Transcendence(2014) Movie Trailer & Review

Transcendence(2014) Movie Trailer & Review
So this was an amazing experience of watching this movie. Has great ideas and inspirations, especially the future of nanotechnology. Transcendence is a science fiction film by WarnerBros, London.
Transcendence” is a most curious name for a movie that never shakes free from those hoary old cliches about the evils of technology and the danger by which man plays at becoming a god. The man in question here is Johnny Depp, whose listless lead performance as a brilliant scientist in the field of artificial intelligence does little to aid this overplotted, dramatically undernourished debut feature from longtime Christopher Nolan d.p. Wally Pfister. Arriving at a crowded spring box office, the pic will test Depp’s drawing power outside of the Disney franchise factory, before weak word of mouth and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” send it packing.
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Big on conceptual ambition, this handsomely mounted technophobic fable is surprisingly short on crowd-pleasing explosions (the comparative lack of eye-popping action perhaps proving its downfall in the multiplexes). And while it may wear the clothes of an A-list 21st-century fantasy, at heart this is a post-Westworld dystopian B-picture about the future-retro collision between man and technology – a film built upon grand ideas rather than grand spectacle, and all the better for it.
The set-up is pure early 1970s sci-fi (Pfister cites the pre-Star Wars canon of The Andromeda Strain, The Omega Man, Silent Running et al as influential) as Johnny Depp's modern Frankenstein, Will Caster, addresses a confrontational audience on the world-changing possibilities of "technological singularity" – the creation of a sentient, self-aware computer that crosses the boundary between man and machine.
Accused of attempting to "create a new God!", Caster is ambushed by neo-luddite terrorists and faces imminent termination unless his consciousness can be uploaded to a databank that promptly demands super-fast access to the internet. But is the new digitised presence to which Will's wife and partner-in-science, Evelyn (Rebecca Hall), now cleaves actually an embodiment of her lost love? Or is the increasingly voracious entity merely a twisted technological extension of her own grief-stricken ambition?
Transcendence(2014) Movie Trailer & Review
While Depp gets top billing (despite being daringly reduced to a small-screen presence at a fairly early stage), the heavy lifting is done by nominal supporting players Hall and Paul Bettany, both of whom do sterling work keeping the human blood count high even as rampaging nanobots and secret underground facilities push the narrative toward the overarching Skynet of The Terminator. The intelligence may be artificial but the emotions seem real, thanks largely to Hall and Bettany's solidly organic efforts; we believe in them even if we don't always believe in the story.
While Depp's digitised presence offers a role-reversed riff on the already familiar themes of Spike Jonze's Her, the central love story here is crucially triangular, with this newly fractured world viewed through Bettany's hypnotic blue eyes, lending an air of underlying melancholia, captured and complemented by Jess Hall's beautiful anamorphic 35mm photography.
Having first made his name as a keen-eyed director of photography on straight-to-video exploitation fare (Night Rhythms and Animal Instincts were low-budget softcore, but they looked a million dollars), Pfister has always known how to tell a story in camera – his images for films such as Inception and The Dark Knight may be dazzling, but his visual sense is rooted in the "show don't tell" school of narrative. Here, with editor David Rosenbloom (who tellingly cut the moody 35mm 70s throwback Out of the Furnace), he maintains a languid pace utterly at odds with the frenetic balderdash that has come to characterise blockbuster fantasy entertainment in the era of Michael Bay.

Transcendence with Johnny Depp – Official Trailer by FanReviews
Mychael Danna's moody, brooding score uses similarly extended strokes, rising and falling on a romantic undercurrent of intertwining themes, underpinning the action with a persistent sense of longing. And while Jack Paglen's screenplay may lack the elegance of Christopher Nolan's Inception script (gaping plot holes and clunky dialogue litter the landscape), it shares with it a desire to dream large; to foreground Twilight Zone-style existential questions over the mundane exigencies of down-to-earth plotting, with occasionally risible but more often laudable results. Sadly, such cinematic dreams don't pay the bills. Although Under the Skin recently proved that there's a healthy market for thought-provoking experimental sci-fi, it did so at a fraction of the cost of Transcendence, which seems oddly overburdened by its $100m budget. Reports that the studio inserted a shot of Morgan Freeman portentously intoning: "It will be the end of mankind as we know it!" into the trailer against the director's wishes (the line, which Pfister disowns, is not in the movie) suggests a rift between his desires and their expectations. Presumably, Pfister's next directorial venture will be somewhat scaled back; having earned his spurs in the Roger Corman stable, he knows how to work fast and cheap, to achieve extraordinary results under restrictive conditions, to turn adversity to his advantage. For the moment, anyone with a fondness for broad canvas, ideas-heavy sci-fi should ignore the negative scuttle and give Transcendence the benefit of the doubt. It may not be perfect, but it's a sincerely ambitious first feature from a film-maker who has both the technical skill and artistic vision to aim for the stars.
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