Northumberland Mall Theatres

TRANSCENDENCE starring Johnny Depp and directed by Wally Pfister (Wally Pfister?) opens wide in theatres across North America on Good Friday. Is the choice of release date strategic or auspicious? The word "transcendence" implies to me a spiritual rising above the cares and concerns of this earthly plane. In this movie I think the word implies more a practical escape from the physical body for reasons of personal ambition. Disclaimer: I have not seen the movie. I will.

TRANSCENDENCE is the directorial debut of Wally Pfister, a man who has distinguished himself as a cinematographer and he has won an Oscar for that craft. Pfister states that he has wanted to be a movie director ever since he saw Stanley Kubrick's 2001 - A SPACE ODYSSEY at 10 years old. Interesting. In 2001 - A SPACE ODYSSEY, a mainframe computer aboard the Discovery spacecraft on a mission to Jupiter goes beyond the conventional parameters of computing by exhibiting emotions and ambition. "HAL" is a sentient computer (or artificial intelligence) that controls Discovery's systems but is also capable of speech and speech recognition, facial recognition, natural language processing, lip reading, art appreciation, interpreting and reproducing emotional behaviours, reasoning and defiance. (Dave: "Open the pod-bay doors HAL!" HAL: "I'm sorry Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that....this mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.")

Funny. In our new movie Dr. Will Caster (Depp) is an artificial intelligence researcher who says he is creating a computer that will possess sentience and the accumulated intelligence of all humankind. A group of Luddites (maybe they're just wise people who know when enough is enough) want to thwart Dr. Caster's wild project but his resolve is such that they can only do so by terminating him. Their determination to "kibosh" Caster's Faustian ambition drives him toward his goal. Caster wants to be a part of the new AI technology so downloads his mind (Johnny Depp's mind!!!) into the computer to try and save the project while gaining immortality. This can only end badly.

There aren't many (any) reviews for TRANSCENDENCE (except maybe this one) yet but 98% of Rotten Tomatoes voters (more than 38,000) say they want to see it. That must be the Johnny Depp factor and I must say I have enjoyed his films and his roles. That is probably why Johnny really is being paid $20 million to make this movie. Please turn off your smartphones. Please turn off your smartphones. Please turn ...

Also playing from April 18 to April 24: RIO 2, an fun and colourful family film and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, the worlds biggest movie these past 2 weeks and a very smart Marvel/superhero flick.

Northumberland Theatres is open all Easter weekend with 2:00 matinees Friday-Saturday-Sunday and Monday.

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April 18 to April 24