“Yesterday Dr. Will Caster Was Only Human.”
Chronologically, we have The Dark Knight Rises, Moneyball, Inception, The Dark Knight, The Prestige, Batman Begins, The Italian Job, Insomnia, Memento. Those are some very impressive credits. Although Transcendence director wasn’t at the helm for the aforementioned films, he was the cinematographer – and very influential on how they turned out looking. Needless to say, the directorial debut of a D.P. with that kind of resume is sure to get some attention. Unfortunately looks aren’t all that matter when it comes to making a film, and without a cohesive story and well-written script, things tend to fall apart. At least Transcendence looked good, right? I wish I could say it did. With a background like Pfister’s, the movie should have been visually better than simply complacent.
Dr. Will Caster (Depp) is a world-renowned scientist in the field of Artificial Intelligence, or AI. His life’s work has lead to his most important project, a sentient computer code-named PIMM. While there are those who strongly support the work Dr. Caster is doing, there are many who fear this type of computer intelligence – mainly a group of extremists called RIFT (Revolutionary Independence From Technology). What they are afraid of is “Transcendence,” defined as an existence or experience beyond the normal or physical level. During simultaneous attacks on AI labs across the country (don’t other countries have AI research too?), Will is shot with a radiation-laced bullet and given only weeks to live. His wife and fellow researcher Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) decides to apply the research of uploading the consciousness of rhesus monkeys and apply it to her dying husband. With the help of Max (Paul Bettany), Will’s mind lives on… or is it really Will?
For those who know anything about comedy, the name “Wayans” is sure to ring a bell. Comprised of 10 brothers and sisters who do everything from acting and writing, to directing and producing, the Wayans have made their name synonymous with funny. And that is only in the first generation, who have given birth to an entirely new line of actor/writer/comedian/directors.
Marlon Wayans, the youngest of the siblings, made his film debut in I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (1988) at the age of 16. Although he only had a small role in his brother Keenen’s directorial debut, it would be the start of an epic career spanning the last 26 years. And things don’t look like they are slowing down any time soon.
In honor of the release of A Haunted House 2, the sequel to his hugely successful 2013 comedy (which grossed over $60 million dollars worldwide on a $2.5 million dollar budget), Marlon came to St. Louis to talk about the film and his long-running career.
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This week on the show we struggle to find out just exactly what Oculus means. Not the movie, the word. It gets a little confusing since, like a Led Zeppelin song, they never actually use the title of the movie within the film itself.
Also, we set a land speed record for branching off on a tangent, we learn that Tom has a man-crush on Seth Rogen and we defend the oeuvre of Kevin Smith.
All this plus a box office report from Kevin and video recovery from Dan.
It’s Reel Spoilers #40: Oculus.
You’ve been warned.
Costner, whose film career has spanned five different decades, has permanently endeared himself in the hearts of baseball fans everywhere with his performances in Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, and For Love of the Game. He played a golfer in Tin Cup. Now, after helping save the world earlier this year in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and 3 Days to Kill, Costner’s going back to the sports world into uncharted territory (for him, anyway): football.
Now, I’ll admit I’m probably a bit biased when it comes to sports films. I grew up rooting for the Cardinals and Blues, and when the Rams moved to town, I adopted them as my football team. I’ve rooted for SLU and Mizzou sports for as long as I can remember. So it bothers me a bit when people quickly dismiss sports films, claiming either the topic is trivial to them or the ending is predictable.
And their points aren’t entirely invalid. Sports films tend to follow a particular formula, and they’re not going to be interesting to everyone. Draft Day tries to throw twists and surprises into the story, but for the most part, it’s generally predictable. Fortunately, though, it still works, and it works well.
Football season’s over, right?
Tell that to the members of the St. Louis Rams who attended Tuesday night’s screening of the film Draft Day. Starring Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, and Denis Leary, the film is scheduled for release Friday.
Hoping to stir up some excitement for the actual NFL draft (May 8-10) as well as the upcoming season, several players on the Rams roster (and some cheerleaders, much to the delight of the males in the audience) came out to the Chesterfield Galaxy theater and mingled with season ticket holders, signing autographs and taking pictures with the fans.