Enobaria

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

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The Cast That Gets Around

You’d think I would be writing about all the new clips that have been released, or the appearances cast members have made– but I won’t, because I’ve cut myself off from promotional material as of about a week ago. That’s right my lovelies, I haven’t seen an interview that Jena Malone, Sam Claflin, Josh Hutcherson, or– wait, I read a couple Bruno Gunn did, but I promised a friend that I would. I lied then, I have kept somewhat in the loop, but I’m not ravenous for it all! Why? Because I’d really rather be surprised where it comes to the film from here on out, and hearing, or better yet reading about it almost on a daily basis kind of puts a damper on the zest of excitement that is this magical thing we like to call– anticipation. Which is why when I hear, or again, read that former and current cast members are taking on new projects, I’m much more receptive and willing to read on, and on, and on.

So, is anyone here a fan of the new series Sleepy Hollow? I certainly am, sure it’s not as gritty as some new series’ to be released within the last few months (Masters of Sex),– but then again I’m a die-hard Downton Abbey fan, and god knows costume dramas aren’t known for their grit. Any who, Sleepy Hollow is kind of half a costume drama, half cop show, and a whole lot of super natural thriller-ing. Which of course brings us to this, Amandla Stenberg, AKA our beloved Rue, will be taking on a recurring role on the popular Fox series. At first I thought she might be playing the younger version of one of the lead characters, but my assumption was incorrect, especially since that role’s already taken– how astute of me, I know. Amandla however will be playing Orlando Jones’ amandla-stenberg-01characters daughter, Jones is the brand new police chief in the bustling hamlet of Sleepy Hollow, New York. I don’t know about you, but I hope her character sticks around and gives Jones’ character some more and much needed heart and background. Stay frosty, Amandla’s debut will be November 25th, which is very very close!

Super natural series’ seem to be in The Hunger Games casts blood, because Meta Golding may have yet to fully grace us with her presence as Enobaria, but she’s already appearing on The CW’s The Tomorrow People. I’ve personally never seen The Tomorrow People, I did however used to watch the second incarnation of this rebooted series several years ago, yep– the one with Naomie Harris. I swear I hear crickets! Here’s the deal, it’s a series with an interesting concept, and even though I don’t have time to tune in and see Meta and co. doing their thing, I hope other people do. Besides, I keep hearing ads for it on the radio whilst driving around in my car, and it sounds like a decent series to me, little cheesy, but decent.

Did you think I was done? Well I’m not, because well, because I’m not! I mentioned his name above, well here I go mentioning it again– Bruno Gunn has been cast in a film that is currently shooting down in Atlanta. And this film has got its self a stellar cast! With people like Hailie Steinfeld, Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Alba– and of course Bruno rounding it out, I don’t think it can go too wrong. The film is called Barely Lethal, and the synopsis is this, “a 16-year-old international assassin yearning for a “normal” adolescence fakes her own death and enrolls as a senior in a suburban high school. She quickly learns that being popular can be more painful than getting water-boarded.” I’m intrigued. The press release of Bruno’s casting went out yesterday, and I’d like to think of it as a positive way to bookend the work week– yes, because it’s not everyday that you read Bruno Gunn and Samuel L. Jackson in the same article! You’re probably curious now, so here’s the skinny, Bruno’s role will be that of Jessica Alba’s henchman with only one name, Jones. Yep, like Madonna, or Beyonce, or Elvis– sorry, I can’t think of any other famous people with one name names. Jones are no Jones, I’ll keep you all posted on any other information I gather on this project– I think Samuel L. Jackson would approve, perhaps even Bruno.

Liberace! See, thought of another.

Them There Eyes

Catching Fire Character Chaos

This week, The Hunger Games fandom was blessed with TWENTY new stills from Catching Fire via The Hunger Games Explorer!

Besides being really choice photos of the actors, we think these photos reveal a lot about the characters and what THEY have to say! So we took a shot at translating some character thoughts presented in these images. Enjoy!

Katniss Everdeen Jennifer Lawrence Catching Fire

“I’m trying to stay cool, but I’m pretty sure this full body suit just split down the middle…”

Josh Hutcherson Peeta Mellark Catching Fire

“And suddenly that ‘lean muscle’ workout seems like a really bad idea.”

Alan Ritchson Gloss The Hunger Games Catching Fire
“You should try years of steroid use and scowling instead. Does me wonders.”

Sam Claflin Finnick Odair The Hunger Games Catching Fire
“I’ve seen almost everyone in this room naked… and let’s just say those steroids aren’t doing much for Gloss where it counts.”

MORE MADNESS BELOW THE CUT!
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Tick Tock, Another Countdown Is On the Clock

Catching Fire has been trending on the World Wide Twitter trends board off and on all day, and it’s all due to a few things that happened today. If you’ve been at work all day, Smartphone in a drawer, or no access to the Internet at all, The Hunger Games Explorer broke loose like an Easter egg, releasing a whole bunch of goodies on us.

1st we got the news, with links, to the first single off The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack, yep– the already much teased to “Atlas” by the British band Coldplay. There’s even a handy-dandy contest for the lyrics sheet that the head songwriter, and band leader of Coldplay hand wrote, in the mix. So, if you’re a sucker for Coldplay, or contemporary music memorabilia, I suggest you follow the rules, and try your best to get that piece of paper. You probably know the deal by now, but participating involves having a Twitter account, and the copious use of the hashtag #TickTock12. And now I must share the unfortunate place my brain goes when ever I hear the phrase, or read the phrase, “tick tock…” Click now, or forever hold your peace. You’re about to lose your minds.

2nd, up we had the preemptive news, or better yet, information, that those of us who are the thinking-ahead types, will have the option to pre-order their tickets to finally see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Yeah, it’s not exactly a chocolate covered treat, but sometimes practicality has it’s place, especially if you’re one of the people who will be

Peeta, where ya' been all my life!? Inside Suzanne Collins' head!

Peeta, where ya’ been all my life!? Inside Suzanne Collins’ head! Damn.

traveling a far distance to see the film. I say that because I know of several parties who are traveling super super far to see the film with friends, and I mean crossing oceans kind of far. Any who, October the 1st, tickets will be available for pre-order. Have your credit and debit cards at the ready you saucy minxes.

Third, yep… there was a third. It’s like Chanukkah, I know! Where are my peanuts, and my set of crappy pens? Finally some stills of all of the principle cast, and most of the supporting cast as well. They include the likes of Beetee (Jeffrey Wright, who you can catch on Boardwalk Empire within the next few weeks), Enobaria, a knife wielding Gloss, his cunning looking sister Cashmere also wielding a knife, a hard faced Brutus, and in contrast a brightly smiling Mags, and of course– a snarky faced Finnick, dimples dimpling. All the usual suspects were included in the run down, yep even a purple belted Plutarch. But, alas again no Woof– but do you really think Woof would make the cut? His name is Woof? Whatever, we got twenty stills to fawn over like idiots!

Stay frosty, there are eleven other eggs to be cracked open! Bring on #TickTock11.

Them There Eyes

New The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Trailer!

We don’t have a post today, but we’ll be coming to you with our trailer reaction and Comic Con breakdown SOON! In the meantime…

THIS.

Love,
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The Days Before Trailer Day

88dfada702bd9c8078bd8ad092857d36The last week has been a whirlwind of activity, actually the last two days have been– but who’s counting! Yesterday three fourths of the Careers showed up on the Comic-Con floor to sign large scraps of paper (posters), books, perhaps body parts, for a clamoring audience of thousands. I’m speaking of course about Meta Golding, Stephanie Leigh Schlund, and Bruno Gunn– Alan Ritchson is I’m assuming still shooting the Ninja Turtle movie, therefore he couldn’t make it. That’s right, our Cashmere, our Brutus, and our Enobaria braved the throngs, and finally got their first in person taste of just how crazy Hunger Games fans can be. Yep, because only a few hours before they hit the floor, but were in the city proper, the San Diego Fire Marshall shut down the Lionsgate booth, because the fervor for Catching Fire Mockingjay pins was so thick, that they deemed the area unsafe. How’s that for an introduction to our special breed of crazy, yeah– and all for a few measly scraps of metal? They seemed to have taken it in stride though, and eventually the craze seemed to die down to a more manageable level. At least that’s what I’m hoping. That was only day one of Comic-Con though, and while day two didn’t have as much of a Catching Fire presence, those who are still in attendance at the Con are possibly just eking by on the anticipation for the main event happening tomorrow. That or they’re still high off of the Veronica Mars panel, The Games of Thrones panel, The Walking Dead panel, the Orphan Black panel, and of course The City of Bones panel. Damn, that’s a lot of panels, hope they’re all well hydrated.

Trailer Day 4.0 is nearly upon us, and I’m calling it 4.0 because this would be the 4th

Bruno Gunn, Stephanie Leigh Schlund, Courtney Custodio, Tiffany (Twiffidy) Gustanski, and Meta Golding. Photo courtesy of Welcome to District 12.

Bruno Gunn, Stephanie Leigh Schlund, Courtney Custodio, Tiffany (Twiffidy) Gustanski, and Meta Golding. Photo courtesy of Welcome to District 12.

Trailer Day on record for this fandom. I think we’re a little excited for it, and I’m pretty sure those who are camping out in the line for Hall H right now as I type, would be counted in the crowd as “excited”. Some of our dear friends are in that line braving sleeping in shifts on the ground, urban camping you might say, and holding their pee in for hours most likely. All I got to say about that is, I hope none of them come out of this experience with a bladder infection, have things like laptops, iPads, DSLR Cameras, or Smartphones stolen– because sidewalk sleeping even at Comic-Con isn’t the safest place in the world. Yes, even if Joss Whedon of Dear-God-Where-Have-You-Been-I-Shouldn’t-Have-To-Tell-You-Who-He-Is, is known to stop by at 3 am, and give campers cupcakes– true story.

Our Twiffidy is in that throng of sidewalk sleepers, so to that I say– you’re a braver woman than me, good-night, and good luck, I wish you dreams of Finnick Odair in only a strategically placed fishing net.

Them There Eyes

Media Dump

1070007_392057160896551_1850415740_nSo, everyone and their mother is now privy to a myriad of Catching Fire promotional material. Yes, even mine– although probably ’cause I showed them to her. However, that’s beside the point, because– oh dear god, the last several days has been a veritable media dump where it comes to our as yet to be released favorite film! I wish I had the lack of education to use multiple exclamation points right now, but my English degree precludes me from displaying that level of excitement by showcasing a classic, and very common misuse of one of the written languages most excitable punctuation marks.

Yesterday; as you should know if you have a Smartphone, a Facebook account, a Twitter, use Instagram, have the phrases “The Hunger Games”, “Catching Fire”, several of the cast of characters names on Google Alert, or check any number of entertainment news media sites on Tuesdays– know that Lionsgate dumped eleven character posters on our unsuspecting heads. Not only did they dump eleven beautifully executed, and designed posters on our heads, they let ’em rip all over us in a span of less than an hour. So, if you were one of the few who was taking an Internet breather, you likely came home, checked your messages, and saw a whole lot of misused exclamation points. I’ll use the phrase again, but– oh dear god, that’s a lot of media to take in in such a short amount of time, and by the end of that collection of minutes I was personally ready to take a nap.

Now, about the posters themselves. For me, I think they’re great, I think they were desperately needed, because this fandom, and the media at large benefit greatly by finally getting clear, and artfully designed posters featuring the Tributes. A few months ago, as you hopefully remember, Lionsgate dropped the ball where it came to releasing the Tributes casting announcements, i.e. they seemingly forgot to update the Facebook photo page they had set up for the purpose of telling the world who was playing who. Yes, and after all that forgetting, they remembered, and updated the entire cast list in one fell swoop, taking any potential glory, or rightfully placed attention from the media away from the newly revealed cast members. It wasn’t a good move, and I hoped by now we would have forgotten about it, but we haven’t– or I haven’t.

Personally, I don’t like having a butt load of media like the new character posters, dumped in my lap in such a short span of time. I think staggering the release would have been a better method, giving due attention to each Tribute, or set of Tributes– rather than eleven all at once. It was literally like “oh my god, where do I look!? Who do I look at?! Too many choices!” But, it’s over, it’s done– they can’t take it back, and we have eleven posters to stare at, and a whole other mass of media being squeezed out seemingly everyday. Yes, like this, and this.

The posters though: The posters– I said I think they’re stupendous, and I’m not kidding about

The teeth are no longer in question!

The teeth are no longer in question!

that. I’m ecstatic to be finally seeing clear, medium-sized shots of all of these characters, who up until a matter of days ago were abstract in my mind. I’m relieved that we finally have certain specific physical characteristics of certain characters confirmed for us, like we now know for sure that Enobaria is sporting her scary looking pointy teeth. We also know for sure that they went another route with Johanna Mason’s hair, because previously we only had poor quality paparazzi shots of Jena Malone in her arena costume, or walking around behind the scenes. We’re getting fantastic introductions to this unforgettable set of characters, like Gloss standing upright, hands behind his back, chest out, stoic look upon his face, looking like GI Joe in a futuristic wetsuit. We finally see Mags, mature, strong, but sweet looking– like everyone wishes their grandmother to be. Brutus standing proudly, an undefinable look upon his face. Prideful? Maybe. Stoic? Perhaps. But there’s something else there, at least to me, something soulful. Cashmere is as beautiful, and stately, and classical like Georgiana Duchess of Devondshire, she’ll confuse the hell out of newbies though– because they won’t understand why someone so striking is standing amongst that collection of people. And then there’s our Finnick, if anyone was still questioning whether or not Sam Claflin is handsome enough, in shape enough, or both– to play Finnick, I hope his character poster has calmed your worries. Because Sam’s embodying Finnick in that shot, and that’s exactly why he was cast. I love seeing all the Tributes, really I do– I just wish the release of their first introduction to us didn’t feel like someone doing something else all over my face. Oh yeah… I went there.

Whatever… WE HAVE CHARACTER POSTERS “U GUYZ!”

Them There Eyes

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