Ex Machina…quality humanitarian storytelling

ex_machina_ver4Deus ex machina¬†(“God from a machine”) usually refers to careless story writing utilizing a plot twist coming out of nowhere. Rather than providing back story or rationale something extraordinary happens that changes the entire narrative, typically pulling a happier ending out of the hat. We are surprised by such seemingly divine intervention, but there is no way we couldn’t be. There is a sense of betrayal that comes to the viewer with such heavy handed outside influence.

Life can indeed be like that, but carefully crafted narratives have more to say than “fluke happens.” Continue reading

Not Fast Enough 7. I’d Be Furious If I Weren’t So Bored.

mobilefreakers.com_IMG_9428386794920.jpegThis was the worst movie I have seen in years. The fact that it is a huge hit here is predictable, if disappointing. The fact that it is the biggest movie in China means the U.S. will never bother going to war with China; the West has already won/lost. This is a huge relief.

“Fast” is mindless entertainment with some awesome stunts, exciting car chases, and an hour of Vin Diesel and Jason Statham punching each other to no effect. You are required to suspend your disbelieve every few moments, which had our group laughing at the wrong spots even as we admired its 9 year-old boy fantasies. It is 40% too long for the silly escapism it tries to provide.

It features¬†the laziest screenwriting I have maybe ever witnessed. There isn’t an original thought in any of the actor’s heads or coming out their mouths. The predictable relationships (too strong a word) follow paths as boring and safe as the Disneyland Autopia. Every “plot” (too strong a word) development has been done before even in Fast and Furious movies.

Don’t go. Don’t bother even renting because without the scene of that cool car jumping from one building to the next on the big screen (I give you that spoiler here to really make sure you don’t go) there is just no reason to see this piece of junk.

There’s a sweet 90 second homage to the late Paul Walker toward the end. Truly touching, but we were so eager to get out of the theater by then it was hard to fully appreciate.