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.


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.


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

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.”


Reaction Post: Catching Fire Comic Con Trailer

Welcome to another trailer reaction post! If you’ve never seen one of these before, the Victor’s Village gang gets together whenever there’s a big reveal or event to discuss in detail, which typically melts down to insanity!

These posts are spoilery, likely typo filled, and LONG, therefore you’ll find most of it under the cut! Enjoy!




The Girl With The Pearl: All right! Let’s start off with the first shot of the trailer…
Twiffidy: Yes! I cheered when they showed that.
Them There Eyes: They made it possessive plural.
TGWTP: I feel the need to change the punctuation everywhere on the site. But then our matches Suzanne Collins, so I won’t. I guess it depends on how you interpret it? Maybe Suzanne WANTED it to be a village for each individual victor? LOL
Them There Eyes: my screen was stuck on that frame for about an hour…. because Yahoo! Movies was being a dick. You can see my frustration being expressed in my Twitter feed. It was glorious.
Twiffidy: LOL I’m just wondering how that change came about. Was there someone really nitpicky about grammar in the production design team?
TGWTP: There must have been! They probably went back and forth with Suzanne on it, too!
Them There Eyes: Perhaps….
TGWTP: Also, I named our site after a ghetto. Starting to feel like I’m full of poor choices…
Twiffidy: It looks very dreary English
Them There Eyes: Ghetto… no way. Ghetto needs some put upon Jewish people living 8 to a room.
TGWTP: I wasn’t necessarily going for World War II ghetto, but the drift is there lol
Them There Eyes: I’ve said it a million billion times, it looks like 19th century/ Victorian era England… which is brilliant considering so many people pictured Victor’s Village to be ultra modern, and high end looking. Instead they’re probably some of the oldest standing buildings in the District.
Twiffidy: And compared to the Seam, it must be ultra modern.
Them There Eyes: I dunno, The Seam seemed (ha), to be mostly shacks from the Teens and ’20s in style. The Victorian era, style wise pre-dates the Seam in that sense then.
TGWTP: Katniss is essentially walking into a Victorian horror novel!
Twiffidy: Also did you notice the scene following with Katniss and Prim is in Victors’ Village? I always assumed it was in the forest.
Them There Eyes: Yes… poor girls trying to forage in the Village. There is no life in that place…
Twiffidy: Imagine Haymitch lived there all by himself for YEARS
Them There Eyes: No wonder he started drinking. I personally can’t wait to see if they keep Haymitch’s place a total sty.

TGWTP: Moving on, I’m so impressed by the imagery in this trailer, especially art as a form of protest. That Mockingjay in the train tunnel? I NEARLY CRIED.
Them There Eyes: Yes… I think we can all agree that we let out a collective gasp when we saw that Mockingjay painted in the tunnel. That, or got shivers.
Twiffidy: It’s a great issue to present since, of course, the creativity in the districts and artistic expression would very much have been stifled
Them There Eyes: It’s pastry flowers and knitted stolls… that is the extent of artistic expression in the Districts.
TGWTP: I hope there’s more. Like Banksy art of crazy proportions.
Them There Eyes: A giant baby painted on a wall in District 7?
TGWTP: Why not?!
Them There Eyes: No, no… giant baby with a white beard!


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…



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.


Them There Eyes

Tributes, Tributes Everywhere!

the-hunger-games-catching-fire-posterCouple of days ago a blurry shot of Katniss and Caesar Flickerman on a stage together was leaked over the Internets. And then The Hunger Games fandom went crazy, or if you prefer, the fandom went apoplectic, and then spent an exorbitant amount of time squinting at their iPhone screens, computer screens, or digital pad’s screens, and not necessarily to get a glimpse of Katniss and Caesar. Nope, it was to feast their eyes upon the myriad of Tributes standing in the background of said blurry photo. It was quite literally a scramble of putting the blurry image through photo editing software as to get a better look, or going it old school, and getting out a real magnifying glass. I think the common phrase being uttered during those first few hours was, “I see Tributes, I see Tributes!” Face it, we’re all kind of starved for Hunger Games: Catching Fire news that’s more tangible than a blurb in an entertainment news blog, or a flip 140 or less answer in a Twitter Q & A put on by a cast member. A picture though, “a picture speaks a thousand words”, and also shows us pretty much every Tribute in all their blurry, hair, makeup, and costumed glory.

Today Entertainment Weekly, the magazine gifted the joy of releasing the fully fledged digitalized higher quality version of the photo, finally graced us with said high quality version. And, you guessed it– the crowd went wild. Or, the crowd let out a proverbial sigh, snicker, or woop of joy. For me, it was the latter, because if you’re a regular reader of ours here at Victor’s Village, you know how much I take costume design seriously. And, woo-boy, this new version of the photo is boosting the previous vote of confidence I had where it came to Trish Summerville, the head costume designer for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. First off, you should take a gander at the new version of the photo-still, and then come back and read this. I don’t want you to read about what you can simply look at with your own eyes, okay? All right, hopefully you’ve laid your eyes upon the still by now, so I can continue without much of a fuss. Okay, I’ll fuss maybe a little bit!

Here’s what I noticed first: Katniss is the only female Tribute wearing a skirt, other than Cashmere on the far left hand-side, who appears to be wearing what look to be mile high plat-form heels, and a mini-dress. Oh wait, technically Finnick is wearing a skirt as well! But, still– Katniss, for all intents and purposes, is the only female Tribute adorned in an elegantly fashioned feminine gown, all others are in rather androgynous looking suits, tunics, jackets, and fitted trousers to match. Please don’t get me wrong, because I think the looks are working really well. Now for the men: Um, guys– I think Brutus might be wearing a belly-shirt? That or someone with either a pink pointy-ish head, or a monstrous head-piece is standing right in front of him. Belly-shirt, half-shirt, shirt with an oddly shaped swath missing, whatever– we all know by now that Bruno Gunn (Brutus), takes good care of him self, so if anyone in that lot of people is going to go around with half their top missing, let it be him– I doubt anyone Victors-600x376will kick up a fuss. What else about the men? Well, like their female counter parts, I see copious amounts of leather, shiny fabric, and a lot of carefully chosen suit combinations. I see Gloss next to his sister, and he’s wearing the shiniest slate gray coat I have ever seen in all my years, and his hair looks like it’s got a little lift to it thanks to some generously applied hair product. Beetee is towards the center of the group, and he’s in his Capitol Portrait suit, the one that us fan-sites were allowed to debut for you all. There’s one male Tribute who’s missing however, and that’s Peeta. Where’s Peeta? I’m just going to say it now, so it’s out of the way– I think “Where’s Peeta?” should be a slogan for the up coming Mockingjay films. Peeta’s there I have no doubt about that, but I bet he’s just off-stage waiting for Caesar to call him up. Yes, to stand next to his fake fiancee. As for the others that my eyes are getting trapped on, I think Johanna is to the right, clad in leather, and looking mighty tough. I approve, I approve ten times over. To quote one of my favorite films of all time where it comes to the costume designs of this film, “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.” Damn straight, Dorothy! Damn straight.

Patiently awaiting anything else they want to lay on us that features the Tributes.

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

Justifiable Casting

This week’s been an odd one in the magical land of Catching Fire Casting News! I think the majority of us got quite comfortable with getting one casting announcement per week, but not only did we get one casting announcement this week, nope– we got four. Are we satisfied with our Chaff, our Enobaria, our Brutus, and our Gloss, though? I am, but one particular casting is making me sort of nervous, and also making me question the yet to be confirmed, and announced casting of the most anticipated character yet to be revealed to us– Finnick Odair. And the particular casting that’s making me all twisty in my stomach in both good and bad ways, is the casting of Alan Ritchson, as the District One male tribute for the 75th Hunger Games, Gloss.

Just look at that man! That’s a man right there, the kind of man that gets sculpted into 10 foot tall marble statues, and envied, and drooled over by every man, woman, and child on the planet with one or two working eyeballs. And I have to say, Googling pictures of him for the last two plus days has both been a joy, and a mounting source of depression. I’ll just say it! How the hell are they going to top casting someone like Alan Ritchson as Gloss, and then go and cast someone potentially like Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair? I don’t like making any of this about looks, but it’s justifiable to cast a man with a body and a face like Ritchson’s as Gloss, because Gloss is for the most part a body and a face, but when Finnick Odair is supposed to be the most desired man in all of the country, and he’s standing in close proximity to a near perfect human specimen, like Mr. Ritchson as Gloss– the believability in Finnick’s mass appeal will go down astronomically I predict. So, yeah– I’m nervous, because all rumblings, twitterings, spewings of rumored castings that have been as heated as Mr. Claflin’s, usually turn out to be true. Just think back to the rumors about Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Jena Malone– those rumors were loud, and they weren’t just saying “they auditioned!” Nope, the words being printed were “offered the role.” and “In talks.”

A week ago I was all for Claflin, I like the guy, he’s a talented actor, and I know that he can handle the emotional performance aspects of Finnick, he can also handle the charm, the humor, and the intelligence. But, yes– when you stand him next to Mr. Ritchson, at 6 foot 2 inches tall, and reportedly almost 250 lbs– you’re not going to be staring at Claflin, who’s only about 5’11, and whose weight is unknown, but I’m going to guess he’s probably about 160 to 172 lbs. I’m baffled, I’m staring at Mr. Ritchson with his perfect teeth and abs, and then looking at Claflin and going– “I’m sorry, I don’t want to see you in a golden net tied at your hip, unless you go on a fish, chicken, and broccoli diet, start flipping a 600 lbs tire down a deserted beach, and basically become best friends with a retired Navy Seal who likes to yell at you, or y’know– in a pinch, Ryan Lochte, and Michael Phelps.” Which is not happening, because I follow the guy on Twitter, and he’s having beer and Olympic viewing nights with friends. Which brings me to the confusing information that Claflin is in South Africa right now filming a made for TV movie, and Catching Fire’s production schedule is starting this month as well. Color me totally and completely confused.

Consolation prize in all of this is seven tiny words, John C. Reilly, and Taylor Kitsch. And the non-consolation prize, why isn’t all 6 foot 5 inches, and 220 lbs of talented, intelligent, and charming Armie Hammer available?

Them There Eyes