Automation (2019) Movie Review

Director: Garo Setian

Writer: Rolfe Kanefsky, Matthew L Schaffer, Garo Setian (Screenplay)

Starring: Elissa Dowling, Sadie Katz, Parry Shen, Graham Skipper, Sarah French, Jeff Rector, Anahit Setian, Marv Blauvelt

Plot: A workplace robot, AUTO, transforms into a killing machine when he discovers he will be replaced by a more efficient model. AUTO fears being terminated and will stop at nothing to prevent his own destruction. The human employees must band together to stop him before it’s too late. 

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: The Office Terminator

Story: Automation starts with a business using the AUTO robot, which has decreased the costs of staff, while including upping efficiency and now Susan (Katz) is arranging with Bill (Rector) into replacing all of the staff with the new line of models improved from the AUTO one they already have.

While AUTO has made friends around the warehouse with Jenny (Dowling) an aspiring singer seeing the good in him, even if AUTO is suffering from nightmares of murdering the employees. Alan (Shen) is recruited to bring in the new robots in and like the human employees, AUTO gets reacts badly to being replaced, causing AUTO to get dangerously destructive.

Thoughts on Automation

Characters – AUTO is the robot that has help improve the company, he has befriended Jenny and gets on with most of the employees around him, even if he has caused the people to lose their jobs. He learns he is getting replaced and deactivated wanting to stop this, his previous mindset has come out, showing a deadlier side. Jenny is a freelancer that has been working for the company for years, she is a singer on the side dreaming of making it big and has created a friendship with AUTO unlike anybody else in the office, she becomes the person he most wants to protect. Susan is one of the managers that wants to bring in the robot employees, she will do what will make the most money for her and is happy to turn on the loyal employees.

PerformancesElissa Dowling in the leading role brings us an ambitious likeable character that could be any of the dreamers out there. Sadie Katz brings the cutthroat boss to life, showing she doesn’t feel for anybody through the film. Parry Shen has been in sci-fi horror for a while now, if you have seen him before you know you will get a fun character from his performance.

StoryThe story follows a greedy business that is looking to replace its employees with robots after a successful trial with an early model, but when the model learns it is getting replaced, it is resorts back to its original programming looking to try and save its job, by any means necessary. The story is putting a firm focus on the idea of workers getting replaced by technology and how they are getting upset, but the spin comes from how the technology might react to finding themselves getting replaced. It poses plenty of questions about whether technology is needed, despite turning into a bit a slasher styled sci-fi where the human employees need to avoid the destructive nature of the robot.

Sci-FiThe sci-fi side of the film does take us into the near future where we get to see how technology is being used in everyday life, and how they AUTO robot might not be functioning correctly.

SettingsThe film is set in a city that has continued to grow with technology with most of the action within the warehouse location that contains the action unfolding.


Scene of the Movie – Present.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The pursuit does seem to go on longer than it needs to.

Final Thoughts This is a sci-fi movie that does ask a big question about employment in the future and shows that not only the humans getting upset, but the robots that could get upgraded and replaced too, it does turn into a fun slasher chase film, which does work well, even if it is slightly repetitive.

Overall: Sci-Fi 101

It lives (2016)

Director: Richard Mundy

Writer: Richard Mundy (Screenplay)

Starring: Andrew Kinsler, Peter McCrohon

 

Plot: A lone scientist maintains an underground bunker for the coming global nuclear disaster. But after becoming prematurely isolated, he slowly begins to question his own reality and whether he is truly alone.


Tagline – Terror in the 21st Century

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Doesn’t Reach the Potential

 

Story: It Lives starts in the near future, where scientists have been set on solo mission to underground bunkers, Roy (Kinsler) is one of these scientists, he must live alone in the bunker follow answers from a computer system that can’t see errors happening and needing fixing.

When the unthinkable happens and the nuclear disaster happens on the surface, Roy is facing years alone preparing to return to the surface, but not everything is what it seems for Roy.

 

Thoughts on It Lives

 

Characters – Roy is the only character we meet, a specially selected scientist to run an underground bunker in case of a nuclear disaster on the surface, he struggles to follow the rules at times and soon finds himself question his own sanity when he believes something isn’t right here.

PerformancesAndrew Kinsler must carry this movie with his performance, well certain moments he is strong, it does struggle to capture our attention to the levels required for a solo performed movie.

StoryThe story here follows a scientist that has been placed in a bunker to prepare Earth for after a nuclear disaster which hasn’t happened yet, he soon starts to lose his mind and question just what is real or not. We are left to wonder along with the character whether this is just a test, or a nuclear disaster does actually happen. This on paper is a wonderful idea, the execution is what holds this film back at times because it soon descends into a story we have seen before offering nothing other than a man losing his mind and running around.

Mystery/Sci-FiThe mystery revolves around why he is in the bunker, mostly what is he doing in there to keep himself occupied before turning into what is he thinking is going on. The sci-fi elements show us just how the world could go if things were to go this way.

SettingsThe film is set within the bunker, it keeps the action in the film feeling contained which is all we want for the most part of the film.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well and only when we need them, this is another plus for this movie.


Scene of the Movie –
The infection.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t get sucked into this film on the level we should do.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film with a lot of potential, it doesn’t reach it all, but by the end you will be scratching your head.

 

Overall: Just as unsure as Roy.

Rating

 

 

James Bond Month – Moonraker (1979)

Director: Lewis Gilbert

Writer: Christopher Wood (Screenplay)

Starring: Roger Moore, Lois Chiles, Michael Lonsdale, Richard Kiel, Corinne Clery, Bernard Lee, Geoffrey Keen

 

Plot: James Bond investigates the mid-air theft of a space shuttle, and discovers a plot to commit global genocide.


Tagline – Moonraker Is Out Of This World

Runtime: 2 Hour 6 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Cheesy as it Gets

 

Story: Moonraker starts when a space shuttle is stolen in mid-flight on route to the British, James Bond (Moore) must travel to America to meet Hugo Drax (Lonsdale) the mastermind behind the space shuttle which could take tourists to space.

James must work with CIA agent Holly Goodhead (Chiles) to figure out why Drax is trying to sabotage his own space shuttle, which sees him hire an old enemy of James’ Jaws (Kiel) in an adventure which takes him out of this world.

 

Thoughts on Moonraker

 

Characters – James Bond is still getting himself into trouble when it comes to the ladies, using his charm to seduce and his skills to outsmart the villain of this film. we don’t get much new from him this time out. Holly Goodhead is an agent for the CIA, she has been undercover in search of answers becoming a working partner and romantic partner for James. Hugo Drax is the mastermind behind space travel, he has stolen his own shuttle back with plans for his own use of it, something different to most of the villains we have seen through the franchise to date. Jaws is the henchman that has returned, he has been after James and always seems to find a way to lose him, he is too comical in this role if we are being honest.

PerformancesRoger Moore does continue the campy side to his version of Bond, it is acceptable for the most part. Lois Chiles doesn’t bring much to the Bond girl figure that we all know and Michael Lonsdale does bring us a simple villain, that never fees like a threat.

StoryThe story brings us a solo story for James, which is good for a stand alone film, but sometimes we like to see him dealing with SPECTRE once again. The villain does have a good motivation and masterplan, while Bond gets to travel around the world in search for answers. This film does have some of the cheesy dialogue of any Bond film which can make things not feel as serious as they could be. The ambition behind this film is something to be praised though because of the pure scale of moving things into space does work for the concept, maybe not on effects level.

Action/Adventure/Sci-fiThe action is large-scale once again, we get new ideas for difficult positions James will find himself in, needing to fight his way out of too. The adventure takes James out of this world literally as he goes into space with his mission. The sci-fi element of the film is focusing on the idea that villain has plans involving space shuttles which does add something new to the ideas we are focusing on.

SettingsThe film uses the settings well because we get the beauty spots, the American base, the streets of Venice, before hitting space showing us just how far Bond will be going this time around.


Scene of the Movie –
Jaws face turn.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Jaws being too comical.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the cheesy Bond movies you will see, it does work for the most part, just don’t go in too seriously with any hopes of a realistic idea.

 

Overall: Cheesy as hell, but fun.

Rating

 

 

ABc Film Challenge – Horror – # – Flight 7500 (2014)

Director: Takashi Shimizu

Writer: Craig Rosenberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Ryan Kwanten, Amy Smart, Leslie Bibb, Jamie Chung, Scout Taylor-Compton, Nicky Whelan, Jerry Ferrera, Christian Serratos

 

Plot: Flight 7500 departs Los Angeles International Airport bound for Tokyo. As the overnight flight makes its way over the Pacific Ocean during its ten-hour course, the passengers encounter what appears to be a supernatural force in the cabin.


Tagline – At 30,000 feet. There’s Nowhere to Run

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tries too Hard

 

Story: Flight 7500 starts by letting us meet the crew Laura (Bibb), Suzy (Chung) and Captain Pete (Schaech), along with the passengers including couples Brad (Kwanten), Pia (Smart), Liz (Whelan) and Rick (Ferrara) along with a host of singletons Jacinta (Taylor-Compton), Raquel (Serratos) and Jake (Frost) who are traveling from LA to Tokyo on an overnight flight.

When a passenger suddenly dies on the flight, it is only the beginning of a nightmare journey, which brings a supernatural force to the plane, one that nobody is prepared to fight against.

 

Thoughts on Flight 7500

 

Characters – Brad and Pia are a married couple looking to take a vacation away from their normal lives, there is some tension between them because of the decision, Brad will help out more during the supernatural phases of the flight as he is prepared for an emergency situation. Laura and Suzy are the two flight attendants, one is having an affair with the pilot, the other is waiting for her wedding day, they are quick to judge the passengers on the flight. We do meet slightly too many characters in this film because we have newlyweds on their honeymoon, a rebellious looking woman, a prankster and a woman worried about her past. By giving us this many characters it makes it hard to learn everything about them.

PerformancesWe have a cast that are all known actors here, most you might not remember their names, but you will have seen them before, first we have Ryan Kwanten, who like most of this cast is going to get the same problem with their performance, they don’t get time to make an impact, we seem to waste Amy Smart getting not enough time to make any impact for her talent. Leslie Bibb is stronger, but only because her character is in the position to be allowed to make a different.

StoryThe story follows the passengers and crew of a 10 hour flight that start getting haunted by a supernatural presence mid-flight causing them to need to figure out what is going on before it is too late, with nowhere to run. This story does end up throwing us into a mystery about what is happening, which doesn’t really get solved by the characters on the plane, only to end up trying to turn to a big reveal on the truth, which feels more like a cop out leaving too many unanswered questioned in the story.

Horror/Mystery/Sci-FiThe horror elements are interesting because we do get to focus on the idea of something supernatural going on, this does dive into the mystery, sci-fi elements of the film because once we learn what the answers are.

SettingsThe film is set on a plane which is important because once in flight, there is nowhere our passengers can go and when things start going through the supernatural events.


Scene of the Movie –
Adding the pieces together.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It just seems to end.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror mystery which starts off keeping us interested, only for it to run out of ideas and just end suddenly.

 

Overall: A horror without a true ending.

Rating

 

 

Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Movie Review

Director: Tim Miller

Writer: David S Goyer, Justin Rhodes, Billy Ray (Screenplay) James Cameron, Charles H Eglee, Josh Friedman, David S Goyer, Justin Rhodes, Gale Anne Hurd (Story/Characters)

Starring: Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Gabriel Luna, Natalia Reyes, Edward Furlong, Tom Hopper

Plot: Sarah Connor and a hybrid cyborg human must protect a young girl from a newly modified liquid Terminator from the future.


Tagline – Welcome to the Day after Judgment Day.

Runtime: 2 Hours 8 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Blast!

Story: Terminator: Dark Fate starts when Dani Ramos (Reyes) sees herself being targeted by two strangers, Grace (Davis) and a Terminator (Luna) both sent from the future, one to protect her the other to kill her, after finding themselves in a corner Sarah Connor (Hamilton) saves them, preparing them for what will happen next.

While Grace and Sarah clash other styles, they are lead to a mysterious location where The Terminator (Schwarzenegger) offers to help them, despite having problems with Sarah’s past, anything to eliminate this new deadlier Terminator before he stops a future where Dani has an important role, just like how Sarah did before.

Thoughts on Terminator: Dark Fate

Characters – Dani is the sweet Mexican girl that keeps her family organized with everyday events, making sure her father gets to appointments and her brother joins her for work, her family means everything to her. When Grace turns up, she finds her perfect life ruined, when she needs to go on the run with her from a Terminator, not knowing why a normal young woman has been targeted, she will learn her importance to the future and learn skills alone the way. The only negative side for Dani, is that we don’t learn enough about her before the events happen, it is hard to figure out just how old she is too. Sarah Connor hasn’t stopped hunting Terminators, she is prepared for them all and saves the day, she knows how to stay off the radar, well for the most part one giant plot hole with her talk here, but is a bitter hard as nails woman. The Terminator has many surprises this time, he helps, gets plenty of laughs and as always will fight the superior model. The bad Terminator can fuse with anything it touches, being able to break into more than one threat and isn’t going to stop for anything, he is relentless and on a similar mission focused level as the first two villainous Terminators. Grace is the enhanced soldier sent back to protect Dani, she does need to be kept alive with medicine, proving to be a different level of protection then we have seen before, she has all the human traits, she has lived, fought and battled through the future and knows why she is here and how important this mission is.

PerformancesFirst we will go through the returning cast, Linda Hamilton is wonderful to watch, not only is she perfect here, she lets the new cast members shine, which was one of the weakness of a film that did the same trick, Halloween. Arnold Schwarzenegger gives his best action performance since his return to acting, not only does he still have the fighting down, he has got perfect dead pan comedy down too. Mackenzie Davis might well have just made her an action star for years to come here, giving a performance that could be a star making one. Natalia Reyes does everything right for her character, it isn’t her performance that lets her down, it is certain developments in her character that hold her back. Gabriel Luna as the new Terminator is great too, it is nice they picked a lesser known actor, because a big name would have shifted focus on them instead of a faceless killer.

StoryThe story here follows a young Mexican woman that has been targeted by a Terminator, for a reason she doesn’t know, she has a super soldier and Sarah Connor to protect her, as she learns about a future, where like Sarah Connor, she will have a big part to play in the war against the machines. This is a sequel that feels like it has re-imagined the original, mixed with the second one, this is all good because having a new face that needs to learn their part in the future is what makes Terminator different in story, the idea that technology has moved on, also helps this story unfold nicely showing us just how much we are going to see. For a story that is 2 hours long, this barely feels that long if we are being honest and by the end you will be wanting to see more, because even though we have returning characters, they don’t feel thrown in like Arnie’s in the last film.

Action/Sci-FiThe action here is massive, this shows some great teamwork from the stunt teams too, the fights are people bashing the hell out of an indestructible robot, which means we can hit harder and it not look stupid, while we might have a couple too many cuts during them though. The sci-fi idea has moved on from previous films, which shows us just how much could change in the future, the war will always be coming.

SettingsThe film does use the settings are a plot point, where it is, we need to get here, then here, via here, all but the final battle seems simple enough locations.

Special EffectsThe effects for the most part are wonderful, there are a few questionable moments, but when you see the Terminator get hit, the metal exposing, doesn’t look out of place.


Scene of the Movie – Opening Chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – There is one on the nose reference to gun control in America.

Final Thoughts This is an enjoyable action movie that brings the Terminator back to life for everybody to enjoy, this is bar far the best Terminator movie since Judgement Day.

Overall: Excellent Movie.