Movie Review: EX MACHINA (4K Ultra HD Combo Pack)

 

EX MACHINA was written and directed by Alex Garland and stars Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac and Sonoya Mizuno.

After winning a competition to spend a week at the mountain estate of his company’s brilliant CEO Nathan (Oscar Isaac), programmer Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) arrives to discover he has been chosen to take part in a study of artificial intelligence. Sworn to secrecy and cut off from the outside world, Caleb meets his subject, a beguiling and seductive android (Alicia Vikander) — and is plunged into an A.I. experiment beyond his wildest dreams in this epic thriller charged with heart-stopping suspense.

Ex Machina focuses on artificial intelligence and the questions that come along with it. Like can it learn, can it adapt and can it become smarter than its creator? This sexy sci-fi thriller shows what could happen if a robot became so curious that it ended up outsmarting its creator and was able to become almost humanlike. The story for this movie is so interesting and so are the trio of main characters. Caleb is this naive employee who gets invited by Nathan to witness first hand his beautiful creation Ava. Caleb ends up being the first outsider to evaluate and test Ava but the young tech is kind of being played by the opportunistic Nathan. Ava on the other hand starts out as this innocent looking robot who gets an instant crush on Caleb, or does she? As the movie plays out, Ava shows that she is able to quickly learn and adapt to the playing field and that she can be as manipulative and sinister as humans can be. She has dreamt of being free from her prison and in the end she ultimately gets her wish along with some eerie revenge.

Okay, for this to be the directorial debut for Alex Garland he pretty much hit it out of the park. He captured everything he needed to make this movie something really special and it continues to be one of the best sci-fi movies that I’ve ever watched. As interesting as the story is, it’s the characters that draw you in and keep you there throughout the watch. It’s like there’s an eerie futuristic threesome going on inside this secluded facility. Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac give some great performances but it’s Alicia Vikander who steals the show with her character. Ava has this innocence to her but make no mistake about it, she’s so much more. She’s as deadly as she is beautiful and she’s as smart as her creator. Surprise! There’s also some amazing visual effects to go along with the A.I. part of the movie, so much so, it won an Academy Award a few years back. Well deserved!

The packaging comes with a slipcover. These Ultra HD movies all come in black keep cases which helps them easily standout from the popular blue cases that have been around since day one. The front features the artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The UHD disc also feature some matching artwork and the Blu-ray disc has a grey finish with the movie logo. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio for this release. Crank the volume up on this one! Fans will be able to experience this special movie like never before with the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital HD) release. This features four times the resolution of Full HD and High Dynamic Range (HDR) that delivers the brightest, most vivid and realistic color and greatest contrast.

Bottom line is, I had a blast revisiting Ex Machina this time in 4K and it’s a movie that simply never gets old. Yeah, it’s that good and I can’t even remember how many times I’ve watched it now. This impressive directorial debut by Alex Garland delivers some fantastic performances by this talented trio of actors whose characters you can’t help but get entranced with. There’s also the sexiest (and creepiest) disco dance with a robot that you’ll ever see on screen! There’s also some extremely cool special effects that help bring the A.I. to life in this movie. Garland captures all of this magic (performances and special effects) for a movie that has already become a sci-fi classic among fans and purists alike. This one also continues to be one of my all-time favorite movies of any genre. Movie fanatics that have already upgraded their home entertainment centers (screens and players) to watch 4K movies are sure to enjoy the experience, but this is also for the high-def loyalists because there’s a Blu-ray disc included for them as well. There’s also a digital copy that you can add to your Vudu library or whatever digital platform you use. Ex Machina will be available on 4K Ultra HD (plus Blu-ray and Digital HD) on June 6th and is a must have.

Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Run Time: 108 Minutes

Rated: R

4K Ultra HD Video: 2160p Ultra High Definition 16×9 Widescreen (2.40:1)

4K Ultra HD Audio: English DTS:X / DTS Headphone:X / DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 / DTS-HD Digital Surround 5.1

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (2.40:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS:X Audio / DTS Headphone:X / DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 / DTS-HD Digital Surround 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features: Good Stuff! All of the extras are located on the Blu-ray disc and are pretty much the same as the previous home video release. There was supposed to be some audio commentary as well as an easter egg but I guess something happened. No worries because there’s still over 2-hours of amazing bonus content.

  • “Through the Looking Glass: Creating Ex Machina” 5-Part Featurette (39:59)
  • 8 Behind-the-Scenes Vignettes (28:40)
  • SXSW Q&A with Cast and Crew (1:00:57)
  • Digital HD Copy

 

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