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Ex Machina Blu-ray Review

Ex Machina Blu-ray

“Ex Machina” is one of the best films of 2015.

Written and directed by Alex Garland (best known for scripting “28 Days Later” and “Dredd”), “Ex Machina” is a sci-fi drama about a lowly programmer (Caleb) that wins a contest to visit the wealthy, reclusive, brilliant creator (Nathan) of the biggest search engine on the planet. Upon arrival, Caleb discovers that Nathan has been working on AI and wants Caleb to do the turing test on a robotic creation he dubs Ava. Through the tests, Caleb begins to bond with Ava, but not everything is as it seems. Is Nathan hiding something? Is Ava merely programmed to like Caleb? To say anything more would be spoiling the twists and turns.

Unlike many of the brainless sci-fi blockbusters that are released in the cinema, “Ex Machina” is a sci-fi film with a lot on its mind. It’s a brainy piece about creation, robotics, AI, morality, and humanity. The film isn’t concerned with action or numerous locations and instead limits the drama to a few scant locations and 3 primary characters. The almost claustrophobic feel of the film actually benefits the story as it keeps the viewer invested from the opening to the intriguing final act. On the subject of the ending, it has been the subject of great debate amongst film fans. Personally, I admired the unexpected and dark nature of it. It doesn’t go for the easy ending.

As for the cast, it’s a real triple threat. Domnhall Gleeson (best known for “About Time” and soon “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) continues his rise to stardom. Gleeson is truly a talented young actor who definitely takes after his father Brendan Gleeson. Oscar Isaac (who is also going to be in ‘The Force Awakens’) continues his string of incredible performances. If you are not familiar with him, seek out “Inside Llewyn Davis” and “A Most Violent Year.” Last, but not least is the relative newcomer Alicia Vikander who is about to be in a whole lot of projects soon. After her role as the AI Ava in “Ex Machina,” it’s not hard to see why she is garnering so much attention. Not only is she entirely convincing as an AI Ava, but she also makes the character her own in a fascinating way.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.40:1 1080p. How does it look? Despite being a tad fuzzy, the transfer is still impressive due to the gorgeous visuals that are courtesy of collaborative effort between the director, DP, and production design team.

Audio Tracks: DTS: X and 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? Viewers have the option of picking two tracks that both deliver the goods.

Extras:
* Lionsgate trailers.
* Digital copy.
* 9 straight forward vignettes titled “Making Ava,” “Nathan’s World,” “New Consciousness,” “Becoming Ava,” “Director,” “Cast,” “Meet Ava,” “God Complex,” and “Music.”
* “SXSW Q&A With Cast And Crew”- Jordan Crook moderates an hour long panel with Oscar Isaac, Alex Garland, Rob Hardy, Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow.
* “Through The Looking Glass: Making Ex Machina”- A 40 minute featurette that contains film clips, interviews, discussions about the script and characters, and more.

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July 12, 2015 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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