A Survey of the Districts in Catching Fire’s Panem

Theater chain AMC has created a quick basic primer to familiarize viewers with the nation of Panem, as seen in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which opens today.

The illustrated guide is just a general overview of the 12 districts, identifying the chief industries and the past victors (if they have names) returning for the third Quarter Quell.

Happy Birthday to Catching Fire’s Jena Malone!

I want to wish a very happy birthday today to one of the most talented, beautiful and underappreciated actresses in Hollywood, Jena Malone. To help celebrate, here is a gallery of Jena looking gorgeous while promoting her newest film, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, in which she plays the crafty and deadly Johanna Mason.

 

When Catching Fire opens tomorrow, I hope it proves to be the breakout role that Jena has been waiting for; the one that really puts her in the spotlight. She has been acting and winning awards ever since she was a child, but has yet to really break through into the public’s consciousness. May the odds be ever in your favor, Jena!

(She’s also a damn great photographer!)

More ‘Day of the Doctor’ Video Snippets!

It’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times: The BBC is releasing a lot of video teasers for “The Day of the Doctor,” DOCTOR WHO’s 50th anniversary story — but they are all so short!

Anyway, here are two new clips that feature companions Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) and Clara Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman), along with the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) and the War Doctor (John Hurt). I prefer the lighthearted Clara piece, but there’s an interesting sense of dread in Rose’s clip.

As always, a SPOILER warning. Theses videos are exceedingly brief and innocuous, but still, sensitive viewers might consider them unacceptable spoilers, so view at your own risk.

Clara and the 11th Doctor:

Rose and the War Doctor:

By now you should know “The Day of the Doctor” will be simulcast around the globe this Saturday. #SaveTheDay

Is a Classic Doctor REALLY in the 50th Anniversary Story?

mattpsychedThat DOCTOR WHO executive producer Steven Moffat lies — for the good DOCTOR WHO and its fan base — is not in dispute; but would he wrangle a classic Doctor to fib about his participation in “The Day of the Doctor”?

We’re all familiar with Moffat’s denials about the involvement of this or that character/actor in this or that story, but this report is a little different, in that it claims someone is participating, instead of the usual is not taking part line.

While this report has not been confirmed by the BBC, it does come directly from the actor involved, so I will hold the info until after the cut in case anyone wants to remain pure and unspoiled in every way for the 50th anniversary story.
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Strax Reports on the Doctor and the Queen

Strax has filed another field report for the Sontaran military, this time looking at the Doctor’s once and future frenemy, Queen Elizabeth I.

For some reason, I never tie of Strax’s (Dan Starkey) inability to differentiate between human “boys” and “girls.” I chuckle every time. SONTAR HA!

The Doctors (Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt) will next encounter Good Queen Bess (Joanna Page) in “The Day of the Doctor,” the DOCTOR WHO 50th anniversary story, to be simulcast globally on Nov. 23.

David Tennant Introduces ‘Day of the Doctor’ — Sort of…

It would appear that the BBC does have something of a sense of humor after all, releasing this parody video starring the 10th Doctor, David Tennant, just days before the DOCTOR WHO 50th anniversary story, “The Day of the Doctor.”

David poking fun at the “cheap” production values of the anniversary story is, of course, perfectly appropriate when viewed in the context of the show’s long-running (and richly deserved) reputation for wobbly sets and cut-rate visual effects because it’s a wink and nod to longtime fans who weathered the primitive years to get to the state-of-the-art version of the series we see now.

However, as far as the cheapness of the production goes, one thing was always perfectly clear: Whether the producers had $1 or $10 to make a show in any given week, DOCTOR WHO was put together with more love than almost any other show on TV. That love infuses every frame of the series, from the opening image of “An Unearthly Child” to the stuffed giant rat of “The Talons of Weng-Chiang” to the assembly of monsters in “The Pandorica Opens.” DOCTOR WHO has always been made with as much love as can be packed into the small screen. Luckily, our televisions are bigger on the inside, too.

SLEEPY HOLLOW 1.7: “The Midnight Ride”

sleepyheadThe crazy-quilt trip through American history continues, with SLEEPY HOLLOW’s “real” story of Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride to warn the colonists that they were under siege. I think if history were taught like this is grade school, a lot more kids would pay attention. I know I would have!

Like the best such stories, there are nuggets of legitimate fact underneath the candy coating — for interest, Revers never shouted “The British are coming,” he discretely warned that “the Regulars are coming,” meaning the British fighting forces. And, of course, Paul Revere was hardly alone; he had supernatural cannon fodder two other guys helping.
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Tiny Teaser Clip for ‘Day of the Doctor’

Short and sweet: This little snippet from Saturday’s “Day of the Doctor,” celebrating the 50th anniversary of DOCTOR WHO, works for me because it serves as shorthand for the relationship between the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) and Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman).

Why is the Doctor reading Advanced Quantum Mechanics? Well, there is a policebox-shaped TARDIS on the cover, so… maybe he wrote the book? #SaveTheDay

Disney Spins ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ Release Delay

darthiger

Bob Iger schools Lord Vader.

We fans knew it was coming when the production dramatically shuffled its writing team, but now Disney has come out with an official spin reason for pushing the release of Star Wars: Episode VII from the summer of 2015 to Dec. 18, 2015.

Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company, told Bloomberg TV:

“One of the things that was very important to us is that we give the creative team, J.J. Abrams and his writing team, the time to design, write and produce the film so we can optimize quality, so they can create a great film. Very, very important…. At one point we considered the summer of 2015 [but] it felt like, particularly with some changes we made in the writing team that that was going to create a bit of a rush and didn’t think that was optimal for obvious reasons.”

Iger went on to rationalize point out that Dec. 18 “happens to be the date which Avatar, which is the No. 1 movie of all time, was released, so we like that.”

So there you have it: Disney was always interested in the integrity and quality of the movie — not some sticking to some arbitrary release date selected long before there was even a script for the movie. Only optimizing quality.

DOCTOR WHO ‘Children in Need’ Clip

This year, DOCTOR WHO’s contribution to the annual Children in Need telethon is a clip from the upcoming 50th anniversary story, “The Day of the Doctor,” and as such, it is a bit spoiler-y.

So, if you want to know absolutely nothing about “The Day of the Doctor,” do not play the clip; simply take my word for it that it’s intriguing, and Matt Smith is in fine 11th Doctor form with Jenna-Louise Coleman‘s Clara and Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart. But if you simply cannot resist and don’t mind a mild spoiler or two, then… Allons-y!

Yes, the Doctors will return on Nov. 23, just over a week from now!!