Morgan Review

This review is of the TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

Morgan is a film with an interesting premise. That isn’t enough for me to actually call it good or anything like that but at least it is different. I also think it lays the groundwork out for future films to take place in this continuity which would keep on getting better and better. If it focused on certain elements of the climax and built off of that then this could end up being a lot of fun.

So the movie starts with Lee being sent out to a remote science lab by corporate. They want her to check in and make sure that things are okay there because there was a recent incident that has everyone concerned. The project being conducted here is the development of an android named Morgan. She is supposed to be the most advanced android of all time but she ended up seriously wounding one of the personnel so there may be a safety issue. Morgan is locked into a cell at all times as she is no longer allowed to go on daily walks after the accident. The whole staff swears that she is a good kid but Lee is unconvinced. Morgan is smart enough to notice this as well and may be forced to act quicker than she expected. Will Lee be able to leave this place alive?

There’s a lot to like here right out of the jump. For starters I would say that the atmosphere is suitably ominous. Morgan clearly seems to be saying all of the right things but as an android with incredibly state of the art software she effectively knows what the right things to say are. So does she actually mean what she is saying or is she just going through the motions. That’s what Lee has to figure out and it’s not an easy task. Bringing in a behaviors expert was a smart move there but that guy’s not too smart.

Lets look at the context here. Morgan is in trouble because she just seriously injured someone who upset her. So now Alan is trying to intentionally put her in a bad mood to test whether or not she would do this again? Hmmmm I don’t think that’s a good idea at all. You absolutely know how the scene is going to play out the instant that it appears. I wouldn’t say it’s bad writing on the film’s part, just a bad decision by Alan. Crucial difference there and the scene is handled well.

For the people who lived with Morgan the whole time it’s easy to see why they would still take her side while as an outside viewer like Lee you think the whole thing is crazy. There’s just no coming back from having back to back incidents like this including murdering someone. From here on out the movie gets a little crazier as it becomes a full on horror about an android that’s out to destroy everyone. You can say that Megan probably got the idea from this one although Morgan is portrayed as even more serious right from the start. She is wearing a hoodie and hides her face right from the 1st scene to set the tone.

The sci-fi backdrop is really solid and there are some good tunes here. The humans are on the annoying side though as the film couldn’t escape its weak cast. First up you have Skip who is portrayed as the most reasonable one. He just wants to have a good time and all but he quickly tries to pull some moves on Lee after having a previous affair prior to the film. He explains that it just gets boring there but you meet someone for one day and want to get that close? He just comes across as being really fake. He was also extremely slow on the uptake towards the end of the film. Just about anyone should have put something together by the end but instead he has to make a lot of noise. I don’t think things would have played out much differently for him if he did something else but it’s still not the ideal way to go.

Alan also wasn’t smart but I already covered him. Lui seemed more reasonable at least, she just overestimated how much conviction the rest of the team would have. Ultimately they let her down and she probably should have seen the whole thing through from the start. Then you have Kathy whose role is actually quite a bit smaller than most of the other characters. She’s in bed for most of the adventure but gets out just in time to be in some trouble of her own so that was probably not the best move. The character with the biggest role here is Amy who also doesn’t handle anything very well.

She’s the only adult who was by Morgan’s side the whole time. I actually thought Morgan was going to be angrier at her because Amy started to falter at the end but Morgan cut her some slack. From there if you’re Amy you have two real options. Leverage this and try to support Morgan in order to preserve your own existence or if you think she really should survive or you quickly make a break for it when you can. Instead Amy just tends to freeze up at every circumstance and sticks around long enough to get herself in trouble all the time. I didn’t really care for Amy. She’s always being a rebel and that’s fine but she’s a rebel without much of an end game. She was humane to Morgan and always tried to help her out so that was good at least.

If she only could have been more understanding then things could have maybe been different. There’s one scene in particular that hurt the movie a lot when Morgan ends up murdering a deer. The scene is unnecessary and should have been played out in much different ways. Get rid of the animal and you could show her logic processors another way. Still, in context what happened here is that Morgan saw the deer was dying but a very slow death as it had gotten stabbed. So she quickly finished it off in order to stop the pain. It’s disturbing to watch but you understand the general idea.

So why did Amy panic so much? You’re dealing with a sophisticated android that doesn’t fully understand emotions yet. Shouldn’t you be able to understand why Morgan did that and explain why it made you feel uncomfortable. There were so many things Amy could have done but did not and it made her look really bad here. You can’t just fumble the ball at the worst possible time like this. It puts everyone in a really bad situation.

The climax throws in everyone getting slaughtered one by one so that’s when the film really finds its horror roots. For most of the film it was an atmospheric horror but this is where it turned into more of a shock type title. I did really appreciate two of the fight scenes towards the end though. Now those were a lot of fun and if the whole film was like that then it would have really gone to the next level. That’s why a sequel could be really solid.

I mentioned that most of the cast was weak but Lee is an exception to this. Right from the start she is a great main character. She’s all about logic and making the correct decision so that’s a nice contrast to Morgan who does the logical thing because she was programmed that way. The film lays a lot of groundwork down for Lee and showing how she works as a character which works well throughout the movie. By the end you’re really satisfied with how she was portrayed the whole time. Meanwhile Morgan is also a log of fun. She makes for a solid antagonist who may fly off the handle a lot but it shows how you can’t totally trust her. Any character with incredible abilities like this is probably hard to trust if we’re being honest there. All it takes is one slip up and that’s game over.

Overall, Morgan had a lot of good ideas and it was a different kind of horror film. It should definitely get some solid props for that but at the end of the day it does return to form by the end of the movie with the brutal murders everywhere and that random animal violence moment didn’t help matters. If you really like horror films then you should check this one out but otherwise you’re better off watching Terminator Genysis if you want to see some android action. Now that one gets real intense the whole way through.

Overall 2/10

A.I. Artificial Intelligence Review


It’s time to look at a rather unique Sci-Fi film that balances a bunch of genres, but mainly focuses on the drama aspect. Unfortunately it suffers from being an overly long, melodramatic film that makes quite a few mistakes. It doesn’t make for a particularly engaging watch and the whole time you will just be wondering where Skynet is. When you watch films with humans worrying about the robots becoming a threat, you look forward to seeing the robots take over. Instead the film is mainly just the humans picking on the robots for a long while with no real payoff of any kind.

The film starts with a couple deciding to adopt a robot kid in place of their real son who is in a coma. This definitely didn’t seem like a reasonable move right from the start. At first you think that this might make sense because you presume their son is dead. (Still a terrible decision as the wife even mentions that it’s like trying to replace their original kid since they bought a robot that looks exactly like the son) but when you find out that he’s alive then the whole thing gets real messy. The worst part is that the husband is the one who decided to get him and once the son gets back he immediately turns on the robot. Breeding robotic kids already seems like a super sketchy business to be honest. Well, the family abandons David so he goes on a journey to find out how to return home, but it could be difficult.

In this world robots aren’t able to fight back against their human oppressors so the humans use this as an excuse to beat them up as much as possible. The robots hopefully can’t really feel pain, but it’s still pretty dark and gruesome to be honest, much like the rest of the film. The whole film just comes across as rather disturbing and very dreary. There is never really a moment where the film feels hopeful or even fun. It’s just a very dull experience where the characters are stuck in a dystopia that they can’t hope to escape. You’ll definitely feel bad for David, but the problem is that he isn’t even an enjoyable character.

David may be an A.I. but he still isn’t very smart. Since he was programmed to be a kid that may serve as an explanation for this, but he doesn’t even know his robotic limitations. He He attempts to eat food when dared to which causes him to shut down and then he doesn’t even know common sense. He shouldn’t even be able to lift a pair of scissors since you’d think that it would register as a weapon and his self defense mechanism doesn’t seem very great to be honest. He also comes across as very ungrateful at the end of the film as he is mean to the beings who find him and is always sulky. Kids can’t really hold their own film and I suppose this still applies even when the kid is robotic.

David meets up with another robot who helps him learn the ways of the world, but that guy isn’t great. His character gimmick is that he is a robot who provides pleasure for the Earthlings, but that doesn’t work out well either. Naturally some other humans don’t like this so they frame him for murder and send him to the robot circus where they are all blown up. David doesn’t even feel bad about ditching this guy which tells you all that you need to know about him. There are no good characters in this film, that’s something you’ll learn very quickly. If you count inanimate objects, which you probably should because once you go into robotics the distinction starts to get a little tricky, then the Teddy Bear is reasonable. He’s another rather dark character with a morbid sense of humor but at least he won’t be backstabbing anyone like the other characters. He seems like a really random character at the start, but by the end he fits in well enough.

The end of the film gets really crazy. I won’t go into detail, but the jump does take us 20K years in the future to see how the Earth ultimately turned out. It’s definitely the optimal timeline if you ask me even if it does seem like the inhabitants probably aren’t having too much fun at this point. I guess you can’t win em all right? At least there shouldn’t be much crime at all anymore. It’s not a great ending or anything, but I guess I can appreciate how out there it all is. Throw in some big fight scenes and maybe the film could have been saved.

At the end of the day, this movie could have been better if it wasn’t so disturbing and creepy the whole time. If you’re going to do a story about Androids and what it means to be human, you need to do it in a better way. I don’t think it works very well if the main android is a kid because then it isn’t able to really handle the themes properly. It just doesn’t work at all and the alternative is to have a film like Terminator where the robots decide to take over the world. Having a twist like that during the second half of the film would have been absolutely amazing. A shame that it didn’t go that way right?

Overall, I would not recommend A.I. While it is a step up from complete flops like 2001: A Space Odyssey, it reminds you why the Sci-Fi genre is best when it doesn’t try to hard to be super deep and emotional. Mixing those two genres just doesn’t work very well so you need to focus on the action aspect or just being a light hearted adventure in the future. Emotional films like this one would likely fail either way, with or without the Sci-Fi angle though. If you want to see a film that just tries to be a Debbie Downer at all times then by all means go for it. Otherwise, I’d suggest just watching Terminator Genysis instead and reminding yourself why these robots can be dangerous and will eventually wipe out humanity.

Overall 1/10

1010! Review


It’s been a while since I reviewed an App game. I technically don’t play a whole lot of them. The first one that I ever dove into was Madden Mobile, which I played for a few months last year. After that, I picked up Pokemon Go this year, which I still play quite actively. I’ll probably review that one once I’m done with the game. I’m planning to stop once I’m level 30 or once I’ve filled up the Pokedex and then I’ll probably just let it rest until Johto. 1010! is a game that I only downloaded because I was challenged by someone who claimed that I could never beat her score. I chuckled and realized that she didn’t know who she was talking too. I am the master of all games and never back down from a challenge! I downloaded the game, and quickly sighed. This was going to be too easy!

The gameplay is fairly simple to pick up and play. You have a classic board of squares that are all empty at first. You are given 3 blocks on the bottom that you have to add to the field. Their shapes will vary based on a limited number of possible shapes. You must fit them all in and then you are given another trio of blocks to add. You don’t have to worry about color coordination as it is purely based on filling rows and columns. Once you fill a row, the row becomes empty and likewise for columns. Completing multiple rows and columns at once will give you bonus points. You keep on going until you are no longer able to add blocks onto the field. When that happens, you have been defeated.

It’ll take you maybe 2-3 minutes tops to understand the rules, but you will get better at making decisions as you play. Soon you’ll be able to eye ball the field and instantly know where you should place the pieces. That being said, no matter how good you get at the game, you can’t get away from the fact that a large portion of the game is completely based on luck. If the game gives you the wrong blocks at a critical time, it’s game over. You always have to gamble based on which block you think will show up. I am not trying to downplay the skill involved though. Some people consistently get scores in the 10000s which is no coincidence. Luck is involved quite a lot, but so is skill. You simply have to play the game enough to really figure out what style works for you.

In the end, I got up to a score of 2919. I deleted the app after a while, but it was a fun run through. I didn’t manage to pass the person who had over 9000, but I helped my Mom get into the game and she shattered the score by about 3000 so I’d call that a win. I did beat the challengee’s friend though so that counts as another mild victory. In the end, you can do just about anything if you put your mind to it! That was my motto as I got into this. The gameplay is certainly a lot of fun and it is easy to just play this for hours and lose track of time. I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again, mobile games can be great because of how addicting they are and how easy they are to subtly play. It’s hard to take out a 3DS or PSP in public because it might get snatched, but playing something on your phone? That’s no problem!

There’s not much to say about the graphics since there isn’t much to look at here. Everything looks clear so I’ll give it a thumbs up in that category. You can slightly change how the game looks with one or two free options, but the default look ends up being the best way to play. I don’t recall any actual soundtrack, but I usually played with the volume off anyway. The one problem that I have with the game is that its time consuming. After a while, you’ll find yourself less incentivized to play as your high score gets higher and higher. It simply takes too long to get a score that high so you’re better off not even trying. I can’t imagine how people with scores over 10000 keep on playing. Just getting near that number will take a really long period of time. There’s not much of a way to fix that though unless the game added a timer. It’s still a lot of fun so it’s a mild thing that I think could boost the game to the next level.

Overall, 1010! is a fun app. You may not want to play it forever and ever as you’ll find your time vanishing, but it’s fun to play once in a while. It’s certainly good for passing time on the train. I’m the kind of guy who never looks back when it comes to Apps though so don’t expect to see me playing the game again. I do recommend it of course, but Pokemon Go is the only App that I’ve had time for lately. I do intend to play the Pac Man one at some point though. Who knows, if someone challenges me to another App, you may see another review sooner rather than later! Nobody can stop my mad gaming skills!!

Overall 7/10