While you might be eagerly awaiting the release of Catching Fire, it’s admittedly been some time since the first Hunger Games movie hit the big screen. Here’s a refresher in case you forgot some of the action from the first film:
KatnissOur protagonist is Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, who takes her sister’s place as tribute in the Hunger Games. She’s really good at archery and side braids and really bad at dealing with emotions and cute boys.
The DistrictsEvery district sends two tributes into the Hunger Games, one boy and one girl. Some districts are more wealthy than others, but Katniss and Peeta come from the district of hard knocks, District 12.
Team Peeta vs. Team GalePeeta (Josh Hutcherson) is the other competitor from District 12, who has a wicked crush on Katniss. Gale (Liam Hemsworth) is Katniss’ longtime companion, best friend, and hunting buddy. He might also be looking for a little more than friendship from Katniss.
The Helpers Katniss and Peeta aren’t entirely on their own in the games. They have drunken mentor Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), bubbly and bedecked Effie (Elizabeth Banks), and personal stylist Cinna (Lenny Kravitz).
The GamesEvery year two tributes between the ages of 12 and 18 are taken from each district to compete in a fight to the death, with only one survivor winning. The games take place in an arena controlled by the Capitol and are broadcast to the whole population, which watches with rapt attention.
The RuseWith only Katniss and Peeta left standing, it was obvious one of them had to die in order for the games to be complete. So the two threatened to eat poison berries and kill themselves, forcing the Capitol to declare them both victors. To explain undermining the game, the two must pretend to be in love, which might not be hard as it seems since there are some real feelings developing.
President SnowThe evil ruler of the Capitol, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) certainly didn’t like it when Katniss and Peeta ruined the games.
Now you should be refreshed enough to jump into Catching Fire!
What’s a dystopian novel without a post-apocalyptic world? In The Hunger Games that world is Panem, the nation which rose out of the ashes of current day North America. Panem is split up into 12 districts (we don’t talk about District 13) and a glittering and wealthy capital city.
Taking a page from The Colbert Report, this ongoing “Better Know a District” series will take a look at the districts that make up the brutal Hunger Games world.
Welcome To District 12: The Hungry Coal Miners!
Location: District 12 is most likely located somewhere around the Appalachia.
Industry: District 12 is known for its coal mining.
Classes: District 12 is notable for containing two classes of people: the miners and the merchants. Despite providing the district with its main export, the mining class tends to be much poorer (and in much worse health) than the merchant class.
Notable Residents: Most of the main characters in The Hunger Games trilogy hail from District 12. This includes heroine Katniss Everdeen, her sister Prim, her best friend Gale, and fellow competitor Peeta. Their mentor is the boozy Haymitch Abernathy, one of the few former winners of the Games from District 12.
The Seam: The Seam is where the poorest residents of District 12 live, right near the forest that borders the district. This forest is where Katniss and Gale go to hunt in order to keep their families from starving. Unlike the blonde haired and blue-eyed merchant class, the residents of The Seam tend to have dark hair, gray eyes, and olive skin.
The Hob: The Hob is the black market in District 12, where Katniss and Gale often bring their hunting hauls to make some extra money or trade for needed supplies.
Hunger Games Prospects: Before Katniss and Peeta shocked all of Panem with their win, the tributes from District 12 tended to do very poorly in The Hunger Games. This is probably because of the relative poverty of the district and the lack of Games training.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and this year we’ll be giving thanks for the release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Despite being called The Hunger Games, the series about a dystopian future actually has quite a few tasty dishes scattered throughout the story.
From the opulent food of the Capitol to Peeta’s family bakery, here are some Hunger Games favorites to add into your Thanksgiving Day feast. These delicious dishes will have your guests fighting to the death over the last bite:
Pumpkin SoupDuring Katniss’ victory tour in the Capitol, she indulges in some delicious pumpkin soup. As a Thanksgiving dish, you really can’t beat the combination of seasonal pumpkin and Hunger Games inspiration. [Recipe here]
Lamb StewWhat better way to celebrate Katniss than with her favorite meal? During her time in the Capitol she’s asked by oily talk show host Caesar what has most impressed her about the capitol. “Lamb stew,” she responds. If prepared well, it might become your new favorite dish as well. [Recipe here]
Orange ChickenDuring a lunch with stylish Cinna, Katniss obsesses about the orange chicken the two share. She imagines how hard it would be to replicate the meal back home in District 12, where pretty much all provisions are scarce. Fortunately, you won’t have to hunt your own chicken to make this delicious dish. [Recipe here]
Mellark Bakery’s Goat Cheese and Apple TartsWhat’s a good Thanksgiving dinner without dessert? Peeta’s family owns a bakery, which means they’re always whipping up all kinds of tasty treats, even if they don’t get to eat them. And what torture it would be to stare every day at these delicious apple tarts without having a bite! You don’t have to go all the way to Panem just to pick up these treats; now you can just whip them up yourself. [Recipe here]
Would you ever incorporate food from The Hunger Games into Thanksgiving? And if so, which foods? Share in the comments!
The holidays are around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to get your Katniss-obsessed friends and family. No worries, because we’re here with a guide for the best presents for the biggest Hunger Games fans in your life:
The BooksNo Hunger Games fan would be complete without the written words that started the Katniss craze. Spring for the complete trilogy boxset so they can read the whole tale again from start to finish. [Amazon]
Mockingjay JewelryThe mockingjay is an important part of the Hunger Games mythology and it can also become a staple of your favorite fan’s jewelry collection with this Katniss-inspired necklace. [Amazon]
Cook Book It might be called The Hunger Games, but there’s a surprising amount of food between the pages of this action-soaked trilogy. If your super fan is also a super chef, get them this unofficial cookbook so they can whip up Capitol-inspired dishes. [Amazon]
Shoes Your ultimate fan could always use a new pair of shoes, and these handpainted kicks from Etsy will make for a one-of-a-kind item.
Posters Nothing says love like putting up a bunch of posters, and Hunger Games fans aren’t just obsessive but incredibly talented. Pick up the official movie poster or scroll through sites like Etsy in order to find one of a kind prints.
MakeupPerhaps your superfan wants to emulate that fabulous Capitol style? Lucky for them CoverGirl partnered with the film to make a line of Hunger Games cosmetics. Now your favorite fan can get the full ‘girl on fire’ look for themselves. [CoverGirl]
Archery LessonsOk, this one is a little out there. But if your superfan really wants to throw down like Katniss Everdeen, they’re going to need some skills with the bow and arrow. Look around for a local archery studio and get your fan a few classes with an instructor so they can learn how to wield Katniss’ weapon of choice.
What are some great Hunger Games gifts you’ll be getting for your ultimate fan? Share in the comments!
When it was first announced that Oscar-nominated star Jennifer Lawrence would take on the role of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, the internet was all abuzz with complaints. Were these complaints about how the very white Lawrence was wrong to play the olive-skinned Katniss? Nope, they were all about how she was too big to play the starving District 12 warrior.
For some reason, Jennifer Lawrence cannot seem to escape public scrutiny about her weight, despite the fact that is is demonstrably no one’s business. Worse still, Jennifer Lawrence is not remotely fat. This gives the impression that no matter how healthy you are, there’s always a pressure to lose more weight.
Recently Lawrence sat down with Harpers Bazaar UK to chat about her career and the topic of her much-criticized weight came up. Apparently the internet isn’t the only place taking crazy pills when it comes to policing how Jennifer Lawrence should look. She admitted she was warned she would need to start losing weight or risk losing her job instead.
"Somebody told me I was fat, that I was going to get fired if I didn’t lose a certain amount of weight," Lawrence said. "They brought in pictures of me where I was basically naked, and told me to use them as motivation for my diet."
It’s impossible to believe that Lawrence’s weight is still a topic being discussed, especially after two trips to the Oscars and her stint headlining one of the biggest franchises starring a female character ever. Yet she can’t seem to escape people trying to body-police her, like her perceived attractiveness and not her actual accomplishments are the only topic of conversation.
Of course, Jennifer Lawrence has become everyone’s imaginary best friend for a reason. She’s absolutely upfront about her love of food and refuses to listen to the comments about her body. At award shows, she’s always mentioning how hungry she is or how excited she is to finally eat. No one is telling Jennifer Lawrence to starve herself.
When asked by the interviewer how she responds to these crazy dieting demands, she continues her streak of being the greatest by replying, "If anybody even tries to whisper the word ‘diet,’ I’m like, ‘You can go f**k yourself."
A perfect response for a perfectly stupid non-issue. Now let’s all stop talking about Jennifer Lawrence’s weight and keep talking about how much we want her to be our best friend.
What do you think? Are you even more in love with Jennifer Lawrence now? Sound off in the comments!
Perhaps one of the funniest moments in the first Hunger Games film came about completely by accident. In the movie Peeta, played by Josh Hutcherson, is injured and needs to hide. So he ingeniously hides in plain sight by camouflaging himself as a rock. In the book it’s a more serious scene, but in the movie the visual of Peeta’s face emerging from a rock has become something of an internet meme.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly about the new movie, both actors were asked what they would change about the first film if they had the chance. Jennifer Lawrence mentioned she would have changed the CGI mutts at the film’s conclusion. In the books, these dogs actually have the faces of all the former tributes, but it’s a detail left out of the film version.
But Josh Hutcherson's change has everything to do with that rocky moment with Peeta in camo.
“The camouflage of Peeta in the book is not funny, but then when you have me with clay on my face, lying there half dead, and I turn my face to the camera -- it's so laughable," Hutcherson told the magazine. "It's impossible not to laugh."
It might be impossible to keep a straight face when Peeta’s face pops up from the rock, but whether intentional or not, it’s a moment of levity sorely needed in such a heavily dramatic film. (After all the whole movie is about children killing each other!) Hutcherson might not have liked his moment of makeup glory, but Peeta’s stint as a rock will forever be etched in our minds as one of the few moments we had a good laugh during the action-packed film.
What do you think? Were you laughing when Peeta popped up from the rock or do you agree with Hutcherson that it was a corny moment? Sound off whether you're pro or anti Peeta rock in the comments!
Katniss. Peeta. Gale. These characters are already beloved by the millions of people who shelled out money to see the first movie in The Hunger Games franchise. But with volume two right around the corner when Catching Fire hits theaters, the universe of the franchise will grow to encompass more memorable characters.
Of course, during the course of the first film most of the characters found themselves with an unfortunate ending. (RIP Rue!) Fortunately, this means we’ll be introduced to new beautiful faces for the next chapter of this bloody saga.
Whether you’re a fan of the books who might need a refresher or you’re new to the world of Catching Fire, here are some of the new faces you should memorize before you sit down in the theater.
Check out this gallery for all the new Catching Fire characters!
CBS Broadcasting, Inc.
NBC is about to get a bit spookier when the new series Dracula premieres on October 25. Far from the sparkly Twilight vampires, this Dracula is a whole different kind of monster. Based more closely on the original tale of literature's most famous vampire, this Dracula sees the titular bloodsucker transported to Victorian London.
Played by The Tudors’ Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Dracula is awakened to wreak revenge on an ancient order that once did him wrong. Of course, what’s a vampire story without some romance thrown in? In this case romance comes courtesy of Ms. Mina Murray (Jessica De Gouw) who Dracula notices immediately looks exactly like his dead wife. What are the odds?
Just like avoiding the sunlight, translating the world of the show was no picnic for production designer Rob Harris and staff.
“We had long meetings discussing the look of the show and then created mood boards for each set and character. We then moved on to designing the sets and props,” Harris said in an email interview with Hollywood.com.
On a show about the world’s most infamous vampire, it was essential to bring the horror elements from the story into the design. The team looked to “give a sense of menace to the sets,” in order to translate Dracula’s spooky, moody atmosphere. The team was also tasked with designing a huge number of sets, while always maintaining the overall high quality of the production.
Going back in time to recreate the world of Victorian London was its own special challenge. The production wanted to stay true to the period while also “including as much modernity as possible into the sets.”
Even though Dracula is a show full of supernatural creatures, it was still important to recreate the period to bring audiences back in time. To take audiences to Victorian London, a massive amount of research and planning was necessary.
“Lots of research on the inventions and events of the period,” Harris said of the legwork needed to bring Victorian London back to life. “Also lots of photographs of what is left in London of that period, and research into old photographs and paintings.”
The time and labor paid off, according to Harris. He’s looking forward to audiences discovering the show and seeing, “the scale and big production values, which support great performances.”
Dracula airs Friday at 10PM ET on NBC starting October 25.
Will you be checking out Dracula? Sound off in the comments!
As the song goes, “there is a house in New Orleans” and right now every television production is probably trying to shoot in it. New Orleans has recently become a happening location to film, especially if your show deals with the creepy and paranormal.
While David Simon’s Treme might be closing up shop, there are plenty of new shows to take it’s place. And it’s not hard to see why. Unlike a lot of filming locations, New Orleans has a strong sense of place not easily replicated. The city has a very specific look, feel, and history.
For shows with a spooky undercurrent, there’s nowhere better than a city filled with ghosts and voodoo. Here are a few shows now calling New Orleans home:
American Horror Story: CovenNew Orleans is a big part of the identity of the latest outing of American Horror Story. Not only is the witchy school at the center of this season set in New Orleans, but Ryan Murphy and company have liberally helped themselves to some of New Orleans baddest baddies. Among them is Madame Marie LaLaurie, played by Kathy Bates, a woman who tortured her slaves, plus Axeman of New Orleans will also make an appearance later in the season.
RavenswoodThe cast of Pretty Little Liars has made several trips already to Ravenswood, but it was a tall order to find the perfect location to stand in for the creepy town. Enter New Orleans, the perfect place to film if you need to create a world where the supernatural seems possible.
The OriginalsSpeaking of the supernatural, another spinoff has decided to call New Orleans home. That would be The Originals, the spinoff from the CW’s hit supernatural soap opera The Vampire Diaries. Although only the pilot was filmed in New Orleans and the rest in Georgia, the show is set in The Big Easy.
Star-CrossedThis CW mid-season show starring Friday Night Lights’ Aimee Teegan might be set in the future, but it’s filmed in NOLA.
NCIS: New OrleansCBS refuses to give up on creating a successful spinoff from it’s hit procedural NCIS. According to a report in Entertainment Weekly, the newest idea the network is kicking around to continue the franchise is actually an NCIS set in New Orleans.
Are you looking forward to seeing more of The Big Easy on the small screen? Sound off in the comments!
For years, CBS’s serial killer drama Criminal Minds has been criticized about the level of violence presented on the show. Yet as the show grows older, it seems as if the crimes presented have gotten more violent and disturbing.
Original star Mandy Patinkin, now chasing terrorists on Homeland, even walked off the set of the show before the third season began filming, leaving the production in the lurch. Why? According to an interview with New York Magazine, it was because he found the subject matter, “destructive to my soul.”
As Criminal Minds opens its ninth season, the show is seemingly continuing the trend of pushing the envelope of what you can get away with on broadcast television. The season premiere saw a serial killer force cannibalism on his victims. This included several lingering shots of a rotting head the killer kept in his freezer.
To be fair to Criminal Minds, as the show has gotten older the rest of the television landscape around it has gotten more and more violent. Just look at the eye gougings on FOX’s Kevin Bacon vehicle The Following or pretty much any of the over-the-top death tableaus on NBC’s moody and atmospheric Hannibal. When Criminal Minds started it was one of the only serial killer destinations on the dial, now it has plenty of gory competition.
Perhaps the creative team feels they need to push the envelope in order to stand out from the pack, but it can make watching the show feel like a test of how strong a stomach the audience has. While the early seasons of the drama about profilers at the Behavioral Analysis Unit focused more on profiling and implied more than it showed, the later seasons have gotten increasingly graphic in the depiction of the violence perpetuated by the killers the hunted by the BAU team.
It might be too late to demand the network and the show put the violence genie back in the bottle, but scaling up the violent content just makes the show seem as if it’s grasping at straws as it grows older. Audiences come to Criminal Minds not just to get a good scare, but also to connect with characters they’ve followed for nine years.
Perhaps it’s time for the show to refocus on the profiling work and tone down the violence. There are a million destinations on the dial now to see graphic depictions of violence by serial killers, perhaps Criminal Minds could be a place more concerned about how to catch these killers than gleeful at the violence it can get away with showing on network television.
What do you think? Do you think Criminal Minds has gotten too violent lately? Sound off in the comments!
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