Thursday, May 5, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks: Androids/Cyborgs


So...it's been a few weeks since I last posted on my blog...at all. And it seems I've chosen to return to a theme this week that is really not in my wheelhouse. I'm not a big "robot" movie guy. My favorite science fiction being of the non-robot kind...

...But there are few I do love, the few with personalities that I fully enjoy.

So, it's Thursday, my return to Wandering through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks. This week, of course, Androids/Cyborgs.


Here are my picks:

T-800 Model 101 
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
dir. James Cameron, 1991


The level of superiority James Cameron's second Terminator film has over the original is staggering. Here he makes the genius move of turning one of cinema's most violent villains into one of its most violent heroes. In that, Arnold Schwarzenneger actually gets to do a bit of real acting. There is a sense of real emotion running through the core of T2, and that is thanks to the reinvention of the T-800 Model 101 back from the future to save humanity, and it's a movie that I just can't turn away from anytime I catch it on.

David 
Prometheus
dir. Ridley Scott, 2012


Why do people hate this film so much? It's second place for me as far as the Alien franchise is concerned. As David, Michael Fassbender beats both Ash (Ian Holm in Alien) and Bishop (Lance Henriksen in Aliens) by a mile, taking on more of a creepy, Hal 9000 sort of approach and becoming the foil for the entire film's genius plot. He exudes jealousy in a greatly maniacal way. I really dug this flick, and Fassbender's performance is a big reason for that.

Ava 
Ex Machina
dir. Alex Garland, 2015


The discussion of attraction and sexuality, and the doubt riddled within the Caleb character about both, is my favorite of the many mind-blowing conversations found in Alex Garland's brilliant Ex Machina. Of course, the subject of this conversation is Ava, the highly artificially intelligent android created by Nathan (Oscar Isaac) for reasons that become more and more terrifying with every minute of this movie's runtime. Alicia Vikander's Oscar win was really for this film, I'm almost sure of it. I have never found myself more attracted to a robot, and I suppose that's the point.


20 comments:

  1. Good to hear form you Kevin! Hope all is progressing well, or at least without too much crazy making, with your various activities.

    This isn't really my genre of first choice, or second or third, either but I do love the first two Terminator movies. Maybe because the first one was such a sensation when it came out and such a thrill ride I have a softer spot for it but the second is rock solid.

    I'm one of those who hated Prometheus, I found it a beautifully wrought slog to get through. Disappointing since I really did love the first two Aliens.

    I've yet to see Ex Machina but it's near the top of my queue, so soon.

    My first thought was Blade Runner which I expected to see everywhere, though so far the Terminator movies look more popular. Anyway I went looking for something more obscure and these are what I came up with.

    Eve of Destruction (1991)-Eve is a military android, an exact replicate of her creator (both played by Renee Soutendijk) who through a malfunction has become a killing machine as well as a nuclear bomb. Now that she is running amok and creating havoc in the big city a rescue team headed by Colonel Gregory Hines is tasked to disarm her before she explodes. She however will destroy anything in her path to prevent that.

    The Stepford Wives (1975)-Something’s not quite right in the charming, old-fashioned town of Stepford. All the women are incredibly docile and yielding and new arrival Joanna (Katharine Ross) wants to know why. The answer is one that is both scary and disturbing. Eerie suspenser that is heads and tales about the crappy 2004 remake.

    Westworld (1973)-Michael Crichton directed sci-fi story of an amusement park tricked out to resemble the Wild West and stocked with androids that the guests can have mock shoot-outs with as pretend gunslingers. Blaine and Martin (James Brolin & Richard Benjamin) arrive for a bit of adventure just as there is a system failure and their supposed to be relaxing vacation becomes a race for survival. Followed by a sequel Futureworld.

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    1. I'm back, man! Thanks.

      Blade Runner, somehow, didn't cross my mind, but that would've been a good one. I haven't seen any of your three, but Westworld sounds cool. I just looked it up and they're currently developing a TV series based on it. We'll see where that ends up... The Stepford Wives...I think I saw parts of the remake but never the original. One of these days....

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  2. I, too, don't understand the hate of Prometheus. It's certainly not a GREAT film, nowhere near the level of Alien and Aliens (it's too long, for one thing, and probably too caught up in its own mythology), but it's damn good, and that "abortion" scene is one of the greatest pieces of body horror/thriller filmmaking in AGES. And Fassbender's performance as David is fascinating.

    Ex Machina is flawed, too, but it's so unique as far as modern sci-fi films go, and the performances and design are all flawless.

    There is just no one better than Arnie as The Terminator.

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    1. We match up all around, man! I couldn't agree more with everything here.

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  3. I have not seen Prometheus but I have seen the other 2. T2 is a better film and one with a better budget also(I talk about T1). I thought Ex Machina was excellent and very creepy. You actually feel happy for her despite what she has done

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  4. Yeah, I'm not sure why everyone hates Prometheus so much. I thought it was pretty good. Ex Machina is great, so no complaints out of me for that. Of course, T2 is all sorts of fantastic. That said, I'm one of those who still prefers the bare bones original. Can't go wrong either way, at least in my opinion.

    Welcome back, Kevin!

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    1. Thanks! As it turns out...I wasn't totally back. I am now. Got some good stuff coming this week, reviews of new movies, etc. I think T2 just came out at the right time when I was young. I was too young for the original and saw it much later.

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  5. I also like to pretend Vikander won for this film since it was actually a supporting performance lol. Great picks, I enjoyed all 3.

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  6. Great picks! The original Terminator movies warrant a re-watch. I liked the whole cold and calculating look of Prometheus; Michael Fassbender was also pretty good in it. Vikander was excellent in Ex Machina, I wish she could have won for that role.

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    1. Thanks! I loved that about Prometheus as well.

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  7. I'm one of those who hates on Prometheus. Well, I didn't hate it, but it wasn't as good as I thought, and it is miles away from the original Alien. I didn't like Ex Machina but I agree that Vikander should have won the oscar for that role.

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    1. No sci-fi thriller will ever compare to the original Alien. FACT! No doubt about it.

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  8. It's interesting to see that everyone went for very similar picks this week. I think I'm the odd one out when it comes to Ex-Machina.

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    1. I think the praise for Ex Machina really comes from how perfectly stripped down it is. It is small scale and that lends itself to having the most perfect visual effects maybe ever, in my opinion. It's calm. Those are the things I love about it.

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  9. Great picks! I haven't seen Prometheus yet.

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  10. Prometheus seem to be a popular pick for this theme. I still haven't seen it because Alien really scared me when I saw it as a kid.

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    1. Prometheus is about on the same level suspense-wise as Alien. Since you're grown up now, I think you should give them another chance. I felt the same way as a kid but fought through a rewatch and have rewatched several times now.

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