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  #11  
Old 04-26-2014, 09:49 AM
samwiseb samwiseb is offline
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I would think we will see Galactica again at some point, and when we do it will be on the big screen. The Moore/Icke reboot has already flown, and the original was too far back to pick up again with a sequel even when Larson was pushing for the idea.

From what you've said, I hope this does get put off long enough long enough for screenwriter Jack Paglen to find other work if he still can. But I think Singer's lack of commitment has been the reason for the delay up until now. Prior to that, I don't think Larson's efforts were ever organized (or realistic) enough to have Universal committed on his side.
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  #12  
Old 05-03-2014, 08:04 PM
samwiseb samwiseb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin View Post
Don't know the latest on the Prometheus sequel (other than a reported 2016 release date set) but I saw Transcendence and while the film is possesed of ideas about the Technological Singularity and a couple other things it's not a good movie that's been built around them. At all.
I finally had to see it because my friend wrote a very interesting blog about it. I knew what I was probably getting into, but I am utterly stunned by the film's inability to entertain or evoke emotion on any fracking level whatsoever. It clearly wanted to. It wanted to overwhelm and mystify with its beautiful artsy non-commercial pretentiousness. I don't understand what went wrong, but the movie just didn't engage me at all. It was truly awful. Even the stupidest blockbuster at least makes you feel something.

Could this be what watching Star Trek: The Motion Picture is like for someone who isn't even a fan? Maybe. But even that comparison somehow seems hard to imagine.
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  #13  
Old 05-04-2014, 07:25 AM
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Did your friend have a different view of it? I ask because I have read some strong defences of the 'Transcendence' and while I don't actually disagree with elements of the defences (in as much as I won't deny the film ideas had huge potential and are interesting) I don't agree that the film is actually any good as a film.

It reminded me a little of last year's 'Elysium' (in as much as there's an idea at the heart of it all even if 'Elysium' is content to then give up pretending to care about the idea in favour of cartoon villainy and bad performances) and I think what you said about pretension is one of the reasons I disliked them more actively than just thinking 'that wasn't that good, but move along'.

Both appear to suffer from delusions they are more 'important' science fiction films than they actually are based on the end result. And at some point it becomes hard to care about the characters or even what the film is trying to say.

The Star Trek films may often operate on a simpler more bread and butter thematic level (as in 'Star Trek Into Darkness') but at least I found I could care about the characters as they moved through the story. But then that's what I've often said about the incarnations of 'Star Trek' - as long as I can care about the characters I can get through the below par and even downright terrible episodes and movies inbetween the good stuff. But (and this applies to all films and TV shows really) if you don't care about anything that happens to anyone and there therefore isn't another reason why you're watching (say, 'Transformers' - I'm only watching that because Bay does that type of action better than anyone else. It's the action I'm there for) then why even bother?
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  #14  
Old 05-04-2014, 12:45 PM
samwiseb samwiseb is offline
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He acknowledged the writing/directing felt half-@$$ed, and that it could have been a much better film (after I asked him what he thought of the film's reception). I think he was still hoping I'd see it, because I told him I couldn't really follow his blog. I'm like that. You can write me a fully detailed film synopsis, but if there are too many fracking names on it I'm better off just seeing the movie. I have trouble remembering most people's names in real life.

Anyway, here it is. He's all about religion, mythology, world consciousness, the masculine and feminine archetypes, spiral dynamics, the triumph of the human spirit, etc. I squirm a little when he equates these things with contemporary politics, because I think he's too friendly and enthusiastic to realize he might be alienating half the people around him. And I did 'kinda' get that the film's dialogue seemed flat just from seeing it quoted in his blog.

Anyway, he loves film. But damned if he doesn't pick the darnedest movies to pick apart sometimes. Live did anyone see Wolverine (whichever one had the colon in it's title)? I know I didn't, and I wouldn't have thought he would either. Can't remember if John Carter was another one or if he just told me he liked it. TNG is his favorite ST, but I don't think he feels its spin-offs are myth-worthy. He loves SW, but I think he finds more to talk about in the prequels even though he acknowledges they're not good films.

It seems with most of the reviews I've read that people wanted to like Transcendence, if only because they thought it represented something they felt we needed more of (whether it was 'actual' or 'smart' science fiction, or science fiction that wasn't overly-commercialized, or film in general that wasn't overly commercialized). For me I had to see the movie in order to appreciate that aspect of it. The trailers, posters and names attached certainly made it look commercial enough.

The one 'harsh' review I've read accused it of lacking originality and being uninformed of its subject matter (comparing it with such forgotten relics as Lawnmower Man and The Net). I even felt intellectually limited upon reading that particular review (for it was the first one I'd read, and I had already posted here that I didn't understand why the movie hadn't worked), however I'm going to use the excuse that I wasn't even engaged enough by the movie to notice how unoriginal it may have been (so there).

One problem my friend's blog made me aware of, is that the movie really can't pick a side in choosing who to empathize with. Either the technological singularity represents the promise for saving our world, or it represents the apocalypse. Presenting both sides of the argument in a movie is all well and good, getting your viewer to experience both sides is a challenge I imagine many writers/directors would not envy. And I think maybe that comes back to what you said about not being able to give a damn about the characters.

What makes the characters come alive in a movie, anyway? Is it some hidden 'transcendent' quality in the actual words of dialogue themselves, and God help your script (or your career as a screenwriter) if you don't already know it without needing to be taught? Or is it the acting, or the director's ability to work with actors? Is it the ability of the editor to know exactly where to cut with each shot, and which beats of dialogue to interrupt with sound effects and explosions? What if you just don't have any of that intuition at all, and no one will tell you where to go out and buy it for $39.99? Because this movie just didn't have it at all. And I couldn't even tell where it didn't have it.
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  #15  
Old 05-05-2014, 12:56 AM
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Thanks for linking, I'll give him credit for going through the film point by point and relating it to his theories. I've read elsewhere religious interpretations and Biblical overtones from some of it's stronger advocates as well. I think there's definitely an element of that which can be read into it.

Funny thing about the negative one, because when I was watching the film in all honesty 'The Net' floated through my mind as well and I did think to myself 'This is like the 'The Net' for Technological Singularity theories'. I've still never seen 'The Lawnmower Man' though so I can't remark on that.

But I don't know what it is that creates empathy for a character or makes you care about what's actually happening in a film beyond the ideas it may possess. It's just one of those things..............you know when you care and you know when you don't. Even if, as you say, you can't always pinpoint exactly why when on paper all the right boxes appear to be ticked when you go in.
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  #16  
Old 05-06-2014, 07:41 AM
samwiseb samwiseb is offline
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I remember The Net, but only vaguely. When I saw it I wondered why everyone had problems with it. A year later I admitted in one of my classes that I was pretty much clueless about using the web. It was a real Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back moment. I wonder what the movie would look like if I saw it again. Sandra Bullock was kinda hawt.

Lawnmower Man I recall even more dimly. And even at the time I thought it was stupid. I never liked that '90s trend in which movies tried to 'visualize' cyberspace. That just always seemed very out of touch to me, even when I thought The Net was an OK movie. I think this movie did some of that too.
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