'Hunger Games' sates Coast moviegoers’ appetites

Coast citizens of all ages flocked to Cinemark Theatre at midnight on Thursday for the premiere of "The Hunger Games," based on the popular young adult novel by Suzanne Collins.

The story is set in the distant future, where we discover the USA has been replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Every year two young district representatives are chosen by lottery to take part in The Hunger Games, which are televised throughout Panem.

The 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors in a two-week fight to the death. When 16-year-old Katniss' young sister is selected, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and the male District 12 representative Peeta will be up against tougher and more skilled representatives who have been training for the games their entire lives. Katniss has the prowess of a hunter while Peeta relies on brute strength.

All three midnight showings were sellouts, and enthusiasm was high before movie began. A few Cinemark employees and movie goers came dressed as characters from the movie.

Justin and Madonna Fontenot were such big fans of the book they couldn’t miss the midnight premiere. “I read the book twice and it was really great,” Justin said. He added that he definitely would not be too tired for school the next day.

“My 10-year-old turned me on to the book,” said Theresa Frontz, who joked that she came without her son because he had school the next day.

"The Hunger Games" ended with applause as the curtain closed, and the crowd emerged energetic and enthusiastic, despite the nearly two-and-a-half-hour run time in the early morning hours. Small groups gathered to discuss their reaction.

Lisa Whipps said, “It was good. There were a few subplots missing from the book, but still good.” She thought omitting the details might have made it hard for some to follow.

“It was breathtaking,” said Maela Stewart, whose opinion seemed to be the consensus of the night. “The left out a few details, but overall it was amazing.”