Will 2014 be a good year for big-screen science fiction?
This article is more than 2 years old
Transcendence (April 18)
Wally Pfister may not be a household name just yet, but odds are even most casual film fans have seen his handiwork in recent days. He’s served as cinematographer and director of photography for more than 40 movies, including almost everything Christopher Nolan has directed. You may have heard about those Batman movies from a few years ago, they were kind of a big deal. Now Pfister is making his own directorial debut with Transcendence, and he’s put together a doozy.
A fantastic cast includes Johnny Depp, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, and more; given his visual chops, you know the film is going to be beautifully photographed; and the story involves sweeping ideas and big themes, but also sounds a little bit like Lawnmower Man. Depp stars as Dr. Will Caster, a brilliant scientist on the verge of creating the most advanced artificial intelligence yet. When anti-technology radicals blow him up, his wife and partner upload his consciousness into a supercomputer, and things go downhill from there. The longer he’s in there, the more powerful he becomes, and it isn’t long before he’s completely out of control. We all saw what happened to HAL in 2001, and that’s not good. – Brent
Godzilla (May 16)
“With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound, he pulls the spitting high-tension wires down.” But no, Godzilla doesn’t have to go; he has to actually get here first. Gareth Edwards’ upcoming reboot (or whatever you want to call it) already has a chance to be one of my favorite films of the year, based solely on its dialogue-free teaser trailer. As it happens, the best kinds of movies featuring the King of the Monsters don’t really need all that complicated a plot to make audiences jump up and cheer, and I have faith that Edwards has brought the mindset to this project that he used when making his low-budget debut Monsters. Bigger is sometimes better, sure, especially when that big thing is in the middle of a tense, all-action blitz.
Oddly enough, for a film whose plotline is written into the name of the movie, not much is known about Max Borenstein’s screenplay, and they’ve been keeping a tight lid on everything, as Warner Bros. and Legendary have made it clear they’re going to be pulling down almost all unofficial videos and images of toys and things. But it at least appears as though they’re just trying to keep anticipation at a feverish high, rather than trying to hide something they might be ashamed of.
One thing is known: this cast is pretty impeccable. Godzilla stars Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Sally Hawkins, Juliette Binoche, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe, and David Strathaim. We don’t have too long to wait on this one, as the big, destructive bastard will come crashing into theaters on May 16. – Nick
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