The Movie: 8/10
I enjoy a good AI gone bad story. They aren’t new. If you look back at a hundred years of movie making you’ll find them way back in the early 20th century. The story is the same, a person creates a machine of some kind that can think for itself. This poses moral and ethical questions which are deep and thoughtful, but mostly the machine, robot, android, always goes rogue and ends up being more clever, stronger, and more adept at being alive than humans. I think that pretty much covers it. I still like movies like Ex Machina. We get a new guy who invents the AI, and he’s not entirely OK, if you know what I mean. We meet someone who feels the strange compassion and connection to the robot/android/machine. Finally we meet the sentient thinking being that the inventor invented and the sappy person falls for, and in Ex Machina she’s awesome.
I am a huge Star Trek fan, and Next Generation brought us all the lovely and human-like Data, who I would want to be my best friend…if he was real, I mean, I know he’s not real, I do, really I do:) The idea of our leading lady robot in this movie is that she’s obviously a machine. She’s designed to look like a robot, mostly. The guy we meet who is brought into the story by the mad inventor to test our Android, or robot, I guess I don’t know what she is really, but anyway, he needs to decide if she’s really REALLY thinking for herself. It’s a test, and we get to go along for the ride.
At times the writing gets pretentious and forced, but it’s not very often so I was able to look past it. It’s not an action packed type flick, it’s just mostly our characters talking, figuring each other out, and in some cases manipulating each other. Our mad scientist is characteristically weird, which is slowly revealed. The question then is, do we allow the mad inventors with the genius to do this stuff go ahead and do it, even if it makes us all feel weird and wonder about the ethics? This is why I enjoy movies about Artificial Intelligence, they usually make me dig deep to think about the nature of being human and all that good stuff.
This movie looks incredible. The sets are interesting and convincing. I’m sure a billionaire unstable person might have a mostly glass house built around a mountain with automated everything, and strange corridors that seem to go on and on and on.
The characters are not that complicated. As I mentioned, the inventor/programmer was too smart at a young age, and too rich without much accountability for his actions. Our young man who comes to test the authenticity of the robot woman. He’s a bit too soft and gooey, which is kind of the point, the contrast between the inventor and him, representing all of humanity when it comes to the topic of AI. The guy who thinks it’s fine to invent it, make it, and use it do things that make the other guy, the softer nicer guy uncomfortable. He, the nicer guy, sees the challenge of making a machine that can think and even appear to feel, and it becomes important to protect that machine. The machine herself is captivating. She’s mechanical, a bit cold, but has all the right moves to make us also want to protect and save her…well me anyway.
Overall Ex Machina is one of my favorite movies of 2017 so far. It is only May, but still. I was interested, transported to that weird house and I wanted to know how each person/robot would end up, where would their choices take them? I’m still thinking about it and still liking it a lot, which means I would watch it again.
- Through The Looking Glass Creating Ex Machina (40 Minutes) – Superb look at the making of the film with interviews and lots of on set footage.
- 8 Behind The Scenes Vignettes (28 Minutes) – EPK style featurettes complied into a quasi making of.
- SXSW Q&A With Cast And Crew (60 Minutes) – A fun in-depth Q&A session with most of the main cast and crew.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art : 6/10
I don’t totally love the cover. It doesn’t really represent the movie, or not the things I liked about the movie. I would have it as a poster though, just because I enjoyed it so much.
Audio & Video: 10/10
Ex Machina on 4K UHD is a distinct upgrade from the Blu-ray edition with great use of HDR and better contrast/brightness levels. The low light sterile environments of the film really come to life with HDR really doing it’s thing and making the picture brighter. Fine detail is also upgraded and shadow detail is impressive. This is a large step up from the Blu-ray edition and fans should take a look.
Overall Score 8/10