Has Johnny Depp's star finally fallen? 11 years after emerging as Hollywood's most unlikely movie star, Depp has suffered one of his biggest box office bombs yet with 'Transcendence,' which opened poorly enough for us to wonder if audiences are simply done with him. In fact, this weekend was a startling reminder that the only constants you'll find at the box office tend to be superhero movies and animated movies starring talking animals.
Hollywood has rarely had much faith in the future.
Just look at the sheer number of cinematic dystopias and post-apocalypses, at the deadly desert wastelands and rain-soaked urban nightmares. In the movies, tomorrow is not just another day, it's just another step toward a world where technology consumes us and then kills us. According to the world of film, the human race is constantly on the path to being enslaved and murdered by the machines we create.
Although Hollywood's stance on the evils of technology has softened in recent years, 'Transcendence' is a throwback to a different age, when computers were not just terrifying unknowns, they were pretty much Satan. It's a position that may seem silly in our modern, tech-infused culture, but it's another chapter in the long history of technology trying to dominate humanity on the big screen.
Right now, as you’re reading this, 'Transcendence' is playing at a multiplex somewhere within driving distance of where you live. Johnny Depp ('The Astronaut’s Wife') stars as a man who becomes a computer – transcends, if you will – as he explores the limits (or lack of limits) of his newfound power. Here, we answer every question that you could possibly have about 'Transcendence.'
When I was a young man and the Internet was new, I made the same joke every time I dialed-up and heard those dissonant, scratchy tones. “Chhhhhhh-CHHHHHH-Chhhhhh” my modem would bray, and as soon as there was silence I'd turn to whomever was in the room and conspiratorially say, "all right, we're in."
'Transcendence,' the first feature film directed by Christopher Nolan's longtime cinematographer Wally Pfister, is two straight hours of that “all right, we're in,” with (slightly) updated peripherals. Featuring more technobabble than a middling episode of 'Star Trek: Voyager,' Rebecca Hall and Johnny Depp star as husband and wife computer geniuses who, along with artificial intelligence labs across the country, are attacked by a band of “neo-Luddite” terrorists.
Though covering much of the same ground as the first one, the latest 'Transcendence' trailer plays up the role of the terrorists (headed by Kate Mara) who are looking to stop people like Johnny Depp from achieving the singularity. It seems as thought it's meant to show that this science-fiction film is going to have action alongside its heady ideas.
2013 is so very close to done. Just a few more minutes in the oven, but keep the fork ready.
Do we, the obsessed movie watchers of the ScreenCrush community, take a break? Heck no! January brings the Sundance Film Festival and then we dive right back into a big year of with some really big movies