The mark of a great competition movie is if you go into the theater either despising or not at all caring about the sport/art/craft in question and you leave promising yourself to buy tickets to the next real-life event in your area. That happened to me with Best in Show 12 years ago — I have been to at least five dog shows since then — and now I’m seriously looking into the next collegiate a cappella showdown after seeing Pitch Perfect. Will I feel the same way about Butter? We’ll see. Anyway, on the occasion of not one but two movies featuring weird but bizarrely obsessive niche contests opening this weekend, we thought we’d look back at some other faves of the genre. Some are high quality films — like Drumline, The Hunger Games and Glengarry Glen Ross. Others are pure camp — Bring It On, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Strictly Ballroom. And a few are great if you fast forward to the preparation montages and the contests/battles themselves — Breakin’, Stomp the Yard, Step Up 2 the Streets. What’s your favorite? Check out the gallery and weigh in!
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[Photos: Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures, Lionsgate]
Call us crazy, but the first thing we noticed about the new Bad Lip Reading of The Hunger Games wasn’t just that it’s laugh out loud amazing. It’s that much of the ridiculous dialogue could have been taken directly from the Hunger Games series. Okay, okay, maybe not the part about barfing on a sailor like a pig, but virtually everything else. Have you watched the video yet? Okay, then let’s look at this critically:
Katniss and Gale have the kind of close, easy friendship that might involve them discussing “the squirts.” (Oh, like you weren’t having the exact same conversation with your friends yesterday.) If we never actually read them discussing anyone’s “fudge puddles,” it’s probably because the concept of fudge didn’t survive the Dark Days.
“Scooby-Doo!” On the other hand, maybe Scooby-Doodid survive that far into the future. Maybe our great-great-great-grandchildren look at the show like we look at The Odyssey. “And lo, Shaggy shall be our Homer!”
Katniss is the queen, okaaaaaay?
What with all the Plutarch Heavensbees and Posy Hawthornes running around, there could have easily been a character named Codfish Joe. Ditto Bob the Human.
“The police ate Timothy!” The government is already responsible for a homicidal reality show and the practice of cutting out dissidents’ tongues. You really think the police wouldn’t eat Timothy? You are living in a fantasy world, ya’ll!
“Every night, I want you to hold Marvin the cat. He’s not a real cat.” Look, Peeta’s body is ravaged with infection when he and Katniss are hiding out during the Games. Cat-based hallucinations are completely plausible.
Also, Clove is sort of loco crazy.
“And that’s how babies grow?” Hey, we doubt those District 12 kids are getting comprehensive sex ed classes in school. Maybe Peeta just wanted to check and make sure!
It’s a rough couple of days for Wes Bentley. The Hunger Games actor has reportedly been denied entry to Canada due to a four-year-old drug bust. As a result he will be unable to attend the Toronto Film Festival and promote his latest film, The Time Being. Bentley’s life took a wrong turn following his career making performance in the classic American Beauty, and by the mid 2000s he was addicted to drugs and alcohol and eventually filed for bankruptcy to dig himself out of a six-figure credit card debt. He was even homeless for a period, and hit low when arrested for possession of heroin back in 2008.
He has since recieved treatment and gotten clean of drugs, but his past caught up with him when trying to gain access to Canada.”Wes really wanted to go to the Toronto International Film Festival premiere of his movie and had his team contact the head of TIFF to try and pull some strings with the government,” an insider told RadarOnline. “There was nothing anyone could do. Wes was really upset and felt awful about not being able to partake in the promotion of the film.” Sorry about that, Wes. Here’s a video of a plastic bag blowing in the breeze that should cheer you up!
Who knew the 75th Hunger Games were going to be packed with slightly obscure award winners? Actually…if the Hunger Games were real, that’s exactly who would be forced to take part in them. To wit, Lionsgate announced today that Tony winner Jeffrey Wright has been cast as twitchy tribute Beetee in Catching Fire. Wright raked in a Tony for his role in 1994′s Angels in America, but more recent audiences might remember him from Quantum of Solace, Syriana, Source Code, or Cadillac Records. Meanwhile, our children’s children will remember him as that District 3 tribute in the lightbulb suit from the original Hunger Games trilogy. They…they will be the lucky ones.
In case you haven’t read the second Hunger Games book yet (why?), Wright’s Beetee will be spending most of the movie translating for his oddball companion Wiress, as portrayed by Amanda Plummer, and using his electrical knowledge to his advantage. Together the duo is known to their fellow competitors as “Nuts and Volts,” a nickname which seems harsh until you remember that they, along with Katniss and Peeta, are fighting for their lives on a homicide-based reality show. After that, it just seems rude. You know what else would be rude? Ignoring all the other Catching Fire cast members chosen so far; check them out in our gallery below. Boy, if this was the distant future, we would have been made into an Avox over that segue…
After years of waiting and hoping and fantasizing that everyone from Taylor Kitsch to Robert Pattinson would take on the role of Finnick in the Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire, Lionsgate has at last put us out of our misery and announced who’d get the highly coveted part: Sam Claflin. After playing Prince Charming in Snow White and the Huntsman, he certainly made a number of people’s wish list to take on the role of the flashy, handsome and surprisingly lovelorn District 4 tribute. (And man, we’re glad someone’s getting a happily ever after out of SWATH.)
Does he have the kind of depth to play this unlikely revolutionary hero with a knack for spearing people with his trusty trident? Tell us what you think. Here’s a little gallery that will certainly help his case:
Jennifer Lawrence is turning 22 today, and we couldn’t be more proud of the “girl on fire.” Some of us fell in love with her back when she did Winter’s Bone, others jumped in with The Hunger Games, but regardless of when our fandom began, we haven’t been able to get enough of her. We watched teary-eyed and cheered her on as she protected her family, stepped in for Primrose, shot an arrow through an apple, devoted herself to Peeta and emerged a victor. Are we the only ones that pretend we’re Katniss Everdeen in the midst of the Games when we need to run those last few dreaded minutes on the treadmill? It definitely helped when we found out that she really trains that hard (sans arrows) off-set too.
Sure, we’ve heard rumblings that archery’s becoming more popular in recent months, but one HG trend that’s much more visible in everyday life is that signature Katniss braid. That’s why we decided to focus on her hair for this birthday celebration. Jennifer’s always keeping it fresh with her hair color and styling — with or without Cinna’s help. From her days as a spunky teenageron TBS’ The Bill Engvall Show to her ass-kicking times in X-Men, she’s always shocking us with her new looks, and we’re always looking forward to what she’s going to come out with next.
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[Photos: Getty Images/TBS/Paramount Vantage/20th Century Fox]
It’s pretty obvious why the casting director selected Bad Teacher actor Bruno Gunn for the role of Brutus in Catching Fire. No, it’s not because he has the intensity and build of a District 2 career tribute. Right, it’s because his name looks like it could have been directly lifted from any page of the Hunger Games series. We mean, Bruno Gunn?Suzanne Collins herself couldn’t have picked out a better stage name for a man playing such a brutal competitor. We bet if she tried, she’d come up with something like Peapod Flutterby, and, really, what’s a casting director supposed to do with that?
Much like Patrick St. Esprit, who was announced as the movie’s dictatorial Romulus Thread on Monday, Gunn’s IMDB page is packed with roles prefaced with the titles “officer,” “police sergeant,” “lieutenant” and “special agent.” In fact, both St. Esprit and Gunn have appeared on FX’s Sons of Anarchy, which makes us think the show is fast becoming Hollywood’s go-to source for menacing middle-aged hunks. Just like Brutus himself, we can’t wait to see Bruno get into the arena with Meta Golding’s Enobaria, or try to form an alliance with Katniss. We’d form an alliance with Gunn, if you know what we mean. Actually, we’d probably form an alliance with any of the new Catching Fire cast members announced so far. We’re just open-minded like that!
So, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Jennifer Lawrence is “in the final stages of negotiations” to get a big fat raise for The Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire. Whereas she got $500,000 plus bonuses from the first flick, she’ll be getting something like $10 million total for number two. And you know what? We think she totally deserves it. We’ve been catching snippets of the DVD extras before its August 18 release, and they go a long way to showing that she’s the real heart of the movie (well, that and Suzanne Collins’ story, of course). Take this latest exclusive clip on Vulture today, all about how director Gary Ross and visual effects supervisor Sheena Duggal decided on the way to create Katniss and Peeta’s flaming arena costumes.
I hope you don’t take away my HG fangirl badge for saying this, but the Girl on Fire scene was basically my least favorite of the whole movie. The effects fell way short of my imagination, and they just seemed rather cheesy to me. Not that I could tell you how it would look better, mind you. My point is, even though the effects very occasionally reminded you that you were watching a fictional movie, Lawrence’s stark performance consistently brought me back into the story. I’m sure a whole lot of the three hours of behind-the-scenes footage the DVD contains is going to show more of the same. Here she is learning how to climb trees — but of course, we never care how well she climbs the trees in the end, it’s all about the look on her face once she’s up there, watching the Careers plot her demise.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below!
Hopefully she’s as good at making fish hooks as she is at making Miranda feel terrible about her sexual choices! Lionsgate announced today that America’s favorite judgmental housekeeper Sex And The City’sLynn Cohen has been cast as District 4 victor-turned-coach-turned-tribute in Catching Fire. Partnered with Finnick Odair and endeared to Katniss, Mags is an 80-year-old Hunger Games mentor who volunteers to protect tribute Annie Cresta. If that already sounds like a tear jerker, you might need to stock up on Kleenex now. It only gets more heart-wrenching from there.
Cohen has most recently appeared in Nurse Jackie, Bored to Death and basically every permutation of Law & Order on television. In case you thought Cohen’s range was limited to just “comically old-fashioned domestic worker,” her emotional moments with Cynthia Nixon over her ailing mother-in-law, as well as her turn as Golda Meir in Munich, will show you otherwise. Seriously, you will cry at your desk if you watch the videos below the jump. Oh no…we just remembered more details from Catching Fire. Yeah, we are already dreading that whole “falling to the ground in a horrible dance” business…
Just when you think every actor under the age of 30 has tried out for the role of Finnick in the Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire, you find out that you are totally and completely correct. Glee’s Grant Gustin is just the latest man-child to throw his name into the reaping ball, joining the likes of Garrett Hedlund, Hunter Parrish and whatever actor just popped into your head after Hunter Parrish. Oh yeah, he’ll do. “I have auditioned for the role,” he admitted in an interview with The Insider today. “I don’t think [the producers] know what they’re looking for just yet, but yes, I auditioned for the role.” Hmmm, an interesting aside. Were the casting directions literally scratching their heads and shrugging in the middle of auditions? Did giant cartoon question marks appear about their heads? From all the names that have been swirling recently, all signs point to…yes.
When not subtly and hilarious undermining Kurt’s relationship on Glee, Gustin stars in the upcoming Lifetime movie A Mother’s Fear, a film which also sounds like it could be about a dystopian teen battle royale. We’re intrigued by him as a choice, but other than Glee, he doesn’t have much on his IMDB to go by. Which begs the question…who do you want to see don the trident and fishnet underwear of Finnick Odair? Right, right, all of them, but in the movie. Who do you want to see put them on in the movie?