The Hunger Games

The Mockingjay Revolution Will Be Televised

If you’ve learned anything from The Hunger Games fandom over the course of these movies, it’s that interactivity is KEY in making fans happy. We like new features. We like having puzzles to solve. Thankfully, we got some of that today!

Image from QuarterQuell.Org

Image from QuarterQuell.Org

It started with an update of TheCapitol.PN, specifically the first weekly update from CapitolTV.

It hints at issues The Capitol is facing in the midst of rebellion, but tries to cover them up in silky-voiced fraudulence. It gets a little redundant with the word “system” in that first line, but overall it’s super exciting. Because you know what the real issue is? Of course you do! REBEL SCUM.

Speaking of which… The new Capitol website was met by an even bigger response from District 13! Search through their hacks and you’ll find new images, character files, and several censored Capitol Concerns (or so I’m told. Something about that site makes my computer go “Oh, FUCK YOU!”) Remember when fans were asked to fill those out as Panem citizens? Well if you participated, you’re now apparently responsible for a bunch of District 7 citizens getting marched to their death:

WAY TO GO, CONCERNED PANEM CITIZENS.

While we’re okay with the shortness of the D13 propo, but is their production value so low that they could manage any sound?! No ominous music, no Peacekeepers shouting orders in the distance, no static, NOTHING?! Really kills the intensity!

But by keeping things mysterious and short, Lionsgate is setting MOCKINGJAY PART 1 up for a viral video campaign. It’s something that the franchise has never done before, but it’s been extremely successful for other films and if the continuation is done well, it could be the desperately needed perk-up this campaign needs! So if nothing else, today we got some hope.

Except For The Part Where Our Complaints Led People To Slaughter,

The Girl With The Pearl

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The Courage of Tacky Taglines

As we’ve mentioned before, the new issue of The Hunger Games Exclusive is practically exploding with fandom goodness, including stills and lengthy interviews with the stars. But among all that glorious, visually lovely magnificence, something happened. Something we weren’t quite as enthusiastic about.

Issue-2

No, we’re not talking about how Samsung Galaxy seems to present just about everything in this fandom nowadays. Or the level of Photoshop achieved here. It’s that damn movie tagline.

THE COURAGE OF ONE WILL CHANGE THE WORLD.

Is that really the best we can do?

Yes, Katniss does have courage by the ton. And though she struggles, said struggles ultimately end in her defeating the Capitol and thus changing the world. But to suggest that she simply does it alone without extreme amounts of pressure and/or encouragement from people behind the scenes is just preposterous. Does she deserve credit? HELL TO THE YES. Her alone? NOPE. She is the symbol of the rebellion, a rallying figure and a catalyst for action, but she is not the whole damn rebellion.

But it’s not even that, really. It’s the actual phrasing of the slogan. Something about it just screams “CHEESY 80s ACTION FILM!” This tagline seems more suited to Chuck Norris or Arnold Schwarzenegger, running in slo-mo toward a helicopter in camouflage, than Katniss Everdeen. Or one of those inspirational films about the fight to change some unfair, old-fashioned political policies. Again, not The Hunger Games.

It’s also reminding me of those really persistent military ads from a few years back:
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For those of you outside the US, this campaign was EVERYWHERE for a number of years and apparently did its job well with the branding, so much so that we think of it every time we hear something referring to the general power or strength “of one”.

Maybe we were spoiled by the first two films, which both had taglines that referenced back to the books and got us excited. “May the odds be ever in your favor.” “The world will be watching.” “Every revolution begins with a spark.” “Remember who the enemy is.” By comparison, this latest tagline feels like it was picked out of a general action movie slogan catalog.

But we only get one trailer, so I’m assuming there’s only one tagline. In the meantime, I’m putting the tagline with a movie that seems more suited for it:

THE COURAGE OF ONE WILL CHANGE THE WORLD.

THE COURAGE OF ONE WILL CHANGE THE WORLD.

The Girl With The Pearl

What We Learned From The New Mockingjay Part 1 Stills

In case you missed it, with “The Mockingjay Lives” trailer also came a new edition of Hunger Games Exclusive featuring interviews with Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, and Natalie Dormer, quick bios of Boggs, Pollux, Castor, and Messalla, and a boatload of new stills.

And oh, there’s messages behind messages about the movies in those stills!

1) Gale and Cressida either hate each other or totally get each other

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There are a couple pictures of Gale and Cressida together that make us wonder about how other character relationships will be expanded in the TWO parts of Mockingjay (because hell, that’s definitely room to expand things!) Yes, they’re facing away from each other which suggests that this isn’t a romantic twist– THANK GOODNESS– but there’s some sort of deal going on between these two. On one hand, neither looks particularly happy and they won’t look at each other. On the other, they have each others’ back and it seems like these two share a similar ideology that might have them teaming up quite a bit.

Are we just talking nonsense? We’ll find out in two months!

2) Jen’s wig is pretty solid.. except for when there’s running.

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Witness ZEE WIG.

Not bad, right? Flowy, realistic frizz, and a hair line that doesn’t make you facepalm. It’s not very noticeable at all!

Now.. a second glance:

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IT JUST GOT SO MUCH MORE NOTICEABLE.

Stills of action scenes are very rarely kind to the characters involved. This just proves it. We probably won’t notice it so much with actual, rolling footage, but this shot is a definite reminder that our homegirl got wigged up for these movies.

3) There’s always that one guy.

Extras. Very rarely does one really catch your eye because they’re out of place, but it happens.

Take the District 8 shot. Almost everyone looks tense, resilient, perhaps even a bit frightened and then… Wait. Is that one guy smirking at her?

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It may not be enough to draw most people’s attention, but something about this guy’s look here says “Dude! They put me right next to her! I’m totally going to be in the movie.”

4) Everyone posed in those D13 uniforms (also, see #1)

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Military or not, we’re guessing everyone had a photo-op in District 13’s gray fatigues, just to reassure us that all the characters hate them and even the pretty ones look a bit drab. Alas, more reassurance that District 13 is a fashionista’s worst nightmare.

5) Someone put a tiny braid in Natalie Dormer’s hair EVERY. DAY.

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And yet we can barely manage to braid our own hair without it looks like a rat’s nest. Kudos to Mockingjay’s official braider (we assume that’s their title) and their tiny little hands!

Don’t Blink! Trailer Teaser Time

Happy trailer eve!

Tomorrow we finally, FINALLLLLLLLY get the trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. “About damn time” doesn’t even begin to say how much this trailer is needed, but we’ve already talked about that.

Instead, we’re going to discuss the mini-previews of the trailer that have been released in anticipation of the big day.

First off.. Don’t blink. Not because there’s weeping angels or anything.

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Just kidding, there totally are weeping angels here. Just to make you aware that we are THAT serious right now! (Non-Whovians: These things can kill you in the blink of an eye. Pay attention to the previews!)

These bits are about 10-15 seconds, but how much is actual footage?

3 seconds of footage, 7 seconds of President Snow quotage.

2 seconds of footage. Almost 3. 2 1/2, to be fair.

The trailer is short, so we suppose it should be no surprise that even their trailer previews are short. Most movies give you a solid 5 to 10 seconds of actual footage in mini-teasers. Buuuut we’re nitpicking because we’re desperate for more.

There’s really not much to comment on, but we are liking what we see. Katniss looks positively horrified as she discovers the beautiful white rose amongst the dead flowers in her abandoned house. Katniss and Gale fighting off Capitol predators together in District 8 is pretty much the only form of Katniss/Gale “togetherness” we can get behind.

And that right there is the big point:
The campaign for this movie has been very slow and some fans are losing enthusiasm, but we’re still pretty damn sure the movie will be among the best for the year. Why? Because the movie was made by Lawrence Squared, J-Hutch, Hemsy, Nina Jacobson (we don’t have a fun nickname for her), and some of the most celebrated actors out there and the promotional packaging, well… isn’t. In the end, the overall experience feels dimmed, but the movie will probably still leave us all like “OHMYSWEETGOODNESS DID YOU SEE THAT?”

And hopefully the trailer makes us super excited too. Because if we’re only getting one full trailer, it better be freaking glorious.

Looking For To Basking In The Glory With You (Hopefully),

The Girl With The Pearl

1 Minute, 45 Seconds

We all really got our hopes up that there was FINALLY a trailer yesterday, but instead we got a countdown to a trailer. Better than nothing, right? The trailer is still coming and while we’ll admit that our enthusiastic nature has waned during the waiting game, we know we’ll be psyched once we actually see it.

We got one good still from three seconds of footage, at least!

We got one good still from three seconds of footage, at least!

However, the news about the trailer that came out that day was pretty bummerific too.

First, the news that the trailer was only going to be 1 minute 45 seconds long.

Yes, NATO guidelines state trailers can’t be longer than 2 minutes after October 1 and this trailer will play in theaters after that time. So we looked up a ton of other movies coming out in November– because all of them already have trailers at this point, some for months. While many of them have a trailer that’s less than two minutes, almost all of them also have a trailer that is MORE than two minutes. Because most movies introduce at least two trailers, one of which is “international” and doesn’t have to strictly adhere to NATO guidelines as long as it makes theaters in the rest of the world happy (which is apparently easier.)

Which brings us to point two: An international distributor let it spill yesterday that this would be the FINAL trailer, then backtracked a bit and said it was the only “full” trailer. What does that mean? Ohhh.. THIS IS THE LONGEST TRAILER WE ARE GOING TO GET. And probably the only one, because non-full trailers will likely = that 1 minute teaser we already got and 30 second TV spots.

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DO YOU THINK I LIKE POSTING FRUSTRATION GIFS, EVEN IF THEY’RE DISNEY?!

I DON’T!

*briefly meditates* Okay… okay… I think I can talk about it some more.

It’s really hard not to get bummed. We love Lionsgate for bringing The Hunger Games to the screen. But when you have a campaign THIS BIG and it gets delayed and whittled down to as little as possible, it isn’t fun anymore for the fans. Just like Merida up there, it gets us frustrated because we’re being sold short.

Yes, we’re going to see that movie no matter what the advertising, essentially. WE’LL GIVE YOU OUR MONEY. In return, can you give us more promotional footage than say, Dumb and Dumber To? We think we deserve that much for all the amazing records, attention, and profit we’ve given your company over the past couple years. Just sayin’.

“Shut Up And Take My Money” Is a Meme, Not A Suggestion,

The Girl With The Pearl

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

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:

Katniss-Poster-376x580

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