jurassic park

Ex Machina – What is alive?

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Ex Machina – What is alive?

There are only a handful of films that I grant the title of “mind expanding,” even fewer that stand can stand the test of time. While Ex Machina certainly receives the title, I was more intrigued by the question it proposed. How do you go about testing artificial intelligence? More so, how do you determine what’s alive and what are the boundaries that holds something back from becoming human.

Now the term human doesn’t necessarily dictate the species or genome. So, more or less, what defines us as human? What characteristics would we deem as necessary to becoming such?

One of the joys of science fiction is its ability to challenge us in how we perceive a certain situation, and the whole robot uprising is a very classic genre. But what defines human nature and how do you test this?

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Movie Issues: Jurassic Park III

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Movie Issues: Jurassic Park III

What happens you when you take seven stupid people and put them on island with dinosaurs looking for one kid?

Jurassic Park III.

This week the Movie Issues boys sat down and watch 2001’s return to the world of dinosaurs. This is a movie that mostly leave viewers asking “what just happened”? and is largely considered the weakest in the Jurassic Park franchise. Among the topics for out 90 minutes: just when did the Raptors learn how to talk?

So come on and listen in as we try to get to the heart of a film decidedly not 65 million years in the making. Read On

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Jurassic Park III

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If they remade “It’s A Wonderful Life,” they could make it about Steven Spielberg being shown what American cinema would be like if he had never lived, and Clarence would show him this movie. Director Joe Johnston is not entirely to blame. He has enormous shoes to fill, the shoes of a man who, as even as his detractors agree, has a gift for presentation. Johnston previously helmed Jumanji and Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, which are in their ways, very similar to JP3: lots of crashing, noisy, exciting sequences, with enough of a story to keep you interested but not necessarily to transport you to another world.

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Jurassic Park: The Lost World

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Full Price Feature (if you’re on crack)

Stephen Spielberg. Dinosaurs. Sequel to $300 million+ audience favorite. What more do you need? An engraved invitation? Yes, granted, the Lost World book was a hack job obviously designed to be a sequel that denied much of the prequel.

The book is silly and atrocious (but, to my amusement, extremely easy to visualize – I mean, including cuts and fades!): the movie has one scene in common with the book. This is a good thing. It is more violent than past Spielberg outings, even surprisingly so. Less technobabble – all that was covered in the first flick, it is assumed you know it already for this one.

It’s got everything: great visual gags and monster movie homages, witty lines with actual wit, and real nail biter scenes to boot! Kids with actual personalities, TONS of new dinosaurs, rain, terror, Jeff Goldblum and Vince Vaughn all wet and frightened, Pete Postlethwaite all manly and cunning…the most intense image I walked away with was slowly cracking glass. OH my god.

It’s a total carnival ride! My friend Sam had a bit of a problem in the third act, and upon consideration I will concede that I had to suspend disbelief just a smidge higher than normal, but the payoff is worth it. The CGI effects have matured – I wouldn’t have thought they could improve on what already looked seamless but they did! You can practically feel the dino’s pulse.

The animatronic ones are gorgeous too – I am so happy to be alive in a time when I have to use moviemaking logic, rather than my eyes, to figure out which is the puppet and which is the computer generated one. In Dolby Digital the sound is EVERYWHERE. This movie will not disappoint you. It’s not as smooth and delicious as Jurassic Park, (at least Lost World doesn’t have all those annoying side trips into parenthood issues) but it is an utterly worthy sequel.

Pay full price and hold on to your socks/prepare to regret the expense! (So, pay Rental with Snacks)

MPAA Rating PG-13
Release date 5/23/97
Time in minutes 134
Director Steven Spielberg
Studio Universal