I don’t know if you’re aware of this or not, but Josh Hutcherson, our Peeta Mellark, hosted the North American comedy staple, Saturday Night Live last Saturday (November 23, 2013). And in my not so humble opinion, I think he nailed it. Sure there are some reviewers out there who aren’t so generous with their praise for his performance that night, but I’m basing my opinion on my gut, and also the fact that last Saturday I fell asleep before the broadcast, woke up in time for the broadcast, and managed to stay engaged throughout the program, i.e. I didn’t fall asleep in a fit of complete and utter exhaustion.
Saturday Night Live is supposed to be a reprieve from the average person’s mundane week, at least that’s what I’ve discerned over the last near twenty years of being a semi regular viewer of the program. Was last Saturday a welcome reprieve from my mundane work week? Damn straight it was, it made me laugh, it made me smile, and it made me a little bit proud of Josh. I know, I know, I hold no real ownership (for lack of a better
word), of Josh– but he’s one of the main faces of The Hunger Games franchise, and when he does well outside of the franchise, I think I feel a little bit like a big sister or something, like “he did good, this job isn’t ruining him for the world.” Yeah, I shouldn’t feel that way either, but I just hate the idea of someone as talented, and versatile as Josh being painted into a corner because his name’s synonymous with The Hunger Games. However, that phenomena doesn’t seem to be something that’s followed the heroine of the franchise, Jennifer Lawrence, because hell– she won an Oscar after she played Katniss the first time. So, I don’t know why I’m even fleetingly feeling apprehensive that Josh will be pitted as Peeta, and nothing else.
About the show last Saturday though, I think the surprising thing I picked up on during all the sketches, was that Josh can pull off a multitude of hair styles, including most shockingly– a mullet. Seriously, who looks good with a mullet?! Apparently Josh Hutcherson. He also can pull off tapered leg jeans in light blue, and a pink and green rugby shirt. That of course is the costume he donned for probably the best sketch of the night, which you can see here. And then there was the sketch where one of the newest cast members played a man with the motor function of a baby, but had the business brain of a business genius, yes– and Josh was his brand spankin’ new executive assistant. Erm, Josh ended up probably more than once with a grown man’s fingers in his mouth, and I think he also took the brunt of that same grown man’s full body weight, more than once. Did he seem daunted, did he seem flummoxed? Hell to the no! He took it, and the audience laughed their heads off. So, to the panning reviewers, next time you want to judge a host like Josh– let a grown man put his fingers in your mouth without asking permission, then I’ll listen to you with an open heart, and an open mind– ’cause I laughed, and I don’t know why the hell you didn’t.
Josh’s grade as first time SNL host by moi: A-.
Them There Eyes
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.
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
Know what’s awesome? Global Fan Day. Know what’s not awesome? Yeah, having to work during the entirety of Global Fan Day, feeling like a jerk, taking out your phone to check on things, but then realizing your data plan won’t cover the chats, hangouts, and whatever else went on– because that’s just how the cookie crumbles. Also, I’m outside pretty much 90% of the time during my earning hours, and well, it’s raining right now, so, do the math!
I’m sure it was an awesome, fantastic, amazing good time, but little ol’ me didn’t get home until almost 9pm, and then frankly all I wanted to do was waste time on Pinterest, catch up with friends, and um– eat food finally, also put on my jammies. That’s right folks, this article was written while I was in my jammies! That’s okay, I’m sure we’ve all done it, some of us have probably even tweeted whilst naked.
Anyway, I was able to catch up on some of the happenings today, and while none of the stuff was live for me it was still enjoyable. I liked the Google Hangout, Jen was on as usual, teasing Josh like crazy, and forgetting about Liam’s most intense scenes (the whipping scene). However, it’s got to be said– there was a lot of repeating going on throughout the day, mostly because there are only so many original questions to be asked, and so many original answers that could be said– and no, that’s not a dig. However, there were still some valuable tid-bits that were revealed, like that Katniss’ bow was custom made, and worth $8,000, also that Jen nearly lost it. That parts of the film were also likely used in Jurassic Park, that the CGI monkey’s are top of the line, and that the sounds are based on Howler Monkey’s, and that Liam just seems like a very quiet, thoughtful guy. Oh, also that Josh Hutcherson needs to probably do a dance movie!
Dance movie, Josh Hutcherson, NOW!
Them There Eyes
I don’t know about the next person, but I did not except yesterdays news, and that news was that Josh Hutcherson will be joining the ranks of such people like Steve Martin, Katie Holmes, Justin Timberlake, and of course his friend and co-star Jennifer Lawrence. Yep, Josh will be hosting the American comedy staple Saturday Night Live, and he’ll be embarking on this hosting gig on the strategic date of November 23rd, i.e the day after The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is released in the United States, Canada, Mexico and a dozen other countries.
Like I said above, I was not expecting this kind of news, I mean sure I expected Josh to do the talk show rounds, maybe do an After Hours interview with Josh Horowitz at MTV, maybe just maybe do an interview with DP/30 on Youtube, but not host SNL! It’s not that I don’t think Josh is capable of pulling off sketch comedy, to the contrary, I think he’ll actually kick ass at it, but I don’t know– I guess I’m just brain washed into thinking the media at large thinks he’s second fiddle to Jennifer Lawrence’s all-powerful charisma and talent, and that somehow that means he’s not a viable candidate for hosting. Hell, even I know that thought process is ass-fucking-backwards, ’cause derr– Josh is a super talented, funny as hell, charming, charismatic, young, and also an indisputably good-looking guy. In other words, he’s a bold faced, perfect fit for playing host for an evening, and in that sense I can’t believe I never thought they’d think of him for the gig, ’cause well– did I say perfect already?!
So, what do we hope will be covered during his episode? Me, if they don’t make any short jokes, I’ll be very surprised. If they don’t do a parody on The Hunger Games I’ll also be very surprised. If they don’t have him dance, I’ll be very very surprised, because I keep hearing left and right that he’s got some good moves on the dance floor. If they don’t utilize his athleticism, I’ll also be very surprised. Also, if some of his famous-ish friends don’t show up to do some cameos, I’ll also be very surprised. Calling Jennifer Lawrence, calling Jennifer Lawrence, come in Jennifer Lawrence! Benicio Del Toro, come in Benicio Del Toro. Oh, and Lady Gaga will be the musical guest, how oddly apropos is that?
If he shows up blond, we’ll know he’s finally been filming Mockingjay as well. Bring on the Goldilocks!
Them There Eyes
Yes, the final Catching Fire trailer is coming later tonight! But in the meantime, we’ve been offered some other visual sneak peeks to keep fans begging for more!
Both US Weekly and People released exclusive new stills on Friday, leaving fans with something to squee over all weekend. We found them via Mockingjay.net. It’s mainly close up character stills, but there are a few outliers that really make the visuals shine. Let’s discuss, shall we?
1. PEETA AND THE MORPHLING
AHHHHHHHH SO HAPPY! This moment makes us positive that the other moment featuring the female morphling will also be featured! Peeta allowing the morphling to paint his arm shows his compassion and his kindness toward those who have less than, or are perhaps more misunderstood than himself. If this is any indication, the morphlings will look really messed up (which is good, because it’s pretty accurate of severe addicts.) Peeta accepts her anyway. And she repays him in the most unbelievable way possible and OMGWE’RESOGLADIT’SINTHEMOVIE!
2. HAYMITCH THE DRUNK
One of our character development concerns with the first film is that Haymitch didn’t actually seem so drunk that he couldn’t function properly as a mentor. This time, we’re definitely getting a look at Haymitch’s semi-torturous everyday life. Plus, the looks Katniss and Peeta give each other across the table are not just about Haymitch. They’re running the gauntlet of emotions right there! And this is a freeze frame! Imagine when they’re movement and music and dialogue involved!
3. SHELLFISH AND SEAWEED BREAD
This is a two-pager shot that we’re too lazy to piece together, but it’s also a great behind-the-scenes look. Finnick, Peeta, and Katniss are all huddled around a hearty breakfast the morning after Mags’ death, with Katniss rockin’ a bruise on her cheek. But Francis Lawrence is right in there with his camera, catching a tense moment of planning between the group. If it’s true to the book, this is just before Johanna, Wiress, and Beetee. It’s the calm before the storm. And what a storm it’ll be!
There’s only so much more promo fans can see before some fans feel like they’ve seen too much, but stills are a safe, happy place. Let’s savor it!
Visual Stimuli, Y’all!
The Girl With The Pearl
Surprise! We got our copy of Entertainment Weekly and it was the Gale cover! Muahahaha!
Given our take on Peeta Paranoia, we obviously don’t mind! Especially now that people can stop complaining about the “manning up” line now that it’s been explained that Josh Hutcherson and Francis Lawrence simply didn’t want Peeta to be seen as a hopeless damsel in distress.
But more than the talk of actual movie related tidbits, we were impressed with something else: What making the movies means to those involved.
First, there’s what happened on the Catching Fire set. Everyone cites the camaraderie between the cast and crew, but it’s not the usual “Yeah, we get along!” There’s BBQs and inside jokes and a slightly more mature extension of the “summer camp” feel described on The Hunger Games set.
Jennifer specifically described a moment in which the whole cast and crew held hands and ran into the ocean together in the dark. First off, we are TOTALLY recreating that with fansite friends at the Catching Fire premiere. Second, it seems like such a trusting, genuine notion that it warms our hearts! You don’t let just anyone pull you into the ocean with the hope no one drowns.
Then there’s the talk of THE END. While no actor wants to be in a series so long that they’re typecast as that character, but Jennifer Lawrence seems downright distraught at the idea of it being over. Josh Hutcherson was quick to admit that he never, ever expects to encounter another set where the relationships are that special.
We know that sentiment gets shared a lot, especially for fantasy series starring mainly young actors. But that doesn’t make it any less true! We think there’s something about immersing yourself in fantasy that brings people together LIKE WHOA! Digging into a world that is totally different than your own is a way to escape, even in your daily life. And it effects everyone, if they choose to embrace it. (We think it’s pretty funny that Jen also commented on how Philip Seymour Hoffman took a while to adjust, given all his time on so many “This is my job and I’m trying to win an Oscar, dammit!” movies.)
And even if it doesn’t win them any Oscars– because we wish the world works that way, but frankly, it doesn’t– it’s good to know that the cast is doing it for more than that and enjoying it too!
Wish WE Loved Our Day Jobs That Much,
The Girl With The Pearl
Entertainment Weekly and The Hunger Games go together like pie and ice cream. Ever since we got our first look at Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, the magazine has given this fandom some great gems (Jennifer Lawrence toasting with “To Amelia Earhart, may she find her way” is a great example). Also, let it be known that I have an Entertainment Weekly subscription just because it was more cost effective for me than to keep going out and buying magazines with Hunger Games covers. So, of course, fast forward to now, pre-Catching Fire release, I was just waiting for their second The Hunger Games: Catching Fire cover – because let’s be real, we knew the first teaser one wasn’t going to be the only one. And we get four – yes, FOUR – covers to
collect choose from.
We’ve got Katniss, sans braid, which we’ve been seeing a lot lately, her blown behind her. At first I thought that maybe they could’ve chosen a better picture, but the more I look at it, the more I’m digging the vulnerability in her expression.
For Peeta, I feel like it’s time to retire that pose for Josh Hutcherson. Poor Josh, they don’t seem to like having him look straight at the camera, he seems to always be looking up and to the side.
Sam Claflin as Finnick (yay, he gets his own cover!) is dead on in my opinion. That’s Catching Fire Finnick to me – smoldering and a little dangerous with something hidden. I’m crossing my fingers for this one; if it doesn’t come to my house I’m going out looking for it.
And Gale… in the arena. Okay, okay. I’m fairly confident that he’s in front of the arena background to make all the covers look uniform – no, I don’t really think he’s just going to randomly show up at the Quarter Quell. I really can’t wait for the Mockingjay movies so that Gale can stop looking out of place. But it’s just like with the chair pictures where, as a major character, he needs to be included in the major marketing. And the waves and rain are just added into the picture with Photoshop. We can live with that, right? (Everyone: Right.)
I really can’t wait to get this issue of Entertainment Weekly. November is fast approaching, and I’m ready to get into fangirl mode.
Oh and I’m sure the article will be awesome too
Let’s just get this out-of-the-way, today I am not going to write about The Hunger Games. Nope, today I’m going to talk about one of my other loves, or one of my first loves, and that just happens to be the 20th century American author by the name of John Steinbeck.
I first read John Steinbeck’s work when I was 13 years-old, it was the novella Of Mice and Men, and since then I’ve re-read it, and slowly read through about half of Steinbeck’s other works, and you gotta know this– there are a lot of works with his name on it, but what I have read includes Cannery Row, The Red Pony, The Grapes of Wrath, Travels with Charley, a memoir about his trip around the country in a truck with his beloved Standard Poodle Charley, The Long Valley, and my favorite full length novel out of his dossier, East Of Eden. Which brings me to the tie in to the title of this little article, East of Eden is going to be the project that brings our Katniss Everdeen, Jennifer Lawrence, and The Hunger Games’ original director extraordinaire, Gary Ross back together once more.
East of Eden is a huge novel, in fact my tatty copy has counted 602 pages, single spaced I might add, as well as what looks to be 10 pt. font, or perhaps smaller. This is no project that should be taken on lightly, not only due to the vastness of the story’s length and breadth, but also for the cultural pedestal it’s been put on since 1952, when it was originally published. Eden, as I call it, has been adapted three times, once most famously in 1955, a second time on the stage, and a third in a mini-series in 1981. I’ve seen only one of these adaptations though, and that’s the 1955 Elia Kazan production which starred the now legendary James Dean. Kazan’s adaptation was good, but imperfect, and I dubiously say imperfect because the studio, the screenwriter, and Kazan made the decision to focus on only a few chapters from the last third of this massive story of a novel.
A slew of characters were cut down, cut out, or completely morphed into something else in Kazan’s now considered masterpiece, and one of those characters just happens to be the role that Jennifer Lawrence will be taking on. Her name is Cathy, or Kathy, or Catherine, or Katherine– Cathy as she’ll always be in my head, is not a pleasant sort, actually Cathy is probably one of the most unpleasant, sociopathic, victimizing, users of a fictional human being you will ever come across in 20th century American literature. Also, I love her. Yesterday when I read that Ross and Lawrence were teaming up again, I knew before I read the body of the article linked to me in my inbox, that Jennifer was playing Cathy. There was no doubt in my body, or my mind that she would be taking on anyone else featured in Steinbeck’s work, because for one thing there aren’t a lot of female characters of great note in the novel other than Cathy. However, if you’re a big fan of the ’55 adaptation, I don’t judge you for thinking she was taking on Abra, the sweet, loving love interest to the twins Aron and Cal Trask. Jennifer Lawrence doesn’t do sweet and loving though, she does complicated, passionate, and intelligent, at least those are the types of roles she’s taken on that have gotten her the most attention. Case in point, Winter’s Bone, The Hunger Games, and Silver Linings Playbook, also if it’s ever released, Serena. To be clear, Cathy is the kind of character that most actresses wait their entire careers to play. It’s seriously a miracle that Jennifer Lawrence is the right age to take on someone as dynamic as Cathy is, especially since the character’s life in the novel spans from childhood to middle age, something that was left out of the 1955 version almost entirely, as it brought in Cathy as an older, decrepit woman.
Now about Ross, not going to lie I’m not a huge fan of what he did with The Hunger Games as a whole, however I am a fan of his previous works like Pleasantville, Sea Biscuit, Dave, and Big. He’s a good writer, he’s a visual thinker in his writing, which is what I believe is needed in a new interpretation of Eden, because Steinbeck’s work is like drinking in atmosphere with words. Visually speaking I also think that Ross’ aesthetic fits the kind of settings that Eden takes place, which is late 18th, and early 19th century central California, AKA Steinbeck’s own backyard. Ross’ directorial work, at least to me, has almost seemed to be an almost love letter to the past, Pleasantville being his 1950s throw-back to situation comedies, and Sea Biscuit being a period piece set in the Great Depression era of the 1930s, and then The Hunger Games which also felt like it was set in the past, again– at least to me. I’m glad Ross is taking on this daunting task, I’m even more glad to know that he’s taking into account the size of the project and realistically planning for it to be a two part film. Why? Because 602 pages being cut down to two hours and 45 minutes, would likely require cutting out a slew of characters again– and I don’t even mean minor characters, I mean people who broke bread with each other for 30 years, kept each others secrets, and in one characters case raised another characters kids, because there was no one else there to do it, and also because they are awesome.
Gosh darn it folks, go read the book!