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‘Transcendence’ Casts A (Scary) Spotlight On Artificial Intelligence

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(L-r) MORGAN FREEMAN as Joseph Tagger and JOHNNY DEPP as Will Caster in Alcon Entertainment's sci-fi thriller “TRANSCENDENCE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.  Photo by Peter Mountain

(L-r) MORGAN FREEMAN as Joseph Tagger and JOHNNY DEPP as Will Caster in Alcon Entertainment’s sci-fi thriller “TRANSCENDENCE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by Peter Mountain

terrilee3 Terri Lee Sylvester
I am a graduate of Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Arts...
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STERLING HEIGHTS (WWJ) – I had a chance to get a sneak peek at the new movie ‘Transcendence,’ which screened at the AMC Forum 30 in Sterling Heights earlier this week. I could tell after watching the trailer that it was going to be a different kind of movie – different than any I could remember seeing anyway – and after I saw that it starred Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman, I thought it would be worth checking out.

In case you’re not familiar with the story, ‘Transcendence’ stars Depp as Dr. Will Caster, the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence. He and his wife, Evelyn (Rebecca Hall), conduct controversial experiments that raise the ire of anti-technology extremists. Freeman’s character, Dr. Joseph Tagger, is also a computer scientist who is good friends with the Casters.

So, what did I think? First of all, I thought the movie was very ambitious. The story was rather unique and nowhere near run-of-the-mill. However, I also thought there were too many holes in the script. Without giving anything away (you know I never do that!), to carry out experiments to the magnitude they do in the movie takes money – and an awful lot of it. So when billions of dollars are electronically transferred into one account, hardly anyone even notices. Come on, now. If the FBI didn’t notice, the IRS sure would!

My other pet peeve is that as much as I respect Johnny Depp as an actor, his Captain Jack Sparrow voice just kept creeping in. Aargh!

Once the movie wrapped up, I decided to ask other moviegoers what they thought about it. Here’s what some of them had to say:

Liz Parker (Courtesy, Yes/No Films)

Liz Parker (Courtesy, Yes/No Films)

“I thought it was pretty good, actually,” said Liz Parker, who writes the blog ‘Yes/No Films’. “It reminded me of the movie ‘Her’.

But, did Parker think it was just a little bit scary? If something like that happened in real life, would it scare her?

“Yeah, definitely, especially where they had to upload … well, no spoilers,” she responded. “But the ending, they kind of changed the whole world as we saw it, so that would be kind of scary.”

Would she suggest that people go see it or would she tell them to wait for the DVD?

“I would say go see it,” she said. “I liked it a lot. I run a film website and I give films a ‘yes’, ‘maybe’, or a ‘no’ review, so I would give it a ‘yes’ review just because it was interesting and held my attention.”

I also caught up with two other ladies who were generous enough to share their thoughts on the movie. Check out what they had to say in the video:

One other moviegoer stopped to give me his opinion, as well.

“I thought it was interesting,” he told me. “I like sci-fi … and it wasn’t bad at all. It was entertaining, but I expected more, although it was entertaining.”

If something like that were to happen in real life, would it scare him?

“Uhhhh, yes,” he answered. “However, I kinda know where the technology is right now and we’re nowhere near getting to that level as far as computers, so that’s not something we’d have to worry about for at least 50-60 years, or further, unless we have some major leaps in technology.”

Well, I certainly hope not!

(L-r) PAUL BETTANY as Max Waters and REBECCA HALL as Evelyn Caster in Alcon Entertainment's sci-fi thriller “TRANSCENDENCE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.  Photo by Peter Mountain

(L-r) PAUL BETTANY as Max Waters and REBECCA HALL as Evelyn Caster in Alcon Entertainment’s sci-fi thriller “TRANSCENDENCE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Photo by Peter Mountain

Transcendence also stars Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy and Clifton Collins, Jr. Directed by Oscar® -winning cinematographer Wally Pfister (“Inception,” the “Dark Knight” movies). ‘Transcendence’ marks his feature film directorial debut.

(L-r) KATE MARA as Bree and PAUL BETTANY as Max Waters in Alcon Entertainment's sci-fi thriller “TRANSCENDENCE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.  Photo by Peter Mountain

(L-r) KATE MARA as Bree and PAUL BETTANY as Max Waters in Alcon Entertainment’s sci-fi thriller “TRANSCENDENCE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Photo by Peter Mountain

Rated PG-13. In theaters now.

See you at the movies!

Follow Terri on Twitter @TerriJLee

#SeeYouAtTheMovies

 

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