Ex Machina

Featured In Issue 198, July/August 2015

WSR Score5
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Lionsgate Home Entertainment
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In Ex Machina, programmer Caleb (Gleeson) wins a competition to spend a week at the mountain estate of his company’s brilliant CEO (Isaac). He arrives to discover he has been chosen to take part in a study of artificial intelligence. Sworn to secrecy and cut off from the outside world, Caleb meets his subject, a beguiling and seductive android (Vikander)––and is plunged into an A.I. experiment beyond his wildest dreams. (Gary Reber)

Special features include a five-part featurette Creating Ex Machina (HD 39:59), SXSW Q&A with cast and crew (HD 01:00:57), trailers, eight behind-the-scenes vignettes (HD 28:40), upfront previews, and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The 2.40:1 1080p AVC picture is gorgeous with a warm and rich color palette with a perfect balance of hue intensity. Fleshtones also are perfectly rendered with a pure naturalness. Contrast and shadow delineation is extremely well balanced, especially with respect to the overwhelming interior scenes. The mountainous outside segments are gorgeous as well. Resolution is excellent, with fine detail exhibited throughout, especially in facial features, hair, clothing, mechanical workings, and object texture, especially the rock formations and streams on top of the frozen snow mountain landscape. This is an incredible visual experience that is beautifully rendered throughout. (Gary Reber)

The DTS:X/DTS-Master Audio 7.1-channel soundtrack is hauntingly beautiful, with an enveloping presence, though, most subtle. The opening helicopter flyover sequence provides an immersive height sense. But other than that, the soundtrack sonics are focused on the horizontal plane, as they should be. Aggressive surround energy extends to the four surround channels in moments of dramatic intensity. The music is generally electronic-driven and haunting, with mostly subtle surround envelopment, though, at times the sonics are intense. There is a short sequence of a musical performance that becomes a dance sequence with a dynamic presence that energizes the entire soundfield. Fidelity is excellent throughout with at times deep, powerful .1 LFE bass. Dialogue sounds perfectly natural, with good spatial integration, even at times directionalized. This is a well-executed and mostly plodding soundtrack that is well recorded and dimensionalized. This is the first DTS:X Immersive Sound release on Blu-ray Disc™ and this first presentation is engaging. (Gary Reber)