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11 reviews in total 
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"Delete" (2012)
Cogito Ergo Sum, 15 August 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Delete captivates the viewer throughout both episodes, leading to a satisfying finale. Through busy action scenes, car chases, and tense hacking scenes, the series delivers a compelling plot, not too far-fetched for hard sci-fi fans.

The series centres around a young hacker (Daniel) who spends his spare time on "ethical" hacking projects such as hacking phone records for justice; a modern-day digital vigilanti of sorts. In what seems like coincidence, Daniel meets reporter Jesse White, becoming a prime suspect for what the U.S government at first labels a "cyber- terrorism" act due to his limited ties to a notorious ethical hacking group called "Devito" (the modern-day equivalent to "Anonymous"). A frivolous struggle ensues when Daniel and Jesse discover that members of the Devito group are being murdered one by one. Soon after, Daniel and the reporter discover that an AI (artificial intelligence) has been orchestrating the terrorist attacks for which Devito had formerly been accused.

The first episode explores the origins of the AI, Devito, and the government's initial reaction to the AI threat; the second episode captures the government's continued efforts to contain the AI and Daniel, Jesse, and Max Hollis (the detective).

Delete explores engaging ethical questions and political situations which captivate the viewer throughout. Beginning with the "mechanical failure" of the nuclear power plant, we follow the U.S government throughout their political discussions and deliberations on how to act. These political discussions lead up to panicked, rash decisions made by the US government. Delete showcases how, under pressure, or the right circumstances, governments make rash, ungrounded decisions.

Camera work consists largely of close-up perspectives, and appears mostly professional; at times, camera work can appear "jerky" due to some odd angles. Overall, the camera work adds to keep the viewer engaged throughout.

Music is spot-on. The music provides an tense, ambient, "Sci-fi" feel which adds to the tenseness of the film. At times, the music evokes the same "grungy" sound heard in artists like Trent Reznor. The music succeeds in that even though, at times, there is a subtle beat, it only adds to the film, and you tend to not notice it.

Hard sci-fi fans will rejoice in that Delete delivers for the most part when it comes to accuracy; not long ago, Stephen Hawking along with several well-known scholars called for a truce on the "War on Artificial Intelligence", claiming that the war is not 5 or 10 years away, but 2-3 years away. Viewers having some preliminary knowledge on the data gathered by government agencies such as NASA and agencies in the UK specifically, exposed in the revelations of Edward Snowden, a global, will agree that such an omniscient AI is well within the realm of possibility. Even looking to today's cryptocurrencies or new "Web 2.0" platforms such as Ethereum (launched just last week), an AI could very well use a derived implementation of the blockchain technology to collectively exist on every machine (in "clusters"). Decryption scenes are, for the most part, accurate, in that hackers will often attempt various word lists in attempting to crack a password by brute force; decrypting ASCII does not seem realistic, however.

Unfortunately, Delete does contain some technically impossible scenes such as a phone "overcharging" -- this would not be possible unless the phone supported wireless charging, and such charging occurs at speeds close to 10x less than normal charging speeds anyway even with today's technology; more likely, the phone was overclocked and forced to compute some CPU-intensive operations, but even then, the phone would turn off first due to the way motherboards are manufactured -- and a "datalink" in which Daniel supposedly "interfaces" with the AI, and virtually confronts the AI on several occasions. Finally, some short shots of Daniel, Jesse, and Max in their old car don't make sense when the car would obviously not have any cameras within it.

I must digress, though, as most non-hard sci-fi viewers will concede disbelief, and enjoy this masterpiece of sci-fi.

I would highly recommend this short TV series for any sci-fi (and especially hard sci-fi) fan. Overall, the TV series delivers on all counts, and provides an engaging story line which keeps the viewer wondering just what the AI will do next. The story line is clearly well-thought-out, and shows an understanding of the way ubiquitous technology integrates with everyday life, and how many of us rely heavily on its capabilities. Excellent work.

Time Lapse (2014)
1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Someone has some real explaining to do, 2 June 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I suspended my belief for the better first half of the movie. But then it became apparent that 3 "close" friends would never go on homicidal rampages against one another. Take Jasper, for example: he's overly cautious, he looks out for Finn, yet at the end, he will stop at nothing to keep the money he made from betting. And then Dr. Heidecker, who shows up, PROVIDES information, and then suddenly Jasper shoots her? Really? I can understand a gradual change in attitude, but you don't go from caring for your "best" friends to shooting a woman just because she has a gun in her hand. Seriously.

I get that the point of this movie is to show how "destiny" controls you, but it seems like they went way overboard.

Now let's address the time paradoxes: the ending makes absolutely no sense. Even theoretically speaking, relativity states that you cannot go "back" in time. And that's the entire point of this version of time travel; the characters must act in the present, with some knowledge of events to come (theoretically possible). At least, I thought that was the point, until Callie claims killing Finn will have no consquences because she can go back... no! Given the established method of time travel, she could never go back to tell her "past self" how to handle a situation. Callie would just have to continue living her life, with Finn deceased, knowing that her safeguards to forge a better future failed. Because she already had her chance in another parallel universe, 12 hours ahead.

I still have to commend Bradley King for his attempt at creating a take on a classic sci-fi trope. Unfortunately, things were dragged way out of proportion, and I eventually had to suspend my disbelief, as the characters were no longer believable. I give that there was some good writing, and that the movie was mostly adequetely-paced, but when you leave gaping plot holes in the story, it leaves much to be desired.

Dark Minds (2013)
11 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Waste of time, 13 November 2014

Even from the beginning title scene, you KNOW there's something wrong with this movie: odd transitions, blurred images, and echoed voices. It's one thing that this was all intended; but it just DOESN'T WORK.

Now let's talk about the acting. The psychologist's daughter (Jamie), as well as the psychologist (Jennifer), it's obvious that this isn't acting at all; a more accurate term is "role playing". The acting is really that bad.

The sound is inconsistent at best. Peaking is a common occurrence in the movie, and it can be, at times, difficult to hear voices.

Camera work is very strange -- perhaps on purpose. Most shots are close-ups. Combined with the odd, fading transitions and blurry effects, you get the vibe that something's not right. Maybe that was intended, but it's definitely not what you might expect in a traditional movie.

Save yourself the disappointment of a wasted night, and don't watch this movie.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Bland but Introspective, 10 November 2013

I watched this movie expecting a psychological thriller, but Seven Psychopaths was nothing close. It's a movie about writing a movie, a very "meta" topic. But don't get your hopes up; Seven Psychopaths fails to meet expectations. The movie is packed with unnecessary violence, gore, and even some nudity. The scenes are uneventful for the most part; the scenes that do further the story are packed with gruesome violence and only make you feel more confused.

The plot is complicated, but the order of events they are shown to us is even more confusing. The idea is great in concept: psychopaths contributing to the screenplay of an upcoming movie. A movie about a movie. But we are "shown" the script, with the characters of the main story playing those characters in the script, as the characters in the (real) movie "discover" the ideas. If this sounds a lot like "flashback" confusion -- or the dreaded "Man of Steel" effect, you're not too far off.

To be honest, I watched this movie with my family because my mom liked all the actors. But though the acting was "sub-par", the screen-writing was boring and uneventful. My family all agreed that the movie was "strange", and not in a good way.

I would caution viewers to reconsider watching this movie; alternatively, viewers may wish to "gloss by" the boring parts or the blood and nudity. Five loaded flare guns out of ten.

Breathe In (2013)
8 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
No, no, no..., 27 October 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie really failed to do anything besides show bad morality looks like. The entire premise of this movie is WRONG. The characters in this movie are not believable.

Let's start with Keith (the father). Keith is a married man, with a job as a music teacher, who happens to not like teaching. So he is auditioning for first chair in the local orchestra. He gets the job, then decides to elope with Sophie (the exchange girl). First of all: you get the job you want, then, out of some undemonstrated hate for your kid AND your wife, you decide to elope with a stranger you met only a couple of weeks ago. Hmmmm... I totally believe this.

Then Sophie (exchange girl). An girl goes on an exchange to the US, without really researching where she'll be staying (who the family is), then decides she will not play piano in the house she's staying at because she wants to "have the choice". So... you go on an exchange to study music... to not study music? How many students do you think do an exchange without researching the family where they're staying? Hmmm... I totally believe this.

The actual movie was slow, and no real problem was ever presented. Only near the end, when Keith and Sophie decide to elope, is there some conflict; but Keith fails to address any of it with Megan (the wife). Things could have been SLIGHTLY interesting if we saw some kind of interaction addressing his eloping, but all we get is dry screenplay with little material to keep us watching.

The movie is ridden with unnecessary family drama, violin concerts, and piano lessons. I don't recommend this movie whatsoever, unless you want to learn how to be a sex offender. Maybe go read Oedipus Rex, and you'll get a taste for how disgusting and implausible this is.

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Another "meh" movie to join the crowd with more gratuitous action scenes, 18 June 2013

I can't say I was too impressed by Nolan's rendition of the classic superhero movie, but I can't say it wasn't bad either. I came to this, in theatres, expecting anything like the 2006 Superman Returns and what I got was a blown-up Sci-Fi rendition. Being a big sci-fi fan, this actually made the movie very likable; however, I can see how this could take away from the experience for viewers like my mom who has no appreciation whatsoever for Sci-Fi. Character development was limited because of the action scenes. Action scenes were blown up like a Michael Bay movie, if not worse. I found myself not very attached to Clark, even near the end, and I was almost more attached to his nemesis.

The story suffered the most. The timeline was split up with "flashbacks" to Clark's past childhood, in effort to represent a "fragmented past". Unfortunately, I don't think they pulled it off; I often found myself lost in the story, not able to actively identify where in the timeline we were. Worst of all, Nolan and his fellow writer neglected to leave in the key scene of Clark's parents finding him (key scene!). I think that if the story had been revealed in chronological order, the story could have been significantly more comprehensible, and as a result, more enjoyable. A key characteristic of any superhero movie is the scene in which the heroine discovers his/her powers; I found this scene to be very lacking. Perhaps if Nolan had taken from the screenplay of the Green Lantern (also DC), we could have a better development of the heroine. I really appreciated the prologue and the explanation of how Superman came to be. This was actually my favourite part of the movie, and it left me with a better understanding of how Superman started. I felt I had learned something.

I will say it flat out: how can you make a Superman movie and not have the line "It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Superman"? The whole movie I was waiting for this line… but not once did I get it. You have to remember, a lot of parents come to this PG movie with little recollection of the series, but everyone knows that famous slogan. You can imagine how disappointed I was.

The movie failed to do Sci-Fi correctly. This is a smaller factor, but for me, it disappointed me even more. I wish more directors had to take a basic physics course; you cannot hear anything in space – it is a void. Action scenes like the ones outside the earth's atmosphere should have no sound, but they were littered with it. We are giving these little kids the idea that they can hear in space. Likewise, there lacked explanation on how the superpowers worked. Though we were told that Clark's abilities were severely limited on Krypton-like planets, that doesn't explain how he is able to use his powers perfectly well in outer space (which has no atmosphere). Worse, the "black hole" idea of the two ships colliding. This is probably one of the most absurd ideas/hypotheses I have ever heard of, and this is not at all how a black hole works. In order to even create such a thing, both objects would have to be moving faster than the speed of light, which obviously wasn't the case. And even then, the matter "absorbed" would not just disappear. The Sci-Fi explanation left a lot to be desired.

Lastly, if we are trying to portray Superman as a "moral" hero, I don't think he gets the title. The whole time, while he is saving Lois Lane, or some innocent bystander, we see him battling the enemies, taking down building after building of thousands of people. The least he could have done is taken the battle away from New York. Sure, the comics may have portrayed him as such, but come on, Nolan, this is your terrain. We could have developed a much deeper character with a better sense of morality!

Through the gratuitous action scenes, the unchronological storyline, and the lack of sci-fi explanation, I was truly disappointed in many ways; however, Nolan's dark writing made its way back to reclaim yet another "satisfying" rendition of the superhero classic. Even though there were many parts to be desired, I found the performances by the actors to be accurate, and the action scenes were always "fun" to watch. The floor is now open to the upcoming sequel in the DC Comics Universe, the Justice League.

So bad it's laughable, 19 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really wanted to like this movie, but it is just horrible. I like Justin Long a lot (Accepted is my favourite movie by a long shot), but this movie just has nothing going for it. Sure, the characters are likable, but the premise fails miserably. If there are going to be curses, there needs to be an explanation. I really doubt an old lady is going to curse someone just because of reposession. I would think there would be a lot bigger worries than that.

Scares are predictable at best. The problem is the story just doesn't meld well. There's no plot except for Christine trying to ward off a curse. If there was more explanation about how the curse works, much earlier, the plot may have been mildy enticing; without a scientific explanation, I feel lost watching this movie. The intro feels cheesy. Why is a woman being dragged to Hell? Why not somewhere else? Why don't they just disappear? If there's going to be supernatural causes, they need explanations. That's how I feel anyway.

I suppose the whole story could be much more interesting if the director had taken a "beautiful mind" approach. The entire movie, we could be aware of the illusions Christine is having.

I really didn't understand this movie. I don't get a kick out of watching excorcisms, demons, people being dragged to hell, and this most certainly isn't scary; at best, Drag me to Hell is laughable. There is nothing scary here.

1 out of 10 for a bad movie.

10 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Hilarious, definitely worth a watch for geeks, 12 March 2013

This movie is hilarious if you know where the references are coming from. I literally cried I was laughing so hard at some parts. The director actually put a lot of effort into his scenes, and you will have to watch this movie a couple of times to really get full value out of this. A lot of the jokes have to do with internet memes, and/or behind- the-scenes rumours about other movies. Research may be required.

I commend the writer of this script. It's downright funny, and I don't think these jokes will ever get old.

However, there are non-sense parts (or I just didn't get the references in some parts), and the movie could go without them. You might understand why they're there when you realize the movie is 1:20, so they probably had to keep the cuts there to keep the movie "feature-length".

One of my favourite films this year.

Love (2011/I)
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
An Interesting but Uneventful Movie, 26 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Love is an intellectual movie; it's reliant on the viewer constantly thinking and making guesses. This movie is based on a man whose satellite moves out of orbit and who has to face being alone. It is a post-apocalyptic movie in that most of it takes place after the whole world has been detonated. Lee Miller (this astronaut), finds himself totally alone, and that is the entire premise of the whole movie. There is no interaction except for the interaction Lee imagines in his insanity.

Love is about the human condition, and that is how it gets its value. It should allow us to reflect on what we have, and how we likely take it for granted. This is what makes Love so unique, and what makes it unlike any other movie today.

Unfortunately, this seemingly-brilliant concept of being trapped in outer space is now a cliché. As others have mentioned, it seems to be a copy of other titles like Moon (2009) and L5 (Part 1).

Overall, the movie is polished, and I would recommend it for a night when you don't want to be scared and don't want to commit yourself to an entire movie. Six out of ten.

Excision (2012)
4 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
The most twisted, plot less movie yet, 5 November 2012

There is really nothing good about this movie, apart from the camera work (actually superb, in my opinion). The movie suffers on all other ends: story is weak, with very little plot; little development actually occurs for the family members. Really, what we have here is a depiction of a sadistic young girl's mind.

I found I could really relate to the family depiction, and the way the family treats Pauline. I liked the acting of Pauline's mom.

Overall, the movie really failed to deliver, on almost all accounts. There is very little to take from this movie, apart from (maybe) the way high school students actually feel.

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