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by Joel Hanek

Until very recently, I hadn't paid much attention to "The Hunger Games" and all of the surrounding hullabaloo, dismissing it because I thought that I wasn't the right demographic or perhaps I was too old to get into it (to give you a hint of how old I am, I just used the word "hullabaloo"). Recently I picked up the first book, read it cover to cover in just a few days, and now I must admit: I am a fan. Depressing futuristic dystopias, cynicism of the media and how it’s consumed, and children murdering other children – what’s not to like?

Since the film adaptation doesn’t come out until Friday (March 23), here are some movies that share some similarities with Suzanne Collins’ hallmark franchise to whet your appetite. Consider them cinematic amuse-bouches.

1. "Battle Royale" (2000)
In "Battle Royale," fascist rulers punish teenagers by sending them to a remote area with deadly weapons. There, they must kill each other one by one until there is a sole survivor. Sound familiar? It’s a perfect combination of campy, bloody, creepy, and fun. Many have drawn comparisons between these two franchises so check it out and see for yourself.

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"The Hunger Games" draws ever nearer with each passing day, and from the look of things, the odds of this film kicking all kinds of tail are ever in our favor. Case in point: this exclusive clip featuring Peeta in the hot seat opposite flamboyant Capitol mouthpiece Caesar Flickerman. Watch as the young baker fields questions about his survival odds, his charm and good looks, and his affections for a certain somebody that just might be at his side during this deadly do-or-die game.

Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson star in "The Hunger Games," hitting theaters on March 23, 2012.

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The year ahead of Taylor Kitsch would be considered a big one for any actor. With "John Carter" and "Battleship," he's leading the charge on two big-budget adventure movies, but then he'll also work with one of the most revered directors of all time, Oliver Stone, for "Savages."

But before all of that, he'll be taking your questions as a part of "MTV First: John Carter." On Thursday, March 1, Kitsch will sit down with MTV News' Josh Horowitz to present a never-before-seen clip from "John Carter" on MTV at 7:56 p.m. ET.

Immediately after, their conversation will continue on MTV.com, where Kitsch will take questions from you. All you have to do is send in your questions via Twitter, using @MTVNews and the hashtag #MTVFirst or #AskKitsch.

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Is "Silent House" the scariest movie of 2012? That depends on you: perhaps your arm hairs are triggered by something unconventional, like arctic wolves or Katherine Heigl in a wedding dress. But we're going to guess that based on its unnerving visual style, "Silent House" will be the most singular horror film you see this year, well worthy of the hype it's receiving as we head towards its March 9 release.

Over the next two weeks, we’ll be presenting a vault of exclusive material related to the film such as photographs, clips, and interviews with lead actress Elizabeth Olsen and director Chris Kentis and Laura Lau. Today, you can look at a still showing Olsen slowly making her way through the house, lamp in hand, trying to figure out just what’s making all those gruesome noises (which might account for those watery eyes).

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MTV NewsAre you longing for "The Hunger Games" to begin? Have you already planned your "Unexpected Journey" with "The Hobbit" this winter? Can you understand a single thing that Bane says in the "Dark Knight Rises" trailer? If so, we just might be looking for you!

MTV Movies is looking for an editorial assistant with an encyclopedic knowledge of movies and a ceaseless passion to cover them.

Candidates should have ample experience with online publications and be proficient in the latest web-publishing and social-media tools. Prior writing and editing experience is a must. You should be able to churn out copy with authority, wit, enthusiasm and factual accuracy. You should be able to react to breaking news, pitch stories and features, and maintain flexible working hours.

The position is based in New York. Please send your resume, an introductory letter and links to several clips to mtvnewshires@gmail.com; submissions without all three will not be considered.

"Star Trek 2" is shrouded in secrecy. We don't have an official title, we don't know the plot, and we don't know who Benedict Cumberbatch is playing — though all signs point to a villain, especially in light of a new set photo that's just arrived at our door step.


In this first look at director J.J. Abrams' currently shooting "Star Trek" sequel, we see quite clearly that Zachary Quinto's returning Spock and the newcomer played by Cumberbatch are very much not friends. The two are locked in battle on top of what's being described as "a Space Barge set."

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Seann William Scott and Liev Schreiber beating the ever-loving snot out of each other, on ice no less? Yeah, that sounds like my idea of an awesome time at the movies.

That's precisely what "Goon" has in store for viewers when the hockey flick from Scott, Schreiber and Jay Baruchel hits theaters in select cities on March 30. Of course, you can get a load of "Goon" way before that release date -- it's currently available on VOD as of today (February 24)!

Ahead of your first "Goon" viewing experience, check out these "Goon" trading cards, exclusively here at MTV Movies. Check 'em out past the jump!

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If salmon fishing doesn't sound like your idea of a good time, then clearly you've never tried it with Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt in tow. The two actors star in "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen," the upcoming CBS Films drama based on the novel written by Paul Torday. "Salmon Fishing" centers on Dr. Fred Jones (McGregor), a scientist hired to introduce salmon fishing to the highlands of Yemen. In the following clip, Jones tells the alluring Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (Blunt) all about a new form of bait that takes its name from a beautiful source. Watch the clip below for more.

"Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" arrives in theaters on March 9, 2012.

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It is neither luck nor royal favor that makes House Lannister prosperous. Just ask the unreasonably rich Tywin Lannister about the origins of his family—he'll be happy to tell you all about his roar.

Lannisters always pay their debts, of course, and so does the upcoming "Game of Thrones" season one Blu-ray set. In this exclusive featurette, you'll find one more reason to eagerly anticipate your return trip to Westeros with the upcoming home video release and subsequent season two premiere—namely, that this show plays host to so many fantastic families and charismatic characters, the Lannisters chief among them.

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With the release of "Skyfall" only eight and a half months away, Sam Mendes and his team have been playing awful coy with the promotion of the latest James Bond film. Tomorrow Mendes will release his first videoblog about the project (thank you Peter Jackson for keeping this trend popular) and that will likely be the first time fans get the chance to see any footage from the upcoming flick. And it certainly has taken long enough.

Until then, though, we fans will have to make do with the latest behind-the-scene photo from the "Skyfall" set. In it, Mendes can be seen looking over Dame Judi Dench's shoulder as she analyzes something on her laptop. Well, at least it's slightly more informative than Daniel Craig walking around in a suit!

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