The Hunger Games

The Lyrical Take On The Mockingjay

Apparently the trailer isn’t the only thing that’s taking its sweet time! Last year at this time, we were already had a chance to listen and read the lyrics to Catching Fire’s Grammy nominated “Atlas” by Coldplay. But this year? We got news that a song is being recorded, at least!

We’ll acknowledge that a 5 minute song is probably nowhere near as time consuming as a roughly 2 1/2 hour movie and can be completed quicker depending on the artist’s schedule, Soundtracks don’t usually come out until right before the movie, so they technically don’t have to rush. But it seems like a crazy big part of this whole production should be renamed THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART PROCRASTINATION.

Anywaaaay… The latest news started with a quick lyric post from Lorde:
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It was soon confirmed that these were indeed lyrics for one of her Mockingjay Part 1 songs, specifically being recorded for the end credits– because if you’re going to curate a soundtrack, you’re conveniently going to put your own damn music in the position that makes it eligible for awards NO MATTER WHAT. The song will reportedly be “moody, dark, and powerful”, which is basically what we’d expect from any song about this movie. The film certainly ain’t gonna hold your hand and make you smile, after all!

While we don’t think the use of the word “princess” in the lyric is our favorite as the term itself suggests someone who is spoiled and desperate to be in charge– neither of which we believe accurately describes Katniss in MJ Part 1. And inevitably somebody will make a connection to “Royals” and we’ll hate it. But it’s interesting to see how a musician would try to express Katniss’ state of being.

Then again, two lines isn’t a full verse, let alone a single, so we can’t fully judge. …Can the powers that be get us the full single as soon as possible so we can properly judge it, please?!

Please Prove That Teenage Poetry CAN Be Good, Please!
The Girl With The Pearl

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Behind The Mockingjay (Literally)

*blinks* Did we… did we just get Punk’d?

Starting late yesterday evening, international distributors started hinting that something would be happening today. It was something, all right, but not something that was saw coming by any means!

Namely, it was this:

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KATNISS!

Sort of. We can’t confirm that it’s Jennifer Lawrence and not a body double, but we’d like to believe it’s our leading lady.

Still, we don’t know how we feel about this.

If this poster was released three months ago, it would have been OUR JAM! Katniss’ Mockingjay suit is GOR-GE-OUS and fierce and breaks our hearts into a thousand little Cinna shaped pieces. Are feather shoulder pads going to be a new fashion statement? We hope so! The poster continues with the wonderful theme of Katniss going against the grain– She looks right when everyone looks left in The Hunger Games posters, then stands when everyone else sits in Catching Fire posters. Facing away from the camera is also a nice metaphor for her reclusive nature and even more extreme struggles with PTSD in Part 1.

But it’s not June. It’s September. At this point in the game, we at least want to see Katniss’ anxiety and haunting memories and reluctant strength on her face. Build-up and anticipation is great in the right doses, but we’re overdosing on that anticipation over here!

There’s a reason Apple products advertise a program called Face Time and not Back-of-the-Skull Time (besides the fact that it would be really uncomfortable to keep twisting your arm behind your head to get a proper shot): All humans speak the language of facial expressions, the eyes are the window to the soul, aaaaaand so on! Katniss’ soul is being denied its window, dammit! FREE KATNISS!

But with the poster reveal also came the notification to expect something on September 10th! THERE’S MOOOOOAR! We’re hoping we can finally get more than yet another tease at that time, but we have no clue. As long as it’s not a “Katniss turns around” poster six days later because we would legitimately just start weeping in frustration at the point.

“I’m So Tired, Katniss”
The Girl With The Pearl

When Camera Crews Go Renegade

So we’ve definitely settled on the fact that the new posters are cool. Not perfect, but pretty damn cool. Still, there’s one isty-bitsy teeny-weeny fairly obvious detail that is driving us crazy…

Since when does a two-man camera crew, their director, and her assistant = BADASS WARRIOR MOTHERFUCKERS?

Observe!
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Mind you, we like the idea of badass warrior motherfuckers in general. BWMFs, if you will. But in comparison, we must admit this feels kinda forced.

While some tactical gear and even the small side guns on Castor and Pollux seem reasonable, check out the massive weapons Cressida and Messalla are sporting. That is meant for once thing: Taking out large numbers of enemies in a relatively short time period. Those are for straight up soldiers, not the people hired to film soldiers.

Meanwhile, Pollux is described as “the silent soldier” and Messalla, who seems skittish at best all the way up to his brutal end in the books, is called “the fearless renegade”. Seriously, somebody had way too much fun misappropriating these character descriptions while scripting this film!

In my initial commentary on these posters, I mentioned that Cressida and Messalla didn’t look much like Capitol defectors who, despite not agreeing with political choices, were still culturally Capitol at their core. The more we think about it… What if the filmmakers found it easier to not have them be Capitol defectors at all? The District 13 area doesn’t have many recognizable faces other than Boggs in the books, especially in what will be considered Part 1 territory. Audiences will connect with the District 8 scenes more if they see who Katniss is fighting with and what they stand for, so why not take already recognizable names and match them up with the mostly unrecognizable soldiers?

Yet we hesitate to wholeheartedly accept that theory. There is value to Cressida and Messalla being wet-behind-the-ears rebellion propo makers who don’t fully understand the dangers and implications of their work until they experience it firsthand. Their Capitol origins show that not everyone in the city is a drone supporting Snow and display tensions within the fragile alliances. Yes, it would be nice to have another kickass chick in the mix and Effie will be more firmly taking on the role of “Capitol lady who doesn’t truly get it”, but are there not shades of gray that can distinguish characters adjusting to the same situation differently as Cressida gets more and more proactive?

Maybe we’re just opposed to change.. but usually we’re not opposed to change when it seems reasonable and justifiable. We just don’t get why this group now has to be fierce soldiers. We’re hoping this pans out into something spectacular that we aren’t seeing yet, but right now, we must admit that we’re a liiiiiiittle weary!

If Camera Crews Are Now Super Soliders, Are The Original District 13 Soldiers Like.. X-Men?
The Girl With The Pearl

District 13 Rebel Reaction

IT’S MOCKINGJAY PART 1 Posterama! We got six brand spankin’ new posters of what will be Star Squad 451 minus Finnick, Peeta, and Katniss; our first official look at the crew in their gear.

And OF COURSE we’ve got lots of feelings we need to share about all this! BEHOLD!

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Oh, Hemsy! Your eyebrow game is just through the roof in this poster. We just want to brush them methodically for you (as we assume someone else did shortly before this picture was taken.) But we don’t love this image nearly as much as we should.

Book!Gale most certainly had some rage at this point in the story line. Yes, he’s finally made it to the rebels, but Katniss still describes him as intensity and fire when all is said and done. WHERE IS THAT? We all know Liam has epic emo face, but what about the other faces?! This is stern, at best. We want RAAAAAGE! He pulled that off much better in the Catching Fire character poster.

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Dammit, Natalie Dormer! Even in 1,000 layers including various padding, you still look glam! The last time we tried to look fancy, we still looked worth than that. URGH!

We’ve also discovered the new game we’ll be playing through the rest of the Mockingjay Part 1 promotional period: What exactly is the proper brightness of Cressida’s tattoo? It looked much darker and less green in the trailer, but it might have just been the lighting?

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YES! THIS! THIS FOREVER AND EVER!

If you can’t tell, we really like this poster! The image alone justifies Mahershala Ali’s casting as Boggs. Intimidating but serene, focused and powerful. The kind of guy who seems serious but has a solid sense of humor underneath it all. He definitely comes off as a leader and we are officially excited!

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Is it just us or was anyone else thinking Messalla had more of a Capitol flare?

Yes, he’s relocated to District 13, joined the rebellion, and probably toned down has look a bit. But still, we expected more than a bridge piercing and a line tattooed on the bottom lip. That modifications aren’t as “Oh so Capitol!” as we’d expected and despite not believing in the government, Messalla was still culturally Capitol. In the book, he stood out much more drastically. Why change that here?

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When… When did one of the camera guys get kinda sexy?

We understand why it was easier to make Castor and Pollux brothers instead of twins… even though it kills the whole Greek mythology reference but WHATEVS. Still, aren’t these guys the “insects”, the background characters that have their special moments but mostly kinda blend in? How are we supposed to focus on military strategy and political strife when there’s lean muscle and faux hawks in our faces?!

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Not sure how we feel about ponytail and beard combo, but we’ll let this one slide because its FULTON REED (aka Elden Henson). Pollux is a former Avox and admittedly, the styling choices give the character the look of someone who’s been worn down after seeing too many horrors in the world. Also, you can see their “insect” camera bags really well in this one ad we’re digging it!


Everyone’s Worried About Katniss and I’m like “BUT WHERE IS FINNICK?!”

The Girl With The Pearl

THG on TNT

While everyone has been busy with the very worthy cause of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (I’ll be doing mine soon!), some other exciting new has come our way… At least in America.

The Hunger Games is FINALLY coming to cable television!

Consider it the marriage of two fiery ring logos!

Consider it the marriage of two fiery ring logos!

After a predictable deal to air the series on ABC Family– the teen-friendly network that brings us the awesome joy of Harry Potter weekends– seems to have gone sour, cable television rights to The Hunger Games series (and the Divergent films) have gone to TNT.

TNT, for those who don’t know, is the “We know drama” network. They play a lot of syndicated and sometimes original shows and films that pride themselves on being high tension and action-packed. Only one of their original shows, SouthLAnd, was really worth its salt in our book, but they do well enough off the syndication to get solid ratings.

The Hunger Games is a surprising choice for TNT, whose shows seem to be geared toward the 40+ crowd. In comparison to a lot of their shows, The Hunger Games series is pretty light despite the death and political undertones. It’s less tedious and dull than their regular offerings, too, which offer up some action but not enough to make you really care.

Aaaaaand because ABC Family would probably cut moments like this.

Aaaaaand because ABC Family would probably cut moments like this.

But TNT ain’t no fools! YA sells big and will likely improve ratings by a landslide. Any network with a brain would capitalize on the franchise the way ABC Family has with Harry Potter and FX has with the Marvel superhero franchise. You know why? Because when a Harry Potter or Marvel marathon comes on cable TV during a lazy Sunday, PEOPLE WATCH ‘EM. A lot more people than your average episode of The Last Ship or another Law & Order re-run.

Of course, marathons are going to take some time because each movie will be introduced on a yearly basis beginning in Winter 2015. Not quite sure how it works in foreign nations, but it typically takes 3 years for a major film to hit a regular ol’ television network… We think that’s WAY TOO LONG, but what do we know? This schedule keeps things on par.

And will we waste numerous hours sitting around watching The Hunger Games and its follow-ups on television because they just happened to be on while we were unoccupied?
…Yes. Yes, we will.

Even Though We Have The DVD And Can Watch Without 8,000 Commercials At Any Time,
The Girl With The Pearl

The Mockingjay: There’s An App For That

So remember when Victor’s Village and a bunch of other sites got a load of mysterious photos with the Mockingjay symbol all over them? We found out what that’s all about! And it’s… an app!

Yes, yes, yes.. it’s a little underwhelming, all things considered. As a fandom, we wan every hint out there to be leading to either a trailer or something that lets us interact with the cast. Mostly a trailer. But NOT EVERYTHING CAN BE A TRAILER. And maybe someday, we’ll kinda sorta learn that.

We briefly perused the “Our Leader The Mockingjay” app and learned a few things!

First, Our Leader The Mockingjay wants bright, even surfaces on which to stick her mark. It can’t just go anywhere. The rebels have STANDARDS, dammit! So in order to get that rebellious Mockingjay out in the open, we stuck it on the first surface that the scanner accepted in a small, poorly lit home.

Ladies and gentlemen, we present… The MockingToilet!

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We would have gone around marking the Mockingjay on all our random shizz, but– as those of you who have already used the app may have noticed– we took a screenshot instead of saving this baby.

There’s a reason for that: When you save and share your OLTM image, it also allows people nearby to see your location. You can see theirs as well, but they don’t even have to create an image in order for them to see yours first. That’s right… If you’re taking and sharing photos in a private space, you are giving other people permission to stalk you. Take your pics in a public, common, perhaps even touristy place that will NOT lead them to your home or very close to it. Stranger danger!

Alternatively, you can do what this fan did… besides make us feel second-hand embarrassment and laugh so hard we almost peed ourselves a little.

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This method is always an option, but probably not very useful to someone who feels like tracking you down anyway.

You got your warnings, so now GO GET THE APP.

Overall, we’re glad that the rebellion side of things is starting to pick up as we get closer and closer to release day (THREE MONTHS, GUYS!) We would have preferred a propo, but maybe that will happen the next time we get teased about something big? Maybe? Maybe? Pleeeeeease?

Too Bad You Missed Out On The MockingSink, The MockingToes, and The MockingDog,
The Girl With The Pearl

Missing The Mockingjay And Her Friends

We’ve still got another full year of promotional images and trailers and premiere and press junkets for The Hunger Games franchise, but man.. It’s certainly starting to feel like the end is nigh.

Filming wrapped weeks ago, but only now are we starting to see the celebrities out and about at events, answering the media’s questions (and in doing so, totally filling us with our fandom end-of-days dread). In particular, Josh Hutcherson was out for the TCAs and Straight But Not Narrow celebrity basketball tournament. He talked about preparing for the press tour and friendship with Jennifer Lawrence:

(Thanks for tip, HG Girl On Fire!)

It’s one thing to hear the stars say in the past that they were going to miss each other, but it’s another to hear them say they are missing each other. PRESENT TENSE. At least they still see each other, according to Josh. And they’ll probably be outright sick of each other after spending days and days together on the press tour. But besides the obligatory answering of monotonous questions over a probably-too-long stretch of time, we’re reminded again that the actors have done their part.

How can you NOT root for them, though?!

How can you NOT root for them, though?!

We’d like to think that they’ll all be BFFLs once Mockingjay Part 2 press time is said and done, but who knows? It doesn’t always work out that way. While many actors remain friendly, they move on and seem to mostly forget about each other. More importantly, who are we to say how things should work out for them? Shipping celebrity coworkers-turned-friendships isn’t as weird as starting a tumblr to obsess about your favorite celebrity couple or anything, but it’s still a little odd.

Our take is that people (including us) get attached to the idea of the celebrities starring in a fandom franchise staying friends because deep down, it represents the idea of the fandom sticking together. The Hunger Games franchise isn’t just going to go “POOF!” and disappear once the last movie is on DVD, but things slow down. They change. We fear change the way Johanna fears genuinely happy social situations. We just don’t know how to handle it.

So hopefully, Josh’s words about remaining friends with the cast remain true. But either way, let’s not let the end of the movie release road get us down, because this fandom isn’t going anywhere even after the actors are officially done with their jobs.

Viva La Revolution!
The Girl With The Pearl

The Mockingjay’s Non-Reveal

The headline makes your heart jump “New Still of Katniss from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1″? Could it be?! Is it really here?!

Sorta. Kinda… Not really.

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Yes, it is technically the first still of Katniss released by Lionsgate. But no, it’s really not new. Something very similar to the still has been all over the Internet for weeks already because it’s same scene featuring Katniss from the trailer, which has been screencapped second-by-second and passed around the fandom like candy. Screencaps are basically fandom crack.

Thanks to the article, we are noticing the little details of her look that we didn’t before: the connections to her Mockingjay look, her elbow and knee pads (probably more for Jennifer Lawrence’s benefit than Katniss’, if her claims to clumsiness are true!), etc.

And the blackened Mockingjay pin! It’s such a silly thing to zero in on, especially considering it’s almost impossible to see in the picture, but we love it. We wonder how long before those start going on sale and how many fans will go a-runnin’ to their nearest retailer to get one. Hint: Just take your gold Mockingjay pin and hit it with some shiny black spray paint, people!

We’re excited, but we’re not. Our Mockingjay is readily available in shiny photo finish, but this isn’t the glorious new shot of Katniss Everdeen for which we’d been hoping. We wanted to be wow-ed by the photo as much as we were the trailer itself. And let’s call a spade a spade– If it looks like something we just saw two weeks ago, it isn’t actually new!

In video form, this scene was tense and exciting. In photo form, it’s more of the same. Katniss looks confused and you worry for her a bit, but it doesn’t elicit the same emotion. We want an image of Katniss that really causes us to feel. The clip already dictated what we feel here. WE DEMAND NEW FEELS!

Is That Too Much?!
The Girl With The Pearl

Sacrificing Sanity For Mockingjay: The TCAs and More

Oh, the things we do for fandom!

Without realizing it, our love of The Hunger Games fandom has seeped us in a deep sense of ridiculous sense of paranoia about completely insignificant details and events.

The Hunger Games + Award Shows = US DOING THIS.

The Hunger Games + Award Shows = US DOING THIS.

For instance, The Teen Choice Awards are on right now. Deep down, we realize that the TCAs are fun, but they’re also so silly that your average teenager probably feels too mature to be watching. It’s for the “OMG OMG OMG!!!1!11!!” fangirls and frankly, we try to keep our shit together a little better than that. And yet… Guess what we’re doing right now? Watching the show and following updates!

Why? BECAUSE FANDOM, THAT’S WHY!

We can’t lie and pretend that our interests are only Hunger Games related, because we do like quite a few things that the awards show will cover (even if we can’t always stand the manner in which they cover it.) Still, we watch because fandom is a living, breathing, very in-the-moment business.

In layman’s terms: Something might happen!

A big actor moment, a hilarious Internet meme in the works, or a surprise crazy reveal of some sort. All of it would be important to the fandom in some capacity and we feel the unquenchable need to be there to witness it.

Even as a write this, I worry that something awesome will somehow happen after it’s posted. Since I started writing this, Josh Hutcherson has accepted two three awards on behalf of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, meaning he now has a bunch of cheap surfboards to put into storage until he ultimately decides to sign them and donated them to charity:

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Shiny, colorful storage. Hooray! We know that’s what it is for these actors and musicians on many levels– though surely they do love and appreciate their fans, which is why they come in the first place. And because they’re there, we can’t miss it!

It’s not just us, right? Everyone kinda has this tick, right? PLEASE TELL US IT ISN’T JUST US!

We May Have A Problem,

The Girl With The Pearl

Oh, Lorde: The Mockingjay Part 1 Soundtrack

Today, Lionsgate made an announcement that actually surprised us (and not in a way that we immediately hated either, which is even more surprising!)

Yup, the Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack is going to be put in the hands of a 17-year-old. A successful 17-year old who makes catchy original music (albeit a bit overplayed), but a teenager nonetheless. One that every other young adult with a moderate knowledge of music is looking at, whining “Dammit! I totally could’ve picked the songs for the soundtrack too!”

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Oh, Lorde-y!

Here’s what F-Law had to say:

“I sat down with Lorde on the set of ‘Mockingjay’ this spring and I was immediately struck by how she so innately understood what we, as both fans and filmmakers, were trying to accomplish with the film. Her immense talent and keen understanding of Mockingjay’s characters and themes not only have enabled her to create a song of her own that completely captures the film’s essence, but her insight and passion for our project make her the perfect creative force to assemble the other songs on our soundtrack. I can’t wait to share what she’s done with the fans — it is truly remarkable.”

We continue to think positive because IN FRANCIS WE TRUST, but we have some questions.

Mainly, what happened to Alexandra Patsavas?! She’s the music supervisor who put together the stellar soundtrack for Catching Fire, a decent amount of other films (yes, including the Twilight saga, but the soundtracks were good!), and a lot of your formidable years if you’re in your twenties (via The OC and Grey’s Anatomy). We realize she’s involved in a lot of projects, but this one is BIG and exciting and it would have been nice to have her curating.

Secondly, how eclectic is Lorde willing to go in her “curating” choices? Her music isn’t easily categorized in one genre (alt pop? electropop?), but that doesn’t mean she won’t lean toward a certain style. There’s two ways she could go–
1) All T-Bone Burnett on us, with a very distinct sound and style based on a theme, like the first soundtrack.
2) A more rounded approach that captures multiple themes and moments, more like the second soundtrack.

Personally, we’re better fans on the second approach, but we know lots of people prefer the first. The first soundtrack outsold the second, so what do we know?

Mainly, we appreciate her because she just let's her hair HAPPEN. You dig?

Mainly, we appreciate her because she just let’s her hair HAPPEN. You dig?

But that leads to this: Who’s doing the soundtrack for Mockingjay Part 2 and how will the two mesh? Maybe you’ll disagree, but we think that while The Hunger Games’ and Catching Fire’s soundtracks are their own entity, the two Mockingjay soundtracks should complement each other. Yes, Lionsgate and the filmmakers will try to argue it’s two very different stories even though it’s from the same book (to justify the split, of course)– the emotional story and the war story or something similar– but it’s all Mockingjay and there’s a ton of similar emotions running through the WHOLE story. We think there should be a similarity and a wholeness between Part 1 and Part 2’s soundtrack.

Now, let’s get to her actual music involved…
Are we completely, totally blown out of the water by the idea of Lorde creating a single for the Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack? Not really. We imagine it’s more of a smart business decision to get a big-selling, popular name repping the soundtrack. Yes, Lorde WAS on the CF soundtrack, but she wasn’t the face of it. Coldplay was, despite the fact that their music typically appeals to a crowd much older than The Hunger Games’ demographic, and Christina Aguilera was, despite her music under-performing in recent years and her song being one of the blandest in the arrangement, to boot. On the other hand, THG went with tween favorite Taylor Swift and scored big in sales, despite many fans not loving her involvement.

So we don’t know if Lorde is the perfect choice, but all things considered, she’s probably the best artist rep so far. Let’s hope she’s good at picking out other songs with a variety of emotional meanings, too.

Betting On The Return Of T.Swift Since They’re Besties,
The Girl With The Pearl