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
Now that we’ve all reveled in THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE several times, it’s time for Victor’s Village’s infamous reaction post!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with our reaction posts, our three admins in a chat get together and say anything and everything we feel about the topic at hand… and it gets pretty damn hilarious, if we do say so ourselves!
This post is also long, mostly hidden under the READ MORE cut, and contains ALL THE SPOILERS. Beware!
THE FIVE WORD CHALLENGE
The Girl With The Pearl: Since we made our readers answer this: Give an overall review in FIVE WORDS or less!
Them There Eyes: Not the Hunger Games, bitches. Sorry, was channeling Spike from Buffy.
Twiffidy: Oh no this is hard.
TGWTP: Mine is turning out to just be “Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!” That could be taken several different ways.
Twiffidy: Spectacular with all the feels.
DRUNK HAYMITCH AND EFFIE’S ALIEN BABIES
TGWTP: And said feelings start with some MAJOR character development? Whose was your favorite?
Them There Eyes: I think everyone got an ample amount of character development, even Buttercup. But, I think I’m going to have to go with Effie!
Twiffidy: Effie for sure. I mean, they did finally say her name!
TGWTP: Buttercup was so very… orange! T’was lovely.
TGWTP: I agree Effie takes the cake. We finally get to see the pure Capitol in her that was downplayed before AND a more sensitive side!
Twiffidy: When it comes to Effie, I was relieved to see her humanized.
Them There Eyes: Effie crying was like watching an alien have a baby, and then you cry… because it had a baby.
TGWTP: Somehow, that description works. LOL
Them There Eyes: Okay, now we have to talk about how the joke could finally be made! “Go home Haymitch, you’re drunk.”
TGWTP: YES. He was ACTUALLY DRUNK.
Them There Eyes: Really drunk! I’ve never been so glad to see a man drunk before in my life!
Twiffidy: That entire scene like a slice out of my imagination when I read the books
Them There Eyes: I know! Right down to the bread, and the “burrrr!”
Twiffidy: He was the right amount of drunk from how the books describes without being too comical.
TGWTP: For sure! It’s a hard line to walk, but Woody knows what he’s doing.
Them There Eyes: Still made me wish for Drunk!Haymitch from THG, falling off the stage at the Reaping. I hope non book fans aren’t too surprised by his sudden change from social drinker to rubbing alcohol pilferer.
TGWTP: And you know what? Peeta was manned up! And it wasn’t some massive dissolution of his character like people made it out to be. Quelle surprise!
Them There Eyes: I know, just seemed like a boy grew up after he saw some pretty horrible things, and… also had his heart broken.
Twiffidy: Yes, it’s understated but that’s how it appeared to me. I’m a big fan of Peeta’s journey through this movie.
Them There Eyes: I loved Peeta, I had Peeta feels for days after seeing it… also sleep deprivation. People change, Peeta’s one of those people.
TGWTP: Peeta Mellark is the ninja-silent emo badass of Panem, though for good reason.
Twiffidy: It’s important to realize that this is the Peeta that Katniss will miss in Mockingjay.
TGWTP: URGH MOCKINGJAY. MY HEART IS NOT READY.
Them There Eyes: My body is.
Twiffidy: I almost involuntarily squeak out “No!” at that final look at Peeta as Katniss leaves with the wire. Every. Time.
TGWTP: I understand. It’s “Don’t do it, idiot! I know what happens and you don’t want that shit!”
Twiffidy: I’VE SEEN YOUR FUTURE AND IT IS BLEAK.
We won’t talk about the movie! We won’t talk about the movie! Won’t talk about it! Won’t! But OH MY GOODNESS, WE WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE MOVIE. Some of you are seeing it right now (!!!!!!!!) and others are on their way to the theater soon, so we’ll keep our mouths zipped until then!
So let’s talk about something awesome, but also less spoiler-y. We attended the freaking Catching Fire premiere!
The title quote came from a teenage boy we encountered while walking from our hotel to Nokia LA Live, where Catching Fire Fan Camp was held, in our Victor’s Village t-shirts. We were less than a mile away, but apparently if you’re less than a few blocks away, you’re in an interesting section of town! Who knew? However, it may have been worth it for that quote!
Without getting into too much detail (because other VV writers will later), Fan Camp was a blast! I met both Them There Eyes and Twiffidy, along with several other fansite friends, for the very first time and all of them were incredibly fun! It feels so good to geek out with others who understand what it’s all about.
And then… PREMIERE DAY!
Let’s preface this by reminding everyone that I am from Boston. The city may get referred to as “Hollywood East” thanks to all the recent filming in the area, but what happened on November 18 felt just about as far from my hometown state-of-mind as I could get.
For starters, we had our own prep team! We headed to Capella Salon in Studio City, where Tate, Brendan, and Tina, the very talented friends of Amie and Sheila from HG Girl on Fire, made us premiere ready. It was all very Capitol, which I chose to embrace it for the day and just allow myself to get girly! Mostly because it’s kind of nice to have someone mold your unruly hair into perfection and then declare it “so Hunger Games.” I HAVE MY WEAKNESSES.
This was quickly followed by that dress I begged my fashionable friend to help me shop for before leaving and my killer red heels– No seriously, when I woke up to catch my flight home on Wednesday, I was pretty certain I would being losing my right foot in the name of the Catching Fire premiere.
We were asked to take part in the Yahoo! Catching Fire livestream, which seemed really cool even though we didn’t quite know what it entailed. Turns out not having your phone on the red carpet for security purposes and not knowing exactly where to meet Lionsgate reps to go on air don’t mix well, but after half-running around a building in said killer heels, we made it into the red carpet! There’s I proceeded to do the “I don’t know what to do with my hands” dance in front of an international audience at about the 7 minute mark. The questions were mostly what I expected them to be, which is pretty simplistic as to not be spoiler-filled. It’s hard not to look like a vapid fangirl when answering those types of questions, but we pulled it off okay!
SKIPPING THE MOVIE. Because because because I have to. I’m doing this for your own good!
The after party. It was something out of this world. Them There Eyes always says “If you’re going to go Capitol, GO CAPITOL.” Well, they listened. The party took place in a giant tent with the Mockingjay symbol lit up on top. The entrance was a red carpet surrounded by timpani drummers like those used during the Tribute Parade scene. Lights shined down and danced around the room. White roses floated in massive glass columns and lined the walls in fancy bouquets. For a better visual, check out this video!
I spent most of the after party gawking alongside Arianna and Aldrin of Down With The Capitol. At one point, we realized we were a few feet away from Francis Lawrence. We wanted to thank him, but there’s this funny thing in Hollywood where almost everyone but us had no real problem interrupting his previous conversation to grab him and start a new one. We literally stood two feet from Francis for about 20 minutes before getting a chance to say something without completely interrupting a previous conversation, which could have been with studio reps, for all we know. We thanked him for the what he did with the movie (we think we will too, once you see it!) and he seemed so genuinely pleased to hear we liked it, which was brilliant.
Also stopping to have a brief chat with Francis was Alan Ritchson. To confirm all your suspicions: Yes. He is, in fact, a real life Ken doll. It’s like he’s right out of Life-Size, guys!
We caught Bruno Gunn by the bar, where he was drinking water and I was drinking liquid courage. He talked to us about loving the books and why he chooses to be so active among the fans. It comes down to this: This man really recognizes what a wonderful, unique experience this is and he wants to delve into every moment of it. He was so enthusiastic about the fan base that it kind of blew my mind. It’s not something you see everyday.
Then we saw the crowd. There were two couches forming a circle and in the middle of it all, Sam Claflin. But not just Sam! He was accompanied by Stef Dawson, who will play Annie in the Mockingjay films! For the record, Stef is so small and adorable. She looks so young that I maaaaaay have mistaken her for some rich execs’ little daughter at first. Shhhhhh! But she was just about the sweetest thing ever and now we’re even more excited to see her in Mockingjay!
It took a lot of patience, but eventually we were able to snap a photo with them and talk. Poor Sam was obviously exhausted, but he handled the social aspects like a champ: Talking about the movie, giving love to the fanbase on behalf of the whole cast and telling us how bummed he was that we couldn’t meet the other leads (who were whisked away to promotional gigs on the other side of the country almost immediately after finishing with the red carpet). He joked about not being hot enough, to which Amie calmly replied “I’m going to give you a minute to take that back.” I admitted to him that some parts of the movie had me physically shaking (a bit embarrassing, in hindsight) and he cheered “Then we did our job!”
We know that celebrities are just people, but they’re people who don’t normally talk to me. So it was really freaking cool and also surprisingly intimidating, even though they’re all really nice.
We didn’t find out until after the fact that Suzanne Collins was also in attendance. From wherever you are reading this right now, you can probably hear our hearts breaking into a thousand tiny pieces. She’s the one person we REALLY need to thank, since she inspired all this from the very beginning. We think she already knows, though.
We get jaded about the fandom sometimes, we’ll admit it! It’s not perfect, for sure, but we are so damn lucky to be a part of it. Not just because of “perks” like these, but because the fansites were able to share it all together. This fandom has so many amazing people in it. Some of them are (semi) untouchable actors, sure. But some of them are you and I.
Thanks For Always Making This Worth It,
The Girl With The Pearl
P.S. There’s a couple more after party photos under the cut!
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 email@example.com! 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
Catching Fire press overload has begun! BRING IT, BABY!
We know that it can be daunting for some, but we personally love soaking in all the teasers before the movie actually hits theaters. Most fans will turn around in a week and say “It feels like we’ve seen half the movie already!” Well, ya haven’t and you’ll realize that once you get out the theater!
As much as we love interviews, we’re in it for the REAL goods… That’s right: CLIPS. Sweet, delicious angst-dipped morsels of movie magic! Unlike trailers, it’s more than 5 seconds per shot and you really get to feel the moment!
We’ve been graced with two clips in the last couple days. Now let’s get together and drool over them!
Clip #1 – “You Do What You Want. I’m Staying Here.”
As introduced by Hemsy and The Chin (after confirming that Liam does not, in fact, have sex with kangaroos), clip #1 shows Katniss and Gale debating whether or not to run away from District 12.
Gale doesn’t seem as fervently anti-Capitol in his pursuits to protect the districts as he is in the books. Perhaps the raging ripping off of leather gloves just didn’t have the same effect on screen?! But alas, the cross-marketing opportunity of Gale angrily turning away Capitol Couture products has been missed! Forever sad! Then again, this obviously isn’t the WHOLE scene, just a pretty chunk.
But for real, guys… Katniss effing Everdeen. She doesn’t want anyone looking to her! She can’t help them! And we totally believe her helplessness in that moment, even though we know she’s dead wrong in the long run.
That girl had our emotions all in a tizzy until our attentions were turned to the Capitol brigade and their gas-guzzling ways!
Also, we feel like we should be writing free verse poetry about the gray barrenness of District 12… and possibly these characters’ lives. Just because.
Clip #2 – “This Trip Doesn’t End When You Go Back Home.”
Damn Haymitch! Time for three snaps in Z formation as you tell these n00b victors what it’s all about! Winning The Hunger Games is (usually) a one-time deal, but being a victor is FOR-EV-ER.
Note that both Haymitch and Peeta are not in the loop about Katniss’ debacle in film world, which probably means Peeta doesn’t have a massive meltdown about being kept in the dark all the time. But he still seems pretty damn pissed, which gives us a look at the appropriately bolder Peeta that’s more in line with the books.
Meanwhile, Jennifer Lawrence is really good at crying. She cries on cue like a boss! And it’s tearing up our hearts into little teeny shreds! Katniss will be emotionally shot for 90% of this movie, which means we will be too. Dammit!
Only One More Thing We Need… MOAR CLIPS!
The Girl With The Pearl
Katniss, Peeta, and Haymitch Clip
Facebook Live Event
Jennifer Lawrence and Francis Lawrence Tumblr Chat
Yesterday morning, Victor’s Village and a whole bunch of fansite friends got the chance to interview Sam Claflin and Jena Malone via phone!
If you’ve ever questioned these two in their roles, we can officially tell you not to worry about it. Sam Claflin is beyond charming. He talked about the love of his life so much that our hearts melted. Srsly quise, it was adorbs. And it was so very Finnick Odair! Jena Malone is small and cute, but there’s also a fierce passion in her that lets us know she’ll bring out the best (and by “best”, we may mean “worst”) parts of Johanna Mason.
They were unbelievably sweet, especially considering that they were probably woken up at the crack of dawn to get ready for the Philadelphia stop of the Victory Tour and 7 out of 10 sites asked them how they were because it’s habit and it’s the polite thing to do, okay?! The interview itself ran a little long, so each site only had a chance for one question. But in the post-interview downtime, Sam and Jena sang “Happy Birthday” to Samantha from Panem Propaganda, because her birthday was Saturday and hey, they could. Yeah, we’re kinda TOTALLY smitten.
So now that they gushing is done, on to the interview! Please note that a large portion of the interview is under the READ MORE link!
Sam, fans have followed the casting with a lot of attention to detail, and Annie Cresta was not cast until you guys had wrapped Catching Fire, so without an actress in that role, did you find it difficult to draw from Finnick’s relationship with her in the Catching Fire arena and if so how did you overcome that?
Sam: I definitely see where you are coming from. No, but I don’t feel like without a picture in my head, as an actor I necesarily needed that to draw from, if you know what I mean. Obviously from personal experience, I am married and there for my wife was my kind of experience that I could draw from. You know, the love of my life and all that. So I didn’t necessarily need an actress or an image of a person to emotionally inform me, if that makes sense. Definitely I am very excited to get started with Steph Dawson, who is playing Annie Cresta. Finnick spends so much time in the arena, away from her, focusing on mainly protecting Katniss. I don’t feel that it affected my performance necessarily during Catching Fire.
#2 HG Movie Site
When you become part of the cast for a franchise as big as the Hunger Games, with such a big fanbase is there a pressure to please a lot of people or do you find that it’s easier when there is already millions of people that love it?
Jena: Well it’s kind of a give and take. I think luckily Sam and I – Sam if I could just speak for you – we were both such fans of the series anyway, that coming in with such love and appreciation for the project, such passion for a project it only propels you forward knowing that there is 100,000 people out there that has the same love and passion. Of course it’s a little terrifying in the morning when you want to make sure that you are getting it right. But fortunately books are two dimensional beings and films are a three dimensional format. We were building things in a whole new way. So there is no way to get it like the book in every way, because books are two dimensional. We are building blood and love and sweat. We’re breathing life into these characters and so I think that they are always going to be better than the books ever imagined them.
#3 Hunger Games Fireside Chat
Over the course of filming, you’ve obviously gotten to spend a lot of time with other members of the cast. Who did you really enjoy hanging out with off set, and are there any close bonds you formed that you think will go beyond the films many years into the future?
Jena: The entire cast is so rad, it’s hard to pick one person. We’ve become such a tight-knit family. I kind of fangirled out over Philip Seymour Hoffman, just a little bit. I mean, he’s been one of my favorites, I don’t know.
Sam: Yeah, we all sort of ended up socializing off set as much as we did on set, and there was a lot of fun to be had. And that all kind of spans back to the fact that Francis was very open to ideas and it made it much more of a collaborative family experience, if that makes sense. There was a lot of misbehaving and mischief caused, but, you know, in a very fun way, and we were all able to kind of focus on the job at hand when we needed to. But yeah, I don’t think there was one person I disliked, and if I did, I’d be sure to tell you! (laughter) Actually, I’m not a big fan of Jena, Jena Malone.
Jena: …Jina Mahone or something? She’s a crazer.
Sam: But we all got along like a house on fire. You can’t help but really admire an experience like that really.
Read the rest of this entry
Monkey mutts and jabberjays and blistering fog, oh my!
We’re heading into the area for the final Catching Fire trailer and #TickTock5! It’s definitely something to get excited about!
You can see all the #TickTock moments so far on The Hunger Games Explorer!