hunger_games_outfits.jpg
Hunger Games/ Facebook
Hunger Games fans wear crazy outfits.
The Dinner: Buckley's : A bar filled with frenzied people watching players attempt to beat each

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It's a Thin Line Between Raucous Sports Bar and Hunger Games

hunger_games_outfits.jpg
Hunger Games/Facebook
Hunger Games fans wear crazy outfits.
The Dinner: Buckley's: A bar filled with frenzied people watching players attempt to beat each other in a contest of strength and skill. (2331 2nd Ave., 206-588-8879, BELLTOWN.)

The Movie: Hunger Games at Big Picture: A movie filled with frenzied people watching players attempt to kill each other in a contest of strength and skill. (2505 First Ave., 256-0566, BELLTOWN.)

The Screenplate: Have you ever looked at a group of fans, working themselves into near hysterics over a major sporting event, and thought "if one of those players knifed another, I think people in here would cheer that."?

If you belong to a book club, are close to someone who does, or ever read magazines in the grocery store check-out line, you know the Hunger Games plot.

But a quick summary for anyone who somehow missed it:

America, now known as Panem, is a brutal dictatorship ala North Korea headquartered in what I assume is Boulder, Colorado. To keep its citizens in line, the government requires two kids from each of the 12 outlying districts to fight to the death once a year.

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is the brave representative of the poorest district, 12.

The entire citizenry is forced to watch the slaughter with live commentary courtesy of Caesar Flickerman (a blue Stanley Tucci).

The people of Katniss' district and similarly impoverished regions--whose kids are the underfed, undertrained lambs to the slaughter--watch the games unfold in horror. But the citizens of Panem's Capitol City enjoy feasting and festivities surrounding the games with the air of wealthy Olympic Games opening ceremony attendees.

The critique that this could be our future is a little too easy in our present era of super-voyeurism. But at a sports bar, it's hard not to think we're well-primed for Hunger Games Live, with your hosts Greg Gumbel and Charles Barkley.

Take the costuming. Panem's elite decorate themselves in glitter, tattoos, and brightly-colored garments when they gather to view the games. At Buckley's, people arrive in brilliant orange Syracuse jerseys and deep red Wisconsin caps. You might even catch a bit of mild face paint here and there.

The Hunger Games fans--both the characters on screen and more than a few people in the theater--lustily wait for the final kill shots. Fans at Buckley's cheer and jeer without ceasing at the approach of the final buzzer.

The food at Buckley's may not quite rise to the level of the roasted pigs atop tables in Capitol City, but the burgers and sweet potato fries are plenty indulgent.

Even the staunchest pacifist can get caught up in the fervor of March Madness, NBA playoffs, or a golf tournament that culminates in some guy getting a green jacket.

Is rooting for child slaughter so far behind? Okay, probably. But some of those outfits in Capitol City are quite fetching.

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