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Civil War (2024): Garland’s Dystopian Dream or Dreary Doldrums?

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From the first frame, "Civil War" feels like a movie you don’t really want to watch—dragging its feet through a dystopian America that seems too real to be entertaining. Yet, there’s something about the crumbling ruins of this fictional United States that grips you, a deep-seated fear that compels you to stay, hoping for a payoff. Alex Garland, known for his cerebral sci-fi masterpieces, plunges us into a world teetering on the edge. The film's premise promises much: a nation divided, rebel factions clawing for control, and a president barricaded in Washington, D.C., fighting for a third term. It’s a setup ripe for explosive revelations. Instead, the narrative crawls at a snail’s pace, each scene dripping with tension yet weighed down by a sense of inertia. You find yourself glued to the screen, not because it’s thrilling, but because the dystopian reality it portrays is disturbingly plausible. Garland's strength lies in his ability to make the viewers feel every grai

The Last of Us HBO Series: A Masterful Adaptation That Lives Up to the Game

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The Last of Us, one of the most cinematic games ever made, has finally been adapted into a TV series by HBO.  As a fan of the game, I was excited to see how the new format would handle the story and characters that I had grown to love.  After watching the first episode, I can confidently say that fans have nothing to fear - this refreshingly faithful adaptation improves upon the original in certain respects. The first episode covers the game's infamous prologue, the 20-year time jump that follows in Joel's story, and the introduction of the unique brand of dystopia in the game.  While it isn't a beat-for-beat recreation of the game's first act, the adjustments and additions to the story are tasteful and add a welcome element of real-world context that grounds the story in a meaningful way. One of the masterstrokes of the game was putting the player in control of Sarah for a while, which makes her subsequent death at the end of the prologue all the more devastating.  The