Katniss Everdeen

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What’s Up with Those Kissy Clips?

To gear up some excitement for the Digital/HD/Blu-Ray/DVD etc release of Mockingjay Part 2, Lionsgate released a new trailer. Makes perfect sense. They also have released clips from the movie to some media outlets.

These are clips from the movie, so if you’re a fan, you’ve already seen these. The benefit here is that you get to see the moment again while you wait for the home entertainment release. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, it’s another chance to convince skeptics to give the movie a chance.

And if you like kissing scenes, man are you in luck! Well, you’re in luck if you’re a Galeniss or Hayffie type person. All us other people can just chill some more and wait I suppose.

You’ve got the awkward Katniss and Gale “it’s like you’re drunk, it doesn’t count” kiss via teen.com (’cause of course that would be the site).

Then the Hayffie shippers rejoiced at the release of this clip.

Don’t get us wrong, that’s quite a touching scene. We love that “Promise me you’ll find it… The life of a victor” exchange, but we were really rolling our eyes that these 2 clips were the first that hit the web for promotion.  There have been other clips released since then thankfully that relate to other elements of the plot. If not, one MIGHT be tempted to think this film was just some sort of romance-driven soap opera. Many people already wrongly have that impression, let’s not encourage it.

There’s still about 2 months to release, and in the days leading up to that we’ll likely get some sneaks of the new BTS/featurette content. And inevitably Peeta-related content because they know fans go nutzo for that stuff. We’ve been around long enough to have a good idea of the playbook.

I guess these were early Valentine’s Day presents from Lionsgate (though we could have done without that Gale kiss tbh).

JJ

 

Victor’s Village Hunger Games Holiday Gift Guide 2015

The final Hunger Games movie is out, but our hunger for cool Hunger Games merch is far from over. As in previous years, we’re back with our holiday gift guide with ideas for The Hunger Games lovers in your life… or to add to your own wish list!

The Hunger Games Funko POP! Figures

Funko POP! figures are our favorite collectibles of all the collectibles out there, so we’re in love with The Hunger Games collection! It covers all of Katniss’ major moments in four different figurines, plus Peeta, Effie, and President Snow! Was there ever a better desk decoration?

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Minimalist Poster Print by GreaterGeek

Besides having an excellent shop name, GreaterGeek also has stellar minimalist posters. This “Hope” poster offers up style, a favorite quote, and a pop of color!

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Peeta’s Necklace

Mockingjay symbols are thrown around all willy-nilly these days. Peeta’s necklace is an adorable choice for people who sometimes have to be a little quieter about their love for the series in everyday life. Fellow fans will get it and love it, but your strict boss will just think it’s a cute pendant.

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THG Color Changing Mug by MugDesignStudio

We’re a sucker for these color changing mugs. They’re deceptive: Plan black with a cold beverage, but revealing a great design with your morning coffee or tea to perk up the day!

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Mrs. Mellark Apron

We will forever associate The Boy With The Bread with our baking projects, though ours are way more haphazard. Now that the whole world knows the canon Katniss/Peeta ending (sorry not sorry, Team Gale!), why not celebrate your love for the character WHILE baking?!

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 score

We recognize that we live in a Wild Wild West in which nobody buys music anymore, but this isn’t any old music. The Mockingjay Part 2 score is lovely, intense, and emotional. It will help fans through their major ending feels. Plus, it’s got that original version of ‘Deep In The Meadow’ that we all covet!

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Goodbye Gale

From “Damn you, Gale” to “Goodbye Gale” the movie story of Katniss Everdeen and Gale Hawthorne was full of quotable, meme-worthy moments. It’s been a contentious ride, and the “Goodbye Gale” scene ends with such a sense of finality, you just know those two won’t be talking again soon, if ever. I’ve seen Mockingjay Part 2 five times now, and the scene breaks my heart every single time. The sorrow at Prim’s death, the uncertainty about where Gale’s culpability lies, and the mutual understanding that something has broken between them that can’t (or won’t) be repaired.

So the question I ask myself is, “WHY DO I LAUGH EVERYTIME I SEE SOMETHING ABOUT IT?” It can be anything. Someone can just tweet the words and I laugh. Or they can do something like this, which was a literal LOL for me.

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(There’s a huge number of other ones people have added to the post. Check them out, you will not be disappointed).

So why do we find this scene so funny? Are we trying to avoid the sadness of the situation by laughing? Are we channeling our disdain for some of Gale’s douchier moments? It’s probably both those things. We are a complicated fandom, and we like it that way.

Laughter aside, there is an undeniable honesty to “Goodbye Gale.” Katniss is not great at expressing her feelings, and the abruptness, the coldness, to how she dismisses him rings true to her character (and the numbness she feels at that time).  It works for the movie, however hard it may be to watch.

Keep laughing through the pain.

JJ

 

 

Little Moments We’re Thankful For in Mockingjay Part 2

Now that the second week of release is here, we’ve had time (and multiple viewings) to digest more of our thoughts and emotions about Mockingjay Part 2. We’ve seen a lot of discussion about the BIG moments in the movie – from the craziness of the pods, mutts, Finnick’s death, “Stay with me… Always,” epilogue, etc, but it’s some of the little moments that stick with us too.  Sure, there are some little things we wish had been done differently, but we’ll focus on the positive today, with our favorite little moments from the book we’re thankful (and a little amazed) actually made the cut of the movie. We’re still full of Thanksgiving spirit, so we’ll go with it.

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“I’m planning for you to have a long life”

Boggs is a character that you fall a little more in love with upon each reading of Mockingjay. He’s an overall good dude, and time and again he’s there for Katniss. He sees her as a person, not a symbol or a pawn, but a brave young woman who’s had WAY more than her fair share of sacrifice, and his support of her warms our heart. I’ve always loved this exchange between Boggs and Katniss in the books. It serves a narrative purpose of explaining Coin’s ominous intentions, but also just reinforces Boggs’ loyalty to her. Considering Boggs leaves us way too soon, we’re glad he at least got this nice moment.

Pollux and Castor when they first go underground

It was wonderful to have Pollux’s backstory fleshed out a little, and the support Castor gives his brother as he starts to get a little panicky at all the revived memories of being underground was so sweet. (Funny how they give us these moments just before a character is about to die, huh?) But it was well done to reinforce the bond between these brothers, and we loved to see it.

“You’re a painter, you’re a baker…”

Much has been written about this discussion between Peeta, Katniss, and the squad. It’s our introduction to “Real or not real,” and the movie could have just left it at the favorite color discussion and moved on. But we got the gift of the painter, baker, windows open, double knotted shoelaces, unsweetened tea of details that shows just how much Katniss was paying attention to Peeta Mellark all this time. The mundane details that she knows about him reinforces how close they became before the Quarter Quell. This is a moment for the book fans and we’re forever grateful for it, film pacing be damned!

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Tigris’s small smile when Katniss reveals her mission to kill Snow

It wasn’t a long scene, but they took the time for Katniss to recognize Tigris as an ex-stylist from the Games. The horror of Tigris’s transformation is evident when she shares that Snow didn’t think she was “pretty enough” after all the disfigurement she inevitably went through to try to meet his unobtainable continued favor. Her tiny smile when Katniss shares her plan to kill Snow is another moment we’re glad made the cut. We already knew that among Capitol elites, Snow’s friendship was fickle, but this was a reinforcement that no one was safe under his regime.

What other small moments in the film stood out to you?

JJ

 

 

 

 

The Hunger Games: The Reunion

So something weird happened last night: I went to my 10 year high school reunion. YES I AM OLD. I accept this and you should too. Moving on!

It turns out the reunion situation was pretty similar to what I expected (read: fairly lackluster), but it got me thinking about the people I reunited with and how, inevitably, some of them exist in every crowd.

For instance, I was convinced to go thanks to the Effie Trinket-esque friend. The girl who still has lots of lovely memories from back in the day and remains largely positive, determined to see us take advantage of the fun promised by this event. “Its’ going to be a big, big day!” And once we got there, she was a total champ.

Naturally, it got me thinking where the rest of the characters would fall if they met in a function hall ten years later.

Still never mastered how to smile!

Still never mastered how to smile!

For instance, Gale would probably be the best dressed guy in the room. He’d make polite small talk with the girls he missed out on in high school. But ultimately, he’d have a few too many drinks, viciously insult one of those said girls and get her all upset, reminding everyone that he’s still kind of a dick.

Katniss sits at her table while almost everyone else kind of flutters around the room. She sticks with the people she knows best, but chats with anyone who comes over to say hi. She gets a little alarmed if anyone is too enthusiastic, because nobody cares about how you’re doing that much. Moderate alcohol consumption and avoiding eye contact is key to surviving the night.

Peeta is also looking decent, but in a more basic way than any of the other men. He’s friendlier than Katniss, but still sticks by her side for most of the night. Your single friends lament the fact that he’s still with “that girl he’s been dating forever” with a twinge of jealousy. Also, he gives the awkward welcome speech.

The “Oh hell he better have a ride home” guy

Haymitch is in ripped jeans and a t-shirt, drunk to the nth degree about 20 minutes arrival. He greets everyone as if they’re his best friend, even relative strangers. Upon seeing friendly faces, he thanks them for being one of the fellow “normals” to show up in comparison to the more popular folks from back in the day (P.S. That happened) and by the end of the night, he’s flashing everyone as they try to say goodbye (P.P.S. Also happened).

Annie Odair (Cresta? Cresta-Odair? WE DON’T EVEN KNOW) is there as well. She’s smartly dressed, a bit shy, but so lovely. She’s the person everyone hasn’t fully kept in touch with but is still a total joy to see. For a few seconds that the other characters catch up on news about her kiddo and life, a reunion feels like an actual reunion and not a giant puddle of awkward.

Plutarch is the guy who’s forcing everyone to take pictures, because the memories. And the Instagram account. Everyone knows he’s in not way a ruler of Panem, but he’s sure gonna act like it. He’s a little too slick for his own good and a lot of attendees roll their eyes when he turns away.

There are probably dozens of mostly nameless others involved in this reunion– Gale’s family and Katniss’ mom and several residents from both District 12 and District 13. If it were an actual Hunger Games reunion, we’d have this:

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Plus, with more people, you could probably repeat this formula several times over!

Or Just Leave For A Bar After 2 Hours. That Worked Too!
The Girl With The Pearl

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.

JJ

 

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.

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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.

JJ

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.

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Katniss looks even more menacing now, huh Snow?

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Hijacked Peeta has a whole new meaning now.

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

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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.

JJ

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:

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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