Mockingjay

Where’s the teaser poster already?

All this talk about how the “Beakniss” poster was finally fixed for the DVD release has got us thinking… Where’s the Mockingjay Part 2 teaser poster?  We learned the hard way last year to not expect Lionsgate to follow the same promotional timelines from one movie to the other.  The Mockingjay Part 1 teaser poster was released in late January 2014 only to be followed by four months of absolutely nothing about the movie, so we don’t mind them delaying the poster release if it’s followed by some more frequent teases along the way this year.

mj2 teaser poster

Here’s a fan version – where’s the real one?

We have reached March now, and still crickets. And yes, the MJ1 DVD comes out in the US this week so the focus is still on selling the hell out of that. But since we’re really bored with all the nothing going on, here are some theories on when the teaser poster will be released.

  • Week of March 16 to accompany an animated logo teaser before Insurgent’s theatrical release – basically a repeat of what was at the very end of the Mockingjay Part 1 credits, but why not show it again to remind us that the movie exists?
  • Week of April 13 to tease an actual Mockingjay Part 2 teaser trailer the following week to play with Age of Adaline (a Lionsgate film) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (not Lionsgate, but you know, a HUGE blockbuster).
  • Or, just some random week for funsies.

We repeat – these are just our theories about what timing would make sense from a promotional perspective (including the talk of any teasers before movies, it’s all guessing games at this point).

When do you think we’ll finally see the last version of our favorite birdie?

JJ

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…

the-hunger-games-mockingjay-part-1-blu-ray-cover-46

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

The Oscars: Mockingjay News Edition

Last night was the Oscars, and Julianne Moore won for her role in Still Alice! She’s been nominated a few times, but this is her first win. Woo, make that 3 academy award winning actors in the Mockingjay movies.

julianne moore oscar

While Mockingjay Part 1 had no nominations, it was there in spirit right from the opening number, with Katniss pictured among other cinematic heroines as “small town girls who change the world by challenging the norm.” Yes, oh yes. Well done on that one, Oscars.

Josh Hutcherson was also a presenter, and he did a fine job of speaking and walking and not falling. (We’re not belittling this, when you know a billion or so people of watching, doing all those things is fairly impressive).  Host Neil Patrick Harris introduced him as “the Pe(e)ta who won’t throw paint at you” and we love the THG reference, and the Hanging Tree music that accompanied his walk to the stage.

It’s fitting that Josh was a part of the ceremony, because the last time he was at the Oscars was when The Kids are All Right, the movie where he played Julianne’s Moore’s son, was nominated.

We’re dying a little from the cuteness.

During red carpet interviews, we also got confirmation that yes, Josh will be shooting some final (epilogue) scenes later in the year. So breathe a sigh of relief, it looks like there will be no completely unexpected/crazy/insane plot twist where they kill off Peeta in the end (UNLESS THEY DO IT IN THE EPILOGUE!).

Sorry, sometimes I like to keep feeding the crazy :)

JJ

It’s All in the Details

I broke down and bought Mockingjay Part 1 on Digital. Life is short, and JJ’s got Amazon Video credits. I’ve had some fun and some tears watching the movie again this week. Owning the movie (and watching again & again) allows you to zone in on some of the details, and obsessive fans that we are, we love all of it.

First, let’s go back to a post from a few weeks back when I said it looked like Peeta’s house had been destroyed. I didn’t have an image of it then, but now, check it out.

peetas house gone

The houses across the street from Katniss and Haymitch are gone. Please rewrite all your end of Mockingjay fanfics with that new twist. I can never get enough of those fics anyway.

There’s some more details of the world-building from a deleted scene of Katniss and Boggs walking through 13. Sadly, this did not include running into Finnick in only his underwear, but it showed some really cool new things.

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The Deleted Scene that Was Behind the Scenes

There are certain levers that Lionsgate knows to pull to REALLY set the fandom off (in a positive way). 1) Tease new material. 2) Make fans do something silly on social media to get the new material. 3) Make the new material feature Peeta. Or Katniss and Peeta. That one is when you want total fandom mega insanity x 1,000,000.

They did all three this time, releasing on President’s Day a new deleted scene of Snow and Peeta in the Capitol, after making fans go crazy with the #UnlockMockingjay tweets again. This time, the unlocking had a great payoff – the scene is 3 minutes of fantasticness for many reasons, but I understand why they left it out of the film – it would’ve given the Capitol’s strategy away too early in the story.

It starts out with President Snow watching one of our favorites scenes from the Quarter Quell, when Peeta is revived from being electrocuted and Katniss is genuinely showing her feelings of relief, and dare we say, love, for him. Movie!Snow really watches a lot of Katniss and Peeta, it’s pretty damn sick actually. I can’t imagine what obsessively watching the two of them together does to help strategize his plans to keep power, other than he’s a secret Everlark shipper, but the really sadistic type of shipper that writes fanfic with MAJOR CHARACTER DEATH.

Anyhoo, he’s interrupted from his QQ rewatch by his granddaughter, who wants to meet Peeta. Because who wouldn’t? Sign me up too. But, Snow’s like, “No way, he’s mine.” and shuts her down. Then Peeta arrives, appearing to be scared shitless, quite understandably. And they have a nice little chat where Snow praises Peeta and explains what he wants him to do – use his words and approachable public image to help calm the public and stop the rebellion.

Peeta Snow face off

Only SNOW’S NOT ASKING… Chilling final line. Also pretty disturbing is how Snow just casually lies about how Peeta’s cooperation would get him back HOME again. You know, this place.

district 12 destruction

Not cool, Snow. Not cool at all. In fact, we really hate you right now.

We’ll hate you even more after we watch Mockingjay Part 1 again tomorrow.

JJ

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

Exhibiting The Mockingjay: We’ve Got Expectations!

Straight on the heels of the IMAX 3D announcement, another big Hunger Games news story hit the web: We’re getting an exhibit, y’all!

Exhibits are trendy for franchises nowadays. It started with Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, as most recent movie series trends do. Now, just about every franchise out there has to prove its worth by making sure it has a museum exhibit in its repertoire. We’ve been to the Harry Potter exhibit and it was straight-up delightful, but Potter has a much different tone, on the whole.

We don’t know much about this baby yet, except that it’s starting up July 1st in New York City and has a vague description on its website:

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The Hunger Games: The Exhibition™ will ignite fans of the blockbuster Hunger Games franchise as never before. Immersive themed environments, hundreds of authentic costumes and props, and highly interactive digital and hands-on experiences will invite visitors to step inside and explore the world of Panem as created by the films.

So clearly, we’ve got expectations, especially for those interactive bits.

1) FULLY FUNCTIONING REPLICA OF THE DISTRICT 13 WEAPONS ROOM
We understand that we shouldn’t shoot the explosive arrows inside. Beetee told us so! But damn it all, we better be able to shoot the incendiary ones! Gale got to!

2) 3D MONKEY MUTT ATTACK OF DOOM
If you’re going to try to make fans interact with the special effects, it better not be chillin’ and singing songs with Mockingjays. We want excitement and TERROR! How about the monkey mutt attack from Catching Fire? Preferably with a replica of Finnick’s trident on hand so we can stab at those suckers!

3) CORNUCOPIA WRESTLING
We fully expect to be able to climb the cornucopia with another person, then try our damnedest to throw them off before they manage to throw us off. Nobody even has to get eaten by mutts afterward because the shame would be enough!

4) EFFIE TRINKET SALON
Seeing Effie’s outrageous costumes won’t be enough. Without the opportunity to dress ourselves up in Capitol clothes with extreme hair and makeup that would make a drag queen look tame, the interactive portion of this exhibit is SIMPLY NOT COMPLETE!

5) OH… AND SOME PART 2 STUFF, WE GUESS
You’re probably shooting yourself in the foot a little by doing all this before MJ2 is out in theaters. Maybe so you can do the “bigger, better” version of this later? But hey– Book readers know what happens. So maybe give people a look at how that all goes in the exhibit too, plzkthx!

You’re welcome to our ideas, exhibit folk! Just holla at us somewhere in there!

Better Than Staring At Costumes, Right?
The Girl With The Pearl

Maximizing the Mockingjay Movie Money

Today we got news that Lionsgate would offer Mockingjay Part 2 in IMAX 3D, 3D, and 2D formats.

MJ2 3D

We’re not surprised at this news.  Lionsgate seemed headed in that direction by putting Mockingay Part 1’s Chinese release in 3D. And as someone who works in the business world, I’m not surprised either. Especially for a publicly-traded company, the name of the game is growth. Sales growth, profit growth, these things must keep going up or your stock will be headed down, down, down.  Offering Mockingjay Part 2 in 3D and IMAX 3D gives an instant boost to the box office potential and assures shareholders that they are going for all the money they can with this final film.  It’s also why Lionsgate also said during their conference call with Wall Street analysts that they were exploring prequel and sequel ideas. They have this asset in the Hunger Games franchise, and their shareholders expect them to use it to its full money-making potential.

As someone who loves Suzanne Collins’s books first however, this all just feels so uncomfortable. Although set in some fictional future, we know these books are all about our world now.  The widening gap between those with extreme wealth and those in poverty.  The use of war and violence as some kind of grotesque entertainment.  We love these books for the way they criticize this culture.  We know this final film will indeed be “action packed” but a lot of this action, if it follows the book, is very violent, and filled with death. Violence and death are not something to be glorified but something with awful consequences. Putting this story in 3D format, even if done with the utmost care, runs a huge risk at glorifying those things. Francis Lawrence has done a tremendous job with the past two movies, but a 3D conversion of this subject matter concerns us a lot.

The message in the graphic above talks of giving the fans choice. And it’s true, we can choose to see the film in 2D or 3D. I’m sure there will be no shortage of screens for us to see the movie in either format. (IMAX may only be 3D). But all in all, we can’t help feeling that the Capitol has won this battle.

At least we got some news today?

JJ

The Many Fandom Reactions to any Gale Post

During movie off-season, as we’re in now, Lionsgate keeps the social sites active by posting something at least once a day. Since we’re months away from anything substantial from Mockingjay Part 2, it’s usually a recycled still or maybe an edit of the Mockingjay Part 1 content. So for the most part, a non-event. But when they post something concerning Gale, I take another look.

Not because I particularly like Gale. Liam Hemsworth is nice to look at, so I’m not complaining, but he’s not a character that I spend much time thinking about within the scope of the series. There are lots of other characters I prefer to think about. No, I enjoy when Lionsgate posts something about Gale because THE COMMENTS GO CRAZY IN EVERY KIND OF DIRECTION and I find that really entertaining.

Lionsgate posted this still over the weekend with the caption: Gale Hawthorne… a soldier, a friend, her strength. #Mockingjay

Click the image to go to @TheHungerGames Facebook post and read the fun comments for yourself.

Click the image to go to @TheHungerGames Facebook post and read the fun comments for yourself.

Oh yeah, they gave fans a lot to work with on that caption. Well, some people were just focused on the fact that Liam is a hottie so there are comments like “bae” followed by 10 hearts. Some people were excited that they called him a friend, which meant lots of FRIENDZONED comments. Others were mad that he was called Katniss’s strength, cause damn it, Katniss has her own strength. She don’t need him! Some comments questioned why do you always post Gale and not Peeta? More PEEEEETA. And some people just flat out wrote MURDERER.

Yikes. Without question, Gale brings out a lot of emotion in the fandom. It’s only going to get more extreme as we head into Part 2. I’m sure Lionsgate will be ready with lots more pictures and captions to bring out those reactions. Cause, come on, they totally know that fans will react this way.

Thanks for keeping us entertained in the meantime, fandom.

JJ

Finnick (and Sam’s) Darkest Day

While Sam Claflin has been making the rounds to promote Love, Rosie, he’s left a few crumbs about Mockingjay Part 2. In particular, during a chat with Josh Horowitz of MTV, he mentioned his “worst day of filming” on the movie (around the 35 minute mark). We know what that means.

barbie finnick lizard

Sam does’t say much other than to paint a picture that it was horrible for him as an actor, and that it was just him, all alone, all day (*sobs*). So if you were holding out hope that this was not gonna happen, sorry. It’s gonna happen. The question remains, how the scene will play out.

Some readers don’t like Finnick’s death scene because it’s so quick. Three mutts attack him, bite off his head, and then he’s dead, but not before these very poetic thoughts from Katniss,

It’s as if I’m Finnick, watching the images of my life flash by. The mast of a boat, a silver parachute, Mags laughing, a pink sky, Beetee’s trident, Annie in her wedding dress, waves breaking over rocks. Then it’s over.

And it is over. The remaining crew move on with the mission. There is no time to mourn while in battle. Suzanne Collins gives Finnick, through Katniss, a final goodbye to his life, but then Katniss has to move on quickly because the perils in the Capitol don’t give her time for a breather. Granted, in these books, it’s a scenario we see time and time again in the arena deaths. I suppose it is harder for fans because they feel more connected to Finnick and they want more time spent acknowledging the loss. Will they try to translate the “life flashing before his/her eyes” moment visually in the movie or will it stay grounded in the action at hand?

Come back all year as we wonder about the death scenes of so many other characters!

I know we say this about every one of these movies but this one is going to hurt.

JJ