The Magical Internet Pony has let us down. Well, not really, but it has stung us a little. The MTV Movie Awards nominations were announced a few days ago, and Catching Fire got a bunch of them. Best movie, Best Female Performance (Jen, duh), Best Male Performance (Josh), Best Fight (Jen/Josh/Sam vs. the monkey mutts), Best Shirtless Scene (Go Sam! No need to be self-conscious), Best On Screen Transformation (Elizabeth Banks), and Best Villain (Donald Sutherland). Very impressive. And a nice job of spreading out of the love to several actors.
However, Catching Fire was not included in two categories that had fans crying foul. Best Hero and Best Kiss. I agree that there is a tremendous case for CF to be nominated in these two categories as well, but I’d guess that it was left out as a way to include other movies in the show. You nominate more movies, you have a better shot of having more actors come, more movie fans are inclined to watch and you make more movie studios happy. If Catching Fire and Jennifer Lawrence won everything, it might be a bit too much for some people. Not me, but I could see it annoying other people.
Looking at some of the nominees in those two categories irritates me though. Channing Tatum, you are adorable and lovely and quite the strong buff guy. But MTV, are you seriously telling me that his role in White House Down deserves a Best Hero nod over Katniss Everdeen in Catching Fire? No. The only reason he’s nominated is they want to include him in the broadcast for a reason other than just promoting 22 Jump Street. The other noms are Marvel/DC superheroes and Bilbo Baggins. Fine, I can understand you picking superheroes and another beloved literary figure. But you leave out Katniss Freaking Everdeen when Catching Fire was the number one domestic release of 2013 MTV? Tsk, tsk. That is one big miss, and it kind of stinks of sexism, which makes it even more uncomfortable.
For what it’s worth, some fans have channeled their outrage into online petitions. The Best Hero one already has over 11,000 signatures and I even saw E! News posting on it today. I mean, I don’t know what would possibly come of it, but it makes me smile to see fans support Katniss. It’s nice.
[I don’t even want to dwell the Best Kiss category because we all know it’s a travesty that the beach kiss was not included. Completely ridiculous oversight made for some of the reasons mentioned above. It makes me angry. And then I get angry at myself for being mad about a silly MTV awards show. It’s a cycle of just bad feelings so I must stop.]
Yes, I’m very annoyed at myself for even writing this post because really, the true value of the MTV Movie Awards for Hunger Games fans is that last year it gave us the Catching Fire teaser trailer premiere. And maybe this year, it will give us something else (purely rumor at this stage). I can’t say I enjoy watching the rest of the show. So why am I wasting my life writing about this. Damn you, MTV and your Movie Brawls, Movie Awards, etc. Just. Ugh.
After all this MTV, I hope for your sake that Lionsgate is hooking you up with something Mockingjay-related to make us forget.
We’ve already discussed a handful of ways The Hunger Games and The Olympics aren’t all the different. But there’s one other comparison we’ve noticed that has blossomed into a very Hunger Games-like situation. America’s own Katniss and Peeta (Hunger Games, early Catching Fire), if you will!
Maybe we just weren’t paying enough attention four years ago, but this time around, ice dancing team Meryl Davis + Charlie White = America’s sweethearts LIKE WHOA. Besides the fact that they both look like Disney characters and seem to defy the laws of gravity on ice, there’s one really obvious thing about them: A bazillion total strangers ship them. HARD.
There’s a fine line when it comes to shipping real people. We tend to go against it, unless the people are definitely in a relationship already. Meryl and Charlie are not. And yet, it still feels a bit like the star-crossed lovers from District 12.
These two have known each other since childhood and obviously care about each other deeply. However, it’s probably very platonic, like siblings. But the media (mainly US Olympics broadcaster NBC) glorifies it. They never call it a love story, but audiences will only listen to two attractive people being interviewed about how amazing and special they think the other is before implications settle in.
Then there’s Charlie White’s actual relationship. Interviewers do ask about his model/ former ice skater girlfriend, but Charlie is quickly to brush them off and talk about how his relationship with Meryl is all that matters right now. He’s also said that it’s okay that people assume he and Meryl are dating, as they often try to portray people in love. We’re not sure that he’s trying to promote the idea that he and Meryl are together. He probably just wants to keep his private relationships private, but quotes like that sure do fan the shipper fire.
We know exactly where Meryl and Charlie stand (at the top of the podium! BOOM!), but it still doesn’t feel all that different than Katniss and Peeta being paraded around, trying to show their country’s citizens how good they are together and impress sponsors. Katniss feeling like she has to play down her life with Gale during the Victory Tour feel familiar? There’s no survival or political forces at sake, but the analyzing, attention, and shipping? Totally there!
Is it a little weird? For sure! We’re talking about real people and real media manipulation. But if this ain’t the real world spilling over into Suzanne Collins’ world, we don’t know what is!
Officially Filed Under “Comparisons We Can’t Stop Making” And Let Go,
The Girl With The Pearl
We’re anticipating lots from the Catching Fire DVD, but we know we aren’t going to get everything. Even in the Special Editions!
Oh no! We won’t see all the good until well after Mockingjay Part 2 hits DVD when Lionsgate decides to release THE HUNGER GAMES FULL SERIES SPECIAL DIAMOND MAC DADDY EDITION.
We predict that will be the actual name, btw.
But in the meantime, Lionsgate is throwing us a bone by including SOME deleted scenes in DVDs on March 7th. Let’s take a look at those (thanks to Panem Propaganda):
THE HOB – SCENE 8 (00:21) – A short scene with Gale and Katniss at The Hob.
TRAIN STATION – SCENE 62 (00:23) – Katniss comes back from the victory tour and tells Prim and her mother they need to leave District 12.
A WRINKLE – SCENE 81 (01:42) President Snow talks to Plutarch Heavensbee about Jabberjays. Extended scene.
SWITCHING ENVELOPES – SCENE 84 (01:04) Plutarch Heavensbee switches Quarter Quell envelopes and destroys the original envelope.
FINNICK TIES THE KNOT – SCENE 119 (00:56) Finnick Odair teaches Katniss to tie knots in the training center.
You mean we finally get to see the knot tying scene that everyone who hasn’t read the books flipped out about?! It was one of the first stills we got, and it DOES look like Finnick is trying to get all up in Katniss’ training suit. We’re speculating, but all the movie only fans going “OMG THERE BETTER NOT BE THIS SLEAZY GUY AND SOME FREAKY LOVE POLYGON GOING ON IN THIS MOVIE” might have had something to do with the scene being cut. Finnick is supposed to be intensely likable! Still, a look at Finnick oozing bravado now that everyone knows about his soft candy center is much appreciated.
Snow and Plutarch scenes are the longest, but what else would you expect? Their characters were tasked with most of the back story and political tension in Catching Fire. Oh, and it’s DONALD SUTHERLAND and PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN (who will be bittersweet to watch, but we’re glad it’s there). We imagine Francis had to find the balance between displaying the powers that be and turning half of CF into The Snow and Heavensbee Hour.
The other two scenes in District 12 are essentially cutaway scenes that likely weren’t deemed necessary.
BUT…BUT… BUT BUT… What about all the other stuff we saw? What about the scenes Lionsgate showed us and Francis talked about?
What about Peeta painting with the morphling?! Or Plutarch and Haymitch in slightly comical outfits together?! Or the pocket watch take of Plutarch’s introduction that was filmed but wasn’t used? Again, we understand that some things must be saved for the SUPER FLY LIMITED EDITION, but does it have to be the stuff that’s already been seen, discussed, and (perhaps unintentionally) teased? We knoooooooow they’re around somewhere! Will we somehow get a peak in the next two years?!
Lionsgate, we know you can make it happen! Because you love us. And because we’ve made you lots of money. And we’ll probably still buy your COLLECTORS KILLER MINT EDITION, anyway.
Oh-So-Many DVD Editions!
The Girl With The Pearl
Thank you for being you, Suzanne Collins! For writing The Hunger Games series, of course, but also for allowing it to be loved for what it is.
Yes, we’ve talked about how we wished you were more actively involved in the fandom and that still stands. But at the same time, your lack of chatter regarding the series helps maintain the mystery and the purity and just recently, we’ve realized just how much we appreciate that!
As you’ve probably heard, JK Rowling recently put the Harry Potter fandom in an absolute tizzy when she recently described Ron and Hermione, one of the most popular relationships in literature, as “wish fulfillment” and a stubborn choice to stick to her original plans for the series even though it was “not for reasons of credibility”. It doesn’t help that these quotes have been sensationalized by media sources saying she regrets writing the relationship and that Hermione should have ended up with Harry (which would directly contradict many of her earlier interviews and was actually implied by Emma Watson, not JKR, during the interview in question.) Unfortunately, it was super easy for the media to imply all these things because JKR sliced that can of worms wide open, seven freaking years after the end of the series. Fans who understand exactly why Ron and Hermione worked as a couple (like us!) are outraged and Harry/Hermione shippers, would Jo once playful agreed were delusional for ignoring “anvil-sized hints” to the contrary, are simultaneously rejoicing and demanding an apology. Despite the full interview explaining the situation with a little more depth to show JKR is not anti-R/Hr and the fact that none if this changes the ending to the Harry Potter books or movies, the whole fandom is a complete clusterfuck.
Now imagine if Suzanne Collins did something similar? What if several years from now, she tells the media that in hindsight, Katniss probably should have ended up with Gale. Because they came from the same type of background and they presented each other with fewer challenges to see the world differently than they already did. That it just would have made more sense if she stuck with the totally stagnant cliche in which the hero falls for their best friend, suggesting that was the more credible option than what her intuition originally convinced her to write.
We’re pretty sure we’d rip all our hair out.
Relationships are not the only thing this could happen with, of course. New details on Panem’s infrastructure? The actual names of Katniss and Peeta’s children? Suzanne’s doubts about killing so-and-so or the severity of so-and-so’s attitude in Chapter X? Even these minor things would drive this fandom crazy!
Do we want to know every single detail, even the ones we don’t need? Sure! Do we need them? Prooooobably not! Sometimes it is better to wonder than hear all the answers and revelations, because as JK Rowling has proven– all the answers and the revelations can certainly take away from the magic and the mystery.
Live and let live (in a fictional plane of existence as originally concluded at the end of the final book.)
The Rest Is Up To Fan Fiction,
The Girl With The Pearl
Harvey Weinstein wants to distance himself from the über violence he’s been producing, and Schilling for the last decade plus. As a Hunger Games themed blog I have to put my two cents in about this, because while Harvey has been producing, and promoting some of the most violent, and the most highly praised films of the last several years– he’s also totes BFFs with Jennifer Lawrence, AKA our Katniss Everdeen the Heroin of one of the most violently themed series’ to come out in eons.
Weinstein did not produce nor does he have a hand in any of the future Hunger Games films, but since he’s pretty much the Dogs Tuxedo in Hollywoodland, and has spent time braiding Jen’s hair, and talking about boys over pizza, and in their jammies– I’d say his new stance may have after effects on the way Mockingjay is received. Or, okay… probably not at all. The way I see it is this, The Hunger Games series, either in book form, or film form in comparison to the extremely violent fare that’s been pummeled on our heads for the last few years, it’s um– kind of tame. Okay, the films so far are anyway, but the books, especially Mockingjay are full on bang, bang, shoot ‘em up, blow ‘em up– good damn times. For instance pretty much everything that takes place outside of District 13, minus Peeta losing it and showing his brand new shiny shiny colors, is non-violent where it comes to the confrontational kind– i.e in your face. But then there’s basically a free for all where it comes to vomit inducing violence, so vomit inducing in fact that Katniss herself can’t hold in her cookies and throws up all over her bodyguard, who later in the story gets his legs blown off in a blaze of bloody glory— outside of District 13.
I’m frankly a bit confused by Weinstein’s brand new stance, especially since he’s made his bread and butter, and more butter off of some of the most violent films to date. Including Django Unchained and Inglorious Bastards, which you don’t even have to open your eyes to see the violence, the sound affects alone tell you some pretty horrible shit is going down. Which brings me back to Mockingjay, there’s not a lot that they’re going to be able to get away with where it comes to violence, especially since it will absolutely be rated PG-13 here in the USA. I even know for a fact that with Catching Fire some of the more extensively violent scenes, i.e. the Bloodbath in the arena were shot, but ended up being cut either to appease the ratings boards, or for time. Here’s the question though– do we want the films to be as violent as they could be, do we want them to be Django level gruesome– are we desensitized enough like the Capitol citizens we’re repeatedly told we’re on the way to becoming, to take in Jena Malone being water boarded, or seeing a man in his prime getting his legs blown off, or seeing Sam Claflin ripped to shreds by a pack of genetically engineered monsters?
I have no bloody clue, but Weinstein’s new POV isn’t going to change much for me.
Them There Eyes
I learned a few things last week. One of them is that Producer Nina Jacobson is on Twitter. And she tweeted a couple things about Mockingjay! Rejoice, Mockingjay news deprived fans!
Well, one of the things she tweeted (in reply to a fan) was that there would be no Mockingjay reveals “for a little while.”
@ZaynsTweety nothing to see from MJ for a little while. CF is still in theaters
— nina jacobson (@ninajacobson) January 17, 2014
I’ll let you all interpret how many weeks “a little while” means. I’m hoping it’s less than the fingers in a three finger salute, but I’m always greedy for news. Let’s move on to the more fun detail she revealed… the Crazy Cat Scene!
Buttercup’s big moment today. Shooting crazy cat scene from #mockingay
— nina jacobson (@ninajacobson) January 16, 2014
Now, we know Nina Jacobson is a Buttercup fan. She and Suzanne Collins pushed for a recasting of the cat in Catching Fire to a more canon-compliant color, after all. So it’s very appropriate that she would choose to reveal this bit of filming.
What’s the relevance of the Crazy Cat Scene? Well, it takes place while District 13 is being attacked and everyone is hunkered down waiting things out. Katniss tells us,
I created this by accident a few years ago, during a winter blackout. You simple wiggle a flashlight beam around on the floor, and Buttercup tries to catch it. I’m petty enough to enjoy it because I think it makes him look stupid. Inexplicably, everyone here thinks he’s clever and delightful.
Oh Katniss, your disdain for that cat will never stop amusing me. But other than some cute comic relief, why would this scene make it to the film? Because of the connection Katniss makes between this game and her situation with Snow and Peeta. She continues,
Crazy Cat becomes a metaphor for my situation. I am Buttercup. Peeta, the thing I want so badly to secure, is the light… [T]he one thing that sends Buttercup into a tailspin is when I leave the light on but put it hopelessly out of his reach, high on the wall, beyond even his jumping skills. He paces below the wall, wails, and can’t be comforted or distracted. He’s useless until I shut the light off. (That’s what Snow is trying to do to me now, only I don’t know what form his game takes.)
Maybe this realization on my part is all Snow needs. Thinking that Peeta was in his possession and being tortured for the rebel information was bad. But thinking that he’s being tortured specifically to incapacitate me is unendurable. And it’s under the weight of this revelation that I truly begin to break.
This is all Katniss’s internal monologue, so I’m curious as to how they will adapt it to the screen. My first thought is that it would be a discussion with Haymitch, or maybe Prim since we know she would be there for the game. I hope it’s Haymitch though, because it seems more in line with his mentor role. Or maybe it’s just a scene with Katniss and Buttercup alone, with Katniss muttering this to him. It would be a nice mirroring of her yelling at the cat upon her return to District 12 at the end of Mockingjay (if they decide to keep that in of course).
Such fun things to speculate about.
Here’s hoping Nina gives us a few more of these teases in the future!
The holidays have come and gone but we’re still getting our party on over at Victor’s Village!
Let’s start by thanking you all for getting the Victor’s Village Facebook page to 1,000 likes! Much love to you all and be sure to keep spreading the word!
Now let’s talk WINNERS. Actual ones and perspective ones!
Congratulations to Kira! She won our holiday card contest with this hilarious Christmas greeting from President Snow:
Kira has won a Catching Fire Fan Camp poster signed by Willow Shields, a Mellark Bakery poster from Blueleaf Creative, and a copy of THE PANEM COMPANION by V. Arrow!
As promised, readers will be choosing the winner of our District Photo contest! Check out your options and pick your favorite on the poll below. The winner will receive a Catching Fire Fan Camp poster signed by Francis Lawrence, a Hob poster from Blueleaf Creative, and a Mellark Bakery apron from Studio Vim!
The poll closes Tuesday, December 31st at 11:59pm, so get your votes in quick!
It’s almost the end of the year! You know what that means… Everyone recapping the year all over the place! Yaaaay! (We’d mock them, but we’ll probably end up doing it too.) Among the recaps so far was TIME’s Most Influential Characters of 2013, which featured the one and only Katniss Everdeen. We’d be excited, but we now realize that we’ve grievously misunderstood this character after seeing what TIME had to say:
Beyond leading Catching Fire to a gross of $600 million—and counting—the Hunger Games heroine (played by Jennifer Lawrence) is also inspiring several real-world product lines. Among them: the Nerf Rebelle line of guns, quivers and crossbows for girls, Lucas Hugh “Capitol Label” workout clothes, and a makeup line from CoverGirl.
So Katniss Everdeen was influential because Catching Fire made a lot of money and there were a bunch of product lines, most of which were knockoff gimmicks, based on bits of her story? Well, we’ve been wrong all along! See, we thought Katniss Everdeen influenced more than a few shiny new products and a few bucks. Things like literacy, political awareness and advocacy, feminine empowerment, and views on war and violence. Silly us! Jessie J was wrong. It’s all about the price tag!
While she isn’t totally unique, Katniss is pretty special to be considered for her monetary value instead of her many contributions to the way fans think about the world. Most of the characters featured were called out on their ability to make fans think progressively and work to affect change– even the animated dog from Family Guy! But Katniss is way too cool to be recognized for that junk. No matter if her story DOES motivate fans to get involved with charities and community work as well as increase awareness of social issues. Ideals don’t pay the bills!
Personally, we plan to run out and purchase a Nerf Rebelle to atone for our poor judgement. We hope you find your own way to feed the really-not-even-fully-Katniss-related money machine.
If It’s On The Internet, It Must Be So!
The Girl With The Pearl
Did you know you can reserve Catching Fire on DVD right now, while it’s still in theaters?
While attempting to finish Christmas shopping, my local “doomed to close because we mostly sell current music” store asked me if I want to reserve my copy now. I don’t think the cashier was ready for my truth bomb about how you can’t just reserve any old version of the DVD when there will be so many editions to choose from. Buuuut anyway…
Between gift buying and Catching Fire talk, we got to thinking about what the best gifts would be for these characters after Catching Fire ended. Thinking forward to Mockingjay, there are a few things to come to mind!
Katniss Everdeen – A Really Snazzy Diary, Perhaps with a Shiny Little Mockingjay Design on It, and a Punching Bag
We know nothing about dealing with the complexities of PTSD. But we DO know a few good things to help a 16-year-old girl to throw down some feels!
Gale Hawthorne – P90X
Because model soldiers aren’t built overnight, you know! Try 90 days!
Haymitch Abernathy – Pure, unfiltered alcohol followed by a metric ton of coffee
Time for Haymitch to figure out the alcohol to coffee ratio that makes him useful without making him mean!
Peeta Mellark and Johanna Mason – Three paper clips, a pen, duct tape, air freshener and every episode of MacGyver (and a TV/DVD Player combo, obviously)
The ultimate escape plan! They can then decide if they want to share with Enobaria.
Alma Coin – A ridiculously big, fluffy stuffed animal
This lady needs someone to hug! And there don’t seem to be too many willing human participants sooooo….
Prim Everdeen – Percy Jackson books, a bag of sweets, and an iPod filled with pop tunes
We tend to forget she’s only 13. We want her to get to BE 13!
Buttercup – Catnip
That cat just went on a journey that even the entrails Katniss sometimes feeds him can’t make up for!
Boggs – A Heavy Duty Poncho Fashioned for Combat
Boggs goes through a lot, but we thought we’d do him a small favor by helping him avoid that moment when Katniss pukes all over him.
Get Your Holiday Cheer On, Y’all!
The Girl With The Pearl
I cannot sit still, it’s just something I’m unable to do, or never have been able to do. Blame my diagnosis of ADHD at the age of seven, blame the nervous feeling that’s coursing a path underneath my skin with each and every breath I take. Or, most of all the fact that I’m sitting in the theater that has housed the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards for several years, and is currently hosting the domestic premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Yeah, that one might be the reason I have the constant urge to change position in my seat, and no– I do not have to pee.
Row H, orchestra level, The Nokia Theater, Los Angeles, that is where I am seated at the moment, and I know the giant room is about to go dark, because I am watching Lenny Kravitz saunter by appropriately clad in black leather, and seating himself somewhere very close by after the head of Lionsgate Studios has introduced the principle cast up on the narrow stage at the front of the house. The room finally blackens, the screen flickers to life– the film begins, and I’m sure I’m holding my breath as I see Katniss Everdeen poised on a rock by an icy, winter lake. The film runs, the story unfolds, and I’m transfixed whilst continuously moving in my seat, taking my shoes off and stifling a cry of a relief as the cuts that have taken up residence on my toes, ankles, and heels are exposed to the air in the darkened theater. I don’t care that the person to my left is a stranger, because the person to my right isn’t, so I hike the uncharacteristically me short skirt of my Flapper era dress up, and place my bare feet half in and on the cup holder molded into the plastic seat-back in front of me. My thought process is this, if I’m going to be here for over two hours, in the dark, I may as well get comfortable, and I don’t give a damn that more thigh is exposed than I’ve shown in public since my vacation to Florida last June, besides I’m no lady– just a girl with a mixed background, and a college education. By the time Katniss and Peeta are giving their speeches to the people of District 11, I can already hear my aisle-mates, whom most of which to my right, are people I’ve known for years, well– they’re breathing starts to hitch. So, when that ever changing moment happens in District 11, not only do the people in the aisle I’m in and the one in front of me, lurch with emotion, but I do as well. “This is not the fucking Hunger Games.” I think to myself, my mouth open, and taking in Jennifer Lawrence losing it on screen, as Woody Harrelson is once again after pitch perfectly playing in a previous scene, the surly drunkard Haymitch Abernathy, the one that was acutely missing from The Hunger Games, is allowed to embody the forthright, and the smart Haymitch I remember reading in the novel Catching Fire so many years before.
When the final moments of the film play out, and the room takes in the pained, and then the resolutely, determined face of Katniss Everdeen becoming The Mockingjay Plutarch Heavensbee had called her a few moments before, I sit back in my seat, and feel satisfied. This was a feeling that was absent the last time I was in this room a year and a half before. A year and I half is a long time, but I sat back and felt hollow in all the wrong ways, and felt like something was wrong with me. Since then I’ve come to terms with that feeling, and learned that the feeling was disappointment, pure, unadulterated disappointment in directorial choices that I had no control over at all. But now, dress hiked up, Coldplay playing over the sound system, I feel like how my current state of dress comes off, unabashedly satisfied. The only problem now is that I now have to put my shoes back on, and try not to make a fool of myself in front of the people who were in, and made the film, at the After Party. But that’s a story for another hour on a different day.
To Be Continued.
Them There Eyes