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Being Paid To Be a Dick

Yeah, I said it– and I’ll say it loudly! Owen Gleiberman was probably paid a nominal fee to tear down The Hunger Games franchise, and tout Divergent as better, more perfect, more– whatever than The Hunger Games times a billion zillion! In the grand scheme of things, and also in the tiny scheme of things, Gleiberman’s opinions are a moot point. Some people just have varying tastes, some people think that pickles and ice cream is yummy times a thousand, and also not when pregnant– as popular culture has deemed that food combination to be appropriate when a lady person’s hormones are going every which way, and therefore she craves crazy-ass combos, like ice cream and pickles. Weird food combinations aside, I know people who rant and rave about how great Divergent is! Me though? I’ve never read the books, and I’m not going to see the movie, because yep– I’m a movie snob, and if a film is not fresh rated on Rotten Tomatoes, I’m not going to waste my hard earned money on it. Just my stance on my fun-money, no wasting it on mediocrity. So, let’s talk about some different films for a second, because that’s where in a better world, you’d be spending your money, and maybe having a better time.

I’ve seen some good films lately, and none of them are part of any huge flashy franchises. I tend to see smaller films anyway, it’s just how I roll. So if you’re more inclined to skip the box office monsters in the next few weeks, or just want to stay home and jammy-pants it whilst watching NetFlix, by all means read on.

Tim’s Vermeer: It’s a documentary, but made by one of the most unlikely documenterians ever, Penn of Penn and Teller fame, followed the process of his good friend

Tim being amazing

Tim being amazing

Tim, a genius in his own right, attempting to prove that Johannes Vermeer used lenses, or camera obscura, as well as mirrors to achieve his masterful true to life paintings. The painstaking process Tim goes through is daunting, and fascinating, and if you like art, classic art, nerds being nerds, and science– watch this movie as soon as you possibly can!

About Time: It’s by the same team that brought us to tears with Love Actually as well as Four Weddings and a Funeral. It’s classic Brit humor, quiet, sweet, thought-provoking, and well acted. It stars Domhnall Gleeson, best known for portraying Bill Weasley in The Harry Potter franchise. The story is odd, a young man is told by his father (Bill Nighy) that all the men in their family possess the power to go backwards in time, however only within the confines of their own personal lifetimes. Time travel, I know!? Crazy, weird idea! But this is a much less science fiction-y way of doing time travel, it’s more about letting a person become the person they always had the potential to be by allowing him (Domhnall) to get to do do-overs. It’s how he meets his wife, it’s how he can say good-bye to his father in the sweetest way possible, it’s how he saves his sisters life. It’s wonderful, and if you’re not into soft, quiet films– stay the fuck away.

That’s all folks! Go watch movies!

Them There Eyes

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The Hunger Games Cosplay Character Crisis

Effie Trinket may be one of the most cosplay-able characters in the world. Got bright hair, frilly dress, outrageous accessories, and an excess of makeup? BOOM! EFFIE! You can do it a million times and never look quite the same, yet still be distinctly Effie.

Effie, Effie, Effie!

Effie, Effie, Effie!

Which is why we’re not totally surprised that when the a Hunger Games Capitol cosplay contest cropped up in the UK, it essentially turned into “the running of the Effies”! Girls. Guys. EVERYONE got their Effie on. It was originally thought to be a fan gathering, but later reports specified that our cosplayers were in it to win tickets to the Mockingjay: Part 1 premiere.

Two things crossed our minds:
1) Wait… They’re already doing premiere giveaways in the UK?!
2) Why does the Capitol always get the cosplay love?

Sure, the Capitol is a little more fun and sparkly. And as mentioned, it’s essentially the easiest. Katniss either in The Hunger Games arena outfit or midway through her Mockingjay dress transformation seems to be in second place. But a badass rendition of ANY Hunger Games cosplay is appreciated.

Remember the Caesar Flickerman cosplay at Comic Con that was so good, not-so-obsessed fans actually thought he was Stanley Tucci? Or that time Kristen Bell admitted she and husband Dax Shepherd were Clove and Cato one Halloween? Why can’t we get some more of that?!

OMG LOOK!  A Peeta!

OMG LOOK! A Peeta!

Why does NO ONE cosplay Haymitch?! You get to act drunk all day, perhaps even BE DRUNK, depending on your circumstances! Why is Peeta so underutilized? He got dressed up in Capitol outfits too! Even our lovely Finnick and Johanna don’t get enough cosplay love.

Seriously, we’d be far more impressed with anyone willing to venture into these characters than just another Effie. It takes a little more planning, but it also makes a bigger impression. We love anyone who’s willing to play up The Hunger Games! We just want to see the character love spread.

So there’s our dare to you, convention attendees of the world!
The Girl With The Pearl

How Peeta Mellark Won The Capitol (Sort Of)

This post actually comes after a request! Carrie emailed us to see what we thought of The Capitol’s perception of Peeta, which is a damn good question. She also said she didn’t feel comfortable writing a post because she’s not “a Hunger Games scholar” (implying that we are, which is both adorable and HILARIOUS).

Winning Capitol hearts...

Winning Capitol hearts…

Let’s start off by saying this: There is noooooo easy answer. Capitol views of Peeta are both positive and negative, depending on the time and the circumstances and the people involved.

In the beginning, it’s easy for everyone in the Capitol to love Peeta. He’s sweet, quick-witted, and appears to be a hopeless romantic. The star-crossed lovers routine he masterminded is insanely popular, so even Snow and the Gamemakers appreciate him. There’s a temporary usefulness they see in him, because citizens would be saddened by his death, but they weren’t going to turn around and overrun the games because of it. His death probably wouldn’t have even caused a Rue-like uprising, just a collective “Oh, that’s a bummer!” He’s a convenient element of the show. That is, until the berries. The Capitol audiences love him even more– What a special ending! What romance! What showmanship!– but Snow certainly ain’t drinking that kool-aid!

Peeta takes part in that berries ploy, too, but it wasn’t his idea. He’s got Snow’s attention just as much as Katniss, but he’s not seen as the threat. Snow sees straight through both Katniss and Peeta’s different intentions, sees Peeta’s genuine affection for Katniss and his almost comfortable life in District 12 that he probably doesn’t want to lose, and thinks “How can I use this?” Note that Peeta isn’t the one Snow needs to threaten into compliance before the Victory Tour.

... Aaaaand then crumbling the constructs of their society. NBD.

… Aaaaand then slowly breaking down the constructs of their society. NBD.

We’ve said before that Peeta has a gift for words, but Katniss has a gift for action. Great speakers have really positive effects on people. The Capitol wants to live vicariously through his words. They want to understand him. They want to believe in what he has to say. But action really gets attention. While the Capitol is really fond of Peeta, it’s the “DAMN! Did you just see that?! I LOVE HER!” response to Katniss Everdeen that really catches their attention and poses a threat to Snow. Words can be reshaped and spun in ways bold actions cannot. Though Peeta causes some trouble with his public speaking engagements in Catching Fire, stirring the districts into uprising and getting Capitol audiences to finally take some issue with The Quarter Quell, it’s nothing that can’t be contained. In fact, his speeches are ultimately what saves his life.

Snow knows that The Capitol still has a very favorable opinion of the star-crossed lovers from District 12 after the clock arena’s destruction. With the acquisition of Peeta, Snow can leverage Peeta’s feelings for Katniss and loyalty to others involved in The Rebellion to get what he wants. Peeta is forced to spin the story in The Capitol’s favor in propaganda across Panem, talking about how Katniss has been brainwashed and Rebellion is not worth it. Snow gets comfortable in the concept that Peeta would never become a threat. He’s more of a puppet. Of course, we know Snow is wrong for two reasons:
1) Peeta does what Snow says, but only after being ruthlessly beaten. He makes his shaken state obvious throughout his segments, giving audiences the subtle message that all is not as it seems.
2) When he realizes that Snow is out to kill the others no matter what he does, Peeta busts open his plan on national television to save the lives of the people in District 13. His thanks is a good ol’ hijacking.

Snow and The Capitol continuously underestimate Peeta. They think he’s the weak link and maybe, at first, he is softer than Katniss. What they don’t count on is the different kind of strength he possesses. He stands up to the Capitol in systematical ways that convince people that the government is deceptive without putting on a big show. He recovers from a brainwashing most people never do because he’s got some serious mental fortitude. And even in the end, when Katniss Everdeen has been labeled a deeply disturbed byproduct of war, the truth of Peeta Mellark’s troubles remains mostly under wraps and it’s likely Panem audiences are still quite smitten with him.

Snow never even saw it coming.

Essentially, Peeta Wins The “Most Popular” Superlative In The Capitol Yearbook,
The Girl With The Pearl

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

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire DVD Review + Giveaway

SO MANY EDITIONS! How do you know which edition of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire to grab for yourself?

Luckily, we had the honor of review the different DVD versions are all the special features. We’ve broken down our thoughts on the special features so you can decide which you’d like and which DVD to buy!

Catching-Fire-on-Blu-Ray

THE REVIEWS

Deleted Scenes (All Versions) – We got the breakdown on these babies weeks ago, but rest assured that seeing them is very, very different! It’s fairly easy to see why most of them were left out.

The first two scenes, featuring Gale and Katniss at The Hob and Katniss talking to her mother and Prim as she returns from the Victory Tour are short and not very pressing.

Another scene featuring Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch switching the Quarter Quell envelopes, while harrowing, might have confused non-readers who were never told that the Quarter Quell designations were planned decades prior and wasn’t totally necessary.

We thoroughly “Finnick Ties the Knot”, it may have left a sour taste in audiences mouths. We’re seeing the cocky, obnoxious side of Finnick that would have made it hard for everyone to think of him as a sympathetic character later on. But it is so very GIF-able!

The deleted portion of a scene we’re most disappointed was left out of the scene was the Mockingjay explanation given by Snow in one of his meetings with Plutarch. Besides being a vital part of the series, Donald Sutherland delivery is FLAWLESS.

Bonus Content Featurettes (Target Edition) - Forty-five minutes of exclusive bonus content made its way onto the Target Special Edition. It’s broken up into three separate featurettes focusing on the returning cast, the new cast, and adapting the books. Though the topics are pretty standard, there are some gems in there, in the form of behind-the-scenes cast antics, hilarious quotes, or previously unknown tidbits. Also, lots of stuff that will make you fall in love with Francis Lawrence’s take on these films. For the diehards like us, this is totally worth it.

Surviving The Game: Making Catching Fire (Blu-Ray exclusive) – It’s long, and when I say long I mean over two hours worth of behind the scenes footage, interviews with the cast, crew, director, producers, and tons of fun content. It’s divided into nine parts, each one focused on a specific aspect of the film making process. My favorites being the sections focused on costume, hair, and makeup, because Ve Neil is awesome, and Trish Summerville is her partner in crime along with Nikoletta Skarlatos, and then there are the chats with Jo Willems the D.P., the IMAX tech experts on location in Hawaii, and then the glimpsing and mellow explanation of the creating and editing process from the head film editor, sound editor, and the super talented visual effects artists from all over the world (they made water, so much water!) However from a fannish POV it was nice to see the named Victors getting to speak, and discuss the process they went through along with the principle cast. It’s long though, so do not expect to watch The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and then watch the nine part documentary in one sitting– you’ll lose your head, but yes watch it it’s worth the numb butt, and cramping leg muscles.

Audio Commentary with Francis Lawrence and Nina Jacobson (All except the Walmart Double Feature Version) - You know we were excited about this feature, and happily it does not disappoint! Francis and Nina give a lot of added insight into the making of the film. You’ll learn more about where scenes were filmed, some of the challenges of filming (one of them is NOISE, everywhere noise), where and why they made changes from the book, the performances, decisions about hair, makeup, and more. They really touch on all areas of the production. And every now and then they give a little hint about Mockingjay production (there’s a public square outside of Snow’s mansion that will be a set. Ok, not a huge revelation, but exciting!). The two talk throughout the movie, so you’ll definitely want to watch the whole movie on its own first before delving in to this feature. But a must-watch for fans!

AND THE WINNER IS…
If you want all the features, there is no contest! The Target Special Edition has it! Added bonus? Really really snazzy packaging/

THE GIVEAWAY

Leave your answer to the following question in our comments! Amuse us!

If you had to face down one of the challenges in the Catching Fire arena (other than the lightning tree!), which would you choose and why?

Two winners will receive the Walmart Double Feature Special Edition. One runner-up will receive The Hunger Games: Catching Fire DVD + Digital Copy. Winners will be chosen and contacted on Monday, March 10th.

Winning

This is going to come as a shock to pretty much every single Hunger Games fan on the planet, but I do not want Jennifer Lawrence to win at the Oscars tomorrow night. Yeah, throw tomatoes, or bags of dog poo at me (I’d prefer tomatoes, thank you), but I think I have a good reason for not wanting her to win, or perhaps more than one reason.

Reason number one: I don’t want any more Jennifer Lawrence hate flooding the Internets at large. See, in our sick, twisted, stupid, and fucked up society, we tend to really, really, really, really like to kick people when they’re at a high point. Example: Remember when everyone loved Anne Hathaway, or at least liked her acting, and mostly tolerated her perkiness, and her eager to

Yeah... I think we'll keep her.

Yeah… I think we’ll keep her.

please attitude? Yeah, well– have you seen much of Anne Hathaway lately? I’ll answer that question for you. NOPE! She’s been working, true– but she’s had one of the lowest public profiles since her breakthrough role in 2001. And do you know why she’s been so low-key lately? Welp, because the media, and the Internets started becoming an all out hate mongering death trap for her. Jen’s different though, talent wise she’s on par with Hathaway, because come on– even if you don’t like Hathaway you cannot deny that the woman is talented at her craft. However, where Jen and her differ greatly is their all out public persona. Jen’s kind of no-nonsense, quirky, and unapologetic for her inability to conform. Hathaway, um– yeah, she’s kind of a bit of a conformist, a bit faux, and kinda sorta a priss. Seriously, I don’t think we’ll ever see Hathaway making the faces that Jen does, which is okay– Jen’s doin’ her thang, and I will never not enjoy her weird. But Anne, even after all the praise, and the awards, and the hard work she put in, she got a hate storm of epic proportions thrown at her after she won, and was nominated for everything under the sun, and she got that storm thrown at her because she was doing well, and people got tired of her doing well. I do not want that to happen to Jen, therefore even though I do think that her performance in American Hustle was commendable, in full disclosure mode– I

Sunday, be there or be square

Sunday, be there or be square

don’t think it’s her year.

Which brings me to my second reason: Lupita Nyong’o– her performance in 12 Years a Slave is earth shatteringly good, actually everyone’s performance in 12 Years a Slave is more than good, all the way down to Garret Dillahunt, and one of my personal favorite character actors, Paul Dano. You know how there are films that just deserve to be recognized because they go places that have never been gone to before? For example Philadelphia, or Midnight Cowboy, 12 Years a Slave is like those films and the performances are above board, and without qualms, or mercy, or affectedness– American Hustle, and Jennifer Lawrence– I can’t with a clear conscience say that either has those same facets in my opinion.

May the best woman win!

Them There Eyes

Awards Season and The Grateful Scale

According to a recent article in some random tabloid that claims to be business related, Jennifer Lawrence is totally ungrateful for her Best Supporting Actress nominations this awards season.

Let's face it--- This scenario would distract anyone.

Let’s face it— This scenario would distract anyone.

Why? Because she been working instead of sitting around obsessing over them. No, really! Here’s what Jen told Deadline:

“I didn’t remember that the BAFTAs were happening that day. I certainly did not think I was going to win one so I put it out of my mind. So there I was, in the middle of being painted blue, and someone said, ‘You just won the BAFTA!’ And I said, ‘Oh, go f*ck yourself!’ And then it turned out they were serious.”

This combined with a quote in which she said she was glad to be away from the pressure of awards season, according to International Business Times, is a surefire sign that she is totally ungrateful for her awards and nominations.

To which we say… WHAT FUCKERY IS THIS? Have you ever been invited to an event that you know you can’t attend, then you get busy about things and forget about it? Hell, we get busy and forget about events we plan to attend! So why is it a shock that as she bounces back and forth between two movies, Jennifer Lawrence might have lost track of the date of the BAFTAs?

We have to laugh, because as much as David O. Russell wants to make snarky comments about the Mockingjay films enslaving Jen, she was on the X-Men set when she missed this event. But otherwise, it’s just RIDIC. The alternative is Jen obsessively forcing someone else to constantly update her on the BAFTAs as she’s supposed to be focused on her current job, running around set like “I’m nominated for an award! People are busy talking about me and I couldn’t be there! Wah!” Thankfully, Jen is not like that, which is why we don’t feel the desire to punch her in the face.

And let’s face it, folks: As much as WE love the glitz and glamour, we get to enjoy it from our homes in our snuggies. Yes, I have a snuggie. It has the Hogwarts house crests on it. STOP JUDGING ME.

She also mentioned still being devastated by this moment

She also mentioned still being devastated by this moment

We get why Jen feels relieved because she missed out on some of the pressure of awards seasons. For stars, it goes a little something like this:
1) Be pressured by your team of a bazillion people to look better than you’ve ever looked before, which is not an easy task. Meetings, dieting, fittings, and lots of stressing.
2) Go on the red carpet with said great look, have many critics and fans tear it apart.
3) Get interviewed about everything under the sun, including things you probably don’t want to share with the world. Get judged by millions based on the few sentences you say.
4) Worry for several hours about the chances of winning, your facial expressions, tripping, any presenting duties, and the chances you’ll have to stand up on front of an outrageously sized audience and spill your guts.
5) Get interviewed again about previous winning or losing. Get judged some more based on reaction.

Yes, it’s fun for us. Stars do get perks like wearing beautiful gowns, holding shiny statues, and getting some extra time in the spotlight that may open up the opportunity for new roles. But they’ve also got a salivating audience just waiting for them to reveal their flaws and embarrass themselves. As a star, you have to be a strange combination of perfectionist and attention whore to enjoy the awards season without any qualms. Hence why the ones who are always like “OMG I LIVE FOR THIS!” are usually the ones who seem to live in an alternate dimension of entitlement.

Look, not every word an actress says will ever be perfect, but let’s not go looking for excuses to tear it apart. Jennifer Lawrence has been astoundingly down-to-Earth about the awards season and other media endeavors meant to swell up an actor’s ago til it’s nice and obese, ignoring the hype and focusing on actually acting. And frankly, if that’s being “ungrateful,” we wish more stars were ungrateful.

We’ll Can That Universe Entitlementia! Lots Of Pretty People Hang There.
The Girl With The Pearl

Panem in Our Midst

Suzanne Collins has been quoted saying that one of her initial inspirations for The Hunger Games, was an innocuous, and very common time wasting moment in her life in the early 2000s, when she was caught channel surfing on her TV. She switched back and forth, and noticed a strange, and disconcerting, as well as disturbing trend. On one channel she’d see Iraq War footage, guns blazing, coffins being

Dec. 1, 2013 - Kiev, Ukraine - A supporter of European integration talks to police officers during a People's Veche rally in Kiev's Independence Square against the government's decision to delay signing a trade deal with the European Union. (Credit Image: © Zurab Dzhavakhadze/ITAR-TASS/ZUMAPRESS.com)

Dec. 1, 2013 – Kiev, Ukraine – A supporter of European integration talks to police officers during a People’s Veche rally in Kiev’s Independence Square against the government’s decision to delay signing a trade deal with the European Union. (Credit Image: © Zurab Dzhavakhadze/ITAR-TASS/ZUMAPRESS.com)

wheeled out of giant planes onto airport runways, and sometimes battle footage– and sandwiched between the stark reality of war she saw reality TV programs where people played head games in uncomfortable tropical conditions to win a lot of money, a complete disconnect from the blood, and the smoke, and the death of reality. And that’s when it came to her, what if reality TV went so far that instead of the game being make-believe like it is on series’ like Survivor, what if it was real?

Years later the trilogy is complete, and now the last installment of it is being put to film. Mockingjay is becoming a reality though, but not in the way we’d all like to think whilst sitting back in our comfortable homes. Today three major socially changing events are continuing to unfold. Kiev, Ukraine is burning, and shaking in protest to their pro-Russian government leaders. The internet, print news, radio news, and broadcast news are buzzing with the flames, and the angry, desperate faces and voices of the opposition. West of Ukraine

Syria

Syria

an ongoing civil war has been raging in the country of Syria. People are starving, people are dying in their homes, and on the street as they forage for what ever they can find, and there’s no end in sight, even as leaders on opposing sides of the conflict are having so-called “peace talks”, in Geneva, Switzerland– thousands of miles removed from the mess back home. The talks aren’t working though, at least that’s what I keep hearing over and over again, and the people of Syria are still desperate, starving, and dying. To the east of both Ukraine and Syria is Thailand in Southeast Asia, people continue to take to the streets protesting their government calling their electoral system a sham– police officers are dragging every day, normal citizens away– and tourists still meander the streets of the capitol city of Bangkok. Suzanne Collins published Mockingjay in 2010, but the inspiration could be what’s plastering our TVs, Internet news feeds, and our broadcast news programs right now. We don’t need to wait and see how well Mockingjay is put to film, to see how well the scenes of Katniss and Squad 451 storming the streets of The Capitol– we just have to pay attention to what’s happening to our fellow human beings right now.

Peace.

Them There Eyes

Katniss and Peeta On Ice

We’ve already discussed a handful of ways The Hunger Games and The Olympics aren’t all the different. But there’s one other comparison we’ve noticed that has blossomed into a very Hunger Games-like situation. America’s own Katniss and Peeta (Hunger Games, early Catching Fire), if you will!

We're more interested in how he keeps his hair so bouncy!

We’re more interested in how he keeps his hair so bouncy!

Maybe we just weren’t paying enough attention four years ago, but this time around, ice dancing team Meryl Davis + Charlie White = America’s sweethearts LIKE WHOA. Besides the fact that they both look like Disney characters and seem to defy the laws of gravity on ice, there’s one really obvious thing about them: A bazillion total strangers ship them. HARD.

There’s a fine line when it comes to shipping real people. We tend to go against it, unless the people are definitely in a relationship already. Meryl and Charlie are not. And yet, it still feels a bit like the star-crossed lovers from District 12.

These two have known each other since childhood and obviously care about each other deeply. However, it’s probably very platonic, like siblings. But the media (mainly US Olympics broadcaster NBC) glorifies it. They never call it a love story, but audiences will only listen to two attractive people being interviewed about how amazing and special they think the other is before implications settle in.

Aaaaand real world!

Aaaaand real world!

Then there’s Charlie White’s actual relationship. Interviewers do ask about his model/ former ice skater girlfriend, but Charlie is quickly to brush them off and talk about how his relationship with Meryl is all that matters right now. He’s also said that it’s okay that people assume he and Meryl are dating, as they often try to portray people in love. We’re not sure that he’s trying to promote the idea that he and Meryl are together. He probably just wants to keep his private relationships private, but quotes like that sure do fan the shipper fire.

We know exactly where Meryl and Charlie stand (at the top of the podium! BOOM!), but it still doesn’t feel all that different than Katniss and Peeta being paraded around, trying to show their country’s citizens how good they are together and impress sponsors. Katniss feeling like she has to play down her life with Gale during the Victory Tour feel familiar? There’s no survival or political forces at sake, but the analyzing, attention, and shipping? Totally there!

Is it a little weird? For sure! We’re talking about real people and real media manipulation. But if this ain’t the real world spilling over into Suzanne Collins’ world, we don’t know what is!

Officially Filed Under “Comparisons We Can’t Stop Making” And Let Go,

The Girl With The Pearl

The Hunger Games vs. The Olympics

Oh, the Olympics! When several countries from across the globe come together to settle who’s better once and for all. At least as far as certain bouts of athleticism go!

And this year, things seem very Hunger Games-y. With a fine sprinkling of Rocky IV in the margins, because who can resist a good Ivan Drago reference? Seriously, though!

Exhibit A: The Tribute Olympic Parade Escorts

Who knew Effie had so many co-workers?!

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Between the giant decorative headpieces and the torso accessories, these women are clearly straight out of the Capitol. Not to mention how smiley they are as they escort most of these athletes toward likely defeat!

Exhibit B: The Stylist Waz Here

ralph-lauren-olympics

Yes, the Olympic games always involved countries entering in their own unique outfits. But every time, they seem to get more and more outrageous. Some countries were normal, but the USA went for that kitsch “panel sweater knitted by Great Grandma” look while Russia looked like one of those Santa Claus themed charity runs people do around the holidays. Also, Bermuda showed up on blazers and Bermuda shorts because DUH! THE NAME HAS BERMUDA IN IT and we just… can’t even… WHY? *facepalm*

Exhibit C: The Welcome

Let’s face it, Vladimir Putin didn’t look particularly happy to be hosting this shindig.

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Exhibit D: Sponsorship

There are A LOT of people who have a lot of money invested in the Olympic games. While some governments do produce financial backing to help their athletes attend the games and the competitions leading up to them, many countries including the United States leave their athletes dependent on corporate sponsorship (unless they come from very wealthy families). If they want to compete, they have to win over the sponsors by emulating their perfect little competitor. Someone fierce yet lovable with an excellent shot at winning.

So you know how you get really, really sick of seeing athletes in ridiculous amounts of commercials surrounding the Olympics? They’re sick of it too! We all have something in common!

Exhibit E: The Careers

While it’s not true of all athletes, it seems quite a few were born into their sport. Why do you think so many siblings compete together? Their parents had this life planned out for them since they were in the womb. They trained relentlessly, starting at a very young age. It was a full time job even then. They were raised believing that Olympic gold was the major goal of their lifetime. These aren’t just people who want to win, these are people who have kind of been trained to believe they’ve failed their country if they don’t win. (Here’s a great article by former luge competitor Samantha Retrosi on this.)

On The Upside, There’s No Murder!
The Girl With The Pearl

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