Skip to content

Upgrade

Ever see a film that continually treats the audience like children that have to be led by the hand through basic addition? That’s the case with Upgrade. The short and simple version of this review is this: saturating a screen with the trappings of a transhumanist, cyberpunk plot does not give the script the right to explain away massive plot holes while claiming “deus ex machina”.

Spoilers follow, but I’m honestly writing them for your own benefit. If some young, techie, multi-billionaire starts describing their new widget as having the potential to “make humanity better” (or some other flowery, utopian, nonsense), understand that this is likely lazy foreshadowing that the new tech will attempt to usurp its’ creator. Furthermore, what good is it to present a character as a senior Detective if they can’t even put together that someone proven to be in the area of a murder (multiple murders, in this case) is clearly hiding something? No matter how unlikely that suspect might be, it’s not too far of a reach to think that they would be involved in some way at that point.

Much of the plot reminded me of early childhood programming where the enthusiastic host would stand listlessly in the frame whilst one-sidedly pleading with the non-responsive audience to identify the “elephant in the room”. Except in this case, the enthusiastic host is the deadpan AI that only the paraplegic man with the “miracle implant” can hear, and the proverbial “elephant in the room” is the thinly veiled plot to make the user dependent on said AI to give it complete control.

There was a time not too long ago when I got excited to see Blumhouse release a new thriller. With rare exceptions, that nostalgia has faded to a realization of either my growing (if not pickier) tastes, or Blumhouse’s more laissez-faire vetting. Add this pulpy excuse for a “psychological thriller” to the slush pile.

RATING: F

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Follow us on Instagram

FILM 9: From one of my favorite director’s, Robert Altman, comes tonight’s #Seventies flick, “McCabe & Mrs. Miller” (1971). Plot involves a charismatic #gambler John McCabe (Warren Beatty), who arrives in a mining #community and decides to open a #brothel. The local residents are impressed by his #confident #demeanor and fast talk, but crafty prostitute Constance Miller (Julie Christie) sees through McCabe's words and realizes he isn't as sharp as he seems. Film critic A.O. Scott (@nytimes) listed it as one of his five favorite films. #theseventies #RobertAltman #McCabe #juliechristie #warrenbeatty #western #cowboy #the_education_of_gortnacul
“The King” documentary from Eugene Jarecki takes a #musical road trip across the U.S. in Elvis #Presley's 1963 #Rolls #Royce during the 2016 #presidential #election, comparing #Elvis's transition from #country boy to "The King" to #America's transformation into an empire. In summary: “A provocative argument, but even those disinclined to be persuaded by it can enjoy the mode through which Jarecki presents it.” Our short review available now. #TheKing #nowplaying #documentary #politics #Trump #Clinton #roadtrip #folk #blue #music #americandream
It’s hard to describe just how incredible the opening scene of Social Network is: #Fincher, #Sorkin, Reznor/Ross - what a combination. Now consider the cross-layering of the life of vanity (bottom) versus the life of study (top) within the laboratory of the #Turing Test & ask yourself the question [re: self-determinacy & #Artificial #Intelligence] whether any of your independent decision-making is anything more than a social behavior instilled in you by #culture? Routines, sure. But is it worse? Maybe you’re stuck in proverbial @westworldhbo loops? Next time your date gets boring, spice it up with some #metaphysical quandaries. Or just check your #Facebook, again. 🆘
Of all the potentially great films premiering at the #Venice #FilmFestival, a @boyerased may be the most timely. Based on Garrard Conley's memoir and starring Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe and Joel Edgerton (also directed & wrote), the #film follows the son of a #Baptist #preacher who is forced to take part in a #gay conversion program.
%d bloggers like this: