REACTION POST! The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Now that we’ve all reveled in THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE several times, it’s time for Victor’s Village’s infamous reaction post!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with our reaction posts, our three admins in a chat get together and say anything and everything we feel about the topic at hand… and it gets pretty damn hilarious, if we do say so ourselves!

This post is also long, mostly hidden under the READ MORE cut, and contains ALL THE SPOILERS. Beware!


The Girl With The Pearl: Since we made our readers answer this: Give an overall review in FIVE WORDS or less!
Them There Eyes: Not the Hunger Games, bitches. Sorry, was channeling Spike from Buffy.
Twiffidy: Oh no this is hard.
TGWTP: Mine is turning out to just be “Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!” That could be taken several different ways.
Twiffidy: Spectacular with all the feels.


AMAZING character development we totally forgot to discuss!

AMAZING character development we totally forgot to discuss!

TGWTP: And said feelings start with some MAJOR character development? Whose was your favorite?
Them There Eyes: I think everyone got an ample amount of character development, even Buttercup. But, I think I’m going to have to go with Effie!
Twiffidy: Effie for sure. I mean, they did finally say her name!
TGWTP: Buttercup was so very… orange! T’was lovely.
TGWTP: I agree Effie takes the cake. We finally get to see the pure Capitol in her that was downplayed before AND a more sensitive side!
Twiffidy: When it comes to Effie, I was relieved to see her humanized.
Them There Eyes: Effie crying was like watching an alien have a baby, and then you cry… because it had a baby.
TGWTP: Somehow, that description works. LOL
Them There Eyes: Okay, now we have to talk about how the joke could finally be made! “Go home Haymitch, you’re drunk.”
Them There Eyes: Really drunk! I’ve never been so glad to see a man drunk before in my life!
Twiffidy: That entire scene like a slice out of my imagination when I read the books
Them There Eyes: I know! Right down to the bread, and the “burrrr!”
Twiffidy: He was the right amount of drunk from how the books describes without being too comical.
TGWTP: For sure! It’s a hard line to walk, but Woody knows what he’s doing.

99 bottles of booze on the table! 99 bottles of booze!

99 bottles of booze on the table! 99 bottles of booze!

Them There Eyes: Still made me wish for Drunk!Haymitch from THG, falling off the stage at the Reaping. I hope non book fans aren’t too surprised by his sudden change from social drinker to rubbing alcohol pilferer.
TGWTP: And you know what? Peeta was manned up! And it wasn’t some massive dissolution of his character like people made it out to be. Quelle surprise!
Them There Eyes: I know, just seemed like a boy grew up after he saw some pretty horrible things, and… also had his heart broken.
Twiffidy: Yes, it’s understated but that’s how it appeared to me. I’m a big fan of Peeta’s journey through this movie.
Them There Eyes: I loved Peeta, I had Peeta feels for days after seeing it… also sleep deprivation. People change, Peeta’s one of those people.
TGWTP: Peeta Mellark is the ninja-silent emo badass of Panem, though for good reason.
Twiffidy: It’s important to realize that this is the Peeta that Katniss will miss in Mockingjay.



Them There Eyes: My body is.
Twiffidy: I almost involuntarily squeak out “No!” at that final look at Peeta as Katniss leaves with the wire. Every. Time.
TGWTP: I understand. It’s “Don’t do it, idiot! I know what happens and you don’t want that shit!”



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

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

Honey Bunny, Monk, The Brit, and The Other Oscar Winner

Where do I even begin? Right, from the top! So, this morning, well this morning for me anyway, the official news was broken on the good ole’ Catching Fire official casting page over on le Facebook, that none other than Amanda Plummer has snagged the addled role of Wiress. And I proceeded to then shake, quake, shiver, and scream a little in complete and utter joy. Plummer, as some of you may know has been in the acting business a damn long time, and she’s got game– damn does she have game. Also, I kid you not, when I was thinking about possible Wiress’ a few months back, she did cross my mind, but (there’s always a but), this was before the likes of Philip Seymour Hoffman was rumored to be wanted for a role in the franchise as well. Sadly, I regret that I never did a fan-casting article on Wiress, and that when I was on the HG Fireside Chat which was focused on Wiress and Beetee’s casting, that I didn’t mention her. I just wasn’t yet in the mind frame that they could, and would, and actually did, go for actors and actresses with such diverse, pedigreed, and respected bodies of work. Plummer’s an extremely bold, and solid choice for this small but important role, and her voice– I have to say it, her voice is unique, which is perfect for a character like Wiress who’s famous for one line being repeated over and over again. I love this choice with a fiery passion, but her being added to the cast isn’t the only news or information to reach us today!

Seemingly less than two hours later, a new Finnick rumor popped up! And it’s about none-other than my second choice for Finnick, Mr. Sam Claflin. According to Zap2it, and then subsequently other publications caught on to it as well, Claflin has allegedly been offered the role. Look, Claflin is not my top choice, but he is without a doubt in my mind an inspired, solid, reputable choice for this role. I say this because his body of work, and his own personality has proven to me, and to others that he’s more than capable of taking on this role, and not just doing an okay job, but doing a great job. Other casting choices, other rumored favorites and front runners in my opinion have not shown the level of talent that Claflin has in his short, but diverse career. I know most people know him from the flashy, and strongly hyped films like Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and Snow White and the Huntsman, but those are not the roles that have show cased his real abilities. Claflin is a British actor, and most British actors seem to either cut their teeth on The BBC, or other British networks or companies known for making quality mini series’, or made for TV movies. And, Claflin has done that, he has 9 credits to his name, and five of them were made by reputable British Entertainment studios/ companies, almost all of them were received by critics and the public with praise, not disdain.

I’m not going to suggest now, no– I’m going to demand that everyone who reads this

I just like this photo, okay?

article goes and finds copies of these titles, Pillars of the Earth, United, Every Human Heart, and White Heat, and then watch them. Here’s a little preview of a scene, I’ll set it for you: White Heat, his character is a confident, sexy, idealistic to a fault, a radical.  He’s sitting on the roof top patio of his flat, and one of his new flatmates joins him. He’s smoking a joint, it’s 1965, and she’s a good girl from the suburbs, a virgin, 18 or 19 years-old. He chats to her, offers her a pull or two off the joint, and sidles up to her with the ease and confidence of a guy who knows that people find him attractive, and what does he do? He cups her breast and waits for her to react. Bam! If that’s not a more adult version of the sugar cube scene from Catching Fire I don’t know what one is. But, he did that– and I watched it and went, “Daaaaaamn, that is so bloody Finnick with an R rating!” Fine then, enough about Claflin, you know my thoughts– and those that are not on board for reasons that sounds like “va fay fee wooks”, no one will ever fit your head canon for Finnick, NO ONE. And, if I can embrace this possibility after spear-heading a campaign for another actor in this role, you can as well.

I’m still not done, can you believe it! Don’t run away, I know people’s attention spans have been greatly affected by technology now a-days, but I’m covering a days worth of news that we haven’t received on this franchise is probably a year! So, read! Melissa Leo, yep


Academy Award winning, Melissa Leo, is allegedly a top choice for Mags. Lemme just say, this is a superb choice for this role. Before you pass judgement, like I did when this unsubstantiated bucketful of information hit me in the face. Yes, Leo is in her early 50s– but there’s a method to this supposed madness. It was pointed out to me that while Mags is written as an octogenarian, having an actress who actually is an octogenarian portraying this role might prove to be a liability. Think about it, an 80-90 year old traipsing about the Hawaiian jungle, the heat, the bugs, the off chance that they might trip over a root and break their hip. These are not good things, and while it’s not what many of us imagined when we imagined Mags, having an actress who is more than able bodied, being made up to look 20 years older, sits better with me, and possibly the studio than the possibility of an actress who’s been a member of AARP for 30 years potentially gravely injuring themselves in an action sequence. Right then, but if I really had my choice, Leo would be playing Coin, but I won’t pitch a fit if she’s Mags, the lady swore in her acceptance speech on live TV, I love her, and you should too!

Oh dear god, I am still not done! I told you we got a lot of news today! So, um… how do y’all feel about Adrian Monk playing Beetee? Adrian Monk? Adrian Monk? Who’s that!? Why, that’s Tony Shalhoub the veteran actor who will always be Antonio Scarpacci from the beloved sit-com Wings in my heart. This guy has such a chock-a-block dossier, and none of the roles are repeats of the same kind of people, he’s played cab drivers with big hearts, doctors, OCD sufferers, dads, actors, aliens, and, and… he played opposite Stanley Tucci. I think that may be what tickles me the most, the fact that it may be a reunion of sorts between those two, because they played brothers in this tiny passion project that Tucci had, and was able to make with an amazing group of people, including Shalhoub. I hope this rumor is true, I really, really do.

Okay, I’m done, I’m gonna go scrape my face off the floor now, how about you?

Them There Eyes