Yesterday, there was a lot of talk of bunnies in my family. Particularly, a giant one that hide eggs and leaves candy for children. Yup, this guy:
As if that wasn’t enough, one of the kids lost a tooth in the midst of all this bunny talk. Suddenly, the conversation switches to “TOOTH FAIRY!”
While these particular mythical beings aren’t popular everywhere in the world, you know what is? Beings of mythical proportion. Think the Greek or Roman Gods, sprites, Santa, ghosts, mermaids, urban legends about serial killers lurking anywhere a teenager would even think about rounding second base… the list could go on forever!
Except, of course, in Panem.
It’s not that there’s no myths or legends at all. It’s just that the ones we’re introduced to are very much routed in reality. Perhaps the closest we get to myth is “The Hanging Tree”, because it’s told from the perspective of a dead man. A spirit or a ghost, perhaps. But even so, they don’t address it as such.
Panem takes itself pretty seriously, especially Katniss, so maybe there’s just no need for myths in the story. Maybe they’d just take away from the stark reality too much. “Don’t worry about the Bogeyman, kid! If anyone’s going to kill you, it’s the government!”
Still, we don’t think that legends could story manifesting in ANY world. Because that would mean people have stopped making up elaborate stories. Could that ever happen? We don’t think so. There’s always going to be that creature in the woods/lake/closet or the invisible bringer of good fortune. No matter what you call it or what story you build up around it, it’s there.
You may say legends got stopped out in the same way religion clearly was in Panem (and has been attempted in our world at various points), but we have our doubts. Religion, to a government that wants to be all powerful, poses a threat. So maybe we stomp out the ones vaguely tied to religion. Children’s stories do not. In fact, many of these beings work as cautionary tales that help keep kids in line.
More than anything, it’s probably a case of Katniss Everdeen growing up too fast to care one bit about childish stories, but we gotta admit, that makes us a little sad. Everyone needs a good dose of fantasy to offset their reality.
Our Imagination Still Runs Wild,
The Girl With The Pearl
FANDOM: Some people just don’t get it. Or they get some fandoms, but perhaps not yours. Sometimes it’s just a little faux pas that’s a whole ton of hilarious.
The MTV Movie Awards were pretty uninteresting and uneventful this year despite plenty of Hunger Games WINNING (Jen for Best Female Performance, Josh for Best Male Performance, and Catching Fire for Movie of the Year!) Perhaps the most amusing moment of the night came just after Josh gave his first acceptance speech:
JUST LOOK AT JOSH’S FACE. LOOK AT IT!
Yes, there’s not that much of a difference between The Hunger Games and The Hunter Games. It could have been a slip of the tongue, because we doubt Cameron Diaz lives under a rock THAT big. But it’s not the first time we’ve heard someone say “The Hunter Games”.
There’s a chronic thing among people who just don’t get the series:
They can only manage one of the two words.
Either “Hunger” is replaced with any two syllable word ending in -er, or “Games” is replaced with a kinda sorta rhyming word.
The Hunter Games. The Hunger Dames. The Bunker Games. The Hunger Pains. And these are people genuinely suggesting this is the title. It’s exhausting.
We’re sure you’ve heard some good ones too. Even people who enjoy the series (but aren’t super enthusiastic about it) do this on occasion. It’s like a disease! As fans, we’ve gotten used to this ridiculousness, but perhaps it can be cured.
That’s right: They got a fever and the only cure is more Hunger Games. If we all reach out, maybe we can save them from their embarrassing, grievous misnomers!
Advocating, Annoying… What’s The Difference, Really?
The Girl With The Pearl
Another day, and also it’s another day without any Mockingjay news to speak of. Or, no legitimate Mockingjay news, because if you know me, you know I’d prefer to not give paparazzi shots, or trumped-up rumors that much credence, or any modicum of my precious time. So, what’s there to discuss today if there’s nothing Mockingjay related happening in our little corner of the world? Um, well how about we pick up where JJ took off yesterday, yep– where she ripped the concept, and the news that the last book in the Divergent series is too, just like Harry Potter, and Twilight, and The Hunger Games– is being split into two films as opposed to one. Let’s pretend we’re living in an alternate universe for a second or two? And in this world The Hunger Games franchise is going just as well as it has been, but instead of splitting the last installment of the book series into two, that they’re keeping it a singular film?
What would a single film for Mockingjay be like? That’s where my mind’s at right now. When the news broke years ago that Mockingjay was getting the Harry Potter/ Twilight treatment I disapproved, I said it was about making more money not about the story. However I came around, and now I’m struck thinking what would happen to the story of Mockingjay if it was adapted as one film? The word that comes to
mind first is the word “truncated”. I know how I’ve felt before when seeing favorite novels of mine adapted into film, and seemingly half the story is missing. I’m serious, I can think of two great novels where the film adaptations quite literally left out entire, great, all-encompassing chunks of the story. For Example: East of Eden, the 1955 adaptation directed by Elia Kazan. It’s touted as a masterpiece, as well as being one of the three films James Dean starred in before his untimely death at 25. What’s missing though is the disheartening fact that the film starts the story’s original narrative in the last third of the story. Yep, they started the film at the back end of the story, and did they backtrack and fill in the gaps? Not really, nope. Second example I can think of I’m actually happy to state that I’m happy with: The Cider House Rules (1999), is a gem of a book to film adaptation, not only because the film stays true to the novel it’s based on, but because the essence of it, even though entire sequences, years even of the story are cut– but, because it worked. Why I think it worked though is this: The screenplay was adapted and written by John Irving, the man who wrote the novel The Cider House Rules. Aye there’s the rub.
Truncated is the word we’re still fixated on, got it? East of Eden and Cider House Rules are perfect examples in my opinion, of films adapted from great novels that used the editing process to both enhance, and well– alter a story to the unfortunate point of dilution. Mockingjay if it was made into a singular film adaptation I feel in my heart of hearts would suffer the poor treatment of East of Eden, edited to the point of scant recognition. What would be taken away though? First, and the most sad– Buttercup. I believe Buttercup would be cut out of the story almost completely. And judging from all the tweeting the executive producer, Nina Jacobson has been doing featuring the cat portraying Buttercup– his being cut would leave us as a fandom with even less to grasp onto during this news drought. Second: Say good-bye to possibly another one of Katniss’ friends being omitted! Who would it be though? Delly’s probably cut anyway, and Madge is a ghost, or Taylor Swift, that leaves someone from the Capitol! Flavius? Octavia? Venia? Well, Venia may have been cut anyway, and I don’t think we’re going to cry into our cereal over that, are we? Are we?! Hm, what else? Welp, I think realistically the world building would go out the window? I mean sure, there would be some– but it would be very loose, and not wide and expansive. I basically think we’d get the same amount of world building that we got in The Hunger Games, and then go on our merry disgruntled way wishing there was just, well… more. Thank god we’re getting two films, all’s I’m saying.
Now, someone pitch East of Eden to HBO so we can get a mini series out of that masterpiece of a novel, and cast someone hot like Timothy Olyphant as Adam Trask!
Them There Eyes
When it was announced that Mockingjay would be split into 2 movies, it was a met with controversy. No one was really surprised – the precedent had been set with Harry Potter and Twilight. For big movie franchises, it gives the opportunity for all involved to make more money. It can be a very good business decision. And for fans, when it’s done well, it’s great too. More of the stuff that you love.
As I remember it, people who were against Mockingjay being split into two complained that 1) it was a blatant money grab and 2) Mockingjay is too dark of a book to run for two movies. And, yes, a big complaint of Mockingjay is that you’re stuck in Katniss’s head the entire time, and Katniss is in a very dark place. Because she’s mentally ill, it can be a tough read emotionally. But the story itself is solid. The world building is solid. The brilliant thing about a movie adaptation is that the perspective can be broadened. In the movie adaptations of Mockingjay we’ll be able to see beyond what Katniss sees, to the decisions made behind closed doors in 13, the other districts, and the Capitol. We get to go deeper into this world, so all of this is exciting. And after Catching Fire, we’re confident that Francis Lawrence will be able to execute this in spades. Lionsgate gets a big thumbs up on the making of Mockingjay 1 and 2. Party till it’s November 2015!
But what happens after November 2015? Today came the announcement that the Divergent movie franchise would be following this same pattern of splitting the final book into 2 movies. The pattern continues, and the collective snark about this decision is strong. I know we’re not a Divergent site, but the movies are being made by a Lionsgate company and as Hunger Games fans, we are the bullseye target market for these films. ALSO WE ARE GETTING NO MOCKINGJAY NEWS TO TALK ABOUT, SO -
I just had to laugh, because no, it’s not exactly a blatant cash grab. It’s a very risky attempt at a cash grab. The decision to split HP, Twilight, and THG came after these movies became mega-successes so it was clear the extra movie would make huge money. I don’t think that assumption can be made here yet. And the odds are even more against if because it’s doubtful that this particular book can support two solid movies or 4 hours of collective screen time.
Allegiant is a very divisive book. The most passionate of fans love Allegiant, but beyond that group, Allegiant is negatively viewed and not just because of the ending. For me, everything I had liked about the first 2 books came crashing down with Allegiant. I was uncertain about seeing the Allegiant movie at all because I felt so burned by the book. But 2 movies? It’s adding insult to injury.
The negative perception of the book isn’t news to Summit/Lionsgate, so for the sake of their stock price, they better have one hell of a plan to make this work. Best case scenario – maybe some of the elements that are criticized – the uneven characterization, the world building, the plot – can be improved with a good screenwriter and director to create enjoyable and entertaining movies. The movies also won’t be burdened by chapter by chapter POV switching between Tris and Tobias. However, that’s a dicey situation, because if you change the story, your core fans who love the book are going to be angry and may not support it (or just go see it once, which is damning for the profitability of these movies). And you can’t draw in those who read the book and didn’t like it unless there’s been big changes. Major doubts on this decision. Massively huge doubts.
Good luck to all involved, because it was always going to be a challenge to adapt Allegiant, and now you’ve given yourself twice the job.
OMG OMG OMG YOU GUYS! DO YOU KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING! IT’S BIG! IT’S EXCITING! IT’S TOTALLY NOT CONFIRMED OR EVEN HINTED AT BUT WHATEVS!
“THE REBELLION” IS TOTALLY GOING TO HACK THE MTV MOVIE AWARDS WITH NEW MOCKINGJAY STUFF!
At least that’s what the Internet speculates. Who cares if the sources aren’t at all reliable? It’s on the Internet! If it’s on the Internet, it’s totally true!!!1!11!
Okay, maybe that last statement isn’t totally true… but I’m writing this on the Internet, so I’m not really sure what to believe. It’s like a puzzle covered in an enigma swathed in mystery wrapped in bacon. Anyway…
It would definitely be cool to use the “hacking” angle to promote Mockingjay in all its glory. Do we think it will actually happen? Probably not this time. See, when MTV has something special, even if it’s “secret”, they tend to promote the hell outta that bitch through copious hint-dropping and rumors about appearances. Remember Beyonce’s “secret” VMA performance a couple years ago? Was it really secret to anyone?
But the thing is, these hints aren’t coming from MTV. They’re mores coming from hopeful Hunger Games conspiracy theorist fans on social media. That’s not to say they’re never right, but there’s usually something else to back it up.
So before you go placing all bets on Sunday, remember that there’s still quite a ways ’til November and there’s still filming going on. We imagine Francis Lawrence would kinda sorta REALLY want to oversee the production of the first trailer (we want that too!) and he’s a liiiiiittle too busy for that at the moment.
It’s not that The Hunger Games promotion won’t be handled quite extensively by MTV. We’re sure it will. Commercials? Definitely. Sneak peeks that we’ll have to sit through some horrible MTV original show to see? Certainly. The Mockingjay special with cast interviews? Inevitable. Just not right now.
We’re not gonna sit in front of our televisions this Sunday, MTV. It’s nothing personal. You’ll get our ratings some other day.
If We’re Wrong, That’s What DVRs Are For,
The Girl With The Pearl
We’ve always applauded Lionsgate for creating video games for the series that were NOT entirely based in violence. Though not particularly full of depth, The Hunger Games Adventures, Girl on Fire, and Panem Run do a great job sticking to the franchise’s message that violence should never, ever be glorified. They entertain fans without being blood-soaked and death-filled.
So naturally, some other idiots had the brilliant idea that they should create a video game, not so cleverly titled THE SURVIVAL GAMES, that very purposely capitalizes on and glorifies the violence of the arena. They claim gamers have “cried out” for a Hunger Games based experience.
NO. NOPE. NUH UH. STOP THE RECORD RIGHT THERE.
For some reason we’re doubting it’s really Hunger Games fans calling for this experience. One of the main themes of the series practically screams “DON’T GLORIFY DEATH AND VIOLENCE! THAT IS FUCKING HORRIBLE!” Hence the use and abuse of victors, the seemingly endless string of tragedies, the PTSD, etc. More like a bunch of slaughter-happy fools who don’t understand a thing about the series other than “they go in there and kill each other until there’s only one left” cried out for it. We guess you can still be a fan under those circumstances… a really pitiful, ignorant fan, but a fan nonetheless? Right? …Right?!
The hilarity of it all is that though the creators claim they’ll be distancing themselves from The Hunger Games in many ways, they’re using roughly a million key concepts. For example…
- Players cannot leave their start point until a countdown has finished.
- Players start unarmed be can get weapons from a structure known as “The Trove”… which is absolutely, positively, in no way the same exact thing as the Cornucopia.
- Players are encouraged to form alliances, even though they’re oh so unpredictable! “Still, when all is said and done, there can only be one victor!” says the website. Yup, still the victor.
- Players will encounter hostile wildlife and random storms that could easily kill them.
- No guns allowed because they take away from the excitement of battle.
It may be a good thing that these guys aren’t anywhere near their goal for game creation, because we’ve seen various projects of a harmless and far less troublesome nature that hint at The Hunger Games shut down by Lionsgate legal in roughly ten seconds.
To the alleged gamers, “crying out” for this: Yeahhhhh… thanks but HELL TO THE NO. Go play one of the million other video games out there, plenty of which will satisfy your need for violence (if that’s your thing) AND have an original concept at the same time! Crazy how that happens 98% percent of the time! The Hunger Games is NOT about the awesome power of violence, so get your fix elsewhere and don’t try to butcher this franchise, k?
Add This To The List Of Things That Make Me RAGE,
The Girl With The Pearl
The Hunger Games is kinda a thing nowadays, if you haven’t noticed! As such, you expect it to make its rounds through pop culture. Like the string of awful parodies and the joke Ellen made at The Oscars.
But some references are more ridiculous and hilarious than others! For instance, the latest song from rapper Drake, “Draft Day”:
On some Hunger Games shit I would die for my district
Jennifer Lawrence you can really get it
I mean forreal, girl you know I had to do it for yah
You can listen to the whole song here. We’ll wait. *blocks ears because once is enough*
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! WE CANNOT EVEN! REALLY?!
Though this is just more evidence showing how popular The Hunger Games and Jennifer Lawrence really are, it is pretty random in the middle of a fairly tough rap number (though Drake comes from a middle class background and once starred in DeGrassi, so no one’s really calling him hardcore.) It’s all bitches, fuck this and that, and n-bombs… and hey, Jennifer Lawrence!
Aaaaaand when exactly do we hit the wall with The Hunger Games references? When do we say “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”? Neverrrr! The song is bad, but this reference is so awesomely bad that it’s actually good!
For Drake’s next single, we’ve got some phat Hunger Games rhymes to suggest:
“I’m so fly I’d survive The Hunger Games arena,
Got more dough than Josh Hutcherson as Peeta”
“I’m a killah, I don’t fail
Droppin’ bombs, just call me Gale”
“Rappers be so obsessed with all the fame and riches,
Strutting around like they Snow’s Capitol bitches.”
*cough* Check my flow, y’all!
The Girl With The Pearl
Date check time – tomorrow is the first day of April! Maybe a month where we actually get news about a Mockingjay movie!?! Tomorrow is also April Fools’ Day, an annoying day where you can TRUST NO ONE. So I’m going to hate that. But maybe, after April Fools’ Day we can get some Mockingjay news? I’m dying here.But enough of my desperate begging, did you also know that tomorrow is the first day of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp’s fiscal year? Yep, I was so bored with the lack of Mockingjay news, I spent some time on their investor relations site. Their year closes today, and then the auditors come in to check that the money was counted right. The annual report, or 10-K, won’t come out until late May but it did spur me to check in to see where the final totals for Catching Fire ended up. You may have heard a few months ago that Catching Fire surpassed Iron Man 3 to be the number one US domestic grossing film of 2013, which is especially impressive when you realize the film was only released in 2D and IMAX, not those extra 3D formats that bump up total receipts. But it raked in even a few more million after surpassing Iron Man 3.
Here are the stats per BoxOfficeMojo.com
Domestic – $424,645,577
Foreign – $439,897,616
Total – $864,543,193
That’s a whole lot of money. I doubted that Catching Fire would surpass The Hunger Games’s domestic gross (just because THG’s success was so very massive). Though I did see Catching Fire in theaters 7 times compared to The Hunger Games 4 times, so maybe a few other fans like me did the same thing and ca-ching ca-ching. Happy days.
I had higher expectations for Catching Fire’s foreign take however, especially with all the extra emphasis on international markets (the parties at Cannes, more international premieres, etc). The more or less 50/50 split domestic/foreign is increasingly rare for blockbuster movies. More and more blockbusters make 2/3 of their total box office overseas. Though Catching Fire still made $157 million more internationally than it did with The Hunger Games (and improved from a 60/40 domestic/international spit). $157 million is basically an entire hit movie’s US box office in itself, so it’s huge growth. But I bet there will be a continued focus on getting the rest of the world watching so that the Mockingjay movies are even stronger internationally, and of course, keeping US audiences energized so they can try and top the success of Catching Fire.
Now that the new fiscal year has started let’s start spending some of that marketing budget on Mockingjay Part 1!
Every now and then, we see a casting announcement for one of The Hunger Games actors and think “PERFECT!” This is especially true when it’s one of the young tributes from the first film, because we get all sentimental about the fledgling careers of budding young actors. They were just baby tributes yesterday! *sniffle*
When we heard earlier this week that Dayo Okeniyi has gone from Thresh to a lead role in Terminator: Genesis, we were pretty stoked. Dayo will be playing the adult version of Skynet creator Miles Dyson’s currently unnamed son, who almost met his fate at a young age in Terminator 2, but apparently lived through the apocalypse after that.
In the world of action movies, the Terminator films are surprisingly more tolerable than most, even in their later versions. We’re actually way more knowledgeable about this series than should ever be warranted. There isn’t a full plot breakdown yet, but this looks like the original Terminator retold mainly from the post-Skynet POV. Lots of time travel and all. And whether the plot is good or not, this movie is going to get a looooot of attention for Dayo!
The newness of Dayo’s character in the future setting could mean a couple things: 1) Because he’s not deeply rooted in the mythology, he’s easy to kill off or 2) Because the mythology says Kyle Reese and John Connor both kick the bucket, Dyson Jr takes over as leader of the rebels. We’re hoping for the latter, because Dayo is a bona fide actor and we know he deserves better roles than the smartass best friend in a romantic comedy. We mean… his last movie was Endless Love. Ouch.
This, along with roles like Alexander Ludwig on Vikings and Jack Quaid’s upcoming HBO pilot, only helps prove that there were some really stellar actors even in the not-so-big roles in The Hunger Games. We wish we saw more of it! But, ya know, we’re cool most of those actors finishing high school before they bombard the big and small screen!
Who knows! At this rate, I just may have to fancast several ex-tributes in the inevitable “re-imagined” versions of popular movies!
I’LL BE BACK,
The Girl With The Pearl
Ah, the media! Every now and then, there’s a kernel of real depth and knowledge in there, but not nearly as often as you think. (Unfortunately, I realized this mid-way through a Journalism degree, so on top of no longer wanting to work for the media, I’m in massive debt!) Mostly, it’s about getting people to pay attention to what you’re saying and make them think it’s important, even though it’s usually not. This is especially true of entertainment media.
So let us repeat a sentiment we’ve stated before. One more time with feeling!
There is no real fandom war between The Hunger Games and Divergent. Or between The Hunger Games and any other franchise, for that matter. Quit drinking the media wars Kool-aid. Seriously.
Them There Eyes already covered that EW pulled a seriously dick move by trying to deflate The Hunger Games series to up Divergent. Surely, other media sites have done it as well. Entertainment Weekly, especially, has stock in the success of the Divergent series. Note that they have stock in the success of THG as well, but it’s already a proven success so they don’t have to coddle it anymore, just cover it. Hence the clueless “Katniss is from District 9 and Victors are reaped in every Quarter Quell” review Catching Fire got. Successful fandom-centric franchises are huge readership draws. And Lionsgate? They don’t care which one you like better because they are both owned by Lionsgate. Though it should be noted that a lot of THG fan outrage is hypocrisy, given that most people seem perfectly okay with people deflating Divergent in favor of The Hunger Games. It shouldn’t be either way.
Of course, The Hunger Games/Divergent media wars have the desired effect. Everyone has preferences. We rush into the conversation to pick a side. Fans run out to say “I think Series A is better and anyone who thinks Series B is better is an idiot!” and vice versa.
Even we sip the Kool-aid a bit without realizing it. Them There Eyes was quick to call the movie mediocre based solely off critical reviews. When someone commented on one media post about how Mockingjay was awful and Allegiant was great, I was quick to respond with the inverse opinion. And I REALLY LIKE BOTH FRANCHISES. Not in love with the last Divergent book, but I still like both on the whole. Plus, we believe everyone should read and decide for themselves.
People like what they like. Some like The Hunger Games. Some like Divergent. Many, many people like both. And that’s fine! Don’t let the media make you think otherwise! Critics are not gods. While they make valid observations about film now and again, they’re often self-important jackwads. A movie isn’t good or bad or special or fun because a conglomerate of cynics tells you so. Seriously, that takes all the fun out of moviegoing. If you’ve ever had to stop asking a friend to go to the movies because they shot down everything you suggest based on critics, you know. So don’t let them push you around, m’kay?
This is not a war and nobody needs to pick sides. When the next potential franchise comes out, the media will do the same damn thing because people will STILL get hyped up over it. IGNORE THEEEEEMMMM. Have your preferences, have your personal tastes, but cutting down someone else’s fandom just to up yours, whether you’re Owen Gleiberman or just some random person on Tumblr, just makes you look like a petty ass.
Again: The Kool-Aid. STOP DRINKING IT.
WE JUST LIKE LIKING THINGS!
The Girl With The Pearl