Deadpool (2016)

IMG_3478

The movie was great… but let me back up: It had been a stressful day and I thought, “I deserve to go see a movie! Deadpool! Yes, I have been waiting to see this one.” But to be totally honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of how slapsticky it looked. (I get it. It’s satire. It’s self-aware.) Well, it is and does a brilliant job of it! I was hopeful for all the reasons why I’m worried the Deadpool copycat movies will be not so clever. This is a Marvel movie rated R! I have been waiting for this ever since my disappointment with the first X-men movie. Wolverine kills people! Where was that shit?!

I mean, comic book movies have forever fallen flat in the cinema. The raw, powerful, sexy violence from the comic books never translated to the screen. A couple of the movies got some of the comedic moments right. For example, I loved when Spider-Man took the elevator, back when that type of subtle humor was fairly fresh. So I was excited to see that Marvel was finally getting some balls, but I was disappointed because I never followed Deadpool. (I would love to see a real Wolverine movie that takes place entirely in the snowy forests of Russia, where he’s hunting and/or evading Omega Red for a solid two hours of deadly cat and mouse. But back to Deadpool!)

Anyway, I was starving so I decided grab some “Shop House,” which, in case you are unaware, is a delicious Thai food /Chipotle style restaurant. I got a rice and chicken bowl with sliced broccoli and butternut squash — with a spicy red curry — and and some shredded papaya coleslaw, along with some toasted garlic. (I know right?! I was all stomach rumbles on my way over to the theater.) The theater is usually pretty lax on entrance security, so I confidently walked in with my crumpled paper bag as if it was just leftovers that I wasn’t really thinking about. (In hindsight, I should have used a J-crew bag.) But the dude said, “no food,” and I was all like, “Really man?” And he was all, “Yeah, I’m sorry bro.” So I walked outside and took a couple bites. (It was freezing.) I tried to stuff the rest in my jacket, but it was too obvious. So I decided to to put it up against my lower back with a solid shirt-tuck and a snug jacket zip. The guy inspected me for extra fatness on my way back in and decided that I was good to go. (I even waited in line with my back to to by snacks just to play it “extra cool!”) After finishing up my meal during the previews — as planned — I thought it was time to get into my Sour Patch kids. I was trying to be extra gentle and not open it with a vertical slit-style opening. (Nobody likes to eat candy like that!) I like a good ol’ potato chip “pull-open” style. But there was nothing, nothing, nothing, and then… SOUR PATCH KIDS EVERYWHERE! A small handful were salvaged and enjoyed. And this whole thing was possibly only witnessed by one fellow patron behind me, who was polite enough not to vocally express her judgment of me.

So… Deadpool. Ok.

Pot Leaf Pot Leaf Pot Leaf Pot Leaf

Advertisements
Deadpool (2016)

Uncanny (aka Android) [2015]

Uncanny

I absolutely loved this movie, as I did Ex Machina and, less enthusiastically, The Machine. I think anyone who enjoys films of the AI genre should check out all three of these flicks. While Ex Machina has a much higher budget, Uncanny nonetheless delivers with a subtle charm that is fully backed up by a heady and intellectual script. Unfortunately, for me, the female lead seemed to be a bit plastered in at times. I didn’t care for — or identify with — her character, which may have been partly by design.

I should specify that the genre of these movies is not just “AI,” but also the genre of “theater as film.” Uncanny has a small, four-person cast, so the bulk of its content is in the script and the characters’ relationships, rather than special effects, action, or set design. And the movie made me think! The acting was sharp, focused, appropriately rational, and intellectually robotic. There was a very ominous undercurrent throughout the entire film, hinting at high-level conspiracy and the world-behind-the-world that we are only somewhat aware of in our daily lives. What captivated my attention most was how the film continually went back and forth between concepts of “machine as capable of consciousness” and “designer as illusionist.” It made me question my own neural programming as a human, and then juxtaposed that with the data-programming of a computer.

Some of the epiphanies I had while watching were actually nullified and confused by the end of the movie, which makes me think that I need to go back and watch it again. (I love movies that taunt me into watching them again in order to uncover what was really going on.) The most interesting question I had while watching Uncanny was, “If a computer that learns from humans calculates that a human has made a choice based on passion rather than logic, could that computer then learn programming based on chaos rather than order?” In a sense, computers, like children, learn early on that emotions, moods, and hidden agendas are used to manipulate and react to the environment. That’s my first impression, at least… But I really can’t wait to see this one again!

After watching Uncanny last night, I decided to watch Ex Machina again — and I loved it the second time around as well. I’m truly impressed with the ability of two different directors to take the same basic story and make two completely different, enjoyable presentations that stimulated my intellect in different ways.

Four pot leafs out of five:
Pot Leaf Pot Leaf Pot Leaf Pot Leaf

Uncanny (aka Android) [2015]