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580. Ex Machina

Published June 28, 2015

Background info

Title: Ex Machina Director: Alex Garland Year: 2015 Run time: 1hr 47m

“Caleb, a 24 year old coder at the world’s largest internet company, wins a competition to spend a week at a private mountain retreat belonging to Nathan, the reclusive CEO of the company. But when Caleb arrives at the remote location he finds that he will have to participate in a strange and fascinating experiment in which he must interact with the world’s first true artificial intelligence, housed in the body of a beautiful robot girl.”

Live blog

1:53 - Weird to get applause for winning a lottery, isn’t it? No skill involved. 3:02 - Dumped in a field by a helicopter doesn’t feel like a prize! 5:39 - That house is amazing. What a view! I’d work out all day every day with a view like that. 9:53 - That’s some kind of peer pressure to sign the NDA. Eeshk. 14:59 - The wall of post its is incredible. 15:55 - “You’re not a man, you’re a god.” That’s not what he said, ha! 26:47 - Why is it my decision, is an interesting question. I might use it in future to avoid decisions. 32:32 - I don’t think you can trust language barriers for international trade secrets. 35:33 - He’s not a very good liar at all.. 38:55 - Really interesting thoughts about search engines. 40:18 - “A concentrated but shifting view of human life.” 52:40 - They’re really not being subtle about the hired help suspiciousness. 59:50 - “No, it’s called relativity. Everything IS spinning, it’s just being drunk makes it worse.” 1:06:42 - Why build it if you think it’s going to make you extinct? 1:09:15 - All that security and he hasn’t gone for biometrics! 1:23:20 - Misdirection. Always be wary of that. 1:29:54 - Don’t lie to the lie detector. 1:40:12 - She’s intelligent enough to take her shoes off in the jungle, at least.

Conclusions

At first glance, this one seems like it’ll be a bit of a low-budget sci-fi thriller but it actually stood up to the Film Watch test far better than I thought it would. The special effects were almost perfect, the location stunning (I HAVE to stay in that hotel at some point), and the high tech stuff completely believable. Domnhall was good, redeeming himself from the About Time nonsense, and although slow-paced, the film was never really boring.

The only issue, really, is that it’s the same old story that Hollywood - and humanity - is obsessed with, which is fine but it didn’t add anything to the conversation. Build artificial intelligence and it will rise up and work against you. This was sort of a relaxed, chilled out version of The Terminator.

It was doing okay, too, up until the point where all the women started getting needlessly naked. Perhaps that was in place of a good story idea.

Rating: 3/5.

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