30
Jul 15
Ex Machina is a simple idea with a deep meaning, basically it asks "what make us human".  The story is basic, a billionaire lives in the middle of no where so that he can secretly create an Artificial Intelligence (AI) android that will pass as human and he brings one of his employees to his private estate for a week to perform the Turing Test on the android he has created.  It is a little slow, but it's also thought provoking throughout so you won't get bored, watching the progression and asking questions as they come up really holds your attention and makes this a great and entertaining film.

Story

While the story is simple, the subtext is deep.  This was just a well written script, it takes everyday fears (Google, crazy rich people, android that look and act human) and brings it all together to play on those fears while still making the viewer think.  Some may find the film far to "wordy" but that's part of what makes it so good, the "wordy" part is what makes you think and plays on your fears.  This is an Alfred Hitchcock level film is you ask me, it plays on real emotions, and slowly builds suspense, absolutely perfect.

Music

While there isn't a lot of music to speak of, the little that is used really sets the mood of the film.  Mostly it's classical music played while Nathan (the billionaire) is working out while overlooking the gorgeous scenery.  Other than that the only other music you hear is during the credits and that is more modern music.

Acting

Domhnall Gleeson was great, he starts off this shy programmer and throughout the film he slowly changes into a more bold and angry man, by the time you get near the end you almost feel what he feels.  Oscar Isaac plays the crazy billionaire but at the same time seems somewhat normal, he can really make you feel like he's trying to do the right thing while delivering lines that tells you otherwise.  Alicia Vikander is Ava the Android, an my god did she pull of this part well, even just minor head movements give her a robotic feel and yet still she can give off the feeling that she's human at the same time.  Her part had to be the most difficult to play while also being the most important to actually get right, and I feel she nailed it. Sonoya Mizuno is the maid and cook with no lines and while that may seem to be an easy part it's not, he can't express what her character is feeling with words so it all has to be expressed with her face and and her actions.  This had to be incredibly difficult yet she pulls it off and makes the viewer feel for her and question everything about her at the some time.  This is the first time I've seen most of the actors perform (except Oscar Isaac) and I have to say I was blown away by their performances, overall it was an outstanding cast.

Setting

I know I don't normally say anything about the settings of films I review but I have to say something about this one.  Part of the film was shot in Valldalen, Norway and my god is that a beautiful place, if I was a crazy billionaire I think I move there too!  The other half of the film was shot in a studio and the sets they used really make you feel like they are in prison while still free, even the interview room was set up to give you the feeling that while Ava has more freedom she is also trapped, I don't think I could have does a better job myself.

Conclusion

Ex Machina is a great film, it will play on your emotions and make you think, but in the end it's just a good film to watch.  It is rated R due to violence and nudity, but it's not that bad, just don't let the little ones watch this one, though I doubt they would want to since it's more of a "grown up" film anyway.  If you enjoy thought provoking films or Alfred Hitchcock film you will certainly enjoy Ex Machina.
27
Jul 15

Why do I say this?

Well it's simple really, I pay for hosting with SiteGround and while it's not a huge amount it's still over $100 per year and that money has to come from somewhere.  At the moment I'm paying for hosting out of pocket, I own Galway IMT LLC which is the legal owner of this site OPPY1984.com, and to keep things going I've invested money out of my own pocket to pay the bills.  The problem is I don't want to keep doing that forever, so I use Google Adsense, and Amazon Associates, and I'm selling my movie collection on Ebay, I've even added PayPal and ChangeTip buttons to the side bar on the right, I'm not trying to make my fortune with this site, I just want it to pay for it's self.

What can you do?

Well for one you can turn off your adblocker or at least white list my site, and of course click on an ad once in a while.  You can also buy through my Amazon links, did you know that if you click on one of my Amazon links then buy something else instead of what I was offering I'll still get a commission?  Yep, even if you don't buy what I offered you but you still buy something I'll get a commission on that sale, it won't be as much as if you had bought what I offered but it will be something, and that would help me pay my bills.  You could also buy one of my movies I'm selling on Ebay, just go up to the Shop Tab and click on the Ebay Tab, that will take you to my profile page where everything I have for sale will be listed.
If none of that interests you you could always donate to the site though the PayPal or ChangeTip buttons, They are not there for show, they are they for you to say thanks for the content and to help support this site.

What is the issue?

Advertisers today have forgotten that people don't like in your face flashing advertisements, so they put them out on the ad networks and annoy the user to the point where the user gives up and installs and adblocker.  Should you block those kinds of ads?  In my opinion, yes.  I visit a few sites that run those flashing, pop up ads and I've installed adblock (not AdBlock Plus) and instead of white listing sites, I blacklisted those sites that run those kind of ads, in total I've only blacklisted 5 websites.  What I have done on top of that is written to all 5 of those sites admins and told them that I have blacklisted them in adblock and if they want me to whitelist them they need to change their ad format, and that in the meantime I will find other ways to support them.  See that's the thing, if I'm going to still visit their websites and read their content or use their service I want to support them, but I won't support their horrible ads.
This is the issue today, to many people are installing adblocking tools then thinking the internet is free, it's not people, trust me.  If you want the content and services you love to continue you're going to have to support the sites.  If a site is running the kind of ads you hate, write the admin and let them know, tell them you want to support their site but the type of advertisements they run has to change.  If the advertising industry sees that no one is clicking on the annoying ads, but is clicking on the simple non-annoying ads then they will change their tactics and stop showing the annoying ads.  If people just keep blocking ads then the advertising industry will just come up with a new way to present ads that will circumvent adblockers and then they won't learn their lesson.

What happens if everyone still just keeps using adblockers?

Well first the sites that host the content and services you love will go down, then the advertising industry will suffer a little, but don't think you've won at that point.  The advertising industry will just come up with new ways to show you ads, and the websites of the world will do what no one wants to do and put up paywalls.  Just think that great content and those great services you're using for free right now will put up paywalls and then you'll ave to pay whatever the site owners decide.  Sure you can opt to not pay what they ask for and try and find another site, but wouldn't it just be easier to face the problem now instead of destroying the open and mostly free system we have now?

In Conclusion

Please remember that small website like this one depend on ad sales, affiliate sales, and donations from users like you to keep going.  Yes we do this because we love it, but love doesn't pay the bills, so please use the suggestions I've mentioned above, change the advertising industry and don't hurt the content creators and service providers.
23
Jul 15
Kingsman: The Secret Service is like John Wick meets James Bond, it's witty, its funny, and it's action packed.  Most "action" films these days are watered down PG-13 trash that show just enough action for you to know there is a fight going on but don't show you any real action, Kingsman on the other hand is an R rated film for a reason, it's actual action with all the over the top blood and guts you want in a real action film.

Story

Ok yes the story is over the top and totally unbelievable, but if you can suspend your belief for this film and just enjoy a good old fashioned spy action comedy film then you can totally enjoy this film.  As long as you don't go into this film thinking it's a Bourne film and understand it's basically an R rated Bond film you'll be fine, otherwise you'll be throwing popcorn at the screen and yelling "oh bullshit" throughout the entire film, remember this is a "suspend your beliefs and just enjoy" type of film.

Acting

Just superb, Colin Firth seems to really be in his element here, he's able to play the high class gentleman while still having knock down drag out fight scenes, in other words he was great!  Samuel L. Jackson was funny and annoying at the same time, which was exactly what his character needed to be, even his lisp was perfect for his character, it was just the perfect combination of crazy billionaire and evil genius.  Mark Strong always seems to amaze me, I've seen him play the tough guy, the weak nobody, and everything in-between and every time I can believe it, and here again he plays more of a tech guy throughout most of the film and you still believe it for every second.  Michael Caine while not a huge role in the film still provided just enough snooty jerk to really push the plot along and make you root for the main character.  Taron Egerton was fun to watch, and even though this was the first time I've ever seen his work, if he can continue to put out films like Kingsman then I would be happy to watch his films.  The rest of the cast was great as well, and of course we have to give a special mention to Mark Hamill for his performance, funny yet believable.

Music

There was a fair amount of British rap in this film along with typical orchestra music and to be honest it worked for this film, I'm not a fan of rap in general but the tone the rap set in this film worked perfectly for the scenes it was used in along with the orchestra music.  The music never over powered the action or drew me out of the film, in fact I think it only drew me in more.  Over all I'd say this film nailed it when it came to the music, and that's not an easy thing to do.  To many times the people behind films decide to overpower the film with music and end up destroying the film, sometimes less is more and Kingsmen gets that.

Conclusion

Kingsman: The Secret Service is an over all fun film, it's not for children hence the R rating but it's just good old fashioned over the top action and comedy that you can sit back and enjoy.  I would suggest that if you haven't seen this film yet you should, I'll bet you'll enjoy it!  As a testament to how good I think it is as soon as I finished watching my rental copy of the film I went out and bought myself a copy and now have it in my collection forever.  And if the rumors are correct and there is a squeal to this film I won't make the mistake I made when this one came out and wait until it comes out for rental, I will go to the theaters to see the squeal.
17
Jul 15
Lets first start with the definition of Equality, the Merriam-Webster definition is as follows:
the quality or state of being equal : the quality or state of having the same rights, social status, etc.
First there are a lot of different views, to some it's gender equality, to some it's race equality, to some it's financial equality, and the list goes on and on.  But what I see most of the time is people saying they want equality while at the same time saying they should be treated as special, these people can talk the talk but they can't walk the walk.
I'm going to give some examples of what I'm talking about but I am by means saying these represent the majority of the groups I use as examples.
  1. The African Americans who demanded equal rights in Ferguson Missouri & Baltimore Maryland, then rioted and looted and claimed racism when they were arrested.
  2. Women who demand equal pay, then say they shouldn't have to do the same work as their male counter parts because of their gender.
  3. The low or no income who demand that the government pay them because their poor (thereby draining the system and leaving less for those who really need help), but refuse to help themselves and find work.
These are just basic ideas and by no means are meant to represent the groups as a whole.  What I'm trying to show is the hypocrisy of the extremes here.  Are there inequalities in each of these groups?  Yes, of course there are, but what people need to understand is equality means taking the good AND the bad of equality.  That seems to be the biggest thing most people can't seem to understand, they think equality means I get everything I want without any of the stuff I don't want, and that's not equality that's favoritism towards one group over another.  When you show favoritism towards one group over another under the guise of "equality" all you are really doing is hurting the group you say that you want to be equal to.
Now some people think the only way to get true equality and that's by mixing all the races until there is only one race made up of all the different races on this planet, then run a socialist global government to make everyone equal and then everything will be equal and fair.  First of all that's crazy, and would never work.  But second the diversity on this planet is what makes us unique, what we really need to do is understand that we are all in this together and if we want to survive we're going to have to stop acting like children and work out our differences, make compromises that we make not always like, and work together.
Do I think that writing this blog post is going to be and earth shattering moment for anyone, no of course not.  But I do hope that it at least makes you think.  This is a tough issue and there are a lot of biases out there that have to be overcome if we are to ever get even close to true equality, but maybe if we start a calm adult conversion about it, then maybe we can make this world better for the coming generations so they will not have to deal with it and will look back at us and wonder why we didn't get our act together and work things out sooner.
Let's face it, if we go around hating each other forever instead of coming together and and doing the hard work to find middle ground, then we're doomed and we don't deserve equality.
16
Jul 15
Blackhat is an out of touch disaster, that makes no real world sense, and stretches the imagination so far that it breaks and your left hurting for the rest of the film.  I had high hopes for this film since Michael Mann was involved and he's done some great film making over the years, HeatCollateralThe Kingdom, just to make a few, but sadly I was left disappointed and slightly upset at how dumb the film makes must think I am to even buy into half of this turd they call a film.
Story
For the love of god this story was horrible!  I will say that if 90% of the story had been rewritten to make it at least somewhat believable then the basic premise at the end of why the bad guys are doing what they are doing would actually work quite well.  Sadly the people behind this film obviously asked that guy on the internet called 4chan what hackers did then made a film based on what they were told.  I'm pretty sure that the most advance computer the makers of Blackhat have used is the Apple Lisa, because they obviously have no idea what they are talking about and must think anybody who can do a google search must be a wizard.
Music
It was fine I guess, honestly I don't really remember any music.  Maybe it was so perfect that it blended into the scene and I didn't even notice it, or more likely the film was so bad that I was screaming in my own head and couldn't hear the music.  Either way I have no real comment on the music.
Acting
I so badly what to just slam everything and everyone in this film but I can honestly say that the acting was fine, no amount of good acting can save this film, but at least there is one positive for this film and it is the acting.  Really the only big name in this film was Chris Hemsworth and while he was fine, and I would watch other films with him in them, I have to admit I couldn't stop thinking Thor!
Conclusion
Skip it!  Seriously this is just an out of touch attempt to cash in on the trend of older people not understanding how "them computers and interwebs work".  Plus they must have known that they were making a total turd of a film so they spend the majority of their casting budget on Chris Hemsworth to try and save a doomed before release film.  Don't waste your time with this one, it's horrible, and it will leave you wish for the two hours of your life back that it just stole from you.
9
Jul 15
Clean and Sober is the story of a user, both of drugs & alcohol and of people, and how he try's to escape from his problems by hiding in a rehab center.  The film is so well done it will stick with you long after you finish it, it just hits home, even if you don't have any addictions like the people in the film, it just stays with you, it was that good.  Having been in a relationship with a woman with both alcohol addiction and mental illness, I can tell you I saw just how real this film came across, it really does show the levels addicts and the mentally ill will go to to get what they think they need.  Yes it's a bit of a sad film, but in the end you'll feel good.
Story
Very well done, the story was obliviously written by someone who knows addiction and mental illness because it was so dead one with everything.  It's never really long winded at any point, everything has a purpose and moves the film along.  You never really think "why is the part in here?" you just see the addict coming to terms with himself and his life.
Music
Can't say there was much, but what there was was fine, it worked for the scenes it was in.
Acting
Michael Keaton delivers an outstanding performance, if I didn't know any better I would have thought he really was an addict.  How Keaton didn't even get nominated for an award for this film is beyond me.  Morgan Freeman.  What He's in the film, that should be enough.  The rest of the cast is great and no one every really seems out of place, everyone has a place and a part in the film.  Very well done.
Conclusion
If you haven't seen Clean and Sober you should, it will really help you understand the mind of an addict and you get to see what I think is the best dramatic performances Michael Keaton has ever given.  This film is not easy to find but it's worth looking for, I know you'll like it as much as I did.  To help you out I've included the CanIStream.it widget for Clean and Sober so you can find it in as many places as possible.
4
Jul 15
happy-4th-of-july-wallpapers-festivals-and-events
This Independence Day take a moment to donate to the USO and give thanks for those who serve.
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2
Jul 15
Non-Stop was a predictable let down, yes it had a few minor twists but it was nothing big and the ending was ridiculous at best.  This film had me so bored that I could hardly pay attention to the end, I ended up taking two breaks just to get away from the film because it was so boring and over the top.  I don't mind over the top in sci-fi films and things that are meant to be over the top but this was meant to be realistic, and this film just wasn't.
Acting
Liam Neeson was fine I guess, there was nothing that really stood out but he also didn't do anything that detracted from the film.  Julianne Moore was the same not bad, not good.  The rest of the cast was alright as well, nothing to really speak of though.
Music
It was fine, I can see where they tried to ramp up the tension but with a film this bad it just wasn't enough.  It never hurt the film though, it just couldn't save it.
Story
Well, it was crap.  The story was ridiculous and had several plot devices that just screamed out to me as "BULLSHIT".  I won't give any examples since it would give away key parts of the film, but having grown up in aviation I can tell you that most of the key elements of this film would never really happen.  It was just a bad script with an ending that was so stupid that it's not to be believed.
Conclusion
Total trash.  The film lacks in everything but music.  This isn't even a good popcorn flick, it's just bad, and in the end you'll regret having wasted you time on this film.