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Ex Machina – Movie Showcase

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Ex Machina
Rating: R (for graphic nudity, language, sexual references and some violence)
Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By: Alex Garland
In Theaters: Apr 24, 2015 Wide Release
Starring: Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Sonoya Mizuno
Official Synopsis: Alex Garland, writer of 28 Days Later and Sunshine, makes his directorial debut with the stylish and cerebral thriller, Ex Machina. Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson), a programmer at an internet-search giant, wins a competition to spend a week at the private mountain estate of the company’s brilliant and reclusive CEO, Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac). Upon his arrival, Caleb learns that Nathan has chosen him to be the human component in a Turing Test – charging him with evaluating the capabilities, and ultimately the consciousness, of Nathan’s latest experiment in artificial intelligence. That experiment is Ava (Alicia Vikander), a breathtaking A.I. whose emotional intelligence proves more sophisticated–and more deceptive–than the two men could have imagined.

Why I Want To See It:

This movie looks like what would happen if Steve Jobs was still alive, owned Google, and was hiding away in some high-tech lab using one of his many monitored employees to test out his newest toys. Instead of a thinner laptop or a watch that does everything, he’s testing what could be argued as one of the most dangerous creations mankind may ever develop; Artificial Intelligence. Nathan (Oscar Isaac) plays the super genius Steve Jobs role and Irish star Domhnall Gleeson is Caleb, a geeky 24-year-old coder who wins the chance to visit the boss in his private lab deep in Alaska.

The development of AI into something very human has been covered before in classic movies like Blade Runner. In that movie, Harrison Ford used a test to identify rouge androids built so close to human its almost impossible to tell they’re not. The test aimed to reveal the subtle indicators that distinguish android behavior from human behavior.

The idea of a learning and naturally evolving AI was recently touched on in the movie Her. The main character in that movie, played by Joaquin Phoenix, fell in love with just the voice of Scarlett Johansson. He had nothing to touch, nothing to hold at night, just a sexy understanding voice.

In Ex Machina the female robot is Ava played by Alicia Vikander, and we get to see her in the “flesh” as she tries to turn the tables on her creator and his test subject. It looks like this movie could explore any number of AI ideas and questions. Can Caleb really love something that has no soul? Can Ava really feel or understand what love is? And if she can, what does that say about the idea itself? If a machine can replicate enough human emotions, does that make it human?

With futurist Ray Kurzweill predicting the coming Singularitywhich is the combination of human and machine, this subject will eventually become more actual science than science fiction. Proven theories like Moores Law are bringing us to a place where it’s only a matter of time before our computers surpass the limitations of the human brain. IBM Jeopardy champ Watson is a real life example; the dawn of next level AI is already here.

I’m hoping director Alex Garland, who reinvented the zombie film with 28 Days Later, can show how the thin line between human and machine may be crossed in the very near future.

Quality is not an act, it is a habit." - Aristotle. A seasoned connoisseur of only the best things in life. The Fortune Five will help you not waste one of life's most valuable commodities, time.

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Review: Godzilla vs. Kong

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Godzilla vs. Kong reminds me that I was an idiot as a child. I allowed the 4:30 Movie too significant a piece of my brain pie. I existed in a headspace where The Planet of the Apes and Gamera were more science than fiction. I was certain skyscraper-sized monsters lived in the woods a few blocks away, and that ghosts were under my bed. Somewhere in possibility-land, a black and white Lon Chaney slowly becomes a werewolf in a handful of dissolving frames.

Cut to my final form, and I can’t help but think these movies are just a total waste of time and resources. Sure, the effects can be impressive but often they have as much weight as a video game. Buildings smash into dust, an actor says a line against a green screen, then Kong sits on a throne like a stereotypical king. Ah doi!

Sure, the hollow Earth with upside-down mountains in the sky is cool – but where’s that sun coming from? The MechaGodzilla fight has some great effects, but you can watch those on Youtube without having to sit through a bunch of lines like “Kong bows to no one.”

Maybe I just can’t enjoy normal human things anymore.

 

Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) 113min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller | 31 March 2021 (USA) Summary: The epic next chapter in the cinematic Monsterverse pits two of the greatest icons in motion picture history against one another - the fearsome Godzilla and the mighty Kong - with humanity caught in the balance.
Countries: USA, Australia, Canada, IndiaLanguages: English, American Sign Language

Recording as Electronic Device, Brooklyn artist and writer Eric Curran released his debut record "Two Dull Boys" in 2021.

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Now that Captain America is Black…

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Now that Captain America is Black

  1. Bucky Barnes will change his name to Summer Soldier Buckquan because “Nah son! we ain’t doing sh*t in the winter!”
  2. Fearing for their lives, Police officers will fire 751 shots at Cap in the 4th of many incidents to come.
  3. In a new altered timeline, Thanos will win due to Cap being detained by a routine traffic stop. “How can you afford Vibraniun on a government salary? Please step out of the vehicle sir.”
  4. Captain America will form a Rap group with Black Panther called “Black-America.” The group will not be received well but will eventually have all their intellectual property stolen for decades to come without any due repar… I mean royalties. #MESSAGE
  5. Racists will be utterly confused when they tell Captain America to “Go back to where you came from.” Equally confused, Cap will pack up all his belongings and stay put.
  6. Cap will be accused of stealing Thor’s hammer the next time he picks it up.
  7. Cap’s shield will be replaced with a Vibraniun PlayStation Controller since black men are more comfortable throwing that.
  8. The battle decree will officially be changed from “Avengers Assemble” to “Yerrrrr! It’s on sight!”
  9. After 40 years of service, Cap will travel back in time to 1998 to finally get that last dance with his true love, Laura Winslow. They will Cha Cha Slide to “Before I let Go” as the credits role.
  10. Upon retirement, those jaded with having an Af-Am do such an amazing job will appoint a failed real estate charlatan to take up the mantle. The New Cap will immediately try and grab Scarlet by her “Johansson” and declare himself the best Captain America that ever did it during his inauguration.

Alfred Obiesie is a writer with over 12 years of online content contribution (Onetrackmine.com, Cartermag.com, Essence.com) and author (You Made It a Hot Line; The most influential lines in hip hop.) The book chronicles hip hop lines from the genre’s most notable artists spanning almost 40 years. It is illustrated by Grammy award winning Illustrator Shah Wonders and has garnered praise from multiple media outlets (Sirius XM, Vibe, Brooklyn Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library, etc...)

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Chadwick Boseman Forever!!

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It is clear that Chadwick Boseman chose iconic roles like Thurgood Marshall, James Brown, Jackie Robinson and Black Panther with deliberate intent and for a specific purpose. In an age where positive roles for Black actors is often sparse, Chadwick managed to land and portray historical figures that made most respect his talents if not revel in his ability to transition effortlessly for one character to another. Even I had to give his African accent a solid B+ (It’s the highest grade the Nigerian Standards Bureau can give for an African accent to a non African FYI.)

Holding out and preparing for these dynamic roles came with both great frustration and incredible resolve I’m certain. Not to mention the taxing ordeal of battling Colon Cancer as the grueling scheduling of filming and increasing responsibility for positive representation loomed. Even under extreme duress, Chadwick’s commitment to others appeared to outweigh his own tribulations, unbeknownst to us all.

Black Panther may have been just a movie to some and that may be because some can easily rattle off 10 movies with a king of non Af-Am origin. It represented a lot more to others. Albeit imagined, imagery on cinema often accomplishes more to augment the social narrative and society itself than actual reality. If negative stereotypes influence perception then positive ones absolutely have the same converse effect.

Even in jest, the cultural misappropriation of raisins in potato salad on SNL skits directly spoke to the tampering of black culture to which T’challa championed, represented and aptly responded “Oh hell Nah Karen!”

If you don’t understand the relevance of representation, it’s probably because you are thoroughly represented. After all, no one is ever grateful for every breath they take until they are gasping for air.

R.I.P Chadwick Boseman. Thank you for breathing life into the possibility of Black excellence.

Alfred Obiesie is a writer with over 12 years of online content contribution (Onetrackmine.com, Cartermag.com, Essence.com) and author (You Made It a Hot Line; The most influential lines in hip hop.) The book chronicles hip hop lines from the genre’s most notable artists spanning almost 40 years. It is illustrated by Grammy award winning Illustrator Shah Wonders and has garnered praise from multiple media outlets (Sirius XM, Vibe, Brooklyn Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library, etc...)

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