Woody Harrelson

The Hunger Games Cast and Emmy-Worthy TV

Tonight is the Emmy Awards, celebrating “the best in television.” The Emmys can be frustrating because the voters have a tendency to give the same shows and actors awards year after year.  Will this behavior continue this year? Probably. But some our favorite actors from the Hunger Games movies are on shows that are being recognized. Which means they know how to repeatedly pick good projects, or maybe good projects are smart enough to pick them. Ok, both.

true detectiveWoody Harrelson is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his work on True Detective. He plays a ….detective (shocking, I know) working on a very horrific case and dealing with a lot of personal demons as well. Meaty stuff that Emmy voters love, however he faces stiff competition from his fellow detective played by Matthew McConaughey, whose character was so odd it probably gives him an advantage that could lead him halfway to an EGOT. There’s also Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, who  is really awesome and has won several times before in this role, and tonight is his last shot to win again for the role of Walter White. So who will win? Don’t even try to guess.

Though not nominated himself, House of Cards with Mahershala Ali (Boggs) is nominated for Outstanding Drama Series. The show is also up for lead actor, actress, directing, writing, and basically everything. It got a lot of nominations. People love this show because you can watch it all weekend and and still feel like it was a good use of your weekend.

Boardwalk Empire also received a couple nominations. Jeffrey Wright plays a quiet but utterly menacing gangster on this show about Prohibition-era Atlantic City. Boardwalk does an amazing job at recreating the time and place with the gorgeous costumes and sets too. The violence is pretty traumatizing, but I suppose that’s the point.

If you haven’t seen any of these shows, it could be a nice use of the Mockingjay down time. (And the final season of Boardwalk Empire starts September 7!)

Remember what they say about JUST being nominated.

JJ

 

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The Connection You Can’t Shake

Last weekend it snowed. Again. So I took that as an excuse to binge all of Season 1 of House of Cards and some of Season 2.  It was disturbingly easy to do. One of the fun things about watching House of Cards was that it was my first chance to see Mockingjay’s Boggs, Mahershala Ali, in action. He plays Remy Danton, a DC lobbyist and former press secretary to Kevin Spacey’s frighteningly powerful “moves and countermoves” politician. The role of Remy Danton in no way reminds me of Boggs, but the political gamesmanship brings to mind some aspects of Mockingjay.

All DC Lobbyists wish they could wear a suit like Remy Danton.

All DC Lobbyists wish they could wear a suit like Remy Danton.

Even though Remy is a very different character in a vastly different world, I couldn’t help getting pulled out of the story every now and then and thinking, “HEY, IT’S BOGGS. I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE HIM AS BOGGS!” This is not a negative reflection on the performance in any way. I just seem to have this problem a lot when actors in the series work on other projects.

It happened to me recently when watching Woody Harrelson’s character in True Detective have scenes of an adult nature with an actress from the Percy Jackson series.  And then someone pointed out to me that the actress resembles Katniss and it got even more uncomfortable  (though the added discomfort works in the show’s favor in that case. It’s all pretty messed up). Also, when watching Jennifer Lawrence’s Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook recount how she was having problems with her husband because she wasn’t ready for kids, I just think “Oh, Katniss, I’m sorry. For everything.”

It’s not that these actors don’t do a great job at inhabiting other characters. They do, and I still enjoy the performances and the movies/tv shows on their own. But it does bring to mind why some actors balk at taking roles in big movies or get annoyed when a movie is a surprise hit and their role becomes iconic. You get fans like me who love it so much that it’s always going to linger in their consciousness.  Because when I wonder how many years/decades I’m going to associate the Hunger Games actors with their roles so strongly, House of Cards also gives some insight into that question. When I saw Robin Wright my first gut reaction was “BUTTERCUP, YES!”  (Robin Wright is seriously so awesome in this show).

Looking forward to thinking “WOW, PEETA IS SURFING” during Paradise Lost.

JJ

Part of The Experience: Chapter Two

I cannot sit still, it’s just something I’m unable to do, or never have been able to do. Blame my diagnosis of ADHD at the age of seven, blame the nervous feeling that’s coursing a path underneath my skin with each and every breath I take. Or, most of all the fact that I’m sitting in the theater that has housed the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards for several years, and is currently hosting the domestic premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Yeah, that one might be the reason I have the constant urge to change position in my seat, and no– I do not have to pee.

Row H, orchestra level, The Nokia Theater, Los Angeles, that is where I am seated at the moment, and I know the giant room is about to go dark, because I am watching Lenny Kravitz saunter by appropriately clad in beac194744e57eeaff6d8567127aa79dblack leather, and seating himself somewhere very close by after the head of Lionsgate Studios has introduced the principle cast up on the narrow stage at the front of the house. The room finally blackens, the screen flickers to life– the film begins, and I’m sure I’m holding my breath as I see Katniss Everdeen poised on a rock by an icy, winter lake. The film runs, the story unfolds, and I’m transfixed whilst continuously moving in my seat, taking my shoes off and stifling a cry of a relief as the cuts that have taken up residence on my toes, ankles, and heels are exposed to the air in the darkened theater. I don’t care that the person to my left is a stranger, because the person to my right isn’t, so I hike the uncharacteristically me short skirt of my Flapper era dress up, and place my bare feet half in and on the cup holder molded into the plastic seat-back in front of me. My thought process is this, if I’m going to be here for over two hours, in the dark, I may as well get comfortable, and I don’t give a damn that more thigh is exposed than I’ve shown in public since my vacation to Florida last June, besides I’m no lady– just a girl with a mixed background, and a college education. By the time Katniss and Peeta are giving their speeches to the people of District 11, I can already hear my aisle-mates, whom most of which to my right, are people I’ve known for years, well– they’re breathing starts to hitch. So, when that ever changing moment happens in District 11, not only do the people in the aisle I’m in and the one in front of me, lurch with emotion, but I do as well. “This is not the fucking Hunger Games.” I think to myself, my mouth open, and taking in Jennifer Lawrence losing it on screen, as Woody Harrelson is once again after pitch perfectly playing in a previous scene, the surly drunkard Haymitch Abernathy, the one that was acutely missing from The Hunger Games, is allowed to embody the forthright, and the smart Haymitch I remember reading in the novel Catching Fire so many years before.

When the final moments of the film play out, and the room takes in the pained, and then the resolutely, determined face of Katniss Everdeen becoming The Mockingjay Plutarch Heavensbee had called her a few moments before, I sit back in my seat, and feel satisfied. This was a feeling that was absent the last time I was in this room a year and a half before. A year and I half is a long time, but I sat back and felt hollow in all the wrong ways, and felt like something was wrong with me. Since then I’ve come to terms with that feeling, and learned that the feeling was disappointment, pure, unadulterated disappointment in directorial choices that I had no control over at all. But now, dress hiked up, Coldplay playing over the sound system, I feel like how my current state of dress comes off, unabashedly satisfied. The only problem now is that I now have to put my shoes back on, and try not to make a fool of myself in front of the people who were in, and made the film, at the After Party. But that’s a story for another hour on a different day.

To Be Continued.

Them There Eyes

REACTION POST! The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

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

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

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

THE FIVE WORD CHALLENGE

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

DRUNK HAYMITCH AND EFFIE’S ALIEN BABIES

AMAZING character development we totally forgot to discuss!

AMAZING character development we totally forgot to discuss!

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

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

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

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

HAD TO.

HAD TO.

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

(more…)

Catching Fire Still Life

Yes, the final Catching Fire trailer is coming later tonight! But in the meantime, we’ve been offered some other visual sneak peeks to keep fans begging for more!

Both US Weekly and People released exclusive new stills on Friday, leaving fans with something to squee over all weekend. We found them via Mockingjay.net. It’s mainly close up character stills, but there are a few outliers that really make the visuals shine. Let’s discuss, shall we?

1. PEETA AND THE MORPHLING

us-weekly-special-catching-fire-issue-7

AHHHHHHHH SO HAPPY! This moment makes us positive that the other moment featuring the female morphling will also be featured! Peeta allowing the morphling to paint his arm shows his compassion and his kindness toward those who have less than, or are perhaps more misunderstood than himself. If this is any indication, the morphlings will look really messed up (which is good, because it’s pretty accurate of severe addicts.) Peeta accepts her anyway. And she repays him in the most unbelievable way possible and OMGWE’RESOGLADIT’SINTHEMOVIE!

2. HAYMITCH THE DRUNK

people-mag-catching-fire-special-edition-7

One of our character development concerns with the first film is that Haymitch didn’t actually seem so drunk that he couldn’t function properly as a mentor. This time, we’re definitely getting a look at Haymitch’s semi-torturous everyday life. Plus, the looks Katniss and Peeta give each other across the table are not just about Haymitch. They’re running the gauntlet of emotions right there! And this is a freeze frame! Imagine when they’re movement and music and dialogue involved!

3. SHELLFISH AND SEAWEED BREAD

us-weekly-special-catching-fire-issue-12

This is a two-pager shot that we’re too lazy to piece together, but it’s also a great behind-the-scenes look. Finnick, Peeta, and Katniss are all huddled around a hearty breakfast the morning after Mags’ death, with Katniss rockin’ a bruise on her cheek. But Francis Lawrence is right in there with his camera, catching a tense moment of planning between the group. If it’s true to the book, this is just before Johanna, Wiress, and Beetee. It’s the calm before the storm. And what a storm it’ll be!

There’s only so much more promo fans can see before some fans feel like they’ve seen too much, but stills are a safe, happy place. Let’s savor it!

Visual Stimuli, Y’all!
The Girl With The Pearl

What About Haymitch?

It’s come to my attention over time that some characters in The Hunger Games trilogy Haymitch-haymitch-abernathy-28166477-1024-768just don’t get as much attention, and face it, as much love as the rest of them. Sure, Peeta’s got the whole artist with a heart of gold thing going on, and Finnick is the heartthrob with the sensitive streak a mile long, and Katniss is the Mockingjay and the heroine, but what about the trilogies resident surly drunk Haymitch Abernathy? Doesn’t he deserve some intense love, and scrutiny just like the three mentioned above? Well, I sure as hell think he does!

Where to begin with Haymitch though? Yeah, he’s a surly drunk, and an all around ass-hat half the time, but he serves a purpose, and he’s far from lacking in the brains department. However, sometimes I feel like the characterization of him as simply the drunk detracts from the reasons why he’s been plying himself with alcohol for the better part of his life. Haymitch is a victor, hard to wrap your brain around the image of him winning anything when he’s alcohol soaked likely 90% of the time, vomiting on himself, vomiting in public, and being showered off, whilst fully clothed, by a teenage boy he’s just met. Wow, the-teenage-boy-he-just-met bit makes it sound kind of pervy, doesn’t it? But that’s the thing, so much of Haymitch is just… strange, and unexplained.

What we know about him is this: Haymitch won The Hunger Games when he was 16 years-old, and he didn’t win by accident, he won by cunning, drive, fortitude, physical strength, and agility. And then there’s that The Capitol likely systematically killed off everyone in his family, including his girlfriend after he won said games. He has very few friends, but he is friends with Chaff a victor from District 11. Me thinks that Chaff and his brand of friendship is likely drinking though, lots of drinking, like black-out-drinking-I-don’t-know-my-name-anymore drinking. Sadly, this drinking

Haymitch in Catching Fire

Haymitch in Catching Fire

buddy theory has also prompted other theories that Chaff and Haymitch were also fuck-buddies. Me, I–I’d rather not go there. Also, he’s unmarried, and apparently has no children, ’cause you know– you don’t have to be married to have children. He’s a slob, but that should already have been figured out from the whole vomiting-on-self-problem. Wow, this guy is just a mess, how is he still breathing by the time Katniss and Peeta are unceremoniously dumped in his lap?

So, that’s what we know, or what we think we know. Here’s what we think, or many of us think, aside from the people who believe Haymitch and Chaff are sometimes sex partners: He’s got a raging case of PTSD, which is untreated, undiagnosed, and therefore the effects of being in The Hunger Games are just as fresh as they were when he was 16 years old. Also, he’s quite literally destroying him self from the inside out, because he self medicates with copious amounts of alcohol, i.e. he’s not a drunk by the sheer luck of a horrible genetic proclivity for addiction. Although all bets are off if Suzanne Collins comes out with a prequel about Haymitch, and it turns out his family has a history of substance abuse. He isolates himself on purpose, because The Capitol kills anyone who seems to get close to him emotionally His sense of humor is another way in which he isolates himself, because it’s cutting, dry, and more often than not his jokes and/or quips are at another persons expense. What else can I say about Haymitch, other than that he sometimes gets the best lines in all three of the novels? Oh, I know! That Gary Ross’ directional choices vastly changed the layman’s view of Haymitch thanks to him taking most of his knock-out-drunk behavior out of The Hunger Games film?

Let’s all hope, and pray that the Haymitch of the novels shows up a bit, or a lot more in Francis Lawrence’s renditions of the rest of the series, am I right– or amiright?

Them There Eyes

Victor’s Village Capitol Portraits Breakdown!

The Capitol Portraits have been arriving all week and we are in OVERLOAD MODE! Rather than only dedicate a skimpy paragraph to each in a typical post, we’re going old school!

For those of you who only discovered the site recently, we occasionally like to team up and BREAK IT DOWN for our audience, chat style! It’s long (hence the “Read More” tag! Click it!) and meticulous and hilariously ridiculous! Enjoy the party!

Effie Trinket

Effie Trinket

EFFIE MCQUEEN OF GENOVIA
The Girl With The Pearl: Okay ladies, let’s start with Effie!
Them There Eyes: I think they’ve upped the ante, and this was just our first taste of how far they’re potentially going.
TGWTP: Here’s my only hesitation: Is too much of one color a bad thing?
Them There Eyes: I don’t think it’s too much color at all! She’s supposed to clash, and pop, and other sounds.
Twiffidy: Yeah, too much color is very Capitol anyway.
TGWTP: I love that she’s got a regal gown with frilly but awesome shoes and SPACEMAN GLOVES!
Them There Eyes: I also love the clash of how soft her hair, shoes, and dress are in contrast to the gauntlet rings.
Twiffidy: This gave me flashbacks of when I went to the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met when I was in New York a couple of years ago.
Them There Eyes: I am in such hard like with Alexander McQueen… I’ve been looking at his work for years and going “Capitol, Capitol, Capitol.”
TGWTP: Alexander McQueen is the official designer of Effie Trinket. Which would technically make her totally vintage!
Them There Eyes: I know… her shoes were McQueen last year! And I’ve been pinning heelless shoes to my Panem themed pin board on Pinterest for months….. when I saw those shoes I flipped the fuck out, ’cause I’ve pinned several similar versions by McQueen.
Twiffidy: And these heelless shoes were A-MA-ZING!
TGWTP: Elizabeth Banks could wear a potato sack and look good, but Alexander McQueen definitely helps. I want to test that potato sack theory someday, though. I say that about these actors, but I need to see them in potato sacks!
Twiffidy: And I don’t know if those are bracelets or part of the glove, but I like that contrasting color, it helps break it up so there isn’t too much of the pink. And Elizabeth’s pose is perfect, very charm school with the crossed ankles.
Them There Eyes: Yes, very poised… polite, queenly. I’ve seen gloves like that before in my mother’s knitting books, they have sort of bells on them… or petals like a flower. And her pose makes me think of that sequence in the Princess Diaries.
Twiffidy: Haha yes! Very Princess Diaries! I’m waiting for her to tell Katniss to do the “Thank you for being here” wave.
TGWTP: There’s a reason that Effie always gets released first. The image demands your attention!
Twiffidy: Oh my gosh, yes… They do like to release her early!

Caesar Flickerman

Caesar Flickerman

A LITTLE LESS KARL LAGERFELD, A LITTLE MORE BARBIE
The Girl With The Pearl: Speaking of demanding attention, what do we think about Caesar?
Twiffidy: Funny story, I showed this to my friend and he did not even realize Caesar had a ponytail in the first movie
Them There Eyes: His hair still makes me think of one of my My Little Ponies. Her name was Rattles.
TGWTP: Well, it’s a high ponytail this time around. Caesar and Barbie now have something in common!
Twiffidy: Haha… a little less Karl Lagerfeld, a little more Barbie.
Them There Eyes: At least it doesn’t remind me of Michael Bolton anymore!
TGWTP: At first glance, I thought his hair was shaved off on the sides and I got really distressed!
Twiffidy: Did you notice his eyebrows look a little purple-y?
Them There Eyes: Yeah, they’re violet. He was already one of the more extremely styled people they had, but still it’s up a notch or two, which is what I was craving.
Twiffidy: I’m glad they stuck with the textured suit idea from the first movie and then elevated it.
TGWTP: Caesar is basically a 5-year-old’s hair color experiment.
Them There Eyes: Kool-Aid!
TWGTP: YES!
Them There Eyes: Great. Now the Kool-Aid guy is going to come crashing in here saying “Ohhhh yeaaahhh!”

Cinna

Cinna

EXPERIMENTAL SEX CLUBS IN THE MATRIX
TGWTP: Then let’s run to the next victim! *cough* I mean, subject! Cinna!
Twiffidy: My male friend said he wants Cinna’s boots.
Them There Eyes: If they wanted to scream rebel in our faces, but in a sexy way…. they’ve achieved that affect.
TGWTP: I know Cinna is not very Capitol and quite understated, but I still wanted MORE. His jacket has that emperor effect, so I appreciate that.
Twiffidy: But I think the gold eye liner is still there, which is reassuring.
TGWTP: It is, which makes it okay for him to be in all black.
Them There Eyes: Why all leather though?
TGWTP: No idea! Does anyone else think the tight leather sleeves make his arms look like toothpicks?
Twiffidy: This gives me such a Matrix vibe, especially with the green background.
Them There Eyes: Yes, that’s what I was trying to grasp onto… Matrix!
TGWTP: Seriously! I’m expecting Neo and Trinity any minute now!
Them There Eyes: He looks like Morpheus’ baby brother! I’ll say this… I’m glad they got rid of the medallion necklace. He has the gold hoops in his ear, and one ring on… His accessories are set in my eyes now. But…. do we think he looks a little sex club-y?
Twiffidy: Just the forearms.
Them There Eyes: Just the arms are sex club worthy? Wow… Up your game, Cinna!
TGWTP: It could happen. Cinna could be the quiet type who actually spends all his nights getting his freak on in peculiar places.
Them There Eyes: I smell a fan-fic!
Twiffidy: Be careful what you wish for!
TGWTP: Muahahahahaha!

Click below to read the entire post!
(more…)

Meanwhile, On Planet Overreaction…

So, THE PHOTOS. The ones that clearly no fansite is going to talk about, because they were taken by paparazzi taking a step up by not only shooting on set, but straight into the cast’s hotel rooms. We’re talking about them.

Yet drinking an entire bottle of wine would be no big deal...

Yet drinking an entire bottle of wine would be no big deal…

A few days ago, paparazzi photos of Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and a friend smoking what was likely a joint while inside or on the balcony of their hotel rooms in Hawaii appeared on the Internet.

You could not possibly fathom the fucks we do not give.

It’s unbelievable how many people have expressed their disappointment in Jen and Josh, as if they’re now both small-time dealers without jobs or motivation, living in their parents’ basements. Or worse, that they’re crazy drug-addled fools on the road to ruin. REALLY?!

Drop the third grade mentality, people. Not everyone who has ever touched a joint in their lives is a bad person doomed to a life of recklessness. In fact, we know plenty of habitual smokers who are far more successful in life than ourselves, because they recognize that there’s a time and place for everything. The cast was not called to set that day. This decision didn’t effect their jobs nor their personal lives.

Forgetting the fact that they’re movie stars (because not all movie stars are excellent people), Jennifer still won an Academy Award for her beautiful performance in Silver Linings Playbook, a movie which has prompted a fantastic national discussion about mental illness. Josh is still an advocate for Straight But Not Narrow, an organization fighting back against homophobia, along with getting involved with several others charity events in his spare time. They’re both charming, funny, and good to their fans. They’re smart, influential people and joints don’t change that. Point and yell “SCANDAL!” all you want, but we’re just rolling our eyes over here.

YES, we know hemp is not the same.

YES, we know hemp is not the same.

If we’re going to worry, at least show us the hard drugs! If Jennifer Lawrence was snorting coke off the rim of her wine glass, we would have been concerned. If Josh Hutcherson was shooting heroin into his veins on the balcony, we see why people would panic. Instead, they got really chill for a while and probably ate a massive tray of nachos in their hotel rooms. Nobody was harmed and nobody was wronged. You don’t have a say in their personal lives, no matter how much you pretend you do. And guess what? You’re not better than them, dude!

And let’s be honest, did you think these two have never seen the stuff before? After being on a film set with Woody Harrelson?! It was only a matter of time before he passed the dutchie pon the left-hand side, though we’re sure Jen and Josh were well aware long before that.

The summarize: Does it affect their careers? No. Does it turn them into raging, dysfunctional monsters? No. Does it effect YOU in any sort of way, Mr. or Ms. Judgmental? No.

Therefore, THIS IS RIDICULOUS. WHO THE HELL CARES?!

Love From A Big Kid Who Knows This Isn’t A Big Deal,
The Girl With The Pearl

P.S. Before someone inevitably bring it up in the comments: No, I don’t smoke weed. Not because of some deep moral compass, just because any type of smoking is not my schtick. We’re not hippie stoners, just people who grew up in reality. PLZKTHX.

A Garden State of Mind

a_Garden-State-Parkway1They’re really and truly not finished filming The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Did you know that? God, I hope you knew that, ’cause I knew that– but what I didn’t know, or didn’t see coming was them choosing of all places to shoot scenes from Catching Fire is… New Jersey. Get your heads out of your asses, ’cause New Jersey isn’t all Jersey Shore, with Guidos, and Juice-heads, and– whatever, I don’t watch MTV so I really can’t spout off the colloquialisms. It’s true though, Catching Fire as of today the 25th of January, was shot in part in northern New Jersey, okay at least one or two scenes– I think.

The skinny is this: Locals have been buzzing recently about permits being acquired, and locations being scouted, and today all was confirmed, because the trailers showed up, and areas of a state park called Ringwood were cornered off so Francis Lawrence and his team of misfit toys, which includes the usual suspects of Jennifer Lawrence, and I’m taking an educated guess here, possibly Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, perhaps even Mr. Woody Harrelson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Mr. Donald Sutherland, could film there– maybe. That or they were there to play dress up and play mean game of Charades! Now, I’m speculating here, but since the location is a state park lousy with wooded areas, that they’re filming bits and bobs for scenes taking place in District 12. Please note as well that today it was very cold in Northern New Jersey, actually it’s below freezing there right now as I type, so they may be taking advantage of all the winter that’s going on, and going for authenticity where it comes to certain scenes we all remember devouring like scalding hot chocolate. I also speculate that since the park is also home to gardens, and a stately looking house, that they may be filming portions of the Capitol Victory Tour Gala, thus why Sutherland and co. might be in attendance– I really don’t know if they are, don’t hurt me if they aren’t.

Well, location, location, location as they say– I hope they feature the Garden State well. She really needs the TLC right now.

Trauma

If I could have one conversation with Josh Hutcherson within the next year, this would be the topic of emphasis– mental illness. I know it’s a heavy subject, and not something you can just casually bring up like “hey, Josh– you know how your character Peeta is going to be brainwashed, and tortured to within an inch of his life? Yeah, about that…” It’s basically akin to going up to a person and asking them how well their last sexual encounter went.

Josh Hutcherson is no stranger to playing characters who have had to deal with some heavy life experiences– I can think of three films he worked on all before he was 17 years-old that had him crying, being beaten, or completely emotionally vulnerable. But, personally I think Peeta’s trauma’s are a bit different from say, Jimmy in Fragments witnessing his best friend’s father being shot right in front of him, or Jess in Bridge to Tarabithia losing his best friend. Peeta’s traumas are, well– just as brutal, but being tortured over an extended period of time, and having his memories altered to serve a twisted governmental agenda– bit more difficult to act out possibly?

I know that Francis Lawrence asked Woody Harrelson if he knew anything about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and thus he went and hung out with a PTSD sufferer. I can only hope that Lawrence had a similar conversation with Josh, and even Jennifer.

I wish we could get some in depth interviews throughout this franchises filming process, where character research, acting methods, and other equally technical and nerdy stuff was covered– I’m thinking Vanity Fair.