2 Feb 2016

LOVEFILM: JANUARY '16.


Ex Machina [DVD] [2015]EX MACHINA ... 

Oh my goodness, one of the most thought provoking, intense, claustrophobic, eerie (and yes, I'm talking goose-bump/hairs rising on the back of the neck eerie) films I have seen in a long time as I found myself totally immersed in events and becoming increasingly obsessed by just who if anyone (Ava aside) was of Artificial Intelligence in a film that, in a nutshell, explores what it is that makes us human. TT

The Turing Test for artificial intelligence provides the plot for this intrigue that takes us into the realms of what it is that makes us human.  Turing believed that machine intelligence would eventually reach a kind of critical mass from whence it would begin to learn of it's own intelligence and the test would be for an inquisitor posing questions to a human and machine subject to discern which responses were machine and which were human.  If the inquisitor fails to distinguish which is which then the artificial intelligence has gone beyond this moment of critical mass. NJT

You can see Kelly's thoughts on this and a multitude of other films on her One Sentence Movie Review # 15 post.


The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel [DVD] [2015]
THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL ...

Alas not a patch on the first film. I'm afraid this second outing failed to engage me on just about every level, my main gripe being all of the totally charmless sub-plots. Well, those and the fact that I could have done less with hotel owner Sonny's (Dev Patel) inane witterings  and more of Muriel and Evelyn (Maggie Smith and Judy Dench). Oh and less of the totally wooden acting of Richard Gere. TT

Erm... no really, why did you bother? There are some films that should just be left alone as one off and this is further evidence of this. None of the charm and humour of the first film at all and such a mish-mash of story lines that appeared incidental rather than any form of whole narrative. Sticking Richard Gere in there didn't help either, Why? NJT

Song for Marion (2012) PosterSONG FOR MARION ...


One of my favourite films for quite a long while. I laughed, I cried throughout a film all about love, loss redemption and reconciliation (oh and of course 'OAPZ' singing, well, songs you perhaps wouldn't have expected of them) culminating in a touching finale featuring Terence Stamp as the wonderfully curmudgeonly Arthur whose relationship with his wife, the Marion of the title as played by Vanessa Redgrave, and son, James (Christopher Eccleston) is a show stealer. TT

Delightfully curmudgeonly Terence Stamp is pre-occupied with caring for terminally ill love of his life Marion (Vanessa Redgrave) and becomes all the more tense when they face the news that no further treatments are likely.  Strained relationship with his son (Christopher Eccleston) is not being helped by the situation and Marion's insistence on wringing the very last drops of the marrow of life in community singing are just another annoyance for him.

Aside from spotting all of the local venues used as the backdrop for this film, it was an engaging story of two families; the one that we are born into and the extended family of community that provides the super-structure, the support that makes the first family viable and it's tragedy survivable.  Some good humour amidst the sadness and some good singing too, Mr. Stamp has a surprisingly good voice  (see below) - never pegged him as a singer. NJT




Beginners (2010) PosterBEGINNERS ...

Yes, an enjoyable enough tale of a son and father dealing with terminal illness and death with some very wry moments.  Twixt father and son and the others in their life there is just about enough in here to make sure the revelation other than being about to die, does not dominate the narrative, but then it does just feel a bit laboured... not sure there really was enough here for a feature film, maybe an hour TV show instead. Nice to see Christopher Plummer though. NJT

A film I can safely say I'd file under 'Well, that was neither nowt nor sommat'. Self indulgent twaddle. The only redeeming thing about the film was Arthur (the cutest Jack Russel terrier) and even then his presence marred my enjoyment as I spent much of the film worrying something awful was about to befall him. TT

Blackhat (2015) PosterBLACKHAT ...

Rather deluded tale of t'internet hackers, nasty hacker damaging government properties and an even nastier hacker got out of jail in order to trace and find the nasty hacker.  And, that's it really... unless you idolise violent egotism and then you may find a hero. NJT

Not my type of film ... but then I thought that about Ex Machina and look how much I enjoyed that.

Alas, not wrong, this wasn't my cup of tea. Not that I gave it much of a chance to be honest. Put off (not to mention left feeling momentarily dizzy) by the pulsating subtitles that accompanied the speech of the Chinese characters, I wasn't impressed by the various snippets I did watch. TT


10 comments:

Suko said...

Tracy, thanks to you and Mr. T. for your honest reviews of these films. I haven't seen any of these! I will keep Song for Marion in mind.

Kelly said...

Having only seen the first and the last, I'm not familiar with those between with the exception of the Marigold Hotel. Despite more poor reviews than good, I still want to see it for myself. I'll have to check out the others on your list.

Thanks for the mention!

Anna Soliveres said...

Ex Machina...I totally felt the same!! It was such a mind trip. :)

Natasha Hill said...

I really need to see Ex_Machina, it's supposed to be amazing and the trailer lone gripped me completely. I did enjoy the Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but I know what you mean, the first one was just beautiful and I don't think any other film would compare to the thrill of watching the first one. - Tasha

Sherry Ellis said...

Ex Machina sounds like a movie I'd like to see.

Literary Feline said...

I haven't yet seen any of these films. Ex Machina interests me. I am not familiar with the others you mention though.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I haven't seen any of these. I'm excited for a few February films though.

Brian Joseph said...

I have not seen Ex Machina but I really want to.

These issues are not only interesting but they will likely become things that humanity must deal with soon. A few months ago I read Nick Bostrom's Superintelligence. I found it to be a really serious attempt to grapple with these issues.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

The trailers for Ex Machina put me off of the storyline, but now you made me curious. I might have to try it. Marigold hotel is one I still want to watch.

Gina R said...

The only one I had an interest in didn't pan out. Cie la vie. Renting THE LAST WITCH HUNTER tonight so we'll see how that turns out.