27 December 2014

Thumbs up for HER, thumbs down for SAINTS AND SOLDIERS: THE VOID

I recently watched Her and found it to be an excellent and daring movie. Daring, for several reasons. First, the movie, like the wonderful film My Dinner with Andre, spends nearly the entire time with highly static scenes involving dialogue. The plot is also fresh. I'd assumed that it would follow the natural trajectory of human vs. artificial intelligence clash or tragedy but it instead enters uncharted waters.
I actually found the ending quite plausible. The voice of the artificial intelligence also diverges from standard sci-fi tropes. In nearly every case, the artificial intelligence is given either a very artificial voice (as in 2001: A Space Odyssey) or is given a very emotionless voice (like that of Data, in Star Trek). In Her, the voice is, if anything, more sensitive and emotional than we'd expect. Anyway, I fully recommend this if you missed it in theaters.
     I also recently watched Saints and Soldiers: The Void. This is apparently the final movie in a trilogy. (I never saw the first two.)
The film covers a small battle between a group of soldiers who are outnumbered by some German Panzers in a heavily wooded area. Most of the movie is about race relations and a black soldier earning the begrudging respect of several racist soldiers. The plot isn't innovative, although I suppose there's enough there for a passably interesting film. Unfortunately, the acting is, across the board, awful. The few convincing actors have bit parts that last for less than a minute. Give this film a miss.

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