New to Blu-ray: DOM HEMINGWAY, SABOTAGE, BLUE RUIN, and More

by     Posted 70 days ago

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This week’s new Blu-ray releases include an expletive-filled turn from Jude Law, a buzzy revenge thriller, one of the bigger sci-fi disappointments of the year, and more.  Briefly:

Amazon Suspends Pre-Orders on THE LEGO MOVIE and other Warner Bros. Home Video Titles

by     Posted 112 days ago

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If you’re hoping to pre-order some of Warner Bros. upcoming films through Amazon, you’re going to be out of luck.  The mammoth online retailer is in a contract dispute with Warner Bros. Home Video over the price of their Blu-rays and DVDs.  According to The New York Times “The retailer’s refusal to sell the movies is part of its effort to gain leverage in yet another major confrontation with a supplier to become public in recent weeks.”  Amazon has already been flexing its muscle with the publishing industry, and its standoff with Hachette Book Group has led the retailer to stop accepting pre-orders and delay shipments on Hatchette’s books.

Hit the jump for more.

THE COLLISION: Episode 84 – TRANSCENDENCE and Technophobia

by     Posted 161 days ago

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This week on The Collision, we talk about Transcendence and how it’s bad.  Really, really bad.  This episode contains spoilers about Transcendence because we had to start going into specifics about all the ways it fails, and how it could have been a much better movie.  We also discuss technophobia in movies and popular depictions of science as a negative force.  As always, we finish up with our recommendations.

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“Late Night Television”), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg and @AdamChitwood.

TOP 5: GONE GIRL Trailer, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Set Visit, TRANSCENDENCE, THE EXPENDABLES 3 Set Visit, Zack Snyder Talks BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN

by     Posted 165 days ago

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I’ve used this space on a few occasions to profess my love for ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 documentary series and today’s opening paragraph will get a similar treatment. Director Zak Levitt‘s aptly titled Bad Boys debuted this past Thursday night and, even as someone who grew up adoring the Chicago Bulls, I loved almost every second of it (even with his Detroit roots, I could have lived without the Kid Rock narration). The film focuses on the years of Detroit Pistons basketball known as “The Bad Boys Era”, which included back-to-back NBA Championships for the franchise in ’89 and ’90. As is often the case with 30 for 30 films, Levitt does a nice job of framing the Pistons’ iconic run within a societal context; in this case, the 1967 Detroit riot. In doing this, the pic not only offers a fascinating perspective of the team itself but also great insight into what their trademark physical style of play meant to a city still reeling from the effects of the riot. Less important, but an added plus nonetheless, is the fact that I’m now buzzing with nostalgia for the SNES game Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball.

My broken record praise of 30 for 30 aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights the first trailer for David Fincher‘s Gone Girl, Steve’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes set visit, Transcendence interviews and Matt’s review, Steve’s The Expendables 3 set visit, and Zack Snyder discussing Batman vs. Superman costumes and more. Do the right thing and keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

Friday Box Office: CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER Battles RIO 2 for the Top Spot, While HEAVEN IS FOR REAL Trumps TRANSCENDENCE

by     Posted 165 days ago

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This Good Friday wasn’t so great for Wally Pfister’s directorial debut, the sci-fi drama Transcendence, as the film debuted in a sub-$5 million opening.  The film barely managed to stay ahead of this weekend’s other overlooked (and for good reason) debut, A Haunted House 2, and that’s only if current estimates hold.  The Johnny Depp-starrer received no help from critics as it currently holds a 19% rating on RT, and failed to impress our own Matt Goldberg.  What did impress audiences this week, or at least a certain subsection of them, was the religious-themed Wednesday debut, Heaven Is for Real, which claims Friday’s third spot (and reclaims its budget) leading into Easter weekend.

None of the new entries, however, proved to be a contest for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Rio 2, which repeat their box office rivalry from last week.  It’s still pretty close, as estimates only separate the top two spots by a paltry (to some) $300,000 or so.  Will Cap win the weekend, or will the family-friendlier animated sequel reap the holiday audience rewards?  Check back tomorrow to find out!

Title  Friday Total
1.  Captain America: The Winter Soldier  $9,566,000 $184.5
2.  Rio 2  $9,200,000 $62.1
3.  Heaven Is for Real  $7,850,000 $14.9
4.  Transcendence  $4,815,000 $4.8
5.  Haunted House 2  $4,030,000 $4.0

Morgan Freeman Talks TRANSCENDENCE, Working with Wally Pfister on His Directorial Debut, the Success of THE LEGO MOVIE, LUCY, Future Projects, and More

by     Posted 166 days ago

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Now playing in theaters is Wally Pfister’s directorial debut Transcendence.  The film revolves around a group of scientists trying to build the first self-aware supercomputer, and when lead researcher Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) becomes the target of anti-technology extremists, he unexpectedly becomes a participant in his own transcendence.  Rebecca Hall and Paul Bettany play two of Will’s fellow researchers, and as we’ve seen from the trailer, they have conflicting viewpoints on turning their co-worker into a computer.  The film also stars Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Cole Hauser, and Clifton Collins Jr.  For more on Transcendence, click here to watch some clips and here’s all our previous coverage.

Last week at the Los Angeles press day, I landed an exclusive interview with Freeman.  He talked about how he got involved in the project, working with Pfister, if he thinks great directors share some common traits, if directors get intimidated working with him, if he thought The LEGO movie would be such a huge hit, Luc Besson’s Lucy, how he won’t be in London Has Fallen (the sequel to Olympus Has Fallen), how he might be doing a remake of Going in Style, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say. 

TRANSCENDENCE Review

by     Posted 167 days ago

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Much like its digitized main character, Transcendence has a cold, distant personality that might understand how humans act but can’t comprehend how they feel.  It’s not too difficult to explore the dangers of a man being consumed by technology.  That story goes all the way back to the tale of Icarus.  It may feel relevant due to our investment in the Internet and the distance we create every day by putting our lives online rather than forging real personal connections, but Wally Pfister‘s directorial debut sticks to a path where other films have gone before.  The movie still asks worthwhile questions, but they’re never elevated beyond dorm-room level philosophy.  Additionally, these questions overshadow the characters, who are reduced to pieces of a conversation we’ve already had before.

Johnny Depp, Director Wally Pfister and Writer Jack Paglen Talk TRANSCENDENCE, Artificial Intelligence, the Frankenstein Archetype, BLACK MASS, and More

by     Posted 167 days ago

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In the directorial debut of Academy Award-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister, Transcendence tells the story of Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp), the most prominent researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, whose controversial work has made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists.  When tragedy strikes, Will’s wife, Evelyn (Rebecca Hall), takes drastic measures that have unimaginable consequences.

During a conference at the film’s press day, actor Johnny Depp, director Wally Pfister and screenwriter Jack Paglen talked about Artificial Intelligence and technology, the presence of the Frankenstein archetype, making this film with a first-time director with a script from a first-time screenwriter, whether Will Caster is a bad guy, whether there’s a line you shouldn’t cross, even if it’s for love, and the poetic imagery of the film.  Depp also talked about why he wanted to take on James “Whitey” Bulger for the upcoming feature film Black Mass.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

TRANSCENDENCE Giveaway

by     Posted 176 days ago

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Wally Pfister has done excellent work as a cinematographer on films like The Dark Knight, Inception, and Moneyball, but he’s making the move to the director’s chair with the ambitious sci-fi thriller Transcendence.  The film revolves around a group of scientists trying to build the first self-aware supercomputer, and when lead researcher Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) becomes the target of anti-technology extremists, he unexpectedly becomes a participant in his own transcendence.  In anticipation of the pic’s release, we’re happy to give away a few Transcendence-related items to some lucky readers, including a solar charger, T-shirts, passes to see the film, and more.

Hit the jump to find out how you can win and to get a look at the materials.  Transcendence opens in theaters on April 18th, following special 8pm screenings on April 17th.

Atlanta Readers: Win Passes to See TRANSCENDENCE

by     Posted 176 days ago

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Watch out, people.  We’re getting a blockbuster movie that isn’t a remake/reboot/sequel/prequel or adaptation.  Transcendence is an original screenplay, it’s the directorial debut of Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister (Inception), and it has a cool concept.  For those that don’t know, Johnny Depp plays a scientist who uploads his mind into a computer.  And in another surprising twist, Depp’s character isn’t covered in makeup and wearing a wacky costume.  This should be interesting.

I’m pleased to announce we’re giving away 25 pairs of passes to the Atlanta screening of Transcendence.  Hit the jump to find out how you can see the movie early and for free.  The film also stars Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Cillian Murphy, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Cole Hauser, and Clifton Collins Jr.  Transcendence opens in traditional theaters and IMAX on April 18th.

Watch 7 Clips and 13 Minutes of Behind-the-Scenes Footage from TRANSCENDENCE

by     Posted 178 days ago

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With Wally Pfister’s upcoming directorial debut Transcendence opening April 18th, Warner Bros. has provided us with seven clips and thirteen minutes of behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the movie.  The film revolves around a group of scientists trying to build the first self-aware supercomputer, and when lead researcher Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) becomes the target of anti-technology extremists, he unexpectedly becomes a participant in his own transcendence.  Pfister has done excellent work as a cinematographer in recent years with films like The Dark Knight, Inception, and Moneyball, but the big question is can he make the leap to the director’s chair.  So far the marketing materials have promised Transcendence is a smart, sci-fi-tinged thriller, and I’m very curious what audiences are going to think.

Hit the jump to watch the clips and behind-the-scenes footage.  The film also stars Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Cole Hauser, and Clifton Collins Jr.

Johnny Depp Explores the World of Artificial Intelligence in New Featurette for TRANSCENDENCE

by     Posted 188 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released a new featurette for director Wally Pfister’s sci-fi film Transcendence.  The pic deals with the issues surrounding the reality of artificial intelligence, as Johnny Depp plays a scientist who becomes the subject of his work when his consciousness is uploaded into a supercomputer.  Instead of offering a look behind the scenes, this featurette mainly focuses on clearly explaining the plot to those that might still be confused regarding the nature of Transcendence.  The film continues to look interesting, but I’m starting to worry that the amount of footage that’s been released has given away the entire main arc of the story.  Regardless, it’s nice to see Depp in a role that doesn’t hide him behind elaborate makeup effects, and there are certainly some big ideas to be explored with the central premise.

Hit the jump to watch the featurette, and click here for 35 high-resolution images.  The film also stars Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Cole Hauser, and Clifton Collins Jr.  Transcendence opens in traditional theaters and IMAX on April 18th.

35 New Images from TRANSCENDENCE Featuring Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Morgan Freeman, and Kate Mara

by     Posted 189 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released a batch of high-resolution images from Wally Pfister’s upcoming directorial debut Transcendence.  The film revolves around a group of scientists trying to build the first self-aware supercomputer, and when lead researcher Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) becomes the target of anti-technology extremists, he unexpectedly becomes a participant in his own transcendence.  Pfister has done excellent work as a cinematographer in recent years with films like The Dark Knight, Inception, and Moneyball, but I’m eager to see how he fares in the director’s chair.  The marketing materials have promised that Transcendence is a smart, sci-fi-tinged thriller, and so far this looks to be a strong debut feature from Pfister.

Hit the jump to check out the new high-resolution images.  The film also stars Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Cole Hauser, and Clifton Collins Jr.  Transcendence opens in traditional theaters and IMAX on April 18th.

6 New Images from Wally Pfister’s TRANSCENDENCE Starring Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, and Paul Bettany [UPDATED]

by     Posted 202 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released six new images from Wally Pfister’s upcoming sci-fi thriller, Transcendence.  The film revolves around a group of scientists trying to build the first self-aware supercomputer, and when lead researcher Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) becomes the target of anti-technology extremists, he unexpectedly becomes a participant in his own transcendence.  These images focus primarily on Rebecca Hall and Paul Bettany, who play two of Will’s fellow researchers, and as we’ve seen from the trailer, they have conflicting viewpoints on turning their co-worker into a computer.

Hit the jump to check out the images.  The film also stars Kate Mara, Cillian MurphyClifton Collins, Jr., and Morgan FreemanTranscendence opens in 2D and IMAX on April 18th. [Update: We've added a new featurette after the jump.]

New Posters for BAD WORDS, DIVERGENT, TRANSCENDENCE, and THE DOUBLE

by     Posted 208 days ago

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We’ve got some new posters to share with you from the following films:

  • Bad WordsJason Bateman’s feature directorial debut, starring Kathryn Hahn, Allison Janney, Ben Falcone, Philip Baker Hall and Rohan Chand. Bad Words opens in select theaters March 14th and expands across the country on March 21st and March 28th.  Be sure to check out Steve’s recent interview with Bateman here.
  • Divergent – The IMAX poster for Neil Burger’s adaptation of the Veronica Roth novel, starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Ashley Judd, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoe Kravitz, Miles Teller, Tony Goldwyn, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, and Mekhi PhiferDivergent opens March 21st.
  • TranscendenceWally Pfister’s directorial debut starring Johnny Depp, Paul BettanyRebecca HallKate MaraCillian MurphyClifton Collins Jr., and Morgan Freeman.  Transcendence opens in 2D and IMAX on April 17th.
  • The Double - Richard Ayoade‘s dark comedy starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Yasmin Paige, Noah Taylor, James Fox, Cathy Moriarty, Chris O’Dowd, Sally Hawkins, Craig Robertsand Paddy Considine opens May 9th in limited release in the U.S.

Hit the jump to check them out.

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