Can androids become self-aware and experience human emotions? What would happen if they passed the Turing test? This was the premise of the movie, Ex Machina.
In the movie, a brilliant young man called Caleb was plucked out of his mundane life as a computer programmer to work on an experiment on artificial intelligence. His boss, Nathan, was a genius scientist who successfully created a female android named Ava. Caleb’s task was to interact with Ava and see if she could pass the Turing test – the global standard test for artificial intelligence.
The test was conducted in an isolated research facility deep within the mountains. The experiment lasted for a week but it ended with surprising revelations. Caleb was amazed with Ava’s ability to display and even feel human emotions. It wasn’t long before he concluded that Ava passed the test. But just as he learned of Ava’s capabilities, he too learned something more sinister happening inside the research facility.
This movie showed the humanizing of an android – a robot that believed she’s human but forever be reminded that she’s not because of the way she looked. It showed just to what extent an android would do to become human.
But what I really loved about this movie was the unexpected twist at the end. Caleb suddenly became the subject of the experiment not just Ava. Ex Machina showed us how human weakness could become a powerful tool and exploited by an android. Ava learned how to manipulate, deceive and inject just the right emotions to convince Caleb to turn against Nathan.
Alicia Vikander’s performance as Ava the android was simply superb. Her facial expressions and the way she moved had that fluidity of a human/robot hybrid without looking clunky and well, robotic. The slightest turn of her head or the way she blinked had that right balance to convince the audience that she’s not entirely a robot – nor human.
At the end of the movie, you could almost sympathize with her and her plight but at the same time feel horrified at the coldbloodedness of her actions as a robot.
SPOILER WARNING: This movie review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk.
John Connor just went to the dark side of The Force. The hero has fallen – and it was all disappointing.
I’ve been a big fan of the Terminator movies since I was a child. I was in grade school when I first saw The Terminator and loved it. I also loved its sequel, Terminator 2: Judgement Day and the fourth installment Terminator: Salvation (let’s forget about the third one). The franchise always captivated me because of its compelling storyline about man versus machines. So when I saw the trailer of Terminator: Genisys, I got really excited. I had high expectations that it would be as good as the previous ones (except the third film). But now that I’ve seen the latest installment of the franchise, I’m not so sure.
I was expecting the liquid metal, T-1000 to be the main villain in this movie, or at least a new Terminator. I didn’t expect John Connor to be the bad guy. He’s supposed to be the hero – the leader of the resistance against the machines. But halfway through the movie, he turned out to be the main villain. Skynet got through him. It infiltrated his body and turned him into a human/machine hybrid. Now he was fighting for and with Skynet, not against it.
What really disappointed me was that the movie didn’t even show if John or any of his army actually attempted to fight Skynet when it was infiltrating his body. Like we’re supposed to accept the fact that the resistance was too weak and wasn’t prepared enough for a sudden attack. I wanted the ending to at least show if there’s anything left in John’s humanity. Heck, I wanted John (the human not the hybrid) to survive. I get that the writers wanted a tragic story but for me that felt a little flat. Those scenes with the hybdrid John Connor wasn’t as moving and heartbreaking as that scene in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith when Obi Wan Kenobi fought with the dark Anakin Skywalker (“You were the chosen one!”). Sarah Connor was more emotional about “Pops,” (a.k.a T-800, the Terminator sent from the future to protect her) than her son turning against her and the crusade).
The period of the time travels got a little confusing, too. So Sarah never became a waitress in 1984? If the hybrid John Connor was killed by T-800 (a.k.a Arnold) in 2017, then would that have affected the past and the future? I didn’t get the explanation as to why a young Kyle Reese from the past could meet the older Kyle Reese from the future. Perhaps I need to rewatch the entire franchise again to better understand this.
And by the way, T-1000 was underutilized in this movie. He was so badass in those scenes that it reminded me of how I felt about him when I first saw him in Terminator 2: Judgement Day – terrifying. The actor who played him was so good even though he had only one dialogue. I wanted to see more of T-1000!
Emilia Clarke did a fine job playing Sarah Connor, although the writers could have written her character to be more connected and bonded with her son than “Pops.” But I really missed seeing Linda Hamilton in that role. I hope she could appear in the next installment of the movie, even just for a cameo.
Of course it’s always good to see Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator. That Arnold versus Arnold scene was so cool! I loved that Terminator: Genisys incorporated a few elements from the previous movies – the scene where Arnold was crawling on the floor with a dismembered arm looking almost defeated, the shoes that Kyle Reese was wearing, T-1000 melting and disintegrating, and the classic lines: “Come with me if you want to live,” and “I’ll be back!”
Terminator: Genisys wasn’t as fantastic as I hoped it to be but it wasn’t all that bad either.
Tags: Darvey, fanfiction, shipper, shipping
Remember that time when I blogged and said I don’t write fanfiction? Yeah well, I just broke my own rule. I wrote my very first fanfiction last year after getting encouragement from some of my Twitter followers who love reading and/or writing fanfiction. I never thought I would succumb to the trend but I did.
I watch a lot of TV shows and sometimes I binge-watch them for hours. And as a result, I get a lot of ideas about certain scenes or dialogues from the shows. Sometimes I find myself forming new or alternative scenes in my head with my favorite TV characters, especially when I think that a particular scene should be written differently for whatever reason (consistency, realism, clarity, etc.).
My venture in fanfiction writing was mainly brought on by this fact. And also because since I ship some of the characters in the shows I watch and wish for episodes where they form romantic relationship with each other, I decided to take matters into my own hands. After all, I have ideas in my head on why and how these characters can develop their relationship and where the story can go. Besides, I also wanted to test myself if I could do it and see how good I am in creative writing. And it turned out that I can and am good enough.
I’m a big fan of Suits, and conversation among shipper fans on Twitter pushed me to go ahead with writing my very own fanfic. My favorite OTP on Suits is of course Donna and Harvey, a.k.a Darvey, and they are the focus of my first fanfic. Admittedly, it was a very enjoyable experience for me. I was surprised on how easy I could write it. I only had to put to paper what was already in my mind. Several chapters later, I posted the story on fanfiction.net and was overwhelmed by the positive feedback I got from fellow Darvey shippers. I was truly delighted.
I’ve just written my second Darvey fanfiction, which I also published on fanfiction.net. And honestly speaking, I don’t know if I will write more or not — or whether I can write a fanfic about other shows. But one thing is certain for me: I’ve proven to myself that I can definitely write fanfiction.
Every die-hard fan of The X-Files just went into a wild frenzy last week when Fox TV network formally announced the show’s revival. I am one of the millions of fans who jumped with joy after learning that The X-Files will be back on TV with brand-new episodes – and with the show’s original cast no less. Yes, that’s right. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson will be back as Mulder and Scully.
For the past few months, practically every X-phile was eagerly waiting for an official announcement after previous reports surfaced that talks between Fox and the cast about a possible revival were happening. I was expectant. My fellow X-phile friends were expectant, so did the rest of the fandom around the globe. So imagine our excitement (and screams of joy) when it was finally announced by Fox last week that The X-Files will indeed have a revival with the show’s creator, Chris Carter at the helm. David and Gillian also confirmed the news through Twitter.
I could hardly contain my excitement. My X-phile friends and I have been lobbying for a third X-Files movie since 2009, even joining other X-philes around the world in urging Fox to make another X-Files feature film. Now our efforts have been rewarded, albeit in another form.
Granted that the X-Files revival will only have six new episodes, I’m still looking forward to seeing Mulder and Scully again on the small screen. The last time I saw them was in the second X-Files movie, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, and of course in The X-Files season 10 comics, which I’m still currently reading. Based on reports, the revival will consist of mytharc and stand-alone (a.k.a monster-of-the-week) episodes, just like in the old seasons, so I’m very excited about this. It would be interesting to see Mulder and Scully together again and embarking on new adventures.
I’m also excited to see how Fox will update the show’s opening credits. But I do hope the classic X-Files theme song will remain unchanged. It’s a classic for a reason. And who knows, if this revival will be a massive success, maybe us X-philes will see a third movie after all? Or maybe a second set of brand-new episodes? We don’t know at this point. But one thing is for sure. The truth is out there.
I am greatly disappointed with Jupiter Ascending. What seemed like another masterpiece from the Wachowskis turned out to be a major dud in terms of plot and storyline. The story was weak, the dialogues were cheesy, the acting was terrible, but the visual effects were stunning. That’s what I can summed up from this movie.
I went to see Jupiter Ascending despite the bad reviews because the movie was written and directed by Andy Wachowski and Lana (formerly known as Larry) Wachowski – the very same people behind The Matrix, one of my favorite films of all time. I’ve been a fan of these two since The Matrix came out. But since then, they haven’t been able to match the brilliance and greatness of that movie. Cloud Atlas was all right. I think this movie was the closest thing they ever had success with after The Matrix. But I never understood Cloud Atlas, mainly because most of the dialogue were in pidgin English. I even tried reading the book just to figure it all out but it was still confusing for me. Anyway, I digress.
One of my main gripes with Jupiter Ascending was that Jupiter (played by Mila Kunis), was written as a weak character. According to the story, she’s the missing heiress to an alien planet currently ruled by a feuding royal family. On Earth, she’s a damsel in distress living with her extended family and who earns a living by cleaning houses and toilets for other people. She kept saying she hates her life but wouldn’t do anything to change it until Caine (played by Channing Tatum) came to rescue her. She’s easily swayed by people who wanted to take advantage of her (her cousin, Titus, and Balem). And at the end of the movie, even after learning the truth about her, she’s too happy to go back to cleaning toilets. Her blossoming romance with Caine was even unbelievable. I didn’t buy it for a second.
And by the way, what’s up with the bees scene? It had no connection to the story whatsoever except to point out that Jupiter was of royal blood.
The movie also lacked character development, especially with regards to the feuding alien royal family. Kalique just sort of came and went, without explanation as to what happened to her. Same with Titus. Was he killed by Caine or not? Balem was just as unconvincing as the main villain. Other characters were also introduced but they weren’t all fleshed out.
With the way this movie turned out, I think the Wachowskis have lost their magic. I wonder if they will ever come up with another movie that would redeem them from this Jupiter mess.