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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Offers You Choices In This Preview

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 is coming go take over the world shortly. All this week Lionsgate and Google are dropping YouTube-produced videos exploring the various districts of the dystopian world of Panem, and, as part of a partnership with Doritos (they’ve also teamed up with a gas company and Whole Foods, which seems like an odd trio of bedfellows) to deliver this new preview, “Choices.”

This is essentially a glorified TV spot, and plays out like a condensed version of what we’ve witnessed in various trailers and the like. You see heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), there’s rebellion, her home in District 12 is a pile of smoldering ruins, and she reluctantly lets herself be used as a pawn and a symbol of the uprising. Most important to this bit of footage is that she learns Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) is still alive, a prisoner of the nefarious President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in the Capital, and the love triangle with Katniss and Peeta and Gale (Liam Hemsworth) rears its ugly head. There’s a lot going on, but like I said, there’s likely not much, if anything, you haven’t come across before.

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This Hunger Games: Mockingjay Teams Up With Google For These Viral Videos

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Two movies into what is going to ultimately be a four-movie franchise, The Hunger Games has always managed to make good use of nontraditional marketing tactics. They’ve incorporated the usual strategies, like trailers, posters, photos, and TV spots, but they’ve also employed viral websites, propaganda style posters, and other techniques to garner your attention. And the next chapter, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 is no exception to this trend.

Lionsgate announced that it is now teaming up with Google to unveil a series of YouTube videos that bring the fictional dystopian world of Panem from the movies, and Suzanne Collins’ wildly popular books, to life. Called “District Voices,” this is a string of five new videos, one dropping each day this week, that will look into the industry of a specific district—there are 12 in the story, though there is a District 13 that shows up after a while, but everyone thinks it was destroyed in a war years ago, so we’re not counting that one right now.

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Watch The Destruction Of District 12 In This Hunger Games: Mockingjay Trailer

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Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy may be the highest grossing movie of the year so far, but most of us don’t expect that to last much past the point where Lionsgate releases The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1. We suspect Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and company will take the annual box office crown for a second straight year. To make sure that happens, the studio is going to make a big push leading up to the release, and though we already saw the “final trailer,” they’ve released this short one for your perusal.

This is a quick hitter, and instead of focusing on the larger picture, it zooms in on a single element, though one that carries a great deal of emotional weight in the context of the story. After the first sequel, Catching Fire, Katniss finds herself in District 13, which was supposedly destroyed long ago. This is the seat of the rebellion, and as the face of the uprising against the Capital—both figuratively and literally the face—they want to make full use of her.

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Saturday Night Live Hilariously Spoofs YA Dystopian Thrillers

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I find Saturday Night Live amusing about as often as I find million-dollar checks inside my pockets, but this weekend saw the cast and guest host Bill Hader perform a superb send-up of the entire dystopian YA film genre. Granted, none of the jokes and jabs were spotless examples of genius, but it’s easy to keep things goofily generic when The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner are two of the biggest comedic targets. This is The Group Hopper, and he’s about to start hopping from group to group.

In the faux trailer seen above, comedian Pete Davidson plays a knock off of The Maze Runner‘s Thomas, riding in an elevator to Gray World, a metal field surrounded by walls which are themselves surrounded by death fires. The greatest part of this trailer is the abundance of world-specific slang terms. Such as when the one guy tells the main guy that the field is where “the sameys stay until the groupers pass them on to the sorties for sorting.” Plus, you can only kill a lurkie with a zoomerang. But who are we to say that the future won’t indeed introduce useless new words to the post-apocalyptic lexicon?

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Sci-Fi Happy Meals That Are Too Good To Be True

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BladeRunnerHow come adults don’t get meals that come with prizes? Some of my favorite rituals from childhood involved being elbow-deep in a box of cereal, feeling around for the prize, or dumping all the food out of my Happy Meal just so I could get to the toy. So how come we don’t get a grown-up equivalent? After-dinner mints and fortune cookies don’t count, damn it. I want to be able to finish my snazzy, five-star meal, and then have the waiter bring me out a Rocket Raccoon action figure on a silver platter. Sadly, I will probably never live in such a world, but at least pretending is a little bit easier thanks to these faux Happy Meals that were ripped right out of my Happy Place.

These awesome fake Happy Meals are the work of Los Angeles digital artist Newt Clements. (He mostly comes out at night. Mostly.) His Pinterest is full of a wide variety of crazy projects, but his Happy Meals collection is one of the most extensive. He’s got over 100 of the things by my count, and they’re all incredibly well done. Designing Happy Meal boxes to tie into Doctor Who, Aliens, or Escape from New York would have been worthy of a story in and of itself, but Clements goes the extra mile by imagining what toys might be included with each meal as well. And I don’t care what bounty McDonald’s has on offer, there’s no way it’s cooler than an action figure of Firefly’s River standing atop a pile of Reaver corpses.

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1 Photos Show Off The Secondary Players

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mockingjaySci-fi films are having a pretty solid year as far as box office receipts go. Guardians of the Galaxy became the first movie of 2014 to top the $300 million mark domestically, and Transformers: Age of Extinction somehow crossed the billion dollar threshold internationally. Then there are the likes of Godzilla, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Maze Runner, which al performed well in theaters. And we still have what could be two of the biggest on the way, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1, and if the latter follows the same path as its predecessors, we may very well be talking about the highest grossing movie of the year. To make sure that happens, Lionsgate is pumping their movie mercilessly, including this new collection of stills.

As expected, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), the star-crossed young lovers of the franchise, have been at the center of much of the hype. These photos, however, take another approach, showing off some of the characters that, while important parts of the story, definitely fall into the secondary and supporting categories. These all come via the film’s Instagram account. We truly live in a magical age.

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