Upgrade

Upgrade ★★★★

Please forgive me, I watched this a couple weeks ago but never coalesced all my notes into something with a linear flow to it.

*I always admire filmmakers who can express these grand ideas on the slightest budget. Which reportedly was a mere 3-5 million in this case. The set pieces with it’s minimal design is highly effective but never feels undercooked or mailed in. And the score is a pulsing otherworldly force to be reckoned with in our very bones. The narrative makes no apologies and doesn’t give a hoot if you can appreciate or accept it.

*Films with such a graphic taste for style and delivery are meant to energize it’s audience I imagine. When I was a teenager I found myself attracted to the shock and awe of such presentations. But without being long in the tooth I’ll just say it’s a bit graphic for my taste. This doesn’t take away from the quality of story telling but it does dampen the value of entertainment for me personally.

*Great contrast, classic muscle car in such an advanced technological age adds some subtle thematic punch that goes along way in making the technology play up.

*When is Logan Marshall-Green going to be mentioned among the creme de la creme of Hollywood’s best. This could have easily been a mundane rehashed A.I story line if it wasn’t for Logan’s perfect body language at play with the camera’s mosh pit of harsh angles and robotic violence.

*Some intriguing story devices that shape the world, such as the weapons in the arms, but more importantly always pushing the story forward while circumventing the budgetary constraints. I don’t say this to impress you, these little tid bits won’t sway a person to see it. But it reveals talent of a director who knows how to make the best use of the tools in his tool box for the best payouts. Wether it’s the visuals, score, set pieces, screenplay, you name it and you will find director Leigh Whannell’s fingerprints. His innovative solutions to the mountain of challenges presenting themselves, otherwise known as a pennies on the dollar of a budget. Which for Science fiction like this you would expect a bare bones minimum of 10-20 million. But the guy did it with 5. Only 5 million dollars and the quality of ingenuity bleeding from every pore of this thing is incredible.

*Speaking of budget there is one concern here. The cast surrounding Green is mediocre at best. Often failing him with the most mundane line deliveries and most certainly on an emotional level.

*Where are the boundaries of technology headed in todays’ world? Have we sacrificed the quality of our relationships for the ease of technology and it’s service of mankind? The power of information is the most valuable currency and is only as righteous or corrupt as the person who spends it.

*The end feels a little abrupt.


2018 Ranked

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