Sam Claflin

Sam and Natalie Do Oxford

We’ve got a good long couple of months to go until Mockingjay Part 1 is released in theatres across the world, so until the day comes when we can all sit back, and cry into our over sized soda cups, whilst sitting in a large dark room with a crowd of strangers– a select few will be privy to the joy of seeing Sam Claflin AKA Finnick Odair, and Natalie Dormer AKA Cressida in an entire other film together. The Riot Club (previously billed as Posh), is a film that Sam and Natalie filmed back in June of 2013, and it was released in its home country of England just this Friday. So far it’s gotten favorable reviews, and it is also holding strong on RottenTomatoes with a 78%, meaning it’s Fresh by their ratings, and thus not a waste of an afternoon at the cinema.

Let’s see, what should a lay person know about The Riot Club before they step up to the box office, plunk down their cold hard cash, and deem to spend a couple of hours with Natalie Dormer, Sam Claflin, Max Irons, Douglas Booth, and Jessica Brown-Findley (yes, Lady Sybil Crawley is in it). Well, Riot Club is based on a play produced and put on in England in 2010, about a fictional dining club. The Riot Club based on the real life Bullingdon Club, the Riot Club is exclusive, and full up with rich, over privileged, white conservative British young men, all students at Oxford University. It’s the kind of story where you watch fictionalized representatives of future captains of industry, and country leaders, act bombastically, treat women badly, and wholly believe that because of their so-called pedigree they are immune to the consequences of the law and society. It’s young white guys with accents, in suits, fucking up, hurting people, thinking they’re going to get away with it, and in the end probably not. Oh, yeah, and one of those young men happens to be portrayed by Sam Claflin, oh– and Natalie’s playing a Lady of the Night.

Can you tell that I’m wavering on this film? I implore all to just… go rent History Boys, you’ll get less pissed off, and learn who James Corden is, AKA the guy taking over for Craig Ferguson on CBS. Or, if you like being eternally frustrated by the glorification of the upper classes acting like jackasses– g’head, go see Riot Club! Yes, I am judging a film purely on its premise, and its trailer, I cannot help it, there is no release date for the US yet, and therefore I’m a little miffed– I’m just being honest!

Maybe the soundtrack will be good? These Boys-Will-Be-Boys films tend to have good soundtracks.

Them There Eyes

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Reaction Post: Mockingjay Part 1 Trailer

It’s that time again, that time where the bloggers of Victor’s Village sit down at our respective computers, and chew the fat about the trailers, and in this case it’s the final trailer for Mockingjay Part 1! Yep, the one we’ve been waiting for for about four months!

 

WHERE SOUND OF MUSIC REFERENCES ARE MADE WITHOUT SHAME OR IRONY
The Girl With The Pearl
: Okay, let’s start at the very beginning (a very good place to staaaaaart!)

Them There Eyes: Sew… a needle pulling Katniss around like a marionette!

JJ: Katniss’s line is fantastic.

TGWTP: Katniss is talking, and there’s these nice shots of her and Prim and Gale… and then you realize she’s pretty much face-timing with President Snow?

JJ: A big new addition to the screenplay! Snow looks so fiendish there. It’s so unnerving.

TTE: Also Jennifer Lawrence has a Sexy Lauren Bacall voice, which is über important to note.

TGWTP: I’m not sure if I like them chatting. Doubt it will ruin the movie, but it felt weeeeeird. Though the Lauren Bacall voice IS lovely. (more…)

The Mockingjay Challenged (with the #ALSIceBucketChallenge) Continued

Yesterday JJ wrote about the internet phenomena now termed the Ice Bucket Challenge. In truth it has become a phenomena, sort of like Planking, or Grumpy Cat– only in the case of this so-called fad, money is being put to good use, and more remarkable than that– it’s being donated to a good cause. When I think of viral money-making ventures on the internet, I am left with very few times in our most recent history where the money being gathered was for an all out altruistic cause. Kickstarter for instance has been home to some pretty fast-moving, and lucrative viral money gathering campaigns– but those campaigns were more often than not to gather money to help make a fan favorite TV show come back from stasis in the form of a feature-length film like Veronica Mars, or help with packaging and distribution of DVDs box sets for web video series’ like The Lizzie Bennett Diaries. The Ice Bucket Challenge is quite the fad for sure– but it’s for a good cause, and it’s bringing awareness to the masses about a debilitating, degenerative disease that has no cure, and is in near constant need of funding for research. Government subsidies can only take certain causes so far, and that includes medical research. ALS is not a sexy disease, meaning there are no famous people that are in the limelight right now who will come out and say “hey, I’ve got ALS– we need to pay attention to this disease right now!” That’s why it’s still known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, for an American baseball player whose hay-day was in the 1920s and ’30s. Soon however more people might become aware of another famous sufferer of the disease, Stephen Hawking the world renowned physicist– as a biopic about his early life will be out in time for the Oscar season.

Celebrity endorsements always seem to give the masses a good jolt though, right? That’s why when 90% of Hollywood starts to post seconds long videos of them selves dousing them selves with icy water– makes well, such a big splash. And since this is a Hunger Games themed blog, when a quarter of the principle cast, and the director, and producer of the film franchise step onto the band wagon– we pay attention like hungry Disney orphans. So, when Josh Hutcherson, and Sam Claflin posted their Ice Bucket Challenge videos a couple of days after the 24 hour challenge clock was set for them, the Hunger Games fan sites had a little 3 am Field Day in their jammies.

Sam however was dressed from head to waist in a rain coat, and waist to knees in swim trunks. And our dear Peeta (Josh), joined the ever growing club– AKA the White Wet T-Shirt Club– then ran like crazy to jump into a warm swimming pool’s depths. Sam wins for originality, Josh wins also for failing to keep a stiff upper lip. The videos will keep us entertained for days on end, the GIFs alone should more like. However, as this point for The Hunger Games community buckets filled with ice water are a mere distraction from the near constant, and nagging mantra of “where is the full length trailer, where is the full length trailer, where is the full length trailer?”

It’s cold, it’s hard– but I’m just saying what everyone is thinking, right?

Them There Eyes

The Hunger Games Promotion Rule

Yes, he got an exciting premiere and a vacation in Hawaii out of it, but this has probably been a bit of a rough week for Sam Claflin.

Why, you ask? He’s been busy promoting his new movie, The Quiet Ones. We’ll even help by throwing in the trailer here:

But there’s not a whole lot of focus on the film at hand. If you’ve been watching the interviews, you know what we mean. There’s four questions tops that most media sites bother asking Sam:

1. So what’s this movie about?
2. It’s scary! What scares you?
3. How was all the 70s costuming?
4. Catching Fire! Mockingjay! Finnick! TELL US MORE.

We should note that it’s definitely not Sam-clusive. We know the same thing happened to Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth when they promoted other films, even on The Academy Awards red carpet. And in a way, we feel a little bad for them. We’re sure they don’t mind talking about The Hunger Games, but it must make them feel like their projects outside the series are pretty inconsequential in the eyes of the public (as we are represented by the media. Horrifying, isn’t it?!)

Of course, it doesn’t necessarily help that The Quiet Ones is a Lionsgate property and some of their advertising looks like this:

Now the young and/or easily confused among us Hunger Games fans believe Finnick has taken up a time-warp side job of filming supernatural phenomena! Not really… we hope.

We get it, interviewers ’round the world. The Hunger Games is a <strong>really big freaking deal</strong> and the fact that these actors are in the franchise is part of the reason why many fans will go see their other films in the first place. But let’s take it one film at a time.

We all know you’re going to ask Sam the same slew of exhausting questions once promotion for Mockingjay: Part 1 rolls around, so why not ask them then? Do you really think he’ll give you some crazy scoop in the meantime? Doubtful!

In the meantime, please try to come up with some creative questions surround the movie the actor in question is actually promoting. We know it’s not as big of a media draw, but this is something of value to them that they put work into, even if it’s not a major blockbuster. Give em some credit there! We’ll get back to Mockingjay en masse later!

He Sported That Hairdo, So Sam Deserves Credit!

The Girl With The Pearl

The Most Important Award Ever

Help me. I’ve gotten sucked in to the MTV Awards voting thing and I kind of hate myself for it. I mean, they blatantly left Katniss out of the Best Hero category AND THEN made up a “Favorite Character” social vote category and put her up against that other dystopian series heroine. You don’t need even half a brain to see right through what they’re doing.  They’re using the fervor of two fandoms to build buzz for their show and destroy everyone’s social feeds for two weeks. AND I HATE THEM FOR IT.

Yet even seething in hatred about it, I still made a new voting-only twitter account and tweeted the hell out of #votekatniss during the past few days. I know I shouldn’t care, but I want the magical internet pony for Katniss. So I do it, and hate MTV even more for using my love for this fictional character to build up their dumb ass awards show. [And how this will inevitably happen for the next two years as well. I hate when the media manipulates my love for things for their financial gain. Bastards.]

I’m trying to make peace with it and embrace the stupidity. So beyond the whole #votekatniss craziness, I’ve decided that the award I most want Catching Fire to win is…

BEST SHIRTLESS PERFORMANCE

It’s just Oh, So Capitol of MTV.  MTV can try to class up their show by nominating Oscar winners like 12 Years a Slave and Dallas Buyers Club, but it’s very off-brand of them to do so. The show made a name for itself by having silly categories like Best Shirtless Performance, Best Kiss, and Best WTF moment. No one’s tuning in for another Oscars so it amuses the hell out of me that they’re trying to mix both together and pretend it works. And with the silly categories, just the fact that they call it a shirtless PERFORMANCE feels like they’re trying to class that up somehow too?  Hilarious.

Sugarcube

Go get it, Sam.

Back to the all-important BEST SHIRTLESS PERFORMANCE category, Sam Claflin has some stiff competition among the likes of Chris Hemsworth (the amazingly gratuitous Thor-thinking-deep- thoughts-while-washing- up scene. If it sounds like I’m mocking it please know I’m mocking it with deep love and admiration.), Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Aniston, and Zac Efron. Good job at not wearing shirts while acting, all of you.

Damn it though, Catching Fire/Sam needs to take this one home. Why?

  1. Vindication for Sam after all the crap he got when he was cast that he wasn’t “hot enough” for the role. Bam, go away haters. The guy pulled it off. Give the man some inedible popcorn to go with his chicken and asparagus.
  2. Because that scene is actually really iconic in the series. As much as I love seeing Thor pensively bathe, it can’t come close to sugarcubes.
  3. The unabashed mirroring of our world with the Capitol. Just as the Capitol paraded Finnick Odair as a shallow piece of meat, so does MTV.

Suck it, MTV. I can’t wait until next Monday when this is over.

JJ

And– NOTHING

NothingGuys, let’s be honest now– there’s not a bloody decent thing to yammer on about right now where it comes to the productions of Mockingjay: Part 1 and 2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is out on DVD and Blu-ray, and everyone and their grandmother has seen it. Seriously, even my waxer has seen it! There is nothing of great interest going on right now, the lull is great, and vast, and boring as all get out, and I’m tapped out where it comes to topics that will engage, titulate, or even enrage you guys. Until we get news, and I mean real news, not grainy photos taken from thousands of feet up, or away from some pretty much indiscerible scene from either Mockingjay: Part 1, or 2. Yeah, I know, I know! To some people those shots are fuel that will keep you going for weeks on end, but I’ll be honest– I need a hell of a lot more than grainy shots to keep me engaged! I need freakin’ Sam Claflin huddled on the floor of a huge underground bunker, tying, and re-tying an endless string, of endless knots, hands steady, and sure– face stone like, eyes troubled. Well, until we get real news– I don’t know what we’re going to be able to joke, jab, or even write about! Oh yeah…

I could wax philosophic over the voting shenanigans surrounding the MTV Movie Awards, but I’ll be honest again– doesn’t interest me. ‘Cause I already know that Katniss is an awesome character, I also know that the Dowager Countess of Grantham is a great character, and so is Lars von Trier’s Joe from Nymphomaniac Volume I and II. We do not need a silly awards show to tell us this, do we? I know I don’t! Grand scheme guys, big-ass, screaming, loud, totally huge scheme– MTV is a zygote to the Academy Awards, the BAFTAS, hell most reputable and note worthy awards shows. Yeah, again– I know! “But the MTV Movie Awards are for fun!” Erm, I don’t think they’re fun– I didn’t even think they were fun when I supposedly fell into the age bracket they seem to still be shooting for. Also, when I was a teenager I didn’t have cable TV, and only ever saw MTV at friends houses, who’d more often than not would rather marathon watch Animal Planet– which we did, thank you very much.

So, y’all want to get all wrapped up in an awards show that’s already done a bang up job of pissing us off by snubbing the heroine of our series out of the category she should be included in, be my guest. I’m gonna go watch Game of Thrones, which has real news being released about it on a regular basis!

Them There Eyes

Sam Claflin Gladly Is Not a Cartoon

Just to prove once again that we here at Victor’s Village have accepted, like, and genuinely think that Sam Claflin is, and was a great casting choice for Finnick Odair, I’m going to take it upon myself to gratuitously promote all his other projects, yes– that includes when he takes to le Twitter and does sporadic (points if you think of the same hit ’90s film when you see or hear that word!), and planned Q & A’s. They do happen on occasion, less than they do on other cast members Twitters’, like say– um, what’s his name again, he’s on that really violent series, he’s blond, tall, what’s his name!? Oh yeah, Alexander Ludwig! Anyway, Sam’s Q & A’s are always pleasant, always a little bit cheeky, and always a little bit self-deprecating. Poor man, someone needs to bolster his confidence! I’ll leave that job to his wife however.

The Internet is a great place sometimes, allowing us little’uns to have a modicum of a connection to famous-y people like in this instance, Sam Claflin. And this past evening Mr. Claflin did not disappoint, although I was slightly disappointed because last night I was out celebrating my birthday by watching Grand Budapest Hotel, and thus missed the amazing,Sam-Claflin stupendous, Q & A put on by Digital Spy that he participated in! You can read the highlights here, and bathe in the funny, and sweet, and the dogged. However, here’s the gist, or my highlights!

He’s still shocked that he got the role of Finnick, because at the time he looked nothing like the fan-art he made the terrible, horrible very bad mistake of Googling before he auditioned. Sam, love you– but even I hated pretty much all the Finnick fan-art out there before people started taking it seriously and using real people as models. And even then they still were rather amateurish and crude. It’s no wonder his confidence was seemingly shot before he went in to those initial auditions, but he rallied. Which brings us to the second highlight for me from the Q & A session, he read the trilogy in five days! Ah, this means one thing to me– he’s a crazy-ass fan too, which should make all of us very happy.

Thinning out the highlights though, I have to ignore the anecdotes he’s already shared, like dropping Lynn Cohen in the frigid water– you know the drill. However, highlight number three for me is this tasty morsel of taste– he wishes that he could work with Tom Hardy in the future. More so than that he added that he’d also like to work with Christian Bale, as well as Bradley Cooper. Johnny Depp was also mentioned. So there you have it my fair folks, Sam’s our Finnick, Sam’s a funny chap, and Sam’s also got good taste in hopeful scene partners.

To bolster his confidence, because we really can’t leave it all to his wife– go see his new film The Quiet Ones. Comes out April the 1st!

Them There Eyes

Introduction to Lasers

Big scoop for you today. We’ve discovered the secret training exercise of the District 13 military – laser tag.

Finnick Odair (he goes by the code name Sam Claflin in some circles) shared a picture of him and some of his District 13 compatriots recently, and you can be sure he’s taking the training seriously.

 

What a way to practice strategy, maneuvers, and teambuild! I can just see Boggs now. He’s concerned about the upcoming mission. Wants to make sure everyone is ready for the perils at every turn.

Mandatory afternoon at the laser tag arena!

Laser tag is serious business

Laser tag is serious business

 

Awesome.

BUT WAIT. THERE ARE MEMBERS OF THE SQUAD MISSING! How can they become a cohesive unit with some of the members absent? Troubling, indeed.

Yes, another HIMYM pic because it's ending next week.

Yes, another HIMYM pic because it’s ending next week.

 

I hope the Mockingjay and Soldier Hawthorne will be able to clock some hours soon.  Probably best to keep Peeta Mellark away from such situations however. The lasers could set back progress in his rehabilitation. (Or perhaps lasers could BE the solution? Somebody tell Prim.)

Interesting additional point about the laser. It seems that District 13 has discovered the existence of weaponized cats. Amazing, isn’t it? LASER CATS. Just brilliant, and I’ve heard their leader Buttercup is quite the strategist as well.

I think the rebels are well on their way to victory with this whole laser strategy.

Yes, I brought the silly today. Major pop culture points to the person who notices the Parks and Recreation reference.

JJ

If The T-Shirt Fits

Hollywood is not a nice place, okay maybe it is on the surface. The sun’s out 90% of the time, people smile a lot, they’re tan, and fashionable for the most part, but you know what? Beyond all that surface crap, it’s a really cut throat, superficial place, and populated also in part by some pretty disingenuous souls. Which brings me to this fact: We’ve got some more than nice people populating the cast of our favorite franchise.

Jennifer Lawrence, quirky-no-filter Jen is the head of the nice cast. Or at least she’s never come off as faking her weird, or the gratitude for the exceptional places her career has taken her over the last several years. She’s too odd, and unapologetic for her personality traits to be a back stabbing, evil, Hollywood starlet like so many we’ve seen and heard about over the years. Great for us I think, because it means if we run screaming at her down the street (don’t do it kids), she’ll maybe not snub us if we give her a compliment, and of course tell her she needs to be our best friend (also don’t do this kids).

Which brings me to this other fact: Sometimes the really nice people who populate the cast of our favorite franchise are nice even to us– personally. If you haven’t noticed over the last few years here at Victor’s Village when we write about the cast, we don’t exclusively write about the principles, i.e. Jen, Josh, Liam, and Woody. No, we also write about the other players, the Amandla’s, the Dayo’s, the Jackie’s, the Jeffrey’s, the Meta’s, and the Bruno’s. So, here’s the deal– one of those people has been very nice back to us, and we have to acknowledge that right here, and right now, because it’s the right thing to do damn it.

Bruno Gunn– we’ve written about him more than a handful of times, and he has returned the favor in a rather public, and perfect way. This is how it begins, several months ago The Girl With The Pearl and I were in LA to attend the US premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and we decided as a team that we should wear matching Victor’s Village t-shirts to the fan camp grounds down at LA Live to stand out as more than just random fans milling about aimlessly waiting for Sam Claflin to show up– which he did, and he was also a genuine, and pleasant chap.

Yep, this happened

Yep, this happened

Conveniently we were photographed in those t-shirts, and well– Bruno saw them, because as we should all know by now he’s very up on social media. Long story short, he told us through the magic of social media that he wanted a Victor’s Village t-shirt. Well, we got him one, and we sent it to him– and finally he had a good place to sport it proudly and publicly, and no we don’t mean at the gym, although that would be okay with us as well. Nope we mean a much better place than the gym, we mean at The Hunger Games: Catching Fire DVD/ Blu-Ray release in Chicago this past week. So in freezing cold climes he dawned his short sleeved black and yellow Victor’s Village t-shirt, and posed graciously with fellow fans, talked with parents of fans, more fans, and also gave our little site that could, some pretty snazzy free advertizing. Can I get a big giant “hell yeah!” And also add an equally giant “thank you!”?

Guess being all inclusive pays off every now and again, huh? Now to get Sam to read our blog and forgive the fandom for being asshats when he was first cast, ’cause we were– and we’re sorry. 

Follow Bruno on Twitter and Instagram, also follow ours as well– it’s how all this nice happened to begin with!

Them There Eyes

REACTION POST: Catching Fire DVD Special Features

Sometimes, the best way to really review something is to gather ’round and discuss it! Which means it’s time for another Victor’s Village reaction post!

We’re laying it all down and getting a little crazy as we recount our latest Catching Fire binge! These posts get quite long, so look for most of it under a cut!

 

IT REALLY HAPPENED!

IT REALLY HAPPENED!

SCENES THAT SHALL NOT BE SEEN (EXCEPT ON DVD EXTRAS)
TGWTP: Let’s start with the deleted scenes, shall we? Which was your favorite?
JJ: Finnick with the Knots, no question for me.
Them There Eyes: It’s a toss between the Mockingjay scene with Snow and Plutarch, or the knot tying scene with Finnick and Katniss.
TGWTP: I’m torn on that one. I like the Finnick scene, but I get why it wasn’t used. The Mockingjay speech? I was like “WHY IS THIS NOT IN THE MOVIE?”
Them There Eyes: Both would have added a little bit more brevity, and a little more background to characters, and the story in general.
JJ: Yes, I think the sugar cube scene made the knot scene unnecessary. But I still loved it.
Them There Eyes: Yeah, but we like seeing more Finnick, it makes us happy in all kinds of places! Got that Sam? WE LIKE YOU!
TGWTP: CLEARLY. I mean, they essentially created a Best Shirtless MTV Movie Award for Sam Claflin. And Liam Hemsworth’s brother.
Them There Eyes: Truth be told… I pay no attention to MTV except to Josh Horowitz, ’cause he’s funny, and has slumber parties with Tom Hiddleston.

SWITCHING IT UP
TGWTP: The other scenes were cool but they just didn’t have any beef behind them (other than Liam Hemsworth… BAZINGA!)
JJ: You had to.
Them There Eyes: Can we do winky faces on this, or will I be smitted?
TGWTP: OH, winky faces are totally in!
Them There Eyes: Honestly though, the Plutarch switches the envelopes scene made no sense to me… granted I had just watched all the other blu-ray extras, so I was a little bit bleary, and confused by life in general… But… that one took me a bit to get.
JJ: I agree, the Plutarch envelope scene was just confusing. And long. You can see why they cut it.
Them There Eyes: Yes…. and also emotional. But for completely unintentional reasons.
TGWTP: It’s a theory in the book that the envelopes are switched. But considering that the pre-planned Quarter Quell envelopes are never expressly explained to movie audiences to begin with, it didn’t make sense to keep it in.
JJ: And really, do you need it emphasized that this was all a plot to kill the victors? No. But yes, all PSH scenes are loaded with extra meaning now. That was a really tough thing about watching the movie again.
TGWTP: And watching him talk about making the movie. I loved the “making of” documentary, but that definitely added some bittersweetness in there.
Them There Eyes: Yep, I hate to think that any scene with Philip Seymour Hoffman is now considered superfluous, but at least we know that the film makers were very focused on getting background information to the audience, even if it did turn out to be unusable.
TGWTP: True!

 

 

"Pack your Target edition, we're leaving."

“Pack your Target edition, we’re leaving.”

WE’LL TAKE ALL THE STUFF, PLZKTHX
TGWTP: Speaking of background, what did you guys think of SURVIVING THE GAME? Did you learn anything super new and interesting there?
Them There Eyes: Not new per se, but interesting!
JJ: The fun thing was seeing all the behind-the-scene video
TGWTP: YES. I particularly loved Josh and Sam dance-fighting like they were straight out of West Side Story
JJ: So cute! And of course the famous pants splitting engagement scene.
Them There Eyes: Wait, which one was surviving the game? The nine part thing? So confused… ’cause there’s the three part extras on the Target Blu-Ray edition.
TGWTP: There was. And some of it is the same, but there’s much more in the full documentary
Them There Eyes: If it wasn’t clear yet… THE TARGET BLU-RAY EDITION HAS EVERYTHING… and a kitchen sink.
JJ: Yes. Lots of stuff. Some of which overlapped. Not that I’m complaining about that. Give me more stuff

BRB, DISTRACTED BY A CHILD’S TOY
TGWTP: Any things you loved about the doc?
Them There Eyes: Ve Neil, Trish Summerville, Jo Willems, the artists who made pretty much everything except Jennifer Lawrence’s amazing stare down. And I want the head film editors editing bay in my life.
JJ: I love that they touch on so much of what went in to production. They covered a costume, makeup, SFX, music. So much. It just made me appreciate the work they did that much more.
TGWTP: MINI JEN was my homegirl! Obviously a minor detail, but I live for those. You guys are all serious and I’m like “Did you see that action figure?!”
JJ: LOL, I did mention the pants splitting before.
Them There Eyes: I literally paused the doc. during the makeup scenes, turned to my room mate, and said… I HAVE THOSE INSPIRE PICTURES ON MY CAPITOL PINTEREST!
TGWTP: So you and Ve Neill have the same Capitol inspirations?! Why don’t you work in film, darling?
Them There Eyes: Because I only have ideas, and no ability to execute them without complaining constantly.
TGWTP: Fair ‘nough.

(more…)