A brand new Mockingjay Part II trailer was released today and it looks absolutely heart racing. From the trailer it looks like things are picking up right where Part I ended and boy are they heating up.
I’m super excited for this last installment of the Hunger Games franchise. So far the Mockingjay installment has been my favorite of the series. Something was missing from my chest when the lights went up after Part I. I was incredibly moved. The second part is bound to be just as breath taking.
This is a film America really needs to see right now. With the parallels of police brutality and class struggle between Panem and our own world, Mockingjay sends a powerful message. We need to unite as people and overthrow that which oppresses us. While a film franchise is hardly the solution to these problems, it raises awareness and gives the public a vessel through which to learn. Mockingjay Part II couldn’t come soon enough.
Katniss, played by Jennifer Lawrence, is seen in the poster looking svelte in a red outfit that is sure to kill. The ‘fit also comes with a set of matching arrows. To die for.
The teaser shows Miss Everdeen standing on the District 12 statue and then a cutaway to a message from District 13.
The marketing for this franchise is incredibly clever, mirroring the same tactics Panem and President Snow use to instill fear in the people. Too bad for him because the rebellion is here, and it is looking really good.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 will be in theater November 20th, 2015.
With the recent release of the third installment of The Hunger Games franchise “Mockingjay Part I”, audiences are flocking to theatres to see brutal fight scenes and heartbreaking struggle on the big screen. The Hunger Games franchise is phenomenally successful, although this year’s film didn’t bring as much money in as anticipated ($123 million. How that’s a disappointment, I’m still not sure.) Millions of fans around the world were excited to see the newest film, dressing up as Katniss and other characters. My college even had a Hunger Games costume contest during dinner (ironically) to celebrate the release. And yet, for many viewers, the story’s themes hit a little too close to home.
Economic inequality is rampant in our world. People live paycheck to paycheck. They survive on food stamps that often fail to buy essential items. This Christmas, there will be many families who will have nothing to put under their tree. Graduates struggle to pay off student debt every day. And what may be worse of all, is if you are born in poverty, you’re likely to stay there, much like the citizens of Panem. There is no transferring from district to district. If you live in District Twelve, you will work in District Twelve, you will starve in District Twelve, and you will die in either District Twelve or the Arena. Meanwhile citizens of the Capital live comfortably. Our world, unfortunately, works on a similar system. Those who are born into poor families, are likely to stay poor. Those who are born into financially stable families, aren’t likely to find themselves in economic struggle. While we don’t have a President Snow or a Hunger Games, per se, but 98% of our citizens still live very much like those of Panem while the Capital lives abundantly because of the misfortune of the lower class.
There are little to no government aid programs in Panem. Katniss’ father dies in a mining accident and the family loses a large part of their income. Were there a worker’s union in Panem, this never would have happened. And had it not happened, Katniss’ mother wouldn’t have gone into a deep depression and with no access to mental health care, been unable to work, further cutting the family’s income. Due to neither of her parents able to bring in income, Katniss had to take care of the family herself. This left the family to starve because the Capital provides no food stamps. Not only that, but the justice system is corrupt and feeds on the racial division in the Districts. And all of this is because of the Capital, which controls all twelve districts, and shares none of the wealth.
Seem like fiction? If only. Only 6% of Americans have union protection in the workplace and have met the same fate as Katniss’ father. Millions of Americans can’t afford desperately needed mental health care and lose their jobs like Katniss’ mother. One in six Americans go hungry, and food stamp benefits were slashed in the last year. African-Americans are six times more likely to be incarcerated than white citizens. 2% of the country still controls the majority of the wealth. The Hunger Games may seem like just a franchise, but there is a lot more going on here than just a simple book.
It’s not just our government that’s causing economic inequality. Companies such as McDonald’s and Walmart pay their employees so low that most workers can’t afford to feed their families without a second job or reliance on food stamps.
Walmart pays its associates less than $25,000 a year. That isn’t enough to cover the basics for worker’s kids, let alone pay their bills or support their families. Managers of Walmart are also known for manipulating work schedules so that employees have a hard time working full-time; therefore, these workers don’t receive benefits and usually receive insufficient paychecks that negatively affect families, budgets, and ultimately lives. What’s really upsetting is that Walmart brings in an annual $16 billion in profits and a recent Fortune article stated that Walmart could afford to give workers a 50% raise without hurting its stock prices. There’s no reason Walmart can’t afford to pay their workers better. Not to mention, many workers were unable to spend Thanksgiving with their families this year.
McDonald’s is even worse when it comes to economic inequality. McDonald’s employees make less than $11,000 a year. Managers at McDonalds are also known to manipulate schedules so that employees aren’t eligible for benefits and employees do not have the right to unionize, which keeps them from being able to bargain for better wages and working conditions. The CEO of McDonald’s, Donald Thompson made $9.5 million in 2013. It would take an average McDonald’s worker 864 years to make that.
These companies are just like the greedy Capitol of Panem. Just like the Capitol, they are cashing in on the cheap labor of its people and offering no workers compensation or benefits. Were these companies to raise their wages to $15 an hour (which they could afford to do) employees would experience a significant increase in the ability to take care of themselves and their families. Not only that, but a recent study by the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce shows that Walmart pays its workers so low that most employees have to rely on food stamps and other Government programs. This cost taxpayers $900,000 at just one Walmart Supercenter in Wisconsin. They estimate that Walmart costs taxpayers roughly $8 million in subsidized food, living, and healthcare all because they won’t pay their workers enough to get by.
So what can we do about this? We can become the District 13 of our country. In “Mockingjay,” District 13 is an underground militia determined to unite the Districts of Panem and bring the Capitol to justice. They do this in several ways, but waging a full out violent war isn’t going to help our fight against economic inequality. A large part of District 13’s strategy for overthrowing the Capitol is educating the people of Panem of what President Snow was doing; taking the public eye away from the glittering jewels of reality television, fashion, and materialism and focusing it on the real issues. We as activists need to take economic inequality and put it out in the open. We need to show our country how pressing an issue this is. Education is our strongest ally in our fight against inequality.
The Harry Potter Alliance has been fighting for economic equality for over a year now and on Black Friday members visited Walmart and McDonald’s locations, passing out flyers to location managers about the way their workers are treated, informing them of the awful truth of what the companies they work for are doing. The HPA has also been using the hashtag #MyHungerGames and urging people to share their economic inequality stories with the world through everything from short tweets to long blog posts. By doing this, they are showing the real faces of economic inequality; the real faces of the Districts.
We need to take the public eye off of which guys are hottest in The Hunger Games franchise and reveal the bigger themes going on in the films and in our own country. Who cares if The Hunger Games have hot guys in them!? Suzanne Collins wasn’t thinking about hot guys when she wrote the series. Her concern was bringing these issues to light and inspiring people to do something about it. We can be the District 13 of our world. We need to raise our three finger salute to the skies and overthrow the Capitol of economic inequality.
Genre – Sci-Fi Dystopian/Book Adaptation
Director – Francis Lawrence (Catching Fire)
Cast – Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Phillip Seymour Hoffman (RIP), Julianne Moore, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson
Alluring element – S*** finally gets real in the Hunger Games saga!
Check it out if you liked – The Hunger Games franchise, other young adult lit turned film
When Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games adaptation came to the big screen, I was ecstatic. Me, who had been a literary disaster since choosing to go to an engineering college after high school, who had not read a book without pictures in it since Huckleberry Finn. The Hunger Games was the first story where I felt fully immersed in the world I was reading about.So far, the movies have been pretty great at capturing that same fire (heh) and excitement that I had when I read the books for the first time. Heck, we gave Catching Fire a 91%. Only a year has passed since the second installment came out, but so much has happened since.
Jennifer Lawrence’s off-screen drama has been a severe distraction (not her fault, but a reality nevertheless), and the thought of a grown and sexy JLaw (ala American Hustle) was just too awkward when you consider she is playing a 17 year old Katniss Everdeen. The negative reception that the film has received since its release was disheartening. Going in, all this movie had to do to impress us was, quite blatantly, not suck. The result was one of mixed feelings; this film far from sucked, but from the start, we definitely felt that Mockingjay did not need to be split into two films – something that really has, or ever will, only worked for Harry Potter. The final movie in the trilogy had the potential to be the heart-pounding finale that we all deserved, but instead, the heart-wrenching powerful moments were broken up by a casually-paced and matter-of-fact story progression.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let me tell you how much I genuinely enjoyed Mockingjay. The arena has always been one of the more interesting aspects of the books, and so by actually pulling our heads out of the District 12 sandbox we’ve had our heads in this whole time, we are able to connect to the other Districts. That connection is really what drives the film until the end. From Katniss’ guest appearance in District 8 to District 5’s courageous effort at the dam, you understand that everybody is fighting against a common goal. Katniss, the Mockingjay, is at the center of all this, but while it might seem like she is the spark of hope, she is turned into nothing short of a puppet, a symbol for hope, by District 13 President Coin. It actually reminded me of the way Captain America was used to punch fake Hitlers and rile up the crowd when he had a perfectly adequate skills for actually taking on the enemy. And like Captain America, Katniss pushes herself right into harms way to get her point across.
Another big theme here is propaganda, or propos as Heavensbee would like to to call them. Basically spitting back out the same strategies that the Capitol is using against them, District 13 sends their camera crew to follow Katniss and get usable footage for these advertisements is really no better than your local Congressmen’s ads that run during Scandal. The only reason I can forgive it from 13 is that they have Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones) on the mic. But seriously, taking advantage of Katniss’ vulnerability (and, in the process, turning Jennifer Lawrence into a pop star!) during her “Hanging Tree” performance is really just as despicable as the Capitol using Peeta against her. It’s a topic I wish the film would have dove in on, especially since it had two hours to do so. Katniss is just a tool, and will be treated with such revery only as long as it serves District 13’s purpose.
On the bright side, we get a noticeable decline in both Blair Witch camera and Jennifer Lawrence cry face – a repeat offender in the first couple films. The supporting cast this time around was much stronger, too. Julianne Moore and Phillip Seymour Hoffman (RIP) play a perfect President Coin and Plutarch Heavensbee, and on the other side of the mirror, Donald Sutherland is even more frightening than before as President Snow. Jeffrey Wright also makes his return as the genius Beetee, who is finally realized as the vital character that always has been. It’s also nice to see him back to being a good guy after his villainous stint in Boardwalk Empire. The old gang also makes a return, with a made-down Effie Trinket and sober Haymitch rounding out the cast with Gale, ever-ready to play soldier and submit himself to the cause.
At some point in the movie, the revolution turned into a love story. I know this is a movie aimed at teenagers, but it can get eye-rolling at the fact that, in a middle of a rebellion, with so many other brave and adult decisions being made, a young woman’s sole interest is not overthrowing the government, but saving her boyfriend. I’ve read that Jennifer Lawrence once tried out for Bella in Twilight; well, it looks like she won’t have to be in a sucky vampire movie to play the role of Bumbling Idiot in a Love Triangle; she has that already. This is not a love story, and it doesn’t need to be a love story to keep teenage girls interested.
Overall, I really enjoyed Mockingjay: Part 1. There are many things happening and in an entirely new environment – enough to keep me engaged the entire time (and I am notorious for falling asleep through movies). That being said, I’m still convinced that a single movie to encompass the third book should have been in order. For its own two-hour block, it would have nice to touch over the more subtle themes of the book – especially the propaganda. If they were going to use it in the promotional materials, why not discuss it in the movie? There is simply too much exposition for this film to catch fire like its predecessor did. However, with the finale guaranteed to break hearts and box office records, there’s still a lot to look forward to when the finale rolls around next November.
All pictures belong to Lionsgate production company.
Welcome to the weekly Wrap-Up of this week’s events in media and pop culture. Missed the first half of the week? Check it out here. Anything we missed? Leave it in the comments!
A real Wonder Woman Movie? I guess we’ll see. Read over here and form your own opinion.
Have Mercy! A Full House will happen for at least 30 seconds during the SuperBowl. Catch a preview here.
Stan Lee is ending his streak of Marvel movie appearances. Find out why by reading this article.
Rumor has it Pixar will do an upcoming Star Wars movie. Believe this rumor? Not so sure, but catch up on the news here.
Still riding the wave of Catching Fire? Check out the new Mockingjay poster to get revved up for this year’s The Hunger Games installment.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 game trailer is out. Can’t wait to play? It will be out this Spring on pretty much any gaming device you could imagine. Check out the video here.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park will soon get a few new additions. In addition to Butterbeer and Quiddtich, future Wizards and Witches can stroll through Diagon Alley and enjoy a ride to escape Gringotts. Wanna know more? Read about it here.
The Grammy Awards are happening tonight. Don’t have time to sit through an awards show? Read the winners here. And then be thankful you don’t have to watch Madonna perform.