1. Transcendence (Warner Brothers, 3,455 Theaters, 119 Minutes, Rated PG-13): If you saw the trailer for this film and thought, “Gee, I didn’t know Christopher Nolan had a new film out,” well, he doesn’t. This is the first film directed by his frequent cinematographer Wally Pfister.
The film does have a high concept sci-fi plot that might have piqued Nolan’s interest. Johnny Depp plays a researcher trying to develop a human-level artificial intelligence. When terrorists shot him with radioactive bullets, he must meld with the machine in order to save his life. In the process, his goal may be achieved, but at a very high cost.
This film should have been a slam dunk. But the themes have appeared in countless other films, early reviews are brutal, and Depp himself seems unwilling to talk about the film during a visit to the Late Show. These, my friends, are not good signs.
2. Heaven is for Real (Opened Wednesday, TriStar, 2,417 Theaters, 100 Minutes, Rated PG): The Overly Religious genre picks up steam with another film, this one based on a best-selling book of the same name.
This film tells story of Colton Burpo, who, while having surgery, had an out of body experience where he claims he saw Heaven. There, he saw relatives he never met, recounted facts about them he didn’t know, and told of a Jesus who rides on a rainbow horse and a gigantic God overlooking it all. His family has to deal with this information and the negative attention it brings.
Depending on your views of Heaven, this film may or may not be for you. But it does have two Oscar nominees in the cast (Greg Kinnear and Thomas Hayden Church), so at least it will be well acted.
3. A Haunted House 2 (Open Road Films, 2,310 Theaters, 87 Minutes, Rated R): So, A Haunted House did well enough to garner a sequel? Really?
Considering how the original only cost $2.5 million to make and made close to $60 million worldwide, yeah, it did. Buy low and sell high and all that. And considering that this one only cost $3 million to make, it has a good chance of being a hit too, no matter how stupid it is.
This sequel follows the events of the first one, all the while parodying the recent slate of horror films.
If this is your thing, okay. Go for it. I hold my parody to a higher standard, but that’s just me.
4. Bears (Disney, 1,720 Theaters, 77 Minutes, Rated G): Disney’s Earth Day tradition of nature documentaries continues again this year, and might actually provide the best bet for the week.
The film follows a family of Alaskan Bears as they go about their daily life. Expect some laughs, some tears and, if you’re not careful, you might just learn something.
This film is currently the best reviewed film over at Rotten Tomatoes (but, really, look at the competition) and might be worth a look. And if you just can’t handle that much cuteness, it is only 77 minutes long.