David Valdes

David Valdes

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Transcendence Review


Good

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

The Dead Pool Review


OK
The fifth and last of the Dirty Harry movies, The Dead Pool may not be the best in the series, but it's probably the funniest. Thanks to Evan Kim's reluctant "Chinese-American partner," Patricia Clarkson's tough reporter, and Liam Neeson's egomaniacal Brit movie director, The Dead Pool is at least populated with memorable supporting characters. The story -- involving a betting pool involving which San Francisco celebrities are going to die (who then start getting murdered) -- is a bit trite, but at 91 minutes, it doesn't get in the way of lots of old-fashioned shootin'.

The Time Machine (2002) Review


Weak
Guy Pearce remakes his second film of the year with The Time Machine... and it's barely March. Unfortunately, he had considerably better luck with The Count of Monte Cristo than with this limp retread.

Then again, the original Time Machine wasn't really anything special - a bunch of bad makeup effects and a weak plot. This time out the makeup's better but the story's a total loss.

Continue reading: The Time Machine (2002) Review

David Valdes

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David Valdes Movies

Transcendence Movie Review

Transcendence Movie Review

Far too slow-paced to work as a thriller and too shallow to properly challenge us...

The Time Machine (2002) Movie Review

The Time Machine (2002) Movie Review

Guy Pearce remakes his second film of the year with The Time Machine... and it's...

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