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Rememory (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

November 18, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

While Mark Palansky’s “Rememory” may not be a groundbreaking film, but I enjoyed the concept and also Dinklage’s performance.  And while the film does have its faults, I did enjoy “Rememory”.

Images courtesy of © 2017 Lionsgate. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Rememory

DATE OF FILM RELEASE: 2017

DURATION: 112 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p (2:40:1 Aspect Ratio), English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English SDH/Spanish Subtitles

COMPANY: Lionsgate

RATED: PG-13

RELEASE DATE: November 28, 2017


Directed by Mark Palansky

Written by Mike Vukadinovich and Mark Palansky

Produced by Daniel Bekerman, Lee Clay

Co-Producer: Ethan Lazar, Tyler Nelson

Executive Producer: Jim Reeve

Music by Gregory Tripi

Cinematography by Gregory Middleton

Edited by Jane MacRae, Tyler Nelson

Casting by Tineka Becker: Tiffany Mak

Production Design by Hank Mann

Costume Design by Patricia Hargraves


Starring:

Peter Dinklage as Sam Bloom

Matt Ellis as Dash Bloom

Jordana Largy as Freddie

Martin Donovan as Gordon Dunn

Evelyne Brochu as Wendy

Henry Ian Cusick as Lawton

Anton Yelchin as Todd

Julia Ormond as Carolyn Dunn

Gracyn Shineyi as Jane Dunn


The film explores the unexplained death of Gordon Dunn (Martin Donovan), a visionary scientific pioneer whose body is found shortly after the unveiling of his newest work: a device able to extract, record and play a person’s memories. Gordon’s wife, Carolyn (Julia Ormond), retreats into her house and cuts off contact with the outside world when a mysterious man (Peter Dinklage) shows up. After stealing the machine, he uses it to try and solve the mystery, beginning an investigation of memories that lead him to unexpected and dangerous places.


From the director of “Penelope” and “A Series of Unfortunaate Events” comes the film “Rememory”.

The film stars Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”, “X-Men: Days of Future Past”, “The Station Agent”), Matt Ellis (“Final Destination 3”, “Undead Union: The Making Of”), Jordana Largy (“Once Upon a Time in Wonderland”), Martin Donovan (“Ant-Man”, “Insomnia”, “Weeds”), Evelyne Brochu (“Cafe de Flore”, “Tom at the Farm”, “X Company”), Henry Ian Cusick (“Lost”, “Hitman”, “The 100”), Anton Yelchin (“Star Trek”, “Terminator Salvation”, “Fright Night”), Julia Ormon (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, “Legends of the Fall”, “My Week with Marilyn”) and more.

And now “Rememory” will be released on Blu-ray courtesy of Lionsgate.

The film begins with Sam Bloom (portrayed by Peter Dinklage) at the bar with his brother Dash Bloom (portrayed by Matt Ellis).  As the two drive home, singing out loud, their car is smashed into by another car and when Sam Bloom comes to, Dash is bleeding and dying, while Sam screams for help.

Fastforward to the future and the accident still haunts Sam.  While he is watching Gordon Dunn (portrayed by Martin Donovan), a scientific pioneer who created new technology that allows for one to extract memories and watch them on an external device.

Later, the doctor is approached by a woman named Wendy (portrayed by Evelyne Brochu) who wants something back from the scientist.  We then see Todd (portrayed by Anton Yelchin) who confronts Gordon for ruining his life and bringing up something that should have stayed in the past.  Meanwhile, Cortex CEO, Lawton (portrayed by Henry Ian Cusick) listening in on their conversation.

We then see Wendy coming in and access Gordon Dunn’s Cortex device, Sam parked in the parking lot alone watching Todd, and then later Wendy leave Gordon’s office and then we also see Gordon laying on the ground, dead.

The next morning, Sam learns that Gordon Dunn is dead and when he comes to bring flowers to his widow, he manages to steal keys inside the house and manages to use it to break into his home and steal one of the Cortex prototype devices along with recordings of memories from other test users.

And through these memories, what will Sam discover?


VIDEO:

“Rememory” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio)

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Rememory” is presented with English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio.

Subtitles are in English SDH and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Rememory” comes with following special features:

  • Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Mark Palansky and actor Peter Dinklage
  • The Memories We Keep – (31:59) A featurette about the concept and making of the film, as well as the evolution of the script and casting for the film.  Also, remembering actor Anton Yelchin.

EXTRAS:

The Blu-ray comes with an UltraViolet Digital HD code.


“Rememory” is a film directed and written by filmmaker Mark Palansky and created around actor Peter Dinklage and a film that looks into the extraction of memories.

The film revolves around a man named Sam Bloom (portrayed by Dinklage) who had a tragic past three years and watching scientific pioneer, Gordon Dunn, introduce his Cortex device that allows people to extract memories and watch them on an external device.

But when Gordon Dunn is found dead, we see numerous people along with Samuel who happen to be near the scene of the crime.

When Sam reads that Dunn had died, it leads him to stealing Gordon’s Cortex device in hoping he can find answers of who or what is responsible for his death but most of all, helping him come to terms with his tragic past.

If there was one issue with the film is that Cortex would go through any means of finding the stolen Cortex device and are quite aware that Sam Bloom is possibly involved.  While there are those in the company that are aware of Sam, there is buildup to painting the Cortex Corporation as a big, bad corporation and its leader, Lawton (portrayed by Henry Ian Cusick) being the film’s main antagonist.  But there was no element of danger as Sam was able to go around and accomplish things quite easily.

There is also not much time to establish the other characters in the film, they are merely subjects of tests conducted by Gordon but we don’t feel much impact with these characters at all.  If anything, the film hinges on the shoulders of Sam and Carolyn Dunn (portrayed by Julia Ormond).

I will also add that for the short moments that Anton Yelchin was in the film, you can’t help but feel sad that this young talented actor is no longer with us.  He had an emotional performance in the film and “Rememory” was among the last three films that Yelchin would make before dying in a fatal accident in the summer of 2016.

As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is good, especially on close-ups.  Lossless audio is primarily dialogue-driven and the audio commentary and featurette were entertaining.  I like the fact that Palansky gave people a chance to send in their own HD memories and they included a few of those selected, for their memory footage to be part of the film.

Overall, while Mark Palansky’s “Rememory” may not be a groundbreaking film, but I enjoyed the concept and also Dinklage’s performance.  And while the film does have its faults, I did enjoy “Rememory”.

Ancient Aliens: Season 10 (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

October 3, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Anything is possible and there are so many unexplained things in our planet, let alone the entire galaxy and universe. If these unexplained mysteries interest you, then you will no doubt enjoy “Ancient Aliens” Season 10.

Image courtesy of © 2017 A&E Television Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


DVD TITLE: Ancient Aliens: Season 10

AIR DATE: 2017

DURATION: Episodes 119-126 (8 Episodes total – 5 Hrs., 44 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: 4×3 Full Screen, 1:78:1 Presentation, English 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio, Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

COMPANY: Lionsgate/History/A&E Networks

RATED: N/A

Release Date: October 17, 2017


Directed by Susan E. Leventhal

Written by KJoe Escalante, Kaylan Eggert, Eric Murphy

Executive Producers: David Silver

Local Producer: Stanislav Solovkin

Archival Producer: Marianna Yarovskaya

Line Producer: Michelle Gorski

Music by Alex Khaskin

Edited by Eric Sievering


Starring:

Narration by Robert Clotworthy

Giorgio Tsoukalos

David Childress

Jonathan Young, Founding Curator Joseph Campbell Archives

Erich von Daniken

Jason Martell

George Noory

William Henry

David Wilcock

Michael Dennin

Mike Bara

Nick Redfern

Linda Moulton Howe

Richard Rader

Robert Bauval

Kathleen McGowan

Domic Steavu

Deepak Shimkhada

Hugh Newman

Ariel Bar Tzadok


On this season of ANCIENT ALIENS®, we uncover more astonishing new evidence of extraterrestrial intervention on Earth than ever before, including an aluminum object that resembles the foot of a lunar lander…but inexplicably dates to over 40,000 years ago. In India, a thousand-year-old mask is discovered that looks identical to the face of a grey alien. Newly uncovered records from Russia indicate that in 1948, an ancient rocket was discovered in Kiev. Is it possible that we are on the brink of a reconnection with our alien ancestors? Watch and find out!


In 2010, “Ancient Aliens” made its debut on the History Channel and now it’s on its tenth season.

A documentary style series which presents hypothesis of ancient astronauts and how historical texts, archaeology and legendary stories may contain evidence of past-human extraterrestrial contact.

The first part of the tenth season which aired from April – June 2017 and features the following episodes:

  • Episode 119: The Alien Hunters – Ancient astronaut theorists discuss the existence of alien hunters and the existence of extraterrestrials.
  • Episode 120: Forged by the Gods – How metals that fell out of the sky may be connected to alien visitation.
  • Episode 121: The Mystery of Rudloe Manor – Is there a UFO held in the underground rooms of Rudloe Manor?
  • Episode 122: The Alien Architects – Comparison of structures in different parts of the world that are very similar?  How is that possible?
  • Episode 123: The Pharaoh’s Curse – Could the Ark of the Covenant be related to King Tut’s Curse/The Curse of the Pharaohs?
  • Episode 124: The Science Wars – Are extraterrestrial artifacts being dismissed by scholars?
  • Episode 125: City of the Gods – Do exotic technology exist in various pyramids?  And was there an advanced culture that lived there back then that established that technology?
  • Episode 126: The Alien Frequency – Is there sensory information that exist in sound and can learning about sound lead to extraordinary things?

VIDEO, AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Ancient Aliens: Season 10” is presented in widescreen (1:78:1 aspect ratio). For the most part, the series is well-edited with great use of modern to archived sourced footage, great use of visual effects and also for the most part, combined with modern interviews, picture quality looks good as one can expect for DVD.

As for audio, the series is presented in English 2.0 Dolby Digital audio and narration and interviews are clear and understandable.

The show is presented in English SDH.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Ancient Aliens: Season 10” comes with no special features.


During my college years, I used to work at a job doing data entry in the wee hours of the morning. And I would often listen to AM radio for talk shows that aired late at night to early morning and would listen to Art Bell and other scientists and those involved in the field discussing extraterrestrials, government coverups, to other unexplained mysteries.

And I could see why many people would be interested in pseudoscience (a term or practice presented as scientific method. Claims that are contradictory, exaggerated or unprovable).

But let’s take a look at season 10 of “Ancient Aliens”. There are no doubt a lot of plausible things and the arguments are good, although of course, the series is more biased towards possible alien interaction and are outspoken about government cover-ups.

The “Alien Architects” episode is also interesting because we know there are a lot of similarities of pyramids and structures across the globe and no one knows if there is a connection but the presentation on this episode alone is quite interesting.

The episode about the Phaaoh’s Curse has been ongoing for decades and many people believe there is a true curse involved with the opening of King Tut’s tomb.

And as for “The Science Wars”, I also understand about extraterrestrial artifacts being dismissed by scholars.  Scholars will always be skeptical as they want to see evidence and facts and the episode does its best of showing the what if…

I found the episode “Forged by the Gods” to be interesting in that it deals with the Betz Mystery Sphere and how the sphere reacted to music and followed people around, it is interesting how many other metal balls have fallen in different countries.  While NASA disproved other metal spheres as propellant tanks, the Betz Mystery Sphere is interesting as it was ovserved, tested and then suddenly it disappeared after being tested by the US Navy.

The Rudloe Manor episode is also very interesting because the location is mysterious and no one, even to this day, knows what is going on in there and there are a lot of beliefs that there are underground facilities under the manor.  But no one but those working inside there know the truth.

Season 10 only comes with the first eight episodes, not the complete season. The episodes were well-produced and was really well-edited and goes into detail supporting a new perspective or various perspectives that is suggested, not made as fact but left for the viewer to come to their own conclusion.

Whether or not you believe each episode, it is quite intriguing to hear from theorists who really believe in such things, may it not be based on true scientific evidence but may it be art etched by ancestors in caves long ago, stories passed down from ancestors or discoveries with new modern technology but “Ancient Aliens” does a great job in presenting it and making viewers wonder if such perspectives, ideas are possible.

Anything is possible and there are so many unexplained things in our planet, let alone the entire galaxy and universe.

If these unexplained mysteries interest you, then you will no doubt enjoy “Ancient Aliens”.

L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

September 25, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

“L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties” is a major step for China in creating a fantasy/adventure CG animated film that looks awesome.  The problem is, too many characters are squeezed into 118 minutes that the storyline is hampered by it.  It may get a little confusing, so it may be a film that one will watch more than once.  Still, “L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties” has its own charm and cool, stylish visuals that make it work watching.

Images courtesy of © 2017 Lionsgate. All Rights Reserved.


DVD TITLE: L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties

YEAR OF FILM: 2016

DURATION: 118 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: 2:39:1 widescreen, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

RATED: Not Rated

COMPANY: Lions Gate

AVAILABLE ON: September 26, 2017


Directed by Jingming Guo

Line Producer: Xu Xiaoling

Co-Produced: Qin Zhou

Music by Yuki Kajiura, Ronald Ng

Cinematography by Randy Che


Starring:

Fan Bingbing as Guishan Lian Quan (Disciple to the Fifth Degree)

Kris Wu  as Yin Chen (Lord to the Seventh Degree)

Cheney Chen as Qi Ling (Disciple to the Seventh Degree/Lord to the Zeroth Degree)

William Wai-Ting Chan as You Ming (Lord to the Second Degree)

Amber Kuo as Thalia (Lord to the Fourth Degree)

Yun Lin as Tianshu You Hua (Disciple to the Sixth Degree)

Mi Yang (Disciple to the Second Degree)

Roy Wang as Cang Bai Shao Nian

Yikuan Yan as Guishan Feng Hun (Lord to the Fifth Degree)

Duo Wang as Qi La (Lord to the Third Degree)

Aarif Rahman as Ni Hong (Disciple to the Fourth Degree)


Supernatural warriors clash with dark forces of evil in this electrifying fantasy-adventure. In a distant time, seven lords who wield powers beyond imagination share dominion over a world. But when one lord falls from grace, the others must summon all their magic to stop an epic war that is ravaging the land – and threatening the order of the universe.


In 2016, the Chinese computer animated motion capture action fantasy film “L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties” was released in theaters.

Directed by famous author Guo Jingming, the film stars Fan Bingbing (“Iron Man 3”, “X-Men: Days of Future Past”, “My Way”), Kris Wu (“xXx: Return of Xander Cage”, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”, “Mr. Six”), Cheney Chen (“The Great Wall”, “Tiny Times”), William Wai-Ting Chan (“Triad”, “As the Light Goes Out”), Amber Kuo (“Au revoir Taipei”, “Keeper of Darkness”), Yun Lin (“The Mermaid”, “Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back”) and Mi Yang (“Gorbaciof”, “Painted Skin: The Resurrection”, “The Bullet Vanishes”).

And now the film will be released on DVD courtesy of Lionsgate.

The film begins with an introduction to the Odin Mainland which is separated into four countries with soul masters protect their own country utilizing their own soul powers.  And the most powerful, seven of them are known as Noble Lords (Dukes).

The film begins with a busboy named Qi Ling (portrayed by Cheney Chen), when the jovial young man goes to work at the inn, he sees a group of spirit warriors at the inn who came from the capital to the area to hunt a spirit beast.

Immediately, the land starts freezing and many people are frozen to death and are killed.  While many in the inn are killed, the female spirit warrior is targeted by a huge white lion with wings who has the power to freeze and control the elements.

Meanwhile, Yin Chen, the Silver Priest (portrayed by Kris Wu) working for the Lord of the Seventh is ordered by the Silver Priest (portrayed by Roy Wang) to take in a disciple. Lady Knox (Talia), Duke of the fourth, is ordered to work with the Duke of the Second to hunt down the Duke of the Fifth, Guishan Feng Hun (portrayed by Yikuan Yan) and his disciple, Guishan Lian Quan (portrayed by Fan Bingbing) for treason.

We then see Guishan Feng Hun running away with a blonde individual and then fighting against himself (a body double that came out of a mirror).

The film then goes to Qi Ling awakening and being taken in by Yin Chen and is told that he was brought back from the dead and that he will now become trained as his disciple.


VIDEO & AUDIO:

“L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties” is presented in 2:39:1 and is presented in English 5.1 Dolby Digital. The original mandarin dialogue is not included and thus, if you are looking for information on this film, you will notice the names used in the English release versus the Chinese release differ.  For the most part, picture quality is good as it gets on DVD. It’s amazing to look at it because, for example, fans of Fan Bingbing know how she looks and to see a CG version of her is pretty cool.  The motion capture and how the characters look are really well-done, some may feel very video game like but for the most part, the picture quality and animation is very good.  The soundtrack features quite a bit of action and utilizes the surround channels fairly well!

Subtitles are in English SDH and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties” comes with no major special features.


“L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties” is no doubt an ambitious project showcasing China’s CG animation.  While Japan and Korea have been the focal point for years, it’s good to see a film showcasing how far China has come in CG animation and “L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties” looks great!

But like a video game, graphics are only a part of it and a storyline is important.  While “L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties” is a film that I found fun, humorous and action-packed at times, there are too many characters that may confuse viewers.

The film starts off with Qi Ling and then we are introduced to the Lord of the Seventh, Yin Chen.  But then we are introduced to Tianshu You Hua of the Sixth and then we find out that Thalia of the Fourth and You Ming are after Guishan Feng Hun of the Fifth and his disciple Guishan Lian Quan.

Confused?

Yeah, it can get confusing. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if one watched this film multiple times.

I mention video game because in some ways, it reminds me of a JRPG (Japanese role playing game) like “Final Fantasy”, where you start off with an initial character and then the game branches to introduce many other characters.

Where RPG’s have many hours of gameplay with relationships to build upon, movies don’t have that luxury (unless they are built upon a series or comic book preceding the film).

Think of series of warring states or leaders and can you imagine “Game of Thrones” being limited to 118 minutes?  “L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties” is a film that tries to introduce too many characters and what is considered a primary character for the first half of the film, may not be the primary character of the second half of the film.  The film starts off showcasing Qi Ling (Cheney Chen’s character), but somehow the film ends up being more about Guishan Lian Quan (Fan Bingbing’s character).

While I can’t deny that I enjoyed the film for its visual presentation and action, especially to see Fan Bingbing in CG.  If the film was made into a trilogy or even a two-parter, perhaps the story could have been fleshed out a bit more and character dynamics would come into play more efficiently.

As for the DVD, picture quality looks great as it can on DVD, although I wished it was released on Blu-ray.  Audio is good as the English dub is crystal clear including the film’s action sequences but I admit that I was hoping for special features, which there are none included.

Overall, “L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties” is a major step for China in creating a fantasy/adventure CG animated film that looks awesome.  The problem is, too many characters are squeezed into 118 minutes that the storyline is hampered by it.  It may get a little confusing, so it may be a film that one will watch more than once.  Still, “L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties” has its own charm and cool, stylish visuals that make it work watching.


The Lovers (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

July 30, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Azazel Jacobs “The Lovers” is a romantic comedy a failed marriage, two affairs and two individuals facing the next chapter in their lives with other people.  An entertaining film overall.

Images courtesy of © 2017 Lions Gate Entertainment, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: The Lovers

FILM RELEASE: 2017

DURATION: 94 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 1:85:1 aspect ratio, English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Subtitles: Spanish, English SDH

COMPANY: Lions Gate

RATED: R (Sexuality and Language)

RELEASE DATE: August 1, 2017


Written and Directed by Azazel Jacobs

Screenplay by James Ponsoldt, Dave Eggers

Produced by Ben LeClair, Chris Stinson

Music by Mandy Hoffman

Cinematography by Tobias Datum

Edited by Darrin Navarro

Casting by Nicole Arbusto

Production Design by Sue Tebbutt

Art Direction by Celine Diano

Set Decoration by Nancy Niksic

Costume Design by Diaz


Starring:

Debra Winger as Mary

Tracy Letts as Michael

Aidan Gillen as Robert

Melora Walters as Lucy

Tyler Ross as Joel

Jessica Sula as Erin

Lesley Fera as Susan


Three-time Academy Award® nominee Debra Winger stars in a deliciously grown-up comedy about love and marriage.


From Azazel Jacobs (“Terri”, “Momma’s Man”, “The GoodTimesKid”) comes his romantic comedy, “The Lovers”.

Starring Debra Winger (“Terms of Endearment”, “An Officer and a Gentleman”, “Urban Cowboy”), Tracy Letts (“Killer Joe”, “Bug”, “The Big Short”), Aidan Gillen (“Game of Thrones”, “King Arthur”, “The Wire”), Melora Walters (“The Butterfly Effect”, “Magnolia”, “Dead Poets Society”), Tyler Ross (“Zombieland”, “Nate & Margaret”, “Officer Down”) and Jessica Sula (“Split”, “Honeytrap”, “Skin”).

The film revolves around a married couple, Mary (portrayed by Debra Winger) and Michael (portrayed by Tracy Letts).  Both have noticed there is no more passion in their marriage and both are having affairs.

Mary with Robert (portrayed by Aidan Gillen) and Michael with Lucy (portrayed by Melora Walters) and while the people they are having affairs with have been adamant that they dissolve the marriage, both agree that they will when their son Joel (portrayed by Tyler Ross) and his girlfriend Erin (portrayed by Jessica Sula) arrive.

But as these two are ready to separate and move on with their new relationships, somehow the two are able to have a spark and begin having passionate sexual encounters.

But will these two stay in their marriage or end their marriage and move on with their new lovers?


VIDEO:

“The Lovers” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1 aspect ratio). With a lot of scenes shot outdoors, the picture quality for the film is vibrant and looks great in HD. Closeups show good detail but for the most part, the film looks very good with no signs of artifacts or banding issues.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“The Lovers” is presented in English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and features crystal clear dialogue and music from Mandy Hoffman. Surround channels are utilized for ambiance but for the most part, this is a front-channel driven soundtrack.

Subtitles are in English SDH and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“The Lovers” comes with the following special features:

  • Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by writer/director Azazel Jacobs.
  • The Music of Romance: Scoring the Lovers – (13:50) A featurette about the making of the music for “The Lovers” with Mandy Hoffman and Azazel Jacobs.
  • A Complicated Passion: The Making “The Lovers” –  (19:15) A featurette on the making of “The Lovers”.  Interviews with cast and crew.

EXTRAS:

“The Lovers” comes with the Blu-ray and an UltraViolet HD code.


Quite often when we watch relationships being torn apart and the protagonists in the broken relationship finding new love or each other, they are typically a couple who are much younger.

But what if the story centered on two long-married individuals who are in a bad marriage and are both having affairs.

This is what is explored in the romantic comedy “The Lovers” by filmmaker/writer Azazel Jacobs.  Exploring life and love and just waiting for the right moment to divorce and that moment is when their son comes to visit.

Actress Debra Winger plays the wife, Mary, while Tracy Letts plays husband, Michael and both are in intimate affairs.

Mary is having an affair with Robert and Michael with Lucy, and both are often cajoled by their lovers to end their marriage and are getting tired of waiting.

As their son Joel pretty much was raised in a home where his parents fought and knows his father is having an affair, he is unaware that his mother is also having an affair.

And to make things more interesting, as Mary and Michael get closer to the date when they will tell their son the truth and how they are separating, a spark develops between estranged husband and wife and their affairs have triggered a passionate, sexual relationship within them.

But is that spark strong enough to keep them married?  Or in their hearts, will they move on and start on a new relationship away from each other and with their new lovers?

For the most part, I found “The Lovers” to be a film about two long-married, dispassionate people who know their time together is not working.  But what I found interesting and all I could think about was if this was a younger couple, I probably would have disliked this film with a passion.

But there is something about this film that I felt entertained.  Yes, what these two are doing are wrong and how they break it to their son is very wrong but there is a small twist to this film as one would see in the final scene.

In the case of Mary and Michael, it’s very interesting on how their affairs have made them better lovers towards each other, but both know that they went to far into their affairs that their marriage is much more sexual than about love.

And I have to say that Debra Winger and Tracy Letts made this film work thanks to each of their performances and made this film much more enjoyable.

As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is very good, considering that a lot of the scenes were shot outdoors, was a major plus.  Lossless audio features crystal clear dialogue and music, and you get an audio commentary and two featurettes.

Overall, Azazel Jacobs “The Lovers” is a romantic comedy a failed marriage, two affairs and two individuals facing the next chapter in their lives with other people.  An entertaining film overall.

The Walking Dead Season 7 Arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD 8/22

July 29, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Rick and His Group of Survivors Face an All-New Threat When Season 7 Comes to Blu-rayTM and DVD on August 22

 

SANTA MONICA, CA (July 28, 2017) – The dead aren’t the only things to fear when “The Walking Dead” The Complete Seventh Season arrives on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD) and DVD August 22 from Lionsgate and Anchor Bay Entertainment. Rick Grimes and his hardened band of survivors face their greatest challenge yet in Negan, the volatile leader of an opposing group. “The Walking Dead” The Complete Seventh Season stars Andrew Lincoln (Love Actually), Norman Reedus (Boondock Saints franchise), Lauren Cohan (The Boy), Danai Gurira (All Eyez On Me), and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (TV’s “Magic City”).

 

Picking up immediately after the thrilling cliff-hanger, Negan forces Rick and the group to fall under his will, brutally convincing them to live by his rules. To prevent further bloodshed, Rick genuinely believes they can make life under Negan, however terrible, work. But he soon learns that Negan can’t be reasoned with, and they must prepare to go to war now. Victory will require more than Alexandria, and Rick will need to convince their new allies from the Kingdom and Hilltop to band together with the common goal of taking down Negan and his army.

 

The five-disc home entertainment release of “The Walking Dead” The Complete Seventh Season features hours of never-before-seen bonus features including audio commentaries, deleted and alternate scenes, and nine featurettes looking behind the scenes of the show, delving deeper into the characters and checking in with “The Walking Dead” writers. “The Walking Dead” The Complete Seventh Season will be available on Blu-ray and DVD for the suggested retail price of $80.99 and $70.98, respectively. Season eight of “The Walking Dead” premieres Sunday October 22 on AMC.

 

BLU-RAY / DVD SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Audio Commentaries
  • Deleted & Alternate Scenes
  • “Inside The Walking Dead” Featurette
  • “The Making of The Walking Dead” Featurette
  • “In Memorium” Featurette
  • “A Larger World” Featurette
  • “Breaking & Rebuilding” Featurette
  • “A New Chapter of Fear” Featurette
  • “Top Walkers” Featurette
  • “Warrior Women” Featurette
  • “The Writers of The Walking Dead” Featurette

 

For Artwork: www.lionsgatelink.com/home-entertainment/thewalkingdeadthecompleteseason7/

Trailer:  https://youtu.be/-kak_DDOBzE

Facebook: facebook.com/TheWalkingDeadAMC/

Twitter: @WalkingDead_AMC

#thewalkingdead

 

PROGRAM INFORMATION

Year of Production: 2016

Title Copyright: The Walking Dead ©2016 AMC Film Holdings LLC. Artwork and Supplementary Materials are TM, ® and © 2016, 2017 AMC Network Entertainment LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Type: TV on DVD

Rating: TV-MA

Genre: TV, Drama, Horror

Closed-Captioned: Spanish, English SDH

Subtitles: Spanish

Feature Run Time: 797 Mins.

BD Format: 1080p High Definition 16×9 Widescreen 1.78:1 Presentation

DVD Format: 16×9 Widescreen 1.78:1 Presentation

BD Audio:  English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, French 2.0 Dolby Surround

DVD Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 2.0 Dolby Surround

 

ABOUT LIONSGATE

The first major new studio in decades, Lionsgate is a global content platform whose films, television series, digital products and linear and over-the-top platforms reach next generation audiences around the world.  In addition to its filmed entertainment leadership, Lionsgate content drives a growing presence in interactive and location-based entertainment, gaming, virtual reality and other new entertainment technologies.  Lionsgate’s content initiatives are backed by a 16,000-title film and television library and delivered through a global licensing infrastructure.  The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with original, daring and ground-breaking content created with special emphasis on the evolving patterns and diverse composition of the Company’s worldwide consumer base.

 

Free Fire (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

July 9, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

“Free Fire” is a film that was a big surprise.  The film was hilarious, the acting performances were solid and the action sequences were over the top and entertaining that I found myself watching the film several times over the weekend.  Recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2016 Rock Films Freefire Ltd. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Free Fire

FILM RELEASE: 2016

DURATION: 90 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 2:39:1 aspect ratio, 16:9 Widescreen, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

COMPANY: Lionsgate

RATED: R (Strong Violence, Pervasive Language, Sexual References and Drug Use)

RELEASE DATE: July 18, 2017


Directed by Ben Wheatley

Screenplay by Amy Jump, Ben Wheatley

Produced by Andrew Starke

Executive Producer: Reno Antoniades, Lizzie Francke, David Kosse, Sam Lavender, Dan MacRae, Danny Perkins, Ben Roberts, Martin Scorsese, Emma Tillinger Koskoff

Associate Producer: Pete Tombs

Music by Geoff Barrow, Ben Salisbury

Cinematography by Laurie Rose

Edited by Amy Jump, Ben Wheatley

Casting by Shaheen Baig

Production Design by Paki Smith

Art Direction: Paul Frost, Nigel Pollock

Set Decoration: Liz Griffiths

Costume Design: Emma Fryer


Starring:

Sam Riley as Stevo

Michael Smiley as Frank

Brie Larson as Justine

Cillian Murphy as Chris

Armie Hammer as Ord

Sharlto Copley as Vernon

Babou Ceesay as Martin

Noah Taylor as Gordon

Jack Reynor as Harry

Mark Monero as Jimmy

Patrick Bergin as Howie

Tom Davis as Leary

Enzo Cilenti as Bernie


From Executive Producer Martin Scorsese comes a bold, breathless, and wickedly fun action flick about an arms deal that goes explosively wrong.


From filmmaker Ben Wheatley (“Kill List”, “Sightseers”, “High-Rise”) comes his latest film “Free Fire” which he co-wrote with his writing partner, Amy Jump.

Executive produced by Martin Scorsese, “Free Fire” stars Sam Riley (“Control”, “Maleficent”, “13”), Brie Larson (“Room”, “21 Jump Street”, “Kong: Skull Island”), Michael Smalley (“Perfume”, “The World’s End”, “Kill List”), Cillian Murphy (“Inception”, “The Dark Knight”, “Batman Begins”), Armie Hammer (“The Lone Ranger”, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”, “The Social Network”), Sharlto Copley (“Malificent”, “Chappie”, “District 9”, “Elysium”), Babou Ceesay (“Eye in the Sky”, “’71”, “Severance”), Jack Reynor (“Sing Street”, “Macbeth”, “Glassland”) and many more.

And now the film will be available on Blu-ray courtesy in July 2017 from Lionsgate.

“Free Fire” is set in the ’70s and begins with Stevo (portrayed by Sam Riley) and Bernie (portrayed by Enzo Cilenti) arriving to a secret warehouse location in Boston to meet two IRA members, Chris (portrayed by Cillian Murphy) and Frank (portrayed by Michael Smalley), who is accompanied by intermediary Justine (portrayed by Brie Larson).

The group meet up with a rep named Ord (portrayed by Armie Hammer) and they await arms dealers Vernon (portrayed by Sharlto Copley) and Martin (portrayed by Babou Ceesay), who are delivering powerful weapons.  Which will be delivered to the warehouse by their associates Harry (portrayed by Jack Reynor) and Gordon (portrayed by Noah Taylor).

The night before, Stevo was beaten up by the cousin of a woman he abused.  And to Stevo, he is shocked to see Harry arrive and tries to hide from him.  But when Harry sees him, he immediately tries to attack him and Stevo tries to attack back.

But immediately, things spiral out of control when Harry shoots Stevo in the shoulder thus separating both groups and they all start shooting at each other.

As Martin has the briefcase with the money, he is grazed but with the briefcase of money left in the wild open and everyone is armed to off each other, who will be the last person standing?


VIDEO:

“Free Fire” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:38:1 aspect ratio). Featuring close-ups with very good detail especially during the more bloody scenes which make up was done quite well. I didn’t notice any major artifacts, banding or issues with picture quality during my viewing of the film.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Free Fire” is presented in English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. Dialogue is crystal clear and with the many gun, rifle and machine gun shots throughout the film and even music, audio is crystal clear and quite active!

Subtitles are in English SDH and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Free Fire” comes with the following special features:

  • Audio Commentary– Featuring audio commentary by director Ben Wheatley.
  • The Making of Free Fire – (15:56) Interviews with the filmmaker Ben Wheatley and the cast about the making of “Free Fire”.
  • Trailer – Theatrical trailer for “Free Fire”.

EXTRAS:

“Free Fire” comes with a slipcover, Blu-ray and an Ultraviolet HD Code.


For filmmaker Ben Wheatley, his goal was to accomplish the action films of years past, where people had the reason to be excited about action versus chaotic explosions and destruction that we see in today’s modern films.

The film revolves around an arms deal gone bad and various teams and individuals are stuck in the warehouse, trying to survive from being killed.

While we have seen a similar action (non-horror) films in which people are stuck in similar setting and audiences wondering who would be the last person standing, most recently with Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight”, what I love about “Free Fire” is that it combines humor, action but also plausible ways to integrate all characters in the film’s storyline and be part of all the action.

Where Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” made you want to pick sides of who you would like to see survive the film, “Free Fire” is a free-for-all, everyone are equally bad to the bone, each has their own quirky nature and a combination of verbal wit to sarcastic humor with a plethora of momentary gun exchanges, makes for a great film.

As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is great.  Closeups show great detail, especially when the character is bloodied or burned-up, for the most part, everything looks great in HD.  As for the lossless audio, with the amount of gunfire, rifle shots, machine guns going on throughout the film, you can expect an immersive soundscape.  Great use of the surround channels.

Overall, “Free Fire” is a film that was a big surprise.  The film was hilarious, the acting performances were solid and the action sequences were over the top and entertaining that I found myself watching the film several times over the weekend.  Recommended!

 

Altitude (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

June 4, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

“Altitude” is a popcorn action/hijacking film that people may get the wrong idea through the cover and think that this is primarily a Dolph Lungren action film, but in truth, this is an action film where Denise Richards is the main protagonist and the main antagonist is Greer Grammer.  A decent but “so cheesy that it will make you laugh” type of hijacking film.

Images courtesy of © 2016 Altitude Movie LLC. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Altitude

FILM RELEASE: 2016

DURATION: 88 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 2:40:1, English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Subtitles: English and Spanish

COMPANY: Lionsgate

RATED: R (Language and Some Violence)

RELEASE DATE: June 20, 2017


Directed by Alex Merkin

Story by Tyler W. Konney, Jesse Mittelstadt, Richard Switzer

Screenplay by Jesse Mittelstadt

Produced by Joanthan Delponte, Phillip B. Goldfine, Tyler W. Konney, John Landolfi, Chad Law, Jared Safier, Richard Switzer

Executive Producer: David Allen, Michael Bien, RJ Burne, Brandon Burrows, Jason Cherubini, Alexander Ferguson, Milan Friedrich, Mickey Gooch Jr., Hans Hernke, Joanna Koss, Alex Lebovici, Jordan Yale Levine, Jonathan Lipnicki, Michael Maccini, James Macmillan, Timothy Marlowe, Chad Oliver, Jason Owalabi, Courtney Lauren Penn, Steve Ponce, Nick Reed, Benjamin Sacks, Mike Santoro, John Sword, Randy Wayne

Co-Executive Producer: Ryan King Persaud, George Saunders

Associate Producer: Brnnan Dyson, David Gere, Neville Headley, Erik Johnson, Joel Paul Reisig, Dennis Switzer

Music by Bobby Tahouri

Cinematography by Dane Lawing

Edited by Alex Merkin

Casting by Amey Rene

Production Design by Shannon Muldoon, Alex Napiwocki

Costume Design by Corey Czerwinski, Tomika Smalls, Elke Van der Steen


Starring:

Dolph Lundren as Matthew Sharpe

Denise Richards as Gretchen Blair

Jonathan Lipnicki as Rick

Greer Grammer as Sadie

John Posey as Pilot

Jordi Vilasuso as Luke Byres

Chuck Liddell as Rawbones

Chelsea Edmundson as Clare

Kirk Barker as Terry


 FBI agent (Denise Richards) is offered millions to help a thief survive when his ex-partners (Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Liddell, and Greer Grammer) hijack his plane.


From Alex Merkin, director of “This Moder Man is Beat”, “Across the Hall”, “House of Bodies” comes his action thriller, “Altitude”.

Starring Dolph Lundgren (“The Expendables”, “Universal Soldier”, “Rocky IV”), Denise Richards (“Starship Troopers”, “The World is Not Enough”, “Wild Things”), Greer Grammer (“Deadly Sorority”, “Emma’s Chance”), Jonathan Lipnicki (“Jerry Maguire”, “Stuart Little” films), Jordi Vilasuso (“This Modern Man is Beat”, “The Invitation”, “All My Children”), Chelsea Edmundson (“Daylight’s End”, “Isolation”), Kirk Barker (“Arthur & Merline”, “A Prince for Christmas”) and UFC star Chuck Liddell (“Drillbit Taylor”).

And now”Altitude” will be released on Blu-ray courtesy of Lions Gate.

The film begins with FBI Agent Gretchen Blair (portrayed by Denise Richards) not following orders during a hostage attempt.  While securing the hostage taker, because she didn’t listen to orders, she is demoted and sent to Washington D.C. to work a desk job.

Upset about the whole situation, Gretchen takes the flight to DC and sits next to a wealthy businessman named Terry (portrayed by Kirk Barker).  When Terry sees Matthew Sharpe (portrayed by Dolph Lundgren) on the flight, he knows he is in big trouble.

Terry immediately offers Gretchen a business proposal, millions of dollars if she is able to make sure he survives the entire flight.  He tells her that there are people that will hijack the plane.

Gretchen doesn’t believe any of Terry’s claims and warns him that the claims he is making, she will report him to authorities.

Meanwhile, one of the flight attendants Sadie (portrayed by Greer Grammer) starts murdering the other flight attendants and pilots and the terrorits take over the flight.  She and Matthew tie Terry in the back and try to extract information where he may be keeping what they are looking for.

As Gretchen notices something awry going on, she discovers the dead flight attendant and realizes that Terry’s claim may be true.  She immediately tries to find what these terrorists are looking for and together with the air marshal on the flight, Luke Byres (portrayed by Jordi Vilasuso), they both go to look for what may be hidden on the plane, meanwhile trying to protect Terry from those looking for him.

But in order to protect the people on plane, will FBI Agent Blair choose to side with the enemy to protect the people on the plane, or will she protect Terry, so she can make money from the deal?


VIDEO:

“Altitude” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio). Featuring close-ups with very good detail, the film is well-lit and close-ups show good detail.  I didn’t notice any major artifacts, banding or issues with picture quality during my viewing of the film.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Altitude” is presented in English and Spanish 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. The film is primarily dialogue and music-driven with surround sound use during fight scenes which takes places sporadically through the film.

Subtitles are in English SDH and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Altitude” comes with a trailer.

EXTRAS:

“Altitude” comes with both a Blu-ray and an Ultraviolet Digital HD code.


For the past few years, Lionsgate has been releasing films featuring major action stars from the ’80s and ’90s.  While these action stars continue to bring in an audience for the home video market, may it be Dolph Lungren, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Stephen Seagal, Bruce Willis, Nicolas Cage to name a few, we are seeing how stories manage to incorporate these action stars but with limited time.  And at the same time, giving other talents screen time and opportunities to become action stars.

And this is the case with Alex Merkin’s “Altitude”.  With Dolph Lungren being the primary antagonist (who has limited time), while also including UFC fighter Chuck Liddell, the film is giving Bond girl, actress Denise Richards a chance to return to her roots to action films since her films, “Starship Troopers” (1997) and “The World is Not Enough” (1999).

The film also gives actress Greer Grammer a chance to step out of her teenage actress roles and a chance to play a deadly assassin with a good amount of action scenes.  Which is quite surprising for me as a reviewer, since the last time I watched Greer Grammer in a film was a teenager working community service hours bonding with a horse in the 2016 film “Emma’s Chance”.  But I’ll give Grammer the benefit of the doubt, because she does a great job in an antagonist role and taking on a role that is so different from anything she has done in the past.

For the most part, while this is a plane hijacking film, it’s nowhere as entertaining compared to films such as “Air Force One” or “Flightplan”.  In fact, the film incorporates plenty of comedy as former child-star Jonathan Lipnicki (from “Jerry Maguire” and the “Stuart Little” films) plays the dancing flight attendant and immediately you know he’s probably going to be the first one killed in this film.

And you have a scene where Dolph Lungren as Matthew Sharpe is trying to land the plane and while Greer Grammer’s Sadie takes the passenger seat, the harsh landing equates to the two having sex.

And how they end up rescuing the passengers on the airplane and how the film ends… Definitely cheesy.

As for the film on Blu-ray, closeups show great detail, lossless audio is primarily dialogue and music-driven with ambiance being used for the surround channels.  There are no special features, so this is a barebones Blu-ray release.  But you do get an Ultraviolet code included with the Blu-ray release.

Overall, “Altitude” is a popcorn action/hijacking film that people may get the wrong idea through the cover and think that this is primarily a Dolph Lungren action film, but in truth, this is an action film where Denise Richards is the main protagonist and the main antagonist is Greer Grammer.  A decent but “so cheesy that it will make you laugh” type of hijacking film.

Ex Machina (a J!-ENT 4K Ultra HD Review)

May 27, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

It has been several years since I watched this film, and still “Ex Machina” still resonates strongly and stays in my mind.  I felt this film was  well-executed, brilliantly-written film that approaches the topic of humanoid robotics and artificial intelligence. Thought provoking and entertaining, Alex Garland’s “Ex Machina” is highly recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2017 Lions Gate Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Ex Machina

DATE OF FILM RELEASE: 2014

DURATION: 108 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 2160p Ultra High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio), English DTSX Audio, DTS Headphone:X Audio, English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1 DTS Digital Surround, SUBTITLES: English, English SDH and Spanish

COMPANY: Lionsgate

RATED: R (Graphic Nudity, Language Sexual References and Some Violence)

RELEASE DATE: June 6, 2017


Directed by Alex Garland

Written by Alex Garland

Producer: Andrew McDonald, Allon Reich

Associate Producer: Jason Sack, Joanne Smith

Executive Producer: Eli Bush, Tessa Ross, Scott Rudin

Music by Geoff Barrow, Ben Salisbury

Cinematography by Rob Hardy

Edited by Mark Day

Casting by Francine Maisler

Production Design by Mark Digby

Art Direction by Katrina Mackay, Denis Schnegg

Set Decoration by Michelle Day

Costume Design by Sammy Sheldon


Starring:

Domhnall Gleeson as Caleb

Oscar Isaac as Nathan

Alicia Vikander as Ava

Sonoya Mizuno as Kyoko


After winning a competition to spend a week at the mountain estate of his company’s party hardy CEO, programmer Caleb Smith arrives to discover he has been chosen to take part in a study of artificial intelligence.  Sworn to secrecy and cut off from the outside world, Caleb meets his subject, a beguiling and seductive cyborg named Ava (Alicia Vikander) – and is plunged into an A.I. experiment beyond his wildest imaginings in this epic thriller charged with heart-stopping suspense.


In 2015, the independent sci-fi psychological thriller, “Ex Machina” written and directed by Alex Garland (writer of “28 Days Later…”, “Dredd” and “Sunshine”) was released in theaters.

The concept for the film first emerged when Alex was 11 years old, doing basic coding on his PC and he felt the computer had a mind of its own.  Then later in his life, from a discussion with a friend who had experience in neuroscience and the discussion from his friend that machines could never become sentient.  Wanting to find out for himself if machines could become sentient, Alex started to read books about the possibilities.

It wasn’t until Alex read an article from Murry Shanahan (a professor of Cognitive Robotics at Imperial College London) who researches artificial intelligence, robotics and cognitive science.  This led to Alex Garland writing these ideas down (during the time that “Dredd” was in pre-production) and would come back to it later.

Wanting total freedom, Alex wanted to write and direct the film with the smallest budget as possible.  “Ex Machina” was born and along with Murray Shanahan and British genetecist, author and broadcaster Adam Rutherford serving as consultants, Alex was able to create the film for $15 million and the film would earn over $36.9 million worldwide.

The film stars Domhnall Gleeson (“The Revenant”, “About Time” and both “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” films), Oscar Isaac (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, “Inside Llewyn Davis”, “Drive”), Alicia Vikander (“The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”, “Jason Bourne”, “The Danish Girl”) and Sonya Mizuno (“La La Land”, “Annihilation”, “Beauty and the Beast”).

And the film would go on to win an Academy Award for “Best Visual Effects” in 2015.  And now for the first time, Ex Machina” will be released on 4K Ultra HD courtesy of Lionsgate.

“Ex Machina” begins with programmer Caleb Smith (portrayed by Domhnall Gleeson), an employee for a search engine company, Blue Book, winning a one-week visit to the home of CEO, Nathan Bateman.

When Caleb arrives, he learns quickly that the home is isolated and very secure.  The only person he sees is the Japanese servant, Kyoko (portrayed by Sonya Mizuno), who doesn’t know any English.

When Nathan offers Caleb a chance to become of something important and special and having to sign a non-disclosure agreement to not mention any of this to anyone vocal, electronically or anyway possible, Caleb signs and finds out that Nathan has built a humanoid robot named Ava (portrayed by Alicia Vikander) with artificial intelligence.

Alicia has passed the Turing Test (a test developed in 1950 to test a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent or indistinguishable from that of a human) and Nathan wants Caleb to test Ava and find out if she is capable of thought and consciousness.

While Ava is confined to her apartment in a locked room, her facial features look real but around her body, is robotic.  Caleb then has talks with Ava and as Nathan is observing these private talks, Ava manages to drain the power and create temporary power outages that shuts down the surveillance system, Ava gives Caleb a distressing message that he can not trust Nathan.

And as the two become closer in their talks and she expresses romantic interest in Nathan, even flirting, Caleb starts to question Nathan and wants to help out Ava.


VIDEO:

“Ex Machina” is presented in 2160p High Definition (2:40:1). The film is presented in 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray.

While the film is considered low budget, the film was shot as ordinary live action and no special effects or green screen was used.  All effects were added in post-production.  Picture quality is fantastic as closeups show amazing detail of one’s skin to the vibrant outdoors and the lush, green forest area surrounding Nathan’s isolated home.

Black levels are nice and deep and for the most part, the film looks great in 4K Ultra HD!

IMPORTANT TO KNOW: To watch 4K Ultra HD, you will need a 4K UHD TV with HDR and an Ultra HD Blu-ray Player + a high-speed HDMI 2.0A Cable.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Ex Machina” is presented in English DTS: X Audio, DTS Headphone:X Audio, English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1 DTS Digital Surround Audio.

Dialogue was crystal clear, the power outage sounds when Ava disrupts the surveillance system is crystal clear, as with the music especially when Nathan and Kyoko start dancing.  But for the most part, the film is dialogue and musically-driven.

Subtitles are in English, English SDH and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Ex Machina” comes with the following special features on the Blu-ray disc:

  • Through the Looking Glass: Making Ex Machina – (39:57) Interviews with writer/director Alex Garland, the producers and Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac.
  • SXSW Q&A with Cast and Crew – (1:00:58) Q&A with writer/director Alex Garland, actor Oscar Isaac, cinematographer Rob Hardy and music by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury.
  • Behind the Scenes Vignettes – (28:38) Vignettes featuring the visual effects of the film.  From creating Ava making Natha’s world, new consciousness, Alicia becoming Ava, directing the film and casting the film.
  • Trailers – Lionsgate trailers.

EXTRAS:

“Ex Machina” comes with a slipcover, both the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray disc and an UltraViolet Digital HD code.


There have been numerous stories that went into possibilities of machines having artificial intelligence.

We have seen androids on “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, rogue robots in animation such as “Bubblegum Crisis” to robot technology going awry and deadly in the “Terminator” films.

But what Alex Garland was able to write and direct, “Ex Machina”, is a film that is not only smartly written but it is a thought-provoking film that will no doubt stir up discussion and debates courtesy of its shock ending.

What starts out as innocent as programmer Caleb Smith is given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in a Q&A with a humanoid robot named Ava with artificial intelligence.

It’s one thing to be in the presence with the intelligent CEO of the search engine, Blue Book, Nathan Bateman but to be in his modern, advanced and very secure home but to see this humanoid robot with advance artificial intelligence thanks to the technology connected to the search engine Blue Book.

But when a power outage that causes the surveillance to go down and Ava taking the opportunity to give Caleb a warning that Nathan can not be trusted, starts to chain reaction that when the film concludes, viewers watching the film will be mind-blown, shocked, while those who let the film linger in their mind and see things scientifically, will know the ending does make sense.

It’s such a unique film and a wondrous first film for writer/director Alex Garland, featuring a wonderful performance from actress Alicia Vikander and also from Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac.

And even surprising is how the film was an independent, low-budget sci-fi film, which visual effects were added post-production and eventually earning the visual effects crew an Academy Award.  Garland set out to create a film, his way, his style, no Hollywood interference and what he is able to create is a sci-fi classic that will no doubt resonate for years, decades to come.

As for the film’s first 4K Ultra HD release, picture quality is magnificent.  Details are fantastic during closeups, outdoor scenes are vibrant and lush and the lossless soundtrack is crystal clear.  There are also numerous, lengthy special features included as well.  Plus the inclusion of the Blu-ray and Ultraviolet HD version of the film.

Overall, it has been several years since I watched this film, and still “Ex Machina” still resonates strongly and stays in my mind.  I felt this film was  well-executed, brilliantly-written film that approaches the topic of humanoid robotics and artificial intelligence. Thought provoking and entertaining, Alex Garland’s “Ex Machina” is highly recommended!

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