Buttercup

The Part 2 Swerve Possibilities

Today, Lionsgate made what we can only describe as an “awkward turtle” move with its other ongoing franchise, the Divergent series.

They long ago made the decision to (unnecessarily) split the final book into two movies. They were the formulaic The Divergent Series: Allegiant Part 1 and The Divergent Series: Allegiant Part 2– UNTIL TODAY. Today, they became The Divergent Series: Allegiant and The Divergent Series: Ascendant. They also announced they’d be building up the world more, a statement so nerve-wracking after the creative license taken in Insurgent that even the author’s outwardly supportive response seems hesitant as hell.

AllegiantAscendantRealistically, this is probably because of “Part 1” title backlash. The critics were quick to hate on Mockingjay Part 1 simply because it was a Part 1. A couple of the major reviewers fixated on that fact, accusing the movie studio of exploiting the popularity of the franchise. And even though it did very well, it didn’t do as well as its predecessor– possibly because the not-so-die-hards are willing to wait rather than watch half of the final story.

And so the name change happens. For the record, we think it’s kinda ridiculous. You may hate the Part 1 / Part 2 thing, but we dodged a bullet! Can you imagine if Lionsgate had split up with last book and gave the 4th film a new of their own invention?

We imagine we’d get a glorious final film name along the lines of these:
6782786957c0412ab3d4a7ef0f203637

THE HUNGER GAMES: STAR SQUAD

THE HUNGER GAMES: WARZONE

THE HUNGER GAMES: WHITE ROSE

THE HUNGER GAMES: FLOCK OF FREEDOM*

THE HUNGER GAMES: LAST ARROW

THE HUNGER GAMES: THE FINAL ROUND

THE HUNGER GAMES: IMPORTANT CHARACTERS DIE THIS TIME

We could go on, but we think you get the point. The two-part split may not be ideal– we personally doesn’t mind it for THG but hate it for some other series, but at least we’re calling a spade, a spade when it comes to what we’re getting. No one’s pretending that these are two distinctive stories within the overall arc, mainly because almost everyone knows it’s from the same book.

What Does “Ascendant” Mean In Relation To That Series Anyway?!
The Girl With The Pearl

*Suggestion courtesy of Crystal from Jabberjays.net

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Going Back For The Cat (Or Dog)

So today we’re going to get serious because we work out all our feelings by relating them to books!

This is an apology to a fictional character– more specifically, Primrose Everdeen.

At the Mockingjay Part 2 panel at Comic-Con, Conan O’Brien joked with Willow Shields, saying “I was so mad at you when you went back for the cat!” And mostly, our reaction was “Well.. duh.” It was a rash, irresponsible move made by a young girl who’s almost too sensitive for this world. Buttercup was an adult cat and hell, cats don’t even live that long. Why would anyone risk anything for a cat?! Katniss, while we loves her sister, thinks she’s an overly sentimental piece of work when it comes to this issue and audiences kinda do too.

Well, I’m sorry, Prim. It’s unfair to judge you because I really do understand.

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This picture is roughly 17 years, 8 months old. I’m 10-years-old– hence the bad hair, fashion, etc. The puppy here is Jake, my family’s Jack Russell Terrier who died of old age this past Sunday, four days before my 28th birthday. He was the best dog ever… though perhaps I’m biased.

And truthfully, I totally would’ve gone back from him in an emergency situation.

It’s not that uncommon. In scary situations, people rescue their pets. They sometimes get injured or even die themselves in the attempt. To some, that just sounds crazy, but not to me. I don’t consider myself all too sentimental, but pets become an important part of your life in a way that most humans don’t even. They’re a furry ball of friendship, playfulness, and companionship without an ounce of judgment. And dammit, we all need some of that! So risking it all for our animal friends makes sense.

It’s silly to think of the continuum of the story after the final chapter (but before the epilogue) because everything is just head canon from that point on, but we can’t even imagine how Katniss felt when Buttercup finally went. We see the two forming a bond over the loss of Prim at the end of Mockingjay, and I’d like to believe that they stuck together and learned to love each other. That means that things would be rough for Katniss not just because she lost a pet, but because that pet was one of the few things she had that linked back to her sister. And urgh… we can’t even.

Though the most minor of minor characters in The Hunger Games, Buttercup makes a major impact on the plot and the characters’ emotional wellbeing, which says something big. So we get it, Prim. And really, you’re awesome for doing it.

And Without That, There’d Be No Buttercup: Evil Overlord Fanon Memes,
The Girl With The Pearl

The Animals of The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games trilogy is rich with animals. No surprise there considering that animals for most equate to food for most people, and not pets. For starters there’s Katniss and Gale who are hunters out of necessity, they’re probably the characters in the story that encounter and/or have the most interaction with animals throughout the series, and I mean both dead and
living ones. From the squirrels, rabbits, and birds that Katniss and Gale snare, or shoot, to Lady the goat, and Buttercup the cat– District 12 may be the most animal friendly district in the whole of Panem, that is when they’re not making wild dog stew, and supplementing rat meat for chicken. That being said animals have other purposes besides sustenance and companionship.

She kind of deserved some screen time, no?

She kind of deserved some screen time, no?

The Muttations of the Games: they are fierce, they are frightening, they are grotesque, and they serve no purpose other than to maim, traumatise, kill— and most disgustingly, entertain the audience. From the fluffy killer squirrels of Haymitch’s Games, to the wolf Mutts of Katniss and Peeta’s first Games (later revamped into dog Mutts for the film adaptation), to the monkey/ baboon Mutts of their second Games, and most psychologically frightening of them all, the Jabberjays– Panem does not want for wildlife, manufactured or not. But then there’s the accidents of the Capitol– the Mockingjay. The cross breed that never should have been, that was created out of laziness, or perhaps a species shear will to survive?

Concept art is cool-- and scary.

Concept art is cool– and scary.

This morning during breakfast I was channel surfing through the short stack of channels at my disposal, I ended up on a Saturday morning animal show hosted by the world-famous Jack Hanna– the wildlife expert who always has a way of sounding like he knows nothing about animals when he’s got an endangered species crawling up his leg, or across his chest. While I was watching this show, where Hanna was traipsing across a Kenyan wildlife refuge, and gawking at a rare species of giraffe, I was struck with the disturbing thought of, what if Panem had a version of Jack Hanna, but instead of educating the Capitol public on magnificent creatures from near and far, that they showcased Muttation species from past and present Games? Abominations of nature, spliced together genomes of big cats, and arachnids– creating animals that resemble caber tooth tigers, with bites that rip you apart, whilst simultaneously shooting stinging venom into your wounds– so on top of losing limbs, you’re in excruciating, nerve shattering pain induced by lab intensified venom. The nightmarish possibilities are endless really.

There’s a consolation prize to the sick, twisted, fascination the Capitol has with creating the worst out of nature’s best. Cat’s from District 12 survive wars, travel home from hundreds of miles, and help heal protagonists.

Thanks Buttercup.

No really, thanks you rage/ tear inducing, matted, mongrel.

No really, thanks you range/ tear inducing, matted, mongrel.

Them There Eyes

Let’s Go Scan Stuff

This morning the app Our Leader the Mockingjay got a new facet, a partnership with Doritos. Yaaaaay! Okay, maybe not a yay, but if you’re into snack food doused in electric orange powdered cheese, that inevitibly will get all over your hands, and your clothes, and make you look a fright– yay to those people! Doritos love or not, the newly launched section of Our Leader the Mockingjay’s app is pretty darn snazzy, well more so after you’re able d13targetto scan a bag of Doritos and unlock the entire, shiny, new schematic of District 13! Yeah, that’s what scanning nacho flavored corn chips gets us! A 3D map of the underground world of District 13.

I’m not a big app person, in fact the apps on my phone are pretty practical. Like the CNN app, the Google app, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (of course), and the more frivolous ones, Pinterest, and Flixter (Rotten Tomatoes app). I downloaded the = This is the best thing on the app– BUTTERCUP[/caption]Our Leader the Mockingjay app though, and well– if you’re like me and don’t use your cell phone to keep you occupied all the damn time, it’s kind of a foreign thing– more like I’m staring at it, flipping through everything that’s there to the best of my knowledge and going, “so does it do anything? Can I get movie times? Pin stuff? What?” I’m not over the moon about this app in other words, because it’s geared to the lot of people out there who love playing with their phones! Me? I use my phone as a communication tool, and a tool for getting information.

More power to the boring people! Just be November already, I’m not a game-y/app-y person– I just want to watch the damn movie!

I’ll go back to my hole now.

This is the best thing on the app-- BUTTERCUP

This is the best thing on the app– BUTTERCUP

Them There Eyes

We Now Return to Nina Jacobson Tweet Watch

This is my third post about something Nina Jacobson has tweeted, which makes me feel guilty. As if I’m not branching out enough with my sources.  Except, she’s pretty much the ONLY source of any Mockingjay movie news in the past few months. So I’ll give myself a pass here. We’ve got to take any small scrap of info and cherish it.

Back to the tweet in question – it was about the cat again.  She tweeted about Buttercup earlier this year and said they were filming the Crazy Cat scene. Today we get another pic of the furball looking like he feels absolutely no pressure from being a part of a multi-billion dollar movie franchise.

Now that it’s late March, and filming in Atlanta has only a month left to go, I’m going to assume that they are filming is end of Mockingjay District 12 scenes.

END OF MOCKINGJAY DISTRICT 12 SCENES.

You know, after Peeta plants the primroses which spurs Katniss out of her semi-catatonic state and she goes hunting and she comes back home exhausted and Buttercup is somehow there? And then she yells at him that Prim is gone and has a breakdown. And then I had to stop reading so I wouldn’t have a breakdown.

Source: Nymstark (DeviantArt)

Source: Nymstark (DeviantArt)

Returning to the book, Katniss and Buttercup kind of become pals because they both loved Prim. Oh, my heart.  [Note: I just spent the last minute with my head in my hands trying to collect myself after typing those few sentences.]

Suzanne Collins wraps up Mockingjay in a quick, efficient way. But it’s some of my favorite writing of the whole series. For some fans, it’s way too efficient (more details please!) but it’s kept fan fiction writers busy for years, so that’s a plus.

I feel nervous knowing these scenes are filming now. Catching Fire has given me enormous faith in the entire production, but I still have trust issues, ok?  The end of Mockingjay District 12 scenes are everything to me. And I bet they are to you too.

Buttercup, don’t mess this up 😉

JJ

Crazy Kat

I learned a few things last week. One of them is that Producer Nina Jacobson is on Twitter. And she tweeted a couple things about Mockingjay! Rejoice, Mockingjay news deprived fans!

Well, one of the things she tweeted (in reply to a fan) was that there would be no Mockingjay reveals “for a little while.”

I’ll let you all interpret how many weeks “a little while” means.  I’m hoping it’s less than the fingers in a three finger salute, but I’m always greedy for news.  Let’s move on to the more fun detail she revealed… the Crazy Cat Scene!

Now, we know Nina Jacobson is a Buttercup fan. She and Suzanne Collins pushed for a recasting of the cat in Catching Fire to a more canon-compliant color, after all. So it’s very appropriate that she would choose to reveal this bit of filming.

What’s the relevance of the Crazy Cat Scene? Well, it takes place while District 13 is being attacked and everyone is hunkered down waiting things out.  Katniss tells us,

I created this by accident a few years ago, during a winter blackout. You simple wiggle a flashlight beam around on the floor, and Buttercup tries to catch it. I’m petty enough to enjoy it because I think it makes him look stupid. Inexplicably, everyone here thinks he’s clever and delightful.

Oh Katniss, your disdain for that cat will never stop amusing me. But other than some cute comic relief, why would this scene make it to the film? Because of the connection Katniss makes between this game and her situation with Snow and Peeta. She continues,

Crazy Cat becomes a metaphor for my situation. I am Buttercup. Peeta, the thing I want so badly to secure, is the light… [T]he one thing that sends Buttercup into a tailspin is when I leave the light on but put it hopelessly out of his reach, high on the wall, beyond even his jumping skills. He paces below the wall, wails, and can’t be comforted or distracted. He’s useless until I shut the light off. (That’s what Snow is trying to do to me now, only I don’t know what form his game takes.)

Maybe this realization on my part is all Snow needs. Thinking that Peeta was in his possession and being tortured for the rebel information was bad. But thinking that he’s being tortured specifically to incapacitate me is unendurable. And it’s under the weight of this revelation that I truly begin to break.

This is all Katniss’s internal monologue, so I’m curious as to how they will adapt it to the screen. My first thought is that it would be a discussion with Haymitch, or maybe Prim since we know she would be there for the game. I hope it’s Haymitch though, because it seems more in line with his mentor role. Or maybe it’s just a scene with Katniss and Buttercup alone, with Katniss muttering this to him. It would be a nice mirroring of her yelling at the cat upon her return to District 12 at the end of Mockingjay (if they decide to keep that in of course).

Such fun things to speculate about.

Here’s hoping Nina gives us a few more of these teases in the future!

JJ

The Gifts of Catching Fire Christmas

Did you know you can reserve Catching Fire on DVD right now, while it’s still in theaters?

While attempting to finish Christmas shopping, my local “doomed to close because we mostly sell current music” store asked me if I want to reserve my copy now. I don’t think the cashier was ready for my truth bomb about how you can’t just reserve any old version of the DVD when there will be so many editions to choose from. Buuuut anyway…

Between gift buying and Catching Fire talk, we got to thinking about what the best gifts would be for these characters after Catching Fire ended. Thinking forward to Mockingjay, there are a few things to come to mind!

Yeah teenage angst!

Yeah teenage angst!

Katniss Everdeen – A Really Snazzy Diary, Perhaps with a Shiny Little Mockingjay Design on It, and a Punching Bag
We know nothing about dealing with the complexities of PTSD. But we DO know a few good things to help a 16-year-old girl to throw down some feels!

Gale Hawthorne – P90X
Because model soldiers aren’t built overnight, you know! Try 90 days!

Haymitch Abernathy – Pure, unfiltered alcohol followed by a metric ton of coffee
Time for Haymitch to figure out the alcohol to coffee ratio that makes him useful without making him mean!

Peeta Mellark and Johanna Mason – Three paper clips, a pen, duct tape, air freshener and every episode of MacGyver (and a TV/DVD Player combo, obviously)
The ultimate escape plan! They can then decide if they want to share with Enobaria.

He manages his way out of EVERYTHING!

He manages his way out of EVERYTHING!

Alma Coin – A ridiculously big, fluffy stuffed animal
This lady needs someone to hug! And there don’t seem to be too many willing human participants sooooo….

Prim Everdeen – Percy Jackson books, a bag of sweets, and an iPod filled with pop tunes
We tend to forget she’s only 13. We want her to get to BE 13!

Buttercup – Catnip
That cat just went on a journey that even the entrails Katniss sometimes feeds him can’t make up for!

Boggs – A Heavy Duty Poncho Fashioned for Combat
Boggs goes through a lot, but we thought we’d do him a small favor by helping him avoid that moment when Katniss pukes all over him.

Get Your Holiday Cheer On, Y’all!
The Girl With The Pearl

The Unsung Heroes Of The Hunger Games

The title says it all, but I don’t think it’s ever been fully discussed– there are a whole lot of unsung heroes in The Hunger Games trilogy. Everyone knows the big ones, or the main ones, Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Melarck, and Finnick Odair– but what about the people who only show up for a couple of pages, or a few sentences, what about the people whose deaths are unknown, and they just disappeared?

The first unsung hero I can think of off the top of my head, is Mr. Everdeen. Yes, he doesn’t actually appear in any of the novels, but he’s talked about, and his posthumous presence is significant to quite possibly the entire plot of the series. In many ways Mr. Everdeen was the first Mockingjay, well– according to some people’s cannon, which is now currently Mr_everdeen_portraitbrainwashing me at the moment. However, we don’t actually know if Mr. Everdeen played a heady role in the on-going rebellion against the Capitol. We do however like to imagine that he did. I’m sure someone in comments will correct me.

Bonnie and Twill, yeah– shocker there, but if you really think about their presence in the story. If you really think about the message that they carried with their journey, and with their subsequent deaths, Bonnie and Twill were heroes, because up until then Katniss’ idea of the rebellion was so abstract, that when those two women came into her life, if ever so briefly, they still gave a face, and a voice to the thoughts that were only then starting to curdle in Katniss’ mind. So, therefore I say Bonnie and Twill, who unfortunately died somewhere between District 12 and 13, were heroines.

Thresh: He died in the 1st novel, but before he died at the hand of whom I’m now picturing as a giant blob, because that comforts me– he saved Katniss’ life. And now I’m sadly picturing that entire sequence again, and wishing that Gary Ross had kept the Blob’s freak out in the film adaptation, because it would have brought the significance of Clove’s death to the forefront, rather than making it somewhat of an afterthought, and also it would have given Mr. Blob a little more time to show the world his human side– yes, even though he was a blob. About Thresh though, his timing was perfect, and his existence was vital– so I say Thresh was a hero, and apparently Katniss and Peeta agree, because, yeah they acknowledge his life, and his efforts during their visit to District 10. Errm, and then get an Rue-and-thresh-the-hunger-games-29978336-500-500old man murdered. Ooopsy.

Buttercup the cat! Don’t roll your eyes at me, because it’s so true– BUTTERCUP IS A HERO! Yeah, I know, I know he didn’t fight on any fields of war, he didn’t put himself in any harms way to protect another, but damn that cat served a purpose, and had amazing timing. Think about it, in Mockingjay, where Buttercup sort of came into his own as a character, as much as a non-cartoon cat can, he supplied the people of District 13 with simple, but ample entertainment, by willingly playing Crazy Cat for possibly hours, thus distracting the populous from thinking about their close, and quite possibly eminent deaths. The clincher for Buttercup’s hero-dome is his showing up at the perfect time at the end of Mockingjay. Yep, talking about the emotional breakdown scene when Katniss is left in District 12 on her own, and Buttercup shows up. It may seem minute, but that was the moment where I think Katniss finally came to terms with everything she had been through, and it was the breakthrough moment where she started to finally heal, and so did Buttercup, because he may have been just a cat, but cats know when bad shit is going down, and he knew his person was gone. Buttercup the therapist, and the hero… don’t you forget it.

More heroes to come so stay tuned– FYI, none of them are named Peter or Sylar.

Them There Eyes

The Big Bucks

Lawrence-Reading-Books2I’m about to lay the truth on you like no one has ever laid the truth on you before. Contrary to popular belief none of us here at Victor’s Village, or any other fan-site, or blog dedicated to The Hunger Games are paid by The Powers That Be, otherwise known as Lionsgate Studios. I know, I know– but many of us got to go to the world premiere of The Hunger Games in Los Angeles, and we also occasionally have awesome merchandise to give out during contests! Gotta say though, none of that is evidence that supports the notion that we’re in any way, shape, or form monetarily connected to the people who own the rights to The Hunger Games. We are, and will always simply be this, fans. We may be a little different from your average fan of the series, because we have taken our passion to a higher level than simply reblogging GIF sets on Tumblr, or tweeting that we can’t wait to see the film again, or how much we love Peeta, or Katniss, or Finnick, or even Buttercup. Nope, we have blogs, we have sites that we pay for the rights to own the domain names of with our own money, we have podcasts, Google alerts up the ass, and we have extra flat rate mailers in our closets just in case we’re running a contest, and one of you out there has won something from our prize stores. There’s one thing about us though that I think we can share on some level, we’re unabashedly, unequivocally in love with The Hunger Games trilogy, some of us might even go so far as to say we’re obsessed.

So, the next timetumblr_loccpjGztx1qk1obso1_400 someone’s mind stumbles upon the thought that we’re paid for all this work, which it is work, do not ever forget that, and that we’re just talking things up because it’s all about the money, stop your self. Here’s the deal though; we may not be paid for our time, our energy, and our efforts, but we are rewarded everyday, or at least every week by the thought, the indicative proof that we’re not alone in our passion by interacting with you out there, as well as fellow fan-site runners, and bloggers, and that the time we take out of everyday, the time we take away from our families, from our pets, our real life jobs, are appreciated both by you out there reading our articles, listening to us on podcasts, subscribing to our Twitter-feeds, site alerts, that cast members from the franchise are willing to engage with us, and that Lionsgate Studios does care about what we have to say, and that they do give us kindness by paying attention, and gifting us premiere tickets. Mostly it’s about the fact that we’re not just yelling into a giant black void. This is what they call being paid the big bucks, because the bucks are invisible, and you can imagine them to be enormous, and with so many zeroes tacked on at the end.

The funny will be back next week.

Them There Eyes

The Power of Buttercup

We discussed that awesome joy that comes from hooking people on The Hunger Games series many a time before! Besides validating your own addiction, the more people you get to talk about the series with, the better! But the best is when someone new to the series gets you going on topic you never really thought about before.

But we'll still take it!

But we’ll still take it!

Hence this conversation with a friend, in a bar of all places:
Them: “I love the books now, but I’m so disappointed that the cat wasn’t really in the movie!”
Me: “Buttercup? Yeah, he’s awesome but they tend to cut everything that isn’t totally necessary.”
Them: “He IS necessary! He reflects all her emotional stuff. Without a voiceover, we NEED him!”

Then the conversation was interrupted by the hypothetical zombie apocalypse (BE PREPARED! …Not really), but it left me thinking.

While I’m not as stuck on a sheer need for Buttercup in the movies like my friend, what they were saying makes sense. When Katniss is jaded and hardened in the beginning of the series, the only character that matches her intensity and takes her head on. Like Katniss, he is forced to go to District 13, disgruntled and disobedient, but he puts up with it to be with Prim. As Katniss drives herself mad thinking about Peeta in the fallout shelter, she takes Buttercup right along with her. And finally, when she is devastated and needs someone dearly at the end of the series, so does Buttercup.

When Buttercup was a mere flash in The Hunger Games, many people noticed. Like us, it seemed many were mourning that LAST scene. But it’s all the little scenes in between are what make that last one work.

Let’s all take a moment to recognize the power of Buttercup. Because no matter how slurred the words may have been in that conversation, it was right on. That little cat is Katniss Everdeen’s spirit animal.

If Francis Lawrence thought at all about how to keep the series relevant and touching, we’re hoping he chooses to stick Buttercup’s simple but powerful story back into the mix. It would take a minute or two per movie, but Panem’s most badass cat would break the collective heart of the entire world.

And I Consider Myself A Dog Person,
The Girl With The Pearl