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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

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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.

Read the rest of this entry

It’s All In The Accent

I should be writing about how Jennifer Lawrence has lost at the two most recent awards shows she’s attended, and how awful that is, and “poor Jen!”– but I’m not going to, because sometimes it’s not all about Jennifer Lawrence. Yes, even though it’s pretty much been scientifically proven that she is in fact awesome. Nope, today I’m going to wax philosophic over how much I am in hard like with IMDb, and all the amazing little nuggets of information it gives forth when I am quite honestly strapped for article ideas, ’cause there are only so many pieces that can be written about how awesome Jen is. Which she is, we’ve covered that, Jeez!

the_hunger_games__mockingjay_part_1__fan_art__by_phoenixpx-d6ul9fzToday I was perusing my crush object, AKA IMDb.com, reading through The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1′s full cast and crew list, because sometimes as proven in the past, there are nuggets of hidden information hiding in those lines of tiny, text. Like that time I found that Ripper had been cast and was for real in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, you’ll remember her, she was the woman Katniss helped during the raid aftermath at The Hob. However, this time around I spent an exorbitant amount of time looking at the technical and behind the scenes listings, searching out costumers names, and stunt people’s past and current projects, and then I found the name Francie Brown, and the annotation, “dialect coach: Mr. Cusack”. Now, I only know of one Mr. Cusack in the film business, I’m sure there are others, but most likely those Mr. Cusacks don’t require the employ of a dialect coach. So, if you’re on the same page as me, and I don’t mean webpage, I mean thought process, this particular Mr. Cusack is none other than John Cusack of Say Anything, Grosse Pointe Blank, Being John Malkovich, Serendipity (don’t lie, you saw it too!), High Fidelity, Anastasia, and about a million other known and semi known films– fame. I think I might be a little bit psychic, guys. Or, I don’t know what the hell is going on, but sometimes I have casting ideas that either do come true in full, or only in part. For instance I picked out Julianne Moore for Coin over 6 months before she was cast, I also secretly thought of Sam Claflin for Finnick a year before he was cast, I also thought that Stanley Tucci would have been a great President Snow way before he was cast in the role of Caesar Flickerman. Kind of glad he got Flickerman, actually.

Which brings me to Cusack being a rumored cast member, because I of course scrolled up on the page and saw that he was listed– but the pesky “rumored” annotation was there. Face it, if they’re hiring out a dialect coach for him though, and the said dialect coach is listed in the credits– I’m pretty damn sure he’s not a rumored cast member, but that he is one. And before anyone points out to me that anyone with an IMDb-pro account, can alter an IMDb page’s listings, the information that is more often than not altered, added, and retracted, is usually done by day-players trying to pad their resumes, not reputable dialect coaches who have been the coach to shocked_faceChristian Bale multiple times on multiple projects (like, all the Batman movies!)– she’s the real deal naysayers of the world. Almost a year ago in February I wrote this, an article fan-casting John and Joan Cusack in the roles of Boggs and Coin. Yep, so that didn’t happen, the casting of those specific actors in those specific roles that is, but John Cusack has magically shown up in the cast list for one of the Mockingjay films– and I’m just going to take that as a sign from the giant unicorn I worship, that something amazing is going on down at the casting offices for this film franchise.

Cusack is a boon– people, not quite as starry-eyed-amazing-and-shiny-fantastic as getting Hoffman, and Moore, but he comes with clout, and chops, and intelligence, and years, and years, and years of experience. There’s no information on what role he’s allegedly taken on, but judging from the whole dialect coach thing, I’m going to make an educated stab in the dark here, and say he’s playing someone from the Capitol– the only place in Panem with any discernible accent. However, if I had my way he’d be playing Doctor Aurelius, but unfortunately Aurelius is from District 13– an area of Panem that according to canon, has no noticeable accent. Cusack is a Name however, meaning his reputation precedes him, therefore I’ll posit that the role he’s allegedly taken is not a one liner– and that he’s going to pleasantly surprise us.

Let us wait and see! Until then, please check out The Paperboy– it’s one of those films that Cusack did that’s little known, but was seriously, seriously amazing in, Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, and Zac Efron are in it as well. It’s a veritable feast for the senses, no lie.

Them There Eyes

Accepting Sam: Seriously Just Do It Already

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has been released all over the world for a couple of weeks now, and that means that the world at large’s head vision of Finnick Odair should be transforming into one Sam Claflin for the most part, right? Wrong! Sadly as the person who was the mouthpiece behind the totally-defunct-dead-as-a-door-nail-dead-dead-dead campaign to have Armie Hammer cast as Finnick– I’ve unfortunately been privy to people just not fucking giving up and not accepting the very talented, the totally worthy, and the super nice person that is Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair. As of yesterday the Tumblr titled Armie Hammer for Finnick Odair was still 4f6a9f1fe56cc1309c438e222df39ecein existence, but that doesn’t mean it had been updated for over a year– and get this, I was daily getting multiple follower alerts for it. Not only was I getting them daily mind you, they actually, and dumb-foundingly started increasing once The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was released. Pretty weird, huh? I think so.

Guess what I did yesterday!? G’head, guess? Yep, I deleted that floundering sucker! Why? Because as I said above, it hadn’t been updated in probably about a year, and also I think it was kind of sad that people were still following it. Yeah, I said it– sad. I honestly thought that once Sam was cast that people would give up, that people would fall away, that the campaign would just out quietly, and that my dears is exactly why I lazed and didn’t delete the stupid, silly thing. Erm, also I had relinquished control of it to PeetaToast over on Tumblr sometime towards the end of the initial campaign, and thought maybe she would eventually step up and say or suggest, “shall I delete this very dead thing?” But that never happened, and the follow alerts kept pouring in to my inbox, and well– annoying me. Yeah, you could say I deleted the thing because it was more annoying than painful to be reminded that who I wanted to be cast was in fact not? But, well– yes, that is the case. Annoyance thy name is silly, sad people who cannot accept Sam Claflin as Finnick Ordair, ’cause, damn it all to hell people– I sure as hell have, and I don’t know why you bloody have not!

Hey you guys! You annoyed me enough to make me delete something I didn’t care about anymore! Now to ditch the Facebook page as well!

 

Them There Eyes

 

PS. I’m still a fan of Armie Hammer’s.

REACTION POST! The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Now that we’ve all reveled in THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE several times, it’s time for Victor’s Village’s infamous reaction post!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with our reaction posts, our three admins in a chat get together and say anything and everything we feel about the topic at hand… and it gets pretty damn hilarious, if we do say so ourselves!

This post is also long, mostly hidden under the READ MORE cut, and contains ALL THE SPOILERS. Beware!

THE FIVE WORD CHALLENGE

The Girl With The Pearl: Since we made our readers answer this: Give an overall review in FIVE WORDS or less!
Them There Eyes: Not the Hunger Games, bitches. Sorry, was channeling Spike from Buffy.
Twiffidy: Oh no this is hard.
TGWTP: Mine is turning out to just be “Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!” That could be taken several different ways.
Twiffidy: Spectacular with all the feels.

DRUNK HAYMITCH AND EFFIE’S ALIEN BABIES

AMAZING character development we totally forgot to discuss!

AMAZING character development we totally forgot to discuss!

TGWTP: And said feelings start with some MAJOR character development? Whose was your favorite?
Them There Eyes: I think everyone got an ample amount of character development, even Buttercup. But, I think I’m going to have to go with Effie!
Twiffidy: Effie for sure. I mean, they did finally say her name!
TGWTP: Buttercup was so very… orange! T’was lovely.
TGWTP: I agree Effie takes the cake. We finally get to see the pure Capitol in her that was downplayed before AND a more sensitive side!
Twiffidy: When it comes to Effie, I was relieved to see her humanized.
Them There Eyes: Effie crying was like watching an alien have a baby, and then you cry… because it had a baby.
TGWTP: Somehow, that description works. LOL
Them There Eyes: Okay, now we have to talk about how the joke could finally be made! “Go home Haymitch, you’re drunk.”
TGWTP: YES. He was ACTUALLY DRUNK.
Them There Eyes: Really drunk! I’ve never been so glad to see a man drunk before in my life!
Twiffidy: That entire scene like a slice out of my imagination when I read the books
Them There Eyes: I know! Right down to the bread, and the “burrrr!”
Twiffidy: He was the right amount of drunk from how the books describes without being too comical.
TGWTP: For sure! It’s a hard line to walk, but Woody knows what he’s doing.

99 bottles of booze on the table! 99 bottles of booze!

99 bottles of booze on the table! 99 bottles of booze!

Them There Eyes: Still made me wish for Drunk!Haymitch from THG, falling off the stage at the Reaping. I hope non book fans aren’t too surprised by his sudden change from social drinker to rubbing alcohol pilferer.
TGWTP: And you know what? Peeta was manned up! And it wasn’t some massive dissolution of his character like people made it out to be. Quelle surprise!
Them There Eyes: I know, just seemed like a boy grew up after he saw some pretty horrible things, and… also had his heart broken.
Twiffidy: Yes, it’s understated but that’s how it appeared to me. I’m a big fan of Peeta’s journey through this movie.
Them There Eyes: I loved Peeta, I had Peeta feels for days after seeing it… also sleep deprivation. People change, Peeta’s one of those people.
TGWTP: Peeta Mellark is the ninja-silent emo badass of Panem, though for good reason.
Twiffidy: It’s important to realize that this is the Peeta that Katniss will miss in Mockingjay.

HAD TO.

HAD TO.

TGWTP: URGH MOCKINGJAY. MY HEART IS NOT READY.
Them There Eyes: My body is.
Twiffidy: I almost involuntarily squeak out “No!” at that final look at Peeta as Katniss leaves with the wire. Every. Time.
TGWTP: I understand. It’s “Don’t do it, idiot! I know what happens and you don’t want that shit!”
Twiffidy: I’VE SEEN YOUR FUTURE AND IT IS BLEAK.

Read the rest of this entry

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Review

Don’t worry, you’ll still get your reaction post! It just so happens that we’re all so busy seeing the movie, we can’t find a time for all three of us to get together and TALK about it. It’s a good problem, no?

In the meantime, we’re going to give you a conventional SPOILER-FREE review to go alongside the reaction post to come!

Effie, bigger and bolder!

Effie, bigger and bolder!

Let’s start from the very beginning (a very good place to staaaaart)! When Katniss and Peeta win 74th The Hunger Games and return to their new home, broken and distant. They’ve survived, but they’re tentative friendship turned showmance is tepid at best after Peeta learns Katniss’ true motivation. Not to mention that they’re both plagued with PTSD.

It all leads up to The Victory Tour, which is where Francis Lawrence really gets to sink his teeth in and show us what this movie is made of. We don’t see much of the individual districts, but we’re offered a few shots that serve as shining examples of the bigger budget and Francis’ eye for detail.

Gale gets his rebellion on

Gale gets his rebellion on

This movie is mostly character driven, which we found super refreshing. Without adding significant film time (THG and CF are actually the same length), we see Peeta, Gale, Haymitch, Effie, and Show’s roles expanded. It’s not just extra lines– the characters seem richer, with deeper personalities and more individual significance outside their relationship with Katniss and Peeta. Some people weren’t thrilled that other scenes were fast-moving, but we think it was worth it to get some character development in there.

It’s at the end of the Victory Tour that we meet Plutarch Heavensbee, portrayed with gusto by Philip Seymour Hoffman. You can’t help but marvel at his unprecedented political savvy and manipulations. He doesn’t lose his cool for a single moment and meanwhile, we were totally freaking out.

Chemistry-wise, the relationship between Katniss and Peeta seems more organic and palpable this time around. It goes without say that Jen and Josh are both extremely talented actors and dear friends in real life, which translates beautifully. That being said, Catching Fire is significantly more Gale-centric. Jen and Liam have presented a strong case for Kale/Gatniss/whatever else we want to call them. Their relationship plays off as a look at two friends falling for each other, brought together by the stress of impending rebellion, but still plants hints of what’s to come in the Mockingjay films.

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Family feels

When the Third Quarter Quell is announced, we finally get some new victors! And what a group they are! Sam Claflin is our Finnick. He embodies the character’s dramatic preening and sensitive soul with a stunning fluidity that we doubt we could have gotten out of many of the laughable fan suggestions that came out during casting. And it doesn’t hurt that he is really, really, ridiculously good-looking. Jena Malone is able to capture Johanna’s anger with such ease and honesty that you know it’s her true spirit, not just an act. Jeffrey Wright gives a master class in acting as he transforms so perfectly into unusual techie extraordinaire Beetee, but Amanda Plummer gets the scene-stealer award for her zany portrayal of Wiress. And Mags? Forgetaboutit! We all want to adopt Lynn Cohen as our new grandma!

With a more appropriate level of violence this time around, the Career pack actually felt menacing. Bruno Gunn’s guns and his expert snarl were intimidating. Meta Golding has the Enobaria growl down to a science. And despite being living barbies, Cashmere and Gloss were surprisingly badass. However, this group did feel a bit under-utilized given that they were meant to pose an immediate threat to Katniss’ life.

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We feel you, Johanna!

The ending is heart-breaking and devastating and everything we ever wanted it to be after reading the books! We’re not saying the movie was perfect down to the very last detail. There’s a lot to consider and we’re sure everyone will find a little something to gripe about (Don’t we always?), but this movie is an extremely faithful adaptation and for us, the clear winner of the franchise so far. Though we loved Gary Ross’ work, Francis Lawrence provided us with a smart, pulse-pounding, emotional journey that had us thanking him by the end.

How Many Days Until Mockingjay Part 1?!
The Girl With The Pearl

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