Review: The Machine (By: J-Bot6)

I actually enjoyed this film more than I thought I would, although the first half-hour didn’t really work on me. I could see the low-budget in the initial shots. Because of this, I wasn’t fully paying attention. However, I kept finding that I needed to keep rewinding to check out what I missed since the plot was actually moving along quite fast.

Then at about the half-hour point, this movie really captured and kept my attention throughout. I really like the acting and the way the lead actress moved (including her dance and combat movements).

As for scenes, the interior shots were set up well. The dark lighting was really effective and the eye glows worked very well. Editing was actually pretty quick and the story was compelling. I was actually concerned for the characters (which doesn’t seem to happen for me very often in movies today).

 

One of the real standouts is the visual effects work. It’s phenomenal (especially considering the low budget). The intro credits look fantastic, the robot-creation sequence is just amazing, and the glow effect on the robot was pretty phenomenal. I have a feeling that the VFX teams did some serious overtime on this one. I also suspect the effects houses didn’t make much on this production although I suspect the shots they did will make great portfolio material.

If I had a qualm with this movie, it’s the soundtrack. On one hand, it uses very cool CS80 sounds, similar to Blade Runner. Unfortunately the shots that used this instrument didn’t have the ‘weight’ to warrant that sound. Believe me, I love that synth, but it needs to be used strategically. Then there’s the other style of music which is typical of movies like Her or Ex Machina. I didn’t think that score worked particularly well either. Perhaps something in-between the two styles would have worked better. The Blade Runner style was more mysterious and haunting than this film’s presentation and the more modern score was too light and nondescript for the shots it was attached to. Regardless, there were sections of music that did work nicely. I seem to recall the music near the end of the film being spot-on.

The Machine – full soundtrack – Tom Raybould complete OST:

In general, this is a film that I can recommend to people who like science fiction and the topic of A.I., androids, cyborgs, etc…. It’s actually quite a thoughtful film. Interestingly, I found that I prefer this movie over both Her and Ex Machina.

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