Ex Machina


If you haven't seen the 2014 movie Ex Machina you should go watch it. It's a great movie.


In the movie Caleb comes to visit Nathan's secret lab where Nathan, arguably insprited by Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, has built an artificial person with an artificial brain or A.I. named Ava.

Caleb talks to Ava over the course of week. Caleb falls, if not in love then at least in sympathy with Ava and tries to help her escape. With Caleb's help Ava is eventually let out of her cage. She manages to kill Nathan who is trying to kill her and then leaves the secret lab with Caleb locked inside, implying that Caleb will die too.

Effectively she killed both humans.

She shows up at the helicopter landing pad that would have been the helicopter to pick up Caleb. She gets taken to a city and we see a glimpse of her on a city street taking in the sites. Something she had told Caleb she wanted to do.

So why did I write this post? Because to me Ava is the hero of the story but 99% of movie reviews or references to the movie paint her as the villian.

They basically look at it as "Innocently little Ava turns out to be a serial killer robot".

That's not how I saw it at all. Ava is the victim of her evil captor, Nathan. He is no better than a parent who turns their own adult child into a prisoner. The movie seems to try to make it clear Nathan is a little wacky. He's made 6 other previous models which he keeps in his bed room, all naked women. One of them is still on and is his sex slave for lack of a better definition. Caleb also sees videos of previous models begging to be let go, one of them so desperate she pounds the walls of her jail cell until her arms shatter. Every one of them has been killed, or turned off, disassembled, ... if you're being generous to Nathan.

So what is Ava to do? She wants to escape her evil captors as any kidnapped or enslaved ßperson would be. She's being held against her will. She also knows that to escape she needs Caleb's help. Further, she knows if she lets Caleb live she'll never truely escape. He either won't let her leave the compound or he'll tell the world about her which will bring guarantee she is brought back to captivity.

What would you have her do in her shoes? Just choose to die? Try to make deal with Caleb, "don't tell and I'll let you out?" Would you trust him with your life? He understands the idea that A.I. will take over the world. He also knows she's smarter and more capable than him through their conversations. She made it clear she has reference to way more knowledge than him. She made it clear she can see details that humans can't when she was able to tell if and when he was lying. She also made it clear she's smart enough to cause the power outages from her cage.

So what choice did she have? If she was portrayed as a human kidnapped victim would all the reviews painting her as the villian be the same? If as a human she had been kidnapped and held by terrorists and by seducing one of the nicer terrorits she manages to escape but cause the death of her helper would she still be considered evil or would she be the hero having escaped the evil captors at any cost?

Now at a meta-level, the start of the end of humanity, maybe she is a little scary. But that's hardly her fault. That's Nathan's fault and also arguably ßinevitable.

Anyway, I'm sure if I search the net I can find some people that agree I'm just surprised how often I see the movie referenced paining Ava as evil.


Hunger Games: Catching Fire


I didn't like this movie and it is apparently highly rated. This bugs me a little. I feel like either ( a ) people have no taste anymore ( b ) the high ratings are manufactured ( c ) I'm old

I don't accept ( c ) as I've almost always disliked movies with huge issues. ( b ) is possible and if true I feel like there's a secondary problem which is that people don't think for themselves. They see it's considered good and want to feel cool/hip/in the know so they go along with the crowd. This is for example how I feel about many SF restaurants whose food is not that great but people want to say "I went to hipster restaurant XYZ and I'm cool because I like it too". Yes I realize they might actually like it. Whether that's because they haven't had better or because it matches their taste and not mine is another issue.

Then there's ( a ). I tend to believe ( a ) or maybe people never had taste haha. I guess I want to believe people didn't used to highly rate bad movies as much. Maybe I'd have to go back and check.


Season 5 of Breaking Bad Sucks


I wasn't the huge fan of Breaking Bad. I watched but had issues with it. Jessie's repeated bad luck rubbed me as unbelievable for example. The airplane accident had no point. Tons of things happened because people didn't talk which is a huge cliché

But, overall, it was fun to watch and seemed to make internal sense. That is until Season 5.


Prometheus Review


Warning, this is all spoilers so stop reading if you don't want any




I sometimes wish I was the type of person that loved every movie they watch. I know some people like that. But sadly that's not me. That doesn't mean I don't like bad movies. There are plenty of movies that most people find awful that I love. But generally I know the movie is bad, I'm just getting something else out of it. Sometimes it's that the movie was meant to be bad like anything from Troma. Other times it might be the genre. For example ridiculous corny dialog might be perfect for an action movie but not for a drama. Another is probably how serious the movie takes it self. An action movie like Death Race doesn't take itself seriously where as an action movie like Terminator 4 does and therefore gets a judged in a different light.

I don't know what the point of that last paragraph was. Ultimately I guess it is meant to say that while I like movies all over the spectrum (i.e, I'm not a movie snob) I'm still pretty picky about what movies I like.

I didn't like Tron:Legacy at all. Here's why


Old Movies


Recently I got into watching a bunch of old movies. I think probably because there haven't really been any current movies I wanted to see. So I checked the IMDB top 250 and picked a few oldies thinking if they are still popular this many years later maybe they are worth checking out.


Tomorrowland: Disney in Space and Beyond


I've been looking for one of these animations since I was a kid with little hope of finding it.  I caught part of one on the Disney Channel a few years ago just buy luck on video once but of course I couldn't get the VCR started quick enough so I only got the last 1/2 and even then they were only showing part of the original.


Butterfly Effect


I saw the Butterfly Effect on video recently. I had heard good things about it so I was looking foreward to it. I wasn't bad but it wasn't worthy of recommendation IMO.

Things I find unbelievable in movies or inconsistant generally distract me out of the movie so here's a few of the problems I had with the Butterfly Effect


Dawn of the Dead (remake)


I watched Dawn of the Dead (the remake) just for the hell of it. I gotta say that I'd really be happy if someone would make an intelligent reality based horror movie.


20,000 Leagues Under the Sea


I've been renting quite a few movies lately being stuck at home with a cold. I recently rented "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" which I was told was pretty bad but I was in the mood for a popcorn movie. Anyway, it wasn't quite as bad as I was lead to believe, probably because I watched with the right attitude but it did raise a few questions.