2012 Film Challenge #26 - The Hunger Games

I recently moved to Derby. It's a really, really nice city, filled with really, really nice people and surrounded by really, really nice countryside.

Be that as it may, very few bands come to play here, and the clubs seem terrified to risk playing anything other than inadmissable chart R'n'B. As a result, there isn't really that much to do of a night out except sit around and drink and talk.

Which suits me fine. But what do you do when the bars close?

Luckily, the local multiplex shows films all night. Is this uncommon?

It seems to be the done thing here to show up around midnight and watch what ever's on. It's an infinitely thrilling practice, not just because you don't know what to expect, but also because you invariably end up watching something you might never have otherwise considered watching.

I wonder if the locals have a special term for this practice, like young Spaniards do for the act of illegally sharing wine/coke mixtures on street corners?

I have so much to learn.

Anyway, it was in exactly these circumstances that I wound up watching The Hunger Games.

I know for a fact that I would never have otherwise entertained the notion of ever sitting through this thing. This owes a lot to it having been bandied about as “the new Twilight”, and, of course, as a result of it looking rather a lot like Battle Royale.

Having watched it, though, even though I dozed through about five minutes, I am still able to conclude that:

a) This is not the “new Twilight” - it's not nearly ridiculous, shallow and empty enough to warrant such a title.

b) The Hunger Games has about as much in common with Battle Royale as Ed TV does with The Truman Show.

That's to say that, whilst they might share a central conceit (kids killing kids), the details and the surrounding circumstances are enough to make it a separate entity altogether – one more than worthy of being judged on its own merits.

And oh, does it have merits. Donald Sutherland! Woody Harrelson! Toby Jones!

Yes, I really enjoyed The Hunger Games.

And to think: If Derby had a superior music scene, I might never have seen it.

Swings and roundabouts?

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