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Transcendence

Transcendence is the directorial debut from acclaimed cinematographer Wally Pfister (Memento, The Dark Knight, Inception) centered around Dr. Will Caster, who (after being shot by an irradiated bullet) has only weeks to live. In this time, his wife Evelyn and best friend Max (Rebecca Hall and Paul Bettany respectively) come up with a plan to save Will by uploading his consciousness to the largest supercomputer on the planet. But, even though the process seemed to work, is the ghost in the machine truly Will, or simply a manifestation of what he was in order for the AI to spread?

Transcendence is a disturbing and realistic view of the "technology-will-destroy-humanity" cautionary tale, and it's a very original look at it, but sadly, even though Pfister does come prepared and with great experience from working with legendary filmmaker Christopher Nolan for years, Transcendence suffers from poor pacing and structure in the story delivery. Jack Paglen's script also suffers from underdeveloped characters and grand ideas and concepts that are never fully realized (most of them, anyway). Pfister's directing is absolutely spectacular, and he really knew what to do when he sat in the chair. His brilliant and unique eye kept the film from being a disaster, how the camera moves fluidly with the scene and characters. Even the slow-motion in some of the scenes, while unnecessary, made the scenes even greater. The acting is great, especially from Paul Bettany as Max, who brings a certain heart and emotion to the film that none of the other characters possess. Johnny Depp was good as Will Caster, but it wasn't until the third act of the film where the audience really feels attached emotionally to him, and Rebecca Hall was stunning as Evelyn Caster, and the conflicting emotions her character went through were felt by the audience as well. The musical score by Mychael Danna was great, haunting and grand when it needed to be, the editing was seamless, and the cinematography was breath-taking; you can tell Christopher Nolan was attached to this in some way. Then, the visual effects; easily some of the best effects of the year.

Transcendence is a supremely underrated film from an accomplished cinematographer that deserves more credit than the crap it's been getting from critics. In no world should this have a lower rating than any Transformers film; there's something wrong with the world if it says that way.

8/10 Stars



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