Peeta

Still Julianne– Also Alma Coin

Tomorrow is the Academy Awards, aka the Oscars and lo, nothing Hunger Games was nominated! That means one thing, right? Yup– we don’t have to watch! I’m imagining that crickets are sounding across the interwebz now. Sorry folks! I mean yes watch, tune in, make fake ballots, and themed mocktails, and cocktails to your hearts content, while you watch pretty people, and more pretty people traipse a red carpet in the Los Angeles sunshine, then read out loud from teleprompters like feeble, farsighted, novices! It’ll be a gas and

I think she's gonna win

I think she’s gonna win

a half!

There’s something very Capitol about the Oscars, no? Because when push comes to shove characters like Caesar Flickerman, and the style teams, are just morphed versions of the Fashion Police on the E! Network, or Ryan Seacrest, whom I think still hosts American Idol– but I’m not sure, ’cause I’ve never watched the show in my life. American Idol that is, I have watched the Oscars numerous times.

Tomorrow, however since The Hunger Games is yet again not recognized by the Academy for its feats in film making, we’re going to have to suffice with rooting for Julianne Moore for her work in the film Still Alice, as well as crossing our fingers, toes, and eyes that Josh walks across that stage without tripping, fumbling, or having his presenting partner be a foot taller than him!

Tune in at your own discretion everyone! I for one will sparingly do so, and the entire time I’ll be pretending that Boyhood is really about Peeta.

Them There Eyes

My One Mockingjay Part 1 Gripe

It’s hard to believe it but after three films in The Hunger Games franchise, and after so many gripes about Gary Ross’s treatment, and then my barely there gripes about Francis Lawrence’s treatment of Catching Fire– I only have one, count it ONEMockingjay-gale-poster gripe about Mockingjay Part 1. And that gripe is this, Gale Hawthorne is effectively an orphan.

I know, I know there’s something wrong with me, ’cause my gripe is for all intents and purposes the stripping away Gale of pretty much everything that made him sympathetic in the first place. The fact that he had a family to take care of, not just Katniss, and Katniss’s family, but one all of his own. There was Posy, and Vic, and Rory, and his mother Hazelle. But like Madge Undersee, or Greasy Sae, or Delly Cartwright, Gale’s family was cut down to a brief mention of his “brothers” in The Hunger Games, and then a feigned responsibility to them in Catching Fire by taking up work in the mines, and then finally in Mockingjay Part 1, they’re just no where.

So what happened to Gale’s family? Were they seen as extraneous, or an unneeded distraction from the main points of the story? In my head I’d like to imagine that Gale’s family was on the story boards for a while, they may have even had thoughts of casting them. But then it got away from the creators of the franchise, that they figured Gale alone, stately, tall, and handsome would be enough, and that expanding his home life would not have made him more easy to love, and more of a rival for the affections Katniss has for Peeta. But from where I’m sitting, even though Gale is all of those things, stately, strong, handsome, and solo– he’s not an island, and knowing more about him as a person rather than just a hunter, and a soldier, and a friend– may have been a boon to the story, and perhaps to Liam Hemsworth as an actor. That being said, I loved Mockingjay Part 1 as a film, and if Gale’s family was the sacrifice they made to make it as good as I believe it is, I’ll take it.

So, that’s my one gripe– Gale Hawthorne’s is a storyboard orphan.

Them There Eyes

Final Trailer Reaction Post

The final trailer was released this morning, and that means one thing– collective fandom flailing across the globe, and a patented Victor’s Village reaction post featuring all three of us. So without further nattering, here’s the trailer, and under the cut will be our lovely non politically correct reactions!

BURNING AND STUFF
JJ: Yep let’s talk burning!
Them There Eyes: First off, everybody state where they watched the final trailer! JJ: In my office cube, with headphones though.
TTE: Grocery store parking lot!
The Girl With The Pearl: Hiding in the work bathroom. ALL TIME LOW.
TTE: The Girl With The Pearl wins!
JJ: You gotta do what you gotta do
TTE: Exactly, plus I warned not to have food stuffs around me, in case I flailed, screamed, or choked on anything.
TGWTP: Winning, in the worst way possible.
TTE: Hey, at least your not Peeta! Which brings us to the fact that today was yet another day of extreme Peeta-Feels.
TGWTP: Poor Peeta! That line delivery was beautiful though!
JJ: Every shot of Peeta we see gets worse for him. Thanks, Francis. But Josh totally owned it. So well done!
TTE: I know, but we’re total gluttons for tortured Peeta. And yep, Josh is winning all the emotive awards today.
JJ: He’s mastered the teary eyes. I imagine we’ll see more of that. And it will destroy us even more.
TGWTP: But the feeling bad is a good thing! No one can say they don’t understand Katniss’ Peeta-Feels.
JJ: We all feel Katniss’s pain!
TTE: I’m looking forward to feeling destroyed by Josh Hutcherson’s acting abilities.
JJ: Yes, let him shine, especially since his screen time will be limited.
TGWTP: I feel like Josh deserves much more acting credit than he gets.
TTE: He’s been making us cry since Bridge to Tarabithia.
TGWTP: This movie could open a major doorway as he’s an adult actor now.
TTE: You mean it could turn him into the next Ryan Gosling? Or maybe Jake Gyllanhaal?
TGWTP: I could get behind that!
JJ: I approve of all these.
TTE: If he’s going to base his career on anything, I’d hope it would be those two.

(more…)

The Hunger Games TV Series

I’m a TV lover, I also love film, I can name a smattering of favorite films more quickly than I can tell you the Hunger-Games_imagesquare root of anything, and I’ll readily admit that when I graduated with my BA in English, that I was 16 credits shy of a film studies minor (16 credits is two terms of work). So when I say I love film, I’m being honest. Over the last several years however, TV has become a staple in the few hours of downtime that are mine throughout the week. I do go see the occasional film though, but it’s not a weekly occurrence, more in part to the fact that I’m a self-proclaimed film snob, and refuse to spend my money on crap, and there’s a lot of crap out there in those cinemas. So, yep– TV, and books are my go to sources of entertainment. Over the last three years, (that’s how long I’ve been a writer for Victor’s Village), several television series have come to the forefront, they’re popular, they’re critically well received, and more than one of them is based on previously known, and beloved book series. The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and just this past August Outlander has been added to the list. These series have strongly moved me, and without remorse I admit have changed my mind. I believe The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins would have made a phenomenal television series rather than a series of four feature films.

The Hunger Games on the surface is a different animal from book series like George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, or a graphic novel series like The Walking Dead. The main protagonist, Katniss, is a teenage girl for one thing, but she’s not your average teenager. This is one reason I think The Hunger Games would have worked on TV. Putting aside the ever present stigma of plucking a Young Adult novel off the shelves, and attempting to adapt it into something the masses would devour off a screen. It is a tough task, but it’s not impossible. if they had attempted to make it into a television series, they could have thrown the Young Adult label out the proverbial window, and built the world of Panem into the gritty, oppressive, vast, frightening, beautiful, and fascinating place that it became when we all read about it for the first time, instead of the glimpses, and sometimes mild impressions we’ve gotten so far from the film franchise. Television affords an almost no-holds-bard playground for producers, writers, and directors, and sadly films, especially if they’re supposedly geared to a particular demographic, is kept on a tight leash so to speak. This is where I admit that I do not think that Lionsgate has gone far enough where it comes to the plot, the subject matter, or the settings of The Hunger Games series. I know why as well, it’s because they’re boxed into time constraints, budgets, and the ratings requirements. The requirements that only allow one F word to be used in a PG-13 film, and only if the word is uttered not in reference to sex– yep, those requirements.

I’m a big fan of character development, I’m also a big fan of characters from books not being cut, or combined, or simply put– if The Hunger Games had been made into a television series the following questions never would have been asked by book fans: Where’s Madge? Why is that old lady giving Katniss the Mockingjay pin? Where’s Peeta’s dad? Doesn’t Gale have like 10 immediate family members, where the hell are they? Where’s Lady? Why did they change the time line, and make Peeta and Katniss teenagers when the Burnt Bread Scene happened, aren’t there like a million child actors who could have done that for them? So, is the old lady who gave her the pin in the movie Greasy Sae, does she have a name… what’s her name!? Doesn’t Peeta have brothers? Where’s the mayor of District 12, y’know Madge’s dad? Um, Delly Cartwright, has she been cut too? What happened to those beautiful, moving scenes between Katniss and Lavinia? What the hell happened to Lavinia? And Venia, so she’s gone, did she die, she died didn’t she? Why is Effie in District 13? And my question… Where the hell are the fluffy killer squirrels? That’s right folks, if The Hunger Games had been made into a television series, it’s safe to say that none of the questions above would have been asked, no new characters would have been invented, no previously known characters would have merged, been cut, or truncated. Nada. The only thing that could have happily happened to all of those plot points, and characters is this– they would have been expanded, realized, and appreciated– including, god forbid, Katniss and Prim’s parents.

And this is where I admit that if The Hunger Games had been made into a television series, it would not be sharing the same network as shows like Modern Family, Bones, or NCIS. The Hunger Games television series would be on a network that puts out programs like Game of Thrones, Shameless, Outlander, Mad Men, Masters of Sex, The Knick, The Walking Dead, Rectify, and Sons of Anarchy, it would be on cable. And it would be on cable TV,

That was a fun episode

That was a fun episode

because to properly depict the horror, and the shame of having children being forced to play a game of kill or be killed, or the sexual exploitation of revered champions, forced marriages, mental breakdowns of the very un pretty kind, torture, violence, destruction, war, and revolution– you’d need a network that says “yeah, film in three countries at once!” or “Yes, you can set up a camp specifically to train day players to play walking corpses!” Or, “yes, film in Scotland, BUY ALL THE PLAID IN THE WORLD, and yes… you can totally show us that guy getting whipped nearly to death. And don’t worry your pretty little head, full frontal nudity is very OK!” And if you think that those made up statements aren’t based in reality, I assure you they are– and the shows they’re based on are all still on TV, are popular amongst viewers and critics, and are adapted from novels, and graphic novels.

Just picture it now, an entire episode dedicated to the cave sequence, instead of a few short minutes?

And scene!

Them There Eyes

Reaction Post: Mockingjay Part 1 Trailer

It’s that time again, that time where the bloggers of Victor’s Village sit down at our respective computers, and chew the fat about the trailers, and in this case it’s the final trailer for Mockingjay Part 1! Yep, the one we’ve been waiting for for about four months!

 

WHERE SOUND OF MUSIC REFERENCES ARE MADE WITHOUT SHAME OR IRONY
The Girl With The Pearl
: Okay, let’s start at the very beginning (a very good place to staaaaaart!)

Them There Eyes: Sew… a needle pulling Katniss around like a marionette!

JJ: Katniss’s line is fantastic.

TGWTP: Katniss is talking, and there’s these nice shots of her and Prim and Gale… and then you realize she’s pretty much face-timing with President Snow?

JJ: A big new addition to the screenplay! Snow looks so fiendish there. It’s so unnerving.

TTE: Also Jennifer Lawrence has a Sexy Lauren Bacall voice, which is über important to note.

TGWTP: I’m not sure if I like them chatting. Doubt it will ruin the movie, but it felt weeeeeird. Though the Lauren Bacall voice IS lovely. (more…)

Unity: President Snow’s Second Address

The second Mockingjay: Part 1 teaser trailer rolled out today, or more like this morning around 9am PST. We were better prepared this time I’d like to think, what with the rumors, and then the um, well this thing.

Unity

I like surprises as much as the next person, and face it surprises are few and far between on this wonderful thing called the Interwebz (yes… with a Z). Where it comes to promotional material however, especially promotional material for gigantic film franchises that have grossed a bazillion dollars world-wide– the element of surprise is as rare as a polar bear on a tropical island. In the case of this mega-huge franchise, surprise is really more of a game of cat and mouse between some movie theatre employees with loose morals, and perhaps under paid Lionsgate employees and/or contractors. Loose morals seem to mostly be what the Interwebz is based on though, so it really shouldn’t be so disappointing that snippets, or entire swaths of secreted promotional material keeps leaking out before it’s planned release date. Like I said, it’s a game of cat and mouse, but this time around I think Lionsgate won the round, and I’m not exactly sure who was the cat or the mouse anyway.

Who cares about all that though, jeeze! Let’s talk about the damn teaser trailer!

I hate saying this, who am I kidding– no I don’t! But, Peeta’s pats are very distracting, perhaps I was sleep watching the first teaser, or perhaps I was too busy being simultaneously creeped-out, and amazed at Josh’s turning his face to the camera, and looking down the lens like a soulless Child of the Corn. But, yeah– damn Peeta’s pants are on the screaming side of tight. Not painted on tight, more– “oh hey, I’m noticing things I don’t always want to notice on a person who’s supposed to be playing a character who is significantly younger than my self.” I digress though, ’cause even if my previous words sound a little Judge-y McJudgerson, I’m not complaining about the tightness of Peeta’s pants, I’m just noticing it like the heterosexual female that I am, and forever dubbing Josh the new carrier of the name Captain Tightpants.

Pants aside, the subtlety of these first two teasers is something I’ve been personally yearning for as a Hunger Games fan. The fact that the teasers themselves are based on content from Mockingjay the novel, or information from Mockingjay the novel, tickles my little booknerd heart. Because as much as Lionsgate has tried to play the audience as the Capitol and nothing else seemingly, what with its partnership with cosmetics companies, and fast food restaurants, I think they’ve finally realized that the series’ content its self was material enough for some killer concepts behind promotional material, and also that the audience is not solely the Capitol, we’re also the Districts. That’s why the teasers are augmented and/or altered versions of the propo addresses Snow conducted in the novel.

I brought up subtlety a bit ago, and I’m attesting that to the background players. Hats, shoes, socks off to Josh Hutcherson for either his choice, or Francis Lawrence’s direction to very slightly shake his head at certain points in President Snow’s address. Like when Snow says “never have we been more unified…” Peeta shakes his head. Or when Snow says “Panem is speaking with one voice.” Now, the head shaking can be interpreted several ways, one of which could be that he’s shaking his head to try to clear his foggy hijacked brain thing. Or two, that he’s disagreeing with what Snow is saying. Either way, the choice looks and feels like a good one from this particular fans point of view. There is a third possibility of what those head shakes mean however, they could mean nothing at all. As a fan of the series though, I’m hoping with every fiber of my being that they do mean more than head tremors, and that Josh can’t stand still to save his life!

Oh yeah, and then Beetee broke through the transmission, said his line, and the crowd went wild!

Is it November yet?

Them There Eyes

Josh Hutcherson In Mockingjay Peeta Mode

OMG MOCKINGJAY PHOTO!

Okay, it’s not official, but it’s still pretty freaking stellar.

Laura Simpson, aka Jennifer Lawrence’s BFFL who went to the Oscars to support Jen and spent a decent chunk of it at the bar with Jen’s dad (for which we already love her), posted up a photo of herself and Josh Hutcherson on the Mockingjay set.

BEHOLD!

Mockingjay-Set-Josh-580x573
(Gracias, Jabberjays!)

PEETA! He’s back! …And he got the shizz beat outta him!

Observe the black eye, the burned and bruised chest, and the locket! Oh, the locket! Of course, this is not DURING actual filming because Josh is in a gym sweatshirt, but a scene was either being prepped or just finished.

What does it meeeeean?!

Most likely, we’re talking District 13 scenes, post-hijacking. Josh is wearing THE LOCKET. You know the one! The Capitol wouldn’t be letting Peeta hold onto that. He’s got himself a partially-healed shiner too. Unless Peeta gets roughed up by Katniss or Gale or maybe even Boggs in a newly added scene (though we doubt it, because that’s just asking for THE ATTACK OF THE FANGIRLSSSS), he’s still sporting that injury from the Capitol. He’s also got extensive scarring on his chest from Capitol torture, right? This could be batshit crazy hijacked Peeta!

… At least, that’s the popular theory. BUT WE HAVE ANOTHER!

Remember when Nina Jacobson told us Buttercup was back on set? JJ thought it was time for “She’s dead, you stupid cat!” and thus the ending scenes to be filmed. We think she’s totally right! Peeta just proves it.

The shattered remnants of Star Squad 451 reach the Capitol Square. They’ve been put through hell and are likely bruised and bloodied. When the bomb detonates, both Katniss and Peeta are burned extensively. Assuming we skip over or even speed up the imprisonment and trial of Katniss Everdeen and ship her back to District 12, she’d be there in a few weeks, shortly followed by Peeta. Remember when he gets back?

“He looks well. Thin and covered with burn scars like me, but his eyes have lost that clouded, tortured look.”

Peeta, with treacherous burn scars across his body. Peeta, possibly still sporting a black eye from the battle in the Capitol. Peeta, wearing the locket that ties him to Katniss, still caring about her no matter what they’ve both done during the war. Peeta, planting evening primroses.

*gaspsnifflesob*

Aaaaaand of course, we could be totally wrong. This could be anywhere, at any time. But a fangirl can dream!

We’re Just Assuming Peeta Is Not In Total Distress Because His Hair Is Still PERFECT,
The Girl With The Pearl

Victors Revealed

As of a today a shiny new promotional dealio/thingamabob, which is actually a word surprisingly enough, was presented on Hunger Games Explorer, or as I like to think of it as, the Conduit Of All Things Hunger Games And Seriously…What Is That? The Hashtag #VictorsRevealed was, well… revealed to us this Tuesday, and of course most of us all went “what’s this one gonna be all about?” and today we got our answer– banners. Oh yeah, but not just any banners, or banner, because only one has been released as of yet, but according to a broad spectrum of fan opinions– not a well designed banner.

You can see the banner in all its glory here, and form your own informed opinion on it, or you could do a Twitter search in the hashtag #VictorsRevealed, or peruse Tumblr, and lose your self in the frank hilarity of people’s initial reactions. These however are a few of the ones that I came across minutes after the first part of this new campaign went live, but note, some of these quotes were edited for clarity: From @Aeris_4 AKA Cecile, “I think I’d rather wait longer and not have any posters at all than see recycled stuff. No, I’m not

Made by Mellarkish on Tumblr

Made by Mellarkish on Tumblr

sorry…”, and this one from our frequent guest post writer here at Victor’s Village, @jj_dash, “I keep looking at it and I’m embarrassed. This is no good. Fix it…” Then there’s the lot off Tumblr, like “slow clap for the Photoshop amateur at Lionsgate responsible for that poster.” which was courtesy of brothermellark. Or, “I’m not even that upset about the editing to be honest, I’m more upset about the fact that they’ve given us hardly any stills, but they’ll give us one image of a photoshoot we’ve already seen. Like, at least release the entire photoshoot without the ugly background and coloring…” said by FrostingPeetasWounds. And to be frank, I tend to agree with everything being said by these fellow fandom members. Maybe we’re being too harsh, maybe we’re just a spoiled bunch of naggy whippersnappers? But, are we?

Here’s the deal, I get the concept behind the banner, I like that Peeta and Katniss are standing on the volcanic rocks of Hawaii, I mean in the arena, looking stalwart, and I’m still greatly looking forward to the reveals of the next banners in the campaign, but this one– this very first one feels slapped together, lacking genuine focus, and also severely lacking the look of a professional artists hands on it. It makes me feel that they’re putting out too much too fast, perhaps pouring more of their energy into Capitol Couture, and ignoring the tried and true phrase, “quality over quantity.” I also question whether or not the marketing department asked for outside opinions on these pieces, or this piece, because I guarantee you a focus group would likely have told them point blank, that that banner is not doing its job properly… at all. Oh well, it’s just the first banner, I’m sure it can’t get any worse.

 

Anyone else afraid that we’re going to end up seeing something like this in a matter of months though? Anyone, anyone at all?

 

Them There Eyes

Mum’s the Word

Laurel and hardy totally get it.

Remember a few weeks back (which I know is a hard thing to do at this point, because some of us have become raging alcoholics since The Powers That Be started unceremoniously dropping casting announcements on us at strange intervals), about actors talking their heads off about wanting to be part of The Hunger Games franchise– and how those who engage in this kind of behavior don’t get their wishes granted by the Tooth Fairy, who disguises them selves as the casting director? Yeah, read on at your own risk.

I know it’s no big revelation, but I think one of the longest standing offenders, who unfortunately falls into the Chatty Kathy category, is Mr. Hunter Parrish. I think I need to come clean about some things before I go any further though, I did want him to play Peeta. There that’s out! I thought he would have made a fantastic Peeta, but I got over it– I got over it pretty damn fast really, maybe about a week– two days tops, actually. I know, if only people could get over relationships that fast? Wait, people do, but then it hurts when they pee. Anyway! Parrish was my number one choice for Peeta, and here comes another confession– for a little while, not sure how long honestly, I wanted him to play Finnick. I was obviously cured of this desire, as evidenced by my rampant, and almost annoyingly consuming pitching for Armie Hammer in the role. Know this though, it wasn’t Mr. Hammer who made me get off the idea of Parrish as Finnick, it was Parrish– and re-reading Catching Fire. Okay, so here’s the deal– Parrish is a multi-talented actor, he also comes off as an individual with a good head on his shoulders, and many people are rooting for him, especially after he told the media that he’s a fan of the series himself, which is great, I wish more young men would come out of that closet. But, if being a fan of the series is what gets you a part in the film adaptation of the series, I would be playing Cecelia, or Enobaria, or Johanna (the only roles I am the around the right age for). Do you know what does get you a part in the series though? Why, being right for a part does, and NOT talking to the media repeatedly about wanting the part.

Which brings me to my smoking gun, as it were. We all know Parrish is a talker, which is all well and good, and maybe it’s worked for him elsewhere, but I think in the case of The Hunger Games, he shot himself in the foot. July 30th, less than a week ago, Parrish said this in regards to being fantasy cast by fans in the adaptation of the worst written erotica I have ever come across, 50 Shades of Grey, “You know, people have said that I’m perfect for roles in other book series as well, and it didn’t fare so well.” Ahem, I know don’t have an Intersect computer downloaded into my brain, but to me that means he has in no uncertain terms NOT earned a role in The Hunger Games. More evidence to back up this flash of genius, Deadline published a short but sweet article the same day Lynn Cohen’s casting as Mags was announced. To save you the trouble, I’ll just give it to you straight, a list of actors who allegedly made it to the last short-list Lionsgate compiled of those who had auditioned for Finnick, and Hunter Parrish’s name was not on it. We’ll never know if Parrish ruined his own chances at getting the role of Peeta or Finnick by talking about his unabashed desire to be part of The Hunger Games, but to me– my theory has been proven correct.

Repeat after me, “the first rule of The Hunger Games franchise is, if you want to be part of The Hunger Games franchise, don’t talk about wanting to be part of The Hunger Games franchise.”
Them There Eyes