One year ago today, I published my first review, of Oblivion. I wasn’t fond of it. But I reviewed it in a way that I haven’t done since then. I recorded all of my thoughts while I was seeing the movie. So, in honor of that fateful day, I decided to do the same for Transcendence, the directorial debut of Chris Nolan’s go-to cinematographer, Wally Pfister. Here it is.
9:21 Movie starting in nine minutes. Just saw an ad featuring Jason Derulo and the cast of Devious Maids. Needless to say, it was agonizing.
9:22 Belgian tourism ad appears to be directed by Wes Anderson. Just as I would have guessed.
9:23 Tina Fey is too pretty to pull off frumpy anymore.
9:23 GODDAMMIT DERULO’S BACK
9:26 Never thought Spoderman would’ve sold out even more than he already did. Is Sony funding the postal service now?
9:27 CG Lumière honestly looks better than the traditionally animated one.
9:29 They’re still playing that Drake Sprite ad from five years ago.
9:30 A live performance from Peter Gabriel? Sign me up!
9:30 Movie starting. Roller coaster thing Regal does is playing.
9:31 More like a space coaster. And a mediocre one at that.
9:32 Trailer for the upcoming movie Source Code, I mean, Edge of Tomorrow.
9:33 It’s 2014, why can I see the wires?
9:34 Emily blunt? More like Emily Bland!
9:35 I have absolutely fuck all to say about Jupiter ascending. It just looks awesome.
9:37 Jesus, X-Mem, take a chill pill.
9:40 If Amazing Spoderman 2 isn’t as amazing as it looks, I’ll be very disappointed.
9:41 Wow, five colors? Bit ambitious there, Spiderman.
9:43 Any particular reason the Lucy trailer stole the soundtrack from the Man of Steel trailer?
9:44 The science of Lucy is total bullshit, but it looks awesome.
9:45 Trans4mers honestly looks good. Well, better than the others. Kinda like saying Breaking Dawn Part 2 is the best Twilight movie.
9:50 Begin Again looks OK, but I’ll probably never see it.
9:50 Movie starting officially.
9:52 Seems to take place after the events of The World’s End.
9:53 This movie is very pretty, but nothing is happening.
9:55 Never realized how weird Johnny Depp’s voice was. Is he really incapable of faking a normal voice?
9:55 Johnny Depp really can’t pull off normal. It’s very distracting.
9:56 Cameraman clearly has some serious ADHD.
9:57 I swear to god this exact same hallway was in the Lucy trailer.
9:58 I’m sure that bicycle was very important.
10:00 Will Caster, Wally Pfister, coincidence?
10:01 The guy running the screen behind Depp must be the same guy operating the camera. A dove?
10:02 You shouldn’t mention so many cities and not tell us which one we’re in.
10:03 I cannot stress enough how unfit Johnny Depp is for this role.
10:06 Not physically, mentally. It should be MINN.
10:06 Also, if the I stands for independent, why is it an exclamation point?
10:07 Do surgeons keep syringes full of blood in little candy containers like that?
10:08 What the fuck was that gardening shot?
10:11 Shouldn’t’ve given so much away in the trailers. I know exactly what’s going to happen in this first half.
10:12 Never thought I’d be asking for more dialogue in an action movie.
10:15 OK, is Will going to be the bad guy? Because that doesn’t make a ton of sense.
10:16 I’m sure that basketball net was of vital importance.
10:17 Wow, Paul Bettany had a really fast change of heart just then. It’s almost like they didn’t have to have him be skeptical in the first place! It didn’t even pad the running time!
10:21 Rebecca Hall, who I thought was Scarlett Johannson, looks a lot like Jennifer Lawrence right now.
10:23 Can’t figure out what? How to simulate Will? Did you really not think about that in advance?
10:24 This script is like, 30% “Lose Yourself” lyrics. It’s really weird.
10:25 Wow, totally glanced over the main character’s death. One Morgan Freeman speech and that’s it?
10:27 Was his code out of order? Why?
10:29 If it’s not Will, then what is it?
10:30 Who is she? We saw her earlier in some kind of shack, but who is she?
10:32 That quote was pretty poorly worded. Makes it seem like machines shouldn’t be aiding the human mind.
10:35 No technology, even the internet itself, has the power to do this kind of shit.
10:36 Wait, is this the future, or is this now? Does that make the beginning the later future? It didn’t seem to be THAT much later. Paul Bettany didn’t look any older.
10:38 So far, will hasn’t really done anything wrong.
10:39 What is Morgan Freeman’s job, though? Just delivering long-winded Nolany speeches?
10:39 OK, Blightwood is pretty funny.
10:41 Why are they burning their IDs? They might need them later, y’know? And where are they? I know they’re in the Sierra Nevada, but where?
10:43 Cillian Murphy looks a lot like Christian Bale. Also, they just forced us to watch the same nonsensical exchange all over again for no reason.
10:45 How was PINN able to use Will’s consciousness to its advantage if it was incapable of picking sides? Also, why was it incapable of picking sides? In what sense is that free will?
10:47 If it’s the same one, how did he get it?
10:48 How did he get it anyway, he’s a computer? How did he set any of this up? How did he draw those blueprints? What is going on here? 10:49 What was that water droplet thing?
10:50 Will still hasn’t done anything wrong. Also, how did he simulate himself so well if all he had to go on was those recordings he did when he was bald and a few speeches off the internet. Does he wear that shirt so frequently?
10:52 That nanotechnology that gives people Wolverine-style healing factors is literally the most realistic thing in this movie. 10:53 This is starting to look less like Transcendence and more like Interstellar.
10:54 What is with this guy’s dove obsession?
10:55 An hour into the movie and he’s finally done something wrong.
10:56 That’s gotta weigh 800 pounds? Yeah, that’s why hems using wires to help him lift it.
10:56 This movie started out pretty original, but right now we’ve set up a Luke, a Leia, a Han, a Vader, and an Obi Wan.
10:57 how could he have helped it go viral? He doesn’t control every person on YouTube.
10:59 You can tell it’s scifi because Morgan Freeman’s wearing sunglasses.
11:01 ScarJo Lawrence already knows that Will is controlling these guys, so why isn’t she doing anything about it?
11:02 And we already know it, so why is the movie making it seem like there’s some kind of mystery?
11:05 Wait, are they in charge of the terrorists? If so, why did they have them kill most of their own staff?
11:06 That bicycle has already turned out to be a crucial plot point.
11:07 As has this goldfish.
11:07 WHO PREPARED THE FOOD? And again, how are they simulating Will so well?
11:08 What happened to all those people that were living in Brightwood?
11:10 That “You’re not allowed” part was unintentionally hilarious.
11:10 AAAAAAAAAAND EXPLOSIONS!
11:11 Paul Bettany looks a lot like a young Clint Eastwood. Or, more accurately, a young old Clint Eastwood.
11:13 AND shaky cam? It must be my birthday.
11:14 Who’s Martin?
11:15 “Widderu going?” Johnny Depp has a really weird voice.
11:16 Nanobots can fly?
11:17 What happened to Will’s consciousness? Or all those other guys’ consciousnesses?
11:19 Again, I don’t remember hearing about a Martin up until this point. Did I just miss an entire character?
11:22 No, he can’t. How? The nanobots are already in the air, so why would shutting down the internet help?
11:23 How did she know? How does she suddenly fully understand the virus, not to mention PINN and Will?
11:24 Really glad the camera took the time to focus on that mud for a little while. Really vital to the atmosphere.
11:26 Evelyn already knew that would happen, unless she’s an idiot, so why is she so surprised? And why didn’t she tell Morgan Freeman?
11:28 “No, I’m afraid that we’ll lose this chance.” “Bullshit. You’re afraid of me.”
11:30 Those two buck toothed guys keep showing up for some reason.
11:30 Wait, the town is still there? I thought they were overhauling it.
11:32 If this program’s so sophisticated, why can’t it pay attention to two things at once? Hell, my iPhone can do that.
11:36 OK, how the fuck did Morgan Freeman survive all that? They even made a joke at the beginning about him being hard to kill. How could they not kill him?
11:37 Wait, if Will wasn’t the bad guy, then who was? These kinds of movies always have a bad guy. Unless… nah. It can’t be.
11:38 Depp was clearly breathing there.
11:39 Why can’t they recreate the internet?
11:39 Why do we keep having to watch the same scenes over and over again?
11:41 NOLAN! I KNEW IT!
I find it weird that the cinematography was so off, since it was done by Jess Hall, the cinematographer for Hot Fuzz, Grindhouse, and 30 Minutes or Less. Huh.
So, final thoughts? The search for a bad movie continues. Yes, despite my numerous complaints, this was actually a pretty good movie, and definitely way better than Oblivion. See it if you want. Like if you like, favorite if you favorite, follow if you follow, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BreakingPOORLY, and as always…
Liek dis if ucry everytim.