The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Focusing on the Other

Do I have to reiterate that there’s nothing to do with the series this site is focused around, that has been released within the last several hours, or days that warrants a 1000 word dissection, or take down piece written about it? Well, that’s the case today, and probably tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, so what’s there to tell y’all about. JJ covered a myriad of other media material that might strike your fancy, I’d start there if you’re so inclined. But if you’re not, how about you try this one on for size.

Have you ever heard of the actor/ producer/ director Milo Ventimiglia? Yes, his last name is a mouthful and a half, but his face, and voice should be more recognizable to those that have been paying attention to several loved, and lost TV series’ of the last decade. Okay, okay, Milo’s best known for his roles on Gilmore Girls, and the Tim Kring superhero series Heroes. Yep, Jess Mariano, and Peter Petrelli– loved, and lost– am I right? Anyway, Milo’s been working pretty hard on behind the scenes career stuff for the last several years, built a production company, cultivated some interesting projects, and this last year one of those projects came to fruition on the cable channel Crackle. I know, I’ve never heard of it either, but talk gets around especially if you’re paying attention to Twitter feeds, and general Internet chatter. The project is called Chosen, and if you’re strong of will, heart, and a lover of good writing, performance, production design, and cinematography, it’s right up your alley. The premise is this: Average people are seemingly randomly selected, and are inducted into “The Game”. You’re inducted without invitation by receiving an innocuous, finely crafted wooden box usually left on your front door step, at your place of work, or in your car. You open it, ’cause why not?– inside the box is a photo of a person you’ve likely never met with their name, and a time stamp and date that hasn’t happened yet, along with the photo as well is an un registered firearm, and the game is on just like that. But what is the game? Easy peasy, you’re every move is being watched, and if you don’t kill who’s in that photo, someone

Not Jess, not Superman, and not One Tree Hill anymore

Not Jess, not Superman, and not One Tree Hill anymore

you care about is going to be in grave danger, oh– also people are trying to kill you now too! Hey, does that sound familiar to anyone? Anyone at all? Yeah, of course it does, ’cause it’s tres Hunger Games-y! Before anyone calls foul on me though, I’m gonna state it loud and clear, Chosen is not a rip-off of The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins does not hold the patent on the concept of Kill or Be Killed, true fact– ’cause I think cave men may have coined that one, or animals– not a former TV writer from Connecticut. Chosen is fast paced, intensely acted, and an acute examination on the limits human beings go to do survive, and protect loved ones. Milo plays the initial lead role in the series, his character is propelled swiftly from “what the hell is going on?” to “am I a man, or an animal?” Much like The Hunger Games, the characters on Chosen are put in the most impossible of situations, however– instead of the stories taking place in a far distant future in a post apocalyptic world, it takes place right now, and the audience instead of being an entire nation who unequally see the production as entertainment, and a punishment– the audience is a select, and anonymous über class of sickos who have become bored with the fast life of sex, drugs, buying expensive shit, and traveling to exotic locales. Nope, instead, because productive hobbies are so passe, they watch random, desperate people kill strangers, and sometimes not strangers, because “ha ha ha, isn’t this the best!?”


And you know what? It kind of is, because the show’s awesome, and you should watch it. However be forewarned, it’s no where near PG-13 at all, it’s R to the nth degree. Even better though, is spotting actors in it who’s careers we may have all thought had gone in completely different directions, including none other than Rider Strong, Chad Michael Murray, Rose McGowan, Brandon Routh, and a Catching Fire cast member himself– Patrick St. Esprit.

Them There Eyes

If The T-Shirt Fits

Hollywood is not a nice place, okay maybe it is on the surface. The sun’s out 90% of the time, people smile a lot, they’re tan, and fashionable for the most part, but you know what? Beyond all that surface crap, it’s a really cut throat, superficial place, and populated also in part by some pretty disingenuous souls. Which brings me to this fact: We’ve got some more than nice people populating the cast of our favorite franchise.

Jennifer Lawrence, quirky-no-filter Jen is the head of the nice cast. Or at least she’s never come off as faking her weird, or the gratitude for the exceptional places her career has taken her over the last several years. She’s too odd, and unapologetic for her personality traits to be a back stabbing, evil, Hollywood starlet like so many we’ve seen and heard about over the years. Great for us I think, because it means if we run screaming at her down the street (don’t do it kids), she’ll maybe not snub us if we give her a compliment, and of course tell her she needs to be our best friend (also don’t do this kids).

Which brings me to this other fact: Sometimes the really nice people who populate the cast of our favorite franchise are nice even to us– personally. If you haven’t noticed over the last few years here at Victor’s Village when we write about the cast, we don’t exclusively write about the principles, i.e. Jen, Josh, Liam, and Woody. No, we also write about the other players, the Amandla’s, the Dayo’s, the Jackie’s, the Jeffrey’s, the Meta’s, and the Bruno’s. So, here’s the deal– one of those people has been very nice back to us, and we have to acknowledge that right here, and right now, because it’s the right thing to do damn it.

Bruno Gunn– we’ve written about him more than a handful of times, and he has returned the favor in a rather public, and perfect way. This is how it begins, several months ago The Girl With The Pearl and I were in LA to attend the US premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and we decided as a team that we should wear matching Victor’s Village t-shirts to the fan camp grounds down at LA Live to stand out as more than just random fans milling about aimlessly waiting for Sam Claflin to show up– which he did, and he was also a genuine, and pleasant chap.

Yep, this happened

Yep, this happened

Conveniently we were photographed in those t-shirts, and well– Bruno saw them, because as we should all know by now he’s very up on social media. Long story short, he told us through the magic of social media that he wanted a Victor’s Village t-shirt. Well, we got him one, and we sent it to him– and finally he had a good place to sport it proudly and publicly, and no we don’t mean at the gym, although that would be okay with us as well. Nope we mean a much better place than the gym, we mean at The Hunger Games: Catching Fire DVD/ Blu-Ray release in Chicago this past week. So in freezing cold climes he dawned his short sleeved black and yellow Victor’s Village t-shirt, and posed graciously with fellow fans, talked with parents of fans, more fans, and also gave our little site that could, some pretty snazzy free advertizing. Can I get a big giant “hell yeah!” And also add an equally giant “thank you!”?

Guess being all inclusive pays off every now and again, huh? Now to get Sam to read our blog and forgive the fandom for being asshats when he was first cast, ’cause we were– and we’re sorry. 

Follow Bruno on Twitter and Instagram, also follow ours as well— it’s how all this nice happened to begin with!

Them There Eyes

Jammy Time: How to Marathon The Hunger Games: Catching Fire DVD/ Blu-Ray

Friday the DVD and Blu-ray editions of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire are being released in the US and Canada, which means a lot of us are not leaving the confines of our homes this weekend. Why? Because we’ll be glued to our respective television sets, absorbing what we’ve all hopefully already viewed a cfdvd1handful of times in movie theatres. Me? I’ll be like everyone else probably, inconsolable and re-watching Peeta and Katniss’ last scene together until he attempts to choke her to death in Mockingjay: Part 1. It’s going to be an emotional weekend, and just for kicks and giggles, I’ve come up with a list of things we should all do, or have on hand whilst partaking of the emotional roller coaster that is The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

First off I highly recommend getting comfortable. That means if you’re a lady person, lose the bra, and put on some pajama pants, perhaps some ridiculously comfy socks, and forget about washing your hair– who cares, no one can see you anyway! And if anybody can see you, they should already know that The Hunger Games is not something they’re allowed to judge you on, therefore clean hair isn’t something for them to get their panties into a twist about, ‘kay? You may want to continue to wear deodorant though, just to keep the yelling at bay.

You're not goin' anywhere, don't need this!

You’re not goin’ anywhere, don’t need this!

Stock up on tissues, I think two boxes will suffice unless of course you’re the type who cries during diaper commercials. And, yep– because you’ll be crying so much, and using all those tissues you’re going to get dehydrated therefore you must have a hydration station at the ready. Stock your fridge with water, I’m going to go buy a bunch of mineral water and lemons for myself, and just go to town crying my ass off, and drinking bubbles and tartness that I know won’t add any weight to my ass at all. However if you’re like every other person in North America you’ll probably stock up on less healthful carbonated beverages. I beg of you though that you drink more than soda this weekend, I hate for your dentists to look in your mouths weeks or months from now and proclaim that you’ve got cavities in all your teeth.

For the legal adults in the audience I’m now going to suggest other beverages to have on hand. If you’re not obligated to be anywhere, i.e. you have no where to drive to– by all means have a glass of wine or two! Don’t go over the top though, I don’t want to read about some poor Hunger Games t-shirt clad, braless, jammy pants wearing, body of a woman that was found in a pool of their own vomit after bingeing on Stella, or three bottles of wine. ‘Kay just don’t!

Om nom nom

Om nom nom

Munchies! I mean did you really think I would forget munchies!? Wrong! I suggest an array of salty meats, cheeses, and vegetables. Uh huh, think antipasti platter, only if you hate olives, go with pickled whatever you like, or here’s a thought, sliced fresh veggies! My, green olives stuffed with garlic sounds mighty tasty right about now, also fresh cucumbers, and red, yellow, or orange Bell Pepper, the green ones have no flavor. Cheese, if you’re feeling low-brow, and like American Cheese in all its artificial orange, salty glory, by all means have some! But even Effie Trinket would make faces at you, so try something a bit more um– real, I mean not even Katniss has access to that stuff. So imagine Peeta using American Cheese in his cheese buns, and then gag with me! Or, perhaps you’re not up for all the work of arranging food stuffs semi artfully on a plate, in that case order pizza and call it a successful weekend. Food snobbery done, moving on!

Have your Smart Phone at the ready, perhaps a laptop, or iPad. Why? Because live tweeting on Twitter, and live blogging your marathoning on Tumblr whilst watching all the extras and bonus features, along with finally rewatching the film– well, it’s going to happen, so may as well have everything fully charged so you can share all the feels with the Internets, and you’re friends, maybe you’re mom. Just do it, you know you want to.

Take breaks y’all, remember you can hit pause now and go to the bathroom without missing a damn thing!

Them There Eyes

Kind Of Familiar

We got the first Mockingjay: Part 1 poster today. But, show of hands please, doesn’t it look a bit, I dunno, well– familiar? Yeah, yeah, it fits perfectly in with the last two first released posters for The Hunger Games, as well as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, but– because I’m a huge fan of buts– doesn’t it look remarkably like the fan-made poster for Mockingjay: Part 1 that popped up on the Internets this past November? Let’s have a little refresher, shall we?

hunger_games Just imagine this one to the left is in motion, and has the crackling, roaring sounds of a fire accompanying it, yep– making us giddy, and excited, and stupid for the film we had not seen as of yet, but we’re so deadly sure would knock our proverbial socks off. And then the also proverbial symbols crashed, and we saw the film– and things happened. Now, below The Hunger Games poster we’ll now focus our eyes on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’s first poster. Loverly isn’t it? Sure, if you’re into all that orange, and fire, and stuff. I kid, I kid– of course we like orange, and fire, and stuff– god I could live off ofCatching-Fire-Movie-Poster stuff! True to form though, a pattern was emerging, and while it was predictable, it was also a bit on the comforting side, kind of like Split-Pea soup on a cold, rainy day, or your personal favorite flavor of ice cream (mint chip if you’re at all curious), when you’re depressed. So, with a particular pattern emerging, it was really no wonder that hours after Catching Fire was released in theatres, and we all saw the Mockingjay we’d gotten used to seeing transform, that a fan-made poster with an uncanny resemblance to the poster that has become the official first poster for Mockingjay: Part 1— would, erm happen? Um, yeah– not a wholly big surprise, but kind of wish that some acknowledgement was thrown the fandom’s way, y’know?

Oh well, better luck next time, perhaps? Yeah, probably not.

This is the fan-made one

This is the fan-made one

Awards and Money

Booya y’all! I mean, didn’t you hear, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has officially, and I mean officially made an ass ton of money, and yes m’dears… we are in part to, well, um blame for that? Perhaps blame is the wrong word to use, but I’m gonna use it, ’cause I think it makes this post sound punchy! It’s true though, even I can attest to having seen Catching Fire in a theatre more than once, and two of those times I paid with cold hard cash money, or my debit card, whatever, and the other time I paid in tears, ALL THE TEARS, I’m talking about going to the LA premiere people! Anyway, it was made official this week that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire not only made an ass ton of money, but it is to date the highest grossing film of the fiscal year.

So, what do we do with that knowledge? Do we throw a party, buy a cheap bottle of Champagne, which is actually Brut, because real Champagne only comes from Champagne, France– or perhaps it’s actually Prosecco, which gets you tipsy just as quicker anyway! Oh, yeah what are we doing again? Ah yes, throwing a The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, for Catching Fire doing exactly what a whole bunch of us said it would do more than a year ago, and that is make tons and tons, and tons of money! I feel like I should be tossing hundred-dollar bills in the air, doing my best Jordan Belfort as interpreted by Leo DiCaprio and Marty Scorsese, and possibly objectifying some women, and doing so much blow that I crash a helicopter and don’t even care! Alas, I cannot do that, because I really don’t want to, and all I’d rather do is have Catching Fire do more than make money, and what is is that I wish it would do? Well, win awards, yo!

What kind of awards though? Well, as covered by The Girl With The Pearl The Magical Internet Pony awards are likely in the bag for the franchise. We do have a rather large fandom, and I’ll bet money that any number of them would gladly sit around clicking “vote! vote! vote” for probably all of those pony giving out awards shows. However, because I’m sadly living in the dark ages, and I am secretly an old white man, I wish Catching Fire would get nominated for, and win awards at such serious non-pony related awards shows like, the big one, the Academy Awards. But I think we all know that that’s not going to happen, at least not in the categories that your average citizen cares all that much about. Me, I’ll be hell-a proud if the sound editors, and the sound mixers, the visual affects team, Trish Summerville and Ve Neill and co get nominated, perhaps Coldplay will get recognized for Atlas, or maybe just maybe Jo Willems will be nominated for his work as the director of photography. All of the above would make me happy, but will it happen? I unfortunately doubt it.

Oscar nominations will be announced Thursday the 16th, so stay frosty! Crossing fingers, toes, and eyes for the technical awards! And who the hell knows, maybe Mockingjay Part One and Two will be like The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King? Saving the best for last so to speak, and finally getting the recognition for the series that it wholly deserves.

Them There Eyes

Part of The Experience: Chapter Two

I cannot sit still, it’s just something I’m unable to do, or never have been able to do. Blame my diagnosis of ADHD at the age of seven, blame the nervous feeling that’s coursing a path underneath my skin with each and every breath I take. Or, most of all the fact that I’m sitting in the theater that has housed the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards for several years, and is currently hosting the domestic premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Yeah, that one might be the reason I have the constant urge to change position in my seat, and no– I do not have to pee.

Row H, orchestra level, The Nokia Theater, Los Angeles, that is where I am seated at the moment, and I know the giant room is about to go dark, because I am watching Lenny Kravitz saunter by appropriately clad in beac194744e57eeaff6d8567127aa79dblack leather, and seating himself somewhere very close by after the head of Lionsgate Studios has introduced the principle cast up on the narrow stage at the front of the house. The room finally blackens, the screen flickers to life– the film begins, and I’m sure I’m holding my breath as I see Katniss Everdeen poised on a rock by an icy, winter lake. The film runs, the story unfolds, and I’m transfixed whilst continuously moving in my seat, taking my shoes off and stifling a cry of a relief as the cuts that have taken up residence on my toes, ankles, and heels are exposed to the air in the darkened theater. I don’t care that the person to my left is a stranger, because the person to my right isn’t, so I hike the uncharacteristically me short skirt of my Flapper era dress up, and place my bare feet half in and on the cup holder molded into the plastic seat-back in front of me. My thought process is this, if I’m going to be here for over two hours, in the dark, I may as well get comfortable, and I don’t give a damn that more thigh is exposed than I’ve shown in public since my vacation to Florida last June, besides I’m no lady– just a girl with a mixed background, and a college education. By the time Katniss and Peeta are giving their speeches to the people of District 11, I can already hear my aisle-mates, whom most of which to my right, are people I’ve known for years, well– they’re breathing starts to hitch. So, when that ever changing moment happens in District 11, not only do the people in the aisle I’m in and the one in front of me, lurch with emotion, but I do as well. “This is not the fucking Hunger Games.” I think to myself, my mouth open, and taking in Jennifer Lawrence losing it on screen, as Woody Harrelson is once again after pitch perfectly playing in a previous scene, the surly drunkard Haymitch Abernathy, the one that was acutely missing from The Hunger Games, is allowed to embody the forthright, and the smart Haymitch I remember reading in the novel Catching Fire so many years before.

When the final moments of the film play out, and the room takes in the pained, and then the resolutely, determined face of Katniss Everdeen becoming The Mockingjay Plutarch Heavensbee had called her a few moments before, I sit back in my seat, and feel satisfied. This was a feeling that was absent the last time I was in this room a year and a half before. A year and I half is a long time, but I sat back and felt hollow in all the wrong ways, and felt like something was wrong with me. Since then I’ve come to terms with that feeling, and learned that the feeling was disappointment, pure, unadulterated disappointment in directorial choices that I had no control over at all. But now, dress hiked up, Coldplay playing over the sound system, I feel like how my current state of dress comes off, unabashedly satisfied. The only problem now is that I now have to put my shoes back on, and try not to make a fool of myself in front of the people who were in, and made the film, at the After Party. But that’s a story for another hour on a different day.

To Be Continued.

Them There Eyes

Accepting Sam: Seriously Just Do It Already

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has been released all over the world for a couple of weeks now, and that means that the world at large’s head vision of Finnick Odair should be transforming into one Sam Claflin for the most part, right? Wrong! Sadly as the person who was the mouthpiece behind the totally-defunct-dead-as-a-door-nail-dead-dead-dead campaign to have Armie Hammer cast as Finnick– I’ve unfortunately been privy to people just not fucking giving up and not accepting the very talented, the totally worthy, and the super nice person that is Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair. As of yesterday the Tumblr titled Armie Hammer for Finnick Odair was still 4f6a9f1fe56cc1309c438e222df39ecein existence, but that doesn’t mean it had been updated for over a year– and get this, I was daily getting multiple follower alerts for it. Not only was I getting them daily mind you, they actually, and dumb-foundingly started increasing once The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was released. Pretty weird, huh? I think so.

Guess what I did yesterday!? G’head, guess? Yep, I deleted that floundering sucker! Why? Because as I said above, it hadn’t been updated in probably about a year, and also I think it was kind of sad that people were still following it. Yeah, I said it– sad. I honestly thought that once Sam was cast that people would give up, that people would fall away, that the campaign would just out quietly, and that my dears is exactly why I lazed and didn’t delete the stupid, silly thing. Erm, also I had relinquished control of it to PeetaToast over on Tumblr sometime towards the end of the initial campaign, and thought maybe she would eventually step up and say or suggest, “shall I delete this very dead thing?” But that never happened, and the follow alerts kept pouring in to my inbox, and well– annoying me. Yeah, you could say I deleted the thing because it was more annoying than painful to be reminded that who I wanted to be cast was in fact not? But, well– yes, that is the case. Annoyance thy name is silly, sad people who cannot accept Sam Claflin as Finnick Ordair, ’cause, damn it all to hell people– I sure as hell have, and I don’t know why you bloody have not!

Hey you guys! You annoyed me enough to make me delete something I didn’t care about anymore! Now to ditch the Facebook page as well!


Them There Eyes


PS. I’m still a fan of Armie Hammer’s.

What A Catch, Hunger Games Fans

Liam may have won November, but you still have Mjolnir, Chris.

Liam may have won November, but you still have Mjolnir, Chris.

I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but I’ve been feeling a tad bit smug since The Hunger Games: Catching Fire came out. There are a few good reasons for it.

1) Catching Fire blew that other November sequel out of the water, both critically AND at the box office.

For those not catching my drift, I mean Thor: The Dark World. The first Hunger Games came out in March with practically no competition in sight, but we’ve known for a long time that Catching Fire would have serious competition with a Marvel sequel. But as soon as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire came out, it was a little like “Thor who?” And generally, Catching Fire is thought of to be the better movie (89% vs. 65% on Rotten Tomatoes if you want to quantify it). Catching Fire also took the November box office, even though Thor has been out longer.

2) We can finally stop hearing about the goddamn shaky cam.

Ok, that’s just one example. But, in general, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire seemed to take care of the most complained about parts, especially those from the type of viewer that might not be too familiar with The Hunger Games. That would be shaky cam (nixed) and visual effects (upgraded big time). I’ve always felt that Catching Fire would be the one to snag the more action-oriented moviegoer more so than the first, and I was proven right when several friends and family members who were underwhelmed by The Hunger Games told me over Thanksgiving how impressed they were. It took every bit of willpower I had not to dance around them singing “I told you so”.

Them: Catching Fire was awesome! Me: THEEEEEEEEEEENKSSSS

Them: Catching Fire was awesome!

3) Catching Fire seems to be less divisive than the The Hunger Games among fans.

Not that there aren’t any haters or mild complainers, because the movies can never be perfect for everybody, but I’ve noticed that people who have had serious problems with the first movie seemed far more content with Catching Fire. And that’s awesome!

So forgive us if we hold our heads high for a little while, at least until The Hobbit sequel comes out and has its day in the sun. It’s a good time to be a Hunger Games fan, wouldn’t you say?

Let’s just bask in the glory of it all, shall we?

Everyone’s A Critic, Catching Fire Edition

There’s one particular truth that eludes a lot of Hunger Games fans ignore when it comes to their opinions, especially just after a film release:

You are NOT the most important person on the effing Internet. Crazy, we know!

Tell 'em, Hipster Cat!

Tell ’em, Hipster Cat!

From professional critics to casual fans, they’re always there: The people who don’t know how to sit down, shut up and just enjoy the ride, for once! We’ve seen a whole tide of them roll in since the release of Catching Fire and we’re sure you have too!

To be clear, we’re not talking about everyone who pointed out a thing or two they wished they’d seen or didn’t like. We don’t think any movie, even Catching Fire, is perfect. It’s especially difficult with an adaptation. Everyone will have moments we wish were included or different.

It’s the people who say “I loved Catching Fire, but…” and then go on to provide a fucking LIST of every nitpicky, typically inconsequential issue they saw with the movie, a large portion if it based on their own fanon more than the actual book.

Common Issues on These Lists:

  • Pacing was too fast / too slow and contained too much but also not enough action.
  • The relationship between any combination of Katniss/ Peeta/ Gale/ Haymitch/ Effie/ Cinna/ Finnick/ Johanna/ Prim/ Buttercup/ Those Turkeys in the Woods wasn’t exactly what existed in their headcanon. It was too intense or not intense enough and why can nobody ever read their minds right?!
  • Why wasn’t so-and-so featured more?! GOOOOOOSH!
  • The adaptation wasn’t true enough of the book / too true to the book (Seriously, we’ve heard both.)
  • One scene or another that offered some extra character development but was not entirely necessary to plot was left out for time and IT RUINED EVERYTHING.
  • The movie did not include enough yet was too long… or vice versa. Because if there’s one thing we’re seeing among the nitpicking, it’s a total lack of consistency.

Essentially, these people will accept no less than the film as written and directed by themselves. Everyone is suddenly a skeptical popular film critic of hipster-esque portions. Even after reading this, there’s likely to be one or two who make their way to the comments to explain why they’re right in pointing out Catching Fire’s flaws, thank you very much. Because again, they think their opinion is the most important one on the Internet.

FANDOM BUZZKILLS: Making these two look like Siskel and Ebert since 2012

Dear complainers, you’ve been making these two seem like Siskel and Ebert since 2012

All things considered, both The Hunger Games and Catching Fire are excellent adaptations. We consider Catching Fire to be the richer, more character-driven of the two. If you think differently than us, that’s fine! But to claim to love the movie, then proceed to tear it apart because you can’t just allow yourself to enjoy how lucky you are to have solid adaptations of your favorite books? REALLY?!

There are fandoms out there who would kill for the level of care, talent, and attention put into this franchise. Maybe you also belong to one of them. You know! The ones where books they love have fallen into the hands of movie studios who repeatedly bang their heads against the wall, trying to create a popular film while casually ignoring everything but a thin outline of the original book because they think they can create something better than a bestseller.

Again, it’s okay not to like everything! You know what’s not okay, though? HATING EVERYTHING. Pointing out everything you dislike about something that’s well-loved (in what often seems like an attempt to prove you’re above the hype) does not make you insightful, intellectual, or even book savvy. It makes you THAT GUY who, by virtue of his or her inability to fully enjoy the big picture despite the occasional flaws, drowns out the positivity for everyone else.

There’s another name for the hyper-critical– Giant freaking buzzkills.

C’mon, Hunger Games fandom. You’re better than that.

The Girl With The Pearl

Game Review: Panem Run

Welcome to your newest addiction!

Panem Run Stills

If there’s one thing The Hunger Games franchise has done well so far, it’s creating games to go along with the series that don’t promote the violent aspects of the series, therefore ripping the whole message of the series to shreds (they’re too busy doing that with their other advertising, but anywaaaaay…)

For the first film, we were given mission-based The Hunger Games Adventures.

For The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Lionsgate teamed up with Reliance Games to create Panem Run, a mobile endless runner game that takes you through the districts!

In Panem Run, you control Katniss (you can also play as a male character, though the identity isn’t specified) as she moves through Panem, dodging, sliding, and leaping to avoid obstacles. Along the way, she collects sparks and resources to boost points. The more sparks you gather, the more hope you can spread to the districts! But if you fall behind or hit an obstacle, you’ll be greeted by a swarm of angry trackerjackers.

If you’ve never played an endless runner game before, they are strangely addictive! You’ll start off on wobbly legs if you’re not already an endless runner game expert, but don’t give up! My first few times playing, Katniss met her gruesome end pretty quickly. The controls are simple: Just swipe left, right, up or down to get your avatar to go that way. But in the hype of the moment, I swipe up to go down, down when I meant to go left, and directly into the nearest obstacle. Not to mention that we’re seeing a semi-official rendering of many districts for the first time, so there’s an urge to gaze at graphics and then, well… SPLAT! Eventually, even I managed to get a hold of it, so I know you can too!

Soon, it becomes a mission to see how long you can keep Katniss going. When you’ve got a hang of things, you can plug into your District or invite friends, then compete against others! It’s not all challenges, though– you can also share resources with each other.

In between gameplay, you can break things up with some high speed archery practice. Just flick your arrows in the right direction with a slide of your finger for some sweet bonus points!

While we wish we had l33t gaming skillz, we’re pretty much n00bs. But Panem Run is something everyone can manage and enjoy, either for an individual challenge or a neck-to-neck race to the top of the leaderboard against friends.

Panem Run is available FREE for iPad, iPhone, and Android via the iTunes App Store and Google Play