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Four new movies hit theaters over Easter weekend, though the fight for first place will likely be a rematch between holdovers Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Rio 2.This is because the weekend's highest-profile release, Transcendence, is limping in to theaters with little buzz and horrible reviews. The movie is enough of a curiosity that it won't be a complete disaster, but there is a chance it winds up below $20 million. That would put it close to Heaven is for Real, which got a strong start on Wednesday. Meanwhile, spoof sequel A Haunted House 2 and Disneynature documentary Bears are also opening.Debuting at 3,455 locations, Transcendence stars Johnny Depp as a scientist who has his consciousness uploaded in to a supercomputer. While Depp is still one of the biggest stars in the world, he's coming off two pricey disappointments in Dark Shadows ($79.7 million) and The Lone Ranger ($89.3 million). His »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
With four new modest entries, led by Warner Bros.’ Johnny Depp sci-fi thriller “Transcendence,” tracking in the high teens, the Easter frame looks to be a repeat of last weekend’s box office as Disney-Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and Fox’s “Rio 2″ vie for the top spot in the low-to-mid $20 million range.
The pair previously battled each another for the No. 1 spot, with “Winter Soldier” nabbing a winning $41.3 million over “Rio’s” $39.3 million Stateside debut. Both films could fall around 40%, though “Rio 2″ may fare better given its popularity with families.
“Winter Soldier” so far has amassed more than $170 million domestically; “Rio 2″ nears the $50 million mark through Wednesday.
Other than “Transcendence,” which Warners launches Friday at 3,455 locations, Open Road bows the comedy spoof “A Haunted House 2,” alongside Sony’s “Heaven Is for Real” and Disneynature’s wildlife docu “Bears.”
“Heaven Is for Real,” the »
- Andrew Stewart
Most of the ingredients are here for something special - a decent enough cast, the man behind the visuals of most of Christopher Nolan's works, and a high-concept sci-fi thriller that delves into such heady topics as "neo-ludites" and the metaphysical nature of the soul.Alas, Transcendence, Wally Pfister's directorial debut, is an absolute mess. From its opening shots, in which the camera focuses on a falling rain drop, we know we're in for something dreary and dull. It's as if the whole thing is trying too hard right from the outset, trying to be both populist and poetic, and failing on both fronts.Save for these overt, gimmicky flourishes, it's almost startling that the one thing one could count on about the film, that it would...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
In his directorial debut, Christopher Nolan‘s longtime Dp Wally Pfister serves up a dire warning about all the things that can go wrong when someone other than Christopher Nolan tries to make a Christopher Nolan movie. Transcendence is Inception, in spirit if not in plot, only without the heart, style, intelligence, or grace. Clumsily scripted by […]
- Angie Han
This weekend, the Johnny Depp-starring “Transcendence” opens in all its technophobic glory, across the nation, and while the reviews, ours included, so far, have ranged from mildly poisonous to all-out toxic, the proof will as ever be in the box office pudding. But not only is it a litmus test for whether or not Depp’s star power can carry a film outside the Disney/Tim Burton blockbuster ghetto he’s painted himself into, the film is also the testing ground for the tricky horse-change pulled by its director, longtime Christopher Nolan Director of Photography (Dp) Wally Pfister. Pfister is immensely respected in his previous role, and is indelibly associated with the noirish grit of the Nolan Batman movies, as well as the slick effects-driven sheen of “Inception,” which have become something of the styles du jour for big Hollywood movies — the gold standards that others must try to emulate. »
- The Playlist Staff
Wally Pfister has spent almost fifteen years as Christopher Nolan's go-to cinematographer. From Memento to The Dark Knight Rises, he's been behind the camera capturing incredible action-packed movies. For his directorial debut he chose a cyberthriller and packed it with terrific actors, even getting Nolan to serve as an executive producer. This is all quite an impressive pedigree for a first-time director, but it's also why the finished project, the movie Transcendence, feels so disappointing.
The story begins in the not-too-distant future with Max Waters (Paul Bettany) wandering around the chaotic streets of Berkeley, California. We learn there is no power and the phones are down thanks to an "unavoidable collision" of mankind and technology. After spending just a few moments in this dystopia, we flash back five years to try and understand why. Johnny Depp and Rebecca Hall play Will and Evelyn Caster, a research team and loving »
- Matt Shiverdecker
It doesn't take much to grasp the visuals of a Christopher Nolan film and see that there are two filmmakers at work. Which is why no one was surprised that the Oscar-winning cinematographer behind those films would shift into directing. Wally Pfister shaped the Nolan aesthetic from Memento into the Dark Knight films, and now he's got a big shiny blockbuster all his own: Transcendence, a star-packed sci-fi story that expands his customary sleek visuals and film (not digital) aesthetic. Pfister's not alone. Hollywood is just brimming with directing talent that has yet to be discovered. The industry is peppered by people who have the talent, the vision, and the mileage to be the primary storytelling force behind the scenes. All they're lacking is an opportunity. Pfister's shot is rare, given that this is an industry that would rather trust filmmakers with prolific track records over first-timers. Here are 13 established »
In 1818, around the time British "Luddites" retaliated against the textile industry's increasing use of power looms, Marry Shelley published the first edition of Frankenstein, her horror parable spun from the 19th century's plentiful scientific breakthroughs. A little under 200 years later, director (and Christopher Nolan's longtime cinematographer) Wally Pfister makes his directorial debut with Transcendence, a thriller starring Johnny Depp as the app equivalent of Frankenstein's Monster. Different technology — same technophobia.
'Transcendence' and 60 Other Reasons to Love 2014
As Shelley predicted through her literary proxy Victor Frankenstein, humanity never »
When Katie Holmes popped onto Hollywood's radar in 1998 as lovable girl-next-door Joey Potter on “Dawson's Creek,” many people didn't realize that by that time, she had already worked with Ang Lee and Tobey Maguire on “The Ice Storm.” Within the next two years, she teamed with Doug Liman on “Go,” Curtis Hanson on “Wonder Boys” and Sam Raimi on “The Gift.” Her more recent collaborators include Christopher Nolan (“Batman Begins”), Jason Reitman (“Thank You For Smoking”) and producer Guillermo del Toro (“Don't Be Afraid of the Dark”) — all of whom most actors would kill to work with. While Holmes »
- Jeff Sneider
We are obsessed with technology. This much is true. Between our cell phones and tablets and home computers and whatever else we have in our home that whirs, beeps, or produces faint electromagnetic waves, it sometimes feels like we have a more intimate relationship with our things than the people in our lives. And this has long been the realm of speculative science fiction, which wonders what would happen if that love affair with technology turned really, really dark.
The latest example of this is Warner Bros' new sci-fi epic "Transcendence," which is about the nature of humanity and all of the cumbersome fleshiness that goes with it, and concerns a mad scientist (Johnny Depp) who, after getting poisoned by a radioactive bullet (don't ask) has his consciousness uploaded to a computer which results, of course, in some unintended consequences.
- Drew Taylor
Director Christopher Nolan is known for the secrecy that surrounds the production of his films. Think locked rooms, surreptitiously delivered scripts, each page watermarked with the name of the actor, and endings that are verbally delivered. In fact, during the filming of the final scene from The Dark Knight Rises (Spoiler), Christian Bale was on set in order to prevent leaks about the ending. Although, considering the recent escapade surrounding the Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight leak, one can never be too careful. Nolan has been as evasive as ever about Interstellar, which will be his first film since the end of The Dark Knight Trilogy in 2012. But, since the release of the teaser trailer in December, hints about the up coming science fiction picture are slowly beginning to emerge.
“We have always defined ourselves by the ability to overcome the impossible.” So begins the teaser to Interstellar. What follows is »
- Hannah Campbell
The last four or five editions of the Cannes Film Festival have been heavy on global movie star power. Sure, it won't always compete with Hollywood fueled Toronto, but the programmers have made sure the paparazzi have had someone pretty to photograph on the festival's legendary red carpet. 2014 is no different. (You could also argue more well known actors have jumped into he prestige game in their off time over the past decade, but, frankly, it's somewhat cyclical.) With that in mind, here are 10 big names who we expect to follow their films to Cannes in just a few weeks. Robert Pattinson The former "Twilight" star has been to Cannes before. He starred in David Cronenberg's drama "Cosmopolis" which premiered on the Croisette in 2012. Now, he's back with another Cronenberg title, "Map to the Stars," and David Michôd's "The Rover" alongside Guy Pearce. Nicole Kidman We've known this one for awhile. »
- Gregory Ellwood
Transcendence marks the directorial debut of Wally Pfister, who is best known for being the longtime cinematographer of Christopher Nolan. The film stars Johnny Depp as Dr. Will Caster, an artificial intelligence observer who is looking to create a machine which possesses sentience and collective intelligence. But when he is targeted by an extremist group that opposes technological evolution, Will is forced to download his mind into a computer in order to save his life. The procedure works, but those closest to him are mixed on the outcome: Is it still Will Caster in there, or is it someone else? Whoever it is, he is gaining more and more power and putting the world in increasing peril.
It was a star studded event at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles, California last weekend when the cast, writer and director of Transcendence arrived for a press conference. Among those there were director Wally Pfister, »
- Ben Kenber
Zimmer told Digital Spy that he will begin working on Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” follow-up once he completes the score for Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” (Nolan evidently kept the sci-fi film’s plot a secret from his longtime composer).
“We’ve already had a couple of chats, and once I finish the movie that I shall not talk about, I will probably head over to where Zack is shooting his movie and just hang out a bit and see if we can come up with any ideas,” said Zimmer, who most recently scored Oscar winner “12 Years a Slave” and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”
Zimmer is no stranger to the Batman universe, having penned the music to Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy. However, he »
- Maane Khatchatourian
Directed by: Wally Pfister Written by: Jack Paglen Main Cast: Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Cole Hauser, Cillian Murphy, and others Past Oscar relations: Pfister won Best Cinematography for Inception and Morgan Freeman won Best Supporting Actor for Million Dollar Baby Here now we have the next article in this series on 2014 contenders hoping to compete for Oscar attention at the Academy Award ceremony in 2015. Next up is Dp turned filmmaker Wally Pfister’s directorial debut Transcendence, which hopes to more or less establish Pfister as the next Christopher Nolan (especially since he’s Nolan’s longtime cinematographer), though that may be a somewhat overly optimistic ambition. There’s clearly a bit of Nolan in Pfister though, so we’ll see. He’s got a top notch cast in place here, including Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman (a Nolan veteran), Cole Hauser, »
- Joey Magidson
Wally Pfister made a name for himself as one of the top cinematographers in Hollywood over the past decade, shooting Bennett Miller's "Moneyball," Lisa Cholodenko's "Laurel Canyon," and the films of Christopher Nolan, culminating with his Oscar win for "Inception." But with "Interstellar," Nolan has to do without Pfister for the first time since his debut, "Following," as his regular Dp has greater ambitions. Pfister's directorial debut "Transcendence" hits theaters on April 17. It's a highly ambitious, fascinating concept, but it remains to be seen whether Pfister has a shot at a long-term career as a director. In anticipation for that project, here are fifteen major cinematographers who tried their hand at directing, with varying results. [Just a quick note: this list doesn't include directors who serve as their own cinematographers, such as Steven Soderbergh or Robert Rodriguez.] Mario Bava Cinematography Background: Bava got his start working with none other than Italian »
- Max O'Connell
The idea behind Transcendence is big, ambitious and nearly impossible to pull off in a two hour feature film. For a logic-based narrative such as this one it becomes troubling when it ends up with logic flaws of its own, largely as a result of the film's running time as it would take nearly four hours or one thousand pages to properly set this story up so critical audiences wouldn't ask questions such as, "Why hasn't the government noticed this yetc" However, it's the underlying fabric of this story, the questions it poses about our future, that I found compelling, even if the characters and scenarios involved are a little hokey and ridiculous. Transcendence takes a look at "what's next" for humanity, with the increasing influence of technology in our lives, and how it will be used in the future, driving the narrative. Looking into the idea of what's next »
- Brad Brevet
You can always bet on a lively press conference with Johnny Depp, but a recent Los Angeles tech talk about "Transcendence" and the inevitability of uploading human consciousness into a super computer brought out his more vulnerable side. Depp admitted, among other things, that he's too clumsy when it comes to texting and that his role as an AI scientist-turned megalomaniac was difficult without a flamboyant mask to hide behind. "Things go wrong all the time, especially between me and technology," Depp quipped. "I'm not familiar enough with it and I'm too old school to be able to figure it out. But anything that I have to attack with my thumbs for any period of time makes me feel stupid. So I try to avoid it as much as possible, to protect my thumbs, of course." Joining Depp at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills were Wally Pfister, the Oscar-winning »
- Bill Desowitz
Reviews are in for Wally Pfister's directorial debut "Transcendence," the ambitious sci-fi film starring Johnny Depp as a scientist whose efforts to create the ultimate artificial intelligence machine land him square in the middle of an ideological war. Hopes were high for this one because Pfister, though a first-time director, has worked as cinematographer on all of Christopher Nolan's films (and he won an Oscar in 2011 for "Inception"). Consensus is far off, but with 12 reviews and 25% on the Tomatometer -- and a Metacritic score of 40 with seven reviews -- in general, critics haven't been too kind to the costly film. Costarring Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Cillian Murphy, Kate Mara and Morgan Freeman, "Transcendence" hits theaters this Friday, April 18 via Warner Bros. Here are a few snippets from the reviews so far. (Trailer below.) Indiewire's Eric Kohn admires the film, but with reservations: At its worst, "Transcendence" is a messy, »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Criterion has announced their July 2014 titles and among them is one fans have been waiting a long time to see introduced, David Cronenberg's head-exploding sci-fi Scanners, set for a July 15 release. The set will include a newly restored 2K digital film transfer, supervised by Cronenberg, "The Scanners Way" visual effects documentary, a new interview with Michael Ironside, a 2012 interview with actor and artist Stephen Lack, an excerpt from a 1981 interview with Cronenberg on the CBC's "The Bob McLean Show" and Cronenberg's first feature film, Stereo (1969). Also on July 15 comes Robert Bresson's 1959 classic Pickpocket, telling the story of Michel (Martin Lasalle), a young pickpocket who spends his days working the streets, subway cars, and train stations of Paris. Features include: New, 2K digital film restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray Audio commentary by film scholar James Quandt Introduction by writer-director Paul Schrader The Models of "Pickpocket," a »
- Brad Brevet
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