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2014 Movie Review - The Imitation Game

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Category: Movies
Published Date Written by Jason Loo

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Alan Turing might not be a familiar name to some. But a study of history during World War 2 finds mention of his name.
 
According to Wikipedia, Turing was a British and a brilliant man. He is characterized as a "computer scientist, mathematician, logician .." and a string of others (you can refer to  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Turing). 
 
Many hailed him as as the code breaker of the most important breakthrough during WWII, the Enigma code which was being used by the Germans to encrypt all their communications.
 
The movie is set in Britain and what is interesting about this movie is the actor, Benedict Cumberbatch has been on a roll this few years with a string of movies (Star Trek) and tv series (Sherlock Holmes) that has added to his success.
 
His characterization of Alan Turing is commendable and cannot be denied that he adds credence to the movie and the man he portrays.
 
The other interesting character is that of Keira Knightley's Joan Clarke, who is the female star and provides the relationship angle in this movie, which otherwise could have been just about a boring autobiographical movie.

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The other characters in Alan's team plays a supporting role which complements some of the dry moments in the movie. There is excitement injected in the movie when Alan finds out who the spy is in his team.

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There is of course, Christopher the namesake he gave to his code breaker machine. It reminds him of his love interest in another man during his younger days.
 
Now, the movie goes on beyond to show the life of Alan Turing after the success of Christopher and this is where things get bleak and makes you wonder the world that he was living in during that time.

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It shows the injustice of him getting 'chemically castrated' due to his gayness (and he was officially pardoned by Queen Elizabeth II in August 2014). His health, mentally and physically deteriorated until he committed suicide by cyanide poisoning.
 
I would like to share one last bit of quote from this movie, used by Alan Turing : "Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine."
 
Watchability : 8 / 10  : All in all, a good auto-biographical movie with super performances by the lead actor and actress and an interesting story about a man who contributed so much to his country but only to be incarcerated.
 
Cast :
Benedict
Cumberbatch     ...     Alan Turing
Keira Knightley     ...     Joan Clarke
Matthew Goode     ...     Hugh Alexander
Rory Kinnear     ...     Detective Robert Nock
Allen Leech     ...     John Cairncross
Matthew Beard     ...     Peter Hilton
Charles Dance     ...     Commander Denniston
Mark Strong     ...     Stewart Menzies
James Northcote     ...     Jack Good
Tom Goodman-Hill     ...     Sergeant Staehl
Steven Waddington...     Superintendent Smith
Ilan Goodman     ...     Keith Furman
Jack Tarlton     ...     Charles Richards
Alex Lawther     ...     Young Alan Turing
Jack Bannon     ...     Christopher Morcom
 
References :

2014 Movie Review - Big Hero 6

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Category: Movies
Published Date Written by Jason Loo


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An animation based on Marvel's comic book superheroes that does not boast of superpowers or adult violence .. Big Hero 6 is a family-oriented animated movie produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios.
 
The movie is set in the fictional cit yof San Fransokyo and tells the story of young teen genius Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter) who is a robotics fan. 

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At the start of the movie, Hiro enters the illegal bot-fighting competition and his brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) tries to save him. However, Hiro is arrested in the end.

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Hiro's aunt Cass bails him out and Tadashi arranges a visit with Hiro to the robotics lab where he works.
 
There, Hiro finds out what Tadashi and the rest of his colleague does and is impressed.
 
He wants to join the lab and work with the robotics team, comprising of cycling enthusiast GoGo Tamago (Jamie Chung); laser-blade specialist Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.); chemical-reactions expert Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez); and Fred (T.J. Miller), a shaggy-haired guy obsessed with freaks-of-nature happenings. The team is headed by the university's robotics Professor Callaghan (James Cromwell).
 
Hiro also meets Tadashi's invention, Baymax who is supposed to take care of humans. The heart of the movie is centered around Baymax and his programming to never hurt humans. This point is stressed throughout the movie and adheres to the classic Isaac Asimov robotic rules of never harming humans.

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Before Hiro can join the team though, he must first present an innovative invention to be eligible.
 
After working tirelessly, he finally presents his project, microbots which has the potential to change the world. And here I would like to stress that it is not impossible to create this in the real world. Heck .. it might have already been invented.
 
However, when an explosion happens during the project presentation, Tadashi is killed when he goes in to save someone. Hiro is of of course devastated and hides himself.
 
One day, he accidentally activates Baymax and he is brought to a warehouse where he learns his microbots were not destroyed and were being mass-produced and controlled by a kabuki-masked man.

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This is when the adventure and superheroic team of Big Hero 6 is formed with the five robotics team member including Hiro plus Baymax.

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After that, most of the movie is about finding the man with the kabuki mask and the reason why he did it. In the end, the finale is not that surprising but it's still entertaining.
 
Watchability - 7 / 10 - recommended for kids especially those who love robots. The animation is top notch and is very colorful, the background of San Fransokyo is excellent and the animated characters are lively. Kinda reminds of me Astro Boy (if you haven't seen it, please do).
 
Cast :
Scott Adsit     ...     Baymax (voice)
Ryan Potter     ...     Hiro (voice)
Daniel Henney     ...     Tadashi (voice)
T.J. Miller     ...     Fred (voice)
Jamie Chung     ...     Go Go (voice)
Damon Wayans Jr....     Wasabi (voice)
Genesis Rodriguez...     Honey Lemon (voice)
James Cromwell     ...     Robert Callaghan (voice)
Alan Tudyk     ...     Alistair Krei (voice)
Maya Rudolph     ...     Cass (voice)
Abraham Benrubi     ...     General (voice)
Katie Lowes     ...     Abigail (voice)
Billy Bush     ...     Newscaster (voice)
Daniel Gerson     ...     Desk Sergeant (voice)
Paul Briggs     ...     Yama (voice)
 
References :

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