Tag Archives: Technology

Review – Black Mirror S1

An anthology series focusing on the darker aspects of life and technology.

Normally, I would go a little further into detail about the plot of whatever film or TV show I’m about to review, but that’s kind of difficult to do with Black Mirror, or at least that’s what I’m led to believe after viewing season one of Charlie Brooker’s show. Each episode from the pilot tells a completely different story about completely different people, and if I’m completely honestly with you, I can’t really be bothered with explaining the plot from each of these three stories. I would usually try to go above and beyond for you guys, but I’m currently living hand-to-mouth with my reviews and if I plan on getting them out on the days I intend to… well, you’re starting to get the picture.

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Review – Friend Request

If you’re the type to be aware of something like Friend Request, this week’s social-media-based frightener that was filmed in South Africa, is set, seemingly, in America, and was released originally in Germany under the title Unfriend, you might also remember 2015’s Unfriended. This film is hoping that you don’t. Both involve a group of young people being terrorised by a classmate who was cyber-bullied into suicide, but whereas Unfriended (which went by Unknown User in Germany, making the idea-theft somewhat less egregious) was a clever bit of genre fare that ably turned the familiar quirks of internet life into tools of suspense, Friend Request is a weakly imitative piece of shit.

The irony, of course, is that had Friend Request been released first, even unchanged, it would have at least seemed conceptually novel rather than flagrantly fraudulent. As it stands, we can only be thankful that the copying and pasting didn’t include Unfriended’s central gimmick, which was that it unfolded entirely from the vantage of a teenage girl’s laptop screen. Friend Request opens things up a bit, letting us see our protagonist IRL. Her name is Laura (Alycia Debnam-Carey), a college sophomore who, out of pity, accepts the friend request of Marina (Liesl Ahlers), the lonely girl who sits at the back of classrooms and yanks out strands of her hair. Because Laura spends so much time on her non-specific social media profile, free from claims of copyright infringement, she apparently missed the memo sent by popular media and network news that goths are fucking mental. Luckily, though, she’s about to find out first-hand.

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Review – Rememory

It really must require a considerable amount of effort to take a premise as deliciously high-concept as the one found in Rememory and transform it into such vapid, self-serious drivel. Consider the implications of a device, like the one seen here, that can extract the memories of its users perfectly intact, allowing anyone to comb through their recollections without the impediments of personal bias or natural forgetfulness. Imagine the creator of that device found mysteriously dead, and a guilt-ridden amateur sleuth investigating his untimely demise. Imagine all of this, and then forget it. The reality is, after all, never quite as compelling as the imaginary.

Gordon Dunn (Martin Donovan) is the mind behind this device; a mild-mannered scientist-psychologist whose machine accesses the subconscious of his patients to “objectively” – his own word – replay memories that they have distorted or suppressed. It’s a revolutionary form of treatment for the traumatised and unstable, and a conceptually audacious hook for a psychological whodunit, especially after Dunn is found dead in his office shortly after unveiling the prototype. His friend, Sam Bloom (Peter Dinklage), a model-maker who is crippled by guilt after causing a car crash that resulted in the death of his rock-singer brother (Matt Ellis), begins his own investigation into the skulduggery surrounding Dunn’s death and device; spurred on by his own need for closure, and his fear that any blemish on Dunn’s legacy might damage his tech company, Cortex, which is being run by a nakedly sinister British executive (Henry Ian Cusick) whose beard gives away his moral allegiance long before the plot does.

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Review – The Emoji Movie

What’s this?

Surprising absolutely nobody, The Emoji Movie is an insulting travesty without a shred of wit, intelligence or worth; a shameless, unfunny slab of advertising that exists entirely to slobber all over the shiny corporate cock whose limp spurts of digitised ejaculate droop from the movie’s saccharine façade like the tears of all those parents who were dumb enough to buy tickets for their children to see it.

Having said that, it did surprise someone: Dan Hart, my very own colleague here, who insisted live on air that The Emoji Movie would secure a Tomatometer score of over 50%, and even bet ten pounds of Her Majesty’s finest sterling on the matter. I can’t get back the 90 minutes I spent watching this appalling aberration, but at least I’m up ten quid.

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