New-to-me movies watched in July 2015

1. Ex Machina (2015)
2. American Mary (2012)
3. Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
4. It Follows (2014)

REVIEWS:

1. Ex Machina (2015)

A young engineer is recruited by an genius entrepreneur to perform a Turing test on an AI robot, named Ava, which has been shaped to look like a women. As he speaks with her, she seems to develop an emotional connection to him. but nothing is what it seems.

This was an interesting exploration of humanity and what constitutes individual consciousness. Some of the turns were expected, others were not. Quite good on the whole.

2. American Mary (2012)

After a disastrous incident at a party, a young surgical student explores the dark underworld of body modification surgery.

I don’t know that I would classify this as horror, per se, although it has some unsettling imagery and visits dark areas. It’s more of a disturbing character sketch in which a smart young woman falls into a downward spiral. it’s a weird movie and some of the acting is off, but it was compelling enough to keep me watching to the end.

3. Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)

A secret society of men who work to protect England and the world (I loved that each of the characters’ code names was an Arthurian knight). After one of their number dies, they bring in young recruits for an intense and dangerous training program to see which might qualify to be named a part of the order. But the training becomes all too real when an evil mastermind comes forward with a plan for world domination.

This was fanastic fun, with lots of action and humor and an unexpected finale — just what I want from an action movie.

4. It Follows (2014)

Fantastic film. The concept of a sexually transmitted monster is well handled, with the reality and the horror of it is built steadily and skillfully through creative lighting and camera work. The music is also excellent, evoking a mix of classic ’80s horror and fantasy films (Labyrinth came to mind at one point).

I also liked all of the characters and how they worked together, not devolving into stupid bickering, but cooperating and helping each other even though they don’t really believe in the monster at first. I actually cared if something happened to them, which doesn’t often happen in horror movies.


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