Transcendence – Spotlight Podcast 5:16.1

It's a brave but not especially bold new world faced by (clockwise from top)Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Cillian Murphy, and Morgan Freeman in TRANSCENDENCE.
It's a brave but not especially bold new world faced by (clockwise from top) Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Cillian Murphy, and Morgan Freeman in TRANSCENDENCE.

It’s some kind of irony that the experience of watching a film called TRANSCENDENCE is far from transcendent. Not that director Wally Pfister doesn’t try: The story of a scientist working in A.I. research (Johnny Depp) who has his own consciousness transferred to the Web is lushly mounted (as befits a big-studio production from the man who previously served as Christopher Nolan’s director of photography), reliant on an atypically grounded mise en scene that emphasizes the love story between Depp’s scientist and his colleague wife (Rebecca Hall),  and chock full of actors who can deliver skilled performances (joining Depp and Hall are Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Kate Mara and Paul Bettany). Unfortunately, it’s that restraint, along with poor plotting (Really? We’re supposed to empathize with anti-technology terrorists whom we’ve previously seen murdering a roomful of innocent people with poisoned cake? Really?), that leaves the film as a promise unfulfilled.
The Cinefantastique Online team of Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons get together to weigh what went right and what wrong with this ambitious attempt at  dramatic science fiction. Click on the player to hear the show.

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All IMAX for "Batman 3"?

Pfister and Nolan
Pfister and Nolan

After THE DARK KNIGHT wowed audiences with its stunning visual sequences shot in IMAX format, director Christopher Nolan and his director of photography Wally Pfister are considering shooting the third installment in their series entirely in IMAX.
According to MTV, Pfister called the idea “my preferred, amazing goal,” adding, “I like IMAX more than I like 3-D.” Nolan voiced a similar opinion in June, saying that he was “not a huge fan of 3-D.” Personally, I’m with Pfister. While films made specifically for 3-D, like AVATAR and TOY STORY 3, are often visually striking, I still see 3-D as a kind of gimmick on the whole. I prefer a high resolution 2-D picture over a mediocre 3-D picture. If more high profile films would go the 2-D IMAX route instead of the second rate 3-D route (I’m looking at you, CLASH OF THE TITANS), the film industry could find itself in a much better place in the near future.
Obviously any final decision regarding the way “BATMAN 3” is shot will be the ultimate decision of Warner Bros., but it is interesting that Pfister and Nolan are even considering this. If they can provide Warner with a successful proof of concept, we might be seeing more all-IMAX films in the coming years!

New Batman 3 Info


Still from The Dark Knight
Still from The Dark Knight

Cinematical have been talking to Wally Pfister, DoP for both BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT, about the progress with Christopher Nolan’s (THE DARK KNIGHT, THE PRESTIGE) BATMAN 3. Pfister spoke about the possibility of shooting BATMAN 3 in 3D, IMAX or digitally.

Jonathan Nolan, Christopher’s brother and script writing partner, is currently hard at work writing  BATMAN 3 which will hopefully bring the BATMAN trilogy to a fitting close. Meanwhile Pfister has been quick is discount the possibility of a 3D BATMAN sequel,

“I did it [IMAX] for one shot of The Dark Knight because Chris said, ‘You have to say you did it,’ and literally I had this strapped to my shoulder and I was carrying it. But I think he is game for doing something interesting like that. Lord knows that the 3D fad might pass by the time that summer comes around”.

He then added,

“I know one thing about the film that Chris is adamant about is that he wants to shoot on film. He doesn’t want to shoot on video, and I’m the same way”.

So it’s a possibility Nolan will shoot some scenes of BATMAN 3 in IMAX (as he did with THE DARK KNIGHT) but won’t be going anywhere near 3D or purely digital camera technology. I’d say all three pieces of information are a blessing; BATMAN 3 doesn’t need to be in 3D as story has always come first for Nolan’s interpretation of the comic book character and I’d personally take film over digital any day.
BATMAN 3 is long a way off yet, with the studio probably looking at a release sometime in 2012, but stay tuned for more information on the highly anticipated sequel as Nolan embarks on the INCEPTION press tour, in which he’s more than likely to let some details slip.