Transcendence (Wally Pfister, 2014): USA

Reviewed by Katrina Storton. Viewed on DVD.

A movie which finally shows the horrors of an AI (Artificial Intelligence) connecting to the internet and improving the world as it sees fit. Other movies have also approached the subject of a self aware AI such as 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick or I, Robot starring Will Smith. Even video games have used the idea such as System Shock (1994) or Portal (2007). However, Transcendence is the first movies to approach the idea of a scientist’s consciousness being uploaded into an AI prototype he personally created.

While watching Transcendence you learn about Will Caster (Johnny Depp) and his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall). Both of them are scientists devoted to improving technology. Evelyn is focused on making the world a better place with technology while her husband Will wants to make an AI or ‘A God”, his own god. An underground group called R.I.F.T (Revolutionary Independence From Technology) attempt and succeed in eliminating Will due to his ideas. Evelyn can’t see a life without her husband, or a world without his ideas. She has the idea to upload his consciousness into P.I.N.N,

Posted at 4pm on 08/26/14 | no comments | Filed Under: Films read on

Dallas Buyers Club (Jean-Marc Vallée, 2013): USA

By Allison Fuerst. Viewed on DVD.

dbc picIn collaboration with screenwriters Craig Borten and Melissa Wallack, director Jean-Marc Vallée exposes the journey of Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) and his creation of the Dallas Buyers Club. This movie accurately depicts the hardships associated with AIDS during 1985 Dallas, Texas. After being diagnosed with HIV, Woodroof unfortunately falls victim to the common misconceptions regarding how to contract the sexually transmitted disease, as well as the uncertainties regarding effective treatment methods.

At a time when the disease is poorly understood, Woodroof is told by doctors that he has 30 days to live. First turning to the hospital for help, he is introduced to Dr. Eve Saks (Jennifer Garner) and is outraged to discover that the only treatment being offered is still undergoing testing with unknown results. Half of the patients receive the only FDA approved drug available called AZT, while the others receive a placebo. Taking matters into his own hands, Woodroof resorts to his own means to stay alive by obtaining information, medicine and vitamins from out-of-practice doctors and through conducting his own research. He brings back enough supplies

Posted at 12pm on 08/08/14 | no comments | Filed Under: DVD, Films read on

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Film Review Club: Reviews of current film releases, DVDs, and revivals by student members of the SBCC Film Review Club: List of members

Film Festival Course: FS108: Film Festival Studies: 10-days or 5-days (2 or 3 units). Field course at film festivals to study U.S. and international fiction, experimental and documentary films. Fee required.

Contact: Prof. Nico Maestu (maestu@sbcc.edu)

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