Katniss Everdeen

The Fantastic Mockingjay Part 2 Score – And that Cynical Remix

Yesterday the Mockingjay Part 2 Soundtrack went on sale on iTunes and Google Play. This soundtrack is just the musical score, not songs “inspired by” the movie but we LOVE it. James Newton Howard has once again blown us away with music for the movie, and has brought back many of the musical cues from previous films that give us ALL THE FEELS.

mj2 soundtrackIf you’ve seen the film, you know that Jennifer Lawrence sings “Deep in the Meadow” over the beginning of the closing credits. The song is a lullaby, and with the final scene of MJ2 featuring Katniss comforting her baby, it’s a lovely, quiet way to end the film. The song carries a huge amount of emotional weight throughout the series, as it’s the song Katniss sings to comfort Prim at the beginning of the first movie, and the song she sings to Rue as she dies. Fans have been talking about how much they love the inclusion of this song since the movie’s release.

The peace and happiness was short-lived however, since yesterday as well saw the release of this lullaby AS A DANCE REMIX. Cue the awful Hanging Tree Remix flashbacks, everyone!

Having a dance remix of this song is so out of place and unnecessary it seems like a joke. Add on top of it the fact that fans more or less hated the “Hanging Tree Remix” and preferred the version from the movie, this decision feels like awful trolling. In fact, back in January I joked that they would do this.

There’s definitely a huge disconnect between what Republic Records and/or Lionsgate thinks is appropriate or what even in the slightest way works as music. As long as they see some money to be made, they seem to think anything is worth trying. Our friends at Jabberjays.net explain our frustration very well.

…all this remix signifies is a clear-cut showing of corporate greed and exploitation of Jennifer Lawrence and Katniss Everdeen. Never mind that any fan of The Hunger Games would gladly buy Deep in the Meadow in its pure, original format. Never mind that the song is supposed to have a beautiful, lasting legacy and provide peace for fans new and old alike. Never mind that this song is supposed to comfort, not inspire finger-tapping on the steering wheel.

If there was any question about the fan response to the remix, it can be found in the replies to this promotional tweet.

I don’t think the fandom could be any clearer.

So anyway, let’s go back to enjoying the score, cause it’s fantastic. And we’ll listen to THE SCORE’S version of “Deep in the Meadow” and try to forget about remix nightmares.

We need some comfort, Katniss.



VV’s Spoiler-Free The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Review

We saw Mockingjay Part 2 last night and we want to scream all the details with absolute elation from the rooftops. But we won’t, because it’s only Thursday and we’re not terrible people who want to spoil it all for the masses. So we’re going to give a general, spoiler-free review.

12043070_10153658258916810_107667881438186217_nReally, this is all about THE FEELS. There are a lot of them. I went to the Mockingjay Double Feature and I started to tear up during Mockingjay Part 1, which is something I didn’t even do the first time I saw it, just from the sheer momentum of what was to come. It’s the end of an era, but if it’s gotta end.. Damn, at least it went out with a bang!

We’ve read the books more than once and talked about them at length here, so like many of you, we knew what was coming. Know this: Being aware of what will happen and watching it unfold in a visual medium are two very different things. There were several situations throughout the movie in which waiting for the other shoe to drop amped up either the tension or the excitement for me– sometimes both. It’s a testament to the way Francis Lawrence and his team purposefully crafted the film to squeeze every possible emotion from the tale.

297A9B5D00000578-3117094-image-m-29_1433866860839Likewise, the action is pulse-pounding and sharp. The film deftly portrays the horror of violence and war without glorifying it, exactly as its source material sets out to do. With the details covered pretty thoroughly in Part 1, this film wastes no time jumping into the action. The pacing isn’t too breakneck, but you don’t have much downtime until the last few scenes.

More than being utterly gripping, this film is the franchise’s best tribute to Suzanne Collins’ work. The film follows the book more closely than any movie before it without losing its cinematic glow. The popular scenes and quotes that you’re waiting for are there, perhaps delivered in a way you didn’t always expect but powerful nonetheless. That’s not to say there aren’t any changes, but they were pretty minor and didn’t affect the overall viewing experience for us. We were hit hard by one scene change in particular, knowing it was due to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s untimely passing.

19291497-20776541-thumbnailThe acting has always been superb in the franchise, but I genuinely think they give their best performances to date. Liam Hemsworth transforms Gale’s broody nature into something more fierce and palpable and Jennifer Lawrence just is Katniss Everdeen, but this is especially true for Josh Hutcherson, who truly rose to the occasion and portrayed Peeta’s compromised mental state with a zinging undercurrent of desperation and earnest. Of course, the supporting cast was also wonderful as always, particularly Julianne Moore as Alma Coin and the members of Squad 451, who really got to sink their teeth into this script.

new-effie-stillWhile I ultimately loved the film and its sweet ending, we do imagine that– as is the case with most epilogues– it will become a source of debate in years to come. It’s more about your perception of the characters and their lives in the aftermath than the actual content.. aaaand that’s all we shall say about that for now.

Urgh. We love this film. We love this franchise. We are clearly biased as all hell, but if you’re here, we think you will too. If you’re a Hunger Games fan, this final movie has so much to offer you and you will not be disappointed!

We’ll Do The Crazy Spoiler Edition Soon,
The Girl With The Pearl

Mockingjay Part 2 Production Note Goodies

The massive production notes from Mockingjay Part 2 came online today, and there’s some GREAT INFO to enjoy. Yes, we mean massive as in 97 pages (including all the end credits). We did a run through and these were some of the bits that made us curl up into a ball of feelings.

Jennifer Lawrence on Katniss:

She’s started to see the beauty in humanity in this film,” Jennifer observes. “In the beginning she had a short view of the way things are because of her upbringing. She did not have much hope then, and she felt alone for a lot of her life. During everything that has happened – in the Games, in District 13, in the Capitol at the end of this story – she found herself more and more connected to people.”

Notes on Peeta’s character:

Throughout, Peeta’s true feelings for Katniss keep surfacing in ways that keep him bonded to her at an unspoken level.

On that topic, THIS STILL found its way online today too. WE NEED SOME HELP.


Continuing on, Woodly Harrelson on Haymitch:

“Haymitch comes to care deeply about Katniss in a way that maybe surprises him and shakes him up, and it’s easy to get to that place with Jennifer,” he says. “She’s so much fun to work with, but also so honest and true in her performance. You’re always working at a high level with her.”

The final scene:

“One of the things that I’m most excited about is the film’s final scene,” says Francis Lawrence. “There was a really strong feeling on the set when we got to the scene – a feeling that all the history of all these characters through the course of these four movies had built up to this singular moment. I hope audiences really feel that history and also a sense of the future. Everything that has happened to Katniss and all the themes of the story have wound together to come down to this final glimpse of her world, so it was very important that we really get to live inside it.”

The ending remains as faithful to Suzanne Collins’ phenomenon-creating books as the beginning. As the journey comes to a close, one of the greatest satisfactions for Nina Jacobson is that the film franchise never strayed, the whole way through, from her promise to follow Collins’ vision.

There’s so much great stuff in these notes, we encourage you all to take a look for yourselves. The notes also reveal that there will not be an end credits song, and there will not be a pop artist soundtrack, just a theatrical score album for sale.

And oh yeah. Those end credits have something that’s not a surprise but still makes us wonder how the final scene will be shot. Bear Lawrence is listed as Everdeen Child #1 and Theodore Lawrence is Everdeen Child #2. Yes, these are Jennifer Lawrence’s nephews, as in 2 boys. I’m not ready to jump off the WHAT, WHY DID THEY DISREGARD BOOK CANON ON THAT NOW? ship, but it does make us wonder more about how the scene is constructed. Maybe they’re shooting one child through time. Maybe they’re doing some vague shots of kids playing and not doing a closeup on them so it doesn’t matter. But not gonna lie, it will bug us if they imply that Katniss and Peeta have two sons and forget completely about first born girl.

We’ll keep the faith though. Keeping the faith, because this is looking pretty great.


A Witchy New Look For Our Hunger Games Favorites

Earlier this week, The Girl With the Pearl had some fun with the new features in the Mockingjay app. You can use the app to scan your face, and then you can apply crazy Capitol makeup or the red rebel Mockingjay.

We discovered this week that Lionsgate has another nifty facial manipulation tool in support of another one of its movies, The Last Witch Hunter. Only instead of applying “Capitol” looks, the face is transformed into “witch” style from the movies, and then you use potions to hide your inner witch. We haven’t seen the movie, so this could be wrong, but we’ll go along with it for the fun of using this tool. It’s not as snazzy as the Mockingjay app, so instead of being super high tech and scanning your face, this little feature works from still images (the image just needs to be facing forward, not in profile).

Almost instantly I knew which pictures I had to use to try this baby out… Not ME. NO! Our favorite Hunger Games movie characters!

So in honor of promotional crossover, Halloween, and general hilarity, I give you our Hunger Games favorites, if they were in the Last Witch Hunter universe.

creepy katniss

Katniss looks even more menacing now, huh Snow?


Hijacked Peeta has a whole new meaning now.

prim goth

Prim looks less of a witch a more a teen having a goth phase.


Gale, a few years after the war goes all mountain man (and Witch Hunter, if Vin Diesel’s look in the movie is any clue).

I imagine this was not the intended purpose of that site, but oops.

Creativity just cannot be contained.


The Final Fiery Action Hero Katniss

In the midst of earlier chaos, the final movie poster for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 arrived! And with it, the last misguided attempt at convincing non-readers that Katniss is a sleek, shoot-em-up style action hero.

Let’s start with the image, which may also end up being the DVD cover, if existing patterns remain:


Particularly with Mockingjay Part 2, Lionsgate has been trying to make Katniss look like a badass war hero who will destroy ALL THE THINGS that oppress the Districts of Panem, gloriously outfitted and armed to handle to worst of situations with ease. For instance, in a red suit (that’s gotta be a District 13 propo suit… Irony kills us), bow and arrow pointed in the distance as a fiery, freed Mockingjay symbol bursts into flame just behind her.

It’s probably a sexy concept for people who aren’t too familiar with the books or the movies so far. If they’re into mostly mindless action, perhaps it will draw them in. But then they’ll be kind of shocked because they were presented with a totally false version of the story’s heroine and a bit of a disservice to the character.

Don’t get us wrong! Katniss Everdeen is a badass. But she’s not a badass because she runs out, arrows blazing, to single-handedly destroy the enemy in fearsome battle. It’s because she hates battle. She hates killing people, but she’s constantly put in situations in which she doesn’t have a choice. She wants to save her loved ones and she’ll go through hell to do that. Because she hates the attention and the way people look to her for answers she doesn’t have. Because she’s frightened and scarred, not some goddess warrior chick come to lead the troops and save the world. Katniss Everdeen is a badass because she doesn’t want any of it, but she comes to terms with her reluctance in the hopes that she can make a difference for the people she loves. To us, that matters so much more than the action, adventure, high-powered-thrills appeal this poster wants to convey.

We don’t know about you, but that’s not what this poster conveys to us. Yes, “reluctant hero” is a harder message to convey, but we don’t think anyone even attempted that route here. Instead, they just got stuck on the whole “Let’s try to make it look like the wings are hers” bit again.

It’s cool, though. We know the real Katniss Everdeen, thanks to the books and the much more accurate ways she’s portrayed in the movies. That Katniss Everdeen is our homegirl.

At Least The Beak Isn’t Coming Out Of Her Neck This Time,
The Girl With The Pearl

Breaking Down That New Clip

Among all the many presents dropped on October 1 to entice us to buy Mockingjay Part 2 tickets, was A MOVIE CLIP. A pretty nice sized one too! We loved the clip – it showed Squad 451 as Boggs explained the mission. This clip is a good way for the uninitiated to get a sense for what Katniss & Co will be doing in the Capitol. We waited until today to post this because technically you were only supposed to see this clip if you purchased tickets on Fandango. But the fandom said, “Fuck that, here’s my link guys – enjoy.” But now that Fandango’s hold on it is over, hello YouTube!

First things first, Finnick’s here! We love Finnick and Katniss’s friendship but Katniss’s line about him having a “short honeymoon” made us need a hug too.

katniss finnick hugs

Then Boggs introduces the team (hi Jackson) and lays out the mission.

boggs laying down the mission

Katniss doesn’t have much to do in this clip other than listen and look worried, but that’s ok. We’ve seen plenty of ACTION KATNISS in the trailers.

katniss listening

Then, (ohhh we love this part) Gale has to get all huffy that since they’re the “star squad” they’re “not going to fight.” AND BOGGS SHUTS HIM DOWN and tells him to do as he’s told. Jackson’s face in this shot is GREAT too.

boggs takes gale down a notch

Sorry, sorry. Yes, Gale. Dial it back.

gale backs down

Then, there’s the holo that shows very prettily the places of things that promise horrible death.


For the finale, Finnick, and his on point WELCOME TO THE 76TH HUNGER GAMES.

finnick 76th

So, a great clip to start us off, and it gives us further confidence about the look and tone of the film.

More please, but maybe spread it out to multiple days?


What Those Mockingjay Part 2 Stills Are Really Saying

For so long, we sat at our computers bemoaning the total lack of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 promotion, begging Lionsgate to “just give us something!”

Now they’re giving us ALL THE THINGS. Right now. At the same damn time as all the other things. Yesterday, we got a poster. Today, tickets went on sale and Fandango users will get a new clip if they purchase when 24 hours (if you’re in a prominently MovieTickets.com region like us, look to the inevitable piracy). Entertainment Weekly also released a still cover featuring photoshop-y Katniss, Peeta, and Gale from Tim Palen’s upcoming book o’ portrait wonders and eight new stills. Tomorrow, the final trailer hits… but only at Best Buy. Again.

Clearly, that’s a lot to talk about. AND WE WILL. But today, we’re gonna focus in on those stills. You may not realize it, but there’s a message in each character’s eyes. There’s some serious thought there that they’re trying to get out. We’ll translate for you.


“Urghh… It looks like we’re still committed to playing out the love triangle that nobody wants. Seriously, it’s giving me a migraine…”



“Da na na na, da na na na, da na na na, da na na na… CROSSBOW! The weapon for guys who want to impress chicks but don’t have any real skill!”



“We’re all pretty psyched about confronting the enemy! ..Except Peeta. He still doesn’t know what the fuck to do with his gun.”



“I’m just the basic bitch behind the camera, so Imma sit back and encourage the real badass to do all the killing despise her worst fears blooming to life before her eyes. How else do you think I keep my hair firmly to one side?”



“And then those freaking mutts showed up and I was like… tumblr_mvhy9xAFC41s822dfo1_250


“Why are we in The Hunger Games franchise playing bad cop/reluctant cop, again? We were born to play Legolas’ twin sisters in Lord of the Rings, thank you very much!”



“Look, Katniss, it’s not that I’m not saddened by your sister’s death. It’s just that.. if I’m going to drop you off in District 12 in place of Plutarch and mourn with you for a moment, I’m gonna look fly as fuck as I do it. Plzkthx.”



“You thought you had your shit together by this point in the movie, didn’t you? THINK AGAIN, WOMAN!

That’s Our Story And We’re Stickin’ To It,
The Girl With The Pearl

Those Unquenchable Mockingjays

Before the debut of the FOR PRIM “trailer” on Wednesday morning, another Mockingjay Part 2 poster was released via Jennifer Lawrence’s Facebook page.


Again we have the red Mockingjay outfit, which we still don’t believe will be in the actual film, but is merely for these in-universe propaganda promotional pieces. The red makes for a bolder visual statement, but as a practical matter, we see the use of the red as a way to differentiate the Mockingjay Part 1 and 2 marketing pieces. Thinking back to May when the first promotional items for Part 2 came out with the Sisters poster or just the Effie image, a common complaint was that it looked just like Mockingjay Part 1 stuff. By making the suit red, they’ve instantly been able to make things seem “new” without being really new while creating a sense of continuity between the two films. Having her standing in profile reminds us of the first character posters for the Hunger Games. Much has changed for Katniss, but much remains the same.

The new element of this poster is the inclusion of a “real” mockingjay resting precariously on her shoulder (don’t fall off, little buddy!). Maybe he’s positioned like that because he’s about to fly away again – Mockingjays are busy creatures after all. We suppose it’s more interesting to have him with Katniss than just her by her lonesome, and he’s not sticking awkwardly out of her neck, so we’re grateful for that.

tom haverford artThis poster overall harkens back to Catching Fire’s “The Sun Persists in Rising” poster that had mixed reviews back in the day. As personal “confession,” I’m looking at the “Sun Persists” poster right now because I have it hanging in my living room. I know it gets criticism for a lot of reasons (the pose is too Pocahontas/Lion King/you name it) but I like it for three reasons: the tagline, the clouds, and overall color scheme. (The color scheme is PERFECT for my living room decor). “The sun persists in rising so I make myself stand,” is from the beginning of Catching Fire and fits with the overall look of the poster, and what Katniss has to do throughout the book/movie. It’s also nicely relevant to anyone’s life – you may go through great struggles in life but you have to continue on and face the days as they come. It’s a more “artistic” poster, and with all ART we all feel different things looking at it.

This new poster is in the same LOOK GUYS, THIS IS ART category.  It also has the same cloud motif and obscure book quote tagline. So sure, the clouds and colors are nice but that book quote is a WEIRD choice. Yes, we know it’s from the passage in Mockingjay after the parachute fire bombs go off.

Real or not real? I am on fire. The balls of flame that erupted from the parachutes shot over the barricades, through the snowy air, and landed in the crowd. I was just turning away when one caught me, ran its tongue up the back of my body, and transformed me into something new. A creature as unquenchable as the sun.

The only reason we can think of for including this quote is that it’s meant to be paired with the FOR PRIM trailer. The trailer is all about bringing you the #feels about the moment when Prim dies and Katniss’s devastation from that loss. How does that moment of Katniss becoming a “fire mutt” and subsequent limbo between life and death relate to this poster? We’re struggling with the choice.

This is not the final poster though, just as FOR PRIM is not the final trailer. These are extras, so at least it’s something new to talk about.

Wonder if this poster will be the cover of Tim Palen’s $850 ULTIMATE Hunger Games photography book?


“Trailer” Talk: Prim-O-Rama

Okay, people! Let’s talk about that “For Prim” trailer!


Starting with this question: IS IT REALLY EVEN A MOCKINGJAY PART 2 TRAILER?

Yes, it’s over two minutes long and it hints at the importance of Katniss and Prim in the final movie. But it’s only got a few seconds of footage from Mockingjay Part 2! Ninety-seven percent of this sucker is a recap of the previous movies! Isn’t it most of a promo or a sister-centric franchise trailer than anything?

If you’re not sure, watch again and decide for yourself!

Perhaps it’s an unpopular opinion but we’re just gonna go out there and say it: This one just didn’t get to us.

We know the final movie really needs to emphasize the importance of Prim so fans really feel the loss of Prim as something horrific. We struggled with this in both the books and the movies. We get that Katniss loves Prim dearly but we were never felt invested in her personally. Don’t get us wrong– It’s sad that she dies! We see Katniss mourn and we mourn for her, because anyone can imagine the pain of losing someone close to them. When we watch the movie, we’ll probably get a bit emotional when it happens. But in the meantime, this is kinda just feels like stalling without actually giving us new things from the movie.

Visually, this is a fun experience. The smoky, blended images lend a really unique look to this, but it sometimes reminds us of a good fan-made video or a music video rather than an actual studio-made trailer for a major franchise. But we suppose that’s a compliment to fan video creators, right?!

REMINDER: Fragile 12-year-old is fragile.

REMINDER: Fragile 12-year-old is fragile.

The song, however, kills it. In a bad way. M83 is a talented group and I think most of their songs are a great choice for films and film promotion, but this doesn’t work for us here. It’s properly moody, but the random yell-y bits in between nostalgic dialogue were super jarring and took us right out of the moment.

Of course, it also comes back to another big question: IS THIS A GIANT SPOILER?

We don’t think all unfamiliar audiences will see this trailer and immediately know that Prim is going to die, but it certainly raises red flags. We’ve all seen enough movies to know that when a relationship that’s NOT romantic is emphasized, something significant is about to happen to them. More often than not, one of the people involved is about to die. And this focuses very specifically on Prim– not on family, not on District 12. It’s Prim-o-rama!

Not to mention the cyclical clusterfuck of a “possible spoiler” warning inadvertently making people aware enough to look for said possible spoilers when they wouldn’t have found them otherwise.

So Lionsgate going “SISTERS ARE IMPORTANT, Y’ALL!” doesn’t quite guarantee death, but it hints at death well enough. They likely made the trailer with the diehard types in mind, but we diehards also like the unfiltered, unspoiled reactions of the non-book reading masses on occasion!

At Least We’re Doin’ It All For Prim, Right?
The Girl With The Pearl

FEAST YOUR EYES! Mockingjay Part 2 Trailer and Poster

Consider this a PSA of sorts, people!

There’s a new Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 trailer and poster! Watch! Observe! PREPARE YOURSELVES FOR THE IMPENDING BREAKDOWN ON VICTOR’S VILLAGE!


Right now, the real world beckons. But we’ll discuss this all as soon as possible. The effects! The possible spoilers! The Photoshop! That WTF tagline! Charlie Brown connections!