Oh, journalism. I’d love to say you’ve gone way downhill recently, but more often than not, you have always been a cruel mistress of sensationalism and general ridiculousness.
The most recent form was an article published by Vice.com a couple weeks ago, which tried to discover if anyone could possibly hate Jennifer Lawrence, one of the most beloved actresses in Hollywood, by calling several hate groups to get their thoughts on her. Seriously, all he had do to was go on tumblr. There are haterz there for EVERYTHING.
To cut it down so you don’t have to read the article: Every hate group except one told the reporter to go fuck himself. They claimed to have no idea who she was. It’s not a surprise– not just because they’re hate groups, but because the question is kind of stupid.
The one group that did know Jennifer? The Westboro Baptist Church, an uber-religious hate group that pickets everything– mainly military funerals and anything related to the gay rights movement. They’ve been so offensive that Hell’s Angels and the KKK have threatened to counter-protest against them. However, they’re also known for being creepily kind to the media, whom they speak to willingly and often.
In this conversation, a member of the church admitted that he didn’t know much about her, but he thought Winter’s Bone “rocked” and also presented this whammy: Some of the kids in the church are fans of The Hunger Games movie.
Knowing the Westboro Baptist Church, the books aren’t exactly readily available and the messages of the series haven’t quite crept up on this after ONLY seeing the first film, but we’re still baffled by this. Here’s one of the most well-known protest group, infamously known for their vicious intolerance and propaganda, getting into a series that largely heralds the extreme dangers of intolerance and propaganda.
All we can think is… Wow, wouldn’t it be great if those kids stay into the Hunger Games movies all the way through Mockingjay: Part 2 and the filmmakers highlight the use of propaganda to brainwash people into believing things that aren’t real or true? It probably wouldn’t change their mind. There’s years of hateful indoctrination practically running through their veins. But what if someone in that organization realized something was off, if even for a moment? That propaganda that tries to dictate peoples’ lives should not be taken lightly? We think that would be kind of beautiful.
I Still Find It Awkward That They Watch Real Movies,
The Girl With The Pearl
Oh, Jennifer Lawrence! You’ve had such an exciting week, but we’re getting awfully excited about an upcoming project of yours!
David O. Russell’s upcoming film about the Abscam scandal doesn’t even have a title yet, but if the rumors are to be believed, it does have something else: Filming Locations. New York and Boston.
We know your part is small and chances are you won’t be in every filming location, but we’re really hoping you’re in Boston. Mainly because I’m in Boston. Well, I’m elsewhere in Massachusetts, but I CAN be in Boston.
Look, I’ve never done this before. This is new to me! I just have one simple question for Jennifer Lawrence:
IF YOU COME TO BOSTON, CAN I STALK YOU? PRETTY PRETTY PLEASEEEE?!
Only for a day or two, of course. I can’t take too much time off work! And only if you’re filming in some sort of public setting where curious bystanders can hang out without being total creeps. Maybe if there’s a call for extras, because I’m a great clueless bystander type! I could even bring along my future brother-in-law, who was an extra in another David O. Russell film, The Fighter (and actually made it into the movie!)
Yes… Yes! The plan is unraveling now! Muahahaha!
I’ll do things like quietly watch how films are made! And smile politely, perhaps even manage to mention what a big fan I am if you come close enough that I don’t have to shout out, but only when the cameras aren’t rolling. Don’t worry, I would never even choke up the courage to ask for an autograph or a picture! (TRUE STORY: The only celebrity I’ve ever asked for a picture is Rupert Grint, and it’s perhaps the worst picture of me I have ever taken IN MY LIFE. I made rabid hyenas look classy.)
… Okay, so maybe I’m not that great of a stalker. Hell, I wouldn’t even hide outside Jennifer Lawrence’s hotel! I don’t completely understand why us Average Joes always feel compelled to see celebrities in person, we just do. We know, deep down, that she’s the same as everyone else, except she’s got a really excellent job. WE KNOW. Yet we still have to see it for ourselves, almost as if to prove that Jennifer Lawrence is a real person. (ANOTHER TRUE STORY: I once had a three sentence conversation with Mark Wahlberg without realizing it was Mark freakin’ Wahlberg. I think I made zero impression.)
Anyway, everyone at Victor’s Village hopes you stop by. At the very least, I’ll make you some fairly corny list of things us working class kids do in Boston!
But If You Do The Accent And Mess It Up… NO MERCY,
The Girl With The Pearl
We discussed that awesome joy that comes from hooking people on The Hunger Games series many a time before! Besides validating your own addiction, the more people you get to talk about the series with, the better! But the best is when someone new to the series gets you going on topic you never really thought about before.
Hence this conversation with a friend, in a bar of all places:
Them: “I love the books now, but I’m so disappointed that the cat wasn’t really in the movie!”
Me: “Buttercup? Yeah, he’s awesome but they tend to cut everything that isn’t totally necessary.”
Them: “He IS necessary! He reflects all her emotional stuff. Without a voiceover, we NEED him!”
Then the conversation was interrupted by the hypothetical zombie apocalypse (BE PREPARED! …Not really), but it left me thinking.
While I’m not as stuck on a sheer need for Buttercup in the movies like my friend, what they were saying makes sense. When Katniss is jaded and hardened in the beginning of the series, the only character that matches her intensity and takes her head on. Like Katniss, he is forced to go to District 13, disgruntled and disobedient, but he puts up with it to be with Prim. As Katniss drives herself mad thinking about Peeta in the fallout shelter, she takes Buttercup right along with her. And finally, when she is devastated and needs someone dearly at the end of the series, so does Buttercup.
When Buttercup was a mere flash in The Hunger Games, many people noticed. Like us, it seemed many were mourning that LAST scene. But it’s all the little scenes in between are what make that last one work.
Let’s all take a moment to recognize the power of Buttercup. Because no matter how slurred the words may have been in that conversation, it was right on. That little cat is Katniss Everdeen’s spirit animal.
If Francis Lawrence thought at all about how to keep the series relevant and touching, we’re hoping he chooses to stick Buttercup’s simple but powerful story back into the mix. It would take a minute or two per movie, but Panem’s most badass cat would break the collective heart of the entire world.
And I Consider Myself A Dog Person,
The Girl With The Pearl
As predicted, awards season nominations have been very good to Jennifer Lawrence and her performance in Silver Linings Playbook. Deservedly so, seeing as fans and critics alike have raved about her intelligent take on Tiffany, an unpredictable widower who joins forces with Bradley Cooper’s character to overcome their fears and illnesses together.
There’s just one thing that has got us worried: The Golden Globes has made the dubious decision to list Silver Linings Playbook as a comedy, thus pinning both Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley’s Coopers performances in the “Comedy or Musical” category.
Silver Linings Playbook is the type of movie known as a dramedy, in which the story has dark, dramatic undertones but, since the characters in the film are doing everything they can NOT to drown in their own sorrows, there are moments of comedic lightness. It’s a hard film to categorize, but we really, really wish it had gone into the opposite category. Here’s the catch: The Golden Globes, while not directly affiliated with the Academy Awards, is a major precursor to Oscar night. And when Oscar narrows things down into neat little categories like “Best Actress”, it’s the comedic nominees that usually lose their place in the lineup because they’re not taken quite so seriously. (Recently, this is not true of musical side of the category, nor do we think Les Miserables will be shunned, because it’s freaking LES MIZ.)
We’re pretty confident that Jennifer’s amazing performance will be recognized enough to survive the category subsidization shuffle, Hollywood is a bureaucratic beast. It’s hard to imagine why the Hollywood Foreign Press Association would pin her performance as comedic when there was so much pain and depth in her character, even during many of the times she made you laugh. Was there just too many actors or actresses they wanted to include in the dramatic category, so tossing Silver Linings Playbook into comedy worked for everyone? Only time will tell.
Better Make It Up To Jen With A Win, GGs!
The Girl With The Pearl
After first appearing on screens with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 last week (and causing all sorts of confusion because some not-so-bright media outlets referred to it as a teaser trailer instead of an animated logo), the official Catching Fire logo has debuted! Check it out in its high definition glory at www.CatchingFireLogo.com! In the meantime, enjoy this tease:
We can definitely see the improved design and detail in comparison to the animated poster from the first film! Ten points to the increased special effects budget!
Want to tweet your enthusiasm about the new poster? Be sure to use the reveal’s official hashtag, #TheSpark
Along with the design comes an exciting new contest! When The Hunger Games Facebook page reaches 12 million fans, 12 fans will be chosen to have their names added to the credits at the end of Catching Fire! We can only dream, but we imagine having your name added in as part of The Hunger Games’ legacy forever would be pretty damn sweet!
Can it be real?! Good timing? Dedication? Perhaps even a shot at continuity? Yes, it is so!
Lionsgate has bucked the annoying but hip new trend of hiring a new director for every film in a franchise and signed Francis Lawrence up to direct Mockingjay Part 1 and 2! We’ve aired our grievances with too much change in a single franchise before and we were expecting the “different director for each book” approach after Gary Ross decided not to come back (as if Lionsgate could act like “Oh, that? We totally did that on purpose! Trend alert!”) We’re psyched to see an effort to keep things steadily rolling along.
That being said, feelings are still mixed. The people over at Lionsgate trust Francis Lawrence with The Hunger Games franchise, otherwise they wouldn’t have re-hired him for the pivotal, intense ending to the series. He’s made it clear that he wants to do the series justice and do right by the fans. The dude is doing something right.
But we can’t trust him yet! Nothing personal, Frankie! We can only trust our own opinions, but we haven’t even been able to form them. We won’t even see a teaser trailer for another several months. There’s over a year until the release of Catching Fire and it hurts so much to even think about that! We’ve seen other work by Francis, but that doesn’t give us any real hints about his ability to successfully interpret the second and third installments of Hunger Games, even if he’s worked on fantasy before.
Without anything to go on, even we remain cautiously skeptical. Every actor in the franchise could say he’s great, but that doesn’t always lead to outstanding final products. We want it to be outstanding, of course! If it’s not, this site is going to get uber depressing at an alarming rate.
In short, it comes down to this…
Congratulations Francis! Now Don’t Screw It Up!
The Girl With The Pearl
Back in the day, a young adult movie was a young adult movie. It wasn’t a blockbuster. Nobody was expecting to shatter any records. The standards that the films were held to was questionable, as were the actors.
There were still naysayers against actors hired to work on popular series, like when Robert Pattinson was cast as Edward Cullen and half the Twilight fandom had a coronary, but the studios didn’t really seem to think on it much. They weren’t expecting the massive fanbase that would rise up. In short, they really didn’t have anything to prove.
So was the way of Hollywood until March of 2011, when Jennifer Lawrence was cast as Katniss Everdeen. She had an Academy Award nomination! She had indie cred! She had outstanding interview skills! We weren’t just dealing with another teen actor picked to carry a franchise based on popularity with the teen crowd. The Hunger Games sought out a professional.
And it looks like other Hollywood franchises that started up after The Hunger Games are taking notes! You know how we like to set trendz! It may be the death of the “Breakout Star”, but movie studios are casting young adults with clout.
For instance, take Ender’s Game, which comes out in November 2013. Ender himself will be played by Asa Butterfield, who became very well known after his breakout role in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo. It only won 5 Academy awards, NBD. Abigail Breslin, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in Little Miss Sunshine, will be Valentine Wiggin.
Just days ago, Summit Entertainment announced that Shailene Woodley will be Tris Prior in their adaptation of Divergent. Shailene may have a bad rep for starring on one of the most poorly written shows on television (The Secret Life of the American Teenager), but we’ve got a feeling that the studio was paying more attention to her Golden Globe nom for The Descendants.
Since Jennifer, it seems like Hollywood is taking their young adult franchises a little more seriously. They won’t cast just anyone. You need to love the books, handle the media spectacularly, and oh yeah… act the hell out of any role handed to you. People have expectations for young adult adaptations set unrealistically high– you’ll never please them all, but studios seem to be working hard to please the majority. Having grown up in the generation subjected to really bad “teen movies” filled with gorgeous actresses playing paper thin characters (and doing so very poorly), we can assure you this wasn’t anyways the case. And we’re giving Jen some credit for the shift!
Now Can We Nix That Rumor About Alexander Ludwig as Four in Divergent? PLZKTHX.
The Girl With The Pearl
No, we’re not talking about those costumes! We’re talking about the costume design for the films!
Guest writer Elizabeth is a bit of a clothing design fanatic. Sadly, she wasn’t all too impressed with the fashion choices in The Hunger Games. Let’s see what she has to say and hear her hopes for Catching Fire!
Filming for Catching Fire has begun, and there’s a new costume designer on set. And while we don’t know exactly what Girl with the Dragon Tattoo stylist Trish Summerville is putting our loved (and loathed) tributes in under those insidious white bathrobes, this reader certainly hopes it’s better than the last time around.
With the exception of Katniss and Peeta on the chariot, the Tribute costumes of The Hunger Games were underwhelming at best. Blue and hot pink fish for District 4? A frilly tutu for Glimmer’s interview, who in the books had been described as wearing a sexy golden gown? All forgivable, I suppose, but what broke my heart was Katniss’s interview dress. I believe the description I’ve heard some people use is “last-season Narciso Rodriguez,” which is dead on. With all the tech effects in this film, it’s startling they weren’t able to find some way to approximate the bejeweled spectacle that was our heroine’s interview dress in the books. The DVD commentary for The Hunger Games says that it was Gary Ross’s vision that was important for that dress, not Suzanne Collins’s, but man, what a miscalculation to not go with her description.
Costumes are so important in Catching Fire, much more so than in the first film. I would go as far as using the word “iconic.” Although the Hunger Games franchise can be read as an indictment on our materialistic culture, fashion is vital to the series and its theme of image as a means to an end. Each costume perfectly encapsulates characters and themes. Finnick’s golden net tied seductively at his hip says, “I am the sexy golden boy. I’m here to tempt you.” Johanna’s leafy outfit followed by her shameless elevator striptease says, “natural, exposed, confident. This is who I am, deal with it.” Katniss and Peeta’s radiant parade costumes, of course, are supposed to express the betrayal they feel, but that they are still powerful, defiant.
And of course, the single most important outfit is Katniss’s wedding dress and its fiery transformation to a mockingjay. That wedding dress has to be the dress to end all dresses, the last word on bridal gowns, as Katniss would say. It has to be a feat of craftsmanship, ethereal yet elegant, and it has to be exactly the way it was described in the book, because readers have had dreams about this gown. This isn’t the time for some up and coming designer to create an avant garde confection purely from their own imagination. Nope. The dress has to have the pearls wrapping around her throat, the sleeves that fall from the wrists to the floor, the fitted bodice and elaborate skirt. It has to be beautiful enough to make us cry at the tragedy that she will never get to wear it and the horror that she is forced to wear it as pretty much a burial shroud.
And they have to get the transformation right. The fire can’t look cheesy. She can’t look like a burnt chicken. I think the costume people can get a lot of inspiration from Natalie Portman’s Black Swan look. This IS the place to get creative. Since it’s a little harder to picture a designer interpretation of a black bird than it is to picture a wedding dress, there’s room to play. And like white swan vs. black swan, it must be the exact opposite of a virginal wedding dress even if the silhouette is the same. It has to be sexy. BAD. Dangerous. Plunging neckline, maybe a high slit. All the feathers should be long and shiny to catch the light.
In my ideal world, I would love to see Katniss’s dresses be designed by Prabal Gurung. Jennifer Lawrence already rocked a sexy Prabal Gurung gold cutout gown on the red carpet this year, and she looked like a babe from outer space in it. And the designer already has some gowns in a recent collection (in black and in white, no less) that mix shimmery fabrics with sheer or lacy details and feathers. Feathers!
Suzanne Collins could be a closet (see what I did there?) fashionista. She made one of the most beloved characters in the series a stylist! Let’s hope the producers of Catching Fire can make her droolworthy costume descriptions come to life so that the sequel will be filled with stunning sartorial eye candy.
Oh Jennifer Lawrence! You can’t win them all!
Your “new” movie, House at the End of the Street (aka HATES) opened last Friday in the US and tied with End of Watch for the #1 Box Office spot… which would be pretty exciting except for the fact that nobody seems to like it! It’s got 11% on Rotten Tomatoes. Ouch.
We were among those audience members and gotta admit… it was rough. When people who absolutely spaz out during scary movies are sitting there going “When the hell is something scary going to happen?”, we got issues. Nice bit of a plot twist in there but alas, too little, too late.
But we are here for you, Jen! We love you and we wanted to assure you that it’s not your fault! IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT.
All the critics who are whining along the lines of “Urgh, how could an Oscar nominated actress take this job? Doesn’t she have standards?!” are failing to notice one GIANT piece of the puzzle. HATES was filmed in the summer of 2010! You weren’t an Oscar nominated actress yet. Winter’s Bone was on the festival circuit, gaining buzz, but you were yet to be heralded as Jennifer Lawrence, second youngest Best Actress nominee in history.
When HATES was filmed, you were another actress who had made a couple movies, just looking for the next job to ensure your career actually existed. Then Relativity media waited two years to release it, holding you up as their golden girl and introducing Max Thieriot, who has been in the business longer than you, as a newcomer. The price of fame!
The main issue was that the script and editing were horrendous. A couple up-and-comers and one older actress looking to keep working took on a bad script. But you know what? Even with the crappy script, you acted the hell out of it! If ever we felt frightened, it was because you controlled to scene in a way that made us worry for your character (or because something suddenly popped out….. WHAT? UNEXPECTED THINGS JUMPING OUT ARE SCARY, OKAY?!)
It’s kind of amazing to see how quickly critics will throw a talented, praise-worthy actress under the bus when they see something they don’t like. You know what we say? Ignore them bitches, we know how you roll!
We got your back, sistah!
The Girl With The Pearl
Tuesday night. Half price movie night at the local theater. Between a rainstorm, strawberry margaritas at Chili’s, and a fiance who loves cheesy action films, things got crazy.
That’s right… we have seen The Expendables 2!
***Just a note that THIS IS CHOCK FULL OF EXPENDABLES 2 SPOILERS and if you have any interest in discovering this movie on your own terms, don’t read it!***
Of course, The Expendables 2 is THE stereotype of a “man movie”, but it’s kind of fabulous in the sense that it is completely aware of itself. Everyone involved in the making of this movie knows it’s a cheesy action film. Therefore, they spread on the cheese extra thick.
And thus… poor little Liam! He is pretty much the only non-action hero in the bunch, therefore he doesn’t get to take part in the shenanigans! He’s the guy who gets to play everything straight while everyone around him is ridiculous. He may also be there for that 4% of the audience that needs something pretty to look at, because Sly and Bruce just ain’t cuttin’ it these days.
In fact, we imagine that the writers were specifically trying to punk him in certain scenarios, like this:
Writer #1: Okay, we’re trying to explain why this young gun left the military. I’ve written in the justifiably traumatic experience, but it’s not enough!
Writer #2: Let’s make Liam talk about how the military shot his dog as if that’s more important than the scars of battle. That will make people take him seriously!
Liam plays the promising young’un of the group in the film filled with middle-aged men… which of course means he dies 15 minutes into the movie. If I were him, I’d be a bit peeved at this point. First, they edited his character out of the first movie, then they bring him back just to have someone to kill. Better have been a damn good paycheck, because it’s not doing much for his filmography!
But damn.. Liam’s first on-screen death is a MAN DEATH. If you’re going to get killed off by a bad guy in an action movie, a Double Shadow knife roundhouse kicked into your heart is the way to do it!
I don’t really need to rate this movie, because we all know exactly what it is: A semi-amusing clusterfuck of older action stars killing bad guys and making fun of their own careers (Chuck Norris tells a Chuck Norris joke and it. is. glorious), without much Liam Hemsworth in the mix. But since many of you will not watch it yourself… NOW YOU KNOW.
Maybe I SHOULDN’T be so willing to watch every movie featuring Hunger Games stars…
The Girl With The Pearl