Donald Sutherland

Inside the Mockingjay Part 2 New York Screening

Tonight, I was super lucky to attend the Mockingjay Part 2 “Special Screening” in New York. Not a premiere, so it didn’t have the huge atmosphere of what we’ve seen in the previous days & weeks, but a huge number of cast attended, as well as Francis Lawrence, Nina Jacobson, and Jon Kilik.

The red carpet was in a tent located outside the AMC Lincoln Square theater. It was filled with press, who missed out on the LA premiere, and the small “fan pen” where I was. As per usual, everyone was very nice about accommodating fan requests for pics and signings. Here are some of my pics in the zoo-like media madness. (You will notice a lack of selfies, I don’t really do selfies, and I doubt you all care so it’s cool).




It’s been a lot to take in, so we’ll dig into the movie after official release (but spoiler alert, we’re really happy).

Nothing could prepare us for the end, so we didn’t.


Best and Worst of Mockingjay Part 1 (MOVIE EDITION)

It’s that time of year when Best and Worst of the Year Lists abound. We know the haters gonna hate (and clickbait), so as an antidote, here’s a Mockingjay Part 1 movie version from people who write about Hunger Games stuff just cause we love it.

Stay tuned for a Best and Worst of the Mockingjay Part 1 marketing campaign later in the week (heh heh, so fun).


Peeta’s Interview Scenes

We’re Peeta fans for life at Victor’s Village, so we tend to love ALL Peeta scenes (in the Francis Lawrence era movies at least). We knew that Peeta time would be scarce in this one, even with that bonus “Stay With Me – Always” Catching Fire scene redux.  Peeta’s progression from healthy to emaciated, shaking ball of pain was done so well it hurt even more than we imagined. From Josh’s acting, to the wardrobe choices, and that CGI, it was so well done.

mockingjay-part-1-peeta-beatenHijacked Peeta

Yes, this gets its own call out. Josh said that he went for it, and YEAH HE REALLY DID. And it made the strangling scene all the more disturbing, as well as the final scene of the film which has haunted us every day since opening night. Great job bringing that to life, we’re scared (in the best way) to see more of this transformation.

Effie Winning our Hearts, and Bringing Some Much Needed Comic Relief

Effie’s character development in the movies, and what Elizabeth Banks has done with the role has added so much to these movies. THANK YOU, thank you for making a change from the book to include Effie in District 13. She brought comic relief and her growing relationship with Katniss was touching to see. We don’t mind changes from the book when they’re so lovingly and purposefully done.

cf vs mj previewDistrict 12’s Horror Brought to Life

The devastation of the firebombs on District 12 was brought to life in such staggering scale. In my limited mind it wasn’t quite so awful. Now I see things more realistically, and the evil of Snow is that more evident.

If You Thought Snow Was a Bad Dude Before…

All around, this movie franchise is blessed with actors who have done a stellar job bringing the characters to life. I’ve already mentioned two in just this post. Donald Sutherland has upped the ante with Snow in this chapter. In the hands of a different actor the level of callousness and evil could verge on campy or ridiculously monstrous. Sutherland’s Snow radiates power and resolve to maintain his order at any cost, and you don’t hesitate to believe it.

District 7 Rebels

We made fun of it a bit when we saw the fast climbing lumberjacks in the teaser trailer. But hey, that scene as a whole delivered for me. When the rebels blew the peacekeepers to bits, I was cheering along with them.

Bonding Time Between Katniss and that Damn Cat

Earlier in the year, we were excited that the crazy cat scene would be included in the film. That’s not the scene I’m talking about here. What I loved was when Katniss found Buttercup crawling through the window of her Victor’s Village home. Again, some much needed levity in a very dark scene. Well timed meows and lots of disdain from Katniss. Perfect.

The Hanging Tree Sequence

It’s not just the song, or just the arrangement, it’s how the sequence was all put together to start as a solemn end to the trip back to District 12, to the rebel attack on the District 5 dam. Including this song was a risky move, it could have driven the movie to a halt and felt very out of place in a whut when did this become a musical bout of confusion but it was woven into the story so well that there would be a gaping hole within the movie without it now.

Every Second of Jennifer Lawrence

Sure, tell the fun BTS stories of how she’s so jokey on set. But at the end of the day, the moments that Francis Lawrence captured of her on film are pure Katniss. She owns this role. For those 2 hours she is completely Katniss Everdeen.


primPrim Going After the Damn Cat

Listen, we all have affection for that cat. I loved Katniss’s interaction with Buttercup in Victor’s Village. But I don’t like the scene of Prim going after her cat during the air raid from the book and it’s my least favorite part of the movie. I know Prim is only 13, has lost a lot, and she’s very attached to the cat, but it’s just so cliche that it makes me groan every time. I know plenty of people who would risk life and limb for their pets, but it feels out of place in both the book and movie. And the whole countdown  “oops Gale barely made it through the doors before it crushed him” sense of urgency is a bit too heavy on the “made it just in time” trope.

The Prolonged Rescue Scene that Showed Us Too Little

I’m happy we got the rescue scene in the film. Extra scenes from the book are a fun movie bonus. And arguably the night-vision and the gas bombs help to create an accurate representation of the visual confusion of being there and help build tension. But I would’ve liked to see more from those sequences. We basically saw some stairwells, creepy test tubes and syringes, and then some empty cells. The sequence went on far too long in comparison to what they actually showed us. COME ON SHOW US MORE.

Lastly, Not Enough Peeta. Or Johanna. Or Annie.

Cheap shot, sure! And unavoidable unless they were going to add more Capitol scenes. BUT TRUE. There’s a Peeta/Snow scene that may make the DVD features, but overall, I do wish we saw a little bit of them in the Capitol.

Are you mad at me for saying Prim should’ve abandoned the cat? Buttercup would’ve been fine anyway. That thing’s indestructible.



REVIEW: Mockingjay Part 1 Is The Ultimate Game Changer



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!

96 Days And Counting

We have 96 days and counting until the release of Mockingjay Part 1, but in reality a select few thousand only have about 80 something days to go. Yep, and those few thousand would be the people who will be attending the world premiere. Getting it out-of-the-way, I do not think I will be one of those few thousand. Why? Because if the world premiere is in London, or anywhere in Europe like it was for Catching Fire, there’s no way in hell I could afford to go. However for the sake of this article, let’s pretend I’m attending! In that case going along with the trend of wish lists that JJ started yesterday, this is what I wish will happen at the world premiere of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 1.

This guy needs to be in attendance, and inappropriately dressed.

District 7 dude, AKA the underwear model.

District 7 dude, AKA the underwear model.

Yes, because that seems to be his lot in life, and he’ll likely be paid a hefty sum, and that tends to sway most people to do things they wouldn’t do otherwise. However he seems to be adverse to pants, so– meh, who cares! I mean, I’m sure they’ll require pants, but like I said he seems adverse to them– I know this because I’ve fallen into the black hole that is Google image searching this man. And lemme just break it down for you younglings out there– it was eye-popping even for me, who is very much so not a child, I may be blushing right now actually. Or maybe I’m not, maybe I’m just drunk on life?

We all have wish lists for our lives, or for experiences in our lives. Weddings, parties, vacations, perhaps some of us out there hope to find that perfect pair of black heels that won’t kill us after ten minutes of walking. No? I cannot be the only one!? Anyway, aside from the fantasy of District 7 Underwear Model Dude attending the world premiere, and possibly magically making eye contact with him, and not bursting out laughing because, have I mentioned that Google image searching him leads to a black hole of Doctor Who sized proportions? Think about it, Doctor Who’s been in existence since 1962, that means the black hole is friggin’ huge. Where was I? Ah yes, what else my sick brain wants for the world premiere!

I’ve been to two Hunger Games premieres, the world premiere of The Hunger Games in Los Angeles, and then the domestic premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire also in Los Angeles. The secondary cast was in attendance of course at the Catching Fire premiere, and the top billers, Jen, Josh, Liam, and Woody showed for the red carpet, and a photo op inside the venue (Woody only for the photo op). But then Lenny Kravitz walked by in black leather, and then Elizabeth Banks sauntered by as well, and then Aaron Sorkin walked by looking for his seat– and I started to quietly lose it. I need better celebrity sightings at the next world premiere! I kept hearing murmurs about Matt Damon being at the Catching Fire premiere, but I never saw the man– and I had good seats. So, if Matt Damon shows, or hell– Ben Affleck, I’ll have a lovely time in this sweet little fantasy I’ve got going on.

I’d like Donald Sutherland to do something thoughtful, and also entertaining. We know from his past behavior that he’s no stranger to small, but mighty gestures of appreciation towards the audience. What with him just recently showing up to the Teen Choice Awards wearing a tux, and throwing “Nightlock” at the audience after accepting his award for Best Villain, he’s undoubtedly up for seemingly anything. At the world premiere of The Hunger Games, he showed similar solidarity as well, yes by turning around, facing the “cheap seats”, and giving them the three finger salute whilst he was being introduced. So, if he can somehow get the concessionaires to show up in the aisles and douse the fan-section with complimentary bags of blue berries dressed up as Nightlock– that’d be awesome I have to admit. Or, y’know– pay for everyone’s parking.

How many times do I have to say it? Is it November yet?

Them There Eyes

Donald Sutherland Saves the Teen Choice Awards by Being THE BEST

We admit it. We may mock the Teen Choice Awards, but due to our addiction to everything in this fandom, we watch this award show for “teens,” even though we haven’t been teens for quite a few years.

Our fan hearts were happy early on, because Josh was there and he won and was his adorable, sexy self.  I think this calls for another picture of him in his moment of glory.

josh teen choice


But after he won, the show went majorly downhill. It’s okay, this show is not meant for us adult people. But I was debating turning the show off since Jennifer was not there and the only other category besides hers was “Best Villain” and no way Donald Sutherland was going to bother to…



Donald Sutherland is on the TV. Wearing a tux and a white rose.

Throwing berries to the audience.

Such a great (and badly needed) surprise. THANK YOU for saving the night. It’s these type of moments that make us really love the cast. When they take the time to play along with us fans. Donald Sutherland is an actor with a long, distinguished career who I doubt cares about winning a brightly painted surfboard. He didn’t need to take time out of his life to show up at this silly award show, but he did. And it was glorious. The visual of seeing fans give a three finger salute to “President Snow” was a unique experience but ABSOLUTELY DESERVED. And he definitely is “nice, sweet-tempered and generous” for that appearance.

Three Finger Salutes Forever, Mr. Sutherland.


President Snow’s Message To Panem Is Here!

In case you’re like us and you fell asleep before the release of TheCapitol.PN’s latest advertisement, IT’s HEEEEEEERE!

We dare you to try and hold back your Katniss-style screech of “PEETAAAA!” as you watch President Snow rally the districts with a special guest by his side!

Click the photo below to watch:
onepanem peeta snow

A Note Regarding Our Trailer Contest
Our trailer contest defines the trailer as “the first montage of footage from Mockingjay Part 1”. Based on this criteria, this release DOES NOT COUNT toward the trailer contest! If you haven’t done so already, you can make your guess from the actual trailer release date for a chance to win a poster signed by Josh Hutcherson, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone and Jeffrey Wright here.

Part of The Experience: The Los Angeles Premiere of Catching Fire

Being separated from my iPhone is proving to be a specific kind of anxiety I’ve never experienced before in my life. Thus is the rule however: When you attend a studio sponsored premiere of a major motion picture that’s touted to be one of the biggest box office draws of the year, you’re required to check your phone at a security check point, or entrust it to the confines of the walls of a friends over priced hotel room. The JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles, California is enormous with over 20 stories of height to its name, it’s also painfully modern, with an ample use of glass and steel in its inner and outer design scheme, and its shiny cream-colored floors, and sumptuous carpets lining its corridors scream, “luxury! Luxury! Luxury!”, and just because my butter yellow iPhone 5c was being housed there for over three hours, luxurious amenities included or not are not making my anxiety any less great.

This is how I spend most of the evening, in a near constant state of anxiety, fear, and of course tempered excitement. Movie premieres are an everyday occurrence in Los Angeles, but I do not live in Los Angeles, and therefore movie premieres are not an everyday thing, or nuisance according to locals, to me. Yes, because god forbid they have to walk around the block to get to the Staples Center, and not cut across the plaza directly outside The Nokia Theater. Walking seemingly to the average Los Angeleno, at least from what I’ve gleaned, is about as pleasant as getting a bikini wax. And considering the amount of swimming pools in the metro area, a lot of bikini waxes are experienced on a daily basis in greater Los Angeles.

LA Live is buzzing, the plaza that so many wish was open for

LA Live

LA Live

cutting across to the sporting arena, is laden with red carpeting, cameras, screaming fans, famous, and also famous-ish people, and lots and lots of industry professionals that only deal with the behind the scenes. Almost the entire expanse of the plaza is blocked off by barricades, except to one side where sleek black town cars drop off a staggering stream of actors, actresses, and sometimes singers. The air is charged, and the never smiling guards all in black, holding their ever-present walkie-talkies, surround the area and act as an odd blanket to the atmosphere. I am allowed nowhere near the inside of this activity heavy place, I am not special enough, I am an out-of-towner who writes for a fan blog.

Eating and drinking is just something that’s not going to happen apparently, I came to this conclusion twice today: Once when the makeup artist I had paint my face earlier that day didn’t secure my stark red lipstick with the layering methodology I knew would ensure its not being mussed by anything short of a nuclear attack, and now. I’m sitting in Wolfgang Puck’s with nine other people, and I can’t seem to get the waiter’s attention to give me a much-needed straw so I can attempt to sip at the likely room temperature tap water he plunked down in front of each of us, once he realized that the lot of us were not ordering dinner, but finger food, or nothing at all– like me, because food smears unsecured lipstick. I totally get why he could care less about treating me like I exist, because I’m not obligated to tip him– straw or not. I want to get out of this restaurant, it’s loud, actually all the restaurants I’ve been to over the last three days have been loud, either the music is blasting right on the unfortunate edge of the need to shout almost everything you say to the person next to you, across from you, or standing behind you as they take your over priced order of humus and pita bread, or everyone has decided that that’s the night to have the loudest conversations they’ve ever had ever. Nope, it’s the music’s fault.

Walking in six-inch heels is not as easy as it sounds. Wait, it doesn’t sound easy, does it? ‘Cause if it does the world is likely ending, or worse. Rephrase, walking in six-inch heels with ankle straps that are too tight, and rubbing your skin raw— is difficult. The majority of the group I am with have walked the length and breadth of most of LA Live three times in the last two hours, and no, we have not been seated inside the theater yet, that’s next on the agenda. The night has taught me many things and most of them are things I never wanted to learn, like that stairs are evil when you’re traversing them in six-inch heels, because this is just something you never have to think about when you spend majority of your time in nothing that resembles six-inch heels. Stairs are even more evil when studio executives are probably walking behind you, and talent from the film are meandering in from the Red Carpet after grabbing a complimentary Dasani from one of the many concession stands inside the lobby of the theater. My anxiety only increases after I’ve found my seat in row H in the orchestra section though, especially when I see Alan Ritchson walking up the aisle, greeting people he knows with his impossibly white smile, and helping his heavily pregnant wife into a seat three rows or so behind mine. I try not to look around me like a Meerkat, because people watching at a Hollywood movie premiere is like shooting fish in a barrel, and my eyes keep wanting to fall on people like Matt Damon, who I heard is in the vicinity, and Donald Sutherland– who I know is. I refrain from craning my neck around, and restrict myself to only looking to my left, my right, and to the front of me. My friends have no qualms about looking around like hungry children standing in front of a sweet shop window though, and when one of them declares that Bruno Gunn is seating himself a few rows behind us, I break my promise to myself and glimpse him for a brief moment, I quickly turn back and force myself to focus on the Yahoo! Livestream showing on the massive screen 8 rows in front of me, because it feels like I’m spying. There is nothing normal about this entire experience, and odder still is that a year and a half before I was in the same building one level up, my eyes taking in the blur of colors that was the talent, the executives, and the family and friends of those involved or half involved with the film, below me. A year and a half before we were seated in the Screaming Section, this year we’re 20 feet from the actress cast as Annie Cresta, and the fictional president of Panem. When the head of Lionsgate finally takes the stage, I’m ready to burst.


That’s all for now folks! Hope you liked my experimental style with this one. I am actually a fiction writer at heart, and this is what’s lovingly referred to as– Creative Non-fiction.

Them There Eyes

What A Difference A Day Makes

Admit it, a half a day ago we were all kind of disillusioned because of the appearance of a certain photo that we perhaps had seen before, but were yeah–anyway. I’m going to pretend none of the negativity of the earlier part of the day ever happened, and that that certain picture is just something that happened months ago. Which brings us to only a matter of a couple of hours ago when this lovely photo finally became clear to our eyes, and we wept with joy, because– well, I don’t know why, but I’m sure some sleep deprived fool out there cried. If you cried, I assure you there’s no shame in that.529367_655185441164777_1352849081_n

So, what are we looking at here? Well, obviously it’s a photo of President Snow and Plutarch Heavensbee having a little chat. However, what else is in the photo other than those two fine gentleman, okay only one of them is a gentleman, the other is just a Tyrant who dresses really well. All right, if you’re a regular listener of The HG Fireside Chat hosted by our dear friends Savanna and Adam, then you know that I’ve been on the show, and I’m the one who went into insane detail about the chairs that most of the characters in the Capitol Portraits sat in. See, I studied interior design, and had to take several courses on the history of furniture. I know, sounds boring, but it’s not– basically I was studying many of the things that people on the very popular PBS series Antiques Roadshow have the ability to point out and prove about certain pieces brought to their attention. Not very funny stuff, but it’s interesting to me, and frankly– I love it, I want to get an MA in this stuff. But what’s in the picture!? Well, I can tell you that, and not just say “a desk”, “a chair”,  “a table.”, “an oil painting”, Because, dear readers, those aren’t just simple pieces of furniture, and that’s not just an oil painting. 

  1. The Desk: It’s an 18th century Chippendale pedestal desk. How I know it’s Chippendale, the marquetry (marquetry is all the gold stuff), the wood that’s been used (mahogany), and the fact that an extremely similar version of it is staring back at me from one of my many reference books. Yep, I have a little library of antique furniture, and decor books.
  2. The Sideboard: It’s probably not Chippendale, but it’s roughly from around the same time– maybe twenty years on, but on the cusp of the same style era. It’s Regency, it’s likely English, and yes it’s also mahogany. I’d be able to tell you more if I could see all of it.
  3. The Chair: We’ve actually seen this chair before if you recall? It’s the same chair Cinna sat in in his Capitol Portrait. And what it is is a William and Mary wing chair. Why it’s called a wing chair? ‘Cause it’s got tiny wings on the shoulders. Genius, I know. What it’s made of? Probably walnut, not everything can be made of mahogany, sadly.
  4. The Drum Table: That would be the table behind Plutarch, and it’s called a drum table, because it’s shaped like a drum. This one’s likely Regency style as well, but I think it’s American, which makes it American Federal. These are styles and eras that overlap, and basically only have an ocean between them, literally. Oh, and it’s also likely made of mahogany.
  5. The Occasional Table: The little guy in the foreground with either the marble top, or il_fullxfull.386449524_62hlthe tortoise-shell top. It looks Regency, but it could be a revival piece from the early part of the 20th century, making it perhaps Edwardian. Again, if I could see all of it, i.e. its feet and legs, I’d have more information for you all.
  6. Now for the decor! The oil painting on the wall is screaming symbolism to me! Why? because I wholly believe it’s an oil painting circa 1776-1800 that’s depicting a maritime American Revolutionary War scene. Just think on that for a second.
  7. And then we have the framed print on the drum table, it looks strikingly like an Audubon-esque picture of a Mockingbird. Audubon if you don’t know was a world-famous artist best known for his accurate, artful, and impeccable paintings of birds. Ever heard of the Audubon Society? Yep, same guy. Anyway, it’s telling that they have a print that while I can’t tell if it is one of his, but it looks a lot like his style, of a Mockingbird in his collection. President Snow has a print of the fated mates of his Jaberjays, the mother of his Mockingjays in his tastefully appointed office, that cannot be an accident of simply style, and taste.

Everything in that office means something, or at least it does to me. The fact that majority of the furniture is Regency style says to me “this man is temporary,” because that’s what a Regent is, someone who sits on the throne until the rightful heir comes of age. The oil painting of probably an American Revolutionary War scene says to me “a revolution is literally staring at the back of your head every bloody day, you fool.” His chair is a William and Mary wing chair, says to me “he is a conqueror, who likes people to think he’s kind, and noble.” And the bird print, that’s a symbol of his triumphs and his failures, because while the Mockingbird is as innocent as they come, unbeknownst to him he was the creator of the symbol of a revolution by letting that ancient bird mate with his abominable creation.

The King is dead, long live the King.

Them There Eyes

A Garden State of Mind

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

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

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

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

We’ve gotten a lot of interviews over the past week. Jennifer, Josh and Liam, of course, plus Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson and Wes Bentley, and even Isabelle Fuhrman! And even before that, we’ve had other members of the cast spill a little on what it was like to film The Hunger Games. But let’s talk about who we haven’t heard from yet.

  • Caesar Flickerman should just interview them all.

    Paula Malcomson – We’re not sure how much we’re going to see of Mrs. Everdeen in the movie (she can be spotted during the reaping in the trailer – if you squint), but she is an important character with a pretty interesting back story. We’ve spoken about how much we love the actress before, and it’d be great to hear from her. What was it like to play the mother of our great heroine?

  • Raiko Bowman – Speaking of mothers, listed on IMDb as Peeta’s Mom, we’d love to know how it feels to play one of the most reviled characters in The Hunger Games. Hitting Peeta and basically telling him she’s sure he’s going to die? There’s got to be a story there.
  • Jack Quaid – Speaking of reviled characters. We know he’s talked briefly about The Hunger Games to Interview magazine, but there’s got to be more there. What makes Marvel so marvelous? What was it like to pretend-kill cute little Amandla Stenberg? What’s it like to have been killed by Katniss herself? We want to know!
  • Amber Chaney – The Avox Girl (Lavinia is her name!) may not be able to talk, but we’re sure she can. As such an emotional trigger for Katniss and an early sign of the existence of District 13, we’d love to hear about it. What was it like to convey the emotion needed for her scene with Katniss when she couldn’t even talk?
  • Paul Gibson – Who is Trexler Hoverhound??? Hunger Games fans are dying to know.
  • Donald Sutherland – We’ve saved the best for last. We know that Snow doesn’t get villain-y until the end of the first book when he crowns Katniss and Peeta as victors and doesn’t really start to scare the pants off us until his visit with Katniss in Catching Fire, but he is the villain, and a darn good one too. There is just something utterly terrifying about his nice/calm brand of evil that makes President Snow one of the best villains of all time. And he is being played by a Hollywood legend. Not only is he the progenitor of an actor famous in his own right, he has been an actor since the 60s and has had a hugely successful and well respected career, working with high caliber actors and winning 2 Golden Globes and an Emmy. And while we like to think of him as an adorable grandpa type figure because of his portrayal of Mr. Bennet in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice movie, we’re a little scared of him because he can play an unapologetic, calm villain so well. If you’ve ever seen Outbreak, you know what we’re talking about. So we’re dying to know his opinion on everything. What does he think of the story? The actors? Gary Ross? Suzanne Collins? The fans? And really, how does one get into the mind of President Snow?

Please make this happen, this needs to happen!

Talk to me, I’ll listen