Tag Archives: The Hunger Games

Interview: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’s Willow Shields

Willow_Shields_Jennifer_Lawrence_Catching_FireMost actors have to work their way up. Willow Shields, on the other hand, kicked off her career off at the top. She snagged the coveted role of Primrose Everdeen, Katniss’ little sister, back in April of 2011 and it’s been non-stop prepping, filming and promoting ever since. All the hard work paid off when The Hunger Games scored a $152.5 million opening week in March 2012 and now even more so as the sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, just kicked off its run with a record-breaking $161.1 million.

In the second installment of the critically acclaimed franchise, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) vies to make Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) pay for defying the Capitol with her stunt with the Nightlock berries in the 74th Hunger Games. While Snow tries to destroy everything Katniss holds dear, Prim is there to pick up the pieces when she can, putting her healing capabilities to use and ensuring the fire within her sister continues to burn, giving the people of Panem a source of hope.

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‘The Hunger Games’ Gift Guide

Finnick_GiftNot only is The Hunger Games: Catching Fire finally hitting theaters this weekend, but the holiday season is right around the corner, meaning it’s time to snatch up all the Hunger Games merchandise you can. We checked Etsy for some of the best of the best handmade gifts to give your favorite fan (or perhaps yourself).

Gym-Time Motivation

Fortunately The Hunger Games is a very fictional event, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use the concept of having to fight for our lives as motivation at the gym. Slip on this tank top from Fast Designs and pump up the Hunger Games soundtrack. The moment “Horn of Plenty” kicks in, you’ll be standing tall and proud, pumped to show off some physical prowess.

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Peeta vs. Gale

pvgintroTeam Edward vs. Team Jacob who?  Katniss Everdeen may be unfortunate enough to have been shipped off to the 74th Hunger Games, but she’s got two eligible bachelors chasing after her, making her one lucky girl with a tough decision on her hands. One minute Gale’s being all manly and taking care of her family while she’s away, but then Peeta gives her those puppy-dog eyes and kills a rival. How can she possibly choose between the two? We break it down.


  • Age: 16
  • Home: Victor’s Village
  • Occupation: Baker
  • Weapons of Choice:
  • Weights, Camouflage, Knives


  • Age: 19
  • Home: The Seam
  • Occupation: Coal Miner
  • Weapons of Choice: Snares,
  • Bow and Arrow

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Quiz: In Which ‘Hunger Games’ District Do You Belong?

40123Wouldn’t it be just awful to be born in District 3 if you just weren’t naturally tech savvy? And what if you didn’t like water, but your parents hailed from District 4? Squeamish around animals? Hopefully your family lineage doesn’t plop you down in District 10.

Just in case modern civilization is ever decimated and replaced by a country that consists of 13 hardworking districts and one über-posh Capitol, you better know where you’d thrive. With The Hunger Games: Catching Fire due in theaters on Friday, November 22, Fandango teamed up with TheFandom.net to devise a personality quiz that’ll let you know which Panem district you’re best suited for.

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YA Movie Countdown: Your Complete Guide to ‘Catching Fire,’ ‘Ender’s Game,’ ‘Divergent’ and More at Comic-Con

YA_at_SDCCThe Twilight Saga is long gone, but six new young-adult adaptations might take its place. The San Diego Comic-Con programming schedule has arrived and Ender’s GameDivergentThe Mortal Instruments: City of BonesSeventh Son, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and possibly Maze Runner are due for appearances in Hall H.

As a sequel, The Hunger Games is likely to be the only one that’ll draw a massive crowd and fan rabidity à la Twilight, but this year could also mark an opportunity for the young-adult realm overall to plant some serious roots at the event. As far as film in Hall H goes, there are six comic book or graphic novel-to-film adaptations and also six YA-to-film ones, and of those six there’s a pretty good shot three or maybe even four could maintain an SDCC presence over the next few years.

We may have cut the Twihards loose, but Twilight’s impact on the industry and on Comic-Con has opened the door to not one, but six new dedicated fandoms. Better hit that Hall H line bright and early.

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Why ‘Raze’ Is Like ‘The Hunger Games’ for Adults

Zoe-Bell-RazeA group of women are forced to fight to the death until just one remains. Sounds a lot likeThe Hunger Games, right? Well, yes and no.

In Raze, this epic throwdown isn’t billed as an event geared towards the greater good of the country, rather for entertainment and entertainment alone. There is some talk about the winner defying weakness and becoming a Munad, whatever that is, but the film is really much more about boxing-savvy women being targeted, seduced by a nice looking guy, kidnapped, and thrown in a prison cell until it’s their time to fight. Then, two by two, the women are forced into an arena and required to battle to the death in an effort to keep a loved one alive. If a contender loses her life in the fight, the event organizers put a bullet in her husband, child or parent’s head.

While talking with director Josh Waller and stars Zoe Bell, Tracy Thoms, Rebecca Marshall and Doug Jones in New York City just before the film’s world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, Bell laughed and recalled, “I remember at one point we were all sitting around the table and I was like, ‘You know this Hunger Games thing? Is it bad that that’s similar?’” She continued, “One person said, ‘No, it’s a maximum budget, different sort of genre,’ blah, blah, blah, and then someone else said, ‘I don’t reckon that movie’s gonna do any good anyway.’”

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Why ‘Beautiful Creatures’ Can’t Be Successful in a Post-’Hunger Games’ World

Beautiful-CreaturesIt ain’t easy being a young-adult book-to-film adaptation in a post-Hunger Games world. Tone, topics and characters may vary, but the moment it’s revealed that a new film comes from source material in the YA realm, comparisons are inevitable, and when you’re going up against a film with an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes and $686.5 million at the worldwide box office, that can be tough to handle.

While The Hunger Games will almost undoubtedly go on to accumulate another three films, it’s likely that film one stopped the Beautiful Creatures series dead in its tracks. According toBox Office Mojo, the film ran Warner Bros. a $60 million production tab on top of the millions it probably cost to promote the thing, so a $7.6 million opening with a measly $2,569 per theater average is an immensely disappointing start. Even worse, with the Valentine’s Day hype long gone, it could be heading towards a 45% or even 50% drop in its second weekend, and with two new wide releases hitting theaters on Friday and both Side Effects and Silver Linings Playbook holding strong, Beautiful Creatures might only end up with one weekend in the top 10.

While we can’t entirely blame Beautiful Creatures’ poor performance on The Hunger Games, it’s almost impossible not to pit one against the other — and by doing so Beautiful Creatures, in some respects, may seem worse than it really is.

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‘The Hunger Games’ Countdown: Jennifer Lawrence for the Oscar Win

Jennifer_Lawrence_Silver_Linings_Playbook_Hunger_Games_OscarJennifer Lawrence’s Saturday Night Live episode may have been abysmal and quite possibly one of the worst of the season, but who can blame Lawrence? She was natural enough and tried to play along. When the writing is that unfunny all-around, there’s just so much even an Academy Award-nominated actress can do. So while her disappointing stint onSNL comes and goes, and hopefully rarely gets revisited on YouTube, Lawrence still has her Oscar nomination and, soon enough, that nod could become a win – and maybe even with a little help from Katniss.

Just because Lawrence is nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her work in Silver Linings Playbook doesn’t mean her performance in The Hunger Games can’t have an effect on the vote. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is comprised of people and whether or not a nomination honors a single performance, those people are susceptible to outside forces and, considering The Hunger Games was a cinematic extravaganza that went on to please the large majority of critics, become the third-highest domestic earner of the year, and amass a legion of die-hard fans, it’s very likely that the Girl on Fire is in the back of voters’ minds.

Looking at the five ladies in contention, we can also narrow down the competition rather quickly. While little Quvenzhané Wallis is a revelation and her becoming the youngest Best Actress nominee in history is a thrill, Beasts of the Southern Wild will likely go on to enjoy a presence at the Academy Awards, but fall short of any wins. As one of my top 10 films of the year, it breaks my heart that Juan Antonio Bayona’s The Impossible missed out on a Best Picture nod, only going on to secure a single nomination. Naomi Watts is incredible and deserves to be in the running, but just like the film itself, she’ll fly under the radar.

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What to Watch in 2013 to Get Your ‘Hunger Games’ Fix While Waiting for ‘Catching Fire’

Dayo-OkeniyiIt may finally be the year of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, but November 22 is still a ways away. As eager as we are for the big day to arrive, 2013 just started; there’s no need to rush the year away, as there’s a slew of films hitting theaters over the next 10 months that can appeal to the Hunger Games lover. Whether it’s another YA-book-to-film adaptation or a piece that features a Hunger Games star, 2013 is oozing with promising productions that should keep you thoroughly entertained through November.

The Spectacular Now, Sundance Film Festival
Perhaps this is more of a false start because The Spectacular Now has yet to secure distribution, but is still one to watch at the Sundance Film Festival. Based on Tim Tharp’s novel, the film tells the story of a whisky-guzzling cool kid with zero post-high school plans who strikes up a relationship with a girl who’s the exact opposite of him – socially defunct, but has ambition. Not only does the film rock a stellar cast including Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Kyle Chandler, but it also marks Dayo Okeniyi’s first post-Hunger Games effort, too! Sundance runs from January 17 to January 27, so keep an eye out for reviews and perhaps even news of a distribution deal.

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Perri’s Top Movies 10 of 2012

Top-Ten-of-2012-PerriWhile the large majority can come to an agreement on whether or not a film is good or bad, or pinpoint a particular element that exemplifies skillful filmmaking, for me, the reviewing process is still very personal. Some moviegoers prefer horror while others go for romance, some don’t mind a tearjerker while others would rather keep their emotions to themselves, and then there are the times when you just happen to walk into a movie and it strikes a chord because you just experienced something similar. Well, I certainly can’t speak to your big screen preferences, but I’m thrilled to share mine, a top ten that I’ve populated with quality films that have thrilled, entertained and/or moved me enough to make them some of my best memories of 2012.

Wouldn’t it be fun to grow up on New Penzance and run off into the woods with a cute boy and kitten in a bag? Well, I’m a little too old for a Khaki Scout, but at least I can live vicariously through Sam Shakusky and Suzy Bishop’s budding young romance in “Moonrise Kingdom.” While I do recognize most of Wes Anderson’s work as quality filmmaking, I often have trouble adjusting to his wildly unique characters and environments enough to establish a genuine connection to the material. However, in the case of “Moonrise Kingdom,” Anderson’s bold and beautiful style is as evident as ever, and while he paints a picture of an amusingly heightened reality, Sam and Suzy’s relationship is so charming and honest, it grounds the film just enough to offer up the best of both worlds and that left the doors wide open to come in and become wholly immersed in this world.
Great Quote: “Your girlfriend stabbed me in the back with lefty scissors.”
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I love my sister very much, but, of course, we butt heads a bit – quite a bit, really – so the fact that “Your Sister’s Sister” had me running home after the credits, eager to tell my sister how much I really care about her leaves an indelible impression. Lynn Shelton presents a simple, well-structured script and keeps a light hand on the camera, letting her immensely talented cast shine big time. The large majority of the film plays out through one-on-one chats and table scenes, so compelling conversation is key and Shelton and co. deliver. Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt have the ideal degree of chemistry, all establishing their own connection with one another while also highlighting the group vibe, giving their relationships an incredible amount of depth, making them enjoyable and moving to see progress. “Your Sister’s Sister” will make you smile, laugh, and want to drink a bottle of tequila with a good friend all while melting your heart away.
Great Quote: “I really think your face is gonna annoy me right now.”
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Emotion is great and all, but there’s nothing more frustrating than a movie that makes you cry via manipulation. When “The Impossible” began with that text reminding you it’s based on a true story only to fade to black, leaving just the words “true story” glowing on the screen, I was sure it would be 103 minutes of melodrama, however, not only did the film go on to earn each and every tear, but also became one of my favorites of the year. Moviegoers love Hollywood-style disaster films. I know I most certainly do! But rather than give “The Impossible” a boost, that sets it up to fail. Say what you want about Juan Antonio Bayona’s choice not to go with a Spanish cast, but, as a viewer, it in no way devalued the experience, letting Bayona’s representation of that catastrophic event tell the family’s story in the most respectful, exhilarating, and heart wrenching way possible. Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor are fantastic, but this industry needs more Tom Holland!
Great Quote: “Even if it’s the last thing we do.”
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I’m not going to lie; I was thrilled to death to catch “Magic Mike” for the commercial appeal alone – Channing Tatum and his sexy cohorts rocking it out as male strippers – but it’s so much more than that. After a dirty dancing and six pack-filled promotional campaign, it was easy to forget that “Magic Mike” is a Steven Soderbergh movie, and Soderbergh doesn’t hold back in the least reminding you with the full feature, ultimately making “Magic Mike” a mesmerizing big screen anomaly. It’s got the feel of a grand scale charmer, but there are countless nuances that scream deliberate and proficient filmmaking while also being so subtle. It isn’t until the credits role that you sit back and realize what a nice surprise the experience was and how deeply connected you were to the characters as people and not just the thrill of their profession.
Great Quote: “The law says you cannot touch, but I think I see a lotta lawbreakers up in this house.”
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It’s a movie about a dude trapped on a boat with a tiger! How could this not be one of the great movies of the year? But in all seriousness, Suraj Sharma isn’t getting the attention he deserves for “Life of Pi.” The CGI Richard Parker is quite the achievement, but Sharma’s ability to play off a fake tiger and sell every single moment, basically carrying the entire film, is nothing less than incredible. But, of course, Ang Li deserves a major thumbs up for selling each and every element of the piece, from Pi’s wavering relationship with the tiger to the more fantastical portions of the story. Rather than putting the focus on Pi’s need to find safety before Richard Parker eats him, Li gives the adventure a noteworthy degree of dimension through Pi’s thoughts and emotions. It’s not just about survival. This experience means much more to Pi than that and that, in turn, gives the audience much more to think about, letting “Life of Pi” have a long-lasting impression.
Great Quote: “Animals have souls. I have seen it in their eyes.”
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If I could be a fly on the wall during any scene of a 2012 movie, it’d undoubtedly be the elevator massacre in “The Cabin in the Woods.” Really, is there any horror movie out there that combines genre clichés with originality so well? The movie’s the ultimate two-for-one, offering up that good old secluded cabin in the middle of nowhere scenario while spicing it up with a wildly inventive and surprisingly believable reason for it all. (Or perhaps it’s more just wanting to believe, which is also fine by me.) You’re rooting for poor Dana and her helpless friends to survive, but you also want Hadley and Sitterson to take them out so they can top the Japanese. Then again, Hadley and Sitterson get bonus points for the wonderfully sadistic and entertaining ways they go about killing their victims, so their cause wins out the slightest bit. Is it going too far to call “Cabin in the Woods” horror-lover porn? I’m leaning towards a no.
Great Quote: “Yes, you had Zombies, but this is Zombie Redneck Torture Family. Entirely separate thing. It’s like the difference between an elephant and an elephant seal.”
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“Sinister” had me with its sick and twisted way of saying hello, opening with a minute that feels like ten of watching a helpless family dangling from a tree by their necks. The “Sinister” mini movies alone are more than enough to keep you up at night, but then director Scott Derrickson also offers up a disturbing original story, horrifying imagery, and a powerful lead performance from Ethan Hawke to make it all feel real. From beginning to end, we’re trapped in that house with Ellison. You know something terrible is going down, but the thought of this murder inspiring Ellison’s next big true crime novel makes you want him to dig deeper. But, of course, this is a horror movie so there comes the time when you’re itching to yell at the screen and tell Ellison to reconsider his priorities. It makes for a nice surprise when he actually obliges – in the best and worst ways. I’ve got a “Sinister” poster hanging in my apartment and you know who is on it, so maybe I shouldn’t move out anytime soon.
Great Quote: “Don’t worry, Daddy. I’ll make you famous again.”
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“The Hunger Games” is my most-viewed movie of 2012 and for good reason. Sure, I’m obsessed with Suzanne Collins’ books and do a great deal of writing on the material, but my love of the source has nothing to do with the film version making the list. Gary Ross took a mere $80 million (a low number compared to the major’s all-too-frequent $200 million+ budgets) and turned it into one of the highest-grossing films of the year, and one of quality at that! Ross and co. just absolutely nail the adaptation process. He never undermines the gravity of the Hunger Games, making the event compelling in and of itself, but also does a superb job of putting the audience in Katniss’ shoes, making the experience personal and upping the emotion tenfold. And who can talk “Hunger Games” without gushing over Jennifer Lawrence? Had the studio miscast the role of Katniss Everdeen, it would have been detrimental, but not only did they land the perfect Katniss, they found an actress who would ultimately go on to soar far beyond expectations. Not only is “The Hunger Games” my third best movie of 2012, but it is the most re-watchable movie of the year, hitting the same beats with a notable amount of intensity over and over again.
Great Quote: “I’m here to help you make an impression.”
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While you don’t want to think of the task of killing Osama bin Laden as entertainment, “Zero Dark Thirty” is a movie and a movie’s got to be entertaining, especially at a running time of 157 minutes. Clearly not an easy task with an issue that hits homes for many, but Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal handle every element of the process so delicately that they create an enthralling and entertaining experience while also honoring and respecting the facts. Jessica Chastain’s Maya is pleasant, but leaves just enough room to let you somewhat pity her for handing her entire life over to her job. Then again, she also manages to establish a firm enough connection between the character and the viewer, compelling you to root for her and go along with anything she says. Tack on the fact that it’s impossible to sit through “Zero Dark Thirty” without feeling the effects of the film’s true roots and you end up with the ideal adaptation, a piece that takes the true event and amplifies it with a lesser-known side of the story.
Great Quote: “I’m the mother***er who found this place.”
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Top-notch filmmaking, an endlessly entertaining experience and almost overwhelmingly moving. The second I walked out of “Silver Linings Playbook,” I knew it’d be a tough one to beat. Bradley Cooper gives Pat this fantastic push and pull. You’re well aware of his diagnosis yet still hope he gets what he wants, so when Jennifer Lawrence’s Tiffany steps into the picture, you’ve still got your fingers crossed Pat’s wife will take him back, but are also being increasingly charmed by Tiffany. What results is this wonderful quirky, deep connection between the characters that makes one person’s arc totally reliant on the other’s, an achievement that can only result from the best of performances. Cooper is excellent, but Lawrence does it again. Even while drowning in “Hunger Games” fame, Lawrence has no trouble embodying another character to the fullest extent. Tiffany is impulsive and a bit too blunt, but Lawrence keeps her likable enough and then infuses her with a degree of vulnerability that just melts your heart and hope she gets what she wants, or, rather, deserves. “Silver Linings Playbook” is part romantic comedy, part drama, part family film and even a little feel-good sports movie, too, and, in the end, it leaves you with only the most satisfying assets of each.
Great Quote: “You say more inappropriate things than appropriate things.”
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Stellar production design and visual effects come nowhere close to saving “Snow White and the Huntsman” from its train wreck of a script and unemotional lead. Hands down one of the slowest films of the year, what could have made for a decent 90-minute fantasy action flick turns into a miserable bore drowning in dead air and nonsensical transitions. Making the film even more of a snooze is the fact that Stewart looks just as bored acting in it as the audience feels watching it.

Yet again, great set design, visual effects, makeup and costume work, but all of it ultimately amounts to no more than a boring gimmick. Rather than use the multi-narrative format in a way to enhance each and every story, it makes “Cloud Atlas” feel disjointed and basically just winds up repeating what the trailer told us six times over – we’re all connected. Even worse, it never even makes you believe it. You’re better off just watching the trailer and stepping in for the last two minutes of the film when they present a montage revealing which characters each actor plays – further solidifying the whole thing as a gimmick.

Pretty picture with a lame story and poor pacing all over again. “Anna Karenina” might have been my most painful experience at the theater all year. The ultimate watch-checker, I couldn’t wait for the credits to role so I didn’t have to hear Keira Knightley blather on about her romantic woes for another second more. You get to choose between Jude Law and Aaron Johnson; are you really complaining? Just pick one and get on with your on with your life. Don’t drown us all in your self-created sorrows.

How does a script like this go on to get financed? And how does it go on to attract talent like Chris Pine and Tom Hardy? There’s nothing wrong with a run-of-the-mill romance romp for Valentine’s Day, but “This Means War” is nonsensical garbage. McG seems to have lost his sense of proper shot composition, Reese Witherspoon continues to carry on acting even without the talent she lost years ago, and Pine manages to create the least likeable leading man of the year. Thank you Tom Hardy for giving “This Mean War” at least one nice thing to look at.

This movie should not exist, plain and simple. “Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie” isn’t just unfunny, poorly made and downright ridiculous; it’s so bad it’s nearly impossible to watch. There’s nothing pleasant, charming or even relatable about Tim and Eric, and their little adventure is so preposterous, it’s impossible to get on board even if you tried. Top that of with the fact that it’s weird and grotesque to the point of being truly troubling and you’ve got absolutely no reason whatsoever to even consider allowing yourself to suffer through this atrocity.

Happy and healthy New Year, Shockya readers! Until 2013!

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