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314 Reviews
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MACHINE'S EVOLUTION TO SENTIENT BEING -- HARD THEME WELL EXECUTED -- Why some may not enjoy it
Very few movies try to help us envision how machines or cybernetic organisms become sentient beings, though there are plenty that show how things go wrong afterward. Because the nuts and bolts of this process are not that interesting to many just looking for action, you see a lot of mixed reviews on this movie. I myself almost turned the movie off during the first five...
Published 6 months ago by MyD -- The Viewpoint

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A competently made sci-fi film with some good ideas
THE MACHINE is competently made, occasionally deep but slightly underwhelming sci-fi film. The story is about a government employee who works with robotics. His daughter is sick, and he hopes to find a cure for her through his work. Shortly after taking on a new assistant, Ava, she is killed and he puts her consciousness into a machine that has her likeness. One thing I...
Published 6 months ago by Robert Hayes


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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MACHINE'S EVOLUTION TO SENTIENT BEING -- HARD THEME WELL EXECUTED -- Why some may not enjoy it, June 6, 2014
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This review is from: The Machine [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Very few movies try to help us envision how machines or cybernetic organisms become sentient beings, though there are plenty that show how things go wrong afterward. Because the nuts and bolts of this process are not that interesting to many just looking for action, you see a lot of mixed reviews on this movie. I myself almost turned the movie off during the first five minutes, but I am so glad I stuck with it. It still has action if you wait for it. Let me make the case for why else you should give this movie a chance.

This evolution or bestowal of consciousness is where modest budget THE MACHINE excels in my opinion. Of course you still have to suspend belief a little. Here we have wounded soldiers from a near future war being used as guinea pigs for interface with cybernetic implants or replacement parts of the body, including areas of the brain. That's just a springboard as they begin to create the cybernetic organism from scratch. Ethical issues are also tackled as broken solders are used and discarded.

Vincent is a driven artificial intelligence engineer obsessed with his work because of his dying daughter. He wishes to succeed in the mapping of his daughter's consciousness and transfer her to another being he will create. In his quest, he is forced to make a deal with the devil, so to speak, as he works with a powerful entity from the Ministry of Defense (MOD) in exchange for funding. The MOD has a specific interest in developing an ultimate warrior. Vincent hires a young prodigy in the AI field (played by Caity Lotz) who has just made a breakthrough in creating a computer with true artificial intelligence. Vincent begins combining his assistant's work with his own in mapping human consciousness and cybernetic organisms. He maps his assistant's brain and body as the first test case and is secretly mapping his daughter for later. They soon "give birth" of a type to a sentient cybernetic organism with both the physical features and some intellect of his assistant. This being has also been programmed with suppressed martial skills from the military that Vincent is not aware of. This new being is her own individual despite having the female scientist's brain map transferred to her mind. Caity Lotz plays both characters and really shows her depth as she gives life to the new being showing child like vulnerability, the awkwardness of the machine, and the hardness of the weapon. She is completely believable and charming as the witty and intelligent scientist at the same time. She is so stunning and her dance background and amazing physique are employed to humanize the machine as she discovers art and beauty in the form of music and dance. That sounds cheesy, but I can tell you she had my attention. Vincent happens upon her as she is dancing without ever being taught or prompted. She simply feels the music and creates of her own desire. It's a beautiful scene and there's some chemistry going on. The machine's true applications become more apparent and conflicts develop between Vincent and the MOD. You know things have to go wrong and that's where the action comes in. Can this machine feel affection or instinctively know right from wrong?

You will see other reviews specifically mention Blade Runner as a connection or inspiration. In truth, it's mainly the music that is sometimes reminiscent of that movie. This production is really not like Blade Runner. However, if someone said - write a prequel to show how a Blade Runner type world could eventually happen - this is a plausible genesis. Just don't expect this movie to resemble that one much in any way. The CGI use and special effects are very modestly applied. When they are, it's subtle but very cool in my opinion. I really liked the way they made her skin slightly luminesce or glow when the machine is processing information or changing a mood. It was just beautiful and clever while maintaining the feeling we are still dealing with a machine.

3/4ths of this movie is spent showing the development of the new being. If you are interested in the process and willing to wait for the action, it will be a very rewarding experience. For those not interested in dragging out the how or why, it may not hold your interest. I suggest getting through the first 15-30 min before passing judgment.
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80 of 95 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Random Find, April 9, 2014
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This review is from: The Machine (Amazon Instant Video)
I was looking on Amazon for something to watch and came across The Machine. It only had 3 reviews at the time, but I figured why not. It wasn't like it'd be the first time I stopped watching a movie.

I'll tell you, I was really surprised. This was a pretty good sci-fi flick. I'm not much of a review writer - so I don't really know what to say other than I enjoyed it; I liked the premise, the plot, the acting, and all that happy stuff. Why did I give it 4 stars and not 5? Because I think it could have been fleshed out a little more. Don't take that to mean it isn't worth watching though - because it is. You'll be surprised.
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41 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Technological Children, April 9, 2014
By 
Richard J. Leis (Tucson, AZ United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Machine (Amazon Instant Video)
The first movie of the year (2014) about the Technological Singularity is sometimes familiar but comes to interesting conclusions. If we humans as flawed creators create Technological Children and visit our sins upon them, how might they react? Stylistic, sometimes melodramatic, generally concerned more with ideas than action, The Machine is an important entry in this genre of science fiction, a genre that seems to want to tell us something important about the future. Caity Lotz, so wonderful in the CW's television series Arrow, is also wonderful here.
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55 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why wasn't this Movie Promoted More!!!!!, April 9, 2014
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This review is from: The Machine (Amazon Instant Video)
This is one of the best movies I have seen in the last few years. Similar in feel to Blade Runner yet still very original. The movie doesn't get caught up using CGI or ton of special effects yet when it does they serve the story. Very well done movie.
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31 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best scifi movie of the year, April 14, 2014
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While low budget, its the best scifi movie of the year so far. If you love Blade Runner, you will love this movie!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to the Future, May 12, 2014
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This review is from: The Machine (Amazon Instant Video)
This is an amazing little film with so much talent amongst the cast, the crew, the visual effects teams and the soundtrack. Loved this rental so much I immediately pre-ordered the upcoming blu-ray release and bought the soundtrack. It was a great throwback to a type of dystopian, fear-of-robots style of science fiction I loved so much in the 80s and early 90s, but had a great deal of sophistication that raised it above its "b-movie" roots. Caity Lotz was completely captivating in her roles, and it was great to see Denis Lawson chew up his role. It's amazing that a film like this can do so much with such a relatively small budget, and be *so* much more satisfying on an emotional level than similar material (Terminator Salvation comes to mind).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Low-budget, well-executed sci-fi., September 29, 2014
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This review is from: The Machine [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The slim budget keeps the script focused on the characters and their existential questions about morality and consciousness. Pacing and mood are very similar to Blade Runner, but otherwise The Machine is an original that owes little to its sci-fi forebears.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Human than Human? A complex AI film, not a simple action film., July 16, 2014
This review is from: The Machine [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This movie was amazing. It felt like a prequel to Blade Runner almost. The box design makes the film look like a terminator film but it's way better than the last few Terminator films and could easily replace Rise of the Machines as a birth of AI film. This film was more about the creation of complex AI and what to do with it and less of an action film. There is action in it but that is not what drives the film. My one problem with the film, is that it was shot to dark but I wish that every film I saw had a problem that minor. Many of the scenes use expression and movement to convey things like in Blade Runner. I loved this film and will be buying it, This review is based on the four days I had to rent the blu ray. Spoiler, The ending has you wondering if the advanced AI need humanity or not. You can either believe on or the other. I want to believe that "the Machine" is crying out of happiness that the AI daughter loves her ant that she has a family buy she could just as easily be crying at knowing that her human husband will be a thing of the past. The film is great. It's complex and not great for people who want a simple action film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You Think, Therefor......, October 1, 2014
By 
Eric Sanberg (Villa Park, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Machine (DVD)
The question of 'what constitutes human' has been explored in a number of movies. It's good fodder for sci-fi cinema and this is a decent entry into the genre.

Here's the scoop. An A.I. specialists accepts money from the Ministry of Defense in the hopes of helping his diseased daughter. A new, female A.I. specialist signs on to help the former create a self aware machine. She is murdered and the MoD will turn her into a new, nearly indestructible, fighting machine.

I liked this flick. The set-up is not an excuse to film a lot of action/violence. I also liked that there were a few good special effects used very strategically. They weren't overloaded for the "Wow" effect. This is shot well and well acted. Seeing Catie Lotz make the transformation from human to droid is really good. And she handles the hand to hand combat scenes with genuine authority.

This seems not to be a big budget film, but what money they had was used wisely. I never felt I was watching a cheap flick. It all worked well. The sets weren't huge and were lit in such a way as to hide the bones. Lotz's glowing eyes effect was cool and creepy at the same time, but obviously not that expensive. This is just a well realized, efficient film.

I might be a bit generous with the four stars I gave it, but not by much. I consider this a must see for sci-fi fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cyberpunk lower budget movie but good story, good pacing, cool 80's style retro scifi background music., May 28, 2014
This review is from: The Machine (Amazon Instant Video)
If you are fan of cyber punk novels William Gibson etc. you will like this. the only flaw is perhaps its a bit low budget. There are so many movies like this that are unwatchable, i was hesitant to bother giving it a try. I just have to say its really cool even down to the 1980s, "they live" type music. I can understand some people not saying its good based on the non-blockbuster budget treatment this film received. I'm sure some of those people just loved transformers 2 and 3. Sure those films look good but basically they have no story, just travel around the world to new locales. Its like robot filled travel guide(now lets go see the Egyptian pyramids etc.) But the machine goes nowhere and has minimal CGI on screen, but does actually have a cool story. The pacing is pretty good and seems to keep your interest up. Like I said cyber punk has been done many times in films, but rarely has someone pulled off something like this. While a film like Blade Runner is a classic, and has some amazing moments it does seem to drag at times. And the book "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" seems much more fleshed out as is "the machine." Even though it would count more as short story. and even if they did remake the "the machine" as a big budget film just as likley the new producers would screw it up rather than improve it,
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The Machine
The Machine by Caradog James
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