Far too slow-paced to work as a thriller and too shallow to properly challenge us as science fiction, this film is unlikely to please many audience members. That isn't to say that it's unwatchable: it looks terrific, and features a strong cast who are solid in thinly written roles. But the material promises far more than the film delivers.
At the centre is Will (Johnny Depp), an artificial intelligence expert who is attacked by an anti-technology terrorist group. With only weeks to live, his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and his colleague Max (Paul Bettany) upload his consciousness into his computer system, so after he dies he is able to transcend his humanity to solve far-advanced problems. He directs Evelyn to create a vast secret hideout to further develop the work, which progresses for two years until the terrorists, led by Bree (Kate Mara), find them. And now Will's old colleague Joseph (Morgan Freeman) and an FBI agent (Cillian Murphy) have to choose which side they're on.
This is precisely where the script fails: the sides are far too clear from the start. What should be a story packed with moral ambiguity is instead shaped into a straightforward good versus evil drama that betrays screenwriter Jack Paglen's mistrust of technology. And since everything is slanted so sharply, there's nowhere for the story or characters to go. First-time director Wally Pfister (the Oscar-winning Dark Knight cinematographer) makes sure everything look terrific, but everything moves so hesitantly that we feel like we're watching the movie in slow motion. It's as if the film is always on the verge of saying something important, but can never quite get the words out.
Continue reading: Transcendence Review
Cole Hauser, son and Cynthia Daniel - Long Beach Grand Prix ProCeleb Race Day - Long Beach, California, United States - Saturday 12th April 2014
Computer genius Will Caster is involved in a technological program exploring the world-changing possibilities of artificial intelligence. Their goal is to create a machine that will have knowledge beyond the minds of human beings collectively, while also being able to reach Transcendence; a state in which this artificial mind can begin to feel human emotion. After a particularly enlightening seminar in which the goals of the project in terms of medicine are highlighted, he is shot suddenly. At first it appears that he is going to survive as the bullet didn't hit any major organs, but doctors quickly realise that the attack was much more insidious as it has been laced with radioactive matter. With only weeks to live as research labs across the country are being targeted by a radical anti-technology activist group called RIFT, Caster must find a way to live. When his wife Evelyn manages to upload his consciousness, it seems his project has been fulfilled - but it soon becomes clear that the power he is about to wield will put the world at risk.
Continue: Transcendence - Alternative Trailer
Will Caster is a computer scientist researching technology into the possibilities of artificial intelligence. After a gripping seminar where he described his desire to create a machine with not only an intelligence that exceeds human beings collectively, but also experience emotion - a state in which he refers to as Transcendence - he is gunned down by a radical activist who is part of anti-technology group RIFT. With the bullet not penetrating any major organs, the main damage the organization seems to have done is virtually attack research computers in all the main labs of the country, but when it turns out that that bullet was laced with radioactive material, Caster is given just weeks to live. Determined not to die, Caster and his wife Evelyn work out a way to upload his consciousness so that he can communicate even beyond the grave. However, not everybody is so sure of what has happened; a concern which becomes more and more warranted as Carter's mind begins to evolve.
'Transcendence' is the unnerving sci-fi directorial debut of Oscar winning cinematographer Wally Pfister ('The Dark Knight Rises', 'The Italian Job', 'Inception'). Initially written by Jack Paglen (who will be writing 'Prometheus 2'), it has been re-written by Pfister, Jordan Goldberg ('Inception: Motion Comics' TV series) and Alex Paraskevas ('Walker Payne') and is set to be released in the UK on April 25th 2014.
There really is no point in looking for logic in a fifth Die Hard movie; these films have become a parody of themselves, wallowing in their inane action set pieces and sassy one-liners without much concern for plot or coherence. And this is no exception. There may be the bare bones of a decent narrative here, as our hero John McClane gets in the middle of a messy spy situation. But the unsubtle filmmaking blunts everything. On the other hand, it's so committed to entertaining us that resistance is futile.
This time, John (Willis) takes an urgent trip to Moscow, where his estranged son Jack (Courtney) has been arrested for murder. But before John even gets into the courthouse, chaos erupts in the streets and John ends up on the run with Jack and Yuri (Koch), a fellow prisoner. As cars and buildings crash down around them, John discovers that Jack is actually an undercover CIA operative helping Yuri escape in exchange for a file of information about corrupt government official Viktor (Kolesnikov). As Viktor's tap-dancing goon (Bukvic) chases them into the countryside, there are a series of twists and turns that lead them to, of all places, Chernobyl.
But don't worry, an overdramatic scene establishes that the nuclear residue can be instantly eradicated by some sort of magical gas. So this frees our heroes for the usual antics involving enormous guns, mammoth explosions and lots of bad guys coming to inventively grisly ends. Along the way there's one of the most mind-bogglingly destructive car chase imaginable, like Bourne on acid, as well as a couple of preposterously fiery helicopter assaults. In between, Willis and Courtney have fun with the father-son dynamic, alternating between bitterness and emotional bonding before heading back out to "kill some scumbags".
Continue reading: A Good Day To Die Hard Review
President of the United States Benjamin Asher has had enough trauma while being in office, and things are about to get a whole lot worse. What with the current conflicts between the States and North Korea, there is a known danger that a war could erupt between the two countries; however, Asher had little to suspect when he welcomed a South Korean ministerial aide into the White House. In a terrifying turn of events, he is kidnapped by the aide who reveals himself to be Kang, a North Korean terrorist with little interest in negotiations. Trapped in the building as it becomes under siege by Kang's cohorts is Mike Banning; a former Secret Service agent who was discredited after making a mistake at the expense of a life while acting as a Presidential guard. Despite his being shunned from the government for his errors, with his insider knowledge he becomes the only hope they have of rescuing the President from a grisly fate.
Continue: Olympus Has Fallen Trailer
John McClane, a trigger happy New York cop, returns in the fifth movie of the 'Die Hard' franchise. This time, the terrorists he must face are based in Moscow, Russia. He flies there after discovering that his son Jack, with whom he has been estranged for some time, has got into some trouble with the Russian law enforcement and has been arrested. It doesn't take long for it to unravel that Jack has somehow got involved with a terrorist plot that McClane must pull him out of.
'A Good Day To Die Hard' will become the gritty action film series' fifth instalment following 2007's 'Live Free or Die Hard', 1995's 'Die Hard with a Vengeance', 1990's 'Die Hard 2' and the original 'Die Hard' in 1988 that was based on the 1979 novel 'Nothing Lasts Forever' by Roderick Thorp. The previous movies have had three different directors and four different writers and this time we see director John Moore take on the role with a resume that includes 'Max Payne', 'The Omen' and 'Behind Enemy Lines'. 'Die Hard' number five has been written by Skip Woods ('Hitman', 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine', 'Swordfish') and will be released in UK cinemas on Valentine's Day next year (February 14th 2013).
Alice Pratt (Alfre Woodard) and Charlotte Cartwright (Kathy Bates) have been friends for over 30 years. The former runs a small diner. The latter is the CEO of a local construction company. Alice has two daughters -- snooty career gal Andrea (Sanaa Lathan) and honest, hardworking Pam (Taraji P. Henson). Charlotte has a conniving son named William (Cole Hauser) who cheats on his wife Jillian (KaDee Strickland). After marrying the decent Chris (Rockmond Dunbar), Andrea begins a torrid affair with her boss -- who happens to be William. He wants to take over for his aging mother, believing it is his birthright. In the meantime, a new employee (Robin Givens) stirs things up for the adulterous duo. Soon, all the simmering secrets in the Pratt and Cartwright households will be out in the open.
Continue reading: The Family That Preys Review
We follow the frantic, out-of-control maneuvers of two cops in particular, Salim Adel (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and Armando Sancho (Clifton Collins Jr.). These are two law enforcement officers out of the barrio, familiar with its culture and the scummy men who run it. But paragons of law they are not, and they have about as much resistance to corruption as a tin badge in seawater.
Continue reading: Dirty Review
The novel White Oleander was a 1999 selection of the ubiquitous Oprah Winfrey Book Club and you can tell why: There are so many brutally dysfunctional people in the story that Dr. Phil could produce months of television delving into their sorry lives. Astrid (Alison Lohman) is an only child, growing up in the Hollywood Hills with Ingrid (Michelle Pfeiffer), her eccentric, urban-arty mother. After a series of events that Kosminsky smartly keeps off-camera, Ingrid kills her boyfriend. Or does she? And how? Regardless, the beautiful, hopeful, young Astrid is picked up by state services and sent to live in a double-wide with a foster family.
Continue reading: White Oleander Review
Joel Schumacher, director of some of the worst films in a generation (8MM, Batman & Robin, Batman Forever), redeems himself with his first really good flick since Falling Down in 1993. A tale of army recruits in their final days of training before heading to Vietnam in 1971, Tigerland is an original and modestly powerful anti-war film that never even goes "in country."
Continue reading: Tigerland Review
Far too slow-paced to work as a thriller and too shallow to properly challenge us...
Computer genius Will Caster is involved in a technological program exploring the world-changing possibilities of...
Will Caster is a computer scientist researching technology into the possibilities of artificial intelligence. After...
There really is no point in looking for logic in a fifth Die Hard movie;...
President of the United States Benjamin Asher has had enough trauma while being in office,...
John McClane, a trigger happy New York cop, returns in the fifth movie of the...
John McClane, a trigger happy New York cop, returns in the fifth movie of the...
Tyler Perry is trying. Instead of sticking exclusively to the urban morality plays that made...
White Oleander is one girl's dramatic coming-of-age story -- emphasis on the word "dramatic." A...
As it turns out, war can be hell even if you never leave home.Joel Schumacher,...