Tag: computers


Her

January 5th, 2014 — 11:59pm

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Her –  rm This movie certainly has to rank as one of the most daring and creative movies of the year. It is founded on a somewhat outrageous premise, which if the audience does not buy into, the film would be a ridiculous flop. The man who had to sell the concept and the execution of this movie is screenwriter/director Spike Jonze  who is best known for Adaptation (2002) and Being John Malklovich  (1999) both of which produced award winning performances, as well as a large number of short films and many music videos. The premise of Her is that technology has now produced a computer operating system, which can think, learn and even feel as a human being.  Theodore ( Joaquin Phoenix) is a lonely guy who has a job writing nice romantic letters for a website program. He is going through a divorce after 8 years of marriage with Catherine (Rooney Mara) who he thought had been the love of his life but they have grown apart. He readily connects with his new computer operating system who named herself Samantha (the voice of  Scarlett Johansson). She understands him, is clever, funny, warm, sexy and they even have sex together which is a successfully done cinematic accomplishment although she doesn’t have a body. With a small earpiece in his ear, a little video camera sticking out of his front shirt pocket, they are always together. They chat, she does work for him, they discuss personal things, go out to dinner and even join another couple for a social evening out together.  There is also Amy (played quite well by the talented Amy Adams) who is a friend and neighbor going through her own domestic issues and has a whirl with her own new operating system. The film is set in a beautiful future Los Angeles. However, what makes this movie a success is that it is much  more than a story about a funny gimmick or an advanced Siri. It is  a depiction of  how lonely a person can be, despite having interactions with lots of people. It also is an examination of what love is and how it can slip away when you think you have it. This is tackling some big issues and you have to be willing to accept the daunting premise of the film, which is a difficult thing to do. But if you do, you will have quite an experience. (2014)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Comedy, Drama, Romance

Jobs

August 14th, 2013 — 5:40am

***Jobs

Jobs-sp – Steve Jobs has to be one of the iconic figures of our time. Any attempt of a film to get into his head and show what makes him tick would be of great interest. This movie directed by Joshua Michael Stern, with screenplay by Matt Whiteley and starring Ashton Kutcher as Jobs certainly held our attention but it provided no particular insight into the dynamics of Job nor did it provide a clear understanding  of  the life of this man who is one of  founders of the company that makes the computer, iphone and ipad that so many of us hold in great esteem. We see a young man who is intensely interested in innovation,  who over and over again insists upon perfection and appears to have a clear deficit in his ability to have empathy for other people. Had he not met Steve Wozniak (Josh Gad), we might still be using typewriters and even Bill Gates wouldn’t have had a model to rip off for the  IBM PC. It was Wozniak who designed the workings of the  personal computer but it was Jobs who had the vision how it should look and how  people would use it . It is Jobs who we see in the movie ruthlessly demanding what is seen as the impossible from his designers and computer geeks. The film follows Job’s through the founding of Apple , development of Apple 2, Lisa and the early  Mac. While his expulsion and his return to glory is shown, the several years away from Apple including his time with Pixar pictures is not covered  However the journey that is depicted is choppy. The other characters from the original scruffy band of developers , Mike Markkula (Dermott Mulroney), an executive from Intel who joined Jobs early on,  to  Jon Sculley( Matthew Modine) the honcho from Pepsi, one of several CEO’s who replaced Jobs for awhile,  may be difficult to to appreciate exactly who they are and their significance. Unless, of course, you have read the official best selling biography by Walter  Issacson which the movie is not based upon but may be the basis of another  future movie being worked on by Aaron Sorkin. Job’s personal life is particularly confusing in this film . He is not accepting responsibility of the pregnancy of his girl friend and then later in the film he is briefly seen married to another woman with this first child visiting him as a teenager (named Lisa which is the name of  one of the Apple computer  models which appeared after the Apple 2). The film is carried by Ashton Kutcher who mastered Job’s mannerisms as well as projecting his narcissistic characteristics.  In addition the actor is known to have shared Job’s love of technology and innovation which may have added to his successful portrayal. (2013)

Comment » | 3 Stars, Biography

Trust

April 4th, 2011 — 10:56pm

*****

Trust- rm –  This is an important movie. It addresses a serious problem that every family with budding teenagers will have to face. We want our children to master the Internet and the unlimited horizons which it offers them in their education and future ability to navigate in this global world. We also don’t have any choice because this wonderful technology provides us instant communication with cell phones and the ability to stay in touch with family and friends. It also gives young people the ability and opportunity to meet and communicate with anyone and everyone. There are teen chats where teenagers can meet other teenagers anyplace in the world or in the next town. Of course teenagers, especially girls tend to develop crushes and infatuations and it is only natural that they might want to meet their computer/phone pal. What if it turns out that he isn’t really a teenager but a little or a lot older but still seems like a nice guy? This is the situation that a 14 year old from a very solid home with successful loving parents, a brother going away to college and a younger kid sister, found herself in. Teenage life being what it is, includes up pressures in one’s school and social life and a natural desire to be accepted, loved and to explore their new sexuality. This very relevant story written by Andy Billin and Robert Festing , produced and directed by David Schwimmer considers  the devastating consequences which befall this girl and  her parents. Liana Liberato captures the spirit of an enthusiastic teenager who just made the volleyball team but yet has the   uncertainty and vulnerability of so many girls who are trying to get hang of the complexities of socializing in their new school environment. Catherine Keener plays her impacted mom and  Clive Owen  is her dad originally from Great Britain and a successful  advertising  executive which is helping to create the tween market which he at one point ironically and sickenly realizes may be creating sexual interest in youngsters  the age of his daughter. He struggles with his own feelings of inadequacies as a father and rage at anyone who might threaten or hurt his daughter. You might expect this subject to best dealt with by a documentary which could provide statistics, interviews with therapists, police and FBI agents as well as some parents or victims. This movie had all of the above in the form of a fast moving drama which conveyed the emotional pain of everyone involved. Schwimmer, who actually is  on the board of directors of the Rape Foundation for the Rape Treatment Center of Santa Monica, with this film  may have ended up  protecting untold numbers of young girls  from being hurt because of knowledge and awareness gained by viewing this film.  In fact this is the ideal movie to be viewed by parents and teenagers together followed by a nice dinner or snack to provide the vehicle and a good discussion. (2011)

1 comment » | 5 Stars, Drama

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