Wednesday, 25 February 2015

(film review) - Project Almanac

A film about time travel and the repercussions when you alter the timeline. Something which has been trial and tested over the many years from the day it was first conceived. Many successful films involve time travel. Some are poor in execution and some are just poor. But the ones which are successful, stand the test of time (No pun intended) and are obviously classics in their own right. Back to the Future, The Terminator, 12 Monkeys (Now a TV show in which I am finding hard to follow), Timecop & Looper, just to name a few. But we all know the consequences, right?

Aspiring inventor, 17 year old David Raskin (Jonny Weston) is admitted into MIT and upon searching through his attic, he stumbles across an old video camcorder which belonged to his father who hasn't been around for 10 years with a recoding of his 7th Birthday on it. When viewing the recording, he notices both his 7 year old self with his 17 year old self spotted in a reflection. When David and his sister Christina (Virginia Gardner) as well as his friends Adam Le (Allen Evangelista) and Quinn Goldberg (Sam Lerner) do some more searching, they stumble across a device called Project Almanac, a Temporal Displacement device on which his father Ben Raskin (Gary Weeks) was developing for the United States Military. With the blueprints they find, they continue work on the device and create a time machine to travel back in time.

There is only one rule. If they are to use the time machine, they must all use it together so everyone knows what is happening at any one time. This is also to help the structure of the timeline so that no one amends/changes the timeline without any one else knowing, leaving the "current" timeline in disarray. However, David fails to declare his feelings to his crush Jesse Pierce (Sofia Black D'Elia) and uses the time machine to amend this, but this leaves ramifications when David arrives back to present day and things start to fall apart.

Project Almanac is a found footage teenage science fiction thriller which involved a bunch of students who come across a video camcorder with a recording on it. They Travel back in time and things start going crazy. This is exactly what you would expect in a movie like this, so I wouldn't expect anything majorly spectacular. A good little popcorn movie in which you may not even need to see in the cinema, but if you want to see something to pass the time, this film will keep you somewhat entertained. I wouldn't say the film is rubbish or badly written, but it is a time travelling movie which is Sci-Fi but fairly grounded. So with that said, it does exactly what it says on the tin. What I would say is, if Sci-Fi Time Travel grips you, as time-travel can be very confusing if not followed correctly, you will definitely enjoy this film as you will be itching to find out what these ripple affects are and how can they amend them. But like I said before, nothing too note-worthy and not as much of a classic like some of the films I mentioned earlier, but a decent watch nonetheless. Maybe this will change in time. Haha...get it?

The special effects were great. Along with the acting, the storyline was decent (not much to it really) and the pacing of the film was good. Not once did i feel bored or think there might have been a hole in the plot. This sometimes happens when you come across time travelling stories as there are soo many moving parts when you start to mess with the timeline.

Like Time Travel, go watch it. Not superbly great. Teenagers and a Time machine. What more would you want?

Monday, 2 February 2015

(film review) - Ex Machina

What have we learnt about artificial intelligence? So many films have covered this and for some reason, like Time - travel, Zombies and Vampires, we do not tire from these stories. I'll ask you again. What have we learnt about artificial intelligence? Well, that it isn't real, yet. What if you are able to create an intelligence soo real, you'd mistake it for real intelligence and not an artificial one. What if you are able to create an intelligence soo real which also inhabits a humanoid body soo real, you'd mistake it for a real organic human being and not an artificial technological construct. Is this a scary thought? Does this intrigue you?

The film stars Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) who is a computer programmer who wins a company lottery syndicate which allows him to meet the CEO of his company, Nathan. Nathan is an eccentric genius who lives in the mountains in his plush home with his only assistant, Kyoko and wants Caleb to spend a week there to perform a series of tests on a humanoid robot named 'Ava'. The tests are to establish if the android's artificial intelligence can be distinguished from human ones. However, Caleb runs the risk of becoming too involved with the experiment and trying to figure out, what is real and what isn't.

I hadn't seen the trailer to this movie, but the movie poster intrigued me. Knowing nothing whatsoever and entering the cinema with a blank slate was refreshing. Sometimes it is great to know absolutely nothing about the film you are about to see. With that said, damn, what an eff'ed up movie. At least had I known what I was getting into, I would have realised this film was a Thriller, a good one, but sometimes knowing just that much helps a great deal. Also with that said, also allows you to pick out the plot. With a small twist at the end which left me dumbfounded, I can honestly say that, visually, this film was great. The storyline and the acting was decent and intriguing. Not once did it get boring or feel strained and Nathan is such an odd character, you want to know more about him along with Ava and everything what is going on in this house. With the tension and suspense building, the final few scenes are dark and twisted, yet gratifying to an extent, but along with being anti-climatic, leaves you wanting more. Maybe they will do a sequel. SkyNet, anyone?