Amanda Plummer

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…)

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THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Review

Don’t worry, you’ll still get your reaction post! It just so happens that we’re all so busy seeing the movie, we can’t find a time for all three of us to get together and TALK about it. It’s a good problem, no?

In the meantime, we’re going to give you a conventional SPOILER-FREE review to go alongside the reaction post to come!

Effie, bigger and bolder!

Effie, bigger and bolder!

Let’s start from the very beginning (a very good place to staaaaart)! When Katniss and Peeta win 74th The Hunger Games and return to their new home, broken and distant. They’ve survived, but they’re tentative friendship turned showmance is tepid at best after Peeta learns Katniss’ true motivation. Not to mention that they’re both plagued with PTSD.

It all leads up to The Victory Tour, which is where Francis Lawrence really gets to sink his teeth in and show us what this movie is made of. We don’t see much of the individual districts, but we’re offered a few shots that serve as shining examples of the bigger budget and Francis’ eye for detail.

Gale gets his rebellion on

Gale gets his rebellion on

This movie is mostly character driven, which we found super refreshing. Without adding significant film time (THG and CF are actually the same length), we see Peeta, Gale, Haymitch, Effie, and Show’s roles expanded. It’s not just extra lines– the characters seem richer, with deeper personalities and more individual significance outside their relationship with Katniss and Peeta. Some people weren’t thrilled that other scenes were fast-moving, but we think it was worth it to get some character development in there.

It’s at the end of the Victory Tour that we meet Plutarch Heavensbee, portrayed with gusto by Philip Seymour Hoffman. You can’t help but marvel at his unprecedented political savvy and manipulations. He doesn’t lose his cool for a single moment and meanwhile, we were totally freaking out.

Chemistry-wise, the relationship between Katniss and Peeta seems more organic and palpable this time around. It goes without say that Jen and Josh are both extremely talented actors and dear friends in real life, which translates beautifully. That being said, Catching Fire is significantly more Gale-centric. Jen and Liam have presented a strong case for Kale/Gatniss/whatever else we want to call them. Their relationship plays off as a look at two friends falling for each other, brought together by the stress of impending rebellion, but still plants hints of what’s to come in the Mockingjay films.

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Family feels

When the Third Quarter Quell is announced, we finally get some new victors! And what a group they are! Sam Claflin is our Finnick. He embodies the character’s dramatic preening and sensitive soul with a stunning fluidity that we doubt we could have gotten out of many of the laughable fan suggestions that came out during casting. And it doesn’t hurt that he is really, really, ridiculously good-looking. Jena Malone is able to capture Johanna’s anger with such ease and honesty that you know it’s her true spirit, not just an act. Jeffrey Wright gives a master class in acting as he transforms so perfectly into unusual techie extraordinaire Beetee, but Amanda Plummer gets the scene-stealer award for her zany portrayal of Wiress. And Mags? Forgetaboutit! We all want to adopt Lynn Cohen as our new grandma!

With a more appropriate level of violence this time around, the Career pack actually felt menacing. Bruno Gunn’s guns and his expert snarl were intimidating. Meta Golding has the Enobaria growl down to a science. And despite being living barbies, Cashmere and Gloss were surprisingly badass. However, this group did feel a bit under-utilized given that they were meant to pose an immediate threat to Katniss’ life.

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We feel you, Johanna!

The ending is heart-breaking and devastating and everything we ever wanted it to be after reading the books! We’re not saying the movie was perfect down to the very last detail. There’s a lot to consider and we’re sure everyone will find a little something to gripe about (Don’t we always?), but this movie is an extremely faithful adaptation and for us, the clear winner of the franchise so far. Though we loved Gary Ross’ work, Francis Lawrence provided us with a smart, pulse-pounding, emotional journey that had us thanking him by the end.

How Many Days Until Mockingjay Part 1?!
The Girl With The Pearl

Capitol Portraits: The Minor Issue

If you’re reading this, you probably spend an unhealthy amount of time thinking about The Hunger Games… or you’re looking for photos of Jennifer Lawrence naked or fictional character porn (those are still among some of our most popular search terms, so now we can’t stop making fun of people for it, which leads more people looking for these things here. It’s a vicious cycle!) We’ve read the books. And re-read. And re-read probably several other times. We remember all the tiny details. We analyze it all. WE REGRET NOTHING.

Naturally, we want the Hunger Games movies, as well as the advertising campaigns behind them, to be as thorough as possible. We want all the things. Sadly, fans need to realize something really, really important if we want to keep our sanity: We won’t get everything we want!

We get it! We like looking at pretty people too!

We get it! We like looking at pretty people too!

When the Capitol Portraits were released this past week, There was a bit of an outrage when President Snow turned out to be the last one. What about Enobaria? What about Blight? Where are the morphlings?

We can’t wait to see these characters in the movie too, but let’s all calm our ovaries here. These aren’t the tribute headshots released for the first film, which were probably from hair, makeup, and costume test shots. The Capitol portraits are elaborate, filled with drama, fashion, nuance, and high caliber chairs! We’re also guessing they ain’t cheap!

Most importantly, the Capitol Portraits tell a story about each character. In one snap we see who they are, where they came from, and why they’re important to the books. Every character is important in their own way (which is kind of like when your elementary school teacher explains that everyone is special), but some are not as important as we want them to be.

Hilarious, but not quite the same!

Hilarious, but not quite the same!

Bruno Gunn, for example, is our homeslice. He already reads our posts and tweets us pretty regularly. We do a happy dance every time while outwardly pretending it’s no big deal (HI BRUNO!) Naturally, we’d love to see him get a Capitol Portrait, but the thing is that it’s not HIS portrait, it’s his character’s. Brutus is a big ol’ Capitol lackey from District 2. He’s a not-so-centralized part of the pre-Games events, then he causes some chaos in the arena, then PEETA KILLS HIM. That’s about all we got. It’s not much to go on. What would his outfit be and what would it say about him? What would his chair allude to? How would his alliances be depicted?

As much as we wonder about Wiress and Cashmere and Gloss’ studly shoulders, there’s something to be noted about these characters. They are MINOR characters, ones that don’t even make it to Mockingjay. You can love them (we do!) but Lionsgate isn’t going to concern themselves with getting new fans to fall in love with them.

When Catching Fire comes around, those minor characters you’ve been waiting to see will still be there. By November, we bet you’ll even be glad that all of their details weren’t given out in the very first advertisements (disappointingly early release of the wedding dress, anyone?!)

Take It Down A Notch! They’ll Still Be In The Movie!

The Girl With The Pearl

At Least Honey Bunny Was Real

Well, that was fast. I’m of course referring to the rumors that have now been mostly dashed upon the proverbial rocks, and not even pretty rocks like, say– the White Cliffs of Dover. Nope, just boring ole’ basalt rocks, not even the column kind. Anyway, so it turns out Melissa Leo, yeah, she’s not going to be Mags. Unfortunately, what it’s shaping up to look like is either she was never up for Mags, she might be up for something else entirely in the franchise, or– she was up for Mags and she didn’t get the gig. It’s a might ambiguous really, which is hell-a annoying if I do say so myself. If she’s still up for something, my guess is she’s up for Seeder. Look at this, “The woman, Seeder, looks almost like she could be from the Seam, with her olive skin and straight black hair streaked with silver. Only her golden brown eyes mark her as from another district. She must be around sixty, but she still looks strong, and there’s no sign she’s turned to liquor or morphling or any form of chemical escape over the years.” Sounds like Leo to me, especially if you take into account that the Seam look is now defined as looking like Jennifer Lawrence, and Liam Hemsworth. Also, Leo’s no stranger to dye jobs, case in point basically every role she’s known for she does not sport her natural hair color. So, Leo– no idea what’s going on with that, all I know is it would, will, could have been amazing if she’d got a part in this mad house killing machine of a franchise.

And then there’s Sam, I’m just going to call him Sam from now on, because it feels a bit more friendly-like. So, Sam– my good friend who is not my friend at all, ’cause we’ve never met, and face it, I know nothing about football (soccer), so he’d probably think I was lame anyway (the guy’s a big football fan). Ugh, where was I!? Hours after the Finnick rumors about Sam surfaced with a roaring cry, it was announced that he’s been cast in an other film, an action packed action film with none other than the venerable Khaleesi herself, Emelia Clarke (Game of Thrones). Oh, also Bones from Star Trek (2009), AKA Karl Urban as well. Sadly, or not sadly if you’re not on the Sam-Train-to Fun-Town (probably located in Brighton), the film is slated to begin shooting later this summer (guessing August). Yep, so that puts a damper on the real possibility of Sam taking the role of Finnick (that’s if he was offered it at all, let alone auditioned), ’cause scheduling no matter what will be a major bitch to get around. By the way, I’m still demanding that even if these rumors come to nothing, that you watch Sam’s work outside of Pirates of the Caribbean and Snow White, just for the fact that they are good projects with impeccable writing, direction, and casts that he just happens to be be a part of, okay? Come on, one has David Tennant, and an alum from Skins in it, and another stars Eddie Redmayne, EDDIE REDMAYNE!

Now that that’s outta the way, scheduling appears to be the bane of many of my personal favorites for this particular role’s existence (Finnick). Armie Hammer, who is obviously my top choice if you’ve been paying attention all these months, if you haven’t– um, hi Armie Hammer is my top choice for Finnick, and I run a campaign for him to get noticed for the role, as well as support from fans. However, he’s tied up with Lone Ranger until probably September, and then he’s scheduled in the fall to film an Indie with Michael Sheen, and John Malkovich (go him!). So, schedules once again rear their ugly, beady eyed heads at us. They are so ugly, guys– so ugly, they made Lionsgate push filming up sooner for Catching Fire, because Jennifer Lawrence needs to be in England, naked, and painted blue whilst her boyfriend/ co-star tries not to stare at her boobs, by January. After that he can stare at them all he wants, probably.

Enough with my sour face though, at least we’ve got Philip Seymour Hoffman, and at least we’ve still got Honey Bunny (Amanda Plummer), in the bag.

So, consolation prize is– PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN, or as I will dub him from now on, The Man. Because he deserves a nick-name better than something that looks like a sound.

Them There Eyes