Posts tagged “Computer

Demon Seed / What’s An Emergency?


Demon Seed  -  Front DVD Cover  -  UK ReleaseSusan Harris is alone in the house when, suddenly, doors lock, windows slam shut and the phone stops working.  Susan is trapped by an intruder… but this is no ordinary thug.  Instead, the intruder is a computer named Proteus, an artificial brain that has learned to reason.  And to terrorize.  In “one of her finest, most vulnerable performances” (Danny Peary, “Guide for the Film Fanatic”), Julie Christie plays Susan in this taut techno-thriller based on the Dean Koontz novel.  Packed with suspense, surprise and special effects, “Demon Seed” follows Susan’s desperate attempts to outmaneuver and outthink her captor.  Then Susan learns what Proteus wants: its own child, conceived in her womb and destined for domination.

1977  –  Certificate: 15  –  American Film
Rating Details: Moderate sex and violence
6.0 out of 10

My wisdom tooth is getting more and more painful.  :-(  I’m waiting for an ‘emergency’ admission to have it sorted out at the hospital, but it’s been over two weeks now and there’s still no sign of an appointment.  It’s lucky I’ve not been attacked by a chainsaw wielding alien and have all my insides hanging out.  I can’t open my mouth properly so eating has become a rather frustrating experience, although to put a positive spin on it I’m now an expert in flat shaped food.  I’m also losing some weight as I just can’t be bothered with all the effort of cutting things up small enough to eat them.  I feel like I’m trying to feed some poor little baby animal that’s lost its mother in an oil spill or something.  To make matters worse, I went to see the brilliant “Imperial Leisure” last Friday and now have a horrible cold too; and yes, it’s the worst cold anyone’s ever had ever.  I don’t think I’m long for this world…

This is a film about a randy computer that’s got a crush on Julie Christie.  Julie meanwhile has just been dumped by her husband Alex.  Why, for goodness sake?  He’s married to Julie Christie, animal rights campaigner and star of the 1967 version of “Far from the Madding Crowd”.  What was he thinking?  (Although to be fair, her character does come across as about as interesting as amateur golf.)  The irony in all this being, he’s more interested in developing his new computer, Proteus IV, than bothering with her anymore.  And of course it’s Proteus that turns out to have the libido issue.  Ha, what an idiot.  He actually designed and built his own competitor.  For a supposedly intelligent man, that’s an awe inspiringly stupid thing to do.  Even I’ve never managed anything on quite that level.  So leaving her alone in the house, (which in a nod to the future of home automation, Proteus seems to run), the latter tries wooing her.  Now I have a theory about things here.  I personally feel she had the hots for Proteus too.  Being a 70s mainframe computer with remote terminals, the best Proteus can do in terms of shaking his ass, is control a wheelchair with a mechanical arm attached to it.  With this he chases Julie around the house, before catching her and tying her down to a table in the lab in the basement, so he can have kinky sex with her.  (I’ll come onto that bit in a minute.)  So there’s Julie, a fit woman in her own home, a large detached house.  She really couldn’t escape?  Really?  She couldn’t outrun a remote control wheelchair?  Sadly the plot holes are gigantic; she could easily have simply climbed through one and escaped.  We never do get to see how the wheelchair manages to get up and down the stairs either, but anyway, back to the kinky sex.  So, there’s Proteus, the bondage obsessed, dirty old man computer, who’s got the mechanical arm to tie the charming Julie tied down with a few bits of cable, whispering sweet nothings to her about showing her stuff no human’s ever seen before.  (The mind boggles.)  In her defence, after all that flirting with the wheelchair, Julie does seem to realise that things have gone a bit far and perhaps taking a shower in full view of one of Proteus’s camera wasn’t the best thing to have done.  (There really wasn’t anything wrong with her ass either, so don’t tell me all the messing about with it in the bathroom was for any reason other than to access Proteus’s hard drive.)  Anyway, I don’t want to spoil the good stuff, but Julie gets pregnant, just in time for her estranged husband to return and fight what looks suspiciously like a giant D20 “Dungeons and Dragons” dice.  “Demon Seed” is a sci-fi movie, so obviously it’s also got a laser in it and a geeky guy who works in a lab too.  Shortly after this film was released “Star Wars” came along and sci-fi was never the same again.  The End.

Sounding exactly like it’s escaped from a bad, 50s B-Movie, the soundtrack is somehow everything you’d want and then some.

Pompous and faintly ridiculous, the trailer is a great example of how serious science fiction films’ trailers used to be; before “Star Wars”.

Recommended for computer scientists, home automation fanatics and anyone who ‘likes’ their PC/laptop/smartphone just a little too much.

1 decapitation, no cats or chainsaws.  The Dungeons & Dragons dice somehow manages to cut someone’s head off.  Weird.

Top badass moment?  Proteus is one sick puppy.  Nevertheless, he’s also charming, highly intelligent, virile and (I’d imagine) pretty well off too.  In many ways he wouldn’t be a bad catch for someone like Julie Christie.  So I guess the kinky sex just wasn’t for her.  Having a partner that’s not what others expect him/her (or it) to be, is definitely badass.

Demon Seed at IMDB (6.3/ 10)
Demon Seed at Wikipedia
Demon Seed Trailer

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Superman: Brainiac Attacks / The Truth About Superman


Superman: Brainiac Attacks  -  Front DVD Cover  -  American ReleaseEmbittered by Superman’s heroic successes and soaring popularity, Lex Luthor forms a dangerous alliance with the powerful computer/villain Brainiac.  Using advanced weaponry and a special strain of Kryptonite harvested from the far reaches of outer space, Luthor specifically redesigns Brainiac to defeat the Man of Steel.  But when Brainiac betrays Luthor and reveals its sinister plans for world domination, Superman must brave the mysterious Phantom Zone to find the strength to survive this deadly showdown. Fly with this all-new, feature-length spectacular and experience the action, adventure and excitement that only Superman can bring home!

2006  –  Certificate Not Rated  –  American Film
6.0 out of 10

If I’m ever in a position to suddenly change my whole life, I’m going to seriously consider becoming an insurance loss adjuster in Metropolis.  From the evidence presented in this film, I’d never be out of work.  Between the two of them, Superman and Brainiac trash a large amount of the city as they fight on and on and on, whilst failing to work out that no matter how often one of them throws the other through a building, it won’t do them much harm.  On the other hand, the damage to properly and the hundreds (if not thousands) of fatalities caused by all that Alpha Male nonsense is going to tie up Superman’s solicitor for a long, long time.   All that stuff about him not killing anyone, well I’m sorry, but it’s clearly a load of rubbish.  The guy’s a mass murderer on a scale even the worst war criminal would be hard pushed to match.  He’s a total psycho.  If Brainaic wants to steal all the data on Earth then I say let it.  Braniac’s a super-intelligent, incredibly strong, almost indestructible android that can access any computer at will, fly huge distances through space and probably answer any question on “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire”.  So really, what’s it going to learn by having access to the sum of human knowledge?  Is the back-story for “Eastenders” really that important to it?  Basically, us humans are having to deal with the consequences of their little tiff back on Krypton and Superman’s schoolboy crush on Lois Lane.  The guy’s so immature.  She’s only using him so she can move up the journalistic ladder; I’m sure she wouldn’t have any issues tapping his mobile phone if she thought it was worth it.  As far as I’m concerned they can all piss off and finish their stupid argument elsewhere.  I’ll take my chances with Batman thanks.

So it’s business as usual in Metropolis, (which according to Google Maps is apparently a motobike shop in south London.)  Bad guy arrives, Superman gets rid of bad guy and rescues Lois Lane.  Bad guy miraculously comes back to life.  Superman gets rid of bad guy again, after trashing huge areas of real estate and rescuing Lois once more.  Lex Luther whinges about things a bit and the local rag gets some good photos and copy to print.  The End.  To be fair, Superman’s been revamped so many times he’s probably succumbed to some sort of multiple personality disorder by now; and it’s not like he was the brightest superhero of the bunch to start with.  He’s never been the coolest one either, despite his muscular physique and Fortress of Solitude.  The latter could be so awesome, but it doesn’t even have a bed in it.  What bit of totty is going to want to hang out in the coldest, dullest pad on the planet?  Basically he’s just a cross-dresser that spends too long with the weights (and I’m pretty sure he’s on steroids too if you know what I mean), who’s got a 1,000 yard stare that really will cut right through you.  And what’s that alter ego Clark Kent all about?  Is that the best he could come up with?  What a dweeb.  You can probably tell I’m not Superman’s biggest fan.  The film itself is okay.  It’s fun.  I guess I’m easily pleased.

The soundtrack’s fine, but forgettable.

As a trailer I suppose this does just about do its job.  I hate all those MTV ‘fast cuts’ though; they give me a headache.  It feels a lot longer than 42 seconds.

Recommended for superheroes, powerful computers, androids and journalists.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.

Top badass moment?  I’m a bit mean about Superman sometimes, but when Brainiac gets into the Fortress of Solitude it takes Sups about five seconds to decide to totally trash the place, so Brains can’t get his hands on all the Kryptonion knowledge stored there.  Considering what the place means to him, that’s got to be badass.  Most people do a similar thing by having a mother of a party, but I guess Superman doesn’t have a lot of friends to invite, or a stereo.  Let’s be honest, who wants to hang out with a muscle-bound bore once he’s finished impressing everyone with all his beer-can crushing tricks?  I bet he’s a crap dancer too.

Superman: Brainiac Attacks at IMDB (5.8 / 10)
Superman: Brainiac Attacks at Wikipedia
Superman: Brainiac Attacks at YouTube


Weird Science: 3.5 Stars


Weird Science  -  Front DVD Cover (UK)I hate the way big manufacturers make it as difficult as possible for the plebs (i.e. the rest of us) to dissect what they do, what they tell us and what they sell us.  Today I wasted 45 minutes trying to find out what colour white a Vauxhall Astra van at work is, so I could go and buy some paint and repair a couple of dents in it; about an hour’s work for me but probably £500 worth of work if it was done by a garage.  You’d think this would be easy to do, but after three quarters of an hour spent Googling things and searching for various stickers and plates all over the place, and studying the ridiculous codes they put all over them, I was none the wiser.  Why don’t they just put the name of the colour on the vehicle plate?  Casablanca White anyone, rather than Z354 or whatever it’s going to turn out to be in the end?  This is simply bollocks designed to make it more difficult for people to do something that ought to be very simple, so that we give up and pay someone a shed load of money to do something we could do ourselves.  I’m all for convenience and don’t mind paying for it at times, but I want the option of deciding when and where I do so; I don’t want to be forced into it by some greedy corporate asshole, who’s not half as clever as he thinks (and they nearly always are “hes”).  I shouldn’t need to emulate Sherlock Homes in an effort to find out a basic bit of information.  It’s a shit combination of crappy marketing and nefarious corporate shenanigans, which has the sole purpose of making the rest of us spend more of our money than necessary on their overpriced tat.  How many versions of white do we even need anyway?  I think I’ll just go and buy a huge tin of magnolia emulsion instead and paint every single vehicle I ever come across in my life, it would be a lot easier and quicker.  This movie features a kitchen that gets painted blue, everywhere.  I’ve no idea what shade of blue that was either.

1985  –  Certificate: 12  –  USA

Despite myself I enjoyed this film.  It even made me laugh out loud a few times.  I’m not sure why, maybe it’s my geek side trying to exert itself?  It’s full of plot holes, but then again the latter is so ridiculous that it doesn’t matter than much anyway.  What it does do is give us a couple of ‘failures’ to follow, a ‘perfect woman’ to lust after and a set of stupidly stupid opponents for said failures and woman to overcome.  Of course, in the end everyone comes out of it a better person and they all (metaphorically) ride off into the sunset together, happy in the notion that they’ve made the world a slightly better place.  It sounds dreadful, but its redeeming features are that it is actually pretty funny, the characters are for the most part likable (even the bad ones) and it’s entertaining.  It’s also a horrible reminder of how tacky the 80s were, so the feeling of relief at the end when you remember it’s really 2012, is palpable.  (Until of course you remember all the things you don’t like about 2012 too).

Recommended for anyone who’s under the illusion that the 80s were anything more than superficial rubbish, or who lived through them the first time around and wants to be reminded. (Why, for God’s sake?)  Also highly recommend as an educational tool to demonstrate to people that life existed before Twitter, Facebook and uploading hilarious videos to YouTube of their drunk friends tripping over.  (Things where so much more innocent in those days, he thinks wistfully…)

No cats, decapitations or chainsaws.

Top badass moment?  Listen, if you really could create your own ‘perfect woman’ with an old computer, a ‘floppy’ floppy disk and a narrowband connection, I’d be doing it right now rather than writing this.  If it was possible, it would be way off the badass scale.

Weird Science at IMDB (6.4 / 10)


Pulse: 4.0 Stars


Pulse - Front DVD Cover (USA)What marketing idiot (née liar) first suggested highlighting the ‘fact’ that low-energy light bulbs last longer than old-fashioned, incandescent ones? If they’re that good, how come I’ve had five blow in the last two months?  And it’s not like those are the only ones I’ve had to replace over the past few years either.  On Saturday evening the latest of these failed, the Omicron 40W über-bulb-monster I had in my lounge.  In doing so it took out the trip-switch too, leaving me to grope around in the dark for ages for a 5A fuse; (thanks to the amazing ability of rechargeable batteries not to actually hold their charge, my torch went flat after about a minute of use.)  I’m sure the Omicron is less than two years old and it cost nearly £20 too.  It’s all very well making changes to your lifestyle in an effort to ‘save the planet’, but now I’ve got to go and spend about £60 on five stupid light-bulbs.  That would have bought well over 100 in the ‘old days’.  What a rip-off.  No wonder they’re called low-energy bulbs, because they never bloody work!  In a spookily similar way, this film features modern technology that does us no good at all too.

2006  –  Certificate: Not Rated  –  USA

Hollywood remakes of Japanese horrors get a bad press, which isn’t always fair; but some film snobs like to trash them anyway, out of principle.  This one was no exception.  It’s true, most of the characters in it are somewhat one-dimensional and don’t always act very logically; and being a film about technology it’s aged very quickly too; it’s all pre-Smartphone era stuff.  Worst still, the plot has more big holes in it than an undersized fishnet bodystocking on an elephant; (steady on, don’t get too excited about that thought).  However, the acting’s okay and the special effects fine.  I actually really liked it.  It’s genuinely sinister, the cinematography and sound is great and the ending suitably apocalyptic.  The car crash works really well too.  The overall tone of the film is its best feature though, dark, disturbing, increasingly isolating and ultimately offering little real hope; the very ending reminded me of the ending of “The Terminator”.  If you can get into this and overlook its weaker elements, you’ll probably really enjoy it.  I don’t get the creeps from watching films very often, but I did from this one.  (Memo to self: don’t watch spooky films with headphones on, in a dark room with just an eerie green light bulb, low-energy of course, for company.)  When I went to the toilet after watching it, I did feel a little uncomfortable with my back to the door; I’d have hated to be grabbed by one of those dead people things when answering the call of nature.  I haven’t watched the two follow ups or the original Japanese version yet, but I will at some point.

Recommended for people who like creepy films. Boo!

1 cat, no chainsaws or decapitations.  The cat looked and sounded pretty gross though, having been locked in a cupboard for ages, poor thing.  :-(

Top badass moment?  Just because you’re on the run, escaping from unearthly, inhuman ‘dead things’ and you’ve just seen you’re best friend suddenly turn into a cloud of ash, that’s no reason to neglect dental hygiene.  It was good to see reluctant hero Mattie grab her toothpaste and toothbrush from the bathroom as she made her escape.  Taking the advice your dentist gives you seriously, is badass.  Imagine having to deal with a bad toothache at the same time the world is facing Armageddon; that would really suck.

Pulse at IMDB (4.5 / 10)