Batoru rowaiaru (2000)
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I just realised the Hunger Games is a complete rip-off after seeing Battle Royale. How did Suzanne Collins get away with that..
More like the Hunger Games resemble Battle Royale.
Move over Hunger Games and Avengers Arena, we watched Battle Royale this week. 42 9th graders are dropped on an island, and the only way to survive is to kill everyone else. It's a pretty amazing film, and you can see why it would be imitated so often, but I don't know that it's been equaled in its category. For one thing, it finds a way to make you know each one of these kids - in broad strokes, rather intimately, or through vignettes - so that each kill has punch (and these kids know each other, have a history, pre-existing relationships). It's also got visual inventiveness going for it, mostly through editing and superimposed cards, that hint at a more profound message behind the carnage. You could see it as a metaphor for growing to adulthood, or going through the school system or work market. Maybe it's about where our culture of anti-discipline and/or reality shows is going. It could be a meditation on the generation gap and an admission that adults are as lost as the teenagers they used to be. I don't want to put too fine a point on it, as this is still a crazy-ass action thriller, but it does have a certain ambiguity (in large part thanks to the teacher running the game, brilliantly underplayed by Takeshi Kitano) that invites such ruminations.
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In 9 official lists
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This movie ranks #15 in A.V. Club's The New Cult Canon
This movie ranks #79 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #87 in Empire's The 100 Best Films of World Cinema
This movie ranks #153 in Tom Vick's Asian Cinema: A Field Guide
This movie ranks #235 in Empire's The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time
This movie ranks #297 in Jennifer Eiss's 500 Essential Cult Movies
This movie ranks #400 in TSPDT's 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
This movie ranks #424 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films: 1001-2000
This movie ranks #446 in TSZDT's The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films