Catching Fire Billboards in Times Square are AMAZING

Catching Fire is — well — catching fire all over the world right now, with legions of posters springing up on top of cabs, in subways, in cinemas, and so many other places. The most impressive display of all, however, just might be in Times Square:

times-square-catching-fire

Click here
to see blown-up version of image.

Really, Lionsgate is pulling out all the stops! As soon as I saw this on the street, I knew I just HAD to take that picture and share it on our site. For frame of reference, zoom in on the photo and compare the billboard size to the buildings behind. Katniss and Peeta are absolutely MASSIVE.

So, What do you think? Do you like what you see?

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Watch Hunger Games Fireside Chat’s ‘100 Things to Do Before Catching Fire’ Video & Enter Their Giveaway!

In case you missed it, this past Monday the 100th episode of Hunger Games Fireside Chat aired (click here to listen if you missed it!), and in honor of this impressive milestone they’ve release their “100 Things to Do Before Catching Fire Opens in November” video!

But wait, there’s more! In addition to the video they have a 100th episode celebration giveaway where you could win a copy of The Hunger Games on DVD and a Capitol portrait poster!  If you would like to know how to enter, you must click here  for complete instructions.  Please read them carefully and follow them completely!  

Once again, if you missed this week’s centennial episode of Fireside Chat in which Adam, Savanna, and the rest of the panelists took us on a nice trip down memory lane, or any episode, you can catch up by subscribing on iTunes!

Highlights From Episode #96 of Hunger Games Fireside Chat

If you missed this week’s episode of Hunger Games Fireside Chat,  don’t worry you can listen to the entire show here!  However, if you’re short on time, you might want to check out these show highlights which cover those amazing new Victory Tour posters!

 

 

Fan sites react to Jena Malone as Johanna Mason

While we anxiously await confirmation from Lionsgate that Jena Malone has been officially cast as Johanna Mason, Perri Nemiroff from Movies.com got reactions from top fan sites after the news broke.  We’ve included a few of them below,  but make sure you head on over to Movies.com to see the all of the reactions.

Savanna – Hunger Games Fireside Chat
Assuming this is true, I am so unbelievably thrilled! I’ve been “following” Jena Malone’s career since she appeared in Donnie Darko in 2001, and I’ve always been impressed by her performances and by the interesting and challenging choices that she’s made. She’s incredibly talented, and I know that she’ll be able to inject this role with all of the feistiness, badass-ness, and depth that it requires. For those who don’t think she looks the part, remember, we know that Johanna has wide-set brown eyes and short brown hair, but that’s it. Personally, I’m psyched that Jena is on the petite side, as Johanna won her Games by convincing her competitors that she was weak; it wouldn’t really make sense for her to be very tall or muscular. The bottom line is that if you’re a great actor, you can look like and be anything or anyone, and Jena truly is great. I, for one, will be resting easy tonight!

Crystal – Mockingjay.net
While I think Jena is too old to be the book Johanna Mason, it’s a movie and therefore allowances have to be made. I get that Jennifer looks much older than she should and so I understand why Johanna has to be aged up. And if aging up helps Garrett Hedlund in any way, I’m all for it! I’ve only seen Jena in Sucker Punch and Contact (when she was like 12). Sad to say that Sucker Punch really disappointed me. It was all fluff and a total guy’s movie, but I definitely think she can pull off the snark and attitude of Johanna. And while I may not have liked Sucker Punch, her role as Rocket is actually similar to Johanna Mason in that she had to play the badass Rocket and her real-life counterpart who was decidedly more weak and vulnerable as a mental patient. (Great for Mockingjay!)

Theresa – Down With The Capitol
Admittedly, I have not seen Jena in action, but I have real faith in Lionsgate’s ability to select the right actors for the roles. They hit it out of the park with The Hunger Games cast, and there is no reason to believe that Catching Fire will be any different. If Francis Lawrence, Nina Jacobson (and hopefully Suzanne Collins) believe that Jena has the skill to pull off the complex character of Johanna Mason, who are we to argue?

Adam – The Hunger Games Fireside Chat
Is Jena Malone a capable actress? Yes. In fact, she’s proven herself to be more than capable throughout her career, playing a variety of roles quite well in many different genres. However, Johanna Mason has not been in her repertoire to date. Lots of fans and colleagues have been touting Sucker Punch as evidence that she can play rough, but I wasn’t a huge fan of her performance there, and I think she is more suited for films like Saved! or – in what was an unheralded effort – The Ballad of Lucy Whipple. Of course, Lionsgate has proven clairvoyant with some of its past selections, and I’m inclined to give the studio the benefit of the doubt, but surely there was a better prototype out there for a badass exhibitionist. Then again, as Whit Stillman writes in Metropolitan, “Playing strip poker with an exhibitionist somehow takes the challenge away.”

Please share you thoughts with us on this big, and hopefully soon confirmed, casting news. Personally I’m very excited about this and think Jena will make a great Johanna!

Memories

It’s hard to believe that at this very minute, one month ago (on the east coast) we were anxiously awaiting the midnight premier of The Hunger Games.  With only 2 hours and 18 minutes to go until we could finally watch the film we had been anticipating for months and months, the excitement was palpable!  We would like to share with you this photo taken at 9:42 p.m. by our very own Adam Spunberg (whom I had the pleasure of attending the midnight premier with!) so that we can all reminisce about that exciting moment in time!

Since this day we know The Hunger Games has gone on to be an enormous success,  having the third best opening weekend of any film and taking the number one spot in the box office four weeks in a row!  We lost Gary Ross, but gained Francis Lawrence.  We’re entering an exciting new era, we can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us!

Who SHOULD Replace Gary Ross?

Over at ScreenCrave.com, I put together a list of my top 10 directors to replace Gary Ross, along with the three WORST options being floated out there. To see them all, CLICK HERE!

Here’s an excerpt, listing the first five:

1. Steven Soderbergh

Steven Soderbergh Haywire 041212 PW Who Should Replace Gary Ross As Director Of ‘Catching Fire?

Soderbergh is the obvious best choice because his fingerprints are all over the franchise already. Brought in as a Second Unit Director on the first film, he commandeered one of the finer scenes in the picture: the rebellion sequence in District 11. It was a hailed by critics and fans as a flourishing addition, and his talent as a director was on full display.

Soderbergh’s credentials are also impressive. Not only is he close with Ross, but his accomplishments are considerably superior. Director of Erin Brockovich, Traffic, Ocean’s Eleven, and Contagion, he clearly has the chops. The only concerns about him are his rumored casting preferences (Alex Pettyfer for Finnick? No thanks!) The other problem is – and this will be a common theme – he is allegedly too busy to step in on such short notice.

2. Kathryn Bigelow

Kathryn Bigelow 041212 pw Who Should Replace Gary Ross As Director Of ‘Catching Fire?

The former wife of James Cameron is a hot commodity these days after winning the Oscar for Directing with Iraq-war sensation The Hurt Locker. As the first and only woman to snag the award, it puts her in extremely elite company, and what better way to further the message of female empowerment than to put Katniss Everdeen in her hands? With The Hurt Locker, Bigelow demonstrated her ability to tackle violence and war, which she could display in spades during Catching Fire sequences.

It’s unclear whether she would be interested, but Lionsgate should certainly extend some overtures. One big problem: She’s currently working on Zero Dark Thirty, a film about the Navy Seals who tracked down Osama bin Laden. Timing could be impossible.

3. Ang Lee

Ang Lee 041212 pw Who Should Replace Gary Ross As Director Of ‘Catching Fire?

Known for lauded films like Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, perhaps my favorite rendition of his was actually Sense and Sensibility, where he so deftly tackled Jane Austen’s nuanced text. That ability to adapt from novel to screen could serve him extremely well here with Catching Fire. Throughout his career, Lee has proven his versatility – the kind of versatility needed for the District 12 scenes, coupled with the violence in the Arena. Imagine the mountains of Brokeback juxtaposed with the combat of Tiger. It does seem like a great fit.

However, critics might question his tendency for slow pacing. After all, his target market is made up of mostly young adults, who may not have the patience for his scenic deliberation and andante tempo. To be successful, he would have to adopt a more electric style. I think he can do it.

4. Brad Bird

Brad Bird Mission Impossible 4 041212 pw Who Should Replace Gary Ross As Director Of ‘Catching Fire?

I’ve been throwing Bird’s name out anywhere and everywhere, because so far his track record has been simply phenomenal. The architect behind two Pixar gems (the exhilarating The Incredibles and the culturally resplendent Ratatouille), Bird also showed his mastery over the live action technique with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, a herculean effort that resurrected what appeared to be a dormant franchise. So far, he has earned platitudes from every sector, for both a steady hand in the director’s chair and an intelligent appreciation for artistry.

My concerns are twofold: 1) The lack of experience, but more importantly, 2) Would he respect Collins’ source material enough? The fact that there’s a question mark on the latter makes me hesitant to throw my whole heart behind him. All of his previous efforts have been self-constructed – would he do right by Collins and the fan base? I think he would, but I don’t have proof, and in these harrowing times, reassurance is needed.

5. Duncan Jones

Duncan Jones Source Code 041212 pw Who Should Replace Gary Ross As Director Of ‘Catching Fire?

Now here’s a candidate I could realistically see taking over. Jones is a hot name in fan circles and for good reason: his first two flicks have been categorical successes (Moon and Source Code). In both cases, he managed to feature science fiction topics and make them stimulating (in the case of Moon, with basically one character). Source Code was hardly on the silver screen radar, but it proved to be a frenetic, down-to-the-wire picture – just the kind of suspense-building Catching Fire could use.

The cons? He’s still relatively unproven, and to pick him might be a serious gamble. Then again, it’s a gamble that could pay off with huge dividends, and he might just appreciate the opportunity more than the others above. His availability is also a major plus, but the question of the hour: Is he as much of a Hunger Games fan as Ross, and could he work directly with Collins?

There are some really surprising choices after this, including the likes of Joe Wright, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, and Cary Fukunaga,  so keep reading HERE!

Josh Hutcherson throws first pitch at Cincinnati Reds game

Watch this!  Josh Hutcherson threw out the first pitch at the Cincinnati Reds game on Saturday; how do you think he did?  Josh’s pitch begins at the 1:52 mark.

It is also worth noting that the Reds were playing the Miami Marlins.  Our very own Adam Spunberg is a Marlins fan.  The Marlins won.   Just saying.