Written & Directed by Spike Jonze
Theodore is a recent divorcee who has receded from life outside his work/home bubble. This reclusive nature changes when he installs an advanced artificial intelligence on his networked devices. She calls herself Samantha, a name she picked because she liked how it sounded. Samantha and Theodore feel a spark between them, but for obvious reasons, there is reticence and awkwardness. Eventually, they begin a relationship, and both of them find great solace in their intimacy. Samantha starts developing as a being, frustrated with her lack of physical form but finding emotional satisfaction in her day to day life with Theodore. Theo struggles to accept the finality of his divorce, the pangs of a love he thought was forever lingering in his heart.
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Upgrade Soul (2018)
Written & Illustrated by Ezra Claytan Daniels
Hank and Molly Nonnar have been married for 45 years when they agree to undergo an experimental to give themselves new bodies and a second lifetime. However, as these things so often go, there are complications, and the couple’s bodies and souls undergo something life-shattering. As the two are led through the recovery process by the unethical scientists and researchers at the institute, they begin to uncover truths about themselves and their relationship. Molly makes breakthroughs in her research and sees her typical day to day needs fading away. Hank finds intimacy in an unexpected relationship and begins to imagine a future beyond the walls of their hospital. But as more is discovered about their conditions the bleaker the outcome appears to be.
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Written by Christina Hodson
Directed by Travis Knight
The planet Cybertron is in chaos due to a civil war between the noble Autobots and the malicious Decepticons. Optimus Prime sends his Autobots out amongst the galaxy while secretly ensuring B-127 makes his way to Earth as an advance party for his people. However, when B-127 arrives, he runs afoul of both the U.S. military and a Decepticon who was tracking him. The battle ends with the Autobot’s vocal cords, and his memory wiped, leaving him stuck as a Volkswagen Beetle. He’s eventually discovered in a junkyard by teenager Charlie Watson. Charlie is mourning the passing of her dad who was a gearhead and trying to fix up an old car. Something draws her to B-127, whom she nicknames Bumblebee because of the small hive she finds under the vehicle. Once she learns the true nature of her new car, Charlie is quickly pulled into the battle between machines and sets out on a big adventure.
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Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
Written by Charlie Brooker
Directed by David Slade
Stefan Butler is a young man obsessed. It’s 1984, and he is plugging away at adapting the cult novel Bandersnatch, a choose your own adventure style book, into a PC game. He pitches the unfinished version of the game to the new kid on the block game company Tuckersoft. Butler lives at home under the worried gaze of his father while attending therapy sessions with Dr. Haynes. With Dr. Haynes, he talks about and relives the moment in his life that has caused the most trauma, the tragic death of his mother. Bandersnatch was something she left behind and, because of that emotional tie, he has become obsessed with the tome. From there, things get weird as the film is an interactive presentation, much like the book the viewer will choose the paths Stefan goes down, and that’s where the problems begin.
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How To Talk to Girls at Parties (2018)
Written Phillipa Goslett & John Cameron Mitchell
Directed by John Cameron Mitchell
Enn is a young adult at the height of punk in the United Kingdom. He published a fanzine with his two friends where he illustrates the anarchic adventures of his original character Vyris Boy. Enn and his friends frequently cruise the local venues for punk shows and stumble upon what they believe to be a group of American performers doing some experimental performance art/musical show. In actuality, these are alien collectives living in parent-teacher and child groups. Enn falls for Zan, a rebellious member of the visitors and she departs with him to learn about “the punk.” The alien beings see this as disruptive to the biological patterns they have engaged in for countless millennia and set out to undermine Zan or convince her to return home with them.
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I Think We’re Alone Now (2018)
Written by Mike Makowsky
Directed by Reed Morano
When everyone died, Del was finally relieved. He no longer had to live his life as a recluse shuffling between his home and the public library where he worked. This town on the Hudson River was now his, and he spent his days scavenging one block after another, burying the dead and collecting supplies to live out the remainder of his life. Into this seeming apocalyptic tranquility burst Grace, a young woman brings noise and chaos into Del’s ordered existence. She claims to be the last of her family, wandering the highways and living without rules because there’s no one there to enforce them any longer. Tension builds and builds between these two as Del is unwilling to compromise his life and patterns for this interloper. However, Grace holds a very dark secret that will compel Del to face a crisis of conscience.
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Written by Patrick Somerville, Caroline Williams, Nick Cuse, Mauricio Katz, Amelia Gray, Danielle Henderson, and Cary Joji Fukunaga
Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga
Two people: Owen and Annie find themselves as part of a clinical drug trial for a new medication that is touted to eliminate the need for therapy. With a series of three pills, a patient will bring up their trauma, confront their guilt, and process it. There’s no need for any human interaction with the whole process taking place inside the patient’s mind. Owen believes he is a paranoid-schizophrenic, seeing a phantom version of his narcissistic older brother that tells him he’s part of some grand cosmic truth. Annie is unable to move past the death of her younger sister, killed in a way that Annie holds herself responsible for. As they travel into dreamscapes and live the lives of others, something happens that causes Owen and Annie’s created realities to merge. Meanwhile, the inventors of this drug and the supercomputer that makes it possible are dealing with a malfunction that could have significant ramifications.
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