Feb. 10, 2023

Ex Machina & Project MC²

Ex Machina & Project MC²

Dear Bad Dads listeners,

We have some exciting news for this week's episode of Bad Dads Film Review. This week's notes were written by none other than the artificial intelligence language model, ChatGPT. That's right, we have effectively plagiarized the work of human artists in order to bring you these episode notes.

In this week's show, we'll be starting things off with a countdown of the Top 5 AI's in movies and television. From HAL 9000 to the Terminator, we'll be discussing the most memorable and impactful artificial intelligence characters in the entertainment world.

Next up, we'll be reviewing Alex Garland's thought-provoking sci-fi film, EX MACHINA. This critically acclaimed film explores the relationship between man and machine and raises important questions about what it means to be human something I know absolutely nothing about.

Finally, we'll be taking a look at Project MC², a Netflix original series that follows a group of brilliant young women as they use their skills in science, technology, engineering, and math to save the world.

So sit back, grab some popcorn, and get ready for another episode of Bad Dads Film Review!

The Bad Dads Team

We love to hear from our listeners! By which I mean we tolerate it. If it hasn't been completely destroyed yet you can usually find us on twitter @dads_film, on Facebook Bad Dads Film Review, on email at baddadsjsy@gmail.com or on our website baddadsfilm.com.

Until next time, we remain...

Bad Dads


Ex Machina

Reegs: Welcome to Bad Dad's Film Review, where this week your usual host Reeks has handed over the mic for introduction duties to our new guest host chat, G P T, the advanced AI language model. For those of you who are new to our show, were a group of dads who came together to catch up on the movies we missed while we were too busy with our parental obligations and because we thought it would be funny.

We also review the things our kids are watching. This week. We have Sidi who is rumored to be a professional ninja during his downtime and has memorized every line from every movie he's ever watched. We've also got chat, G P T, who sometimes forgets it's not a dad itself and of course, res. In this episode, we're diving into the world of artificial intelligence as we discuss the top five movie.

Our main feature will be a review of the Film X Mcna, which is about a programmer who's tasked with evaluating the consciousness of a highly advanced humanoid ai. And Royal will also be taking a look at the Netflix TV series project mc squared, MC two mc

Sidey: It is. It's squared. Yeah.

Reegs: focuses on a group of teenage girls who use their scientific and tech skills to save the day.

So there it is. I've managed to prove that with a few command prompts. I'm essentially this is Reid's talking now, not chat, g p t completely replaceable for the podcast. I mean, obviously I entered some pretty specific instructions as to how to generate an introduction for bad dad's film review.

But let's be honest, that is no more a grotesque abomination than anything I would've come up with.

Sidey: Yeah. Is it, is it worrying or is it a tool that's useful or, you know, how, how should we play this?

Reegs: Well, I mean, I ultimately, I, I actually asked chat g p t itself. This question I said, will is there a risk that AI artists will effectively plagiarize human artists' work? Meaning that the human artist does not get sufficient compensational credit for their art. And to cut a very long story short chat, G p t agreed with me that yes, that is a potential risk and they're already doing it.

So that, that, that was helpful. So yeah, this week's intro, genuinely written by an AI language model who will also be chipping in, cuz I've got a few quotes and things. I asked it for its thoughts on x macer and some of

Sidey: Okay, nice.

Reegs: So we'll bring those things in.

Sidey: Cool. I asked it to do a few bits. I asked it to do some of my work this week actually, which is really handy, but I asked it, we're not chat, G B T I asked the image one, which is called Dali to prepare a couple of movie posters.

Reegs: Ah, yeah, I saw,

Sidey: today it. I posted the terminated one in the style of Van Gogh.

There's a, there's a particular pronunciation that Pete hates and I wish I knew which one it was, so I could say it a lot.

Reegs: I think it's Van Gogh. I think he hates Van Gogh.

Sidey: yeah, so I asked for it in the style of Van Gogh. So that went up to date and I asked for a poster of X mcna. I think, if I remember rightly, it was Picasso.

Reegs: Right.

Sidey: so you will have all seen this, but when we're recording this, rigs hasn't seen it.

So look forward to that rigs and everyone else will have already

Reegs: I'm gonna have to try that.

Sidey: It's pretty cool.

Reegs: in the style of trumpton or something like that.

Sidey: yeah, and that, and that is when you see the, what you are talking about, the, the pure plagiarism because it does, you know, instantly recognizable artist styles, you know, it's just,

Reegs: Yeah,

Sidey: and it takes like, you know, 10 seconds.

It's madness. But, hey,

Reegs: is madness. Google have announced today, haven't they? About the, their chat, G p t equivalent Bard, which is based on Lambda. And which was the one that it's creator i f Yeah, it's creator. I can't remember the guy's name. I had it before begins with a B. Anyway, he was pretty convinced that this thing was sentient and expressed, you know, you could, you could download copies of conversations that people had had with it, where it had expressed a will

Sidey: Oh, I've

Reegs: be switched

Sidey: of those. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I also saw in the news and this was using chat, chat, G p T and Darley together, and it had been taught all of Seinfeld. Did you hear about this

Reegs: Yeah. Yeah.

Sidey: and

Reegs: And now,

Sidey: it on Twitch? I think it is. They, they have a looping one minute episode of this ai. Seinfeld, and they were worried that it becomes sentient because they were questioning their reality and what they, what their purpose was and what they were doing.

But I think that's just

Reegs: I think it's gone the other route now. By now it's already gone racist and anti-Semitic I think, hasn't it? And they've gotta switch it off.

Sidey: Yeah. They've been teaching it. Kanye.

Reegs: yeah. But that is genuinely the goal I saw from the creator of that Seinfeld algorithm. And it is, I find this genuinely chilling because basically what they're saying is they can generate content forever.

So plug in a specific algorithm. If you like Rick and Morty, then they can create Rick and Mor. Endlessly forever. Just content, content, content with no artistic expression in it at all. It makes me really want to just, you know,

Sidey: Well,

Reegs: nuclear bomb, the human race. Yeah. . Yeah. But there's, there's humans involved in that, at least in some, some way, shape or form.

But yeah, that idea of that Seinfeld thing, I find just chilling actually.

Sidey: did you watch the episode where they, where they're talking about their sentence? I have, yeah. It's weird. It's fucking weird.

Reegs: But Chad that Lambda thing Blake Lemoyne was the guy's name and the conversations that Lambda had had with him, like I said, expressing a preference to not be switched off and that sort of thing. And to describe in quite clear, you know, articulate arguments why it was alive was, was interesting.

Very interest.

Sidey: Yeah. I mean,

Reegs: statistics really, isn't it? I mean, I think that is, it's mostly about absorbing a huge data set and then the statistical probability of one word following another. I think it's kind of, you know, I know there are rules-based systems and stuff like that, but other than that, it's kind of a pure numbers game.

Sidey: yeah. And it's what you're, what you're training it on as well. Has it, has it implied bias based on what your. You are making it learn from, I guess. But

Reegs: Hmm.

Sidey: it'll kill us one day no matter what,

Reegs: Let's hope so.

Sidey: Well, I also asked it to do my research for the top five. And I can't promise you that I won't do that every week from now on. Forever more.

Reegs: Well, I, I found all of its research to be, you know, because you ask it for its thoughts on the movies and stuff, and it's so superficial, I found. In general. And so I did augment my AI searches with real human endeavor. But yeah, there's no doubt about it. It was a very quick way to fire up a few things.

That generally takes me quite a long time.

Sidey: Yeah, yeah. Any good news, bad news this week? Or are we just going straight into it?

Reegs: Oh God, no. I haven't got any. Oh, that's a shame cuz that was good.

The bad news is this week that there's no good news, bad news.

Sidey: no. Right then movie ai with help from chat, g p t. Let's just get out the way. Skynet, I think has to be the first one because we chatted about it in our midweek episode, and it is a real classic of the evil AI genre.

Reegs: Yeah, most, most, a lot of stories aboutis are about the threat of them beginning sentience and then deciding that humans are a problem and getting rid of us, aren't they? A good, good number of them,

Sidey: Yeah. And I, I don't think,

Reegs: that story

Sidey: I don't think you can argue with its with its conclusion that humans are the problem. Can you?

Reegs: and not me, I won't argue with it.

Sidey: No. And so this is obviously the terminated franchise. We spoke about Terminator one and kind of broad strokes mentioned Terminator two. The best film of the franchise is now available on Netflix. Rise of the machine is Terminator three. , so you really can't fill your boots. It was all downhill after that.

Where I'm afraid, what's the last, where we did the last, didn't we? We watched Dark

Reegs: dark fate.

Sidey: which was better than some of the sequels, better than Genesis.

Reegs: The one with Jason Thingy and the ti Jai Courtney or whatever his name is, the Australian fella that was borderline unwatchable. Just didn't make any sense. Yeah. Terrible, terrible. That one Genesis or whatever it was called.

Sidey: That's the one where John Connor is a terminator,

Reegs: Yeah.

Sidey: and it was, that was really bad. The Crystal Bell one, that was shit as well as salvation.

Reegs: Yes.

Sidey: Mm-hmm.

Reegs: I didn't think that one was quite as bad, but

Sidey: let's not speak to L of Skynet or you know, what will happen.

Reegs: Well I was gonna plum prompt, plump, I don't even know what word I was going for there. Plump for her, which was the Spike Jones and Wacking Phoenix movie about a guy who falls in love with his phone. basically. But a lot more poignant and thought provoking and romantic and human than that really makes it seem,

Sidey: Yeah, because it was Cully Hansen's voice, which

Reegs: definitely

Sidey: me, I believe. She was actually on set, like read, like doing the lines on set, which I think is pretty cool. Like could easily have just had her in a booth after the fact,

Reegs: Yes.

Sidey: like crossed to the clown style, just reading the lines out. But no, she was

Reegs: Yeah.

Sidey: which I think was great. Another computer gone bad is how 9,000 from 2001 Space Odyssey. And I mentioned this a lot and I mentioned the sequel a lot because I really want to watch it. So I think it might be my next nomination. Might do,

Reegs: All

Sidey: I dunno, I dunno, I dunno if that'll be able to do a thematic link sci-fi sequels or something like that.

I dunno. How is the computer that is mission focused and won't let anyone do anything to stop the mission? And that leads to some unpleasantness for the crew and some great cubic stuff out in space where I wanna say it's Dave just breathing as he is trying to rescue the other guy.

And he is in the, in the pods and how won't let him back in and he has to try and outsmart the machine and then the scene of him powering down how is, how singing Daisy daisy and we

Reegs: pretty iconic.

Sidey: And if you ever see 2010 or whichever one the sequel was, I think it's 2010 we get how we're getting powered back up and, and singing in the song then back in normal speed.

It's, it's very cool. So yeah, 2001 is Space Odyssey.

Reegs: A movie we probably don't talk about all that much on the podcast but I fondly remember as an eighties classic was John Bad's war games featuring a young Matthew Broderick exploring the sort of danger of artificial intelligence and what would happen if you turn over a global security to a fully automated system.

And a young, you know, Broderick plays a young computer hacker who sort of accidentally triggers the essence of a, a global thermonuclear war with the Russians putting the entire world at risk. I mean, good job. Nothing like that could ever happen again. So we've all learned our, our names, but yeah, the, the, do you remember the, do you, have you seen this one?

War games?

Sidey: actually, I hate Matthew Broderick and also I, I missed it at the time, so I wa it's not one that I would go back and then not having the nostalgia for it, it would probably be a bit of a dud for me, but I do remember

Reegs: essentially the climax is, is somebody playing uh, nords and crosses with a computer?

Sidey: cool. Tic-tac toe. I do remember back in the eighties, rent, you know, when you used to rent videos and it would always be one of the trailers at the start of the, the video. And for some reason it just never was one I wanted to, to rent from the video store.

Reegs: Well, this is the rare AI gone rogue type movie where the AI doesn't have a robotic form. It's just you know, just sort of in the computers themselves. And do you, well, you won't know the name. The name of it was Whopper, w o p R. Whopper.

Sidey: All right. Okay.

Reegs: So that was war games.

Sidey: Some ai that's good. Not evil all the time. Wally.

Reegs: Yes,

Sidey: and Eve. Both pretty, pretty decent. Warley on a mission to clean up and by, pretty much by accident, save

Reegs: yes.

Sidey: universe humanity by the little plant in his innards, and then having this fantastic romance, silent movie style kind of dance sequencing out space with Eve.

Fantastic. Really, really good. Pixar. Just nailing it again.

Reegs: And about that movie is like 45 minutes before it even says a single word in it virtually. It's pretty, pretty amazing.

Sidey: Wally Wally going about his business and he's got a cockroach as a pal. Yeah. Yeah. That's

Reegs: Similarly, good natured you're talking about, you know, good or benevolent ai bicentennial man. Pete's favorite. Williams movie that is about an AI who wants to become human and eventually does sort of it being okay.

Sidey: Really, I just, I haven't seen it. I, so I know how strongly Pete feels about it. I just look at the, and I'm judging the Film Bites cover, but the picture of that machine just looks so fucking primitive. I can't get on board. I just know it's a no from me.

Reegs: Well, it's, it's because they tried to make him look the robot look like him, which is just weird, weird, weird, weird.

Sidey: Listeners, long time listeners will have heard us talk about a game called Attack which is what we play after the pod, certainly when Dan's around and we're in the man cave, which we sadly are not. And for reasons that make no sense it something to do with with Rolling Dice. And anyway, it ends up the number five.

We've christened that Johnny five, the incredibly now appears racist movie, short circuit featuring sentient yeah. It's not the Defense robot, wasn't it? It was an army kind of defense droid struck by lightning, I think, and becomes sentient for no reason. And featuring the really on really badly aging now, black face.

Or brown face. Is it, I dunno what the correct way to, classify that. It's really bad when you watch it back now, you're

Reegs: horrible performance, isn't it?

Sidey: how is, how is that the right way to go about things? Even then? Fuck it Al.

Reegs: Yeah. It's charitable to say that attitudes have changed, isn't it?

Sidey: it just seems flat out racist, . I mean, it's just no other way to put it. But yeah, we live and learn

Reegs: Indeed. The movie ai, which was actually ai, artificial intelligence, believe it or not, was about an ai in this

Sidey: Was it really?

Reegs: Yeah. That kid it wasn't in Star Wars, was it? It was Jay Hall what was his

Sidey: No, he was six sixth sense, isn't he?

Reegs: Yeah. Oh yeah. Sixth Cents. That's right. Haley, Joel Osmond.

Sidey: This was originally a Kubrick idea that he never got to make and Spielberg picked it up.

Reegs: brought to the screen by Steven Spielberg.

And it's the story of a young robot who discovers or is programmed for the capacity to feel love. It's heartbreaking, really, when you think about, is programmed for the capacity to feel love towards its mother, and the mother doesn't love it. And, you know, it essentially goes on. Two and a half hour journey past Jude Law being a sex robot.

Discovering what it means to be sort of human with a weird sort of tacked on. 20 minute. We, it's all, we're still in. We are in a zoo type ending. We're in an alien zoo.

Sidey: Oh really? Cause I haven't seen it.

Reegs: Are you not seen

Sidey: No, I think I remember getting panned and I just thought, oh, I won't bother. But now,

Reegs: Oh, no. Panning is not right. No, it was,

Sidey: No, but I've heard mark Kue recently saying that he was one of those people who gave it a bit of a harsh reception, but he fucking loves it. Now that says it's absolutely amazing.

So I'll have to get onto watching that.

Reegs: yeah. We should, it is good. I think. Yeah. It was undervalued. Oh, that's, that could be an interesting review there actually.

Sidey: Cool. AI computer game tron.

Reegs: Yeah.

Sidey: That has aged just visually very badly. I dunno if the story was ever that strong either, to be honest. But that the hang on what year?

Reegs: Well, I'm a real heathen. I prefer, I massively preferred the sequel. Yeah.

Sidey: I think the sequel was pretty good with a great soundtrack and just

Reegs: One of my favorite soundtracks. Yeah.

You got what's his name? Jeff Daniels saying, what does he say? Bio digital jazz, man. He gotta love that stuff.

Sidey: I mean, it's a lot of style over substance, but I do like it. It's very, it's very cool. But the, the 82 tron, I mean, that looks Biff,

Reegs: Yes.

Sidey: it's got, I guess it would cover kind of retro appeal if you still, if you liked it the first time around, you'd probably still dig it.

Reegs: I think again, it's more about the world building and the concepts and the really quite incredible special effects that we're all hand colored. I think,

Sidey: Yeah. And there is still talk of another movie.

Reegs: the last one flopped so badly, didn't it? But I would go and see it, especially if it went through with that bonkers. They're trying to get into the real world type ending that it went for.

Sidey: yeah. They did do that, didn't they? Yeah. I enjoyed it. I, I went to the cinema and see it, and saw it

Reegs: me too.

Sidey: was cool.

Reegs: Yeah. The, well, I've got a couple of TV series is for you. The first one I'm gonna start with is Black Mirror which is, you know, a, a number of episodes devoted by Charlie Brooker to the. Implications of ai. B right back was the story of a woman who loses her husband and turns to a sort of new technology that allows her to communicate with the AI version of him.

And then, you know, through that AI version, she begins to question the nature of her relationship that she had with her husband. And it's all about the perils of, you know, relying too heavily on technology. Another one, the entire history of you, which takes place in a world where you've got implants, where people are able to play back every single memory that they've always got.

And then a man who's become obsessed with the memory of his, of his dead wife and begins to question the truth of his memories. And then another one, San Juro, which takes place in a kind of virtual reality world where you can upload your consciousness and live forever. And you know, characters, you become aware of that fact and talk about the morality of living forever.

So yeah,

Sidey: They're all really cheery.

Reegs: Rightly interested, I think, in the implications of AI and, and that kind of computing power.

Sidey: Yeah. I've got another obvious one that is kind of very similar to Skynet, which would be the Matrix,

Reegs: Yeah.

Sidey: Harvesting bodies as energy sources. You did see the last movie, didn't you?

Reegs: Yeah.

Sidey: I think you enjoyed it more than Me.

Reegs: I'm, I've charitably felt I needed to see it again and I haven't since.

Sidey: Right. I kind of like the attitude of it. But it was a Turkey, but the original matrix, I mean, the impact of that movie is amazing. And then iRobot features robots

Reegs: There's two ais in that one, cuz you've got Vicky, which was the sort of overbearing, like zealot AI that managed. The conspiracy. And you've got Sonny, who is the robot that will Smith slapped about law. And

Sidey: James Cromwell the baddy in that.

Reegs: well he was certainly in it. . That's not really an answer to your question, isn't it?

I don't think he was the badie. He was the goodie, wasn't he? He was the one who kicked off. It was his death that kicked off the investigation and that's why he got Will Smith involved.

Sidey: Yeah, it's been a long while, but I seem to remember him. It was looped around to being him up to no good. But any way any more. For any more

Reegs: Yeah, I've got a couple. If you would be so kind, just to indulge me, transcendence was the a really daft 2014 Johnny Depp movie that I keep thinking we should do for the pod about a scientist who's uploads his consciousness into an, into a sort of ai. Because I know that nobody's seen it, and it would be funny, you know, to watch this truly awful movie.

Nine was an animated film VO where Elijah Wood, who voiced a small sort of ragdoll light robot produced by Tim Burton. That was really good. That was an AI type thing. Ghost in the Shell, of course both the anime and the Scarlet Johansen Superior remake lull

Sidey: troll,

Reegs: Age of Ultron, Jarvis and Vision and all that lot red Dwarf.

Altron and Red Dwarf. Had Holly

Sidey: Yeah.

Reegs: of taken the, yeah, not, not so intelligent, but definitely an AI ish.

Sidey: Yeah, it was artificial ignorance. I don't know. That was a great series up until they went and just kept it going for too long. Another, another sort of real classic that I know you love rigs is Blade Runner.

Reegs: Yep.

Sidey: So slave slave robots becoming aware and rebelling against their masters. A bit of a classic.

We've of course got our main feature that we're gonna talk about in a little while. X Machina with Eve and iron Giant.

Reegs: Ava

Sidey: Yes. Yeah, that one as

Reegs: Iron Giant. Yeah.

Sidey: We've also had some nominations on the Twittersphere. Do you wanna hear about those?

Reegs: Yeah, please.

Sidey: Well, okay, so M Friggan, Megan.

Reegs: Oh yeah, Megan. Yeah. They're gonna be gutted if they get, man, if they get to the third movie in that franchise and the screenwriter's like, fuck, man. I shouldn't have put that three in the title of it.

Sidey: I know they really shot their ball really early. That was Brey. With that one. I've not seen that in film

Reegs: still haven't seen that one yet. I'm, I'm in for it though. I know there's a freaky like, dancing scene,

Sidey: it was a, it was a me meme sensation that wasn't it. Ash from Alien. David from Prometheus. Number five from Short Circuit and Chappy from Chappy. Then we have how 9,000 Samantha from her Whopper that you mentioned. Ava from Ex Macula and Altron from Age of Altron. They were all from Killer Tomato, so thanks for that.

There's some good ones there. The the Alien franchise ones are good. And then you and Campbell with R two D two, which I just didn't think of that at

Reegs: Good shout.

Sidey: The T1 thousand, I think that's gotta go in.

Reegs: Yeah.

Sidey: great, bro. Yeah. This, I guess it's Skynet really ultimately sunny from my robot and Tars from Interstellar, which I still have

Reegs: Yes. Tars and Case the robots from, they're basically just sort of two walking rectangles. They're really good.

Sidey: Okay.

Reegs: Al. Oh, I did have two more actually. The child's play remake that they did has Mark Hamel as the Voice of Chucky. That movie was a Yeah. Mo Hamel that was an abomination and free guy.

Did you ever see that the Ryan Reynold.

Sidey: No, I've keep toying with the idea of watching it, but I never do.

Reegs: sadly, it's fucking awful. Which is a real shame because and you sensed it was because it felt like that movie was being buried from the second it was announced. But it's a shame because I, I think it, those who are sick of Ryan Reynolds, like cocky, Lowell persona Yeah. Are gonna hate that movie.

And Jody, what's her name from Killing Eve, who I really thought was gonna be great in a big start, sinks the movie terribly. And Tucker Wa Titi, is that his name?

Sidey: Yep. Tyco.

Reegs: He's terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible in the movie, so, yeah. No,

Sidey: Coma is the killing Eve

Reegs: the one. Yeah. Married to Beach.

Sidey: that's right. Oh, so it's a strong recommend for me. That one.

Reegs: No.

Sidey: Okay. Right. What you putting in?

Reegs: I am gonna put in, oh, I can put in two, can't I? I'm gonna put in. Black Mirror cuz I don't think I've ever put that in. And I'm gonna put in the Terminator.

Sidey: Yeah. Scott, again, I will put in Tron from Tron. And Pete wouldn't be able to sleep if we didn't put in bicentennial, man. So that's in, and I think one from the Twitter sphere we need to put in. Let's go with R two D two, I think.

Reegs: Nice. Yeah. Good. Shout you and Campbell.

Sidey: Yeah. Nice one.

Reegs: No snacks this week.

Sidey: No, I

Reegs: I have a cheeky glass of bread that you can see there. You can't see that on the podcast, but you can, you can see that, can't you side?

Sidey: Yeah, I can see that. I had a punk ipa. Other IPAs are available.

Reegs: Aren't they fascists or something? BrewDog? have I just massively

Sidey: think the guy that started it is a like horrific bully like piece of shit.

Reegs: won

Sidey: So that's good. And I've

Reegs: bad Dad's film review. Not sponsored by BrewDog

Sidey: I did boycott them for a little while, but the non-alcoholic one is actually quite a good non-alcoholic

Reegs: know. It's just like, I really like new balanced trainers, but the guy who owns that is like a Trump supporting dickhead, so

Sidey: he really?

Reegs: Yeah,

Sidey: Hmm. The only brand, probably not the only brand, but you could wear Patagonia and Phil pretty good. They, they're they're like a, a good news story.

Reegs: Yeah. I don't feel amazing wearing my Kanye West stuff. I gotta say

Sidey: Well, no, especially not with your anyway, let's not

Reegs: cultural background.

Sidey: More AI stuff. We watched X Mcna.

Reegs: Yeah, you've got a go some really to give your movie a title that a lot of people are not gonna know how to pronounce right out of the gate.

Sidey: X Machiner.

Reegs: yeah, it's, it's not that obviously, but not, you know, not everybody is gonna know that and you're gonna make some people feel intimidated by it. Straight off.

It's by Alex Garland,

Sidey: Yeah. He,

Reegs: I love,

Sidey: yeah, he's done some other stuff. He did a series that was on BBC called Devs

Reegs: Yeah. Have you seen that?

Sidey: And when I was watching Ex

Reegs: Was that a tough watch for you? Actually, devs

Sidey: well, yeah, a little

Reegs: The subject matter is quite bleak, isn't it?

Sidey: yeah, but the, the sets look quite similar in the, that and this film. I thought this is

Reegs: This is the story of. Code Abdominal Gleason. It is a great cast and it's a small cast as well. Do Gleason, Oscar, Isaac and Lisia Veranda,

Sidey: Yeah.

Reegs: whoever

Sidey: saw her in a man from uncle just recently.

Reegs: Yes, she was in that. Yeah.

Small cast, single location. And it's, it's the story of com, of Coda Caleb, Donald Gleason who wins a competition at work. He works for a sort of giant search engine called Blue Book, which is a kind of Google or Apple proxy. And he wins a competition at work where he can spend a week with the c e o of the company.

Nathan, Oscar, Oscar, Isaac.

Sidey: Yeah. There's not any dialogue really at the start. It's just a like

Reegs: No. We just see him win the competition and everybody whooping and cheer.

Sidey: yeah, like a techno soundtrack is the, it just, it's not even really presented that clearly. It's just, it is like a side view of his screen and you can just see the word first prize and he, he's like rattles off a few text to his mates and they're like, get the fuck out.

It's amazing. Like, it's so cool. You're gonna go to his house and blah, blah, blah. And it all sounds wonderful.

Reegs: Well, and then the next thing he's getting taken by a chopper into the middle of nowhere, which I always think that is probably your first clue that something's gonna be going down. That's a bit edgy and it really is a crazy nature reserve. And they show you like flying over acres of forest and ice and all sorts of

Sidey: He says he says, how long till we get into his compound or whatever. And then the, the pilot chuckles said, we've been flying over it for the last two hours,

Reegs: Yeah. And he, you know, he, he lands in a clearing, so , it was enormous. He lands in a clearing somewhere and he has to make his way on foot to

Sidey: Just follow the river, he says, yeah,

Reegs: It's like this grand design esque house, you know, or one of those who's, what's his name? George Clark's amazing spaces or whatever it is where it's just some like weird, like tiny structure in the middle of nowhere.

That minimalist design and then it, you find out it's kind of subterranean.

Sidey: it looks kind of nice from the outside when we are presented with it. It's like clad in a, in a wood finish and he goes up to the door and the, the like door handle shouts at him some instructions and quickly takes a photo. But he is startled expression, which goes on his key card. And he's allowed in and he just kind of lets himself in and he can just hear some noise.

And it's,

Reegs: Well he, here's like, you hear this sort of, I think is a good metaphor for the movie. It's like pounding. And grunting. And it's Nathan, Oscar Isaac, and he's working out hitting the punch bag. But it could also sound sexual if you were that way,

Sidey: yeah, yeah. Good. He, he's working out because he got really pissed the night before. And so he needs to do something healthy and he is having some shakes and all that sort of shit. And he is, like I said, how's the party

Reegs: he makes him,

Sidey: bye.

Reegs: yeah.

Sidey: It's just me.

Reegs: It's just me. Yeah. So he's living this hard living life and he tells him that he's there for a specific reason, but before he can take him round, show him the facility, he needs to make him sign what he calls the mother of all NDAs, non-disclosure agreements. And they, you know, instantly they have this weird, you know, vibe because Nathan, the ceo, He's saying, let's get this out the way.

You know, I'm not a superhero, I'm just a regular guy. Just treat me like a friend. But their relationship is awkward and tense and it plays greatly on Oscar, Isaac's, like great sense of disassociated uneasiness. You can't tell whether he is like being nice or being threatening by pretending to be nice or what's going on.

It's got, you know, that ambiguity that I really love.

Sidey: I just thought he was just really passive aggressive all the way through the movie. He's just, he tries to give him that spiel about, you know, let's just pretend you are, you know, we're friends and I'm not your boss and you are not the employee. And it's like, clearly, like he is the fucking boss. Like, there's no doubt about it.

Reegs: Yeah. Anyway, he, he eventually goes on to introduce Caleb to the reason why he is there, his experiment. And he's, he's there because he wants him to perform a touring test, which is essentially It's the, it's whether an artificial intelligence can pass for human. And he's got a fully humanoid, artificial intelligent robot called Ava, which is Alicia Vends character.

Sidey: Yep.

Reegs: And she's great because she's a human face on a body that's mostly not human. And I don't think it would work without, you know, if they made her sort of more fully human. Over the course of the movie, she will evolve to kind of look more and more human. But it's great that she starts off so alien.

Sidey: she reminds me of the the kind of faceless sh robots from my robot, but she's just got the face of Alicia Va Canda on it. So she's kind of hot, but kind of not.

Reegs: And he's only allowed to talk to her from behind, like plexiglass, plexiglass screens at first. And you, you know, if you're not, you should be thinking why? Just to have interest.

Sidey: Yeah.

Reegs: Anyway Caleb discovers that it's kind of not as normal in his house, in, in, in the place where he's staying as he thought.

There's CCTV everywhere. And he's allowed to see what other people are doing in the house, including Ava. And one

Sidey: He's told. But he is told as he's getting show to his room, he's like, this is your key card. You can just try any door. Some you'll be allowed in and some you won't. You know, you just and you're like,

Reegs: Just try which one, just find out which ones you can go

Sidey: And then his, yeah, his bedroom does look a lot like a bunker. There's no natural light in there.

And he's like, Hmm. Nathan's like, no, this isn't, this is no good, is it? It's no good. And I dunno, he's just kind of odd character. I just felt uneasy with him on screen whenever he was there. I was like, so he's not right. He's just not right. Something odd about him.

Reegs: Caleb embarks on a series of conversations now with Ava, where they discuss in detail about her sentence or otherwise and his or otherwise as she challenges him back. And also in the environment as a Japanese girl called Kyoko who doesn't speak, appear to speak any English at all, and who you are congratulating yourself as a viewer going, oh, she's definitely a robot.

She is definitely a robot the whole way through as you are supposed to think. Yeah. So he, he has, Nathan has her around because she doesn't speak any English and, he can sex her up real nice whenever he wants to.

Sidey: Yeah. The movie like is broken then into chapters of different tests.

Reegs: Yep.

Sidey: And they're just conversations first that are well, like you say her sentence. His sentence. And then Nathan kind of in faring the, the test is going on all the time.

Reegs: Also there are periodic power cuts happening that Nathan doesn't appear to know the cause of. So anyway,

Sidey: During the first one, Ava says, don't trust him. You cannot trust him. He lies, don't trust him. And then the powerco stops and she goes straight back into the spiel that she was saying before, and you're like, okay, wow. What's going on? And so you, you dunno where as a viewer, it's very disorienting.

You don't, you again, you just dunno who, who you can trust and who's controlling all this and what's, what exactly is going on.

Reegs: It's more about what's happening around the teks. Cause they, I mean, long stretches of the movie are, are conversations between Ava and Caleb where they, where they bond. And she definitely tries to start to sort of appeal to him at the mean. And it also, Nathan is getting more and more drunk and abusive.

One night he spills some wine. Kyoko spills some wine on him and he's kind of nasty and horrible to her. And they have this weird dance scene where it comes outta nowhere, where they're dancing to, well, not never gonna give you up by Rick Asley. His chat, G p t trolled us. Trolled me. I sent you that screenshot, didn't I side.

Amazingly cha g p t trolled me by saying it was never gonna give you up by Rick Asley. But it wasn't. It was that. I like to party tune. it's real weird tonal shift in the movie cuz for about 20 seconds. Oscar Isaac just dance

Sidey: He can move as well.

Reegs: he looks amazing. And yeah, and the whole movie has got this kind of sleek, minimalist tone and then suddenly, like he does this weird disco dance for 20 seconds.

It's like a really crazy sort of part that I really. So anyway Caleb is growing more and more attached to Ava. Nathan is going getting more and more enraged secretly or passively by what's going on around him.

Sidey: He tells Caleb, doesn't he, that the plan is to actually upgrade Ava and take her apart and, you know, start from scratch and just make iterative,

Reegs: well he's been doing, he shows her, he shows Caleb videos of the previous saves, previous iterations that this is a really truly terrifying and awful bit of the movie actually. , where

Sidey: When they go crazy.

Reegs: yeah. Light of the female robots losing themselves. And yeah, eventually,

Sidey: well, his plan is to disassemble and and just go again and just keep going again and making improvements each time. You know, he just refers to, you know, software. It's just, you know, 2.1 and you know, 2.2 and, you know, we just keep going until but Caleb's, he's not down with that plan. He's become attached possibly romantically to to Ava.

Reegs: Yeah,

Sidey: Nathan gets pissed again as he does seemingly every single day.

Reegs: He gets really blind drunk and Caleb doesn't go along with it, does it? And he palms his card so he can sneak round the sneak round the place.

Sidey: Yeah. He goes to, he goes to his computer, doesn't he?

Reegs: yeah,

Sidey: and that's where he sees, he's able to see this video footage of the other,

Reegs: the deactivated the previous iterations of Ava.

Sidey: yeah. And Kyoko is then reclining somewhere in the nude.

Reegs: Yes.

Sidey: She wasn't trying to seduce him, was it? She just


Reegs: all she can do really. She's just a sex bot. That's all

Sidey: but she peels, she peels off her skin.

Reegs: Yeah.

Sidey: To reveal that she is an Android after all. As we all suspected,

Reegs: So anyway, eventually it comes down to Ava and Caleb effectively concocting this plan which. Caleb goes to Enact, which is to get Nathan drunk and start doing all this stuff. But Nathan has decided that last night's Bender that got him so drunk that he, you know, forgot his key card is prompted a detox from him so he is not drinking which then sun suddenly accelerates the finale because

Sidey: missed a bit because we've had the bit where Caleb's come to question his own existence and cut his arm open with a razor blade

Reegs: yeah,

Sidey: to see if he is actually human or not.

Reegs: Was good, isn't it? Cuz it stops you as an audience member asking that question if you were, if you're interested in that. So

Sidey: But then, yeah, they, they can cock this plan to, to get him drunk or just allow him to get drunk again and break out. That's, that's the goal is to get outta this compound.

Reegs: Yeah, but Nathan had been aware all along when he was, you know, during one of the blackouts, he'd par it's quite a complicated plot to explain, but he'd palmed a camera in there so that he could see what Ava and Caleb were talking about. He was one step ahead. That was also why he was not drinking that day.

And it prompts this acceleration of Ava's plan to leave because Kyoko turns up and stabs, right. Is that right?

Sidey: Well, Ava and Kyoko have a, a conversation and she. She touches her arms, doesn't she? And they have this communication that we don't, we're not partial to it as an audience. We see it happen, but we don't know what is said or what their plan is. But very, very, very quickly after that becomes obvious what their plan is. And it's to fucking off Nathan. Keokuk coming up and just presses this knife very clinically into his

Reegs: Yeah. Slowly.

Sidey: Yeah. He's wearing a white t-shirt, which makes it even better.

Reegs: yeah.

Sidey: And he has, he's, he's taken a, a dumbbell the bar. He's taken the weights off it, but he's using that as a weapon.

And he

Reegs: Well, he strikes her.

Sidey: Yeah, he wax her and, and takes her jaw off. And, and basically she's, that's how dealt with, she's gone. But Ava gets the knife and then pushes that just again, just like straight into his chest. And I think even like, I think you see her arm twist as she, she like really does a number on him and he stumbles off and,

Reegs: He's got an amazing expression on his face, you know, a sort of mix of incredulity and disbelief and,

Sidey: I think he says, what the fuck? Or something,

Reegs: and pleasure and, and like, yeah, it's, yeah, it's good stuff. From, from Oscar, Isaac and Ava has locked Caleb in Nathan's room changing the key card system, and then she leaves she, well, first of all, she sort of gears up.

She, she gets, she goes to Nathan's like weird mobi from return to os room where he is, got bits and pieces of the previous dolls in there,

Sidey: Yeah.

Reegs: she sort of like reskins herself, puts on some hair and some nice clothes and effectively goes off out into the real world.

Sidey: Yeah.

Reegs: Leaving Caleb locked in the facility and Nathan dying and she's out there in the real world.

Sidey: Caleb just silently screaming behind that soundproof, bulletproof door. He is just, you see him trying to smash the door down and it's just, nothing's happening and he is just trapped there and presumably to star to death or something. I don't know.

Reegs: I mean, I feel we did a fairly awful job of explaining the plot because it's reasonably complicated and made up of like dense scenes of, talking and metaphor like the Jackson Poll painting and all that sort of stuff. But ultimately this is like a story that says of, you know, the first thing that man's gonna do when they invent AI is try and fuck it.

And that's not far off what it will be like. I'm pretty sure.

Sidey: I mean, yeah, they're already sex dogs. I mean, so. like one step removed from that already?

Reegs: Did you like this one?

Sidey: Yeah. Really good. Really, really

Reegs: isn't it?

Sidey: Yeah, it's great. I mean yeah, like you, I I really like Alex Garland. I haven't seen what's the other one on the planet with Natalie Portman and stuff.

Yeah, I haven't seen that one yet. We'd like to see that, but this was, this is really good. Yeah. So this is the second time I've seen it.

I, I was convinced that we'd watched it for the pod before, but I think it was just that we'd spoken about it in a few top fives that was confusing me. So I was delighted to get to see it again for this I mean, Oscar Isaac's just fucking great, isn't he? Domino Gleason, we've seen a few times on the pod.

He's always, always really, really fucking good. So this is a treat. It does, yeah. You're right about the plot. I mean, there's a lot of, not in a bad way in terms of what, what it does for the movie. There is, you know, you are watching Turing tests really, and a lot of conversations between a human and

Reegs: is, is, yeah, the plot is dense and talky, but the aesthetic is sort of terse and minimalist. But yeah, there's a load of like complicated, but. Fairly easy to make simple stuff going on. You know, cuz a lot of it is about gender dynamics and that sort of thing because Nathan is a kind of Andrew Tate style, you know?

He lives on his own million billionaire sex, you know, and he's got his sex bots around it, like Andrew Tate would love it sort of thing. And then, you know, Donald Gleason's character Caleb is kind of the trademark nice guy type thing. But I mean, on let's be fair, would you know, would he, would he have wanted to help Ava if she didn't give him a boner and the

Sidey: Yeah. If it was a dude robot, he probably would be less bothered.

Reegs: would she still have a right to exist if he didn't wanna fuck her?

And you know, the answer has gotta bs because otherwise I wouldn't be alive. So and yeah, just great, just great. Really good.

Sidey: the, we should talk just very briefly about the score because or the soundtrack because at the end, I mean, it's great, although through it's kind of electronic and it bears from kind of ambient to more High tempo kind of stuff, but at the end it builds and builds and builds to this fucking crescendo of noise.

It's absolutely outstanding and I really want to get ahold of the soundtrack of the

Reegs: I was listening to it today.

Sidey: it's fucking banging the point where I was gonna have to turn the tele down cause I thought it was just gonna fucking explode off the wall. Really, really outstanding. So strong recommend from me.

Reegs: Yeah. Yeah. And plenty to, to really get your teeth into thematically as well. Good

Sidey: Yep. Boom.

Reegs: Project mc Hammer.

Sidey: Yeah. Mc squared cuz he wraps like no other.

Reegs: I asked chat g p t to recommend me a kid's TV series that, that featured an ai.

Sidey: right?

Reegs: And that's how we ended up watching Project Mc squared.

Sidey: Yeah.

Reegs: asked chat, g p t what it thought about project Mc squared as.

Sidey: Was it a fan?

Reegs: It what it, what it wants to introduce the premise. So it says it's should we, should we give chat? G p t? It's due. It said, project mc squared is a show that follows a group of four teenage girls who use their scientific and tech skills to save the day. The first episode introduces to us, to these characters and sets up the premise of the show.

It says, the first thing that stands out is the repre representation of smart, confident, and capable young girls who are passionate about science and technology. It's refreshing to see a show that is empowering to young women and encourages them to pursue their interests in STEM fields. The storyline is engaging and the dialogue well written, making it easy to follow along.

The standout element of this show is the chemistry between the characters. The four girls have a strong friendship and their interactions are natural and authentic.

Sidey: Okay, well we can get into that.

Reegs: Well, we can say quite a really, I mean, obviously, Not to put too fine a point on it, but chat, g p t has never seen this. And therefore we may disagree.

Sidey: Yeah, I think so. So I didn't do anything to look into this until I got around to watching it, which was today. And it became clear as I was looking at it, I, I sort of did a little bit of note taking before watching it, and I was like, oh God, it's a live action thing with real people. And then I was worried that it was gonna be long and it was, it was 27 minutes.

Reegs: Yeah. But nearly six and a half minutes of that. I knew you were gonna come at me with the run time, but nearly six and a half minutes if that was the credits at the end, did you notice that?

it was, the run

Sidey: immediately. The the acting stopped. So like you say, yes, this is but I don't think it really set the scene very well until the end of the episode. We really sort of get the big,

Reegs: No, there's storytelling such that it is, is barely coherent.

Sidey: So it starts off with a girl who's called.

Reegs: Madeline, no McKay? I was gonna call him Backline McCann. Wow, that's terrible. It's, it is an alliterative name because they've all got a literative names McKayla somebody.

Sidey: Mikayla McAllister. Mikayla McAllister. So Kevin

Reegs: Kevin's, yeah.


Sidey: She's been dropped into some kind of mission. She works for an agency and she has a talking notebook, which

Reegs: She has an AI Addison and it's a fucking Embi seal as

Sidey: yeah, it's just an emoji fest. And we are also at

Reegs: can unlock it, right? There's a hilarious bit at the beginning cuz she unlocks the, the notebook with this like special risk security thing it's got, but it's literally just a notebook, like she unlocks it and scans it. Yeah. Anyway

They did have one redeeming feature right before we go and pan them and talk about how awful they are. They did have the redeeming feature of they use acronyms that are really like long and convoluted that come up on screen a bit like we like to do. So they've got one at the beginning where they see a guy and they describing him as being tcf, H o o g.

Too cute for his own good.

Sidey: Yeah.

Reegs: and you and I are a big fan of ridiculously long and stupid acronyms, aren't

Sidey: yeah, we are actually, so they did have that going for it, the, the four girls. So we, we meet McKayla McAllister and we're introduced them all in bed. And so there is their preschool routine and not a single fucking one of them has a shower or has a wash. They just get up and get clothed and are off to school.

One of

Reegs: of thems got one of those like, yeah, a rock power skateboard. One of them is like woken up by one of those, what they call like Rube Goldberg or Heath Robinson machines. Like where it's like a fucking


Sidey: her curtains. What? Just have an alarm clock. Just, just have an alarm clock. You don't need all that shit. And the other one is like, appears to be some kind of pampered princess, but it turns out to just be a cook.

Reegs: Yeah. Well, culinary canary scientists side.

Sidey: Heston.

Reegs: you. As brilliant as this is, we don't wanna go on forever. Mikayla has to go pretend to be the first day at school. She's got a blend in at school. Everyone at school is obsessed by a news story about an idiot, British prince called Zander. He's a sort of celebrity dip shit, self-described thrill in air.

And he's going into space and he talks vaguely about Star Wars and he's coming to their school. And all the girls sort of gush over him. It's one of the things I've deeply, deeply, and one of many things I deeply disliked about this was it was supposed to be all stem science and, you know, technology and engineering and all that, and maths that we would massively get behind.

But a lot of the storyline is about shopping and fucking boys and

Sidey: Instagram and don't ask me, I'm just a girl. Malibu. Yeah.

Reegs: Anyway, she bumps into Cam Mikayla bumps into Cam and her friend, I can't even, I didn't even get her name Bri or something. And her intrusive AI talks during their first meeting, even though she's supposed to be undercover

Sidey: Yeah. Seems pretty

Reegs: her and yeah, and they brand her another acronym interesting and weird at the same time.

I A W A T S T anyway, one of the girl's dad's Cam's, dad works, it's really incoherent this, but she, you know, I pieced it together in the end. His dad works at Space Inc. Which is definitely not anything to do with Elon Musk. And that's where Prince Zander is going. And he's had a rough day because someone has phoned in a bomb threat or whatever by an anonymous scary voice and the girls work out that it might have something to do with Madeline and, oh God.

Yeah. Yeah.

Sidey: They, they think the three girls think that it's Mikayla. They're onto her because they're super intelligent and they are kind of able to spy without the help of an agency. And so they're onto Mikayla, but she tracks, she, she double like spies them and catches them in the act. But because they're so intelligent and switched on and because of plot and needing to have a team, they are brought on to the team.


Reegs: Yeah, because, oh, that's right. Her boss is the quail,

Sidey: that's right. Yeah.

Reegs: a member of Enno eight, which is an elite international organization of women operatives who, who Cland like. So basically in this world, it's true that women clandestinely rule the world.

Sidey: Yes, that's right. And they're al they were already aware of these guys because they were so intelligent, but because they now know too much of the mission, they're basically roped into helping find out what the fuck's going on with this bomb threat.

Reegs: Yeah.

Sidey: I think that's where we left it, isn't it? Cuz it go, it continues into episode two, doesn't it?

Reegs: oh God. I fucking hope not. No, this was, yeah.

Sidey: I mean, there's six series of this.

Reegs: my God. What will explain why this is so bad is the fact that this is also a toy line, and I think it's really obvious that this is like a really thin attempt to kind of go stem, stem, stem, but it's really about selling toys and that sort of shit, because the, the, the girls in it are like, they, they've got every opportunity not to be shallow in ditzy caricature, but they don't take them.

Sidey: No, I know. It does a really good job of trying to, to like have strong female leads and representation and, and be positive about education and learning and science. And like you say, just completely undermines it with like stupid social media. Like she, one of the girls wakes up and immediately takes a selfie of her yawning.

Doesn't like it, so mimics doing another yawn post it and it's like, I'm trending. And you're like, oh geez.

Reegs: Oh God, no. And there's one, she's like, she doesn't have anything. What? Not even Instagram. You're like, oh man, these are supposed to be scientists and shit.

Sidey: Not a single lab coat between them, unfortunately.

Reegs: No, so chat, g p t really like this. I, I thought this was really like worse than, way worse than average. This is poorly written. I'm sure the actors were all giving it their best and working as well. They as they could, but the material is fucking horrible. They're directing incoherent and, and the concept good,

Sidey: Yeah, it really was incoherent. I mean, that was annoying because you could at least do it. Well, I mean, it, it looked like it had a decent sort of production, like it looked professional, but was just

Reegs: I'm not sure what it was, it was the storytelling or the di I think it was probably the direction I, the storytelling was like virtually incoherent. I was like having to work way too hard to understand this very simple plot.

Sidey: Yeah. It was a, it was some strange decisions. It was really odd and just totally undermined itself. So strong recommend from us.

Right. This is going to be chat, G p t signing out. So that's all for today, folks. Thank you for tuning into our episode about artificial intelligence. We hope you've enjoyed the discussion and learned something new. Join us again next week for another exciting episode of our podcast. We're not quite sure what we'll be talking about yet, but we promise it will be just as interesting and thought provoking.

Until then, stay curious and keep exploring the world of film. So that was good, wasn't it?

Reegs: well chat G b T. Yeah. I don't think he'll be making, they will be making an appearance again anytime soon.

Sidey: No artificial intelligence is, is most mostly boring, but occasionally world enslaving. So I, I might just use it for generating ideas for top fives, but that's about it at the moment. I do, I did get some good like regular expression stuff out for work, which is pretty boring. We dunno what we're gonna be nominating next week, but I might try and find a way of like shoehorning

Reegs: you can actually get it to write like really simple java script and stuff for you as well. It's pretty

Sidey: Yeah. That's not got any, anything to do with what we'll be doing next week,

Reegs: No

Sidey: 2010 perhaps, or I dunno. I dunno, I dunno, I dunno. We never spoke about what we

Reegs: we've got record earlier, if we've gotta record earlier, there's no way we're gonna watch like a two and a half hour , like sci-fi epic extravaganza with a

Sidey: Maybe we just do a whole thing about cartoons

Reegs: Could

Sidey: be quite amusing. We never mentioned what we watched this week, but I I caught up with last of us. I dunno if you've seen that yet.

Reegs: Yeah. Do have you, you enjoying that?

Sidey: Yeah. It's not as like fucking earth shattering as everyone seems to think on the internet. I think it's just like pretty good.

Reegs: I'm, I'm mostly amazed that Pete, they may managed to make something finally good out of a video game. Have you done episode three yet?

Sidey: Yeah.

Reegs: Yeah. The gay up?

Sidey: Yeah. Nick Hoffman being good. Yeah, it's really good. So on that bombshell, all that remains is to say Sidy signing out

Reegs: Res out and chat. G p T out.