'The Hunger Games' Leaves You Hungry for More

A best-selling young-adult book becomes a movie and is bound to be a hit. It's a survival-of-the-fittest reality show that leaves you craving for more.

It's one of the most anticipated movies to hit the big screen in some time, and we have the scoop right here. It has all the elements of a big hit—teen romance, violence and action. Mix in some rising young stars and you have "The Hunger Games."

Jennifer Lawrence isn't a household name yet, but she will be. Known to this point for her critically-acclaimed role in the film "Winter's Bone," Lawrence plays Katniss, one of two people from her district who must play a nationally televised game, in which there can be just one winner—the last one living. With the players equipped with knives, swords, bows, arrows and other weapons, the massacre begins.

This futuristic tale takes place in the country of Panem, after an apocalyptic war. The country is split into 12 districts, with two contestants (ages 12 to 18) being sent to compete in this reality show. Lawrence's partner is Peeta, played by Josh Hutcherson. While becoming warriors they fall in love, complicating matters and elevating the story line in the film. This movie has romance, action, danger, expensive CGI, teenage carnage and attractive young leads. With ingredients from Greek mythology, George Orwell and Stephen King, this will be a popular film for people of all ages.

There will be more movies. The franchise is expected to be compared to such brands as "Twilight" and "Harry Potter." I am confident that mainstream audiences will respond to the moral challenges in the film that churn under the pop-culture razzle-dazzle and CGI. 

"The Hunger Games" gets five out of five on the flick-o-meter, for no other reason than Jennifer Lawrence. She turns the movie into a hit by presenting a heroine propelled by principle instead of by hooking up with the cutest boy. A great message and a winner in my book.

Showtimes: If you're lucky enough to have tickets already, congratulations! If not, you may have to wait until some become available. "The Hunger Games" is playing at the UA Laguna Village 12 on several screens, with a show almost every hour. Click here for exact times.

Dinner: Feed your own hunger with a hearty Italian dinner from De Vinci's Delicatessen and Catering, offering dine-in and take-out options. The all-you-can-eat pasta and chicken combo is $12.99 and includes a drink and dessert.


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