Fantasy/Horror Films, Science Fiction Movies

Mini Review:Ex Machina

Ex Machina is an R rated film due to lots of nudity and a bit of knife-weilding.  So far so good.

A Bill Gates wannabe picks one of his own employees, Caleb, and sends him to a private island where the development of actual operational androids appear.

Some critics have called it “boring” — you know, the kind of critic who watches five minutes, zones out and writes ‘boring’ on an review — but it’s far from that, although a bit disappointing.

If you watch carefully, the writing is really well done.  Hints are dropped at the beginning, such as mentioning the inventor is God and that the (spoiler) android Ava turns on her creator.  Frankenstein reference.

Or when the inventor mentions we will be seen as we see ancient Man and then how the ending wraps up is comical if thought-provoking.

Caleb is caught in the middle.  Should he trust the inventor?  Should he go along with the android’s desire to escape?  You as the audience root for Caleb and Ava, but at the end you find your desire somewhat displaced.


I picked up the Blu Ray and it has some special features, but the movie I felt could have ended on a more positive note — on the other hand it ended like it was meant to!

Lots of female nudity, thus the R rating. It’s OK, they’re androids!



Fantasy/Horror Films, Science Fiction Books

Book Review:The End of All Things #1: The Life of the Mind: The End of All Things

Comments on End of All Things #1 – John Scalzi

 First Thoughts:

John has really improved on his Old Man’s War series of novels and short stories. Among these is the End of All Things storylines, written in four volumes, which I like reading on Amazon Kindle e-reader.  First off, really like the writing style. Sarcastic, fast-paced. Similar to Andy Weir’s The Martian in terms of style and interest. Kept me going throughout.

 Story & Plot:

Getting hired as a pilot is one thing. But being kidnapped and having your brain transferred to a computer and flying a ship is something else!

The bad guys with a traitor politician (no surprise there) want to get rid of the Colonial Union. With secrets from the senator, this is an easy task. But our hero is a computer programmer as well as a pilot, and devised a way of circumventing the computer controls and makes his escape. But he’s still a brain in a box!

 Conclusion: Great short novel, a fun read. Can’t wait for the next one!



Fantasy/Horror Films

Movie Review: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter!


Great story, but I would think that the viewer must have some understanding of Civil War history to understand the goings-on with the film.

If you don’t know who Harriet Tubman is and the Underground Railroad, or Jefferson Davis, or Stephen Douglas, you might struggle through this story.

We meet young Mr. Lincoln as a boy, whose mother is killed by a vampire. At his mother’s grave, he resolves to kill the guy, not knowing that he is part of the undead.

Lincoln meets a man who claims to know how to get revenge, teaches him in the ways of whipping around an axe until it goes faster than the eye can follow. Lincoln also learns martial arts moves and runs up walls so he can jump down and swing faster.

Obviously one rolls one’s eyes, since martial arts was basically unknown in American society in the mid-19th century.

Still, it’s fun seeing the vampires get together to create a nation of their own, complete with a 5000 year old vampire who supports the South, so the slaves can be a constant source of blood for them. Yikes!

An ocean of horses, as a vampire runs and jumps from horse to horse, and breaks a few of the animals’ necks as he is chased by Honest Abe. No animals were hurt, since the CGI horses cannot be killed. But wow, so realistic!

The story is even better when we get to Abe stumping for president. When we see the guy before a mighty (CGI) crowd, giving his Emancipation Proclamation (look it up!) it is an amazing thing.

Tim Burton helped produce this one and it shows with the crazy imagery and the horrific attacks by the vampires.

Abraham-Lincoln-Vampire-Hunter-desktop-wallpaperHistoric Perspective:

Yes, little Willie Lincoln did die at 11 years, though I’m doubtful it was by a vengeful vampire back from Abe’s youth to wreak havoc on his family.

Yes, the Union had a hard time at Gettysburg, though I doubt it was because of vampires being indestructible to lead bullets, nor that getting silver bullets and silver cannonballs turned the tide of war.

If there was a 5,000 year old vampire who witnessed the Jews being slaves to Egypt, why did it take Adam so dang long to get a following and a nation? You’d think after the first 2000 years he might get bored or something. Oh well.

Bottom Line:

The film is gory, horrific and a lot of fun. If you’re a Civil War enthusiast, you’ll have a lot more fun pointing out inaccuracies and such or even understanding the puns and humor of the tale.

I enjoyed the special features too, though the meeting of Lincoln and Poe and such were stretching it a bit.

 Cast & Crew:


Timur Bekmambetov    Director, Producer

Jim Lemley    Producer

Tim Burton    Producer

John J. Kelly     Executive Producer

Michele Wolkoff     Executive Producer

Seth Grahame-Smith     Executive Producer, Book Author, Screenwriter


Benjamin Walker as Abraham Lincoln, a secret vampire hunter, who serves as the 16th President of the United States and the main protagonist.

Dominic Cooper as Henry Sturges, Lincoln’s mentor in vampire hunting, a former vampire hunter, and a vampire who lost his wife and humanity to vampires.

Anthony Mackie as William Johnson, Lincoln’s earliest and closest friend.

Curtis Harris as Young Will

Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Mary Todd Lincoln, Lincoln’s wife.

Rufus Sewell as Adam, the powerful leader of an order of vampires .

Marton Csokas as Jack Barts, a plantation owner and the vampire who killed Lincoln’s mother.