TRAILER REACTION: Our Leader The Mockingjay

The first traditional trailer for THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 is finally here!

That means two things:

  1. Congratulations Glenn, the winner of our Third Anniversary Guess The Trailer contest! He won a Catching Fire fan camp poster signed by Josh Hutcherson, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, and Jeffrey Wright!

So watch the trailer again and prepare for pure, exuberant fangirl reaction!

Remember, our reaction posts get kinda long, so most of this baby is under the cut! Also.. SPOILERS. DUH. (All screencaps courtesy of!)


Yep. A little haunting.

The Girl With The Pearl: Let’s start with the usual– describe the trailer in one word!
There Them Eyes: Teasing
JJ: You took mine… I’ll say appropriate?
TGWTP: I’ll go with haunting. Which is not my usual direction with these, because trailers usually make me giddy.
JJ: Ok haunting is better But for me, it did its job. It set the stage for what the movie’s about.
TGWTP: Which is scary, messed up shizz
TTE: There’s nothing happy about Mockingjay… ok, wait… yes there are happy points, but it’s not full of as many light moments as the previous stories.
TGWTP: And yes, PSH was a big part of the haunting feel, though not the only reason for it
JJ: But no it didn’t make me dance around the room. It was much more dark. But yes, the subject matter here is a whole different level
TTE: Even the trailer music is somber.



TGWTP: Where you surprised that they opened it with Plutarch and Coin?
JJ: Before I was spoiled?
JJ: Yes, I was surprised with it. But I think it was a good choice. So much of the movie is Plutarch and Coin’s planning.
TTE: Pleasantly surprised. Oh, wait.. I was the only one who was surprised?! This is what happens when you work all day, and don’t spend a lot of that time searching Twitter!
JJ: Twitter is life, ok?
TTE: Twitter is… yeah, I’ll leave my Twitter opinions at the virtual door.
TGWTP: Maybe it’s just me, but I got the feeling Coin will be more openly eeeeevil in the films. She had one line and I was like “YOU DECEITFUL WENCH!”
JJ: Hmm. Yes, maybe they don’t want there to be any doubt that she’s a baddie to avoid confusion for those non-book readers
TGWTP: True. Anyone who sees her as ambivalent or possibly decent will be raging about the end.
TTE: I think having Coin and Plutarch being the first characters we see in the trailer is a very strategic move. It’s playing both on the mythology of the series, which will make fans happy. But to newbies, seeing Julianne Moore and Philip Seymour Hoffman is a draw, sort of like “Whoa, it’s those people! They’re in this… take my money!!”
TTE: Stop calling it the next WHATEVER! If you want to call it the next Star Wars… sure, fine– but stop with the teen drama comparisons.
TGWTP: You’re not too cool for fantasy, jackass!
TGWTP: I love yelling at this fictional critic person!
TTE: Fictional critic person looks like a troll and we love to poke him.

Is this just here to piss off Peacekeepers? We doubt many district rebels are airbourne!

Is this just here to piss off Peacekeepers? We doubt many district rebels are airborne!

TGWTP: Anywayyyyy… Next, we get district drama! Starting with— How long do you think it would take a person to pull off that crop circle?
TTE: One night.
JJ: It was not people. It was aliens. Plot twist!
JJ: Explains a lot, right?
TGWTP: And how did they get it so accurate?!
TTE: How you make a crop circle accurately: You take geometry in high school, ace it, and then use those skills. I learned this from The X-Files.
JJ: Or aliens.
TGWTP: That was probably the only part of the trailer that allowed me to be happy. Death, depression, distrust, CROP CIRCLE!
JJ: Yes, that was a bit weird now that you mention it, but a cool effect.
TTE: I know I think I texted JJ, like “Well, that crop circle thing is pretty cool.”


Bullets can be shot upward too!

TGWTP: But back to the angsty stuff! I’m glad they got Snow and his evil deeds in there as a counterweight.
JJ: No ambiguity here. Lots of guns and theoretical bloodshed
TTE: And dirty people.
JJ: I’m amazed at the people still wondering if this will be rated R. No, people.
TTE: Yeah, well– as long as the blood is the wrong color we’re all good.
TGWTP: Apparently one district– I’m guessing 7– is full of crazy parkour tree climbers
JJ: I never heard about Johanna’s tree climbing skills. Only Katniss gets that glory.
TTE: I think Johanna just worked in the saw mill, and chopped wood at home. Or… who the hell knows?
TGWTP: But they weren’t just climbing. They were like… dominating the trees buy just flying up there!
TTE: Lumberjacking is now considered a sport. I know this, I live in lumber country.
JJ: It didn’t seem like a really effective hiding method from bullets though. Like, good effort, but I don’t think that will save you.
TGWTP: Seriously! Wouldn’t hiding behind the massive trees be more useful?
JJ: I think in that situation they’re all screwed.
TTE: But it looks cool in film, and that’s what matters!
JJ: Yes, it looks cool in the teaser trailer, let’s put it in. I wonder if all of this will even make it in to the final cut of the film
TTE: It might not, you never really know!
TGWTP: I think the Catching Fire-esque shot of the guys about to be executed will, but maybe not parkour tree people
JJ: Agreed.
TGWTP: Execution style shooting are practically Francis’ signature in the films, now!
TTE: Yes, and I don’t begrudge him their usage in the slightest.
TGWTP: No, they’re scary as hell!


Who remembered that his name was Eddy? Be honest!

TGWTP: And then, after Snow scares the bejesus out of us with WAR, we get Eddy!
JJ: And Eddy talks this time. Unlike in the books where he just looks very sad
TGWTP: And he was like 8-years-old in the books.
JJ: No, more drama to have him challenge Katniss.
TGWTP: Talking, with a manageable injury, and older so that people aren’t scarred by the idea of him being hurt.
TTE: Hey, but the roof still caves in, anyway!
JJ: I wonder if they will show that the whole hospital is destroyed (with the people in it) during the films
TGWTP: MY HEART. I’m sure they will. Bloodless, but there will still be people inside
TTE: If they don’t… it’ll be a major plot hole.
JJ: See all these people. Aren’t they sympathetic? Dead!
TGWTP: Ouch.

H is for Hospital! And D13 is UNDERGROUND

H is for Hospital! And D13 is UNDERGROUND

TGWTP: Also, the exterior shots MTV and the like are attributing to D13 are definitely D8. The hovercraft stops next to a building with a giant H FOR HOSPITAL on the roof!
JJ: Yes, silly MTV
TTE: You mean the bit with the water tower?
JJ: And it seems some of District 8 is actually Berlin. Not just Atlanta.
TGWTP: Nice. I like that they worked in both so it’s not all what you’d expect from one place
TTE: Well, I don’t know about you but when I think District 8… I think Berlin.
TGWTP: I think of my industrial revolution hometown because I’m still bitter than they didn’t film in the area as rumored.
TTE: I’m bitter they didn’t come up here to film District 7 portions.
JJ: I was wondering if the District 8 Berlin stuff was reshoots– that they weren’t happy with what they got in Atlanta so they tried filming some additional things at the end. I still don’t think it’s a great excuse for the fact that this is a teaser trailer debuting at the end of July.
TTE: I get the feeling we’re going to get a lot of pieced together shots that span continents in reality.
TGWTP: I’m trying to give Francis a break because I’m sure he wanted to be involved in the trailer creation and was very busy with filming/post. Next year? NO MERCY.
JJ: No mercy at all.
TTE: Nope, and none of this delaying for months on end! Movie’s still out in November, no excuses anymore.



TGWTP: So how did Jennifer Lawrence do with her four words right at the end?
TTE: Pitch perfect. Totally damaged.
JJ: She broke my heart, as per usual.
TGWTP: We’re lucky. Because how many actresses can pack that much punch in FOUR WORDS?
TTE: There’s a reason she’s got an Oscar.
JJ: I love how she captures Katniss. So good. Every time.



TGWTP: Okay, anything else we should mention about the trailer?
TTE: Gale.
JJ: Oh, yes, Gotta have a shot of Gale.
TTE: We need to talk about emo face Gale.
TGWTP: The return of emo face Gale, really! He got more determined-faced in CF, but this is back to emo face
TTE: It’s his one face… leave him alone! He can’t help it if he’s got one emotion!
JJ: Katniss was thinking about Peeta. He gets the emo face. Come on.
TTE: Is this him in 8, looking at the destruction?
TGWTP: Maybe he is looking at D8 destruction. Or one of many other horrific moments… Now I feel bad!
TTE: I get that face when I think about Peeta.
JJ: No. It’s Peeta. Did Gary Ross teach you nothing?
TTE: Gary Ross taught me tons. TONS.
TGWTP: But if JJ is right and that’s a Katniss/Peeta reaction, I’m gonna die laughing
JJ: Unfortunately, we all will. In seriousness, I hope it is in reaction to something in the field and not Katniss troubles.
TTE: We won’t be laughing come Part Two though.
TGWTP: Shhhhh! You’re ruining one of few non-angsty moments!
JJ: They just put him in ‘cause he’s so pretty, ok?
TGWTP: Awwwwww!
TTE: I’m totally fine with that. But if there’s a gratuitously added shirtless scene, I’m going to start throwing red vines.
JJ: I’m not complaining. I need that sometimes
TGWTP: Pretty people do make it easier to watch mass destruction.


  1. Hilarious as always, guys. 😀

    But I have to say, I thought Julianne made Coin seem nice-ish – well, more ambiguous in her intentions anyway. I was expecting her to be quite cold and curt, but her line could be taken as partial concern rather than simply a dismissal. I think she’s going to keep everyone guessing, which I find exciting. If we see her as evil too early it will ruin the impact of the surprise later.

    1. I agree. Coin’s line sounded sympathetic to me. Like you said, she sounded concerned. Well, we know it’s really for her own well-being, but she faked it well! 😀

      I actually love what she said, though– that the Games destroyed Katniss. Probably my favorite part of the trailer. I do hope they focus on the PTSD from the Games.

  2. Oooh! I love trailer reaction time! And you didn’t disappoint! 🙂

    As for what Katie says, yeah, Francis & Co described Coin as “warm”. In that First Look roundtable interview. So it seems they’re going for tricking the non-readers.

  3. Agree with you, Katie and Louise. The best choice would be not ruin the end at all, but it should make non-readers think “I wasn’t expecting this, but it totally makes sense!”, which was what I though when I first finished Mockingjay. I was pretty shocked, but I always get it.

  4. PSH sent chills up my spine, and Jennifer Lawrence seems to have nailed Katniss’s mental state at the time she gets to D8; she’s saying all the right things, but the look on her face certainly is far from confident and composed, and Coin commenting that “the games destroyed her” suggests the F-Law will not shy away from showing the trauma and PTSD the Games imposed on Katniss.

    And that makes me breathe a sigh of relief, because although FLaw did portray this well in the start of CF, such as the hallucination of Marvel in the first scene and those train scenes, the Arena portion and the fiery determined look on Katniss’s face at the end, read more as a standard action/adventure tale to me and it did worry me as to whether the MJ movies would portray her as a more “standard” movie action heroine as well — hopefully, not.

    As for the surprisingly “warm” Coin; I may be the only one (or not, as I recall a Guest Post last year defending Coin), but I actually hope movie!Coin is portrayed as a more ambiguous character than the book version, who never really came across as a 3-D human being for me, but more as a symbol of D13’s own brand of evil, and the moral ambiguity of the rebellion; even her name seems to be merely a reference to being the “other side of the coin” to Snow. As a reviewer stated on Amazon, “Coin has the character development of a stump”.

    Note that Moore herself has suggested that there was more to Coin than what Katniss saw; and note that Katniss never trusted Coin even before she had any proof that Coin was complicit in any atrocities. On the other hand, Sutherland has made it obvious that he considers Snow irredeemably evil, even comparing him in one interview to a man who molested his daughters and was unrepentant about it.

    Well, do we really need TWO totally black, irredeemably evil villains in this story? We also know that Snow was a back-stabbing snake even to other Capitolians, and cheated and murdered his way to the top. We don’t have any proof Coin was like that to begin with, and perhaps Movie!Coin will be portrayed more as an example of power corrupting someone who started out with good intentions. It would certainly make it more interesting to me than a simple “it turns out she was fooling everyone and was just as bad as Snow all along!”

    1. You make some good points, and usually I’m all for three-dimensional characters. I think President Snow definitely could have been less “cackling evil”, and had more nuances and more human dimensions to his personality. Especially in Catching Fire the movie. At least his relationship with Katniss is interesting, with their deal not to lie to each other etc. (Which they might change in the movie canon, since he actually does lie to her in CF the movie.)
      I digress. My point is, I think Coin actually has to turn out to be irredeemably evil. Coin has to match Snow, because that’s what Katniss realizes: The other side is just as bad. And I think that through this, the author tried to make the important point that one side isn’t necessarily better than the other in a war.
      Further, someone who not only decides to murder a dozen children to further her goal, but also deliberately sends a 14-year-old to her death to get to her relative – that’s as cold as you get. I get your point that maybe she wasn’t this ruthless in the beginning, that she might have an arc where her desire for power corrupts her. (The psychological mechanisms in this I think are interesting and true to life.)
      However, if so, I think the corruption happened before we meet her. Quite early on, you have the incident with the prep team. And Coin’s Mockingjay terms. So the way Katniss describes Coin at first – I don’t buy that that’s because of Katniss’s state and her being a teenager. I think Katniss sees through Coin, she sees a truth that not everyone around her sees – like, for example, Gale. I think all this serves as foreshadowing in the novel.
      Yes, I know the interview says differently, but I think they are trying to hide the twist from non-readers- also, Julianne Moore may have needed to invent some positive, or positive-looking, sides of Coin to identify with, to be able to believably play her. I don’t mind if Coin comes off as warm or well-meaning – but I think it should turn out to be a facade. The filmmakers have a lot of room and can expand on her in many other ways, too – just because she is, at the root, evil, doesn’t mean she can’t have a personality.

      1. Even before Katniss thinks that Coin is gunning for her, there has been many things pointing to Thirteen being every bit as autocratic as the Capitol. However, it’s an autocracy of austere brutality rather than hedonistic immorality. The disproportionate treatment of Katniss’ stylists, and the implication that the guard is actually confused about the principle of an alternative is a sign of this; not to mention the breeding program.
        Now one could argue those policies are based out of necessity, but that doesn’t change their autocratic nature.
        So by being the head of such a community, it’s doubtful that Coin was a case of being all good intentions until the stress of war corrupted her.

        Now, am I saying that Coin wanted to take power just for the evulz? Nope (though I still think she’s meglomaniacal).
        I do think that she thinks she knows what’s best for the country, but that in the end she’s the only one with the vision and ability to see it through. That in the end, is one of the major pitfall many tyrants fall under; the others is incompetence and old hatreds.

        If one doesn’t want to invoke Godwin, you can easily see this conflict as analogous to Chiang Kai-shek vs Mao Zedong, including us not know how much of a monster Mao would be until it was too late.

        1. I actually agree with everything you’ve written, ThatGuy! I’m not saying Coin was “all good intentions” or that she isn’t evil, I’m saying she (or at least the movie version of her) isn’t evil “just for the evulz”, and your take on her would certainly be plausible, as someone who’s egotistical enough that she really thinks she’s the only one who can save Panem, so to speak.

          Louise, I know SC was trying to make a certain point about the moral equivalence of D13 to the Capitol in the book but IMHO Coin came out more like a caricature of a politician than a real believable character, essentially SC sacrificed character development to Make a Point and I hope the movie fixes this.

          For characters can be 3-D and still be evil; for example, Tywin Lannister in ASOAIF/GOT. Tywin has believable motivations for his atrocities (mainly, being raised by a father who was kind but weak and almost destroyed the reputation of the House of Lannister and really overcompensating as a result), but that doesn’t make him any less evil. That series also has many characters who can’t be easily divided into “good” and “evil”, and Tywin has his defenders as well; but I personally do classify him as evil.

          1. On that note, I also believe that Snow did genuinely fear the idea of the nation falling into chaos as well.
            But like you say, that doesn’t excuse anything or lessen his evilness. His desire to be in control of everything and ensuing actions ultimately trump any reasonable motive he may have.

            I do wonder how much of Coin’s characterization can be attributed to Katniss’ unreliable narration, or do you think MJ was just rushed?

            Now that you mention it, I actually do see Coriolanus Snow as being fairly similar to Tywin Lannister in terms of personality. Would that make Coin Petyr Baelish?
            Also wouldn’t be surprised if there was an Joffrey or Aerys-like ruler (ie incompetent and insane) that led to the Capitol being a hedonistic hive and eventually the Dark Days in the first place.

            1. IMHO I have a lot of issues with MJ the book, but I’m not sure if this is the right place to air them. I think SC really wanted MJ to make an impact and get her readers thinking about when/if armed rebellion is ever justified, certainly make a point that violence always has consequences even if it’s a necessary evil, etc.

              But to me, her simply making Coin “just as bad as Snow”, willing to kill off political rivals just like Snow, willing to sacrifice kids just like Snow, etc., just seemed to lack the depth that’s present in more “mature” works like ASOIAF. And yes, I realize I shouldn’t hold a YA trilogy to the same standards, but ASOIAF is filled with grey characters (even more so in the books than in the TV show, which simplified things a lot). But they are still very unique and different.

              Even the totally cartoonishly evil characters such as Joffrey, Gregor, Ramsay, etc., have backstories that help explain how they are. It’s not as simple as saying “well power corrupts people so of course they all turned out evil”. Well, OK, some of the minor Essosi villains are pretty 2-D, but Khal Drogo was actually a pretty well drawn character, capable of both ruthless violence and tender caring.

              Actually, I don’t see Coin as a Peter Baelish, but on the other hand we get a backstory for Baelish, and we get none for Coin. So maybe Coin is more like Varys? Since we really don’t know anything about Varys and his real backstory or motivations. But at least Varys is both mysterious and interesting. I can’t say the same for Coin.

              Interestingly, where Snow is concerned, Finnick’s interview hints that at least per Capitol standards he rose from humble origins, though by the time we see him he’s long since consolidated his power, and I can see your point is, both Tywin and Snow are on the defensive when we first meet them, whereas Coin and Baelish are on the offensive.

  5. Anybody else notice that the hovercraft from Thirteen is much more utilitarian in style than the one from the Capitol? Liking that small detail.

    Also, I bet that the Mockingjay forest symbol is connected to the scene of the Peacekeepers chasing down the people.

    What I’m hoping for Coin is for her just as another authority figure Katniss would distrust and butt heads with but ultimately come off as a well-meaning leader (though hopefully they don’t cut out the scene with Flavius and Octavia to show that the district isn’t as altruistic as first glances appear (actually, if you think about it, Thirteen probably does run on the principle of altruism in its most academic sense)).
    However, second movie could be where tensions between the two would start to come to a boiling point, with Coin’s megalomania beginning to peek through and Katniss realizing something’s up when Peeta is assigned to them. The endgame at the City Circle should remove all doubt.

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