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 213 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.

TRANSCENDENCE Review

by     Posted 215 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.

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

by     Posted 226 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 236 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 237 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.

TOP 5: ROBOCOP, TRANSCENDENCE, Paramount to Release Darren Aronofsky’s Cut of NOAH, TAMMY, JODOROWSKY’S DUNE Trailer

by     Posted 276 days ago

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The best thing I can say about director Jose Padilha‘s RoboCop remake is that, for better or worse, it tries to do its own thing. It makes an honest attempt at updating the scathing social critique of the original to fit within our immediate corporate and political landscape and I respect it for that. The most condemning thing I can say about the film is that I found it painfully boring. Aside from the original music playing over the opening title card and watching Samuel L. Jackson‘s spot-on depiction of the pure theater that cable television sells as honest political discourse, I rarely mustered so much as a grin throughout the film’s 108 minutes. To be fair, I don’t envy anyone who is tasked with making a PG-13 reimagining of Paul Verhoeven‘s subversive classic. It’s like Verhoeven was allowed to work with a sledgehammer and Padilha was asked to make due with a Q-tip. It was never a fair fight to begin with.

Opening thoughts aside, we’ll talk more about the RoboCop remake in this week’s Top 5 including an official review and interviews for the film. We’ll also cover the new trailer for Wally Pfister‘s directorial debut Transcendence, Paramount’s decision to release Darren Aronofsky‘s cut of Noah to theaters, the first trailer for Melissa McCarthy‘s Tammy, and a trailer for the excellent looking doc Jodorowsky’s Dune. As is so often the case, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.

New Trailer for TRANSCENDENCE Starring Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, and Rebecca Hall

by     Posted 280 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released a new trailer for Wally Pfister‘s directorial debut Transcendence.  The sci-fi film stars Johnny Depp as Dr. Will Caster, a researcher at the forefront of Artificial Intelligence science who becomes intimately entwined with his research after an attack by the anti-technology terrorist group, R.I.F.T.  Whereas the first trailer was a quick rundown of the film’s premise, this second trailer shows things down a bit to give us a good look at what Pfister has put together.  The pic looks like a tense and trippy science-fiction thriller almost in the vein of Videodrome, and I’m very curious to see to what extent Pfister explores the larger implications of tech-growth in our digital age.  My only qualm with this trailer is that it looks like it might be giving away too much of the story, but hopefully Pfister is keeping further surprises under wraps.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Paul BettanyRebecca HallKate MaraCillian MurphyClifton Collins Jr., and Morgan Freeman.  Transcendence opens in 2D and IMAX on April 17th.

Full Trailer for Wally Pfister’s TRANSCENDENCE Starring Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman

by     Posted 333 days ago

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We recently saw three teaser videos for Wally Pfister’s Transcendence, but the first full trailer is now available, and it looks very promising.  Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean) stars as Dr. Will Caster, a researcher at the forefront of Artificial Intelligence science, who becomes intimately entwined with his research after an attack by the anti-technology terrorist group, R.I.F.T.  Pfister’s dramatic cinematography is in full display, but the themes he’s decided to tackle make his directorial debut all the more interesting for me.  Except for one head-scratcher of a plot point in this first trailer (you’ll know it when you hear it), I’m already putting Transcendence high on my “Most Anticipated” list of 2014 films.

Also starring Paul BettanyRebecca HallKate MaraCillian MurphyClifton Collins Jr., and Morgan FreemanTranscendence opens in 2D and IMAX on April 17, 2014.  Hit the jump to watch the trailer.

New Viral Video for TRANSCENDENCE Advocates Independence from Technology

by     Posted 333 days ago

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Yesterday Warner Bros. released the first two teaser trailers for 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.  A new viral video released today introduces us to said anti-technology extremists, who go by the name RIFT—Revolutionary Independence from Technology.  It’s clear that Pfister isn’t just trying to make a fun sci-fi film with Transcendence, but he’s also exploring some big ideas about how technology wholly encompasses our daily lives.

Hit the jump to watch the viral video.  The film also stars Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, Clifton Collins Jr., and Morgan FreemanTranscendence opens in 2D and IMAX on April 17, 2014.

Morgan Freeman Narrates Second Teaser for Christopher Nolan’s TRANSCENDENCE

by     Posted 334 days ago

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This morning, we got our first taste of Wally Pfister’s feature directorial debut Transcendence by way of a pretty enigmatic teaser trailer.  Pfister took a page out of longtime collaborator Christopher Nolan’s book (Pfister served as Nolan’s cinematographer for many years) by offering up a teaser trailer that shows no actual footage from the film, and now Warner Bros. has released a second teaser for the film.  Though this video doesn’t show any footage either, it does have Morgan Freeman talking about the singularity.

Hit the jump to watch the second teaser, and click here to watch the first teaser.  The film also stars Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, and Clifton Collins Jr.Transcendence opens in 2D and IMAX on April 17, 2014.

First Images from Wally Pfister’s TRANSCENDENCE Starring Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, and Morgan Freeman

by     Posted 341 days ago

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Earlier this week, we got the official synopsis for Transcendence, the directorial debut of Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister (Inception), and now the first images have gone online.  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.  “It’s a very timely subject as we find we have to update the software on our cell phones before we can even make a call,” Pfister tells Entertainment Weekly.  He also jokes that Depp looks like a regular guy in this movie, which is a change of pace for the actor.

Hit the jump to check out the images.  The film also stars Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, Clifton Collins, Jr., and Morgan FreemanTranscendence opens in 2D and IMAX on April 18, 2014.

Promo Poster, Set Photo, and Featurette for Wally Pfister’s TRANSCENDENCE Starring Johnny Depp

by     Posted 1 year, 129 days ago

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Filming is underway on Transcendence, the directorial debut of Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister (Inception).  The film revolves around a group of scientists trying to build the first self-aware supercomputer, and Depp plays a man who uploads his brain to the machine, but is then killed.  The film is being co-financed by Beijing-based company DMG Entertainment, but unlike its previous collaborations on Iron Man 3 and Looper, there will be no Chinese-specific footage in Transcendence.  DMG found Dan Mintz tells the L.A. Times that the movie “is about that moment when human consciousness and the insanely fast rise of computing power collide.”  He continued that the story is “more science reality than science fiction” and that it something that is likely to happen in our lifetimes.  That’s an interesting and also somewhat creepy concept, and I’m interested to see what Pfister will do with it.

Hit the jump to check out a photo from the set, a promo poster, and a brief international featurette that has Rebecca Hall giving a shout out to the people of China.  The film also stars Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, Paul Bettany, Clifton Collins Jr., Cole Hauser, and Morgan FreemanTranscendence opens April 18, 2014.

Johnny Depp Talks THE LONE RANGER, What He Collects, Wally Pfister’s TRANSCENDENCE, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 141 days ago

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With director Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger opening this Wednesday, Disney held a big press junket Santa Fe, New Mexico.  While I’ve done a lot of interviews, it was incredibly cool to be talking to the cast and filmmakers with the beautiful New Mexico desert behind us.  If you’ve missed the trailers, the story focuses on John Reid (Armie Hammer) surviving an attack, being saved by Native American warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp), and the two teaming up to fight injustice.  As you can see in this featurette, the production went to enormous lengths to film the majority of The Lone Ranger practically, and they shot at some amazing locations all around the country.  The film also stars Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, and Helena Bonham Carter.

During my interview with Johnny Depp, he talked about which scene he was nervous to shoot, the one location he couldn’t believe they got to film at, what he likes to collect, Wally Pfister‘s Transcendence (learn more about the film here), and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Rebecca Hall Joins Johnny Depp for Wally Pfister’s TRANSCENDENCE

by     Posted 1 year, 259 days ago

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Christopher Nolan’s long-time cinematographer Wally Pfister is set to make his directorial debut with Transcendence, a secretive sci-fi project that already has Johnny Depp and Paul Bettany on board.  You may now add The Town’s Rebecca Hall to that enticing cast.  Transcendence opens on April 25, 2014.  Hit the jump for full details on Hall’s casting announcement. 

Paul Bettany Joins Johnny Depp in TRANSCENDENCE

by     Posted 1 year, 263 days ago

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The cast for the much-anticipated Transcendence is starting to take shape.  Christopher Nolan’s longtime cinematographer Wally Pfister is making his directorial debut on the secretive project, and Johnny Depp is set to star in the lead role.  Today it was announced that Paul Bettany has boarded the pic, though details regarding his role are being kept firmly under wraps.  The story is rumored to revolve around a scientist whose brain gets uploaded into a supercomputer with the aim of creating the world’s first machine that can think for itself.  Actresses rumored for the female lead include Rooney Mara, Rebecca Hall, and Emily Blunt, but we haven’t heard anything on that front in a while.

Nolan is exectuvie producing the project, which was written by Jack Paglen.  Production begins this April in Los Angeles and Warner Bros. is eyeing a “mid 2014” release date, so I expect this will be a big, mind-bending summer tentpole not unlike Inception.  Hit the jump to read the full press release.

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