Ex Machina

I watched CBS Sunday Morning and wondered what Bill Geist and Serena Altschul were doing these days. My parents phoned me and talked to me about all the money that I was going to receive. I took a seat outside the library, and a bird pestered me. I shopped for groceries at Trader Joe’s. I took the bus out to Jack London Square and went to the crepes stand. I should have bought the strawberry and banana with whipped cream. That’s what other people were buying. I went over to the theatre to see “Ex Machina.” It made me think of movies like “Her” and “Under the Skin,” with a bit of Frankenstein thrown in. We see a young computer programmer named Caleb arrive at this isolated facility where his boss Nathan thinks he has succeeded in creating artificial intelligence. Nathan reminded me of Zack Galifianakis, and I found it hard to believe in him as a genius. I thought the best moment he had in the movie was his dancing scene. The revelation of this movie is Alicia Vikander as Ava. I could completely believe that she was a machine, although she had more life than most of the women I work with. I thought that Caleb was a pawn, but I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Nathan didn’t think about security measures enough. He should not have used the photo card system. He also didn’t account for emergencies. Being isolated from the rest of the world reminded me “The Shining.” Caleb reminded me of Martin Short. We come to care more about what’s going to happen to Caleb and Ava than any issues of artificial intelligence. I thought it would be nearly impossible to turn Ava into a sexual being. It was almost as if she came out of the movie “Sleeper.” Caleb asked terrible questions in his sessions with Ava. I read that the plot has similarities to the Star Trek episode “Requiem for Methuselah.” It also made me think of “Westworld.” Thinking about the ending, Caleb was incredibly foolish and naïve. Nathan should have installed some safety measures. He was supposed to be a genius, but he overlooked some basic things. I think this movie has a chance to live on for a long time. At least it was about something. I haven’t learned very much about Alex Garland, except that he was born in 1970, and that his mother was a psychoanalyst, and his father was a political cartoonist. If he is already 45 years old, I wonder what kind of a future he has in film. I felt pretty satisfied with the movie. I kept thinking that my brother would have liked it. I listened to the end of the A’s game with the Rangers on the radio. We had an earthquake, but I did not feel it and only heard about it on the news. I went over to the record store and bought the mono editions of The Beatles “Beatles for Sale” and “Rubber Soul” on vinyl. I ran into a former co-worker out on the street and talked with him about retirement, and how tiring it is to be around the same people for years and years. I listened to the Robert Hilburn Rock ‘n’ Roll Times radio program on KCSN. The show didn’t have a theme this week. It was pledge drive time. One of the songs I listened to carefully was Paul Simon’s “Questions for the Angels.” There was no Columbo episode, and I didn’t want to see the last episode of “M*A*S*H” again. I heard the sad news that Grace Lee Whitney, Janice Rand from the Star Trek TV series, died on Friday at age 85. I didn’t realize that she was in only eight episodes in the first season, although she returned to be in the movies. Some of the people who died on May 4 include Moe Howard (1975), Diana Dors (1984), and Dom DeLuise (2009). Today is a birthday for Jackie Jackson (64). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for May 4, the soundtrack album of “The Sting” was Number One on the album chart in 1974. In 1990, “Tales from the Darkside” was released. In 2001, Bonnie Lee Bakley was murdered.

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