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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4
PHOTOGRAPHY

THE MACHINE

Blu-ray review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS:  91 minutes, making-of featurette, theatrical trailer, previews

VIDEO:  2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio

Subtitles: English SDH

 

STUDIO: XLRator Media/ Content Media Corporation/ Red and Black Films/ Altara/ The Ideas Factory/ The Welsh Assembly Government

RELEASE DATE:  6-17-2014

THE MACHINE is the best sci-fi movie to come to blu-ray this year.  It is all about ideas and tackling issues and the human perspective and the ethics which all make a great sci-fi story if you can get all of that to work together.  You have a homerun when you have a director that can create a distinct look and Caradog James manages do this with THE MACHINE which he writes and directs.  It is a low budget sci-fi movie which looks like the type of movies you would discover on VHS in the 1980s and 1990s.   THE MAHCINE has cult classic spelled all over it, but it is truly a sci-fi masterpiece which you can put on the shelf next to such classics as BLADE RUNNER, HARDWARE, THX-1138, and BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW.

 

THE MAHCINE takes place during a second cold war in the near future where the world is at war with China during a new world depression.  Lead scientist Vincent McCarthy (Toby Stephens) is using cybernetics as a way to find a cure for the brain condition that his daughter is suffering from, but he has got into bed with Britain’s Ministry of Defense to do it.  The Ministry of Defense is only interested in creating the next perfect weapon in their war against China.   Vincent recruits Ava (Caity Lotz)- a smart and beautiful artificial intelligence scientist- to help him and soon he is on the path to creating an intelligent machine in the image of Ava.   The head of the project doesn’t want intelligent machines that can’t be controlled and they start to fear what Vincent has created.   He and his machine are on a collision course with those more interested in creating war instead of creating a new form of life.

 

THE MACHINE is one of those visions that hold up on repeat viewings.   The visuals and ideas are what make it works in addition to Caity Lotz able to play two separate and distinct characters (Ava and the Machine) along with a unique music score.   The script brings up interesting questions about ethics regarding artificial intelligence and using machine sin war.  Vincent has fixed damaged human soldiers with his cybernetics, but each one of them loses their speech (weeks after the operation) to be replaced by an odd form of digital pitched speaking humans can’t understand (which is actually Farsi digitally manipulated in post production).    THE MACHINE is definitely a sci-fi movie you should check out.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

INSIDE THE MACHINE is a 15 minute behind-the-scenes featurette that has interview with the cast and crew in addition to behind-the-scenes footage and clips form the film. It reveals how they created the special effects and talking about the story and performances in THE MACHINE.

 

The disc also has the theatrical trailer for THE MAHCINE and previews for other movies which play before the main menu for other movies like IRONCLAD 2, THE HUMAN RACE, and OUTPOST: RISE OF THE SPETNATZ.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS: THE MACHINE is the best discovery of the year and it is one of the best sci-fi movies to discover on blu-ray this year.   It is an intelligent low budget production that follows the ideas of what sci-fi should be.

 

This review is 7-1-2014 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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