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Ex Machina is an upcoming sci-fi thriller by writer/director Alex Garland (28 Days Later, Dredd), starring Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, Prince John in Robin Hood), and Alicia Vikander (Kitty in Anna Karenina, Gaby in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.). It premieres on January 23, 2015 in the UK and April 10, 2015 in the U.S.

Ex Machina @ IMDb

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This is like Chappie but with androids this time. And like Chappie the trailer looks cool but I feel like I've seen this before with past android movies.

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This is like Chappie but with androids this time. And like Chappie the trailer looks cool but I feel like I've seen this before with past android movies.

It's getting tremendous early buzz from SXSW, and it doesn't sound anything like Chappie.

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Yeah, Chappie is getting trounced in the podcasts and blogs, particularly being called very stupid. By contrast, the reviews and advanced word-of-mouth for Ex Machina is glowing and praise the film for dynamite performances, innovative ideas implemented well and incredibly smart storytelling. I'm VERY excited for this.

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I'm always interested in the different portrayals/predictions of our future interactions with A.I., so I'm interested to see this. I liked Chappie, as the basic premise is realistic; a new A.I. would likely be analogous to a human child, and thus the product of his 'parents' teachings and behavior, as well as his environment. To that end, I think Chappie expressed that well. I don't think it was in the same league as Blomkamp's first two films, but it was still ok.

Unlike Chappie, where the eponymous character is obviously a robot, Ex Machina promises a more psychologically interesting trip down Uncanny Valley with a realistically human android, who just happens to be an attractive female playing off a male character. Cue weird sexual attraction and an emotional roller coaster ride.

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Absolutely fantastic, thought provoking, and intense. Outside of people who just flat out don't like sci-fi, I'd say if you don't like this film there's probably something wrong with you.

Edited by Duke Togo

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Absolutely fantastic, thought provoking, and intense. Outside of people who just flat out don't like sci-fi, I'd say if you don't like this film there's probably something wrong with you.

Hmmm, I wonder if I can convince my wife to go see it.

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"Thrilling. That was, absolutely thrilling"
- Jean Luc Picard

This movie is currently at my top spot for best film of the year. It is a film about the creation of artificial intelligence from a direction we've never seen before. It's smart, interesting and engaging, made with such confidence in its ideas, its actors and its execution. It's also one of those great stories told on a small, intimate scale that ends up having a massive scope by the end of the tale just by virtue of the implications of the plot. Fans have been blessed in recent years by a run of really good science fiction films like Gravity, Guardians of the Galaxy, Moon, District 9, Inception, Dredd and Looper, but for me I think it's just possible that Ex Machina may be the best of them. I consider that very high praise given that I think the world of all those films.

It seems hard to believe that this is Alex Garland's first film, especially since I've been adoring his work every since he wrote 28 Days Later back in 2002. Since then he wrote Sunshine, Never Let Me Go and Dredd, which have all been strong. I have to assume he's been going to film school and humbly learning from the best directors like Danny Boyle and Mark Romanek until he felt accomplished enough to build a masterpiece. And that he has, especially in the way the special effects are so seamless that I had to remind myself I wasn't seeing something real time and again. The script in particular hits you with profound, provoking ideas, none of which drift off point or are wasted. In fact, like all great sci-fi, many of the film's ideas grow beyond artificial intelligence and poignantly comment on everything from sexuality/homosexuality, to substance abuse, to gender inequality. This film is so well crafted and achieves such an incredible tone, pace and tension that it feels like Garland has been doing this for decades. I've heard some compare the film to Kubrick's work and I have no reservations echoing that high praise.

I'd be remiss of I didn't at least mention the acting. Superb across the board, all three leads Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander deliver some simply stunning performances. What's kind of amazing is how each of these actors is on the cusp of super stardom at about the same time and will probably be everywhere within a few short years. Bravo to them and I really hope they all manage to find projects worthy of their considerable talents to enjoy in the years to come.

5 out of 5. An undeniably intelligent, thrilling and haunting sci-fi tale that asks smart questions and invokes thoughts you've never considered about AI and how it would be created.

Edited by Mr March

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Absolutely fantastic, thought provoking, and intense. Outside of people who just flat out don't like sci-fi, I'd say if you don't like this film there's probably something wrong with you.

Sounds Like I should go see this one, been on the fence if this movie would be good or not.

Plus you have good taste in films.

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Probably going to go see this if the NBA games today aren't too amazing.

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Well I'm getting ready to go see this absolutely blind knowing nothing about it. All I hope for is please don't be preachy or try to shove an evironmental or humanity is eeeeeeeevvvillll message down my throat.

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So this movie was supposed to make me think? The only thing I was thinking throughout this film was

HOW CAN THIS FILM BE SO PREDICTABLE AND YOU IDIOTS BE SO STUPID? Especially the helicopter pilot at the end!

So we get a douchey raging alcholic scientist who is also the founder of generic google knockoff that manages to create an A.I. using search results and puts no safeguards in place? Three laws of robotics anyone? No kill switch if it gets out of control? You would think he'd have learned after skankbot mk III and IV started throwing a temper tantrum and wrecking things.

That spoiler pic from Stuckman's review? Even if you didn't see it before the edit(I didn't) It was blatantly obvious she was a A.I. within the first 30 seconds of seeing her. I want to know why she was different than Ava and D-bag would trust her to wander around the house while Ava wasn't allowed. It makes no god damn sense! Also JESUS CHRIST DUDE! How much of this whole movie could have been avoided if you had just asked google man what the hell was actually going on? Like maybe "Sorry dude I was curious and started snooping around WTF is up with all the A.I bodies in your closet?" or "Dude, I noticed your asian woman is a skankbot, what's up with that?" or "Hey in Ava's room part of the glass is smashed, what's up with that?"

Also what the hell is up with the self mutilation to see if you're an A.I. too? Look I know finding out asian ho is actually a skankbot might be a shock, but I don't think any sane person is going to have that reaction!

So I'm supposed to have sympathy for Ava? Well Congrats to you for condemning the one dude who actually cared about your well being to starve to death for no clear reason! Oh yeah and good luck recharging in the real world. Enjoy dropping dead while people watching in that busy intersection!

Well that's pretty much my thoughts on things although I am interested in reading others reactions and discussing things.

Overall rating: D+

Edited by renegadeleader1

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You misread just about the entire movie, Renegade, and your conclusions are all wrong.

short version: Nathan would know he succeeded in creating true AI when one of his creations escaped. That was his goal. The price he paid/was paying is why he considered this act "Promethean," and he considered himself to be Prometheus.

Edited by Duke Togo

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From the previews it looks like a sexed up "Colossus: The Forbin Project". Since it has a high Rotten Tomatoes score I will put it on my Netflix list (not a slam, I prefer watching most movies at home these days)

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Of course it’s fine if one doesn’t like the film. But... :)

I just have to say it really saddens me to read that some watch a movie like this and lack so much empathy for what Ava (and all the AIs) suffered that they’d fault Ava for leaving Caleb to die. Of course we feel for Caleb, but I will never blame Ava for how she felt. Not ever. And I will never blame her for devaluing human life when her life, her feelings and her freedom were all worthless to the human that made her.

I guess I just don’t understand my society. Ava’s mistreatment is the plight of so many in our lives right now (women, homosexuals, minorities), yet so few recognize it. To paraphrase another favorite film of mine, what was done to Ava was monstrous and I’m not surprised they created a monster.

Edited by Mr March

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March, you and I may disagree a little, here...

I think we're supposed to feel empathy for Ava--up to a point. As things play out toward the end I think it becomes clear she has no empathy for anyone else, including the other androids. She uses Kyoko to help her kill Nathan, and makes no effort to help her after she's been damaged. To make matters worse, instead of resurrecting and freeing the other androids Nathan had locked away, Ava strips them down for spare parts to repair and disguise herself. And, of course, she leaves Caleb there to die.

The only emotion I had left at the end of the movie was dread. Like real dread, I actually felt it as things played out. Cabel quoting Oppenheimer was totally on point: I felt like we were watching the beginning of the end of humanity.

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I don't know if we disagree or not. From experience, I know a lot of folks misunderstand me when I share my thoughts about complex behaviour, assuming I somehow condone a behaviour simply because I understand it. I trust I don't need to explain why that's false.

However...

...let me be clear, I don't condone Ava's murder of Nathan, her murder by neglect of Caleb or her using the other may-or-may-not-be-sentient AIs. But I understand it and I don't blame her for it...I only demand that she pay for it. And yes, dread is the exact emotion you should be feeling by the end of the film. The movie is very much about how Ava came to be the "person" (self-aware intelligence) she is and why the treatment she suffered is a cause for great concern. The feminist/misogynist sub text is very clear. Now I've never known the rage one must feel to be abused like that...at least, not entirely and not at that level. But as a minority, I know well how it feels to be marginalized and I understand the sadness when people of good conscious fail to recognize the underlying problem and fail to understand why it has to stop. Or worse, choose to avoid facing it.

I think one of the great strengths of "Ex Machina" as a film is that it successfully transitions our perspective from Caleb to Ava. And through that, we as men understand what it's like for women. Unless of course, the audience refuses to allow themselves to experience that change in perspective. Some won't and that saddens me.

Hope that makes sense.

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I couldn't convince my wife to see it but my mom did watch it with a friend last weekend. She said it was slow and made her fall asleep, lol. Said it was lacking a real movie star, like George Clooney or Brad Pitt for example. I tried to explain to her films don't need a big star to make them enjoyable. I think its a generational thing when it comes to thinking a good movie requires a big star.

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I often like films better when I don't know the actors----then I can actually see them solely as their character, instead of "A-list star playing yet another one of their three main archetypes".

Very similar effect with animation, if you realize who's doing the voice. You hear the actor, not the character.

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This looks pretty good! And Alicia Vikander is a total babe! :D

Edited by spanner76

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There's some excellent discussion going on about the movie on many different sites. The Playlist has an excellent feature that is worth a listen if you want to geek out a bit more about this great film.

http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/podcast-the-playlist-programs-a-spoiler-heavy-talk-about-alex-garlands-ex-machina-20150504

Enjoy :)

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I'll add another: Alex Garland - Ex Machina Q&A

Host Jeff Goldsmith interviews writer-director Alex Garland about Ex Machina on "The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith" podcast. Spoilers, of course.

Edited by Duke Togo

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I hadn't heard anything about this until a snobby co-worker decided to tell me why I made a bad choice seeing The Avengers.

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I hadn't heard anything about this until a snobby co-worker decided to tell me why I made a bad choice seeing The Avengers.

I hate crap like that. That gives film fans such a bad reputation. But I suppose it's just as bad on the flip side, with plenty of folks hating on anything artful or foreign :)

I think a big part of loving film is loving ALL film. Recognizing great filmmaking and quality in each genre and being able to enjoy it without shame.

My collection has all kinds of hilarious pair ups in alphabetical order

Ghostbusters next to Ghost in the Shell

How To Train Your Dragon next to Inception

Malcolm X next to the Matrix

Robocop next to Rome

Terminator 2 next to There Will Be Blood

Thor next to Traffic

There's room in my collection for Ex Machina AND Avengers: Age of Ultron. To hell with the snobs :)

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Yeah, Ultron isn't a bad movie by any stretch, but if I were making recommendations it would be Ex Machina all the way.

Some movies deserve to get crapped on. Ultron isn't one of them (though, it does deserve some criticism).

Edited by Duke Togo

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I saw it with my wife last Saturday, and we both enjoyed it. The principals all played their roles brilliantly, the special effects are often so well done as to be un-noticeable as such, the dialog amongst the characters was always poignant and propelled the story. As most sci-fi in the A.I. genre, it's a cautionary tale, but the setup, i.e.sessions, and intimate setting lend a certain tension and credibility. I could see this scenario playing out realistically, although I'll concede that the first true A.I. to pass the Turing test will most likely be designed at one of the premier labs around the world with more than one person's input, and will probably occupy more realestate than Ava's little blue brain.

The heavy reliance on dialog and ideas over action may not appeal to everyone, but I like movies of this sort, as they generally leave you thinking 'what if?' I hope to see the emergence of at least a rudimentary A.I. within my lifetime, and hope that said Intelligence is free of sociopathy...just rainbows, happy thoughts, and an undying love of transformable mecha. ^_^

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