Cressida

What Those Mockingjay Part 2 Stills Are Really Saying

For so long, we sat at our computers bemoaning the total lack of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 promotion, begging Lionsgate to “just give us something!”

Now they’re giving us ALL THE THINGS. Right now. At the same damn time as all the other things. Yesterday, we got a poster. Today, tickets went on sale and Fandango users will get a new clip if they purchase when 24 hours (if you’re in a prominently MovieTickets.com region like us, look to the inevitable piracy). Entertainment Weekly also released a still cover featuring photoshop-y Katniss, Peeta, and Gale from Tim Palen’s upcoming book o’ portrait wonders and eight new stills. Tomorrow, the final trailer hits… but only at Best Buy. Again.

Clearly, that’s a lot to talk about. AND WE WILL. But today, we’re gonna focus in on those stills. You may not realize it, but there’s a message in each character’s eyes. There’s some serious thought there that they’re trying to get out. We’ll translate for you.

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“Urghh… It looks like we’re still committed to playing out the love triangle that nobody wants. Seriously, it’s giving me a migraine…”

 

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“Da na na na, da na na na, da na na na, da na na na… CROSSBOW! The weapon for guys who want to impress chicks but don’t have any real skill!”

 

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“We’re all pretty psyched about confronting the enemy! ..Except Peeta. He still doesn’t know what the fuck to do with his gun.”

 

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“I’m just the basic bitch behind the camera, so Imma sit back and encourage the real badass to do all the killing despise her worst fears blooming to life before her eyes. How else do you think I keep my hair firmly to one side?”

 

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“And then those freaking mutts showed up and I was like… tumblr_mvhy9xAFC41s822dfo1_250

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“Why are we in The Hunger Games franchise playing bad cop/reluctant cop, again? We were born to play Legolas’ twin sisters in Lord of the Rings, thank you very much!”

 

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“Look, Katniss, it’s not that I’m not saddened by your sister’s death. It’s just that.. if I’m going to drop you off in District 12 in place of Plutarch and mourn with you for a moment, I’m gonna look fly as fuck as I do it. Plzkthx.”

 

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“You thought you had your shit together by this point in the movie, didn’t you? THINK AGAIN, WOMAN!

That’s Our Story And We’re Stickin’ To It,
The Girl With The Pearl

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We’ve Got Character Posters!

Lionsgate is starting Comic-Con week with a bang with the release of 8 cool character posters for Mockingjay Part 2.

And YESSSSS we like it.

All the posters have the tag UNITE – THE REVOLUTION IS ABOUT ALL OF US, which ties in to the Three Finger Salute billboards from a few weeks ago. And everyone is branded with the sign of the Mockingjay, in red, mimicking warpaint. But everyone has a unique word on the left side to set things apart.

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Katniss is PANEM UNITE which makes sense. Peeta is SONS cause why not? (And what’s with the light eyes? Does hijacking make them finally… blue? Kidding. But not)

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Gale is all about the BROTHERS, though we wish we could’ve seen some of his actual brothers in the movie. And Johanna appropriately brings up the rebels. We can’t tell if she’s really sad here, or just really fucking annoyed to be photographed for these things. Probably both.

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Newly married Finnick represents the husbands (hey the world knows because of the teaser trailer). And Prim gives us sisterhood feels. And the blood-red color on both these faces is even more chilling when you know the ending.

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Finally we have Cressida and Boggs representing the activists and the soldiers.

The black and red of these posters are VERY INTERESTING. They of course set the mood very well, but we also wonder if they fit nicely with a red Mockingjay-suited Katniss propo to come?

One additional thing that we liked, and may have just happened because it worked out like that and no other reason, but it’s still remarkable. Katniss’s poster is not DAUGHTERS UNITE, it’s PANEM UNITE. One of the very few redeeming qualities of Panem is that women have authority in this world as well, and it’s no big deal. It’s just how things are. This will be further enforced in the last saga with Commanders Paylor and Lyme. And Panem’s symbolic leader, the Mockingjay, while a daughter, represents the entire country, so they correctly chose to emphasize that first.

We’re overwhelmed, in a very good way!

JJ

REVIEW: Mockingjay Part 1 Is The Ultimate Game Changer

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** THIS REVIEW IS SPOILER FREE!**

The Hunger Games Franchise: Come for the action. Stay for the bigger, more important message.

KATNISSIf you’ve been following reviews for Mockingjay Part 1 so far, you’ve probably noticed some media outlets griping about the change of pace or fewer action sequences or the lack of the games. But The Hunger Games has always been about more than just the games. The first two films did an excellent job conveying the danger and inequality in Panem through the games, but the story cannot simply be the games, otherwise the whole message Suzanne Collins intended for her audience is lost. The franchise is about the tragedies of war but also the need to question society’s parameters and to fight against injustice, even if it comes at a personal cost. That’s right, folks– We’re moving past the “Whoa, all these people are in a bubble trying to kill each other!” pull and into legitimate political thriller territory.

Mockingjay Part 1 is a tantalizing slow burn. Its pacing, emotion, and action are different from the other films, but in the best way possible. It starts out dark, ends pitch black, and finds moments of levity, anger, sadness, and just about everything else in between. As Katniss attempts to adjust to life in District 13 and reluctantly accepts her role as the voice of the rebellion, a new story element unfolds into something much deeper. Katniss and District 13 go back and forth in the ultimate game of cat and mouse with President Snow, one in which everyone they know is a pawn. Of course, that doesn’t mean that everyone supporting her in District 13 is really truly on her side, either. The result is a harrowing journey to incite a revolution, one that featured fewer action sequences but kept us more emotionally invested than any Hunger Games movie before it.

Mockingjay-Part-1-Phillip-Seymour-Hoffman-and-Julianne-MooreThere’s a stunning tension created throughout the film by the entire cast. Jennifer Lawrence proved herself as our Katniss long ago, but earns new respect as she handles Katniss’ fragile emotional state with realism and care. Donald Sutherland is an absolute maniacal genius now that he has a chance to flex those baddie muscles. Julianne Moore is a smart, welcome addition as President Coin, who plays beautifully off the late Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Plutarch Heavensbee. The decision to keep Effie in the story was a stellar one and Elizabeth Banks is more perfectly Effie than ever before. Liam Hemsworth plays Gale with much more vulnerability and depth than recent promos have suggested– the rage scene is definitely there, but many others prior to that make it easy to see just how truly torn he is. However, if there’s a “Stepping Up To The Plate” award for this movie, it goes to Josh Hutcherson. Peeta’s transformation is gut-wrenching and visceral, the stuff that makes your breath catch in your throat every time he comes on screen because the agony and instability feels so real. It’s the first time in the series Josh has really been asked to be something beyond the caring, careful version of Peeta we all know so well and he exceeds expectations.

There is still action in this film but it isn’t scene-to-scene as it was when Katniss fought off danger after danger in the arenas. However, please don’t confuse less action with a plodding pace. This movie’s action sticks in your brain and feels much more warranted than in previous films. It is not, as the games were, for anyone’s entertainment. Even in the scenes without explosions and hovercrafts and arrows flying, there’s still plenty of things happening and for us, the entire film felt like it moved very quickly, faster than its actual run time.

mockingjay-part-1-peeta-beatenBecause this movie is a Part 1, you’re not going to get instant gratification around every turn (another sticking point for critics, it seems). But ask yourself– Did you really with The Hunger Games or Catching Fire, either? Francis Lawrence, Danny Strong, and Peter Craig used the opportunity to get more in depth with the story very wisely. Rather than being thrust into District 13, there’s a world-building that you don’t always get in film. President Snow and Plutarch in particular benefit from the books expansion into two parts, in terms of both screen time and character development. Boggs, Cressida, and the film crew are also rewarded a richer understanding than we’d expected. Random gushing: Elden Henson as Pollux was easily our favorite part of the film crew without saying a word, though everyone else played their part very well too.

For all the guessing in the world at the ending, we will only tell you this: You know the ending, but you don’t. You’ll leave the theater feeling charged up and overwhelmed, already eager for the final film.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the film is perfect. We have a few gripes but realize that in the grand scheme of things, they’re pretty minor. We’ll nitpick at a later date because to do so would be to spoil everyone. Even so, we know that Lawrence Squared and the rest of the team have delivered us a stellar film that is sharp and thought-provoking.

We can’t wait to discuss it with all of you!

Meeting Cressida and Crew

The deluge of Mockingjay stuff has begun, and it’s hard to know where to begin. Actually it’s not, because there’s ANOTHER clip, with Cressida introducing her crew to Katniss as they’re about to take off in the hovercraft.

It's time to go to work, Mockingjay

It’s time to go to work, Mockingjay

This is the first time we’ve gotten to hear Natalie Dormer speak as Cressida. As we would expect, she doesn’t have the Capitol affectation that Effie does in her speech. But there was something surprising about the way she talks.  Maybe it’s her hard, no-nonsense tone, or maybe it’s Dormer’s interpretation of a person raised in the Capitol who wants to cut all ties with the culture, or more likely it’s just me not being used to hearing Natalie Dormer with an American accent. I loved her line “We all fled on our own. For this. For you.” She delivers it with a mix of pride and condescension, but it doesn’t make you dislike her because it’s clear that they’ve all made sacrifices to be where they are today. No, Katniss, Plutarch did not rescue us. We made the decision to leave, risked our lives to escape to this completely uncomfortable life in the concrete bunker of District 13. But we did it FOR YOU. Could you please buck up and help with the cause now? It’s tough love, but it seems to fit the character.

You've had like 5 seconds of screen time and we already love you.

You’ve had like 10 seconds of screen time and we already love you.

It will be interesting to see how Cressida, and the whole crew, evolve over the next two movies. In the books, none of them are very well fleshed out as our narrator Katniss was mostly concerned with her own troubles. So these movies will give us an opportunity to see them outside Katniss’s lense.

We can’t say much about Messalla or Boggs, other than they were all business in this first meeting, but I liked to see the interaction between Castor and Pollux as they were signing to one another. Just with that little moment you could feel the bond they have, which was nice. I think we’re going to fall in love with them.

Now to watch more of the many things released today!

JJ

Caption Those New Stills

A few new stills have surfaced over the past day or so, thanks to Mockingay Part 1’s distributor in Russia. And we mean THANK YOU. We’ve been expecting more stills soon, as the various press articles start appearing. There have to be pictures to go along with those articles, right? The character images released a few weeks ago are great to have, but actual full movie stills are better. You’ve probably seen these stills by now, and you can probably guess what movie scenes they reference, but let’s have some fun and pretend like we haven’t read these books many times and have no clue what could be going on here.

Gale crossbow stillGale is eyeing that target pretty intensely. It’s not quite Blue Steel, but he does have a bit of smugness to his expression. I hope he’s eyeing a shooting target and not Katniss or something. Cause that would be awkward Gale, don’t do that.  And we have Beetee in the background paying attention to something else. He makes the weapons, he doesn’t shoot them.

Katniss RosesKatniss’s homecoming seems to be going well, someone even left her a “Welcome Home” flower arrangement. But damn it, they’ve all wilted except for a single white rose.  A florist in the Capitol is going to be hearing about this.

Cressida PolluxCressida is enjoying some well-needed outdoors time, letting her fabulously tattooed skin get some sun but keeps getting annoyed about WHERE Pollux is pointing that camera [*Update yeah I know it’s Castor. I was tired, but let’s pretend I really have no clue about things and go with it cause all of this is silly anyway].  Be careful there, buddy.

Peacekeepers in 7These Peacekeepers have wandered onto the set of The Return of the Jedi and are really worried about Ewoks. Nah, they’re actually pissed they got assigned to the tree-climbing district. First Katniss, and now these rebellious District 7 citizens. Who knew that tree climbing could be so effective at evading people with weapons?

Katniss CoinKatniss longs for the days when she had to maintain this fakely triumphant pose for the Capitol, cause at least it was Peeta’s hand she got to hold. And the outfits were better.

The sad thing is there will probably be legit press articles with even more off-base photo captions coming soon.

More stuff to look forward to!

JJ

 

 

 

 

More Blue Steel and a Pony

I’m just going to say it, Liam Hemsworth is giving us more Blue Steel, and there’s nothing we can do 10402038_900209023322649_5942859702756527118_nabout it. I think we just have to accept that that’s his face, and until he’s old, like 80 something, and will likely be one of the handsomest old men we’ve ever seen– maybe then he’ll be able to pull his jowly face into some semblance of an expression that’s not his un patented Blue Steel– we’ll just have to deal. Boo hoo, such an unfortunate face to endure! Kidding, he’s hot– everyone with eyes can see it plain as day, and at this point in the game– we’re practically begging for promotional material. Therefore Liam’s expressionless face is a welcome reprieve!

Now it must be addressed, or re-addressed, but Natalie Dormer may prove to be the break out star of Mockingjay Part 1. Or, at least that’s what the posters, and the pictures we’ve been slowly getting are saying to us. Cressida didn’t have a massive part in the novel however, but once again liberties have likely been taken– and we’ll just have to deal, grudgingly or not. I’m not going to argue it to death, because I like Natalie Dormer, and I think Cressida is a character that deserves a little expansion. Plus, um– Natalie’s real purtty.

I think it’s been said before, probably here at Victor’s Village even, perhaps by yours truly–
but Caesar Flickerman reminds me of a My Little Pony. It’s the hair ya’ see? It’s got this pompadour thing going on, and then there’s

You're like a magical pony.

You’re like a magical pony.

the tail bit, and obviously the ever-changing color of it that screams Pony to anyone with a memory for pop culture that goes back further than 1998. I’m not ragging on the choices that the hair and makeup heads came up with, because I think it’s a brilliant choice. Also, bear with me, I totally think that Caesar Flickerman could fit in the court of the Sun King, AKA Louis XIV. The brocade suits, the hair, the colors, the stance.

Maybe Caesar Flickerman is a time traveler?!

Them There Eyes

Sam and Natalie Do Oxford

We’ve got a good long couple of months to go until Mockingjay Part 1 is released in theatres across the world, so until the day comes when we can all sit back, and cry into our over sized soda cups, whilst sitting in a large dark room with a crowd of strangers– a select few will be privy to the joy of seeing Sam Claflin AKA Finnick Odair, and Natalie Dormer AKA Cressida in an entire other film together. The Riot Club (previously billed as Posh), is a film that Sam and Natalie filmed back in June of 2013, and it was released in its home country of England just this Friday. So far it’s gotten favorable reviews, and it is also holding strong on RottenTomatoes with a 78%, meaning it’s Fresh by their ratings, and thus not a waste of an afternoon at the cinema.

Let’s see, what should a lay person know about The Riot Club before they step up to the box office, plunk down their cold hard cash, and deem to spend a couple of hours with Natalie Dormer, Sam Claflin, Max Irons, Douglas Booth, and Jessica Brown-Findley (yes, Lady Sybil Crawley is in it). Well, Riot Club is based on a play produced and put on in England in 2010, about a fictional dining club. The Riot Club based on the real life Bullingdon Club, the Riot Club is exclusive, and full up with rich, over privileged, white conservative British young men, all students at Oxford University. It’s the kind of story where you watch fictionalized representatives of future captains of industry, and country leaders, act bombastically, treat women badly, and wholly believe that because of their so-called pedigree they are immune to the consequences of the law and society. It’s young white guys with accents, in suits, fucking up, hurting people, thinking they’re going to get away with it, and in the end probably not. Oh, yeah, and one of those young men happens to be portrayed by Sam Claflin, oh– and Natalie’s playing a Lady of the Night.

Can you tell that I’m wavering on this film? I implore all to just… go rent History Boys, you’ll get less pissed off, and learn who James Corden is, AKA the guy taking over for Craig Ferguson on CBS. Or, if you like being eternally frustrated by the glorification of the upper classes acting like jackasses– g’head, go see Riot Club! Yes, I am judging a film purely on its premise, and its trailer, I cannot help it, there is no release date for the US yet, and therefore I’m a little miffed– I’m just being honest!

Maybe the soundtrack will be good? These Boys-Will-Be-Boys films tend to have good soundtracks.

Them There Eyes

What We Learned From The New Mockingjay Part 1 Stills

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Witness ZEE WIG.

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

Now.. a second glance:

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IT JUST GOT SO MUCH MORE NOTICEABLE.

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

3) There’s always that one guy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When Camera Crews Go Renegade

So we’ve definitely settled on the fact that the new posters are cool. Not perfect, but pretty damn cool. Still, there’s one isty-bitsy teeny-weeny fairly obvious detail that is driving us crazy…

Since when does a two-man camera crew, their director, and her assistant = BADASS WARRIOR MOTHERFUCKERS?

Observe!
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Mind you, we like the idea of badass warrior motherfuckers in general. BWMFs, if you will. But in comparison, we must admit this feels kinda forced.

While some tactical gear and even the small side guns on Castor and Pollux seem reasonable, check out the massive weapons Cressida and Messalla are sporting. That is meant for once thing: Taking out large numbers of enemies in a relatively short time period. Those are for straight up soldiers, not the people hired to film soldiers.

Meanwhile, Pollux is described as “the silent soldier” and Messalla, who seems skittish at best all the way up to his brutal end in the books, is called “the fearless renegade”. Seriously, somebody had way too much fun misappropriating these character descriptions while scripting this film!

In my initial commentary on these posters, I mentioned that Cressida and Messalla didn’t look much like Capitol defectors who, despite not agreeing with political choices, were still culturally Capitol at their core. The more we think about it… What if the filmmakers found it easier to not have them be Capitol defectors at all? The District 13 area doesn’t have many recognizable faces other than Boggs in the books, especially in what will be considered Part 1 territory. Audiences will connect with the District 8 scenes more if they see who Katniss is fighting with and what they stand for, so why not take already recognizable names and match them up with the mostly unrecognizable soldiers?

Yet we hesitate to wholeheartedly accept that theory. There is value to Cressida and Messalla being wet-behind-the-ears rebellion propo makers who don’t fully understand the dangers and implications of their work until they experience it firsthand. Their Capitol origins show that not everyone in the city is a drone supporting Snow and display tensions within the fragile alliances. Yes, it would be nice to have another kickass chick in the mix and Effie will be more firmly taking on the role of “Capitol lady who doesn’t truly get it”, but are there not shades of gray that can distinguish characters adjusting to the same situation differently as Cressida gets more and more proactive?

Maybe we’re just opposed to change.. but usually we’re not opposed to change when it seems reasonable and justifiable. We just don’t get why this group now has to be fierce soldiers. We’re hoping this pans out into something spectacular that we aren’t seeing yet, but right now, we must admit that we’re a liiiiiiittle weary!

If Camera Crews Are Now Super Soliders, Are The Original District 13 Soldiers Like.. X-Men?
The Girl With The Pearl

District 13 Rebel Reaction

IT’S MOCKINGJAY PART 1 Posterama! We got six brand spankin’ new posters of what will be Star Squad 451 minus Finnick, Peeta, and Katniss; our first official look at the crew in their gear.

And OF COURSE we’ve got lots of feelings we need to share about all this! BEHOLD!

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Oh, Hemsy! Your eyebrow game is just through the roof in this poster. We just want to brush them methodically for you (as we assume someone else did shortly before this picture was taken.) But we don’t love this image nearly as much as we should.

Book!Gale most certainly had some rage at this point in the story line. Yes, he’s finally made it to the rebels, but Katniss still describes him as intensity and fire when all is said and done. WHERE IS THAT? We all know Liam has epic emo face, but what about the other faces?! This is stern, at best. We want RAAAAAGE! He pulled that off much better in the Catching Fire character poster.

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Dammit, Natalie Dormer! Even in 1,000 layers including various padding, you still look glam! The last time we tried to look fancy, we still looked worth than that. URGH!

We’ve also discovered the new game we’ll be playing through the rest of the Mockingjay Part 1 promotional period: What exactly is the proper brightness of Cressida’s tattoo? It looked much darker and less green in the trailer, but it might have just been the lighting?

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YES! THIS! THIS FOREVER AND EVER!

If you can’t tell, we really like this poster! The image alone justifies Mahershala Ali’s casting as Boggs. Intimidating but serene, focused and powerful. The kind of guy who seems serious but has a solid sense of humor underneath it all. He definitely comes off as a leader and we are officially excited!

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Is it just us or was anyone else thinking Messalla had more of a Capitol flare?

Yes, he’s relocated to District 13, joined the rebellion, and probably toned down has look a bit. But still, we expected more than a bridge piercing and a line tattooed on the bottom lip. That modifications aren’t as “Oh so Capitol!” as we’d expected and despite not believing in the government, Messalla was still culturally Capitol. In the book, he stood out much more drastically. Why change that here?

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When… When did one of the camera guys get kinda sexy?

We understand why it was easier to make Castor and Pollux brothers instead of twins… even though it kills the whole Greek mythology reference but WHATEVS. Still, aren’t these guys the “insects”, the background characters that have their special moments but mostly kinda blend in? How are we supposed to focus on military strategy and political strife when there’s lean muscle and faux hawks in our faces?!

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Not sure how we feel about ponytail and beard combo, but we’ll let this one slide because its FULTON REED (aka Elden Henson). Pollux is a former Avox and admittedly, the styling choices give the character the look of someone who’s been worn down after seeing too many horrors in the world. Also, you can see their “insect” camera bags really well in this one ad we’re digging it!


Everyone’s Worried About Katniss and I’m like “BUT WHERE IS FINNICK?!”

The Girl With The Pearl