THE COLLISION: Episode 113 – THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1

by     Posted 26 days ago

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This week on The Collision, we take a look at The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.  We discuss how it differs from the first two films, the growing legacy of the series, where it fits in with current franchises, how it compares to the book, and much more.  As always, we finish up with our recommendations.

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“Birdman and Foxcatcher“), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg, @AdamChitwood, and @PNemiroff.

Book to Screen: THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Is Better than the Book

by     Posted 27 days ago

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If you’ve read the third book of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy, you’re well aware that Mockingjay has problems and is undoubtedly the most difficult book of the series to bring to screen.  Whereas The Hunger Games and Catching Fire had the benefit of following the clear-cut chain of events involved in the Hunger Games, Mockingjay is more of a free-for-all.  Katniss is holed up in District 13, the Hunger Games are a thing of the past and now it’s just about the rebels trying to figure out how to get an edge on President Snow and the Capitol.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that narrative, but for folks who’ve enjoyed the spectacle and structure of the Hunger Games, Mockingjay could be a serious adjustment.

The same is true of the first half of Francis Lawrence’s big screen rendition, but it’s an adjustment worth making.  Minus the familiar faces and settings, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 bears little resemblance to its predecessors, but Lawrence and co. made a number of changes that make the film version far more accessible than the book.  [Please Note: This article contains spoilers for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, but there is no discussion of what’s to come in Part 2.]

Listen to Jennifer Lawrence Sing “The Hanging Tree” from THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1

by     Posted 29 days ago

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If you’ve seen The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, you know one of the highlights of the film involves a song sung by franchise star Jennifer Lawrence called “The Hanging Tree”.  It’s a somber tune with striking lyrics, and it’s probably been stuck in your head ever since you left the theater.  But not to worry, because you can now listen to the Hunger Games song in its entirety over and over and over again.  “The Hanging Tree” has been released online in full, allowing fans to take as many listens as they please.  Lawrence has admitted her immense embarrassment at having to sing the song on camera, but I’d argue that her quiet vulnerability is what makes the whole sequence so special.

Listen to “The Hanging Tree” by Jennifer Lawrence after the jump.  If you’ve missed any of our The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 coverage thus far, from interviews to reviews to box office updates, click here to catch up.  The film is in theaters now.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 – What Did You Think?

by     Posted 31 days ago

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The time has come.  What’s bound to be the highest earner of 2014 is now in theaters.  As someone who’s very familiar with Suzanne Collins’ source material and has read Mockingjay quite a few times, I’ve been well aware that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 was going to be the biggest challenge of the film franchise.  Yes, the book has problems, but even if the scribes behind the Mockingjay movies fix them – and I think they did fix quite a few – the fact that Mockingjay – Part 1 is such a departure from the original two films could still be a problem for many.

You can catch Matt’s full review of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 right here, but we’d also like to know what you think about the movie, too.  Did you like the change of tone and pace?  Did it leave you eager to see Mockingjay – Part 2?  Sound off in the comments after the jump.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Review

by     Posted 32 days ago

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Although Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is ostensibly the heroine of the Hunger Games saga, the story has developed to where she’s no longer in the mold of a traditional protagonist.  She began that way in the first movie, but The Hunger Games: Catching Fire started to push her to the background as she became part of a much larger conflict rather than its leader.  The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 continues this shift to the point where it barely resembles the first two pictures as the true story of the latest installment isn’t Katniss’ journey, but the revolution that’s consumed her and the rest of Panem.  She’s still an integral part and the focus of the narrative, but director Francis Lawrence has expanded the social commentary far beyond the first film, and put it squarely on how media can be used to control or inspire in the true battle for hearts and minds.  Although the movie is eventually weighted down by the business requirement of splitting the final book into two movies, and Katniss still becomes a puddle of tears when the melodramatic love story surfaces, Mockingjay remains a fascinating and dark development in this unique franchise.

Enter Our THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Giveaway to Win Books, Movies, Posters and More

by     Posted 35 days ago

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Who wants some The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 swag?  I know I do, but clearly I’m not eligible so the thrill of being able to send off a whole batch of Mockingjay – Part 1 prizes to two readers will have to do!  It’s a pretty solid lineup of stuff for the longtime fan or for someone who’s first getting into the series.  The prize bundle comes with The Hunger Games book series and a DVD pack including both The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, but as someone who’s read the books and watched the movies more times than I care to admit, the Mockingjay – Part 1 soundtrack and the fleece blanket (winter is coming!) are the standout items on the list.

Interested? Find out how to get your hands on all of the aforementioned prizes and more after the jump.

Watch THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 NYC Press Conference with Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Natalie Dormer, and More

by     Posted 36 days ago

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Yesterday in New York City, I got to attend The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 press conference with Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark), Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne), Julianne Moore (President Coin), Jeffrey Wright (Beetee), Willow Shields (Primrose Everdeen), Sam Claflin (Finnick Odair), Mahershala Ali(Boggs), Natalie Dormer (Cressida), Donald Sutherland (President Snow), director Francis Lawrence, and producer Nina Jacobson.  While I typically find press conferences with this many people less than an ideal way to ask questions about a movie, I’ll admit the event turned out great.  That’s mostly because of Jennifer Lawrence.  While Lawrence’s massive success could have transformed her easy going persona into someone difficult to work with, as you watch the press conference you’ll see someone who is still amazed and thankful for her success, and she always has a fun answer.

During the press conference everyone is asked and answers questions about the making of the movie, challenging scenes, how they wish they were more like their characters, what it’s like losing their anonymity, and so much more.  If you’re a fan of The Hunger Games, you’ll definitely want to watch this.  The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 opens next weekend.  Look for some exclusive interviews on the site later this week.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 TV Spot: Beetee Sends a Message to Peeta via Mazda; Plus New WK Interact Poster

by     Posted 38 days ago

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The Lionsgate marketing team really knows what they’re doing when it comes to interactive and immersive promotional techniques.  We got those two President Snow (Donald Sutherland) addresses at the beginning of the campaign, there’s also the District Heroes Collection posters, there’s that Our Leader the Mockingjay app that lets you (fake) spray-paint a Mockingjay or District 13 logo on buildings, walls or anything else you see, and now we’ve got a brand new TV spot that also aims to blur reality and fiction.

I’m not going to spoil the surprise, but check out a new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 TV spot after the jump.  It’s a little jarring, but it’s definitely a clever double marketing strategy.  We’ve also got another Mockingjay – Part 1 poster from WK Interact to share as well.  The third installment of the Hunger Games film franchise arrives in theaters on November 21st and stars Jennifer LawrenceJosh HutchersonLiam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley TucciJena Malone and Julianne Moore.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Clip Introduces Natalie Dormer, Wes Chatham, Elden Henson and Evan Ross

by     Posted 42 days ago

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire made room for new players like Sam Claflin’s Finnick Odair, Jena Malone’s Johanna Mason and Jeffrey Wright’s Beetee, but The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 introduces far more new main characters, a number of which will likely have a significant presence in the final two films.  A brand new clip from the movie just dropped and it offers a brief introduction to Katniss’ camera team.  As the Mockingjay, it’s Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) responsibility to inspire the nation to fight back via propos – interviews, messages or wartime footage featuring Katniss supporting the rebel war effort – and the folks behind those videos are franchise newcomers Cressida (Natalie Dormer), Castor (Wes Chatham), Pollux (Elden Henson) and Messalla (Evan Ross).

You can catch them as well as Mahershala Ali as Boggs, Katniss’ personal bodyguard, in the latest The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 clip after the jump.  The film hits theaters on November 21st and also stars Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore and Donald Sutherland.

First THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Clip: A Message from Peeta Mellark

by     Posted 46 days ago

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After all those posters, TV spots and trailers, it’s about time we’re getting our very first clip from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, but the reveal is actually a little underwhelming because the clip isn’t as wow-worthy as all of the other promos.  It’s not a bad scene by any means, but it does seem like an odd choice for a first clip.  First off, we’ve seen a good deal of this footage in trailers already and secondly, it just ends so abruptly.  Again, there’s nothing wrong with the material, it just isn’t a particularly satisfying standalone clip nor is it one that leaves you thinking, “I’ve got to see what happens next.”

Hit the jump to check out the new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 clip for yourself.  The film is due in theaters on November 21st and stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam HemsworthWoody HarrelsonElizabeth BanksJeffrey WrightStanley TucciSam Claflin and Jena Malone.

Peeta Sends a Message in the Latest THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 TV Spot

by     Posted 52 days ago

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President Snow (Donald Sutherland) snatched Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) out of the arena at the end of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire for a reason.  He’s got big plans for the Boy with the Bread and thanks to this latest TV spot, we’re getting an extended look at them.  While Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) and Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) are busy prepping Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) to lead the rebellion, Snow is using Peeta to destroy it.

Hit the jump to catch Peeta’s message to his co-74th Hunger Games victor and everyone else defying The Capitol in the latest The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 TV spot.  The film is due in theaters on November 21st and also stars Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, Sam Claflin and Jena Malone.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Tracking to Open at $130 – $150 Million

by     Posted 53 days ago

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Guardians of the Galaxy currently sits as the domestically highest grossing film of 2014 with a total of $328 million, but it will probably lose the crown when The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 hits theaters.  Catching Fire beat out Marvel’s Iron Man 3 last year by raking in $424 million, so unless Mockingjay gets utterly toxic word-of-mouth, it’s probably going to open big on November 21st and stay big through the holiday season.

How big?  THR reports that preliminary tracking is putting the movie on track for a $130 million opening weekend.  Transformers: Age of Extinction is 2014′s current record holder for opening weekend by reaching $100 million.  It’s worth noting that worldwide box office is where the big money is coming from for studios these days, but a $150 million domestic opening would be nothing to scoff at.  The real test for Mockingjay – Part 1 is whether it can top Age of Extinction‘s $1 billion worldwide gross.  Catching Fire grossed $864 million worldwide.  Hit the jump for the synopsis and latest trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.

Final THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Trailer Promises Massive Scope, Dire Consequences

by     Posted 54 days ago

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Lionsgate has released the final The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 trailer for the upcoming event film.  Directed by Catching Fire helmer Francis Lawrence, the film finds Panem’s Capitol fighting an all-out revolution, as Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss prepares for battle in District 13 following the destruction of her home, District 12.  The scope of this thing looks absolutely massive, and while it should be fun to see what Francis Lawrence does with a larger canvas, I do hope that the film maintains the strong character-centric focus that made Catching Fire so satisfying.  Catastrophe and “trailer shots” are neat, but we see countless quantities of them year-round; what the Hunger Games franchise excels at is showcasing Jennifer Lawrence’s powerful lead performance and the camaraderie that surrounds her.  Fingers crossed that continues with Mockingjay.

Watch the final The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 trailer after the jump.  The film also stars Josh Hutcherson, Liam HemsworthWoody HarrelsonJulianne MoorePhilip Seymour HoffmanElizabeth Banks, Sam ClaflinJena Malone, and Donald Sutherland.  The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 opens on November 21st.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Empire Covers: Jennifer Lawrence is Ready for the Rebellion

by     Posted 56 days ago

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You thought fighting for your life in the Hunger Games was bad?  In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) has to keep herself and her loved ones alive in the midst of a civil war.  No more Capitol issued arena uniforms this time around.  Katniss will be rocking body armor and a brand new bow in the franchise’s third installment and you can see it all on the cover of the December issue of Empire Magazine.

The new edition doesn’t hit stores until Thursday, October 30th, but Empire just unveiled two versions of the The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 cover.  Hit the jump to check them out.  Mockingjay – Part 1 arrives in theaters on November 21st and also stars Liam HemsworthWoody HarrelsonJulianne MoorePhilip Seymour HoffmanElizabeth Banks, Sam ClaflinJena Malone and Donald Sutherland.

New THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 TV Spot Features Teary-Eyed Josh Hutcherson

by     Posted 61 days ago

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Whether you’re into the non-stop Hunger Games marketing campaigns or not, there’s no denying that Lionsgate knows how to deliver quality promotional material.  At this point, we’ve already seen a teaser trailer, a full-length trailer and a TV spot for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 yet this latest TV spot still rocks some brand new footage and a relatively unique tone.  The film’s promotional push isn’t just laying it all out there to get as many moviegoers into theaters as possible.  Lionsgate is actually taking more of a storytelling-centric approach, having each new piece add a layer to the situation, encouraging viewers to become invested well before the movie even comes out.

Hit the jump to check out the latest The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 TV spot featuring Willow Shields’ Primrose Everdeen, a little encouragement from Elizabeth Banks as Effie and a super sad Josh HutchersonMockingjay – Part 1 is due in theaters on November 21st.

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