We’ve got a good long couple of months to go until Mockingjay Part 1 is released in theatres across the world, so until the day comes when we can all sit back, and cry into our over sized soda cups, whilst sitting in a large dark room with a crowd of strangers– a select few will be privy to the joy of seeing Sam Claflin AKA Finnick Odair, and Natalie Dormer AKA Cressida in an entire other film together. The Riot Club (previously billed as Posh), is a film that Sam and Natalie filmed back in June of 2013, and it was released in its home country of England just this Friday. So far it’s gotten favorable reviews, and it is also holding strong on RottenTomatoes with a 78%, meaning it’s Fresh by their ratings, and thus not a waste of an afternoon at the cinema.
Let’s see, what should a lay person know about The Riot Club before they step up to the box office, plunk down their cold hard cash, and deem to spend a couple of hours with Natalie Dormer, Sam Claflin, Max Irons, Douglas Booth, and Jessica Brown-Findley (yes, Lady Sybil Crawley is in it). Well, Riot Club is based on a play produced and put on in England in 2010, about a fictional dining club. The Riot Club based on the real life Bullingdon Club, the Riot Club is exclusive, and full up with rich, over privileged, white conservative British young men, all students at Oxford University. It’s the kind of story where you watch fictionalized representatives of future captains of industry, and country leaders, act bombastically, treat women badly, and wholly believe that because of their so-called pedigree they are immune to the consequences of the law and society. It’s young white guys with accents, in suits, fucking up, hurting people, thinking they’re going to get away with it, and in the end probably not. Oh, yeah, and one of those young men happens to be portrayed by Sam Claflin, oh– and Natalie’s playing a Lady of the Night.
Can you tell that I’m wavering on this film? I implore all to just… go rent History Boys, you’ll get less pissed off, and learn who James Corden is, AKA the guy taking over for Craig Ferguson on CBS. Or, if you like being eternally frustrated by the glorification of the upper classes acting like jackasses– g’head, go see Riot Club! Yes, I am judging a film purely on its premise, and its trailer, I cannot help it, there is no release date for the US yet, and therefore I’m a little miffed– I’m just being honest!
Maybe the soundtrack will be good? These Boys-Will-Be-Boys films tend to have good soundtracks.
Them There Eyes
We’ve had some time to stare at every inch of the Mockingjay Part 1 character posters by now. When they first came out (or rather leaked, THIS HAS GOT TO STOP HAPPENING) I wasn’t filled with a whole lot of passion for them, but I told myself that this is somewhat appropriate. Effie’s poster was the only one that gave me some sort of visual surprise because she looks so different from her old self.
These posters are meant to set a mood, and for these six, the mood is pretty somber, no-frills, and grey. I saw some comments that it looked like they were in prison, and well, I won’t argue with that. It’s an accurate interpretation of the book, and I want that. I also know that a lot of thought and care must have gone into the creation of these posters. So I’ll try to dig out a few more hints (For Plutarch and Effie, see TTE’s previous post).
Body positioning immediately stands out, especially when you see all the posters together. Coin and Beetee facing the left, with Plutarch at a kind of lefty-angle. Effie staring head on like she’s getting a mug shot taken. Haymitch and Finnick to the right almost trying to escape off the print. The positioning made me kind of want them to have a “beginning of story” Katniss that is huddled on the floor in the shadows, turned to the right like Haymitch and Finnick. THAT would have been a really dramatic statement, but I suppose they are waiting to debut Katniss in another set of character posters with the field crew (Katniss, Gale, Boggs, Cressida, etc). That miss kind of hurts me though. I would have loved that (Any artistically-minded people, I implore you to create some fanart in that vein).
Dried Out Haymitch
We know there’s no alcohol in District 13, so Haymitch goes through severe alcohol withdrawl, and the pain of that (and everything else) is very clearly etched on his face as he stares down towards the floor. District 13 must have taken pity on the man and allowed him a hat and cardigan to ward off the chill, and in a way hide himself away through clothing. I love this one. Probably because I love Haymitch. It got my coveted phone lock screen spot.
Coin Stands with the Mockingjay
Suuure she does. But it does make a statement that she is the only one with the big Mockingjay symbol in the background. We all know that her support is only when it serves her own purpose. She’s a smart woman who understands the power of the symbol and wants to take it as her own. You better believe she’s going to be photographed with that in the background.
Beetee Pays You No Mind
The most striking thing to me about Beetee is not that he’s in the wheelchair. We expected that. But the fact that his body position is dead straight to the left, and he’s looking straight ahead to the left. He is in no way acknowledging us, but probably lost in his thoughts, focused on his task at hand.
We know that Finnick will not be mentally well in this movie (or at least until reunited with Annie). Sam’s sad and dazed expression says it all. He is, dressed however, in the District 13 uniform, so no joking about him in his underwear right now. Just sad Finnick, trying to hold on another day.
Yes, I was one of the people disappointed about the lack of a Katniss poster. If you’ve read any of my posts for the past few months, I WANT TO SEE KATNISS is kind of my mantra, so no surprise there. And I guess they are waiting to debut her in a more of a field / action type-setting. Katniss standing in her Mockingjay suit with these grey walls behind her would have looked out of place, I agree (but wouldn’t you have liked to see damaged Katniss in the corner? I can’t stop thinking about it). I just hope this next set has a little more spark to balance things out. District 13 can be a really depressing place.
You know what they say about hope…
There’s good news, and there’s bad news to report. Let’s start with the good news shall we? Okay. WE’VE FINALLY GOT MOCKINGJAY PART 1 CHARACTER POSTERS! And yes, that sentence deserves to be written in all capital letters, thank you very much. We sure do like our characters posters in this franchise, also this genre, I can remember all the way back to the revealing of The Hunger Games character posters, and the collective sighs of relief that sounded across the Internets. I think that sigh was echoed today, and perhaps some of those sounds felt a little bitter-sweet for some. I know that when I personally thought on the idea of a character poster being revealed of Plutarch Heavensbee this time around, I felt some trepidation. I think you all know why. And then there’s the reveal of Finnick in his drab District 13 garb, and then remembering what will happen to Finnick in Part Two. But then there’s the simple excitement of seeing Julianne Moore in all her Coin glory, and not just in a clip from the teaser trailer.
The highlight however may be the unveiling of Elizabeth Banks’ poster of Effie Trinket. If you’re unaware at this point, book canon has gone the wayside, and Effie has for all intents and purposes, taken the place of Fulvia Cardew. At least that’s the educated guess more than half the fandom has made about her presence in District 13. Oh also, I believe Suzanne Collins mentioned something about it. Book canon as we all know is more often than not something that goes out the proverbial window when it comes to book to film adaptations. In this instance knowing that the author of the series condoned the “tweak”, I think makes the poster reveal a little vindicating. Also, leave it to Effie Trinket to pull off a stylish ensemble by refashioning a District 13 issued button down as a mini dress, might I add as well that her re purposed head scarf is very on trend right now. And I’m even on board with this trend! Seriously, it’s perfect for bad hair days, which I’m guessing happen a lot in District 13.
I said there was bad news however. And the bad news is two things. One being that the poster reveal today only happened because they were leaked on line before their slated released date of tomorrow. To some fandom members this is good news, because hey– we got the posters early, and that’s all we should really care about! Right? No. Bottom line those images were stolen, and you all should know by now how I feel about stealing. So, while it’s great to see the posters finally, I wish it hadn’t been in such a discombobulated, and frankly– clunky manner. What can I say? I like my social media campaigns to run smoothly? Yep, that’s what I’m going with. The other bit of bad news though is this– ’cause of course I didn’t forget that it’s two things. No Katniss poster.
Seriously, cough up the rock– we want our Mockingjay already!
Them There Eyes
Today, we’re going to be positive and grateful. For what, you ask?
Though we’re still confused about why the Katniss ad for Always exists, today we will show our thanks that some other character-specific ad campaigns DON’T exist, even though they’re surprisingly more relevant to the story than tampons.
At least we’ve not yet seen…
Peeta’s Pastries - Not the fresh yum yum shop pastries at Comic-Con (even though they totally stole the Effie cupcakes design). We’re talkin’ prepackaged, dry cakes with a frosting filler served en masse! All covered in icing Mockingjays, arrows, arena obstacles, and more! Just like out of Mellark bakery (except with more sugar and artificial preservatives!)
Haymitch’s Liquor - Though we would most definitely name a little homebrew project after Haymitch, could you imagine an actual liquor brand releasing commercials with Katniss’ mentor drunkenly attesting to its level of awesome? Or creating unique labeling with Hunger Games fans in mind using Haymitch? Spit take worthy, possibly hilarious, yet sadly 100% inappropriate. But most fans are old enough to drink anyway, so why not?!
Gale’s Hunting Bows - What product does The Hunger Games show off more than anything? WEAPONS. So why not sell some badass hunting gear?! Promoted by a male character, of course, so that men don’t have to feel shame and outrage because a woman like Katniss can handle a weapon just as well as them!
Johanna’s Body Lotion - If you’re often naked or scantily clad in low cut outfits, you NEED a moisturizer that leaves your skin looking beautiful! Johanna knows the secret to soft, supple skin, even on a recently shaved head!
Finnick’s Manscaping Products - Hair gel, chest wax, self tanner, and more! Finicky probably uses it all. Now he can share his methods with the modern male population so they can ALL be studly! Or maybe just throw him into an Axe body spray campaign, because anyone who looks that good MUST smell good, despite the sweat from continuous workouts!
Aren’t you glad these things DON’T exist? Don’t you feel better?
This doesn’t make every product partnership that’s been associated with the film good (most aren’t), but sometimes we gotta be happy that there’s only one product tie-in tweet we’d categorize as utterly ridiculous.
Of course, we also want to show that specific character tie-ins are tough to pull off for this franchise. The only one we could see so far is Samsung possibly using Beetee to tie in with their technologies, but that hasn’t happened yet. Advertising can be fun, but we just gotta make sure everyone knows THERE’S A LINE!
If You Want To Sell Brands, Maybe Start With A Story That Isn’t About Poverty?
The Girl With The Pearl
Caesar’s Scrunchy is back once again with EVEN MOAR visual beauty! Today, she’s talking about how Catching Fire portrayed the way Cinna left his mark on more than just The Mockingjay!
I decided to fill the time waiting for “Mockingjay” by watching “Catching Fire” again, and noticed that Effie Trinkett was wearing a necklace (in Katniss’ wedding dress/Mockingjay dress scene) that looked like arrowheads. Then I noticed Katniss’ earrings when her dress transforms become arrowheads too, and then… there were arrowheads (triangles) ALL OVER the movie!
And they were worn only by Katniss’ allies, whether she knew they were her allies or not.
Then I decided that because, as Effie says, Cinna is the most influential designer in the Capitol, it makes sense that he would put these arrowheads subliminally in his designs, and that others would copy him.
Check it out – these pages show Cinna’s influence, with tons of arrowheads (triangles) throughout. I found these images from basic Google web searches (I don’t own any of the photos or anything else– it all belongs to Lionsgate and Suzanne Collins, ok?)
VICTORY TOUR COSTUMING
PRESIDENT SNOW AND HIS FOLLOWERS
But trust me: it’s tons of fun watching “Catching Fire” again, and seeing if you can find who else wears the arrowheads…and who doesn’t!
Sometimes reality takes a hold of us here at Victor’s Village in both good and bad ways. Jobs take us away, holidays to locations where Internet access is shoddy at best, or maybe perhaps there’s a wedding to celebrate? I didn’t ask if it was alright to bring this up before hand, but if you haven’t noticed lately that The Girl With The Pearl has not been posting articles penned by her self lately, you all should know by now that that’s because she’s been body snatched by a white gown wearing lady person. Der, she’s getting married! Or better yet, she got married– today actually. So if you’re not ready to throw virtual confetti at her (’cause rice kills birds fools), you’re sad and need to go regroup post-haste!
Ahhhhhh!! Congratulations The Girl With The Pearl!!
All the wedding planning was probably both a challenge as well as a bit of a thrill. But I can’t help but think of parallels between our dear founder’s wedding planning, and subsequent wedding bliss (I saw pictures, looked pretty blissful to me), with the only wedding fully realized in the beloved series that brought us all together here at Victor’s Village. I’m speaking of course of the wedding of Finnick Odair and Annie Cresta in Mockingjay. Annie and Finnick’s wedding wasn’t that different from most people’s I think, there was cake, there were vows, there were tears, and there was dancing, and music. Only difference I can think of between a normal North American wedding like our dear Girl With The Pearl’s, and Finnick and Annie’s was a lack of planning. I know that The Girl With The Pearl’s wedding and reception took months on end to plan out, Annie and Finnick’s was somewhat spontaneous, and more of a reprieve from the chaos, and upheaval of the war situation their world was surrounded with, as well as by. The Girl With The
Pearl and her now husband do not live in a war state, and planning of their wedding was an absolute necessity considering logistics of family, as well as most other contemporary expectations, and I’d also like to think of their wedding and reception as the reprieve from planning all of it! Annie and Finnick seemed to just kind of show up, Annie wore a borrowed dress from Katniss’ vast Capitol wardrobe, not out of choice, but out of necessity as she literally owned nothing wedding worthy after being rescued from the clutches of the Capitol. The Girl With The Pearl on the other hand found her dress months ago, and went to multiple fittings so it would fit perfectly. Annie, well– Annie dawned Katniss’ dress and hoped for the best on the day of her wedding. Who had the right idea though? That’s a question that can never be answered I’m afraid. Why? Because one’s a fictional wedding between two fictional people, and The Girl With The Pearl and her husband are very real people.
On that note, let’s all wish them a happy Honeymoon, and all collectively hold our breath for those few minutes in Mockingjay: Part Two when we finally get to see Finnick and Annie’s wedding on a flickering screen and not playing out in our heads.
Congratulations Kait, erm… I mean The Girl With The Pearl!
Them There Eyes
Help me. I’ve gotten sucked in to the MTV Awards voting thing and I kind of hate myself for it. I mean, they blatantly left Katniss out of the Best Hero category AND THEN made up a “Favorite Character” social vote category and put her up against that other dystopian series heroine. You don’t need even half a brain to see right through what they’re doing. They’re using the fervor of two fandoms to build buzz for their show and destroy everyone’s social feeds for two weeks. AND I HATE THEM FOR IT.
Yet even seething in hatred about it, I still made a new voting-only twitter account and tweeted the hell out of #votekatniss during the past few days. I know I shouldn’t care, but I want the magical internet pony for Katniss. So I do it, and hate MTV even more for using my love for this fictional character to build up their dumb ass awards show. [And how this will inevitably happen for the next two years as well. I hate when the media manipulates my love for things for their financial gain. Bastards.]
I’m trying to make peace with it and embrace the stupidity. So beyond the whole #votekatniss craziness, I’ve decided that the award I most want Catching Fire to win is…
BEST SHIRTLESS PERFORMANCE
It’s just Oh, So Capitol of MTV. MTV can try to class up their show by nominating Oscar winners like 12 Years a Slave and Dallas Buyers Club, but it’s very off-brand of them to do so. The show made a name for itself by having silly categories like Best Shirtless Performance, Best Kiss, and Best WTF moment. No one’s tuning in for another Oscars so it amuses the hell out of me that they’re trying to mix both together and pretend it works. And with the silly categories, just the fact that they call it a shirtless PERFORMANCE feels like they’re trying to class that up somehow too? Hilarious.
Back to the all-important BEST SHIRTLESS PERFORMANCE category, Sam Claflin has some stiff competition among the likes of Chris Hemsworth (the amazingly gratuitous Thor-thinking-deep- thoughts-while-washing- up scene. If it sounds like I’m mocking it please know I’m mocking it with deep love and admiration.), Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Aniston, and Zac Efron. Good job at not wearing shirts while acting, all of you.
Damn it though, Catching Fire/Sam needs to take this one home. Why?
- Vindication for Sam after all the crap he got when he was cast that he wasn’t “hot enough” for the role. Bam, go away haters. The guy pulled it off. Give the man some inedible popcorn to go with his chicken and asparagus.
- Because that scene is actually really iconic in the series. As much as I love seeing Thor pensively bathe, it can’t come close to sugarcubes.
- The unabashed mirroring of our world with the Capitol. Just as the Capitol paraded Finnick Odair as a shallow piece of meat, so does MTV.
Suck it, MTV. I can’t wait until next Monday when this is over.
Just to prove once again that we here at Victor’s Village have accepted, like, and genuinely think that Sam Claflin is, and was a great casting choice for Finnick Odair, I’m going to take it upon myself to gratuitously promote all his other projects, yes– that includes when he takes to le Twitter and does sporadic (points if you think of the same hit ’90s film when you see or hear that word!), and planned Q & A’s. They do happen on occasion, less than they do on other cast members Twitters’, like say– um, what’s his name again, he’s on that really violent series, he’s blond, tall, what’s his name!? Oh yeah, Alexander Ludwig! Anyway, Sam’s Q & A’s are always pleasant, always a little bit cheeky, and always a little bit self-deprecating. Poor man, someone needs to bolster his confidence! I’ll leave that job to his wife however.
The Internet is a great place sometimes, allowing us little’uns to have a modicum of a connection to famous-y people like in this instance, Sam Claflin. And this past evening Mr. Claflin did not disappoint, although I was slightly disappointed because last night I was out celebrating my birthday by watching Grand Budapest Hotel, and thus missed the amazing, stupendous, Q & A put on by Digital Spy that he participated in! You can read the highlights here, and bathe in the funny, and sweet, and the dogged. However, here’s the gist, or my highlights!
He’s still shocked that he got the role of Finnick, because at the time he looked nothing like the fan-art he made the terrible, horrible very bad mistake of Googling before he auditioned. Sam, love you– but even I hated pretty much all the Finnick fan-art out there before people started taking it seriously and using real people as models. And even then they still were rather amateurish and crude. It’s no wonder his confidence was seemingly shot before he went in to those initial auditions, but he rallied. Which brings us to the second highlight for me from the Q & A session, he read the trilogy in five days! Ah, this means one thing to me– he’s a crazy-ass fan too, which should make all of us very happy.
Thinning out the highlights though, I have to ignore the anecdotes he’s already shared, like dropping Lynn Cohen in the frigid water– you know the drill. However, highlight number three for me is this tasty morsel of taste– he wishes that he could work with Tom Hardy in the future. More so than that he added that he’d also like to work with Christian Bale, as well as Bradley Cooper. Johnny Depp was also mentioned. So there you have it my fair folks, Sam’s our Finnick, Sam’s a funny chap, and Sam’s also got good taste in hopeful scene partners.
To bolster his confidence, because we really can’t leave it all to his wife– go see his new film The Quiet Ones. Comes out April the 1st!
Them There Eyes
This is a pure work of speculation, and not a defamation of character, or characters– but today I learned about the YouTube sex scandals that have been rocking parts of the Internet for days. And low, because this is a Hunger Games directed blog my brain latched onto the thought of “what if YouTube was Panem, and instead of people like Tom Milsom allegedly taking advantage of an under age fan, it was Peeta Mellark or someone as innocent looking in the public consciousness?” Not much to go on, but considering that Panem is supposed to be based on our own world, but augmented, or jacked up to an acid trip level of weird. Say that seven times fast! The thing is, Panem isn’t without its own scandals, so why add-on the hypothetical, and uncharacteristic idea of someone like Peeta being an uber asshole, and finding the opportunity to ruin everything he may have going with Katniss by screwing around with a, well– fan? I don’t buy it.
If we’re going to talk sexual exploitation, The Hunger Games universe, and scandals– we have at least two people to talk about, maybe three– perhaps four. Finnick Odair, Johanna Mason, Coriolanus Snow, and about a couple of thousand, or few hundred money-grubbing Capitol citizens who love, love, love the idea of doing naughty things with some sanctioned murderers, erm Victors. Finnick of course we know has been abused to the nth degree since he won his games when he was 14, which if you don’t shudder at the thought of a 14 year-old boy being forced to perform sexual acts with strangers for fear of his family, and loved ones being tortured or killed– you need to go get some help. Why? Because, say it with me now “ewwwwwww!” Right then, I’m sure there are about a bazillion horrible, half way decent, and maybe a handful of good fan fiction stories about this, but I’m gonna posit that Johanna was also exploited by the Capitol in almost the exact same way as Finnick. It’s already known that everyone she loves is dead, she said it her self in Catching Fire, but we don’t know how it all went down. Me thinks like Finnick, because she was one of the more attractive, and feisty tributes to become a Victor that she also forced into the elite Capitol prostitution ring that Finnick had already been part of for so long. This is also why I think that Finnick and Johanna’s friendship is on a level that many people could never fathom. Why? Because in my head I imagine some pretty horrid shit going down in that ring of sexual exploitation, stuff out of Requiem for a Dream, stuff out of Eyes Wide Shut, stuff out of The Story of O, sick, twisted stuff– and I think they experienced some of this trauma together. But how did Johanna lose everyone she loves if she was supposedly going along with this horribleness? Easy, she stopped not saying no, and they murdered her family, loved ones, and friends for her insubordination.
Now, that would never happen on Youtube, would it?
Them There Eyes
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