Transcendence 2014

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Two leading computer scientists work toward their goal of Technological Singularity, as a radical anti-technology organization fights to prevent them from creating a world where computers can transcend the abilities of the human brain.

Starring:
Johnny Depp, Kate Mara
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 59 minutes
Starring Johnny Depp, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy
Director Wally Pfister
Genres Drama
Studio ENTERTAINMENT IN VIDEO
Rental release 25 August 2014
Main languages English
Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 59 minutes
Starring Johnny Depp, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy
Director Wally Pfister
Genres Drama
Studio ENTERTAINMENT IN VIDEO
Rental release 25 August 2014
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Sep 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Wally Pfister, Christopher Nolan's longtime cinematographer, turns director. His first effort is a near future science fiction thriller all about a real world subject. Over reliance on technology and the development of artificial intelligence.

The film begins with the aftermath of it's ending. Which is pretty eye catching, and very evocative. There's voice over narration from Max Waters [Paul Bettany] a man who knows better than anyone how all this came to be.

Then we flash back to find out.

Dr. Will Caster [Johnny Depp] is a leader in the field of artificial intelligence. His aim to create a machine that has all human knowledge, and human emotions with it. A group of fanatics who aren't too keen on that notion attempt to kill him.

But as he dies, his wife [Rebecca Hall] hits on the idea of uploading his mind into a computer.

Will Caster 2.0 results. A machine with human memories. And one that can control an awful lot of technology. Which could be a problem for the entire human race...

Transcendence attempts to look at some very big ideas. What it is to be human. Could a machine ever be sentient. The rate at which technology is advancing, and what happens to humanity as a result. Things like that.

It is very well directed. It does contain some very good cinematography and some very powerful imagery.

But it doesn't really work.

Because, ironically for a movie all about what it is to be human, it doesn't really have any soul. The human characters are cyphers who exist to service the needs of the story. Johnny Depp underacts [three words you might never have expected to hear in a sentence ever again] rather drastically in the lead. Well, either that or he's bored.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Albatross on 2 Sep 2014
Format: DVD
Have you ever looked at one of those ‘magic eye’ pictures? They’re those pictures made entirely of coloured spot and *supposedly* if you stare at them and relax your eyes in just the right way then you’ll see some magical sort of picture contained within. Well… Transcendence is a bit like one of those.

I stared at the film for nearly its two-hour runtime and I’m pretty sure there was something magical contained in there somewhere. I just wasn’t sure of what I’d seen.

For a start (in case you didn’t know) Transcendence wasn’t a commercial success. Despite it’s a-list cast (think Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman), it wasn’t that well-received. One reason – that anyone thinking of watching it should know – is that Johnny Depp’s face was used heavily in the film’s marketing. Therefore, his legions of fans naturally assumed that this was a ‘Johnny Depp film.’ It isn’t. Not really. I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to mention that he dies about twenty minutes into the film. That’s integral to the plot. For he plays a computer genius who is experimenting with artificial intelligence and, after his death, has his consciousness transferred into a machine. And, as the saying goes… with disastrous consequences.

So, what little we see (and hear) of Depp is largely his face on a computer screen throughout most of the film. And that didn’t go down too well with those people who had gone to see the film just because he was in it.

Without wishing to give too much away about the story, I thought it was quite an original idea overall. It was just executed in a bit of an odd way. You’re never really sure what sort of film you’re watching.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. J. Richards on 5 Sep 2014
Format: DVD
So Johnny Depp finally shakes loose of his fancy dress attire and comedy accents to play a more orthodox character only for his now human side to be taken over by a computer. We were all fooled for a moment. The dilemmas with Transcendence begin to manifest right from the opening frame. It begins with a hackneyed narrative device that manages to simultaneously reveal how the film is going to finish while also dampening your expectations for what the next two hours have in store.
Questions teased are these..Would it be something that can be contemplated with? How would it control the world’s technology? How would people react? Would the God-like powers scare or attract people? How would it change future scientific research? They are all skirted over with such laziness and awkwardness that you might aswell be watching The Lawnmower Man instead.
Had it been a romantic drama about a woman clinging to whatever is left of the man she adored, that would have been commendable. Had it been an entertaining action thriller about a guy retreating into a computer and taking over the world, that would have been perfectly worthwhile as well. If it wanted to be an observant and philosophical examination on the nature of A.I. and its spot in the world, that also would be admirable. But it is if the filmmakers wanted to take all these approaches, then it failed at properly balancing them. There was a hell of a lot of the proverbial cake eaten.
Nearly every major actor is wasted with only Rebecca Hall coming out with any credit. Wally Phister may have been exceptional as a cinematographer but Transcendence is so mindbogglingly redundant that you even forget to mention how good the film looks in terms of the cinematography. If only the movie had a shred of actual intelligence we may all have been saved from such a messy finished specimen.
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