A tragedy occurred last Friday in Santa Barbara, CA. And per usual, rather than turning this into an opportunity to have a national discussion about issues like caring for the mentally disturbed and gun control (especially in this case, where the gunman, Elliot Rodger, has a known history of mental illness stretching back to his childhood, yet still had no trouble registering three guns), the media looks for someone to blame.
Conveniently enough for the media, Elliott Rodger is the son of the one of the second unit directors on The Hunger Games, Peter Rodger. So instead of even attempting intellectual analysis, we get this:
Blaming Hollywood, particularly movies that feature any sort of violence, is the oldest trick in the book. In this case, it meshes so well with the “Blame the parents! He must have been raised wrong!” excuse that everyone goes to as a secondary means of blame (not to say there’s never any legitimacy in that argument, but we don’t know details here) that the sensationalist math was just too easy to compute: If the father played a part in creating a movie that contains violence, that MUST have played a part in making the son violent!
Never mind that The Hunger Games series intends to show the terrifying, raw wrongness of such violence and its general acceptance in society. Never mind that Elliott probably wouldn’t be the type to support a strong female heroine fending for herself and eventually overpowering an oppressive male figure, given the disturbing, misogynistic manifesto he’d been writing for the past three years and the video explaining his plans for revenge against women. He certainly didn’t take in the message of doing everything you can to protect the ones you love, as his loved ones will now be shamed and broken for the rest of their lives because of his purely selfish actions.
So is the media really going to argue that he missed everything else that the film was about and went straight to the killing part? REALLY?!
Also, we’re not film experts, but we’re pretty sure the 2nd unit directors take care of all the cutaways and scenic or stunt shots that don’t involve the core cast. The principal cast did almost all their own stunt work in the first film, so that would’ve been handled by Gary Ross. The only time something violent occurs in a “second unit” setting is the District 11 riot, which was directed by Steven Soderbergh, not Peter Rodger. So the father in question was responsible for approximately zero percent of the violence relayed on screen.
Of course, The Hunger Games isn’t the whole brunt of the media blame game. Hollywood in general has been picked at a lot here. The Washington Post went so far as to blame Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow for starring in/creating movies in which a socially awkward, “shlubby” underdog manages to enter or maintain a relationship with a hot female because it promotes wish fulfillment and entitlement. Personally, we’re calling bullshit on this too. Anyone with a steady head on their shoulders understands that romantic comedies or dramadies, in fact movies in general, are not the stuff by which real life is measured and does not represent everyday interactions. Anyone who doesn’t recognize this probably has what Elliott Rodger did— more profound mental issues that need to be addressed. Of course, nobody will simply consider mental illness because, as Judd Apatow pointed out, that doesn’t sell papers. (The irony being that the attention that one gets from from the media after attempting or committing a killing spree helps perpetuate the cycle of violence. A fact forever lost on the media.)
Let’s Stop With The “Bad Influences” Blame Game,
The Girl With The Pearl
Yes, he got an exciting premiere and a vacation in Hawaii out of it, but this has probably been a bit of a rough week for Sam Claflin.
Why, you ask? He’s been busy promoting his new movie, The Quiet Ones. We’ll even help by throwing in the trailer here:
But there’s not a whole lot of focus on the film at hand. If you’ve been watching the interviews, you know what we mean. There’s four questions tops that most media sites bother asking Sam:
1. So what’s this movie about?
2. It’s scary! What scares you?
3. How was all the 70s costuming?
4. Catching Fire! Mockingjay! Finnick! TELL US MORE.
We should note that it’s definitely not Sam-clusive. We know the same thing happened to Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth when they promoted other films, even on The Academy Awards red carpet. And in a way, we feel a little bad for them. We’re sure they don’t mind talking about The Hunger Games, but it must make them feel like their projects outside the series are pretty inconsequential in the eyes of the public (as we are represented by the media. Horrifying, isn’t it?!)
Of course, it doesn’t necessarily help that The Quiet Ones is a Lionsgate property and some of their advertising looks like this:
Now the young and/or easily confused among us Hunger Games fans believe Finnick has taken up a time-warp side job of filming supernatural phenomena! Not really… we hope.
We get it, interviewers ’round the world. The Hunger Games is a <strong>really big freaking deal</strong> and the fact that these actors are in the franchise is part of the reason why many fans will go see their other films in the first place. But let’s take it one film at a time.
We all know you’re going to ask Sam the same slew of exhausting questions once promotion for Mockingjay: Part 1 rolls around, so why not ask them then? Do you really think he’ll give you some crazy scoop in the meantime? Doubtful!
In the meantime, please try to come up with some creative questions surround the movie the actor in question is actually promoting. We know it’s not as big of a media draw, but this is something of value to them that they put work into, even if it’s not a major blockbuster. Give em some credit there! We’ll get back to Mockingjay en masse later!
He Sported That Hairdo, So Sam Deserves Credit!
The Girl With The Pearl
FANDOM: Some people just don’t get it. Or they get some fandoms, but perhaps not yours. Sometimes it’s just a little faux pas that’s a whole ton of hilarious.
The MTV Movie Awards were pretty uninteresting and uneventful this year despite plenty of Hunger Games WINNING (Jen for Best Female Performance, Josh for Best Male Performance, and Catching Fire for Movie of the Year!) Perhaps the most amusing moment of the night came just after Josh gave his first acceptance speech:
JUST LOOK AT JOSH’S FACE. LOOK AT IT!
Yes, there’s not that much of a difference between The Hunger Games and The Hunter Games. It could have been a slip of the tongue, because we doubt Cameron Diaz lives under a rock THAT big. But it’s not the first time we’ve heard someone say “The Hunter Games”.
There’s a chronic thing among people who just don’t get the series:
They can only manage one of the two words.
Either “Hunger” is replaced with any two syllable word ending in -er, or “Games” is replaced with a kinda sorta rhyming word.
The Hunter Games. The Hunger Dames. The Bunker Games. The Hunger Pains. And these are people genuinely suggesting this is the title. It’s exhausting.
We’re sure you’ve heard some good ones too. Even people who enjoy the series (but aren’t super enthusiastic about it) do this on occasion. It’s like a disease! As fans, we’ve gotten used to this ridiculousness, but perhaps it can be cured.
That’s right: They got a fever and the only cure is more Hunger Games. If we all reach out, maybe we can save them from their embarrassing, grievous misnomers!
Advocating, Annoying… What’s The Difference, Really?
The Girl With The Pearl
Another day, and also it’s another day without any Mockingjay news to speak of. Or, no legitimate Mockingjay news, because if you know me, you know I’d prefer to not give paparazzi shots, or trumped-up rumors that much credence, or any modicum of my precious time. So, what’s there to discuss today if there’s nothing Mockingjay related happening in our little corner of the world? Um, well how about we pick up where JJ took off yesterday, yep– where she ripped the concept, and the news that the last book in the Divergent series is too, just like Harry Potter, and Twilight, and The Hunger Games– is being split into two films as opposed to one. Let’s pretend we’re living in an alternate universe for a second or two? And in this world The Hunger Games franchise is going just as well as it has been, but instead of splitting the last installment of the book series into two, that they’re keeping it a singular film?
What would a single film for Mockingjay be like? That’s where my mind’s at right now. When the news broke years ago that Mockingjay was getting the Harry Potter/ Twilight treatment I disapproved, I said it was about making more money not about the story. However I came around, and now I’m struck thinking what would happen to the story of Mockingjay if it was adapted as one film? The word that comes to
mind first is the word “truncated”. I know how I’ve felt before when seeing favorite novels of mine adapted into film, and seemingly half the story is missing. I’m serious, I can think of two great novels where the film adaptations quite literally left out entire, great, all-encompassing chunks of the story. For Example: East of Eden, the 1955 adaptation directed by Elia Kazan. It’s touted as a masterpiece, as well as being one of the three films James Dean starred in before his untimely death at 25. What’s missing though is the disheartening fact that the film starts the story’s original narrative in the last third of the story. Yep, they started the film at the back end of the story, and did they backtrack and fill in the gaps? Not really, nope. Second example I can think of I’m actually happy to state that I’m happy with: The Cider House Rules (1999), is a gem of a book to film adaptation, not only because the film stays true to the novel it’s based on, but because the essence of it, even though entire sequences, years even of the story are cut– but, because it worked. Why I think it worked though is this: The screenplay was adapted and written by John Irving, the man who wrote the novel The Cider House Rules. Aye there’s the rub.
Truncated is the word we’re still fixated on, got it? East of Eden and Cider House Rules are perfect examples in my opinion, of films adapted from great novels that used the editing process to both enhance, and well– alter a story to the unfortunate point of dilution. Mockingjay if it was made into a singular film adaptation I feel in my heart of hearts would suffer the poor treatment of East of Eden, edited to the point of scant recognition. What would be taken away though? First, and the most sad– Buttercup. I believe Buttercup would be cut out of the story almost completely. And judging from all the tweeting the executive producer, Nina Jacobson has been doing featuring the cat portraying Buttercup– his being cut would leave us as a fandom with even less to grasp onto during this news drought. Second: Say good-bye to possibly another one of Katniss’ friends being omitted! Who would it be though? Delly’s probably cut anyway, and Madge is a ghost, or Taylor Swift, that leaves someone from the Capitol! Flavius? Octavia? Venia? Well, Venia may have been cut anyway, and I don’t think we’re going to cry into our cereal over that, are we? Are we?! Hm, what else? Welp, I think realistically the world building would go out the window? I mean sure, there would be some– but it would be very loose, and not wide and expansive. I basically think we’d get the same amount of world building that we got in The Hunger Games, and then go on our merry disgruntled way wishing there was just, well… more. Thank god we’re getting two films, all’s I’m saying.
Now, someone pitch East of Eden to HBO so we can get a mini series out of that masterpiece of a novel, and cast someone hot like Timothy Olyphant as Adam Trask!
Them There Eyes
OMG OMG OMG YOU GUYS! DO YOU KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING! IT’S BIG! IT’S EXCITING! IT’S TOTALLY NOT CONFIRMED OR EVEN HINTED AT BUT WHATEVS!
“THE REBELLION” IS TOTALLY GOING TO HACK THE MTV MOVIE AWARDS WITH NEW MOCKINGJAY STUFF!
At least that’s what the Internet speculates. Who cares if the sources aren’t at all reliable? It’s on the Internet! If it’s on the Internet, it’s totally true!!!1!11!
Okay, maybe that last statement isn’t totally true… but I’m writing this on the Internet, so I’m not really sure what to believe. It’s like a puzzle covered in an enigma swathed in mystery wrapped in bacon. Anyway…
It would definitely be cool to use the “hacking” angle to promote Mockingjay in all its glory. Do we think it will actually happen? Probably not this time. See, when MTV has something special, even if it’s “secret”, they tend to promote the hell outta that bitch through copious hint-dropping and rumors about appearances. Remember Beyonce’s “secret” VMA performance a couple years ago? Was it really secret to anyone?
But the thing is, these hints aren’t coming from MTV. They’re mores coming from hopeful Hunger Games conspiracy theorist fans on social media. That’s not to say they’re never right, but there’s usually something else to back it up.
So before you go placing all bets on Sunday, remember that there’s still quite a ways ’til November and there’s still filming going on. We imagine Francis Lawrence would kinda sorta REALLY want to oversee the production of the first trailer (we want that too!) and he’s a liiiiiittle too busy for that at the moment.
It’s not that The Hunger Games promotion won’t be handled quite extensively by MTV. We’re sure it will. Commercials? Definitely. Sneak peeks that we’ll have to sit through some horrible MTV original show to see? Certainly. The Mockingjay special with cast interviews? Inevitable. Just not right now.
We’re not gonna sit in front of our televisions this Sunday, MTV. It’s nothing personal. You’ll get our ratings some other day.
If We’re Wrong, That’s What DVRs Are For,
The Girl With The Pearl
OMG MOCKINGJAY PHOTO!
Okay, it’s not official, but it’s still pretty freaking stellar.
Laura Simpson, aka Jennifer Lawrence’s BFFL who went to the Oscars to support Jen and spent a decent chunk of it at the bar with Jen’s dad (for which we already love her), posted up a photo of herself and Josh Hutcherson on the Mockingjay set.
PEETA! He’s back! …And he got the shizz beat outta him!
Observe the black eye, the burned and bruised chest, and the locket! Oh, the locket! Of course, this is not DURING actual filming because Josh is in a gym sweatshirt, but a scene was either being prepped or just finished.
What does it meeeeean?!
Most likely, we’re talking District 13 scenes, post-hijacking. Josh is wearing THE LOCKET. You know the one! The Capitol wouldn’t be letting Peeta hold onto that. He’s got himself a partially-healed shiner too. Unless Peeta gets roughed up by Katniss or Gale or maybe even Boggs in a newly added scene (though we doubt it, because that’s just asking for THE ATTACK OF THE FANGIRLSSSS), he’s still sporting that injury from the Capitol. He’s also got extensive scarring on his chest from Capitol torture, right? This could be batshit crazy hijacked Peeta!
… At least, that’s the popular theory. BUT WE HAVE ANOTHER!
Remember when Nina Jacobson told us Buttercup was back on set? JJ thought it was time for “She’s dead, you stupid cat!” and thus the ending scenes to be filmed. We think she’s totally right! Peeta just proves it.
The shattered remnants of Star Squad 451 reach the Capitol Square. They’ve been put through hell and are likely bruised and bloodied. When the bomb detonates, both Katniss and Peeta are burned extensively. Assuming we skip over or even speed up the imprisonment and trial of Katniss Everdeen and ship her back to District 12, she’d be there in a few weeks, shortly followed by Peeta. Remember when he gets back?
“He looks well. Thin and covered with burn scars like me, but his eyes have lost that clouded, tortured look.”
Peeta, with treacherous burn scars across his body. Peeta, possibly still sporting a black eye from the battle in the Capitol. Peeta, wearing the locket that ties him to Katniss, still caring about her no matter what they’ve both done during the war. Peeta, planting evening primroses.
Aaaaaand of course, we could be totally wrong. This could be anywhere, at any time. But a fangirl can dream!
We’re Just Assuming Peeta Is Not In Total Distress Because His Hair Is Still PERFECT,
The Girl With The Pearl
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
We’re anticipating lots from the Catching Fire DVD, but we know we aren’t going to get everything. Even in the Special Editions!
Oh no! We won’t see all the good until well after Mockingjay Part 2 hits DVD when Lionsgate decides to release THE HUNGER GAMES FULL SERIES SPECIAL DIAMOND MAC DADDY EDITION.
We predict that will be the actual name, btw.
But in the meantime, Lionsgate is throwing us a bone by including SOME deleted scenes in DVDs on March 7th. Let’s take a look at those (thanks to Panem Propaganda):
THE HOB – SCENE 8 (00:21) – A short scene with Gale and Katniss at The Hob.
TRAIN STATION – SCENE 62 (00:23) – Katniss comes back from the victory tour and tells Prim and her mother they need to leave District 12.
A WRINKLE – SCENE 81 (01:42) President Snow talks to Plutarch Heavensbee about Jabberjays. Extended scene.
SWITCHING ENVELOPES – SCENE 84 (01:04) Plutarch Heavensbee switches Quarter Quell envelopes and destroys the original envelope.
FINNICK TIES THE KNOT – SCENE 119 (00:56) Finnick Odair teaches Katniss to tie knots in the training center.
You mean we finally get to see the knot tying scene that everyone who hasn’t read the books flipped out about?! It was one of the first stills we got, and it DOES look like Finnick is trying to get all up in Katniss’ training suit. We’re speculating, but all the movie only fans going “OMG THERE BETTER NOT BE THIS SLEAZY GUY AND SOME FREAKY LOVE POLYGON GOING ON IN THIS MOVIE” might have had something to do with the scene being cut. Finnick is supposed to be intensely likable! Still, a look at Finnick oozing bravado now that everyone knows about his soft candy center is much appreciated.
Snow and Plutarch scenes are the longest, but what else would you expect? Their characters were tasked with most of the back story and political tension in Catching Fire. Oh, and it’s DONALD SUTHERLAND and PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN (who will be bittersweet to watch, but we’re glad it’s there). We imagine Francis had to find the balance between displaying the powers that be and turning half of CF into The Snow and Heavensbee Hour.
The other two scenes in District 12 are essentially cutaway scenes that likely weren’t deemed necessary.
BUT…BUT… BUT BUT… What about all the other stuff we saw? What about the scenes Lionsgate showed us and Francis talked about?
What about Peeta painting with the morphling?! Or Plutarch and Haymitch in slightly comical outfits together?! Or the pocket watch take of Plutarch’s introduction that was filmed but wasn’t used? Again, we understand that some things must be saved for the SUPER FLY LIMITED EDITION, but does it have to be the stuff that’s already been seen, discussed, and (perhaps unintentionally) teased? We knoooooooow they’re around somewhere! Will we somehow get a peak in the next two years?!
Lionsgate, we know you can make it happen! Because you love us. And because we’ve made you lots of money. And we’ll probably still buy your COLLECTORS KILLER MINT EDITION, anyway.
Oh-So-Many DVD Editions!
The Girl With The Pearl
Oh, the Olympics! When several countries from across the globe come together to settle who’s better once and for all. At least as far as certain bouts of athleticism go!
And this year, things seem very Hunger Games-y. With a fine sprinkling of Rocky IV in the margins, because who can resist a good Ivan Drago reference? Seriously, though!
Exhibit A: The Tribute Olympic Parade Escorts
Who knew Effie had so many co-workers?!
Between the giant decorative headpieces and the torso accessories, these women are clearly straight out of the Capitol. Not to mention how smiley they are as they escort most of these athletes toward likely defeat!
Exhibit B: The Stylist Waz Here
Yes, the Olympic games always involved countries entering in their own unique outfits. But every time, they seem to get more and more outrageous. Some countries were normal, but the USA went for that kitsch “panel sweater knitted by Great Grandma” look while Russia looked like one of those Santa Claus themed charity runs people do around the holidays. Also, Bermuda showed up on blazers and Bermuda shorts because DUH! THE NAME HAS BERMUDA IN IT and we just… can’t even… WHY? *facepalm*
Exhibit C: The Welcome
Let’s face it, Vladimir Putin didn’t look particularly happy to be hosting this shindig.
Exhibit D: Sponsorship
There are A LOT of people who have a lot of money invested in the Olympic games. While some governments do produce financial backing to help their athletes attend the games and the competitions leading up to them, many countries including the United States leave their athletes dependent on corporate sponsorship (unless they come from very wealthy families). If they want to compete, they have to win over the sponsors by emulating their perfect little competitor. Someone fierce yet lovable with an excellent shot at winning.
So you know how you get really, really sick of seeing athletes in ridiculous amounts of commercials surrounding the Olympics? They’re sick of it too! We all have something in common!
Exhibit E: The Careers
While it’s not true of all athletes, it seems quite a few were born into their sport. Why do you think so many siblings compete together? Their parents had this life planned out for them since they were in the womb. They trained relentlessly, starting at a very young age. It was a full time job even then. They were raised believing that Olympic gold was the major goal of their lifetime. These aren’t just people who want to win, these are people who have kind of been trained to believe they’ve failed their country if they don’t win. (Here’s a great article by former luge competitor Samantha Retrosi on this.)
On The Upside, There’s No Murder!
The Girl With The Pearl
Big news from Elizabeth Banks… and it’s aca-awesome!
No, it’s not the Catching Fire DVD date announcement, though that was definitely pleasant. It’s the news that she’ll be directing her full-length feature film with Pitch Perfect 2!
Why is this a big deal? Elizabeth Banks has directed two short films and a movie “segment” in Movie 43, but she’s never really been able to sink her teeth into a project like this where she was entrenched in several elements and responsible for the overall feel of the film. She produced and starred in the first Pitch Perfect movie and she promoted it very enthusiastically. Partially because it was a limited release, partially because she just thought it was that awesome. That first project was like her baby and we have no doubt that she’s even more invested this time around.
Oh, and did we mention that the first movie was great? If “snarky musical comedy” sounds like a genre you would enjoy, we totally suggest you watch this movie about a college freshman who reluctantly joins a struggling acapella group. Though she’s not featured prominently, Elizabeth Banks, who plays an ex-acapella star turned competition commentator, is silly comedy gold! It really shows that she can be all different kinds of hilarious on screen, as Gail and Effie’s quirky lines are nothing alike but still funny in both cases.
So far, the details on the second Pitch Perfect film are under wraps, but this really seems like Elizabeth’s territory. Though much more subtle than some, she’s a top notch comedienne (and an important part of comedy, we think, is knowing when to pull back the ridiculousness, which she’s always done well.) The first movie left expectations high, but she look forward to Elizabeth baring her soul behind the scenes and getting some Hollywood street cred for it!
Looking Forward To Some Aca-Awkward Moments On Screen,
The Girl With The Pearl