View Full Version : Transcendence (Wally Pfister)

04-18-2014, 04:41 AM

Director: Wally Pfister

imdb (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2209764/?ref_=nv_sr_2)


04-18-2014, 11:39 AM
No comments?

04-18-2014, 04:23 PM
I liked it, a lot more than I was expecting to based on the trailers. Pretty interesting I thought.

04-20-2014, 09:49 PM
Wow this bombed.

Henry Gale
04-21-2014, 01:46 AM
The impression I got was that everyone seemed on the fence about whether or not this was going to be worth making time for (especially over a holiday weekend), then the general critical consensus trickled out before its opening and everyone seemingly decided to catch up with Captain America or wait for Spider-Man instead.

So I thought, okay, definitely a weak domestic weekend, but in a superhero-heavy season with different release dates around the globe I thought it could easily bounce back from once overseas tickets came into play, since I assumed its budget, despite what Depp and Freeman's paychecks might've mustered out of it, wouldn't have cost much more than $50-70 million going by the look of the trailers. I mean it just looks like people in big rooms looking at screens with Depp's talking head on them (stuff he could've shot in a few days).

But then I saw WB claim the production budget as $100 million. HOW.

As much as I'm for studios dishing out big bucks for an original, ostensibly heady sci-fi property, that number just seems insane. Especially if, like in most cases, it's a PR low-ball figure, and one that doesn't even account for marketing.


Stay Puft
04-21-2014, 05:20 AM
Well I took a chance on it and haha no.

People who were reacting to the trailer saying it looked like something from the 90's weren't too far off the mark. With awful dialogue like "I suppose it was an inevitable clash between man and technology" and "but does it have a soul" and "are you saying you're trying to create God" and on and on and on... jeez this would have been clichéd and outdated a decade ago, never mind in 2014. Cillian Murphy's character namedrops Y2K at one point. Who the fuck even remembers that or cares.

But mostly I found myself wishing it was next week and I was watching a new episode of Person of Interest instead. There are a lot of echoes of that show here, mostly superficial similarities none too surprising given the premise (they're both about the birth of AI) but the comparison really lowered my opinion of the film. At first I thought maybe I was being unfair; a television show obviously has a lot more time to devote to interesting plot developments. But blame also goes to Pfister, who can't really seem to figure out how to build a scene. There's one moment in the film where a terrorist organization (like Vigilance in POI) tries to attack Rebecca Hall before she can upload Depp to the internet. There's a shot of them approaching, an "installing" bar on the computer screen as Depp installs his satellite software or whatever, a quick flash of text saying "Run" and then a shot of Hall leaving, getting in her car and driving away. The terrorists cut the power at the last minute (more clichés), and then Kate Mara says "we're too late" and one of the terrorists shoots some computers (now pointless). Despite the imminent threat, there's no actual sense of danger since Hall just leaves. Nothing interesting happens, because we just watch a loading screen get cut off at the last minute but oh of course Depp is online now. There's no tension, no action, no drama, no nothing. The whole movie is like this. I found it a dull chore to sit through.

08-25-2014, 12:03 AM
This is not an overwhelming success, but it's not the disaster many people claim either. A "noble failure" would be one way to describe it.

The main problem is that the writer fails to milk any dramatic tension out of his sci-fi scenario. When the outcome is told from the start and both protagonist and antagonist(s) are stuck too far apart most of the time it's admittedly hard, but perhaps the solution should have been to cut the screentime down. As it is Transcendence becomes a drag.

08-28-2014, 06:18 AM
This recently released video may be of interest to some of you. Kermode thinks the film "is ripe for reappraisal; that, actually, a lot of people had missed its virtues."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjJW0B89QqE&list=UUCxK PNMqjnqbxVEt1tyDUsA

09-10-2014, 08:26 AM
Ahh fuck it, a mild yay. A film out of time, I'm struck by how so many critics have lazily reduced its ideology to reactionary luddism (its clunky storytelling on the other hand is fair game), when it strikes me as something more along the lines of Jack Arnold/Ray Bradbury's It Came From Outer Space, with the twisted romanticism of The Fly and liberal borrowings from the PKD playbook mixed in for good measure. It looks nice too, without a processed shade of teal or orange in sight.

04-26-2015, 03:47 PM
Borrowed this from the library. Not bad, not great. The pacing was the most notable oddity to me. It seems very steady and deliberately a tad slow...like Michael Myers walking after you and never ever stopping. It just goes and goes and goes. The plot/writing missteps are blatant and obvious, and too much time is spent on focusing on the photography (of course) and not on the direction. I can always tell when a guitar player in a band steps up to handle the producing duties on a new record because all the attention is on the guitars and not the work as a whole, and that is true of this in spades. When all said and done its not a total loss though. I did enjoy it, but the criticisms I've read seem pretty fair.