The Hunger Games

by (@shalapitcher)

Pandemonium: Delirium’s Dystopian Victim Becomes A Katniss-Like Heroine

We Hunger Games fans have been lapping up every cast interview, reblogging every Capitol Couture Tumblr post and dog-earring the pages of our favorite scenes just to bide the time until March 23, but the days just aren’t moving fast enough, are they? Thankfully, there are other distractions at hand, like all the other excellent dystopian novels we’ve recommended to you. Today marks the release of another: Pandemonium, the sequel to Lauren Oliver’s Delirium — and it’s guaranteed to replace, at least temporarily, the visions of Katniss and Peeta running through your head.

Second books of trilogies, I think, are the most torturous things. You already love the characters, you’ve already seen them go through so much, and you know that by the end of this installment, their situations will only have worsened in preparation for book three. But in the right hands, it can be sweet torture, the stuff we know our heroine can survive and come out of even stronger, just as Katniss did after her second Hunger Games.

In Delirium, we met Lena, a girl who was counting down the days until her 18th birthday, when she’d receive the Cure, an operation to remove her susceptibility (and ability) to love, a.k.a. deliria, a known and feared disease. But then she met Alex, a boy who opened her eyes and … OK, if you haven’t read Delirium, stop reading this post now. SPOILERS after the jump.
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by (@shalapitcher)

Why Rooney Mara Needs To Read Hunger Games (A Katniss-Lisbeth Cage Match!)

We entertainment writers do our best not to assume that all celebrities know each other or all actors are just like their characters, or other amateur business like that. But after seeing Rooney Mara kick major ass and rescue Daniel Craig in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, we thought she might possibly be a fan of other stories in which the lady saves the day. Like, for instance that other little best-selling trilogy, The Hunger Games?

“I haven’t read the books,” Mara confessed to VH1 News on the Oscar red carpet last night. “But I would like to. I’ve heard that they’re great. I think I’ll try and see the books first and then go see [the movie].”

Please do, Rooney! We see a lot of similarities between Lisbeth Salander and Katniss Everdeen, actually. They’re both scrappy, emotionally damaged girls who will do anything to survive but always wind up risking their necks to save others too and seem surprised to find themselves as heroines. And we wonder, would they like each other? More important: Who would win in a fight? (Forgive us, and our fried post-Oscar brains, please.)

Related: Oscars Red Carpet: The 8 Best-Dressed Ladies In The House

[Photo: Getty Images]

by (@hallekiefer)

Elizabeth Banks Gave Up Everything For Hunger Games, Including Going To The Bathroom

Elizabeth Banks has squeeed at great length about the opulent costumes worn by her Hunger Games character Effie Trinket; based on the promo photos we’ve seen so far, we’re squeeing along with her. What you can’t see in those photos, however, are all the things Banks had to temporarily give up every time she got her fantastical futuristic nails did. “Once they were on I literally couldn’t do anything,” the actress told MTV News. “I couldn’t iPhone, BlackBerry, use the computer. I couldn’t go to the bathroom. I couldn’t zip or unzip or do a button, I couldn’t wipe.” On one hand, what a dedication to her craft! On the other hand, ewwwwwww. On the other other hand, we want to see those nails. None of the movie stills have shown her fabulous paws long enough for us to get a good look!

Declares Banks, “I just want everyone to know how far we had to go to make The Hunger Games.” Oh, we get the picture, Elizabeth. Call us crazy, but we wouldn’t give up the ability to wipe for anything. Just kidding! We’d never wipe again if it meant we could escort Katniss to the Capitol…

[Photo:Lionsgate]

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by (@shalapitcher)

The Hunger Games Mall Tour Sounds Eerily Familiar

So, it was just announced today that the stars and director of The Hunger Games are embarking on an eight-city mall tour across the country, beginning in Los Angeles on Saturday, March 3. And we’re not sure what to think of this news. On the one hand, yay! Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and/or their tribute frienemies will maybe be coming to your town to answer your questions in person. On the other hand, well, the thought of these young stars being ferried from town to town and presented in front of crowds sounds kind of SPOILER

… like Katniss and Peeta’s victory tour. Except it will be done in malls instead of in town squares. And they’re probably traveling by plane, not fancy futuristic trains. And the masses there to greet them won’t be forced to attend against their will (unless you’re counting unwilling parents or significant others who don’t know what they’re missing). And they won’t be starving people about to start an uprising against the government. But yeah, other than those things, it’s eery. Actually, we’d love it if Lionsgate brought some movie magic to an event like this — perhaps for Catching Fire? — and made a full-on Panem experience for the die-hard fans. You’d have to fast for a day before attending, and dress in drab, post-apocalyptic clothing, and be pushed around by angry guards. Hmmm. Maybe there’s a reason they don’t hire us to organize these things.

Anyway here’s the list of dates. Don’t forget to wear your Mockingjay pins!
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by (@shalapitcher)

How Does Taylor Swift’s “Safe & Sound” Video Fit Into Hunger Games?

We totally get what Taylor Swift and the Civil Wars are going for in the “Safe & Sound” video that premiered on MTV and VH1 tonight. The song is the first single off the Hunger Games soundtrack, and its mournful, folk-country sound, produced by T-Bone Burnett, perfectly evokes District 12, which we assume was once West Virginia. There’s even coal smoke rising in the distance. But avid Hunger Games fans will easily realize one thing: Taylor Swift, while appearing to be the protagonist of her own film, is certainly no Katniss Everdeen.

Hear us out: In the video, Taylor wanders around the woods, barefoot, in a simple but pretty white dress, hugging her body and singing. Do you know who never sang after her father died? Katniss. And she knew the value of good shoes, too. She wouldn’t risk maybe stepping on some glass (or the rusty nails Taylor later steps around) and cutting her foot, which would leave her unable to hunt to feet her mom and Prim. Taylor also lies around on the ground and sits on a coffin — acting a lot like Katniss and Prim’s depressed mother. And toward the end of the video is the ultimate non-Katniss moment: She looks straight at a deer and doesn’t try to kill and eat it. Oh, man, that would piss off Gale!
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by (@shalapitcher)

“Lana Del Rey’s Hunger Games” Is This Week’s Kristen Bell Sloth Video

I would have posted this sooner, but I was too busy watching this video 15 times. Sorry. But if “Lana Del Rey’s Hunger Games” doesn’t explode on the Internet in record time, then we might give up on humanity. Chicago Second City comedian Holly Laurent does a spot-on impression of Lana’s sultry crooning, as the video mimics the vintage home video montage style of “Video Games,” using weird old cartoons and TV footage mixed with Hunger Games trailer clips. But what puts this over the top, for me anyway, is the lyrics. I scared my co-workers laughing out loud at the first verse:

“Hunting in the meadow,
Gale’s just this guy that I know,
He’s got a girl’s name.
This district smells like rat piss.
My name is Katniss,
I play the Hunger Games.”

It’s funny, but also maintains the poignancy of the novel. You want to laugh: “I don’t want Peeta to be dead/ A pita is a pouch of bread/ But that’s his name.” And then you want to cry: “Watching all these tributes fall, teens should be at the mall/ I hope I never have to go back to play the Hunger Games.”

Check out President Snow, and the lyrics below.
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by (@shalapitcher)

10 New Things We Love From The Hunger Games Trailer #2

Take note, all you spoilery movie trailer editors: This is how you give us multiple trailers that satisfy our craving (sorry) for new stuff, without giving up the whole movie. The second Hunger Games trailer doesn’t contain a single new scene that wasn’t in the teaser or the first theatrical trailer (except for this one glimpse of Katniss in a yellow dress, above), but it gives us new quotes and new camera angles that reveal just a little more about the characters and plot. For instance, what was just Gale’s voiceover from the teaser about her being stronger than the other tributes we now get to see coming from him directly. And the only thing that kind of bugs us, just because it’s so different from the book, is that opening moment with the pin (more on that later).

The general feeling of trailer #2 is less eerie (and the soundtrack has a lot to do with that), more dramatic. Katniss seems a little more vulnerable, while Peeta starts to come to life a little more. Flip through the gallery of 10 new things we noticed, and then let us know what you noticed too!

View Photo Gallery

Related: What Is Jennifer Lawrence Is Looking Forward To In Hunger Games Sequels?

[Photos: Lionsgate]

by (@shalapitcher)

What Is Jennifer Lawrence Is Looking Forward To In Hunger Games Sequels?

To our 2011 selves who may have maybe for a minute doubted that Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence would make the right Peeta and Katniss in The Hunger Games, I present exhibit A: the actors’ latest interview with MTV News. The two are absolutely hilarious together, teasing and complimenting each other in a way that suggests they formed a real bond in the arena. Our favorite moment is when they’re asked what they’re looking forward to in the sequels, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Major spoilers and video after the jump.
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by (@shalapitcher)

Lenny Kravitz Moves Us In New Hunger Games Pic

Rolling Stone has just posted the above brand-new Hunger Games photo, featuring Cinna and Katniss’ last moment together before she enters the arena, making us almost Kristen-Bell-sloth-level excited that there’s only 50 days (and a few hours) before the movie is out. It’s the kind of quiet scene that could be screwed up in a movie adaptation that’s filled with all that action and drama, but we think Gary Ross, Jennifer Lawrence and Lenny Kravitz just might get it right. Especially when we hear Lenny describe his character to RS: “He’s very streamlined, he’s very quiet. He knows what he’s doing. He’s confident. He’s got a big heart. I just liked the way he moved — very smooth.”

The rocker reveals that he took the role because he admired Suzanne Collins’ storytelling in the book. “I’m very much into stories. The character was interesting. I like Gary’s previous work. And I said, Yeah, let’s go.”

Related:
Birthday Boy Adam Lambert Talks Hunger Games Appeal, Possible Acting Career
[Photo: Lionsgate via Rolling Stone]

by (@hallekiefer)

Hunger Games Director: Jennifer Lawrence Deserves A 2013 Oscar Nom

Hunger Games director Gary Ross is already calling for a 2013 Oscar nomination for his leading lady Jennifer Lawrence, a lovely gesture despite being more or less like your dad trying to get you nominated for the 2013 Best Kid Awards. “The range in this performance, the emotional terrain that she investigates, the demands of what this role are,” Ross gushed to EW about Lawrence’s Katniss. “It’s such an intensely physical role and an emotional one. She carries the entire movie. To be able to do that at that age is so kind of incredible that I was in a little bit of awe. Do I think she should be nominated? Absolutely.” Looks like we’ll have to wait until March 23 to see if we agree! Haha, just kidding! We’re ready to give Jen an Oscar right now based on the Hunger Games trailer alone.

Of course, Lawrence already has one Oscar nomination under her belt for her star-making turn in 2010′s Winter’s Bone, a movie which, now that we think about it, has almost as much violence and survival against all odds as we’re hoping her new film will have. “We were all a family,” Lawrence gushed right back about her director. “Everything that I love about the movie, and everything that got me to say yes to this movie, was Gary.” Is it lame to say the odds of Jennifer winning next year are in her favor? But they are!