#20 – Ex Machina – by Nick Andersen

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Ex Machina is an R-rated 2015 science fiction thriller film written and directed by Alex Garland. It stars Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Sonoya Mizuno and Oscar Isaac. It tells the story of a programmer who is invited by his employer to perform the Turing test to a humanoid android with artificial intelligence. This is Alex Garland’s first film as a director and after watching it you could say that he struck gold, so to speak. It’s brilliant, clever and psychological. Some say it’s a masterpiece. I say it’s one of the top best of 2015.

Spoilers at the end of the post

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#19 – Parallels – by Nick Andersen

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Parallels is a 2015 sci-fi movie directed and written by Christopher Leone, released only to Netflix. It stars Mark Hapka, Jessica Rothe, Eric Jungmann and Constance Wu. They are actors we have never seen before nor the director. This is a project put on Netflix so that someone would hopefully soon turn it into a TV series continuing from the ending. I really hope they make a TV series and you will too if you have watched the movie.

The synopsis is this: a group enters an abandon downtown building which transports them to random parallel versions of Earth. Some slightly different and others a total wasteland.

The story is an intriguing one and mysterious enough. It definitely keeps you watching and waiting for answers. At times it felt like it was lingering a bit too much but during the moment I didn’t know the full picture. Without revealing, I think those times were about character development for us to know for the future of this production.

I can’t say anymore as this isn’t a normal movie but a pilot for a possible TV show. If you like sci-fi films and/or playing with the idea of parallel realities then go watch it! It definitely keeps you entertained. If you don’t have Netflix you can probably find it somewhere else online.

Thanks for reading my short review!

– Nick Andersen

#17 – The Men Who Stare At Goats – by Nick Andersen

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The Men Who Stare At Goats is a 2009 R-rated drama comedy directed by Grant Heslov inspired by Jon Ronson’s book of the same title. Both Jon and Peter Straughan are the writers for this film. The war parody of the true story behind the New Earth Army, an experimental US army unit of “Warrior Monks” with unparalleled psychic powers. It’s funny at times and entertaining but feels like it stretches or has you lose interest once in a while but then brings you back. Although a good cast, it’s a slightly weird film but with a funny touch.

NO SPOILERS

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#16 – Coherence – by Nick Andersen

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Coherence is a 2013 science fiction thriller indie film directed and written by James Ward Byrkit. It is so much more than what the sypnosis and trailer shows us. I had no idea what I was going to watch. All I knew was that it was a recommended sci-fi thriller. After 15 minutes I was glued to the screen and as the plot developed, I became addicted as the mystery kept growing and feeding my curious mind. What an exciting mind trip! The film has only 8 actors and 95% of the film is inside one house. That leaves the characters to carry the film and wow, they succeeded phenomenally! Truly one of the best science fiction and mind-baffling films I have ever seen. This is the type of film you watch many times, and each time you discover something new.

!!! SPOILERS AHEAD !!!

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#15 – Dances with Wolves – by Nick Andersen

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Dances with Wolves is a 1990 adventure, drama and western film directed by Kevin Costner and written by Michael Blake based off of his novel with the same title. Don’t let the genre, western, make you look away in case you don’t enjoy them. I personally am not interested in the western times, much less films about it. But in Dances with Wolves, it is not centered on the modern day life of the people of that time. It is centered on the way of life of the forgotten Sioux tribe. If you are looking for entertainment, you will not find it in this film. This film teaches many lessons, and is about the bonding of people and the respect towards nature. A simple enough idea to have but ruined by another idea. The idea that one person decides that he/she is superior to others.

!!! SPOILERS AHEAD !!!

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#14 – Up – by Nick Andersen

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Up is a 2009 animated film directed by Pete Docter and co-directed by Bob Peterson. Both of them along with Tom McCarthy wrote the story. Before Inside Out, Up was Pixar’s best movie and even won the award for Best Picture. It tells the story about an elderly man fulfilling a promise to his late wife with the company of a young scout explorer, a house tethered to thousands of balloons, a long-lost explorer, some “talking” dogs and a giant bird named Kevin. It is a beautiful, funny and touching film. Pixar always knows how to make us emotional and in Up, you will most likely cry.

!!! SPOILERS AHEAD !!!

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#13 – Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – by Nick Andersen

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Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is an R-rated 2014 comedy and drama film directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. The film’s script was written by the director himself along with Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, and Armando Bo. It stars Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts, Andrea Riseborough and Amy Ryan. It is the story about a faded Hollywood actor, who once was famous for his iconic role as Birdman, now struggling not to lose his career by adapting, directing and starring in a Broadway play written by Raymond Carver. The film is quite extraordinary. Iñárritu’s one-take illusion is mesmerizingly unbelievable! Michael Keaton’s performance is the winner in this one; truly one of his best. Edward Norton’s was excellent as usual. Whatever is shown to us in movies, whether relevant or not at the time, it is important to keep those things in mind, for if we ignore them, we won’t be able to come up with more than one interpretation in the end and this movie definitely has more than just one!

!!! SPOILERS AHEAD !!!

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#12 – This Is England – by Nick Andersen

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This Is England is an R rated 2006 crime and drama film directed and written by Shane Meadows based off of his own experiences. The film
centers during a 1983 summer in England in the times of Margaret Thatcher as first Prime Minister and the Falklands War. Shaun, a
fatherless 12-year old loner, becomes part of a friendly Skinhead group but things get more dramatic when dangerous neo-nazi Combo returns from prison. It’s an interesting change of scenery if you’re used to American-made films. The film deals with the times of mass unemployment and the xenophobia of the group of these Skinheads. We see how things are through the eyes of young impressionable Shaun. This film is not for everyone. Some love it and others dislike it. My opinion is right in the middle.

!!! SPOILERS AHEAD !!!

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#11 – Mr. Nobody – by Nick Andersen

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Mr. Nobody is an R-rated 2009 sci-fi, drama and romance film directed by Jaco Van Dormael starring Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger and Linh Dan Pham. In short, Mr. Nobody is a gem. It’s wonderfully unique. It’s fantastic and complex. Not a lot people will like it, much less understand it. But for those who did understand it, wow, what a story! The theme in this film is about our actions and their repercusions. Cause and effect. It is visually stunning with beautiful close-up shots. Its soundtrack is beautiful and sets the mood just right. From lead singer of 30 Seconds To Mars to his Oscar-winning role in Dallas Buyers Club, Jared Leto is unique in all his activities and does a good job in this one. I was asked by someone if this film was better than n (whichever). I told that person that you cannot compare this to any film. It is however one where you have to pay close attention to, so if you enjoy those kinds, then you’re in for a very interesting ride with this one.

!!! SPOILERS AHEAD !!!

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#10 – Kingsman: The Secret Service – by Nick Andersen

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Kingsman: The Secret Service is a 2014 R-rated comedy film directed and written — alongside Jane Goldman — by Matthew Vaughn based on the comic books The Secret Service. It stars a wide known cast, but the main actors in this story are Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Samuel L. Jackson and Taron Egerton. To get an idea of Vaughn’s directing, think of films Layer Cake (2004), Kick-Ass (2010) and X-men: First Class (2011). If you haven’t seen Layer Cake or Kick-Ass you cannot appreciate this movie for what it is. Kingsman is its own film genre. It’s satirical, bloody, ridiculously funny, foul mouthed and action filled. It’s almost like watching a Tarantino film. I mean, Samuel L. Jackson is even in it!

!!! SPOILERS AHEAD !!!

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