Movie Throwdown : EX MACHINA vs THE UNCANNY

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While Alex Garland’s debut film EX MACHINA was the AI film receiving all the acclaim in 2015, it was the relatively unseen film the UNCANNY by Matt Leutwyler that I found the superior film.

Now while visually it is the sexy and sleek and futuristic visuals of EX MACHINA that are poster memorable, it is The story of THE UNCANNY, that I find is the more compelling, haunting and ultimately daring and rewarding film.

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While I liked EX MACHINA, particularly the great performance of the unrecognizable Oscar Isaac of STAR WARS fame, and enjoyed its beautiful visuals; it is the UNCANNY that I really enjoyed, and see myself coming back to. But both films are great additions to the genre, followers in the footsteps of ShellEy, and are wonderful cautionary takes on the ramifications of the unchecked hubris of science.

 

Final Grades:
EX MACHINA – B- Ex Machina (Blu-ray + Digital HD)

UNCANNY – B+ Uncanny DVD on Sale!

Both films are available to try before you buy, EX MACHINA is on Amazon Prime and UNCANNY is on Netflix.

Enjoy!

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GRAPHIC NOVEL Round-Up : Bendis’ UNCANNY X-MEN

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ALL NEW X-MEN VOL 2 HERE TO STAY – Collecting issues 6 to 10 of the series this is an interesting and fun premise for a miniseries, namely have the X-men of the past interact with the present. However for a series, it is a gimmick, an in-joke, that runs the risk of staying around too long, and outliving its sell by date. For the moment Marquez and Immonen art keeps it interesting, but already the premise is getting to feel belabored.

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UNCANNY X-MEN VOL 1 REVOLUTION – Collecting issues 1 to 5 of the series the pluses are a strong, witty and fun script by Brian Michael Bendis, and some gorgeous art by Chris Bacchalo. The weaknesses are the layouts can be lost under muddy finishing/coloring, and a tendency, unsatisfying tendency, to end the very slight collections on a cliffhanger. It is a weakness that both volumes share.

Add to that the outrageous price of $24.99 for only 5 issues ($5 an issue!!!), a hundred thirty plus pages of story and the absence of a complete, standalone story becomes even more insulting.

It is a very petty and miserly and obscene ‘bleed your audience’ policy that Marvel has undertaken here, that does not deserve to be rewarded by purchasing these overpriced volumes. That said, I do feel the writing in these volumes is fun and entertaining and action-packed and worthy of a read if not a buy.

Just be aware that the cliffhanger ending, appropriate for a $3 monthly serialized comic, is wholly inappropriate for an overpriced $25 collected edition ; that you should be able to enjoy on its own without waiting months for the next volume.

GRADE : B-. Until the ending I was enjoying both volumes, but without an ending the volumes are very much like a great parallel bar routine where the athlete fails to stick the landing. Pretty, but ultimately disappointing and forgettable.

And add that exorbitant price point of $25 for 5 issues of material (and yes I realize the trade can be had for a little bit cheaper, but that is still overpriced as well) and it becomes a case of look, do not buy.

Borrow or rent these puppies for a quick read, then move onto something else, that you would not have any problems paying retail for; something you would not mind proudly adding to your bookshelf such as BATWOMAN VOL 1 HYDROLOGY. A book that I have also recently read.

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DC publishing (the other big comic book company besides Marvel) has their own problems, however producing satisfying collections is generally not one of them.

DC hardcover collections, offer an issue more and two dollars less retail, and offer a contained story, something that Marvel’s new publishing initiative MARVEL NOW may want to take note of.

Marvel writers generally are currently doing good work (far better than their esteemed competition that with few exceptions is self-destructing due to editorial hubris), so to have that sabotaged by ghetto collections… possibly not the route Marvel wants to go.

To try the books and decide for yourself or to hunt them down for less than retail use the below links and this blog earns a couple pennies. If I’ve helped turn you on to something you would have otherwise missed (BATWOMAN HYDROLOGY is a must have for any art lover’s collection. It is exquisite), then please use the links below. Thanks:

All-New X-Men, Vol. 2: Here to Stay

Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 1: Revolution

Batwoman Vol. 1: Hydrology (The New 52)

Batwoman: Elegy

Odds and Ends and Insulting Ramblings

It will be four years before this day comes again. Odd how that fact does not fill me with confidence in the Julian Calendar system… among other things.

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Language interests me. Possibly because I’m so bad at picking up new languages. It interest me the things that are lost and changed in translation.

The Uncanny X-men in Spanish becomes La Impossible Patrulla X, which does not mean ‘The Uncanny X-Men’. It translates literally into The Impossible Patrol X. Patrulla meaning Patrol, a small detachment of soldiers to secure the safety or peace of a place.

So the X-MEN though translated, is changed in the translation, to PATROL X. A subtle change admitted, but change none the less.

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Closing out Black History month, I have to remark I really hate the term African American.

It’s right up there with morons using the term political correctness instead of the word respect.

Just use respect whenever you rant about political correctness, and you’ll realize what the eff you’re really complaining about. Racist bastards.

Now back to African American.

Nationalistic boundaries have no place in an ethnographic designation. It’s been removed from the unifying way it was first broached in the 60s, to a moronic misnomer. What is wrong with Black or Colored or Moor or Nubian or hell even Pan-African, all of which are inclusive terms that define your ethnicity regardless of whether you live in Canada or France or Brazil or China or Honduras or Haiti or Senegal.

How such a stupid term is not only in general parlance, but is on federal forms just goes to show you how poorly most people in America reason. And don’t even get me started on separating Black from Hispanic. What the eff are you talking about? How do you separate blood from blood? Keep your divide and conquer nonsense.

“Just like the Spanish, raping the Black and Indian women and creating Latinos!”— Immortal Technique

If you’re walking around and defining your ethnicity based on your nationality, which may work in homogeneous society but does not work in a heterogeneous society, then you sir and mam… are doing something moronic.

And you may want to stop and think, and scratch out that stupid line on federal forms that says African American, and write instead… “Eff You! I Wont Do What You Tell ME! ” (Yeah, that is from RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE).

Think… better.

It’s the only salvation you have.

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Today’s Recommended Short Story: THE GHOST OF MARTIN LUTHER KING by Hal Bennett

There is no one who has ever written quite like Hal Bennett, His stories live somewhere that is beyond our suffering, and beyond our joy, beyond our hopes, and beyond our despairs. His are alien deep space tableaus, as strange as any fiction of Bradbury’s outer space, but rooted in the far more alien landscapes of a Jim Crow tinged America. There’s a bitter truth in his tales, married to a wicked, merciless humor. His is the landscape of an irony and lynch-filled America. Where sense is a strange and undiscovered country, and insanity the norm, for those who live and die by insane designations.

Insanity Runs in our Family. These stories are a wry and disarmingly written indictment of the Insanity of a post Jim Crow America, and things we lost in the fire, but more than that, they are about our missives and our misgivings, and living in a wronged world… that resists being righted.

I continue to dip my toe into these stories of the downtrodden and disenfranchised, and yet somehow remarkable, and more than a bit magical. And I continue to be… both horrified and charmed.

THE GHOST OF MARTIN LUTHER KING is one of those stories, wherein Hal Bennett takes us on a spiderwalk above still restless and unsettled ground. B+.

Insanity runs in our Family– Price your copy here!