In The Brilliant New Hunger Games Film, Katniss Can't Escape The Arena

The third movie in the Hunger Games series is supposed to be the one where the frame pulls back and reveals a bigger world than the teen arena of the first two. Instead, Mockingjay Part 1 does something more daring: it shows how all of the dystopian land of Panem is just the Arena writ large. Minor spoilers ahead... » 11/21/14 9:00am Yesterday 9:00am

With Part III, Atlas Shrugged Becomes An Awesome, Torrid Romance

Like The Hobbit, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand was too awesome to adapt as just one movie. And now at last, the movie trilogy is complete. And the third movie is by far the most entertaining, because it focuses on the torrid romance between railroad genius Dagny Taggart and the dreamy, lion-coiffed John Galt. Spoilers… » 9/12/14 2:51pm 9/12/14 2:51pm

Could An Evil Mega-Corporation Ever Exist In Real Life?

Dystopian stories are full of evil corporations that rule the world. But writers seldom explain how they rose to power in the first place. Could an amoral mega-corp really exist? We talked to a couple experts to find out. The good news: It probably couldn't happen. Bad news: We may already be getting something worse. » 9/04/14 9:00am 9/04/14 9:00am

Thai Military Threatens To Arrest People For Doing Hunger Games Salute

The three-finger salute which Katniss Everdeen does in The Hunger Games has become a real-life symbol of resistance to the military coup in Thailand. To the point where the ruling junta has said it may arrest people for doing it, if they're in a large group and refuse to lower their arms. » 6/04/14 1:23pm 6/04/14 1:23pm

Karen Russell's Imaginary Nonprofit Saves The World But Costs Your Soul

There's been a wave of fiction about an insomnia epidemic, as if some collective anxiety is bubbling up. Most recently, Kenneth Calhoun's Black Moon freaked us out. But Karen Russell's new novella "Sleep Donation" is still something pretty unique: a look at people in the nonprofit sector, struggling with insoluble… » 4/18/14 4:37pm 4/18/14 4:37pm

Divergent Is A Ridiculously Fun Story Of Social Engineering Gone Mad

At first glance, Divergent sounds like a more contrived version of Hunger Games. In a dark dystopian future, everybody is required to have just one personality trait. Like Smurfs. Or the Seven Dwarfs. But the film version does a good job of revealing how this story is actually about social engineering. Plus, it's… » 3/21/14 9:00am 3/21/14 9:00am

Get ready to fall in love with Veronica Mars all over again

Veronica Mars was a teen sleuth whose superpower was storytelling. She was adroit at making up clever lies and crafting fake identities, but it was always in the service of piecing together the truth — which was another story she constructed. Now she's starring in a big crowd-funded movie, which turns out to be about… » 3/14/14 9:00am 3/14/14 9:00am

Everybody's gone crazy on Continuum, and futureshock is to blame!

In last night's episode of Continuum, the whole town of Vancouver goes bonkers. It's basically a total political/social meltdown, precipitated by the internetz. But really, all this madness is just various forms of future-shock, because the future is arriving ahead of schedule. Spoilers ahead... » 8/17/13 11:00am 8/17/13 11:00am

The Purge could be this year's most hamfisted political movie

In The Purge, a suburban family is put through hell because right wingers came up with a plan to eliminate the poor and the sick. And we all come face to face with how broken the American dream really is. Yadda yadda. Basically, it's like this year's Atlas Shrugged or Now: a clunky and implausible political screed in… » 6/07/13 9:00am 6/07/13 9:00am

What's the most stylish dystopia of all time?

Everybody knows that dystopias have the best fashions and the coolest designs. Whether it's the stark paleness of THX-1138, the totalitarian chic of Nineteen Eighty Four, the orgy cool of Brave New World or the priests-on-prozac aesthetic of Equilibrium... dystopias are always fashionable. So what's the most stylish… » 5/10/13 4:10pm 5/10/13 4:10pm

Elysium's Neill Blomkamp shares the secrets of designing a dystopia

Now that you've seen the first stunning trailer for Neill Blomkamp's Elysium and picked apart the screencaps, you can start to see a few similarites to Blomkamp's first movie, District 9. The politics, the cool gear, and the massive object floating in the sky. We caught up with Blomkamp a while ago, and he told us the… » 4/11/13 5:50pm 4/11/13 5:50pm