upon her, making her eyes water, and her heart pound in her chest, a cold sweat prickling, and sliding down her back. However, if she is having the latter I hope she’s talking it out, and getting the help she needs. She’s a tough cookie, albeit eccentric, but tough, and resilient. If you want to compare though, worse, or worse if you’re thinking broadly, things have happened on film sets, or film shoots for that matter. For example: Martin Sheen nearly died whilst filming Apocalypse Now in 1978, yep he had a heart attack, and shockingly he was only 38 years old at the time. Also, the set on the same film was washed away by a Typhoon at one point, disastrous. Peter O’Toole nearly died on the set of Lawrence of Arabia– fell from a camel, which is a phrase you don’t hear everyday. Malcolm McDowell, or as you youngins know him as– the white-haired white dude in those hilarious commercials where he and James Earl Jones (gray-haired black dude, sounds like Darth Vader), reenact supposed real text or Facebook comment conversations
between young people– yeah, he went temporarily blind after filming a super, intense, torture scene in the pivotal, and classic film A Clockwork Orange. And if you want to get even more bloody, Sylvester Stallone had to be air lifted to a hospital after filming a boxing scene in Rocky IV, hot damn. Bruce (Bad Ass) Willis lost two thirds of his hearing after filming a scene in Die Hard, which is what happens when loud bangs go off very close to your ears, ouchie. Mister Brad Pitt required surgery after doing a scene in Seven, where his arm went through a car’s windshield, which was not in the script– they wrote it in afterwards. And finally a lady! Nicole Kidman broke and/ or fractured two ribs and seriously injured her knee whilst filming the spectacular film Moulin Rouge! Almost all her scenes after had to be filmed with her seated in a chair following the injuries, you get fictional doughnuts sent to you if you can point out all those scenes to me and the world at large. George (Fucking) Clooney broke his spine whilst filming little seen, but totally worth seeing, Syriana, seriously see it. Oh, and another lady! Halle Barry has suffered multiple injuries on multiple sets, several of which required schedules to be greatly altered so she could heal– let’s just rename her Halle (Accident Prone) Berry, okay? But most notably, and most tragically– Brandon Lee died of a gunshot wound on the set of the film The Crow in 1994.
Them There Eyes
We’d love to pretend that everyone who ends up on this site is looking for comedy, opinions, and inspirations revolving around The Hunger Games… but we also know that isn’t always the case!
Every once in a while, we break down the searches that have lead people to our site. What we typically find is an unfiltered boatload of pure CRAZY. The times have changed with the release of Catching Fire, but the number of fans who probably need some sort of mental evaluation has not!
To repeat, people have actually searched these phrases and found their way to Victor’s Village within the last 7 days.
katniss everdeen’s pregnancy pictures - AKA let’s photoshop Jennifer Lawrence’s face onto the bodies of pregnant women because THAT’S NOT FREAKING CREEPY!
what would finnick name his daughter - He doesn’t have one. But if he did, he would call her Marjorie. DUH.
jack hutcherson - This world be the parents of the world trying to keep up with actors their kids like. Bless your heart for trying!
slag heap hunger games - Anyone who knows the books knows they person was probably looking for dirty fanfiction, but we’ve gotta give them credit for attempting to be subtle! Compared to search terms like “Katniss Peeta kinky sex”, this person is a lady/gentleman.
obama president snow - No matter what problems you may have with the current president (or any president throughout history, really), NO LEADER in the US is at President Snow’s level. Slow your roll.
johanna mason naked wrestling - The most nudity you see out of Jena Malone in Catching Fire is her exposed back, yet quite a few people (via various similar search terms) seem to think there’s a secret corner of the internet where she’s flaunting at all for the camera, sometimes while wrestling other naked people. But is it Jell-o wrestling? Otherwise, we’re not down.
hammer catfights - WHAT? What does this even consist of?! Two chicks fighting with hammers?!
do the victors in catching fire have talents? - They do! Several, actually. One of them is called “Reading”. You should try it!
peeta gay - Yup. Because if a man is compassionate, sensitive, and understanding, he must also want to be with other dudes. Way to subvert those gender stereotypes! Your parents must be proud!
how does katniss react to prims death.org - One of many in our “Give me the answers to my homework!” category. It’s the random .org at the end that kills us! DO YOUR HOMEWORK AND READ THE DAMN BOOKS, KID! THEY’RE FUCKING AWESOME.
scarf thingy that can be a dress from the movie - You think you can also wear that thing as a dress?! It has no bottom half. You go upstairs and change this instant, young lady!
what is the correlation between cats and the hunger games – Secretly, cats are the evil overlords controlling Snow and running The Hunger Games. They rigged the reaping ball to pick Prim’s name to get back at their one defector, Buttercup. Meow, bitches!
discounted cardboard cutout of jennifer lawrence bikini - General character cutouts are expected searches. Even general actor cutouts. But Jen in a bikini? This is a prop request for a sad, sad person who spends a lot of time alone in their room.
mockingjay attractive hijacked peeta - We’re sorry… you think Peeta is attractive after he gets hijacked? And you want more information on that? WE CAN’T EVEN.
There Is No Hope For You, Internet. We Love You Anyway.
The Girl With The Pearl
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