Category Archives: Movies

Movie Review: Mad Max: Fury Road

10353400_661462377292620_5650103949489993553_oFrankly, I don’t remember much of the original Mad Max series, well having seen just the 1st installment many years ago, my memory of the events which transpired is somewhat limited, especially when it comes to more specific elements of the world, so I might be wrong in saying that this sequel/ reboot has some of the most ingenious and in-depth world building I’ve seen anyone accomplish. Even if I’m wrong about that, the post apocalyptic society Miller has constructed in this film gives an insight into what humanity might devolve into after the apocalypse. In a time when superhero films like Avengers or aliens robots beating each other up (Transformer series) are considered action blockbusters, director George Miller has given us something which we could not even imagine from its exciting trailers – a true blockbuster!! George Miller has returned with the some serious firepower at his disposal. Firepower in the form of 150 million dollars and the limitless wonders of modern technology.

FURY ROADMiller fires off this ammunition at full force to create the impossibly vast and intimately gritty world of Max Rockatansky in the grandiose way I think he envisioned it from the start. Upon seeing the first trailer for this film I said it looked like the Mad Max film Miller always wanted to make but didn’t have the tech or the money to accomplish. Seeing the movie in its glorious two-hour entirety affirms that statement. The story follows Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy), an ex highway patrolman haunted by his past who after roaming the deserts is captured & held captive in the Citadel, the city where the ruthlessly totalitarian leader Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) is ruling over. The grotesquely brutal lord maintains tight grip of every valuable resources across the land. This brings the entire populace crippling under his control. As for Max, he becomes merely a blood bag for Nux (Nick Hoult) one of Joe’s War Boys, who is a fatal devout to the cause of their fascist leader, who has promised them the glory of getting into Valhalla, the promised land. During a high-octane speed chase, he He meets the Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) who is being pursued by the dictatorial Wasteland leader “Joe”. Furiosa reaches for Max for help in keeping the ‘Five Wives’—women she brought with her—into safety, as Joe’s deranged breed of warriors called The War Boys, that are barely humans, are raging across the desert to capture them. This pursuit throws the unlikely partners into the walloping dangers of bloody escape, suddenly sending them into a game of survival. Much of the movie is spent with furious speed chases that goes from end to end of Joe’s subjugated land, while also taking surprising twists and turns along the way. It’s like it doesn’t know how to stop, and if it does, that’s surely only to allow us breathe and catch up with the next electrifying action set piece. There’s an enigmatic style Miller has employed to provide distinctions in his fantasy world, and it keeps the momentum in tack, if not ever progressing. The tone of the movie, all those vividly dark colors, that magically shifts from something to another, imparts a drowning experience, only it’s enjoying and looks festive to the eyes. This makes every eye-squashing spectacles take mammoth forms of visual extravaganza, turning all those burning combustion, metal blasts, and endless pursuits, from mere technical marvels into a hair-raising escapade.

mad-max-fury-road-tom-hardy-3The action is so brutal and appropriately high-octane. I thought to myself more than once, ‘I think I am loving this more than Terminator 2′ but other than that, there wasn’t time to think. It kicked off fast and barely stopped, and the lulls were amplified by the insanity preceding them. Amid these sanity-grabbing action sequences, though, is an emotional streak that keeps Max and Furiousa’s humanity alive. Hardy is brilliant as the tortured lead character and delivering a believable portrait of his desire to survive the present while mentally enduring his past. He is given minimal dialogue, but is able to become the heart of this post-apocalyptic tale. Interestingly, Hardy is not the primary lead in the film that bears his name. Charlie Theron‘s shining portrayal of Furiosa is the literal and figurative driver of the film. She manages to redefine feminine heroism for film makers. She has strength, purpose and a sacrificial depth that presses the story beyond a mindless chase scene. In a genre that tends to victimize or sexualize the female leads, Miller portrays a strong female lead without any unnecessary feminist underpinnings. In masking her natural beauty, Theron is allowed to develop her strengths and vulnerabilities without making a political statement. Both Hardy and Theron are supported by an excellent supporting cast that moves this experience from a mere adrenaline rush to a story of fighting for your right to live, seeing that sacrifice is part of freedom and ultimately for the hope for redemption. Nicholas Hoult and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley are likeable! Director George Miller delivers a masters class in story telling and stunt driven effects that successfully convey back story, cultural nuance and the justification of these desperate acts of disobedience and violence.

mad max fury roadEven as the fourth outing for this character, we are given a fresh storyline and wealth of new characters for a new generation. Apparently, It is not necessary to see the original films to enjoy this chapter in Max’s adventures, but just for the sake of it I might go back to watch the first two well received films in this anthology. On the whole, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road‘  is a visual masterpiece! It’s an explosive, obscene, grotesque, beautiful movie which is made to satisfy every movie goer! This is a film that needs to be experienced, felt, and forever cherished. This is the best film released all year, well it is the best action film so far this of this decade, and that is no exaggeration. The moment I stepped out of the cinema, all I could feel is “What a lovely day.”

Overall Rating: 9.8

Director – George Miller
Starring – Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult
Rated – R
Run Time – 120 minutes

Movie Review: Gaming in Color

Gaming_In_Color_movie_posterGaming in Color is a documentary exploring the story of the queer gaming community, ‘gaymer’ culture and events, and the rise of LGBTQ themes in video games. A lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or otherwise queer gamer has a higher chance of being mistreated in an online social game. Diverse queer themes in storylines and characters are still mostly an anomaly in the mainstream video game industry. Gaming In Color explores how the community culture is shifting and the industry is diversifying, helping with queer visibility and acceptance of an LGBTQ presence.

Filmed in between GamyerX 1 and GaymerX 2 conferences, the film examines the LGBTQ gaming community, the good, the bad, and the future. The documentary begins focused on the issues within the gaming community and experiences of the gay individuals as gamers. It throws you in the deep end, jumping right into the subject. Each person comes off as very relateable in their experience, no one is abrasive, or comes off bitter or angry. Instead there’s a fine mix of experiences that doesn’t really paint anything negatively, instead it shows things honestly. Personal experiences are hard to refute, and the documentary going that route was a smart decision that changes the tone from an academic one to a human one.

The second part of the movie shifts to focus more on where things stand now. It does show progress from where things were, to where they are today. Again, the positive is emphasized not just showing off some of the LGBTQ games out there, but also why they’re important. The sense of community is strong, and that community is emphasized by a positive tone. They come off as a group that you should want to game with, whether you’re LGBTQ or not. But, while there’s positive advancement in representation, it’s not all the way there, and that’s how the movie ends, where things need to go.

My only knock at all, and it’s minor, is the documentary uses gaming as a general term, shows images of tabletop games, but primarily talks video games. It’s a weird mix, and a distinction between the board game community and video game community might have been good to do.

The documentary is a fine introduction to the LGBTQ game community. We’re not talking a deep academic look, or go too deep into the history or issues. Instead the documentary puts human faces to the experience, showing there’s a real person you’re interacting with through technology.

The documentary is available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, PlayStation, Xbox, Vudu, VHX, Gumroad, and Vimeo. The film will also be coming to steam at a date to be announced. For those interested in LGBTQ issues, or gaming culture, it’s a film that’s an absolute watch.

Overall rating: 8.75

Graphic Policy was provided a FREE copy for review

Movie Review: Spooks: The Greater Good

Spooks-The-Greater-Good-UK-Quad-Poster-slice-1024x444Esquire magazine has tag lined this film – “Mission Impossible meets Bourne“, well that’s actually a lot to live up to, considering both series consist of some of the finest films of the spy genre. First of all, this movie is a spin-off from the BBC TV Series Spooks, luckily you don’t need to have seen the TV show in order to understand what is going on as the film itself is an effective stand-alone piece. For the uninitiated, ‘Spooks‘ was a British television show centered around MI5 spies (nicknamed Spooks and essentially the British NSA). Be under no illusions: this doesn’t have blind patriotism, missing super-weapons or a suave chiseled hero. And while Kit Harington is the being promoted as the lead star, the actual star is none other than long-time veteran & the star of TV show Peter Firth. Even though I have never seen the show myself, I have been told the film does consist of Easter eggs linked to the TV series as a nod to the fans.

article-2604953-1D1FB67800000578-567_634x442Well, the movie has a fairly decent storyline and that is what it mainly focuses on. There are also a couple of intense moments which is what I like in a thriller. There is also a bit of character development as well. Without giving anything away there are also a couple of twists. Don’t go into this movie expecting a lot of gun fights and car chases – you will be disappointed! As the whole plot works the characters & their mind games with each other. The story follows MI5 spymaster Harry Pearce (Peter Firth) who is in disgrace after America’s most wanted Qasim (Elyes Gabel) escapes during his transport. Convinced about a traitor in his mix, Sir Harry stages his death in order to find Qasim on his own & offer him a deal to give up the traitor in his company.  With the help of his former decommissioned agent Will Holloway (Kit Harington), Sir Harry must  recapture Qasim, before he plants his monstrous attack on London. The plot is all sub-Tinker Tailor twisty turns, the action highly inspired by of Bourne-like shoot-outs and chases, with an emphasis on techy surveillance. It’s nonsense, but there’s fun to be had in the endless double-crosses, and I am sure fans of the TV show won’t feel disappointed. It is a very good combination of atmosphere, character, event and action, with excellent London location work and thoughtful cinematography, and I enjoyed it a great deal more than I thought I would. This feels like not a television movie but a gritty British film worthy of recognition. Although you won’t be seeing Kit Harrington drop forty feet on a rope, catch a bead of sweat in slow motion, before it hits the floor sensors. You will see a nod to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and the internal corruption of the British Secret Service.

STGG_LD_2923-369Its well put together, takes you one way and then spins you 180. Yes! It has his fair share of flaws, especially the opening sequence itself, which almost shows MI5 as incompetent! The scene when a motorcycle terrorist gang is driving down traffic, the easiest way to stop them is to open the car door! But an entire special forces unit that seem afraid of their own guns? Why not just turn the sirens on and drive off? Where are the helicopters? Why are the police 30 minutes away? Imagine only if they would have done that right! The performances – Peter Firth is a very British older version of Jack Baur (24 TV series). Never has a older man with wrinkles and a receding hairline been so bad-ass, well other than Liam Neeson. Kit Harington slightly underplays a Jason Bourne clone & is likeable as an action star. Elyes Gabel is is sympathetic, never cartoonish or monologuing unlike spy movie villains! M. Jennifer Ehle, Tim McInnerny and David Harewood vie with each other for creepiness as a trio leading MI5. While, the mole plot seems recycled from many spy tales, director Bharat Nalluri manages to keep us indulged with pleasing twists and turns. On the whole, ‘Spooks: The Greater Good‘ is  a stimulating enjoyable spy film, which engages the audience to actually have a think while watching it. As good as the M.I and Bourne franchises are, this is all together different. I have never seen Spooks on BBC, but this has pushed me to take a look at what I’ve been missing out on.

Overall Rating: 7.4

Director – Bharat Nalluri
Starring – Kit Harington, Tuppence Middleton, Jennifer Ehle
Rated – PG13
Run Time – 104 minutes

Batkid Begins, the Official Trailer

One kid, whose Make-A-Wish dream coming true captivated a nation. Batkid Begins is a documentary that takes you back to November 15th, 2013, the day San Francisco turned into Gotham City, and the day the internet was nice. More than a billion people took to social media to cheer on BatKid, even President Obama!

The film is getting a release in select theaters June 26 after a successful crowdfunding campaign to complete the film.

Movie Review: Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland_poster

First let me get his out of the way – Brad Bird is a genius! If you don’t believe me you can check out Disney-Pixar‘s two most distinctive animated films i.e Ratatouille and The Incredibles, not yet convinced? Check out the fourth installment in the Mission Impossible franchise Ghost protocol, a film which revived the always awesome yet lagging Tom Cruise’s career. Tomorrowland is clearly an offspring of his brilliant ideas. Even though the trailers kept the film as much hush-hush as possible, which is usually not a really good sign, but with Bird‘s direction, the heart of the story and strong performances, this film is extremely memorable, even if it isn’t ground-breaking as summer blockbusters usually are! The story follows Frank Walker (George Clooney), who once upon a time, we learn in flashback, went to the World’s Fair in 1964. Wide-eyed, brim full of big ideas, excited about the future, Frank is the spirit of the early Sixties poured into the body of a kid. At the Fair he meets two people who will change his life: a tech giant by the name of David Nix (Hugh Laurie) and his bright as a factory full of buttons daughter Athena (Raffey Cassidy).

Via them, Frank is given a glimpse of Tomorrowland, a world as shiny and hopeful as himself. Cut to several decades later we get to meet Casey Newton (Britt Robertson), who despairs at the way her age sees space travel as a costly dream, and teachers who tell her constantly that the world is going to hell in a hand cart economically, environmentally, and every other way, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Casey is tired of hearing about problems. Where are the solutions, she demands. Yes, she is rather annoying. What brings Frank, now bitter, cynical and a recluse, and Casey together is the basis of Brad Bird‘s film. This film is true Disney fantasy epic, full of intense action, emotional heft and imaginative creativity that only Disney could create. The film, though, takes the “ride” to unbelievable heights, and I’m curious as to why there’s so much hate surrounding the film. Like the idea of the place, the film doesn’t focus on resolution. No, it focuses on tomorrow, what comes after. So, if you think the second act of the film drags quite a bit, it’s because you’re watching it as a traditional movie with traditional story-telling. This isn’t that at all. We have finally got an original concept movie not based on books/stories/previous materials. The movie never ceased to amaze me from start to finish. Admittedly there are moments which does make one a little impatient. But right then something would happen and drawn me into the movie again. To be fair, I probably enjoy it more because of above average familiarity with Disney parks/history/movies. But there are plenty of humor and ideas in the movie to fascinate everyone. There is one strong message being delivered throughout the movie &t it never tries to shove it down your throat as it just wants to inspire hope! The story of this film was truly unique. It fells the tale of two unlikely characters that come together, bonding in some truly amazing character connection, and chemistry against a group of cyborgs that refuse to allow them into the hidden land, only available for those who connect the clues, and figure the secrets of Tomorrowland. It’s a story that executes amazingly, sending the audience on an amazing thrill ride of entertainment, action, comedy; as well as a ride of conflicted feelings that proves to not fail. In this case, audiences all around, no matter what age will enjoy the pleasantly unique story, as well as the characters.

All characters combine amazingly, creating amazing chemistry, as well as acting. The film, here, also possesses an amazing sense of style. It has many, many visual effects that will fill the audience with a sense of adventure, and inspiration. It also widens the eyes of audiences everywhere with its complex – like story that explains itself through out the film, opening some mysteries, and twists that will guarantee to brighten up anyone who watches this. Its a pleasure to see George Clooney drop his charming ladies man act & try on something more depressing and darker in tone. Without saying too much, an otherwise ridiculous relationship turns out to be one of the more believable and memorable one due to his acting. Britt Robertson is very likeable, while Hugh Laurie is wasted! The real stand out performance comes from 12 yr old Kathryn Hahn, who manages to steal the show in every frame she appears. In truth though, they couldn’t have found a better man for the job. Taking the warm ’60s nostalgia of The Iron Giant, the quick-fire pace and ’toon energy of The Incredibles and the elaborate yet taut action of Ghost Protocol, Bird blends everything into a thoroughly modern slice of vintage Disney. The fact that you leave the film with more questions than answers is sort of the whole point. None of which takes away from the gleeful, heartfelt, old-fashioned spirit of adventure that keeps your head spinning in a good way. Following up his live-action debut Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Pixar veteran Brad Bird‘s sci-fi opus buzzes with fresh ideas. After the summer flops of the much-hyped John Carter and The Lone Ranger, Tomorrowland is a big gamble for Disney. So all credit to the Mouse House for letting Bird throw his ideas at the screen! On the whole, Tomorrowland is a truly meaningful film that had depth. It also possesses true adventure, and inspiration. It’s an amazing ride for anyone, no matter the age, as the film also possesses some mature humor. It also has a truly unique sense of style from visual effects, character development, plot, and story. Making this a truly nice film that I had the pleasure of seeing early. I truly recommend this to anyone. You won’t be disappointed! Indeed, if you’re willing to let a few things slide, this is one of the best family blockbusters in years!

Overall Rating: 8.5

Director – Brad Bird
Starring – George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie
Rated – PG
Run Time – 130 minutes

We Talk Harley’s Movie Look With Some Cosplay Experts

Recent pictures have surfaced showing Harley Quinn as she will appear in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie.  While others in the movie have created their share of controversy, whether it be the Joker’s new look or the casting choices for other characters, many feel as though it is Harley that everyone needs to get right.  We got a chance to talk to two cosplayers who have gained some recognition for their takes on Harley – Jemocha Cosplay and AwkwardGravityX.

Graphic Policy:  Are you comic fans?

Jemocha Cosplay:  I am a fan of comics! I haven’t read a ton of them but I would definitely prefer a comic over a tv show if given the option.

harley001AwkwardGravityX:  I am a fan of comics. I don’t really get to read nearly as much as I’d like and haven’t really read much of the new 52 or the Suicide Squad.

GP:  What is it about the character that is appealing to so many, even those that don’t read comics?

AGX:  I first fell in love with Harley when watching the animated series which is where she was originally created. Those who know Harley know that she was not originally one of the comic book characters. But I think what is most appealing about her is how absolutely out of her mind she is but she also has very innocent and lovable qualities about her. She can be a bad ass and adorable all at the same time.

JC:  I think Harley is appealing because of her crazy side and her super cool back story and personality, a lot like how people like Jinx from League of Legends or crazy characters and she is bad-ass and sexy, all good things!

harley002GP:  Does the fact that Harley Quinn is in Suicide Squad make the movie more appealing?

JC:  Yes! I only want to see it because Harley is my favorite of the group. I hope they do a good job with her!

AGX:  Yes, Harley is probably my favorite DC character and she hasn’t been featured in a live action film in way too long.

GP:  There are a few leaked pictures floating around the internet dealing with the new Harley from the movie.  What do you think that they got right?

AGX:  From the pictures I’ve seen about the only thing I think they’ve got right is the blonde hair and pig tails.

JC:  The design of the new Harley definitely has attitude to it, and it has been growing on me more as I’ve seen more fan art of it. It’s interesting that the Squad looks more like a gang on the streets than costumed super heros.

GP:  And what did they get wrong?

JC:  Harley looks like a badass girl in the new design, but she doesn’t look like Harley!  I would have loved if they went with the original Suicide Squad design, they did not use the black and red that everyone knows, and honestly it looks more like someone trying to cosplay Harley Quinn in their own way than what I would imagine Harley Quinn to actually look like in a movie!

kool1

Don’t expect a comic book crossover of the two.

AGX:  There’s a lot wrong I think. I feel as though they focused way too hard on sexualizing Harley and not enough on capturing her for who she is. Although her outfits do become much more revealing through the years, this costume for her is almost too much. She kind of just looks like a runaway teenager who dipped her hair in Kool-Aid and forgot to grab her pants on the way out. She doesn’t look nearly deranged enough either. I think a lot more could’ve gone into it.

GP:  What is the one thing which they really need to get right?

AGX:  What they really need to get right is Harley’s persona. Everything that is wrong with the outfit won’t matter as much if the character is played right. I feel like Harley’s character is very complex. Her essence is so dynamic which I think is what makes her most appealing. If they can get that right then that’s what matters most. So only time will tell. Judging by the looks of it though, I feel like I’m going to be disappointed.

JC:  They need to make sure she looks like a crazy villian but I am hoping they will do this with her acting in the movie! fingers crossed.

Thanks to our two contributors for taking part.  For more on their cosplay check out their AwkwardGravityX’s youtube page or JemochaCosplay’s facebook page.

Mad Max: Fury Road’s Follow-Up Has a Name

mad max fury road 2It was reported before the film hit theaters that Tom Hardy was signed on for three Mad Max films, and sequels would be coming if the first film did well. Well, it looks like Mad Max: Fury Road‘s $44.44 million debut was good enough because the next title in the film franchise has been announced.

Director and writer George Miller said “there’s more Max to come” and during the podcast The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith, the filmmaker also divulged the title of the next film, which is already written.

Mad Max: The Wasteland will be the title of the next film. I’m being coy with calling it a sequel, because some sites are reporting the next two films will actually be prequels to Fury Road. No matter if they’re sequels or prequels, if they’re close to the quality of Fury Road, we’re in.

What Does Facebook Tell Us about Pitch Perfect 2 and Mad Max?

pitch-perfect-2-pp2_rgbThis past weekend at the box-office was a triumph for women, and a blow to misogyny. Pitch Perfect 2 ruled the weekend earning $70.3 million domestically while Mad Max: Fury Road earned $44.44 million. The two films helped make it a record breaking weekend, but also had two films that had kick-ass women in it.

Pitch Perfect 2 was especially impressive earning about 5.5x the original film’s opening weekend. But should that have been a surprise? The original film found a huge audience after its initial theatrical run.

About 72% of the audience for Pitch Perfect 2 was female, and 57% was younger than 25. Mad Max: Fury Road was 60% male and 64% older than 25. While 51% of the population is female, 52% of moviegoers are women according to the MPAA.

Facebook shows us these general trends, the Pitch Perfect series has many more female fans while Mad Max skews more male. Both performed better than their stats though in their “opposite” gender of the majority of fans. More men attending Pitch Perfect 2, and more women attended Mad Max. That could account for their dual solid openings, as each gender brought the other to the cinema. Each fan page also does better in their weaker gender than previous films in the series.

No matter the why, each film shows that women shouldn’t be discounted when it comes to the cinema.

Pitch Perfect 2 Mad Max Stats

Movie Review: Ex Machina

ex_machinadAn artificial intelligence dealing with emotions is something we all have seen before! Films like Ridley Scott‘s Blade Runner and Spielberg‘s AI are the ones which come to mind at 1st & most recently in Wally Pfister‘s directorial- flop, Transcendence. Yet, in my opinion this film stands all together in a different arena. Unlike others this film is more of a dialogue-driven psychological thriller that slowly works it’s way under your skin. This serves the story well, cramping up the tension as an age old Sci-fi plot-point emerges (as covered by the trailer): how will a sentient machine feel about having its plug pulled. The film has a simple story dealing with a deeply complex and philosophical topic: namely what makes humans human, you know the feelings & emotions. The story follows Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), an employee at BlueBook, the world’s ‘leading search engine’, who wins the Golden Ticket to spend a week with Nathan Bates (Oscar Isaac), the genius creator & owner of the company. Bates lives in the middle of the American wilderness and is leading a one-man research project into the development of an Artificial Intelligence – Ava (Alicia Vikander). Nathan needs Caleb to become the human side of his Turing test before introducing her to the world. The film clinically walks through the sessions between Caleb and Ava, watched over by Nathan via the villa’s comprehensive CCTV system. The only other significant character in the film is Nathan’s house maid Kyoko (Sonoya Mizuno), who neither understands nor speaks English so drifts silently around offering various ‘services’.

Ex Machina MovieThe less you know going into a film like this, the better your experience will be. The film has a very fitting sense of false intimacy. This is done visually as many of the close-ups are seen through glass. No matter how close we get to the subject on-screen, there always seems to be at least one wall of glass between us and it or them. The film also makes a very distinct contrast between it’s interior and exterior shots. Outside of the facility is breathtaking landscapes. It is big, beautiful, refreshing and vibrant. Inside seems like an endless futuristic maze of glass, mirrors, plastic, chrome and dim lights. It is clean, cold and claustrophobic. A perfect setting for the subject that is explored in this tight, tense sci-fi thriller. Director Alex Garland has given us a modern science-fiction masterpiece. He is of course best known as a writer, having penned the novel of The Beach and the screenplays for films including 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Never Let Me Go. Garland has written this film in a way that plays on our wonder of scientific possibility as well as our inherent fears of robots and the future. We can’t help but question what happens and what doesn’t happen during the film, creating a specific feeling of tension akin to horror. The film’s location, in an isolated, constricting compound in the mountains that can only be reached via helicopter, only adds to the feeling of impending doom. The film’s color palate adds to the feeling as well- the foggy, almost smoky wash when the camera is on a human, then clean and clear when focusing on an artificial being. Whether or not it was intentional, it certainly adds a dimension and a contrast to the film. I’m fascinated with Garland‘s continued interest in the constructs of society, and how theoretical situations affect human beings in his work. In Sunshine, he sees an interesting dynamic within the pressures of saving humanity and our human natures. In 28 Days Later, he again puts human nature to the test in the wake of an apocalypse. Ex Machina is yet another test of our theoretical resolve, and I for one don’t believe his result is far from the theoretical truth. As he put it himself, this film is designed to emulate a future not too far from now, maybe ‘ten minutes out’. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a reclusive “Nathan” currently holed up somewhere with his own “Ava”. For all we know, there may be robots walking among us.

Ex-Machina-Download-WallpapersMaybe Garland knows this to be true. It is clear to me that he should continue telling stories, and continue to generate what all excellent science fiction does- questions. Yes! The film does have its set of flaws – some motivations and scenarios remain somewhat underdeveloped or questionable which (in my opinion) kinda gave out the ending, plus the movie might be too slow for a general audience, as I said this is a movie where ideas shine not action sequences. The performances are excellent, most notably Alicia Vikander as the beguiling Ava, who absolutely passes for being ‘almost human’. Her precise movements -walking, standing or stooping to pull on a pair of stockings- have just that slight tinge of the uncanny about them to suggest a mechanical skeleton, yet she is undeniably seductive. You can really understand Caleb’s mental plight as she begins to show signs of a sexual interest in him! Domhnall Gleeson also delivers a quiet and focused performance as Caleb, which reflects much of the film’s over all style. Like Ava, he is relateable, yet has this slight autistic aloofness about him, in complete contrast to the boorish, reckless Nathan. Isaac shows off a dark side to his growing screen powers and his Nathan is in equal measure sad and dangerous and while the two leads excel, they along with the film itself pale in comparison to Vikander‘s star making turn. So awesome! For writer and director Alex Garland, this is actually an impressive directorial debut, by creating one of the most intelligent sci fi thrillers in recent times & raising its three stars to the doors of stardom! On the whole, Ex Machina is a stunning Sci-Fi vision that is also a fully formed thinking man’s thriller. With a jaw droopingly good turn from the soon to be star Vikander, the film is another excellent example of what makes the Sci-Fi genre such a harbour of thought provoking classics and further proof that Garland is one of the most consistently good storytellers working in the industry today.

Overall Rating: 8.5

Director – Alex Garland
Starring – Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac
Rating – R
Run Time – 108 minutes

Syco Entertainment & IM Global Partner on The Fifth Beatle Film

the fifth beatleProlific independent entertainment studio IM Global, acclaimed writer Vivek J. Tiwary and Simon Cowell‘s Syco Entertainment have announced they will partner to co-produce the feature film version of The Fifth Beatle.  The screenplay, written by Tiwary, is an adaptation of  his acclaimed graphic novel based on the life of Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein.

The Fifth Beatle is a New York Times #1 best-selling graphic novel that recounts the true story of Brian Epstein, the brilliant visionary who discovered the Beatles in a cellar in Liverpool and guided them to unimaginable success.  But it’s also the story of how Epstein, of whom Paul McCartney said, “if anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was Brian,”  overcame seemingly insurmountable odds and personal demons  while bringing the Beatles to the world’s attention and kicking off a cultural revolution in the process.

Tiwary, Cowell and IM Global Founder and CEO Stuart Ford will serve as producers, and have already secured an unprecedented agreement with Sony/ATV Publishing for the use of Beatles music to be used in the film. IM Global President of Production Matt Jackson, President of IM Global Music David Schulhof, and Syco  Entertainment’s Head of Film Adam Milano will serve as executive producers. The producers also anticipate bringing a director onboard shortly.

Tiwary wrote the graphic novel, which was published by Dark Horse Comics, with art created by award-winning artists Andrew C. Robinson and Kyle BakerThe Fifth Beatle has  won many major literary awards, including the Will Eisner Comic Industry Award (the comics industry’s Academy Award) and two Harvey Awards (the comics industry’s Golden Globes), including Best Original Graphic Album. It was named a Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Best LGBT Graphic Novel, and has been added to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Library and Archives Permanent Collection.

This is a bit if a restart for the film which was announced as having director Peyton Reed attached in 2013 and was to begin production in 2014. Casting was reportedly underway at one point.

The graphic novel is a wonderful read, and you can read a review here.

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