#136 Fireside Chat: We Saw 'Mockingjay Part 1'! Monday 24 November, 2014

“We Saw Mockingjay Part 1!”

Miss Episode 136 live on Monday night? Click here to listen to the recording OR simply use the embedded player below!

It’s hard to believe, but we are now THREE movies through the Hunger Games franchise, with just one more to go. It seems like the first movie was just yesterday, and now we’re down to the final year. The good news? Mockingjay Part 1 seems to be beloved by fans, and while maybe the critics weren’t all on board, the fans are what we care most about, right?

Episode 136 will air live this Monday, November 24, at 10pm ET/7pm PT! This week, our panel of experts will include Theresa and Ellie from Down with the Capitol, Kait from Victor’s Village, Crystal from Jabberjays.net, Tiffany Glass from Mockingjay.net, Ariel from Nerdy, Wordy, and Over Thirty, Kate from Hunger Games Trilogy Fansite, Molly from Panem Propaganda, Tori and Tony from THG Australia, and Jessi and Natasha from TheFandom.net.

Halfway through the show, we’ll be joined by Phil Wallace and Kit Bowen, both of screenpicks.com, to provide some valuable industry perspective.

What are we going to talk about? The movie OF COURSE! We’ll share our thoughts on how true to the text it was, on the acting, on the directing, on the cinematography, and on anything else we can possibly discuss. We’ll also talk about the box office performance, which has been below the first two films but still nothing to be ashamed of.

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE MOVIE?? Share it all in the comments and we will read off your opinions during the episode!

You can chat with other listeners throughout the live show by using our hashtag #HGFiresideChat on Twitter! We recommend TweetChat to easily follow along with the conversation.

Click here to listen to the previous episode.

And click here for an index of all of our archived episodes.

Follow this week’s participants on Twitter:
Adam (Host/Producer): @AdamSpunberg
Theresa: @RealorNotReal
Ellie: @MuchMoreMacho
Crystal: @pikko
Kait: @victorsvillage
Ariel: @Madam_Pince
Jessi: @raineygrey
Natasha: @TFGeekGirl
Molly: @PanemPropaganda
Kate: @HGT_Fansite
Tiffany: @laactress30
Tori: @ToriiJaade
Tony: @onepanem
Phil: @philwa
Kit: @themoviekit

Related Posts

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#125 Fireside Chat: Bigger but Better?
#125 Fireside Chat: Bigger but Better?
#117 Fireside Chat: Highlights
#117 Fireside Chat: Highlights


  • Maia C. says:

    I loved MOCKINGJAY part 1 , the movie was brilliant and I’m glad they split it into two movies. My favorite part is the powerful Scene at the end with Peeta writhing in the hospital bed Josh Hutcherson is so talented

  • Mel Cally says:

    Took my dad to a showing on Thursday and to my surprise he REALLY liked it (he’s only read the first book). This movie was pure emotion. I feel like the movie was for the fans and NOT the casual viewer. It had its action parts but it’s the build up to the next film that I liked. My heart was broken from the very first scene of Katniss trying to hide and be by herself to the very last scene of Peeta going crazy.

    My only gripe is that they spliced Finnick’s scene with the rescue mission. They had already cut down his character already and then when they started to build up the big scene of his heartbreaking confession they drew the focus away from him and onto the rescue mission. The rescue was really intense and cool, but I feel like it completely diminished everything Finnick was saying. In fact I think if you don’t know the books then you would have been inclined to totally ignore his speech! That part in the book really put into perspective how disgusting The Capital really is. It should have gotten the full attention it deserved.

    But other than that one of the best movies I’ve seen all year.

    • Andrew Harper says:

      I totally agree! While I liked seeing the rescue I feel like they should have put a more emphasis on the stories being told because you really have no idea what he was saying except for a few snippets every now and then during the rescue

      • They did draw the focus away up to a point, but I disagree that we had no idea what he was saying. They kept everything we hear him say in the books, which is comprised of all the most important things he says, and we are just to imagine he said some more in the moments when they were showing the rescue – which is no different from the book, where Katniss just mentions that Finnick talked about the secrets of various people in Capitol.

        A character they really cut down is Haymitch. He’s been pretty much a charming gruff comic relief. We didn’t get to learn about his games in Catching Fire, and we didn’t get to learn what Snow did to him after the games in Mockingjay. I wish they had kept the conversation between him and Katniss after Finnick’s confession.

  • Andrew Harper says:

    Many people that I have talked to about the movie felt the movie was a little boring but I feel like this is my favorite of the three. I just really liked the way Francis Lawrence and his team really intertwined the promos that Katniss shot with the rebellion. When the rebels began to sing the song “The Hanging Tree” was just an incredible things to watch. It brought a lot of emotion to the scene that we never really got with the book. I think one thing that the movie was able to really show more than the books were was the effect Katniss really had on the people of the districts and I feel Francis Lawrence did a phenomenal job in showing the effect she really did have.

  • Annie B says:

    Sadly, I will not be listening tonight, but I will be listening later to the recording! I am going to see Mockingjay Again tonight!!! I loved Mockingjay. Francis did amazing things with this movie, he added in and created scenes and moments I was dying to read when I first read the book. He brought the emotion so well, and can we discuss how Josh just deserves all of the awards for his Hijacked Peeta performance? I loved seeing the rescue mission and the overcast of Finnicks confession. I love the scenes between Gale and Katniss , and Gales almost giving up tone.
    My favorite scene however, was The Hanging Tree scene. When they transitioned to the District 5 scene and they continued singing The Hanging Tree and my entire theater sang, I do mean the entire theater. It was one of the most powerful moments of my entire life. The whole Movie Marathon experience was amazing and beautiful!!! Have a great show tonight guys!!!

  • satsumarena says:

    I actually enjoyed this movie the best out of all the adaptations. The world-building was better than THG, but the mood was much more serious and introspective than CF, which had more of a commercial action movie vibe.

    I think they expanded the POV beyond Katniss just enough, showing the actual impact of her words on the people in the Districts. I am still humming The Hanging Tree to myself, and I think the best added scene was the D5 dam, in which D5 citizens are shown essentially marching to their deaths while singing the song, yet manage to score a decisive victory for the rebels by knocking out Capitol power, was one of the more epic scenes. Hopefully the real meaning of the song was apparent to the movie-only fans. Yet, the amount of carnage did also have me wondering “was it worth it”.

    To me, the most interesting change the movie made from the book, is the expansion of President Coin’s character, and the way that, at least in Part 1, they presented her as a foil not to Snow, but to Katniss herself! Even Coin herself seemed to realize this when she talks about “people like us” as she actually reaches out to Katniss while waiting for news on Peeta.

    It was interesting how in her first, brief speech, Coin is seen to be reading from hand-written notes that look pretty similar to the ones Katniss used to list her demands. As the movie goes on, Coin’s speeches become more flowery and propagandish, and it’s obvious Plutarch had a hand in the latter speeches.

    Another similarity is how both Katniss and Coin are more comfortable “in the field”; Coin is shown as an able military commander in the bunker scenes when the Capitol attacks D13, while Plutarch is obviously scared out of mind to be involved in a real war situation, despite his Game-maker background.

    Of course, the challenge will be, how to make Coin’s transformation in Part 2 believable. There is a risk of making her too likeable and having Katniss’ later actions appear too extreme.

    I also am happy that Part 1 did NOT abruptly cut off the movie right after Peeta attacks Katniss, as I had feared. I think the contrast in the end between Coin’s victory speech and the defeated look on Katniss’s face was great. Now, while I thought the strangulation scene was done well, I found “crazy Peeta thrashing around” at the end to be a little over-the-top at first, UNTIL he finally tires of fighting his restraints and then we see how lost and scared he must be under it all. Looking forward to Part 2!

  • Unsocializedhomeschooler says:

    (Shhh, don’t tell anyone but…) I actually haven’t seen Mockingjay yet. GASP. WHAT? How can this be? Well I was on vacation until last night and– yeah not important.

    But from what I’ve seen in the trailers and by what the LA Times has published, I’m looking forward to it. It doesn’t seem like it’ll be as exciting as Catching Fire, but, come on. Name one other movie that has been as exciting as Catching Fire. I wasn’t a big fan of the split initially, (Why not split the second book? So much more happens! Why split Mockingjay?) and the reviews I’ve read don’t seem to like it much either, but hey. More movies=more movies, right?

    I’m definitively looking forward to seeing the movie this Saturday and to hearing “The Hanging Tree.” It won’t be Sam Cushion, (insert crying emoticon here) but it sounds like it’ll be great.

    • Mockingjay was always the only book in the trilogy that could and that should be split. Much more happens in Mockingjay than in either THG or Catching Fire on their own, and there’s an easy and natural way to split it and get two good movies out of it. If they had made one movie out of Mockingjay, it would have to be over 4 hours long in order to cover everything. Which would be a commercial suicide for Lionsgate.

      Catching Fire would be impossible to split. The first part of the book is the setup for the Quarter Quell and the rebellion; the second part is the payoff. If you made a movie just out of the first part, it would be a bad movie with all setup and no payoff, and it would also be widely disliked by everyone except the hardcore book fans and panned as boring and drawn out without anything happening, since it would only consist of the Victory Tour, the love triangle stuff, some talk about rebellion, and only a couple of relatively bigger events, none of them climactic – the District 11 and the whipping. Have they made it, it would have hurt the franchise a lot. And then the next Catching Fire movie would have been all action with no setup and no emotional relevance except for those who remember the previous movie perfectly. Followed by a rushed and bad Mockingjay movie with lots of action scenes and no character development or world-building, since they would have to cut out almost all of it to make room for everything that happens.

  • Kim Buus says:

    I thought that movie was very well done! I loved it, the second the Lionsgate clouds came on I cried. I loved Jen singing The Hanging Tree it was amazing my whole theater sung along it was so beautiful and awesome I cried so hard because it was right when D5 started to sing than the whole theater did right than and it was powerful! And don’t even get me started on Peeta! First I cried little bits when he came on but than when he was rescued and at the end when he was Thrashing around in the bed broke me. I cried all night. I loved and hated that it ended like that I love it because that is what the fandom kind of wanted was a huge cliff hanger like that but I just can’t wait a whole year for the next part!

    • Kim Buus says:

      I’m also going to ad that I know a lot of people didn’t like it because it was ‘drug out’ and all I can say to that is no it wasn’t! There was so much action such going on it was like a new excitement EVERY scene! I Had to grip tight to my poor dear friends hand most the movie! And I just can say this enough. The Hanging Tree. Best Scene EVER! And just the whole theater it was amazing! I saw Annie posted the same thing about the theater singing along and I think it’s cool because we are really good friends and we live in two different states yet it happen to both our theaters!!

  • samrocks1984 says:

    Omg omg how amazing was Mockingjay part 1? Totally amazing emotionally wrecking and just perfect. Loved loved loved the scenes where the districts start to rebel, I love Finnick’s propo, and omg oh Peeta I just burst into tears and sobbed in the movie my best friend was looking at me like a was a freak she’s one of those people that don’t read the books just watches the movies no matter how many times i have told her to read them le sigh. The thing I loved the most was ” the hanging tree” it was beautiful and oh so relevant at the time I just thought they popped it into the district 12 propo just to get Peeta’s attention so he could see what happened at home bit I loved that the film makers used it to describe katniss’ and peeta’s situation…he manages to break through back to himself at that line ” a dead man called out for his love to flee” and ” I told you to run so we’d both be free” those two lines were so powerful. But the song is so hauntingly beautiful in its right its night to have a melody to go with the words. I sing it to my kids apparantly even though its has questionable words for young kids it apparantly makes a good lullaby hahaha who knew. God I think I’m going to die waiting for the last part though I don’t know if I will be able to handle it so many of my favourite people die.

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