Katniss Everdeen

Beakless Beakniss

As DVD time approaches, we’ve made a small but exciting discovery.

See, we love it when it seems the movie studios are listen to what’s being said in the fandom, and in this one case, they seemingly listened and corrected themselves.

Just before the release of Mockingjay Patt 1 came a poster that became know in the fandom as “Beakniss”:

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Named so because of the giant and painfully obvious beak from the Mockingjay pin protruding out of Katniss’ neck. It upped the WTF factor of the poster by about 60%. We weren’t quite sure how that sucker made it past an entire creative design team and into production, but it did.

To make matters worse, the Beakniss image was the main promo for the film. So Katniss had a beak stabbing through her neck in movie theater cutouts, giant banners… everywhere!

Thankfully, as DVD time rolled around, someone at Lionsgate realized how painful the image is. Because the regular Blu-ray/DVD cover is…

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BEAKLESS BEAKNISS!

Perhaps a lot of people won’t notice or care, but to us, it’s a major relief. We’re glad we don’t have to stare that poorly placed background beak down every time we want to watch the blu-ray!

We Were Partial To Batniss, Anyway!
The Girl With The Pearl

Mockingjay Deleted Scene Goodness

To promote the release of Mockingjay Part 1 on Digital next Tuesday, Lionsgate is releasing some of the extra features to the media. Behind the scenes with a little snippet of the Finnick underwear scene! And now some of the deleted scenes too. One with Katniss and Effie and another of Katniss and Haymitch. Both very touching, great scenes, that due to time, tone, or continuity, were left out of the final cut. In the interest of conserving emotional energy, we’re going to pace ourselves here. It’s rare that we get such multitudes of goodies on one day. So today, the Katniss and Haymitch “We’re Still in the Game” scene!

The Katniss and Haymitch scene seems to occur right after she first sees him again in District 13 and is walking away to avoid speaking to him.

Katniss Haymitch 13 reunion

She’s pissed that he didn’t save Peeta. And then she tells him to “say it” as well – put some blame back on her for letting Peeta out of her sight. It shows how in sync these two are. He knows she’s going to blame him for one thing AND that she wants him to blame her for losing Peeta to the Capitol as well. Also a nice touch is the “distill my own turnips” line. District 13’s food staple of turnips didn’t make the movie, but it’s fun to know it made the screenplay.

This scene here is as much of a pep talk as Haymitch can give, considering his personality, but it’s great to see this side of him. He’s trying to give her some hope and motivate her. It’s clear she hears him, but she’s not quite ready to truly BELIEVE him yet – that their efforts here could actually save Peeta. It’s such a solid scene between the two it makes me wonder why they took it out. Again, maybe the time constraints or concern about the flow of the story. But it’s great that we’ve got it now.

Blu-ray/DVD extras are a beautiful thing.

JJ

Mockingjay Missing Scene Mayhem

What are you trying to do to us, Lionsgate?! We’re having palpitations over here!

See, you’ve been releasing a lot of gorgeous new stills over the past month. This one is a fave:

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But they’re stills that probablyyyy would have been better served in the pre-release drought that lasted until about a month prior to the film. Instead they came afterwards in the midst of Christmastime award-contending releases when the steam behind your movie is already 94% gone. Not your best move. IMJUSTSAYIN.

But then to make it worse, you quote them up. Mostly it’s movie related, but sometimes it’s this:

What? WHAT?!

This amazing, fierce confrontation between Katniss and Haymitch didn’t happen in the movie. We know! We desperately wanted it to happen in the movie, so we watched out for it during our multiple viewings. NEVER HAPPENED. Our fangirl hearts were crushed.

So what does it mean? Is this an actual deleted scene from the film? Or are you just taking book quotes that were never even part of the movie and torturing us with them?

We’ve stared at these pictures long enough and tried to riddle it out, but we’re honestly not positive. Both characters were in those same outfits A LOT. Backgrounds are blurred. The exact moments featured aren’t coming to mind, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t in the movie. The character in the foreground of Katniss’ still doesn’t have Haymitch’s long wavy hair, so it’s probably not a scene in which she was talking to him.

And we won’t even theorize that any part of this is from Part 2 (though we’d be thrilled of it got squeezed in there.) Learn from the past year, you eternal optimists. If we’re lucky, we might get something from Part 2 by the end of June. Maybe!

We’re somewhere between two and three months away from the DVD, so we can only hope the mystery gets solved when the deleted scenes are announced. If it’s in there, we will then suggest a few other scenes that probably could have been cut in order to include this one.

No More Non-Scene Teases, PLZKTHX!
The Girl With The Pearl

The Girl on Fire, Made of Wax

Her face has been everywhere the past few years for the movie promotion, but yesterday marked another milestone in the cultural life of Katniss Everdeen. Yes, she has made it to another level now. Wax.  She’s a popular enough character that Madame Tussaud’s has made Katniss Everdeen wax figures for its London, NYC, and LA locations.

Here they are:

London Katniss

London Katniss

Katniss in NY (top) and LA (bottom)

Katniss in NY (top) and LA (bottom)

The likeness to Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss is pretty incredible. And we like the choice to have District 12/Catching Fire Katniss in two of the locations. This isn’t Katniss all glammed up for the Capitol in her fire dresses (although when you’re modeled after Jennifer Lawrence, you’re going to be gorgeous no matter what). This is Katniss in the woods (or in the woods of the first Hunger Games). She’s frowning. She’s concerned. She’s sad. She’s not fake smiling for the audience.

We’re happy they chose to immortalize this version of Katniss, and not “The Mockingjay.” Potential promotional partners, take note.

But while we really do like the serious take on Katniss, we wouldn’t mind if Jennifer Lawrence paid a visit and did some Jon Hamm/Don Draper type silliness.

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THAT, we think, would burn down the internet.

JJ

Remember When? Let’s Reminisce About Katniss Casting!

Believe it or not, casting for The Hunger Games was announced 3 1/2 years ago in March 2011. Recently, we got to remember the speculative casting madness that came before it, including rumors, hopeful press interviews, “Katniss” selfies, studio meetings, and more. It was cray cray, but it’s fun to look back.

It all started because of a remix of The Hanging Tree. No, not THE awful radio remix. A different one by Tyler Ward and Alyson Stoner that’s more of a really interesting original song that randomly uses The Hanging Tree as a chorus:

While discussing it with other fansite friends, Theresa from Down With The Capitol mentioned that she almost didn’t recognize the former Disney star who auditioned for Katniss under all that makeup.

Huh? She auditioned for Katniss???

Yep. Alyson Stoner was a huge book fan and how campaigned for the role HARD on social media, complete with some Katniss selfies:

Alyson-Stoner

And she was pretty (playfully) competitive too:
Alyson Stoner tweets battle

So what thought about it. Yes, there’s was Woodley and Breslin and Moretz and other big names considered. But who else are we forgetting?!

Here are some other Katniss hopefuls you may have forgotten!

Jodelle Ferland

Joelle Ferland Katniss

Jodelle’s been acting in lots of small parts since she was a young’un, but Katniss was a role she really, really rallied for. She too resorted to Katniss selfies. This was NOT the way to win over the casting director, though!

We remember thinking so had the look if Katniss was going to be on the young side, but we still haven’t seen enough of her acting to confirm her chops. She continues to take on the indie movie scene.

Emily Browning

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After famously turning down the role of Bella Swan in Twilight when Stephenie Meyer practically tried to hand her the role on a silver platter (Thank this one for Kristen Stewart’s career [/sarcasm]), Browning smartened up and didn’t miss the opportunity for the next big franchise for which she received the script. Aaaaaaaaand it didn’t work!

She got the chance to make it up to Stephenie Meyer by making a cameo in her other movie, The Host, and most recently got half-naked with Kit Harington in Pompeii, among other projects. Not too bad!

Kaya Scodelario

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She’s since gotten her comeuppance as the female lead in The Maze Runner, but Kaya Scodelario was best known for her role on the British TV show Skins. Our skepticism was pretty high, but Kaya was sent the script and met with Gary Ross, so she was clearly a viable candidate. Still, the odds were not in her favor.

S’alright, Kaya! You’ve got yourself a shiny new franchise to enjoy for about another year until fans begin to hate on your character’s questionable choices and love another female character instead. In all fairness, I’ve always had Teresa’s back!

Lyndsy Fonseca

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Call her “bedroom eyes Katniss”.

The star of Nikita had some pretty outspoken supporters when she hinted at her Hunger Games audition. In fact, her supporters were SO invested that she kinda had to douse their fiery rage when the role went to Jen instead. Lyndsy was a little too old for the role from the get-go (she’s now a few weeks shy of 28), so we were never really feeling her in the role.

Lyndsy hasn’t suffered from the loss, though. She’s been in a few movies and is now playing Peggy Carter’s best friend on Marvel’s Agent Carter, which begins airing in January.

All this brings us back to our first rule of getting cast in The Hunger Games franchise: Don’t TALK about wanting to get cast in The Hunger Games franchise!

Man, We’re Glad Casting Madness Is Over!
The Girl With The Pearl

My One Mockingjay Part 1 Gripe

It’s hard to believe it but after three films in The Hunger Games franchise, and after so many gripes about Gary Ross’s treatment, and then my barely there gripes about Francis Lawrence’s treatment of Catching Fire– I only have one, count it ONEMockingjay-gale-poster gripe about Mockingjay Part 1. And that gripe is this, Gale Hawthorne is effectively an orphan.

I know, I know there’s something wrong with me, ’cause my gripe is for all intents and purposes the stripping away Gale of pretty much everything that made him sympathetic in the first place. The fact that he had a family to take care of, not just Katniss, and Katniss’s family, but one all of his own. There was Posy, and Vic, and Rory, and his mother Hazelle. But like Madge Undersee, or Greasy Sae, or Delly Cartwright, Gale’s family was cut down to a brief mention of his “brothers” in The Hunger Games, and then a feigned responsibility to them in Catching Fire by taking up work in the mines, and then finally in Mockingjay Part 1, they’re just no where.

So what happened to Gale’s family? Were they seen as extraneous, or an unneeded distraction from the main points of the story? In my head I’d like to imagine that Gale’s family was on the story boards for a while, they may have even had thoughts of casting them. But then it got away from the creators of the franchise, that they figured Gale alone, stately, tall, and handsome would be enough, and that expanding his home life would not have made him more easy to love, and more of a rival for the affections Katniss has for Peeta. But from where I’m sitting, even though Gale is all of those things, stately, strong, handsome, and solo– he’s not an island, and knowing more about him as a person rather than just a hunter, and a soldier, and a friend– may have been a boon to the story, and perhaps to Liam Hemsworth as an actor. That being said, I loved Mockingjay Part 1 as a film, and if Gale’s family was the sacrifice they made to make it as good as I believe it is, I’ll take it.

So, that’s my one gripe– Gale Hawthorne’s is a storyboard orphan.

Them There Eyes

REVIEW: Mockingjay Part 1 Is The Ultimate Game Changer

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** THIS REVIEW IS SPOILER FREE!**

The Hunger Games Franchise: Come for the action. Stay for the bigger, more important message.

KATNISSIf you’ve been following reviews for Mockingjay Part 1 so far, you’ve probably noticed some media outlets griping about the change of pace or fewer action sequences or the lack of the games. But The Hunger Games has always been about more than just the games. The first two films did an excellent job conveying the danger and inequality in Panem through the games, but the story cannot simply be the games, otherwise the whole message Suzanne Collins intended for her audience is lost. The franchise is about the tragedies of war but also the need to question society’s parameters and to fight against injustice, even if it comes at a personal cost. That’s right, folks– We’re moving past the “Whoa, all these people are in a bubble trying to kill each other!” pull and into legitimate political thriller territory.

Mockingjay Part 1 is a tantalizing slow burn. Its pacing, emotion, and action are different from the other films, but in the best way possible. It starts out dark, ends pitch black, and finds moments of levity, anger, sadness, and just about everything else in between. As Katniss attempts to adjust to life in District 13 and reluctantly accepts her role as the voice of the rebellion, a new story element unfolds into something much deeper. Katniss and District 13 go back and forth in the ultimate game of cat and mouse with President Snow, one in which everyone they know is a pawn. Of course, that doesn’t mean that everyone supporting her in District 13 is really truly on her side, either. The result is a harrowing journey to incite a revolution, one that featured fewer action sequences but kept us more emotionally invested than any Hunger Games movie before it.

Mockingjay-Part-1-Phillip-Seymour-Hoffman-and-Julianne-MooreThere’s a stunning tension created throughout the film by the entire cast. Jennifer Lawrence proved herself as our Katniss long ago, but earns new respect as she handles Katniss’ fragile emotional state with realism and care. Donald Sutherland is an absolute maniacal genius now that he has a chance to flex those baddie muscles. Julianne Moore is a smart, welcome addition as President Coin, who plays beautifully off the late Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Plutarch Heavensbee. The decision to keep Effie in the story was a stellar one and Elizabeth Banks is more perfectly Effie than ever before. Liam Hemsworth plays Gale with much more vulnerability and depth than recent promos have suggested– the rage scene is definitely there, but many others prior to that make it easy to see just how truly torn he is. However, if there’s a “Stepping Up To The Plate” award for this movie, it goes to Josh Hutcherson. Peeta’s transformation is gut-wrenching and visceral, the stuff that makes your breath catch in your throat every time he comes on screen because the agony and instability feels so real. It’s the first time in the series Josh has really been asked to be something beyond the caring, careful version of Peeta we all know so well and he exceeds expectations.

There is still action in this film but it isn’t scene-to-scene as it was when Katniss fought off danger after danger in the arenas. However, please don’t confuse less action with a plodding pace. This movie’s action sticks in your brain and feels much more warranted than in previous films. It is not, as the games were, for anyone’s entertainment. Even in the scenes without explosions and hovercrafts and arrows flying, there’s still plenty of things happening and for us, the entire film felt like it moved very quickly, faster than its actual run time.

mockingjay-part-1-peeta-beatenBecause this movie is a Part 1, you’re not going to get instant gratification around every turn (another sticking point for critics, it seems). But ask yourself– Did you really with The Hunger Games or Catching Fire, either? Francis Lawrence, Danny Strong, and Peter Craig used the opportunity to get more in depth with the story very wisely. Rather than being thrust into District 13, there’s a world-building that you don’t always get in film. President Snow and Plutarch in particular benefit from the books expansion into two parts, in terms of both screen time and character development. Boggs, Cressida, and the film crew are also rewarded a richer understanding than we’d expected. Random gushing: Elden Henson as Pollux was easily our favorite part of the film crew without saying a word, though everyone else played their part very well too.

For all the guessing in the world at the ending, we will only tell you this: You know the ending, but you don’t. You’ll leave the theater feeling charged up and overwhelmed, already eager for the final film.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the film is perfect. We have a few gripes but realize that in the grand scheme of things, they’re pretty minor. We’ll nitpick at a later date because to do so would be to spoil everyone. Even so, we know that Lawrence Squared and the rest of the team have delivered us a stellar film that is sharp and thought-provoking.

We can’t wait to discuss it with all of you!

Mockingjay Still-O-Rama Reactions

Mockingjay is less than two weeks away! Besides press tour interviews galore (and the return to the entire cast seemingly getting sick at once), there’s something else coming in droves: NEW STILLS AND BEHIND THE SCENES IMAGES!

Of course, you don’t just see a still. You see it and you have a reaction. Sometimes it’s just a basic “Oh that’s cool!” or “Meh”, but sometimes it’s something much bigger. So let’s share those more substantial reactions:

Effie1

Effie’s eyebrows are in a semi-natural state! Now are they gray-ish from years of over-treatment, plucking, etc? Or are we actually supposed to believe that homegirl has naturally light blonde eyebrows? Because as a natural blonde, that does not happen! Wait, what’s Effie’s natural hair color? Does SHE even know?!

District13-5

WIIIIIIIIIG! It’s like “The Mole” scene from Austin Powers for us at certain points. It’s not a bad wig– it’s actually a good one, hairline-wise and all that jazz. But you started thinking about how shiny and perfectly wavy her hair looks and then OH YEAH IT’S A WIG. Because nobody’s real hair ever stays that nice. We mean, Woody has a wig too but his reflects his character, thus is a total mess.

District13-4

Is that District 13 schematic just like… their screensaver or something? When they don’t have anything relevant to their missions, is that always just there in the background like “HEY GUYS! THIS IS WHERE WE LIVE!”? We’ve seen a lot of that sucker!

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Paylor in contrast to Katniss, Gale, and the film squad is beautiful. She’s got this very salt-to-the-Earth look that’s we’re digging. She is a part of a grassroot rebel movement. They don’t no stinkin’ armor! Okay, they need it, but they don’t have it and they fight anyway. And that is true badassery.

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Snow’s office is awesome and all, but there are young people lined up in Capitol clothing in the upper right-hand corner of this photo. Why are they there? Are they supporters? Could they be consorts toted around the city like Finnick and Johanna were? What are you doing to them Snow?!

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So you’re telling me that the dude with the cowboy hat and mutton chops is NOT in the movie? DAMMIT! DAMMIT ALL TO HELL! WHY NOT?!

The Mockingjay Clip That Left Us With One Wish

Have you been hiding in an underground bunker recently? If so, you my not know this already, but… THE FIRST MOCKINGJAY CLIP IS HERE! And it’s a heart-wrencher!

OBSERVE!

For people who don’t know the books, this clip is misleading. It almost looks like Peeta is friendly with Caesar Flickerman and possibly even enjoying their conversation. Sure, you can hear the hitch in his voice, but someone might assume it’s because of the tense subject– the surprise ending of the Quarter Quell. His tone could even represent his disappointment in what Katniss did and shiny new alliance with The Capitol. But we also think this clip is meant to be misleading.

Of course, we know better, but think about it: Katniss is really the one person who believes that Peeta isn’t willingly working in conjunction with the Capitol. The audience shouldn’t fully believe that he’s being held against his will, either. We’ll see Katniss advocating his innocence constantly, slowly the audience will start to believe her despite every other character being skeptical because she’s the protagonist, only to see him attempt to murder her somewhere toward the end, and it’ll be a glass case of emotion, Ron Burgundy style.

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I’m imagining that clip wise, we probably won’t see much Peeta outside of this one. Because it sets up that “Wait.. is Peeta a traitor now?” mindset that will make moviegoers eager to solve the mystery. Anything to negate that would be kind of counter-productive. Of course, that doesn’t mean other clips won’t mention Peeta. He’s kind of a big discussion point in this one and scenes discussing what should be done with him will be pretty spoiler-free on the grand scale of the story.

Another thing we’re loving about this? The dialogue is very, very similar to the book. With this script, screenwriters seem to have really taken the time to figure out what quotes from the book really work on film rather than simply trying to rephrase everything. We think it’s a really nice homage to the original story.

Oh, And Our One Wish? MOAR CLIPS!

The Girl With The Pearl

Mockingjay’s Iffy Cliffy

It’s been debated, questioned, and mulled over for months upon months now: Where exactly will Mockingjay Part 1 end?

Movie splits are usually pretty high tension, some everyone had their theories. Realistically, it broke down to two: 1) Peeta and Katniss’ reunion in District 13 in which things get a little choke-y or 2) After Katniss has become fully aware of Peeta’s condition, feels hopeless, and begs to be sent to District Two. There are a few others, like after she gets shot in Two or after Finnick and Annie’s wedding, but we don’t see those as being quite so likely.

While Mockingjay Part 1’s ending still technically remains a cliffhanger, Jennifer Lawrence has got us thinking that there can only be one real scenario after she spoke to Cineplex Magazine about the ending:

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“Oh God, I don’t want to tell you that. It’s a really great ending, and you guys are going to be pissed.”

If audiences are really going to be as pissed off as J-Law seems to be suggesting… OH MY GOODNESS, WE’RE SO HAPPY!

Like 30 seconds after this shot, probably! *sobs*

Like 30 seconds after this shot, probably! *sobs*

Out the the two above scenarios, the truly justified RAAAAAAAGE scenario is the screen blacking out just as Katniss blacks out, while being choked by Peeta. It’s the ultimate WTF moment of the series. If the film ends there, there’s no explanations, understanding, or time for Peeta pity. There’s just confusion and rage for fans who don’t already know what’s coming (and even for some of us who do) and the outrage will be beautiful!

Outrage and anger is what this series is going for, but sometimes that’s easy to forget. The Capitol’s manipulations, the ones that turn people against each other so they can maintain power, are the major atrocities of this book. What better way to make people feel like that to have Peeta inexplicably turn against Katniss?

Also We May Be Sadomasochists,

The Girl With The Pearl