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Thompson on Hollywood

Career Watch: Can Depp Transcend His Rep for Onscreen Quirk?

For most actors, playing a cyber-age Dr. Frankenstein whose consciousness is converted into an artificial-intelligence experiment that threatens humankind would be considered a rather unusual role. But casting Johnny Depp as a mad scientist in the just-opened sci-fi thriller “Transcendence”? It barely registers a ripple on his scale of bizarre characters.
  • By Susan Wloszczyna
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  • April 21, 2014 6:19 AM
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  • 3 Comments

'Captain America' Tops Box Office Top Ten for Third Week as Depp's 'Transcendence' Flops

This Easter weekend three religious-themed films made the Top 10, led by new opener "Heaven Is for Real" (Sony) which barely missed taking the #2 spot despite playing in more than 1,000 fewer screens than the box office leaders. This unheralded low-budget effort reinforces the most significant trend of 2014 so far: faith-based films nabbing substantial audiences.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • April 20, 2014 1:03 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Friday Box Office: Sequels Beat New Entries, Faith-Based 'Heaven' Is Strong, 'Transcendence' Starts off Weak

Easter Weekend, with its Friday school holiday, is usually an appealing date for new releases, and the studios came through with four debuts. Despite that, two holdover films, both sequels, came in #1 and #2 yesterday, with "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (Buena Vista) and "Rio 2" (20th Century Fox), at $9.6 and $9.2 respectively, leading the way.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • April 19, 2014 3:48 PM
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Wally Pfister Talks Analog vs. Digital in 'Transcendence'

Wally Pfister not only adores film but also vinyl. That's because they both embody "the breath of life," analog beauty that's at the heart of "Transcendence." Indeed, the Oscar-winning cinematographer ("Inception") and Christopher Nolan's former right hand man couldn't have found a more personal statement for his directorial debut than a cautionary tale about uploading human consciousness into a super computer.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • April 18, 2014 1:15 PM
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This Weekend in Theaters, Johnny Depp Transcends and John Turturro Is 'Fading'

Though "Transcendence" is the box office hopeful this weekend, a number of offbeat indies and festival favorites also hit theaters, from director/star John Turturro's "Fading Gigolo" to the visually splendid Nepalese doc "Manakamana," and more.
  • By TOH!
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  • April 17, 2014 4:03 PM
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Talking Tech and 'Transcendence' with Johnny Depp and Wally Pfister (VIDEO)

You can always bet on a lively press conference with Johnny Depp, but the recent tech talk about "Transcendence" and the inevitability of uploading human consciousness into a super computer brought out his more vulnerable side. Depp admitted, among other things, that he's too clumsy when it comes to texting and that his role as an AI scientist-turned megalomaniac was difficult without a flamboyant mask to hide behind.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • April 16, 2014 1:37 PM
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'Transcendence' Review Roundup: Mind-Blowing, or Just Brain-Dead?

Reviews are in for Wally Pfister's directorial debut "Transcendence," the ambitious sci-fi film starring Johnny Depp as a scientist whose efforts to create the ultimate artificial intelligence machine land him square in the middle of an ideological war.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • April 16, 2014 12:56 PM
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  • 0 Comments

'Transcendence' Director Pfister Talks Perseverance: "Do not give up"

I learned at least six things from the "Transcendence" Panel at the Las Vegas National Association of Broadcasters Convention (NAB) that won’t likely be reported in the mainstream press. Did you know...
  • By Valentina Valentini
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  • April 8, 2014 8:40 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Wally Pfister Talks 'Transcendence' with LA Times: "If People Are Expecting Nolan Lite, I Think They'll Be Surprised"

Wally Pfister, best known as Christopher Nolan's Oscar winning cinematographer, will this year make his directorial debut with sci-fi actioner "Transcendence," arriving April 18 and starring Johnny Depp as an ailing scientist who downloads his brain into a supercomputer. Pfister sat down with the LA Times to talk his first time in the director's seat, getting advice from Nolan, navigating inevitable comparisons to Nolan, and more. Highlights below, plus the film's trailer.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • January 10, 2014 1:16 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Casting Watch UPDATE: Morgan Freeman On Board for Wally Pfister's 'Transcendence,' Starring Depp, Hall, Bettany and Mara

The cast continues to grow for Wally Pfister's directorial debut, "Transcendence." Morgan Freeman is in final talks to star alongside Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany and Kate Mara. The sci-fi film centers on a scientist (Depp) whose brain is posthumously uploaded to a supercomputer.
  • By Beth Hanna and Sophia Savage
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  • April 12, 2013 12:10 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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