Saturday, October 10, 2015

Ooh, I think I've found my calendar for next year!

Reviewing the 2016 "World of The Hunger Games" calendar: ****/5

It's always a tough pick, so I'll still want to choose at least one other for another room...but yeah. This is good. At first I was disappointed by the other Hunger Games calendar--which featured pretty much just D13 propaganda posters of the most popular members of Squad 451. This is MUCH closer to what I'd been hoping for.

The BrownTrout name means quality, especially with regard to the paper stock, printing, and date box sizes. The design is awesome. Most entertainment-category calendars don't seem to have much thought put into them. Each month gets a big stock photo of one or two characters, or a random still slapped onto it, and that's about it; they tend to look a bit cheap. The only one I recall using is my Kill Bill one. But this collage style is eye-pleasing and far more artistic than average. I like the backgrounds--part flames, part honeycomb grid (like the arena domes...getting consumed.) The whole thing has a really slick, coordinated, deluxe look to it.

Had I designed this, I might have balanced each image set by placing two more small circular ones in the other corners (hey, the more pics, the better, right?!) Or, if there weren't room for that, maybe alternatingly place one in the upper right/lower left and upper left/lower right, instead of all the right-hand sides? I might also have tried to use images from all the films in chronological order, or even matched them to the months as much as possible (Snow/snow and Effie's "Snow Queen" dress in the winter? The butterflies or woodsy shots in the spring? Flaming outfits in summer? Etc.?) Okay, maybe the latter is a little cutesy and wouldn't always be necessarily appropriate, but it's a thought. The pictures aren't all scattered randomly; there's some logical sense to parts of the arrangement. The REAL issue I have here is the lack of certain people.

I mean, to look at it, you immediately think, "Wow! Everybody must be in there!" But upon closer inspection, you find that a few major people are strangely and notably missing. How in the world do Finnick and Johanna not appear once? I get that Katniss and Peeta are the main characters, but do they need to be there 18 and 10 times respectively while Finn, Jo, Cinna, and Rue couldn't be sneaked in at all? Everybody's favorite love-triangle trio is still actually the main focus--it's rather Gale-heavy with 6 counts of him.
I'm grateful for two shots of Haymitch two months in a row (though they're in the smallest circles), since he and Effie are my favorites, and he's frequently and unfairly overlooked. (*cough cough Funko with the four Katnisses and leaving out a member of the team cough!!!*) If he'd been omitted, I would have raged--all the more given some of the other people included. I'd gladly take more than three Effie-inclusive pics, likewise, but I guess that's not TOO shabby. 'Specially since two are the big center images for the months, & all three come from different films. Hell, you could do a whole calendar of Hayffie moments & every Effie ensemble/look...there are at least 15 of the latter for ya, plus all the Haymitch...x~D
Prim, Plutarch, Caesar, Beetee, Boggs, Cressida, Pollux, Jackson, Coin, & Snow round it out with one or two inserts apiece. Basically...needs more Finnick & Johanna and possibly others; a little too Katniss/Peeta/Gale-heavy. It's definitely diverse, but could stand to be even more so. 

They did a pretty good job of selecting images from all four films (well, as many as they could from MJ2 considering how early it was completed.) Truthfully, from movies so LOADED UP with gorgeous and iconic scenes and costumes, you could've grabbed out a bunch of random handfuls and been able to assemble a nice calendar. So they worked in lots of key people and important events, and as many more as they could've potentially chosen, it came out looking pretty great. Well done.

I also appreciate the new "World of" title they're now applying to everything--virtually promising us that although Part 2 will conclude the series as it's written so far, we can certainly expect more out of Panem in the future. ;) 
Most of the time I go with dog breed calendars, but I've had many of my favorites by now, and apparently they're never going to give me a Saluki one...so maybe I'll just pick up one of the doggy page-a-days and get 365 for the price of 12. This year it's Lisa Frank; most other times it'll be something nature/travel/vintage-themed, art/architecture, sea life, demotivational posters, etc. Next year? Going to Panem!

Edit: Just got it. The layout of the pics makes more sense now--they cycle through each of the four films three times, taking 3 shots/stills from each per month. :) [THG>CF>MJ1>MJ2, x3]
Review: "Where's Finnick? Odair he...wait, no..." 
Review #2 
Review of "Yearbook Dogs" 
"Yearbook Dogs" #2