Transcendence (2014)

All non-Nolan related film, tv, and streaming discussions.
kor
Posts: 189
Joined: May 2010
Location: Poland
The draft had potential. I remember reading this, trying to imagine everything after and reading it again with all changes in my head. When Depp was announced I was like 'Who?!'. Knowing what the film would be about, I felt that this was bad choice. Too big actor for non-lead (his wife character is lead one), too 'fancy' actor for such a role. For me, it was like, let's try to bring one of the hottest names to promote it which is a bad attitude for me. Bettany, Hall, Murphy relaxed me a bit, though.

After seeing first teaser, then trailers I was like 'What? Why are they revealing so much twists and secrets in trailer? Is this so weak that they have to show as many cool stuff in trailers to bring people to see this?'. It looked also from the trailers that the movies could 'lack of scope' it should have by telling such a story and themes. And the themes I still consider unique, quite original and... yeah, basically all that could happen someday.

Now, when I read reactions here and all over the Internet I'm not really surprised. It is great that Wally wanted to try and direct but I think it was not a good film for debuting, maybe too big. 100 $M budget, A-list actors, heavy vfx, massive and current themes. I'm wondering why Wally didn't try to do a smaller, even art-house genre project, thriller, smaller sci-fi, action-drama not for major studio but maybe for Syncopy?

Of course I will go to theater to see what was changed in the draft and how my imagination works but I alraedy know this won't be a super thrilling sci-fi gem. But who knows, despite all negative reviews, it could be still cool movie. F. e., I don't respect much Shys latest efforts (Afterearth, Airbender) but The Happening, also hated by majority, is pretty cool.

Posts: 94
Joined: December 2013
Allstar wrote:
Jeff Sneider ‏@TheInSneider
Poor Wally. He should've listened to Chris & waited for something more special to come along.
:eh:
That's really funny because Chris encouraged him to do it. Wally said that he wasn't too sure of the idea of doing a big budget movie for his debut.

Posts: 64
Joined: August 2013
Location: Room 528
I'd hoped after reading the script that drastic changes would be made, but nope. Went in with extremely low expectations but it was much worse. I think it suffered from too much hype and a script that definitely doesn't warrant that much hype. The idea was good but the execution was extremely bad. As a Cillian fan, I'd say he's very unremarkable in this film. He has nothing to work with, is in the background or in sunglasses most of the time, and looks the most haggard he's ever been on screen. I usually see every Cillian film on the big screen at least twice but for this one, I don't think I would see this in its entirety ever again.

At least we know Nolan's changing a lot of the Interstellar script so we have that to look forward to.

Posts: 64
Joined: August 2013
Location: Room 528
Just came back from watching the film.
His character was such a one-note disappointment. :(

Posts: 53
Joined: January 2013
First half is decent but that second... I feel sick now. Sorry, I...no, just no. 2/10

Posts: 155
Joined: May 2012
Location: The Wild Deuce
Well, bad reviews and all, I still feel somewhat obligated to go see this. I wasted my money on Prometheus and didn't end up walking out blaming Ridley Scott, so the least I can do for Wally is give him (as director) the benefit of the doubt and just try to note what worked and what didn't in terms of direction. It already seems obvious from plenty of posters on this site and others that Wally isn't exactly an actors' director, which, of course, we can assume that since this is his first concerted effort where he's literally the man behind the camera, we can forgive him for not having that level of experience down yet.

I think what really bothers me is that Wally, for the last decade or so, has been working with, arguably, the best of the best when it comes to deeply-layered blockbuster films (Inception pun not intended). His work with the Nolans', one could assume, should've given him a good idea as to how to tackle a big budget sci-fi film from the inside out. But instead it feels as though most of those involved with the film were simply tacked on, their involvement little more than a "sign the dotted line" kind of commitment. The main cast is talented beyond a reasonable doubt, but according to many of you who've seen the film, it's like they showed up to set and left a cardboard cutout of themselves in place of where their normal dynamic acting would be. Maybe it was the script. That appears to be the biggest problem here. Which is another question that will never be answered: Why take Jack Paglen's script at face value and roll with that? The guy has produced zero scripts of merit before, and yet you're going to just go with a practically untouched script for your directorial debut? The script, I'm sure, was changed, even through filming more than likely, but why not employ other, more well-known writers to come and do rewrites or help polish scenes? Dave Goyer pretty much does that for free, and you can't tell me he wouldn't have come in and help Wally out! Obviously, WB was just hoping Depp and Depp alone could fill seats, and I don't think they were entirely concerned about whether or not the plot was logical or coherent. People kept saying Transcendence was one of the Black List's best unproduced scripts for a good couple years, but now we find out that it was just a muddled mess of an idea never fully formed nor rightfully explored. And why did Wally choose Jess Hall as DP? Because he still works with film? One look at his filmography and I wonder why Wally was like, "I want this guy for sure!" But look at many of the shots and the lighting and you get the impression that what we're getting is the poor man's Wally Pfister for cinematography. I like the look, but I don't love it, and the only reason why I expected to love it is because Pfister is hands down one of the best DP's in Hollywood. Trying to piece all this together, and still having not seen the film, makes me really wonder why the film was even made at all, aside from the purely economical reasons that WB would want it made for.

But yeah, I'm still probably going to see it regardless.

Posts: 53
Joined: January 2013
I don't see many changes between this final version and Paglen's original script... Only just Kate Mara and her terrorist group became even more ridiculous.

Posts: 155
Joined: May 2012
Location: The Wild Deuce
bapi wrote:I don't see many changes between this final version and Paglen's original script... Only just Kate Mara and her terrorist group became even more ridiculous.
Yeah, see, that really sucks. Normally I would say you're in deep when you're shooting and making scenes/dialogue up as you go ... but to just simply start filming from a script that more than likely hasn't cycled through several drafts is nonsensical. A director has to trust the writer enough--and vouch for him enough to say, "This script is so good, we can just start filming." Someone on this project got far too much credit.

Posts: 2598
Joined: June 2012
BroskiSabor wrote: 7.5/10
Good enough for me! :thumbup:

Posts: 3742
Joined: January 2013
atilasantos wrote:
BroskiSabor wrote: 7.5/10
Good enough for me! :thumbup:
Should be lower, probably a 6.5, now that I think about it more.

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