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Even though the science is off a bit, this is an awesome movie that makes you think. I love the montage flashes to animals in the wild at moments when things are about to happen in the beginning. From Lucy’s friend setting her up to the quick flash of a mouse walking toward a trap. These flashes work wonderfully on another level of storytelling. It piques your minds interest to think and make the connections.

Acting is all top notch and I think Scarlett Johansson did a wonderful job in losing her humanity. Which is another key to knowing everything, the loss of that which makes us human. Without the sense of wonder, yearning, fear, or anything, ones humanity transcends what we currently are.

Which brings me to my next statement… If this movie doesn’t click with audiences it is not because of the movie itself but because the “general public” just doesn’t think this deep and normally can’t be bothered to even try. The same thing happened earlier in the year with the multilayered Transcendence. The general public was pretty much turned away because the themes were above their heads. That could very well happen with Lucy.

 

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I put the disk in at 3 pm and credits were rolling at 3 am. The dynamic between Elizabeth and Booker works really well and somewhat reminds of the cell shaded Prince of Persia game (also on the 360) which brought a breath of fresh air to that series where both male and female worked together. Now if we compare it to the first Bioshock (360) then we actually don’t reach the level for which it resides on. Where the first Bioshock was close quartered combat and psycho freaks all jacked up and jumping out from the darkness; Bioshock Infinite has the wide open spaces and not much of any real “Horror” angles within it. When you round a corner here you pretty much feel like it’s a Call of Duty game rather than a tension filled experience. As for the story… Well… The original Bioshock had a much tighter story line and the end wasn’t nearly as confusing as the end of Infinite.

Still, it was a fun game with some innovative graphics. Definitely worth a  12 hour binge.

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is probably the most thought provoking action/sci-fi movie of this summer. The main characters on both sides, Apes and Humans are given great depth and the story is allowed to unfold in ways that show that both species are very much alike, especially when it comes to the need for making war. On both sides there is a bad element that shows what is intrinsically a human instinct. This human instinct for war is also in the uplifted apes. Of course the humans mess up time and time again which betrays the trust that the apes put forth and I have to say… It would have been a nice dream for a peace to have happened but you really can’t forgive a species that caged you and performed experiments on you. Or a species who pulls out the guns and readies for war because they can’t ever just live and let live with those around them.

Caesar is a remarkable character. Maybe even the best use of CGI on a character yet. Sorry Gollum, but Andy Serkis has brought Caesar to life in ways that have surpassed his performance as Gollum in TLotR’s.

I’m excited for the next chapter… Maybe… Conquest of the Planet of the Apes would make a good follow up title.

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Oldboy is an interesting film with and intriguing premise. I definitely think it is worth viewing in spite of its flaws. If nothing else, the premise and the oh so sickening twist are enough to make overlooking the faults worth it.

I know that this is the remake of a South Korean cult film which I’ve seen bits and pieces of but have not yet to sit down and view the whole thing. That being said, the translation took a rocky road from Korean to American. There were several moments where “hidden” cameras just couldn’t have been used but were and it takes the viewer out of the moment even though it is integral to the story. Maybe some scenes with how the hidden cameras got there would have gone further in fixing this gaping plot hole. The other big miscalculation was in the main fight scene. It shouldn’t have even been included in this movie. While it is a big part of the Korean picture, it just doesn’t work in this one. The American version would have worked much better as a thriller alone. The big fight scene tried to “be” Asian martial arts but failed in every way. The choreography was atrocious and laughable. I was glad when it was over so that the flow once again became that of a thriller. Now the film as originally cut by Spike Lee was 140 minutes and both Lee and lead actor Brolin were unhappy when the studio cut it down to 105 minutes. That could explain a lot of why there were plot holes and jumps. But since there is no plans for a directors cut, we’ll never know.

Like I said, even with the missteps that pull you out of the flick, the overall premise and twist are worth dealing with it and the story rises above studio cuts. That doesn’t happen too often but in this case it did. So it is worth checking out.

 

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I want to use Cortana. The problem is, I’m all Google and Google refuses to make apps for Windows Phone. Admittedly, it’s not like I watch movies or even listen to music on my phone so it’s not that big of a deal when it comes to my main entertainment apps. I can even (with some DRM stripping and downloading and uploading) make the books work where ever I choose. I wouldn’t have Google+ though… That kind of stinks.

So is Cortana worth the jump to an entirely different ecosystem?

When it comes to the actual functions of Cortana vs Google Now… Cortana in Beta mode just looks cooler and has way more useful functionality. Siri you say? No, Siri is dead last in the personal assistant category. It’s not even worth taking into consideration for a comparison.

That’s the big question here? And I honestly don’t know. I may get this new Lumia entry level device ($168 or so) that is coming out, just so I can test the waters over wifi and see how it all works together. Come to think of it, that may just be the way to go. At least then I can test it out and see how much of it I can actually use and deal with. Ican even pop out the sim on my Nexus 5 and see how it feels on a full phone basis. If I like it then I can always drop the serious cash later on the McLaren release coming this winter. Or maybe Microsoft can release a phone like the mock up for a Surface phone. Now that would be sweet.

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The other big thing that I’m not too keen on Android for is this new “Material Design” coming to Android “L”. I just flat out don’t like it. It looks like something from Roger Rabbit’s ToonTown. It’s so cartoon(y) and childish. The pastel colors Google is going for is just yuck… I look at the animations and just feel let down because Microsoft had better animations all the way back in WP7. I see people on Google+ going nuts for this and I’m thoroughly perplexed???!!!???

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In the big picture of things I can see a way forward using a Windows Phone and still keeping my entertainment and media in Google’s ecosystem. But to take that jump into the unknown is a rather big step. On the other hand, I can also see buying into the Surface Pro 3 (which I can get to Google web products on) just because I don’t see anything mind blowing coming down the pike for Chromebooks and admittedly I’m getting tired of the lag on my Smasung Chromebook when I pull up a page that has a lot of pictures or get more than 7 tabs open. It’s a nit pick I know, but I kind of want “nice” and “high end” over just functional to a point. I’ll still use my Chromebooks but I want that “ultra” experience.

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Oculus Rift is coming in 2015 and it will run smoothly on a Surface Pro (x) so PC based system is going to be needed anyway so I can take advantage of all the cool VR that is about to come to home consumers. Oculus is going to be the experience of the decade!!!

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To take it even further, I’m thinking about buying an Xbox One (I was a day one buyer for the Xbox and the 360 so I’m late to the party here). Cortana is going to be coming to the Xbox One and I can see how that integration could be big too.

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Microsoft is doing a lot of very cool things now and I’m excited by the technology that they are putting out there. They were once the 90 million pound gorilla and then they fell. They fell because they became stagnant and complacent. Now they are the scrappy underdog who can do nothing but turn to innovation and new thinking, especially under a very talented new CEO. Every company that reaches the top seems to go through this fall and metamorphosis. It happened to Microsoft, it happened to Apple, and it will happen to Google… I think the cracks are already starting to show after this last I/O.

So the big question comes up once again. Will I make the jump?

I guess you will have to wait and see ;)

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This is how you do a summer blockbuster event movie!!! Let’s face it, this summer has not given us the event movies we’re used to. Spidy was a mess, X-men was an even bigger mess, and with the exceptions of Godzilla and Captain America, it has been a pretty long and dull. Along comes the Master of Summer, Michael Bay (with 2 mega summer entries, no less. TMNT in August) and we finally have an action event spectacle that gives us 2 hours and 45 minutes to lose ourselves in.

I love the Transformers movies. I saw the very first broadcast of the cartoon and grew up with it. I’ve always been a fan of them and I honestly have no idea why there are people that think the movies are bad based on the original cartoon? I think Bay has done and awesome job in bringing them to the screen. When Peter Cullen’s voice rumbles out of Optimus Prime, all the fun of the Transformers from childhood come back, but in full and glorious theatrical form. When I go to see a Transformers movie, I’m not looking for some serious view on life. I’m looking for balls to the wall action and the awesome patriotism that Bay always adds into these movies (when you see the US flag waving in a shot – chills).

Age of Extinction takes place several years after the battle of Chicago (Dark of the Moon). The Transformers are being hunted down by an off the books black ops group within the CIA who tell the president that they are hunting Decepticons when in actuality they are hunting all Transformers. Of course the black ops leader (Kelsey Grammer) has been making deals on the side and is employing a bounty hunter who has come looking for Prime. He’s looking to trade Prime for a weapon that turns organic matter into the metal that is the Transformers themselves. By the end of this action roller coaster we have the set up for the next two installments to come in this new trilogy.

The acting is on par with the last three films and as far as I’m concerned, I love it. It fits the movie and brings you happiness, sadness, and wonder all on display. The action scenes are once again excellent and keep you on the edge. Several moments in the film just put a smile on my face. From the first appearance of Grimlock to Prime and Bumble Bee taking scans of passing vehicles and sprucing up their appearance.

I can’t wait to see what Bay offers up for us in the next two installments.

Autobots… Roll out!!!!!!!! And go see this movie!!!

 

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