My 2 Cents… Ex Machina

ex m

Title: Ex Machina
Director: Alex Garland
Writer: Alex Garland
Stars: Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, and Sonoya Mizuno

Writing: ★★★★★
Story: ★★★★★
Acting: ★★★★★
Overall: ★★★★★ (5)

A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking humanoid A.I.

Caleb, a 26-year-old programmer at the world’s largest internet company, wins a competition to spend a week at a private mountain retreat belonging to Nathan, the reclusive CEO of the company. But when Caleb arrives at the remote location, he finds that he will have to participate in a strange and fascinating experiment in which he must interact with the world’s first true artificial intelligence, housed in the body of a beautiful robot girl. Written by DNA FILMS

My 2 Cents:
OK, I’ll admit – I did not see this one in the theatre. Big surprise, right? I mean it did come out back in 2014 and I’m just now reviewing it. I had never even heard of Ex Machina until the image of it scrolled across my Netflix feed.

I had no clue what to expect, but I tend to like AI movies so I gave it a shot.

Ultimately, this movie is about a computer programmer, Caleb – played by Domhnall Gleeson, who “wins” a chance to be flown to the estate where the owner of the company he works for, Nathan – played by Oscar Isaac, lives. Caleb gets there… to what is basically this massive, underground bunker where Nathan lives, works, and creates. His boss makes him sign an NDA and then shows him this beautiful AI woman, Ava – played by Alicia Vikander, that he created and keeps locked up – secluded from the outside world. He explains that the reason he brought Caleb there was to spend a week talking with Ava, questioning her, etc. to see if she is a real AI or just another robot.

Tension… tension… tension…

This really was a tension filled movie. Basically, because the acting was fantastic!!! I was captivated by the acting AND the dialogue. I have to hand it to Alex Garland, the writer and director, for such a well thought out, thought-provoking script. I was so surprised to find out that this was the first movie he had ever directed. WHAT?!?! Yup, its true.

As the viewer, you don’t know who to trust… who to believe… who to care for. That is part of the genius behind the writing. It also gives credit to the execution of the acting and directing.

I’m not going to tell you what happens, and I really won’t tell you the twist at the end. Yes, there is a twist. What I will tell you is – this is an EXCELLENT MOVIE!!!! If you haven’t seen it, you need to rent this one, it will not disappoint.

You can watch the official trailers here:


My 2 Cents… The Nun

The Nun

Title: The Nun
Director: Corin Hardy
Writers: Gary Dauberman (Screenplay)
Story by: Gary Dauberman and James Wan
Stars: Demian Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet, and Bonnie Aarons

Writing: ★★★
Story: ★★★
Acting: ★★★
Overall: ★★★ (3)

A priest with a haunted past and a novice on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate the death of a young nun in Romania and confront a malevolent force in the form of a demonic nun.

When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate. Together they uncover the order’s unholy secret. Risking not only their lives but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of the same demonic nun that first terrorized audiences in ‘The Conjuring 2,’ as the abbey becomes a horrific battleground between the living and the damned. Written by Warner Bros.

My 2 Cents:
I was hoping for more. More scares, more story, more plot, more acting. Just more.

Ok, before you get the wrong I idea, I do still think this movie is worth watching. Rent it, don’t buy it. The story is subpar and the acting is just ok, but there were a few good jump scares – my favorite part of scary movies. Although, the best part wasn’t the movie at all – it was who I was watching it with. My daughter says she loves scary movies, but she screams the whole time. THE WHOLE TIME – even when it isn’t scary. So, her fear and excitement at being scared made the movie that much more fun for me too.

So, find a friend or a loved one who loves to be scared and jumps at everything and watch this movie with them.

I guess the only other things I can say about the movie is that the special effects were better than I expected and Bonnie Aarons, the actress who played The Nun, was awesome! I’m not going to lie – she was pretty creepy scary looking.

You can watch the official trailers here:

My 2 cents… Riverdale


TV Show Title: Riverdale
Creator: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Stars: K.J. Apa (Archie Andrews), Lili Reinhart (Betty Cooper), Camila Mendes (Veronica Lodge), and Cole Sprouse (Jughead Jones)

Writing: ★★★★
Story: ★★★★
Acting: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★★ (4)

A subversive take on Archie and his friends, exploring small town life, the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade.


After the death of one of the rich and popular Blossom twins on the 4th of July, the small town of Riverdale investigates the murder. The series starts in September, the beginning of a new school year, that brings with it new students, relationships, and reveals the mysteries of the past 4th of July. Written by ahmetkozan

My 2 Cents:
I grew up reading the Archie comics… I loved them! The characters were fun, relatable, and I enjoyed the banter back and forth and the constant rivalry between best friends Betty and Veronica to see who would Archie liked best.

Although I am enjoying the show, Riverdale, which is based (loosely in my opinion) on the Archie comics, it seems to be missing something.

In the comic, the character of Archie, was a clumsy teen boy who loved music and girls.
In the show, he still loves the girls and music, but he seems more teen angst than anything else. He had an affair with his teacher, Ms. Grundy who the show cast as a pretty young woman. Let me tell you – if you don’t already know – Ms. Grundy was an old, grey haired, mean woman in the comics. Weird choice for casting if you ask me.

Betty Cooper – The girl next door. Yeah, the show got her right. The actress, Lili Reinhard even looks like the Better Cooper in the older comics. She, and jughead, are probably my favorite characters in the show.

Veronica Lodge – She was a snooty, rich girl in the comics and she is a snooty, rich girl in the show! She says she is Betty’s best friend, but just like in the comics there are times where she treats her terribly. She is the stereotypical ‘Mean Girl’.

Jughead Jones – Probably the most different in terms of character changes from comic to show. In the comic he was a lazy guy who didn’t care about girls, relationships, working… anything. In the show, he writes – all the time – and is in a relationship with Betty (Spoiler Alert). He even joined a gang… Didn’t see that once coming.

I don’t remember the comics having nearly the amount of crime either. Sure, there were small things, but they always worked themselves out. Riverdale is full of sex, murder, cover ups, drugs, and mob activity. Not the most wholesome show to be presenting to kids and yet it is marketed as a kid show – pre and young teens.

You can watch the official trailers here:

My 2 Cents… Cobra Kai

Cobra 🐍 Kai – Set thirty years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament, the series focuses on Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) reopening the Cobra Kai dojo, which causes his rivalry with Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) to be reignited.

Ok, if you liked the Karate Kid movies than you’re going to LOVE Cobra Kai. Believe me, I was skeptical at first but once I started the first episode I was hooked. I binge watched the entire series in just two days and it was a great way to introduce my love for the Karate Kid to my kids.

The writers do a great job bringing back the original characters in a way that you can believe their choices/life paths have brought them to where they are 30 years later. It’s the perfect combination of serious and comedy. If you give it a try, you won’t be disappointed!