Tag Archives: Hunger Games

Barely-Even-A-Trailer Breakdown for Mockingjay Part I

2 Jul

On the one hand, I could spend time lamenting how much I’ve neglected my blog and how many trailers and notable events in the geek community that I’ve missed. Or, on the other hand, I could simply start making up for lost time.

Well, I’ve always been a sucker for a late grade.

Last week, the Hunger Games movie franchise advertised its intentions to break our hearts and make us pay money for it by releasing the first teaser for Mockingjay Part 1. Part 1, you ask? They’re making us pay twice as much money and a full year in between to break our hearts?

Yes, I answer. Pay attention.


Coming at you live from the studios that have been solely responsible for the trauma and murder of seventy-five generations!

*applause from audience being threatened with machine guns*mckj_2

“Since the dark days, our great nation has known only peace.”

*person in audience coughs and is immediately shot in the head*

“Ours is an elegant system: conceived to nourish and protect.”

Why don’t I feel like this is a movie trailer? I know it’s just a teaser, but it sure feels like a commercial for something else.

And why do I suddenly want to buy an iPhone 5s?mckj_4

Of course. It looks so much better now.mckj_5

Oh wow. This feels more like an apple commercial than apple commercials do. Good to know not everything changes when your country converts to a child-killing government to keep the peace.mckj_6

“The districts are the body. The Capitol is the beating heart.”

Fun fact: No one came to Snow’s poetry readings as a young twenty-something, and that’s why he’s so bitter.mckj_7

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.mckj_8

“Your hard work feeds us, and in return, we feed and protect you.”

I can think of a couple of districts that aren’t feeling that feed part as well as you think they might.


It takes a big man to sacrifice the lives of others’ children. Panem is so lucky.

Peeta what have they done to you

You look so clean

“But if you resist the system, you starve yourself. If you fight against it, it is you who will bleed. I know you will stand with me, with us, with all of us, together, as one. And then, you too can wear a snappy white jacket.


“Panem today, Panem tomorrow, Panem forever.”

Ain't it Fun -- Paramore

Fun fact: I hide behind pop culture references to hide my deep pain.

mckj_12Mockingjay, Part 1.

And additionally, much like an iPhone, the next one will come out a year after this one, and it will crush the dreams of millions!

(It’s possible that I have a knowledge gap where apple products are concerned. Yes? No?)

See you in November, tributes.

After the Credits

31 May

“Wait,” I whispered. “What?”

The secret scene after a Marvel movie. Familiar enough. I take you, then, to the theater I recently shared with a few dozen others watching X-Men: Days of Future Past (perfect, highly recommend). And more specifically, I take you to the end-credits scene, and to the comic book-born figure who was finally getting his close-up on the big screen. However, for the moment, his presence was lost on us. So I bring you to another familiar thought related to Marvel end-credits scenes: Who is this guy?

I had a wavering suspicion, but I wasn’t confident enough to say it out loud.

“Who is that?” my sister leaned over and asked.

“He seems too skinny,” I whispered feverishly to myself before panicking with a louder-than-preferred, “I don’t know!” 

“We’ll google it,” she resolved, quiet purpose in her voice.

I inwardly groaned and chastised myself for my ignorance. But my small whine of failure was nothing compared to the woman at the back of the theater.

“AUGH!” she screamed. And I do mean screamed. “WHY DON’T I KNOW HIS NAME! WHY DON’T I KNOW HIS NAME!”

The struggle is real.

By the way, though I can hardly take credit for it since I lacked the moral strength to own my conviction, my original suspicion of the character’s identity was correct thanks goodbye

This is one of the reasons I adore Marvel movies so much. The right kind of people go to see them. The ratio of people who are desperate to see these movies to people who come along begrudgingly is far weightier on the side of the first, and certainly far better than many other movies I see in the theaters. You can hear the passion in the crowd – everyone either loves the Marvel cinematic universe, the comics universe, or both. Either way, there is a lot of passion packed into that crowd.

I find that the comic book fans tend to accompany the cinematic fans. It makes the experience more interactive. They always sit together, and you can tell which is which, because at any given moment, the two are looking at each other like this:

It’s not only this way with Marvel movies, but with nearly any well-done (or otherwise) book-to-movie adaption. When you know how the story is vs. how it ought to be, it’s hard to keep quiet.

And after the credits roll, specifically with Marvel’s deliciously ambiguous after-credit scenes, everyone turns to the reader to interpret. Not always so much because they’re confused, but because the reader is having a fit in the aisles, waving their arms, going,

Whether the adaption was done well or not, a reader is always a mess after a movie.

Exhibit A: Did you see the internet after the first installment of the Hobbit came out? People were rioting in the [virtual] streets.

Exhibit B: What about after Catching Fire? Parades. Balloons.

Exhibit C: Percy Jackson. (You just started weeping, didn’t you?)

I read Hunger Games before I saw it, so I have that reader’s perspective – and yet I am baffled to no end about how angry people are that Madge was left out. This minor character, who had her name mentioned maybe three and a half times, became the freaking Mockingjay to the readers’ cause.

See, when someone loves something, and someone else comes along and rearranges it, it’s not hard to understand that there would be emotional upset. I think what irks us the most, though, is that it becomes canon. Obviously, it doesn’t change original, proper canon, but in this grand, cinematic universe, we have to accept something other than what is familiar.

And that’s not fair. Every feeling rebels against that sort of change, and rightfully so.

This passion for the story, whether fury over a change, or outright joy over a film’s faithfulness, is what makes readers such an adventure to catch a movie with. Alternately, the reader will always need someone less involved in the story to explain things to. It’s a beautiful, symbiotic relationship that everyone should experience.

10/10, highly recommend.

I suppose all this is to say that when a reader invites you to go see The Fault in Our Stars this week, say yes.

They need you.

Trailer Breakdown for Frozen

27 Sep

Yesterday, the trailer for Disney’s Frozen was released. Suffice to say I was a little excited, having been checking for this trailer nearly every day for something like three weeks. I like my Disney movies. But now that I’ve seen the trailer seventy times, it’s time to subject it to the breakdown.

If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, you can watch it here, and then you can come on back and analyze it with me.

[Dramatic voice-over]

“Summer in the city of Rivendell Arendelle: it couldn’t be warmer.”

That actually sounds pretty unpleasant.

“It couldn’t be sunnier.”

Why are all those people wearing long sleeves?

“But that’s about to change.”

Does anyone here know how to dress for the weather?F_4


Oh, now, she’s wearing a sleeveless dress. Now that she’s on top of a mountain shooting sparkly ice out of her hands. I guess you do what you want when you’re queen.


I mean, if we’ve learned anything from the Chronicles of Narnia, it’s that queens have a propensity for cold, right?

And hey, everyone’s gonna be happy they’re already wearing winter clothes.F_8


Except this fool.

Anna, honey, you gonna catch your death of cold.


Is anything fandom-related not happening in November? And don’t say Sherlock. We don’t need that kind of negativity here.F_10

Introducing: this obligatory Disney white horse and its incompetent rider.F_11

… Who has yet to figure out the mechanics of a jacket. I mean, come on. It’s snowing.f_12





“If we don’t do something soon, we’ll all freeze to death!”F_15

“You want to talk about a problem? I sell ice for a living.”F_17

“Ooh, that’s a rough business to be in right now! I mean that is really –


That’s unfortunate.”

Look at the pain on Ice Guy’s face. How could you be so insensitive, Anna?


We could ignore the horse’s expression, but I’d rather not. What is that?F_20

I’m going with “up to something.”

Disney animals are the biggest shippers of us all, folks.

“This is awkward. Not you’re awkward, but just cos we’re –F_22

I’m awkward. You’re gorgeous.F_23

Wait, what?”

Ladies and gentlemen, if you were looking for a way to identify with Anna, then there you go. We’re done here.


“Hi, everyone! I’m Olaf.”

In case you haven’t seen it, the original teaser for this film was a plot-free, human-free, dialogue-free two minutes of this little jerk fighting with a reindeer over a carrot, Ice Age-Scrat style. I think that’s enough backstory to explain why I may be a little hostile towards him.


Let’s all just appreciate the freckles for a second.

“I know how to stop this winter.”F_28

Ice Guy has a sweet ride. How much does the ice business pay?

“I like fast!”F_29

“WHOA WHOA whoawhoawhoa. Get your feet down. This is fresh lacquer.F_30

Seriously, were you raised in a barn?”

If no one else is gonna say it, I will.


“Let’s go bring back summer!”

Said the snowman.

Doesn’t something about that seem wrong to you?

F_32 F_33


Thank you, Ice Guy. I was curious about those feral, canine animals.F_34


Mandolin: the new frying pan?F_35

“Oh mama, I have got to get me one of these!”F_38

“Are you okay?”

“I’ve got a thick skull.”

Ice Guy, you’re adorable.F_39

“I don’t have a skull.”


If you make a snowman joke, I will lose my mind.



“Now we just have to survive this blizzard!”F_61

“That’s no blizzard!”F_43


“That’s my sister!”

Well, I guess you could say her sister Elsa is a… cold mess.

Get it? Like, not a hot mess, but a… You know what, forget it.

Look at Olaf’s smug little face.  Ice Guy had to carry him. Ice Guy has to carry a snowman through a snowstorm. 


“It is not nice to throw snowpeople!”F_46

Anna, even this bionicle snowman is frustrated that you’re defending that guy.F_47

There’s November again. Taunting us.F_48

“Olaf, you’re melting!”

Elsa, your voice doesn’t have any of the joy that I would think would go with that sentence. I’m concerned.


“Some people are worth melting for.”

Wait, snowman/sorceress pairing? Is that legal?







“Hang in there, guys!”



I am so far beyond excited for this movie.

“I can’t feel my legs! I can’t feel my legs!”

Olaf, you are MADE OF SNOW

“Those are my legs.”

“Oh, hey, do me a favor and grab my butt!”F_58

Did you justF_59Ice Guy,  you’re just encouraging him.

The Hunt (Or: That One Time I Got my Dad to Make a Geeky Reference)

3 Sep

I’ve just gotten back from my first bowhunting trip.

In related news, I will now only be responding to the name Katniss.

No, actually, that is definitely not true. But I did go bowhunting for the first time ever. So of course, it must be story time.

This story starts last Friday, when Mum, Dad, and my compound bow and I got in a car and drove south for longer than I’ve ever wanted to.

Five hours after we set out, we arrived in southern Oregon, and we visited the couple whose property we were hunting on. We kicked around outside the house, waiting for our hosts. My dad noticed some oddly featured wooden heads poking out of the couple’s garden. Recognizing a chance to amuse himself, he called Sam, one of our travelling buddies who came in another vehicle, over to his side and asked, “What do you think about these?” Sam obliged my dad with a few lines about the possibility of the heads being full bodies buried very deeply.

Then he continued, “you know, cos we’re probably Orcs to them. We come with fire, we come with axes,” he slipped into a British accent, “Gnawing, biting, breaking, hacking, burning…”

My parents, though not really geeks, definitely know a geeky reference when they hear one. I grinned and gave dad a knowing look.

See, on the drive over, we had been discussing our travelling partners: Rod, my dad’s New Zealand hunting buddy, and Sam, my dad’s producer, and, as we found out not long after we met him, a Lord of the Rings fanboy.

(And no. I would not let that fact go to waste.)

Five hours in a car provides you with more than enough time to explore the strange inner workings of the human mind, so it’s perfectly normal that I gave dad some odd advice for our upcoming adventure. I told him I had a buzzword for him to say when Sam was around. “If you say this, he will love you forever. Well, he may already love you, but this will help.”

“Okay, okay,” Dad humored me. “What was it again?”

“Mash ‘em, boil ‘em, stick ‘em in a stew.”

“Mash ‘em, boil ‘em, stick ‘em in a stew,” he repeated.

“Yes! And it would be best if you could say this when potatoes are nearby or something. Taters. Call them taters, and then say your line.”


My dad’s a good guy.

His challenge accepted, I spent the rest of the trip trying to give dad meaningful looks whenever I thought he could say his line. Things got in the way pretty quick, though.

On this adventure, we stayed in a warm little house with no shortage of cozy blankets, DVDs, or Ritz crackers. My bed was right by the front door, and, to my delight, a convenient distance from the TV.

One thing you could not miss about the cabin was that it was incredibly charming, a word which here means, “lacking in indoor plumbing and had mousetraps littered around in a somewhat threatening manner.”

Okay, I thought to myself as I walked in. That’s fine. I’m adaptable.

When I first marked the startling lack of running water, I asked our guide where the restroom was and crossed my fingers that it was anything but a bush on the side of the house.

I was led to the backyard and directed to an outhouse.

Good, I thought. I thanked the guide and silently reminded myself how adaptable I was.

Just for the record, it’s easy to think that you’re adaptable until you lock yourself in a bathroom with a bat whom you have just awoken. We have to learn lessons somehow.

The next morning at 7:00, we set out on my hunt.

As we were stalking around in the forest with my bow, I figured it was a good time to pretend I was Katniss. This didn’t last very long, because judging by the way I stomped down the path in my massive hiking boots, I was a bit too Peeta-like. I briefly considered Legolas, but if that were the case, my hair would have turned out much better than it had that morning.

Actually, come to think of it, as far as my hair was concerned, Merida would have been a far better comparison.

But anyway, it was hard to concentrate on make-believe between the nervousness of my first bow hunt, the prayers for an animal to show up, and the constant mental singing from the song stuck in my head (Want to get it stuck in your head too?).

It was a very long hike. Thank goodness for my lungs, Rod stopped every five minutes to haul out his binoculars and stare with intensity at nothing in particular. Sam would trot up next to him and ask, “What do your Elf eyes see?” (The reference was lost on him, but it was still not wasted)

Eventually, those Elf eyes spotted a Corsican ram, standing thirty-two yards away. I thanked the Lord, drew my bow, and, by some miracle, we were cleaning out the animal thirty minutes later.

(I didn’t shoot the animal through the eye socket, though. Katniss still has much to teach me.)

When we got back, we told my mum the news in between desperate gasps for air ( thank you, half-hour, uphill hike), and then Rod fixed us a fabulous breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns.


You know,

My dad saw his chance. He grabbed his plate and sprang into action. “Mash ‘em…” he said. “Boil ‘em…”

Sam beamed. “Stick ‘em in a stew!”

Career Mapping for the Fictionally Inclined Part 2

25 Jul

In Part 1 of Career Mapping for the Fictionally Inclined, I discussed how important it is to begin thinking about what you will do with your life one day. The fictional world is full of career opportunities, and in the interest of deciding which one is best for us, I have extended the job search.

Let’s begin.

Disney Princess.

Upside: Do I have to explain the upsides of being a Disney princess? I can talk to animals, have spectacular hair, my wardrobe is superb, I can sing in public and not get weird looks, and handsome prince is often involved at some point.

Downside: My father apparently has terrible judgment when it comes to spouses. I, for one, would like to know how he went from marrying my mother, who was allegedly a perfect angel, to marrying an evil sorceress who murdered him shortly after the wedding. Come on, Dad. I’m sure there were signs. And if step-mothers are not an issue in my story, then there’s always some conflict, whether it be my social standing, my prince thinking I’m a dude, or how trapped in a tower I am.

Psychic Detective

Upside: So. many. snacks. Additionally, I am expected to do the finger-waving to make my psychic powers more convincing, and I can’t tell you how happy I would be to get paid for doing that. My job description? To catch killers, have adventures, flirt with clients, and work with my best friend. You know that’s right.

Downside: I literally lie for a living. This could get old after a while. I would be a considerable target for serial killers, and, if I’m being totally honest with myself, I would gain thirty pounds in the first week if I were allowed to have so many snack breaks.


Upside: Mutant powers and world-saving – nuff said.

Downside: X-Men probably catch more drama than any other super-powered individual in the Marvel multiverse. Not only does every non-mutant person hate my guts, but somehow, by the end of the school year at Xavier’s, every student has about three ex-significant others. Not to mention, the chances of being driven insane and altering reality or destroying a planet are frighteningly high.

Maze Runner

Upside: Most prestigious position in the community. A Maze Runner gets exercise, respect, and the knowledge that he may one day solve the maze, free the Gladers, and maybe get some answers.

Downside: That “knowledge” I mentioned above is a bit closer to wishful thinking than a state of knowing. And I’d have to watch out for Grievers, the most terrifyingly confusing creature known to YA literature. Not cool. It’s also worth mentioning that if I run for longer than seventy-four seconds, my own body starts trying to murder me.


Upside: Fabulous dress code. I could smother myself in gold powder, and not one person could question me. I could stick stickers on my face and not one person would question me. I could stitch an outfit together out of teddy bears and hand grenades and no one would question me.

Downside: The whole sending-23-kids-off-to-certain-death thing is a bit of an issue for me.


       Wait, a doctor or the Doctor?

The Doctor.

       Of course.

Upside: Traveling through all of time and space, making friends, and saving galaxies – I could get used to this. The company vehicle has its own personality, and knows where I should go before even I do. I have no living co-workers, so no one can cramp my style. My style, by the way, would love to include wearing a vegetable or a fez.

Downside: Time is in flux, I know, but I’m sure I would still find a way to totally mess it up. I’m not a tidy crier, and I’m pretty sure I have to cry at least once a day in this occupation. The pressure of saving the universe is an intense one, and I for one would not like to see the universe under my protection. Did I mention that I have no living co-workers? Yes? Well, did I mention that that’s because I killed them?

Once again, I believe there are more fictional occupations that I missed, so feel free to give me some more ideas! And remember, when deciding which career path is best for you, be sure to factor in whether you have the right temperament, goals, and/or species to properly complement the job.

Happy hunting!

Why the Internet Is a Supervillain and We All Have Stockholm Syndrome

8 Apr

Stockholm Syndrome: a condition that arises when victims of a kidnapping or hostage situation begin to sympathize with and even defend the person who has them captive.

I’ll be honest. I know this feeling. If you’re on the internet right now, reading a blog, you know the feeling too. When we first got involved in the internet, it was weird. Uncomfortable. Foreign.

The library website knows my card number? WHAT ELSE DOES IT KNOW ABOUT ME?

Disturbingly Moriarty-esque, the internet pulls us in with knowledge of us and the things we love – and then it keeps us doing what it wants with those same things. It makes you believe that the only way to beat it is to do something drastic like throwing yourself off a high place or cancelling your facebook account.

Related image

Both terrifying.

But then, your mind starts to change. The internet starts to become commonplace.

Well, I really ought to keep in touch with my friend’s friend from Japan, so I’ll make an account on Google Plus for that reason.  

But then?  You’re in the middle before you know that you’ve begun. Just as you start to realize that the internet’s become normal, it becomes needed. You’re in a brutal Hunger Games arena of knowledge and entertainment and what is now “social,” and you have to compete to survive. Without it, you will be left to forage on your own in the increasingly frightening wilderness, not even being able to Google which berries are not deadly. You can’t give it up. And, in fact, you don’t even want to.

I can’t stop Pinterest. I have important stuff on there! What if I delete my boards and then someone proposes to me? The wedding will be a disaster without the 1,327 pins I saved for that very purpose!

And the cycle is complete. We have Stockholm Syndrome. Beginning the journey that is the internet, we hoped that our effect would be like Belle’s effect on the Beast. We dreamed that our being close to the internet would turn it into a loving being and that we would both be the better for having been together. But the internet turned out to be Gaston – he wants to make us love him, but he won’t truly love us in return.

And, thanks to the syndrome, we stick around anyway.

There are a lot of good reasons to be on the internet. I know this very well. But there are not as many good reasons as there are bad ones. I know this very well.

So I’ll start small. Just take some time away from this supervillain today.