Jena Malone

Inside the Mockingjay Part 2 New York Screening

Tonight, I was super lucky to attend the Mockingjay Part 2 “Special Screening” in New York. Not a premiere, so it didn’t have the huge atmosphere of what we’ve seen in the previous days & weeks, but a huge number of cast attended, as well as Francis Lawrence, Nina Jacobson, and Jon Kilik.

The red carpet was in a tent located outside the AMC Lincoln Square theater. It was filled with press, who missed out on the LA premiere, and the small “fan pen” where I was. As per usual, everyone was very nice about accommodating fan requests for pics and signings. Here are some of my pics in the zoo-like media madness. (You will notice a lack of selfies, I don’t really do selfies, and I doubt you all care so it’s cool).




It’s been a lot to take in, so we’ll dig into the movie after official release (but spoiler alert, we’re really happy).

Nothing could prepare us for the end, so we didn’t.


Mockingjay Part 2 Premieres: The Beginning Of The End

The last round of The Hunger Games franchise premieres have begun. We’re trying really hard to to get too sentimental, but man, it’s hard to know the days of this wonderful promotion-driven lunacy are numbered. There’s a lot of monotony, but there’s always some brilliant moments that rise from the ashes.

With Berlin and London already in the bag, here’s a little catch-up on those premieres!

First off, the ladies of our franchise are not afraid of their boobs. To which we say YOU GO, LADIES!

These dresses are gorgeous and we’re glad they look so confident, because we’d just be a mess of double-sided tape and anxiety in anything that sassy. Hell, Jena looks like a work of art!

Meanwhile, Elizabeth and Willow probably hid their movie theater snacks in their dresses and we forever applaud their ingenuity.

In London, Julianne Moore wore in 19th century nightgown designed by Chanel. At least she seemed comfy?


Yeah, we’re not sure what to make of it either.

As for the news we’ve actually been freaking out about? SAM CLAFLIN IS GOING TO BE A DAD! Like really soon! And somehow they managed to keep it a total secret until the premiere! He and wife Laura Haddock were absolutely adorable, all smiles and cuddles and fawning over the baby bump. AWWWWWWW!


Mainly, it’s just good to see the reassurance that these cast members love each other and have so much fun together. Urgh, we love them!


This isn't goodbye, it's a see you soon. #friendsforlife #mockingjaypart2 #londonpremiere

A photo posted by Sam Claflin (@mrsamclaflin) on

The Girl With The Pearl

The Reality of Mockingjay Virtual Reality

The Mockingjay Part 2 virtual reality experience debuted this weekend at New York Comic Con, which is really cool in theory. We’ve found that in practice, standing around waiting for a VR experience for ages makes you way less enthusiastic when you actually get to it but that is besides the point!

Early reports told us it was a 6-minute walkthrough of the books that doesn’t give away the end of the series. It takes fans through the major moments, but still keeps you waiting for resolution. And thanks to the beauty of the Internet (via Quarter Quell), you can watch an example now.

We realize the experience is way more immersive at the screening booths with a shaky chair, goggles, and headphones. It’s probably much more entertaining that way, because you can feel everything as if you’re really there. But we’re really surprised at how this was put together.

Even Jena Malone tried it!

Even Jena Malone tried it!

In most VR experiences, you’re PART of the action, interacting with the surroundings and the characters. In this baby, it seems like the users are just following a recap with animated characters, not taking charge of the journey. Yes, they can look around, but when the user in the video above does so, it becomes pretty obvious that there’s only one focal point in each scene.

And the animation? Well, we’re a bit spoiled nowadays. We know CGI and animation can be so realistic that this feels a bit like playing an original XBox.

Hopefully, the fans who went through the experience loved it. Whenever The Hunger Games is involved, fans wanna love it, after all!

We Just Want The VR To Be Good PR,
The Girl With The Pearl

The Big Big Big Mockingjay Part 1 World Premiere

It’s Mockingjay Part 1 World Premiere Day! And the lucky attendees are watching the movie RIGHT NOW. We really want to be those people. A lot. But we’re stuck telling ourselves that it’s ok – once we see the movie, we’re stuck back to waiting 365 more days to Part 2. And that brings its own struggles.

Hello Glamorous People

Hello Glamorous People

The part of the premiere that we COULD see was livestreamed on Yahoo UK, which is a mix of the host repeating herself ad nauseum to kill time while awaiting someone to arrive, watching the stars pose and sign things for the excited fans, and some super-quick interviews. All very shallow and silly sure, BUT WE LOVE IT and wait all year for this craziness.

Some highlights from the livestream:

  • Francis Lawrence teased that yes, there is one remaining scene to film. And Jennifer later said that he had promised her it would involve a horse. We’re not so sure about how that’s going to work, but we’ll let the two of them work that out.
  • Nina has enjoyed interacting with fans on twitter. So continue being nice to her so she keeps tweeting us little teases. She was the saving grace of the long winter of no Mockingjay news in 2014.
  • We want to listen to Jeffrey Wright discuss the books for hours, not just a minute. Let’s make that happen. He can bring anyone else from the cast too.
  • Jena Malone is aware of the fanart and fanfiction. Does she read the fanfiction though? We want to know.
  • The host tried to say that Effie and Katniss were “best friends” and Elizabeth Banks found a way to graciously find a way around that completely wrong comment without making the interviewer aware of how dumb it was.
  • Josh Hutcherson was well enough to attend the premiere, but still not fully recovered. It didn’t seem to scare away any of the screaming fans though (we get it – I GOT JOSH HUTCHERSON GERMS is a fun story to bring home with you. Just maybe stay away from your friends for a while to keep from passing it along).

mockingjay premiere photo call


Finally, this cast is gorgeous and appreciates us, even when we scream and shove things at them to sign. We really love them for that.

Can we see the movie yet?





Missing from the Mockingjay Part 1 Cast Pictures

Early this week wrapped up the 8 days of exclusive picture releases on Instagram, which make up the Mockingjay Part 1 Cast & Crew page on Hunger Games Explorer. And, in light of no other news right now, I’m going to speculate like crazy about why some pictures are missing.

We're missing a few cast pictures but this one of Katniss kind of makes up for it.

We’re missing a few cast pictures but this one of Katniss kind of makes up for it.

First, the obvious. Delly’s not there. Delly never had a casting announcement. Delly has definitely gone the way of Madge into book/movie re-writes.  I argued ages ago that this can be a really good thing for the movie because it can allow Prim’s character to become more substantial. Any Delly remaining believers can hold onto the tiniest shred of hope that Part 1 ends with Peeta just getting to 13 so her part wouldn’t have happened yet I suppose. But nah, it’s looking quite clear that she’s gone.

Then onto someone who had a casting announcement and made us go HUH WHO IS ANTONIUS AND HOW DID I MISS THAT IN THE BOOK? Yes, the new character of Antonius, to be played by Robert Knepper. His character is supposed to be some deputy of President Snow. The actor and role were worthy of a casting announcement, so why doesn’t he merit placement here? Did the size of the role get reduced? Is it more of a Part 2 role? Or is Lionsgate holding everything back about him because, as a new character, he can be a complete surprise?

We're sad because there was no Annie picture, but here's Peeta. Let's cry.

We’re sad because there was no Annie picture, but here’s Peeta. Let’s cry.

In the same vein as trying to keep the surprise, Jena Malone is the only cast member to not get a new still in this section. It looks like a grab from the Capitol’s propaganda poster. They’re keeping the Capitol torture under wraps for now. If Antonius is involved in the torture/hijacking plot, which I believe he is, not having him pictured makes some kind of sense. But I wonder why they couldn’t be able to capture some kind of non-spoilery still of him from the movie? Is it all just too terrible???

Maybe I’m reading more into this than necessary, but Paula Malcolmson isn’t pictured either. We know she’s in the movie – she’s in the trailer. She was pictured on the Catching Fire movie page, but not The Hunger Games. I’m going to say that her exclusion here hints that her role will be minimal, but let’s face it, Mrs. Everdeen’s role in her daughter’s life, even sharing a compartment in District 13, is minimal.

Finally, I know people were hoping to see Annie Cresta, but she’s also a no show. I think this is partly because she will get very little screen time in Part 1. But I also think it’s a little bit of Lionsgate trying to keep whatever they can secret for as long as possible. At least we no longer have to wait too long.

Next month we actually get the movie!




Violence In Film

Harvey Weinstein wants to distance himself from the über violence he’s been producing, and Schilling for the last decade plus. As a Hunger Games themed blog I have to put my two cents in about this, because while Harvey has been producing, and promoting some of the most violent, and the most highly praised films of the last several years– he’s also totes BFFs with Jennifer Lawrence, AKA our Katniss Everdeen the Heroin of one of the most violently themed series’ to come out in eons.

Weinstein did not produce nor does he have a hand in any of the future Hunger Games films, but since he’s pretty much the Dogs Tuxedo in Hollywoodland, and has spent time braiding Jen’s hair, and talking about boys over pizza, and in their jammies– I’d say his new stance may have after effects on the way Mockingjay is received. Or, okay… probably not at all.



The way I see it is this, The Hunger Games series, either in book form, or film form in comparison to the extremely violent fare that’s been pummeled on our heads for the last few years, it’s um– kind of tame. Okay, the films so far are anyway, but the books, especially Mockingjay are full on bang, bang, shoot ’em up, blow ’em up– good damn times. For instance pretty much everything that takes place outside of District 13, minus Peeta losing it and showing his brand new shiny shiny colors, is non-violent where it comes to the confrontational kind– i.e in your face. But then there’s basically a free for all where it comes to vomit inducing violence, so vomit inducing in fact that Katniss herself can’t hold in her cookies and throws up all over her bodyguard, who later in the story gets his legs blown off in a blaze of bloody glory— outside of District 13.

I’m frankly a bit confused by Weinstein’s brand new stance, especially since he’s made his bread and butter, and more butter off of some of the most violent films to date. Including Django Unchained and Inglorious Bastards, which you don’t even have to open your eyes to see the violence, the sound affects alone tell you some pretty horrible shit is going down. Which brings me back to Mockingjay, there’s not a lot that they’re going to be able to get away with where it comes to violence, especially since it will absolutely be rated PG-13 here in the USA. I even know for a fact that with Catching Fire some of the more extensively violent scenes, i.e. the Bloodbath in the arena were shot, but ended up being cut either to appease the ratings boards, or for time. Here’s the question though– do we want the films to be as violent as they could be, do we want them to be Django level gruesome– are we desensitized enough like the Capitol citizens we’re repeatedly told we’re on the way to becoming, to take in Jena Malone being water boarded, or seeing a man in his prime getting his legs blown off, or seeing Sam Claflin ripped to shreds by a pack of genetically engineered monsters? 

I have no bloody clue, but Weinstein’s new POV isn’t going to change much for me.

Them There Eyes

Hunger Games Actor Memorabilia-Rama!

News flash: Josh Hutcherson now exists in bobblehead form!

josh hutcherson bobblehead

The Hutch approves!

Yep. The Cincinnati Cyclones, a minor league NHL affiliate team, held Josh Hutcherson bobblehead night on the January 17th. Josh even came to the event to celebrate! The bobblehead itself doesn’t look much like him, other than THE JAW and an impressive head of hair (and does the figure have a 5 o’clock shadow?!), but dammit.. IT WORKS. More than most Catching Fire merch, even! Because there is always a market for ridiculously kitsch merchandise!

In that spirit, let’s think up some other ways to memorialize our favorite stars in not really collectible merchandise that could only be found in minor league sports arenas!

Jennifer Lawrence Thunder Sticks – Seemingly innocent things that cheer up a lackluster crowd but can sometimes be a bit disarming? Totally J-Law!

Liam Hemsworth Foam Boogie Boards – Liam is a surfer, but real surfboards are expensive! Instead let’s slap his face on a little foam boogie board and let fans brave the waves with those!

What you've always wanted!

What you’ve always wanted!

Woody Harrelson Hemp Bracelets – Because once you’ve posed on the cover of hemp magazine, we’ve got to spread the good word in your honor!

Sam Claflin Frisbees – Seeing as he’s always working to stay “Finnick fit”, fans see Sam as the athletic type. There’s no real athletics in the stands of a sports game, but how about Sam’s face on a frisbee? Because eventually you’ll see it as a call to exercise. Right? …Right?!

Elizabeth Banks T-Shirts – Straight from the t-shirt cannon! Each includes a zany cartoon rendering of Elizabeth looking totally sweet while saying something slightly inappropriate.

Jena Malone ViewMaster Toy – Jena is a photography enthusiast but again, we’re on a budget! So let’s mass produce 90s childrens toys with slides of her photos! Not weird at all! *cough*

We know you’re disappointed that you can’t actually get these things at the next sporting event you attend. But at this rate… who knows? Maybe you can soon enough!

Bobbleheads Look Classy By Comparison,
The Girl With The Pearl

REACTION POST! The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

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 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.


AMAZING character development we totally forgot to discuss!

AMAZING character development we totally forgot to discuss!

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.”
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.

99 bottles of booze on the table! 99 bottles of booze!

99 bottles of booze on the table! 99 bottles of booze!

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.



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!”



Don’t worry, you’ll still get your reaction post! It just so happens that we’re all so busy seeing the movie, we can’t find a time for all three of us to get together and TALK about it. It’s a good problem, no?

In the meantime, we’re going to give you a conventional SPOILER-FREE review to go alongside the reaction post to come!

Effie, bigger and bolder!

Effie, bigger and bolder!

Let’s start from the very beginning (a very good place to staaaaart)! When Katniss and Peeta win 74th The Hunger Games and return to their new home, broken and distant. They’ve survived, but they’re tentative friendship turned showmance is tepid at best after Peeta learns Katniss’ true motivation. Not to mention that they’re both plagued with PTSD.

It all leads up to The Victory Tour, which is where Francis Lawrence really gets to sink his teeth in and show us what this movie is made of. We don’t see much of the individual districts, but we’re offered a few shots that serve as shining examples of the bigger budget and Francis’ eye for detail.

Gale gets his rebellion on

Gale gets his rebellion on

This movie is mostly character driven, which we found super refreshing. Without adding significant film time (THG and CF are actually the same length), we see Peeta, Gale, Haymitch, Effie, and Show’s roles expanded. It’s not just extra lines– the characters seem richer, with deeper personalities and more individual significance outside their relationship with Katniss and Peeta. Some people weren’t thrilled that other scenes were fast-moving, but we think it was worth it to get some character development in there.

It’s at the end of the Victory Tour that we meet Plutarch Heavensbee, portrayed with gusto by Philip Seymour Hoffman. You can’t help but marvel at his unprecedented political savvy and manipulations. He doesn’t lose his cool for a single moment and meanwhile, we were totally freaking out.

Chemistry-wise, the relationship between Katniss and Peeta seems more organic and palpable this time around. It goes without say that Jen and Josh are both extremely talented actors and dear friends in real life, which translates beautifully. That being said, Catching Fire is significantly more Gale-centric. Jen and Liam have presented a strong case for Kale/Gatniss/whatever else we want to call them. Their relationship plays off as a look at two friends falling for each other, brought together by the stress of impending rebellion, but still plants hints of what’s to come in the Mockingjay films.


Family feels

When the Third Quarter Quell is announced, we finally get some new victors! And what a group they are! Sam Claflin is our Finnick. He embodies the character’s dramatic preening and sensitive soul with a stunning fluidity that we doubt we could have gotten out of many of the laughable fan suggestions that came out during casting. And it doesn’t hurt that he is really, really, ridiculously good-looking. Jena Malone is able to capture Johanna’s anger with such ease and honesty that you know it’s her true spirit, not just an act. Jeffrey Wright gives a master class in acting as he transforms so perfectly into unusual techie extraordinaire Beetee, but Amanda Plummer gets the scene-stealer award for her zany portrayal of Wiress. And Mags? Forgetaboutit! We all want to adopt Lynn Cohen as our new grandma!

With a more appropriate level of violence this time around, the Career pack actually felt menacing. Bruno Gunn’s guns and his expert snarl were intimidating. Meta Golding has the Enobaria growl down to a science. And despite being living barbies, Cashmere and Gloss were surprisingly badass. However, this group did feel a bit under-utilized given that they were meant to pose an immediate threat to Katniss’ life.


We feel you, Johanna!

The ending is heart-breaking and devastating and everything we ever wanted it to be after reading the books! We’re not saying the movie was perfect down to the very last detail. There’s a lot to consider and we’re sure everyone will find a little something to gripe about (Don’t we always?), but this movie is an extremely faithful adaptation and for us, the clear winner of the franchise so far. Though we loved Gary Ross’ work, Francis Lawrence provided us with a smart, pulse-pounding, emotional journey that had us thanking him by the end.

How Many Days Until Mockingjay Part 1?!
The Girl With The Pearl

A Weekend at Catching Fire Fan Camp

In order to score spots in the prestigious fan camp area of the Hunger Games: Catching Fire red carpet, I, along with the rest of the staff of Welcome to District 12, stayed two nights on Chick Hearn Ct. outside of the Nokia Theatre in LA Live.

Saturday started at 5:30AM, leaving early to make it to our 8:30 check in time with all of our stuff.


Our fansite friends, including fellow Victor’s Village staff members The Girl With The Pearl and Them There Eyes, arrived soon.


Good thing too since Willow Shields and Stephanie Leigh Schlund came to sign posters for fans.




There was also that Kindle Fire booth from the mall tour where we could take our pictures with Katniss.


After grabbing dinner, everyone took their camping chairs and blankets from the camping area to the square to watch the first Hunger Games movie. It was a pretty cool way to watch this movie we’ve seen so many times, considering it was a Saturday night and they were playing the movie in the midst of people heading to clubs and fancy restaurants.


The next day proved to be a big one, with even more Catching Fire people coming to sign posters for fans. We got to meet Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright, Josh Hutcherson, and Francis Lawrence, who are all awesome.




Throughout the day, the KIIS FM booth ran contests and giveaways, even a scavenger hunt that cause a kid to run up to us frantically asking for a belt (we thought at first he was trying to sell us one). The day ended with a dinner with the fansite runners that was delicious and fun.

At 5 AM the next day, we were all woken up by security to pack up and vacate at 6AM so they could set up completely for the red carpet later that day. Overall, the weekend was a lot of fun, and I would definitely camp again. It was great to be with the fans and to bond with others excited about The Hunger Games.