Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Sherlock, Santa and Her: Review

First up, they released the Sherlock mini episode. It's only 7 minutes but it's 7 minutes of AWESOME. Luckily for me I didn't have to wait over a year for the new season, it's only been a month or so but even so it was great seeing "new" Sherlock even if it was just a mini episode about the sightings of Sherlock all over the world. If you're a Sherlock fan this is a must see.

I spent the morning and afternoon wrapping up presents and building kitchens and big wheels for "Santa" Those things seem simple but they are a lot of work especially since I'm a perfectionist so the stickers have to be placed just right and it has to look presentable. But I did have a lot of fun doing this and since I don't have any kids of my own (at the moment) I haven't been able to experience the feeling of being "Santa's helper".

During the evening I headed out to my buddy Sean's house. He is in the same boat as me, he is moving during the holidays and he wanted to have a small get together and watch some screeners in his complex "Screening" room. Joining Sean and I were Jes, Doug and Dallas (folks who were local to Sean's place). I think I was invited because I had the screeners ;)

We ordered pizza, Doug made some tasty butterscotch and chocolate chip cookies and I brought four of my screeners. We first played a few rounds of Injustice. Sean vs Jes and Dallas vs Kenny. It was a lot of fun but it was already 7:30 and if we wanted to get a few of these screeners in before I had to leave at 11pm we needed to get started. So we agreed to watch "Her" first.

Here's a synopsis of Her. Set in the Los Angeles of the slight future, the story follows Theodore Twombly, a complex, soulful man who makes his living writing touching, personal letters for other people. Heartbroken after the end of a long relationship, he becomes intrigued with a new, advanced operating system, which promises to be an intuitive entity in its own right, individual to each user. Upon initiating it, he is delighted to meet "Samantha," a bright, female voice, who is insightful, sensitive and surprisingly funny. As her needs and desires grow, in tandem with his own, their friendship deepens into an eventual love for each other.

I went into this story not really knowing much about it. When I heard it was a "sci fi" futuristic kind of movie with a man falling in love with his operating system (a new A.I.) I was extremely intrigue by it. Overall I really enjoyed the film. It's barely a "sci fi" futuristic movie and from the clothing and mustaches you'd think it was set in the 1970's but the world around the people (buildings & tech) was defiantly futuristic. 

I'm not a huge Joaquin Phoenix fan but he did an amazing job portraying a heart broken man who's trying to find life after love. On the contrary I am a huge fan of Amy Adams, so I enjoyed every minute she was on screen and I'm also a huge fan of Scarlett Johansson and even though she was only a voice on screen she did an amazing job in this film.

The story is bleak at times with humor thrown in here and there to lighten the mood. There are lots of ups and downs as these two people (well 1 person and 1 A.I.) try and figure out who they are separately and together. The movie does take an interesting turn towards the end (which I will not spoil) but I have to say when it's over it leaves you with the felling of hope in your heart (at least it did with me). 

The film brings up a lot of interesting questions about technology and how far we humans go with it. Everyone in the film is attached to their smart phones, not to the degree of being completely anti social but in a very realistic way. 

It brings up the question of what is love, how do we love and who can we love and what constitutes as being "alive". These A.I.'s evolve quickly and other then having a body (which they kind of get around, gotta see the film) they are just like "real" physical human beings.

It's defiantly a film you want to see with someone so you can discuss it later. I give Her a solid B+

After Her it was 10pm and I needed to be home by midnight as I was getting up super early to open presents from Santa with my niece and nephew. So I bowed out of the screening party but the rest hung out and watched American Hustle (which I left for them). I got home around 11pm just as my brother and sister-in-law were putting the last of the "Santa" gifts out.

Tomorrow is going to be long but enjoyable day.

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