Westworld

Westworld

Season One, The Maze

DVD - 2017
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A dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the evolution of sin -- exploring a world in which every human appetite, not matter how noble or depraved, can be indulged. Exploring what it means to be human through the eyes of the lifelike AI "hosts" in the park, the series investigates the boundaries of an exotic world set at the intersection of the near future and the reimagined past. Meticulously crafted and artfully designed. Westworld offers its guests an unparalleled, immersive world where they have the freedom to become who they've always wanted to be -- or who they never knew they were. No rules, no laws, no judgment. Live without limits.

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AL_JEREMIAH Feb 17, 2018

If Philip K. Dick were to write a TV series it would look something like Westworld. The show offers a good balance of philosophy and action, amazing special effects, and extraordinary acting. I loved it.

The best part of the series is that it manages to broach fundamental philosophical questions -- identity, being, time -- in a mass medium. The large downside, as other commentators note, is that it drags something fierce. It is like watching a dream on instant replay, but the replay is repeated too many times. You feel like you are almost about to arrive somewhere. Then you are right back at the beginning. Life? Probably. Very Nietzschean.

r
roystreet
Feb 11, 2018

A feminist fantasy hiding in plain sight. . . .

Outwardly about robots acquiring consciousness; inwardly, a tale of women's revolt against the patriarchy.

Even so, what a goddawful waste of time! Granted, there are some extraordinary performances, scenery and production details, but they are overwhelmed by its bloated pomposity. Be sure your "fast forward" is in working order.

The intellectual substructure is based on Shakespeare's "Tempest," where the mage Prospero, with the aid of the spirit Ariel, defends his island against outsiders. Delos (DEE-loss), an island in the Aegean, was home to an oracle of Apollo, the leader of the Muses. Clearly, WestWorld is meant to suggest the world of Art and Let's Pretend. Through the "magic" of film and TV, we can indulge our fantasies and no one is really killed. The big problem here, though, is that the mumbo-jumbo about consciousness never is satisfactorily integrated into the story; it floats above it like oil on water.

The women's revolt is triggered because WestWorld, though supposedly open to everyone, is defined by violence and sexual gratification geared for men. The leaders of the revolt are Maeve - the name comes from an ancient Irish queen, who represents "mother right" - female power before it was usurped by men - and Dolores ("Pains"), representative victim of men's abuse of power.

If one half is about empowering women, the other half is about tearing men down. Sometimes it's figurative, as in the case of Teddy, whose name is ironic (Theodore means "Gift of God"), and whose sense of himself as hero and god's gift to women is gradually destroyed.

Sometimes, it's literal. Countless (literally) men are shot, knifed, and otherwise dispatched, Nothing new there. It is the ferocity and relish with which the vengeful women do it that send the real message.

In its righteous wrath, It sometimes overreaches: creating the ridiculous Sizemore (sic), for instance. And how about the truly wince-inducing scene where the tech support Elsie tries to humiliate a nude black male host by making derogatory remarks about the size of his "equipment" - while the camera lovingly pans over said equipment?

P.S. Understand that, like a 'host,' you have been programmed by leftie Hollywood not to be conscious of this aspect of the movie or read this review.

m
misatim
Feb 11, 2018

Very poorly done and not worth the time

d
ddonster
Feb 06, 2018

They spent $100 million for this series? Wow. The pilot alone was $25 million. Mildly interesting story with themes of reincarnation and self-discovery punctuated with gratuitous violence and nudity. I can think of so many positive things that $100 million could do...

j
jdsurreylibrary
Feb 03, 2018

This series has left me in disbelief of how idiotic & incompetent the employees/people monitoring the 'Westworld' theme park are in terms of security & safety protocol. No-one can be that dumb to not notice the things that were going on in this show and not take extra preventative measures. Completely unreal.

LPL_EliH Jan 19, 2018

In Westworld, a somewhat goofy premise-- a Wild West theme park stocked with ultra-realistic androids-- gets the HBO treatment. Naturally, there's a lot of flashy shoot outs, sex, and scheming going on, but what the show really impresses with is its bold narrative choices, executed deftly by an excellent cast. It turns out Westworld is actually more about the act of storytelling-- and the thought that goes into it-- than blowing up robots. Even if that sounds boring to you, it's still very much worth the watch.

w
Womanonfire
Jan 16, 2018

This show is excellent, I was hooked from the first episode!

It's one of those shows that you tell everyone about, smart, original, very interesting with a great cast as well as great writing for the show!

I am not much of a Western fan but I can get down with the WestWorld version of a Western!

Quick heads up, there is a lot of nudity and blood in the show however it's really important to the storyline in the show and it's not at all gratuitous.

MomoT Jan 09, 2018

It's taken me a while to get to it but I'm loving this TV remake of the Michael Crichton movie of Western theme park androids run amok. This reboot is dense and twisting and the performances are outstanding.

b
BritCrimeDramaFan
Dec 20, 2017

Outstanding series where the plot, casting, acting, and photography are top-notch. The viewer empathizes with the AI creations, and is kept guessing as to how things will turn out. Be advised: there's plenty of blood and nudity, but unlike many shows, it's integral to the story, even if a bit over-the-top sometimes.

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martinhans
Dec 17, 2017

martinhans thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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jimg2000
Nov 29, 2017

Tons of quotes available from the web, e.g. wikiquote:
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Westworld_(TV_series)

From Special Features:
It’s the ability of the machine to start encoding itself and start interrogating itself.
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Is it consciousness, is it programing, is it awareness? All individuals tend to be egocentric. But I think it’s a really natural impulse to look at the world through your own perspective and see everything and weigh all actions, in a way, against how they affect you.
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One of the curious elements of the show is empathy for the robot. In many respects it becomes a metaphor, for awakening, for consciousness, for spiritual discovery. And what we find is that the creators are less human than the creations.
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Julian Jaynes in the Bicameral Mind: Cognition the moment at which you reach an inner monologue. Consciousness isn’t a journey upward, but a journey inward. Not a pyramid, but a maze. That inner voice expressing and querying the world around us and ourselves.

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