As I’ve mentioned on Facebook, it seems whoever’s in charge has decided that it’s okay to spoil Game of Thrones immediately. I’m now hypersensitive to the problem of spoilers so, though I won’t get into great detail on the movie Transcendence, I’m going to tell you up front that I plan to spoil it. Perhaps enjoy this review more like a Slate Spoiler Special (a review of a movie you’ve already seen, not one you plan to see.)
So, straight to the problem with Transcendence:
It’s based on a paranoia that is never supported and the stakes are all wrong.
If the very foundation of the film wasn’t immensely flawed, it wouldn’t have been a bad show. I like Johnny Depp. He’s good in this in that he says his lines and doesn’t walk into furniture. (He hardly does any walking at all since mostly he’s on screen and percolating through the net. They sure didn’t give him much to work with in the script.
Sadly, Morgan Freeman plays the dumbest character he has ever played. Here’s the deal: Download a brilliant, dying scientist’s mind into a computer. The photocopy of his consciousness might not be entirely him, but there’s no evidence it isn’t all him.
We’re supposed to be worried it isn’t all Johnny and it might be PINN, the autonomous computer that MIGHT DESTROY THE HUMAN RACE! Except we barely meet PINN before the scientist gets on PINN’s hard drive and there is no sense of menace. PINN isn’t HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s as innocuous as Microsoft Word’s paperclip character that popped up to ask, “It look like you’re typing a letter. Can I help?” PINN will open the pod bay door and won’t keep you out of the airlock, Dave, so relax.
Anyway, the ghost in the machine (i.e. Johnny’s character of Will Caster) embraces solar power and starts making the blind see, saving lives and doing good everywhere.
Morgan’s character’s answer to all this good news? A note that tells the dead guy’s wife to run away because…um…well…hm. Because paranoia! Because freedom! Because your dead husband is down in the basement curing cancer with nanotechnology that could save us all! What a jerk!
Making the people he cures of terrible diseases into a slave army (part-time) was supposed to alarm us. However, if the doctor said, “I’m curing your blindness for free but I get to run around in your body, as needed, maybe 10- 20% of the time,” I’d say, “Sure! Thanks! Better than being a debt slave for the rest of my life. That’s a fair exchange! Bring on the nano-tech!”
Skip to the death scene
Dying wife looks up at dying husband (again) and says, “It’s you.”
Meaning: You aren’t the monster we feared.
He answers, “Always was.”
Meaning: I was always Jesus. You’ve killed me again and learned nothing in over 2000 years.
She smiles!? No! She should not be smiling. She should be weeping and begging forgiveness, not only from her dead husband/computer program, but from the human race.
Ah. The human race. What did we win in the end?
Pain. Disease. Weakness. Congratulations, humans! You had a shot at long, healthy lives and hope for the future but you weren’t worthy of the gift. You “win”, ya big dopes! That’s what anti-intellectualism and paranoia and fear of new things gets you. I’d call it a life lesson, but your lives are so short and miserable, who cares? Sure, science guy healed the planet a bit in the end, but we still die hooked up to machines. Whee! We win!
Transcendence needed a lesson from Lawn Mower Man. You don’t make a guy a beneficent god and bring him down. You transform him into a mad, evil god and then you bring him down. Bring down monsters or we’re all doofuses.
And that non sequitur little tag of an ending, so full of nonsense and obfuscation?
I wonder if studio suit thought, Add in some hope for the husband and wife at the end, despite the fact that the anti-virus worked everywhere else. Sure. If we confuse the audience with a vague ending, maybe they’ll forgive us the rest.
We won’t forgive. The point of the movie is, we won’t. We aren’t worthy and we don’t cut anybody else any slack, either.
~ FYI: For a satisfying ending, try my funny crime novel about a Cuban hit man trying to escape the mob. It’s called Bigger Than Jesus. It’s pronounced, “HAY-SOOSE.” As I write this, it’s free on Amazon here.
As I poke through two piles of receipts, I’m thinking about the last year. Tax time is a diary of numbers. It’s mostly depressing, first because accounting is a job I don’t want to do. Second, because it’s a job that would have been easier if I’d kept track of everything all along instead of saving it all up for an Easter weekend blitz.
It’s also sad to see the things that didn’t work. Google Adwords and Facebook Ads (for business #2) was a sinkhole with negative returns. “Negative returns” means it sucked. When the outgo outpaces the income, it starts to make you reevaluate your vocational choices. If I hadn’t been so afraid of public speaking, I could have been a lawyer, I suppose. I cured myself of the public speaking phobia (and probably dodged a bullet by not going into law.) Probably saved myself an ulcer and several clients from life sentences by staying the hell out of that profession.
One of the things I did that showed up in the receipts was donate to Authors Supporting Our Troops. It’s a good cause no matter what political stripe you wear. As for the many little bills that add up to a tower, I’m doing like we all do. I’m a shark. I move forward. I’m making headway and I’m hopeful.
Two of the beta readers for This Plague of Days Season 3 have returned their notes already and the feedback is very positive. Stunningly so. It’s exactly what I hoped it would be. I can’t wait to get through recording my receipts so I can get back to the real business I’m in.
Writing is bigger than the bills. It always will be.
In this episode, how to locate someone who doesn’t want to be found, how to make a bomb from scratch at the convenience store and a surprise ad for another podcast! It’s all in Night of the Hunter, a new chapter reading from Higher Than Jesus, the crime novel by your host, Robert Chazz Chute. Seriously, the pizza trick is going to worry you if you’re hiding out from anyone.
Sorry for the delays in putting out the All That Chazz podcast. I’ve been working on the finale to This Plague of Days and just finished the last major revision. This is the third book in the This Plague of Days series. The big compendium, This Plague of Days – The Complete Series and Season 3 (each sold separately) are coming out this spring. Yes, I know it’s spring already. Think late spring, so there’s still time to catch up on Season One and Two. You might even guess the secret hidden in the books, but it’s tricky and no one has guessed it yet.
If you don’t know anything about Season One and Two, you don’t know the charm of an autistic boy and his family facing the horrors of an apocalypse engineered by bio-terrorists. Sure, it’s a dystopian sci-fi saga now, but the first of the three plagues could begin for real…I don’t know…let’s say Tuesday afternoon around four in the afternoon.
My point is, to find out more about my books of suspense, the affiliate links are at AllThatChazz.com. To find out more about the craziest zombie apocalypse ever, go to ThisPlagueOfDays.com.
As ever, this podcast is sponsored by the most excellent graphic designer, Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com. He’s a good friend and does excellent work with book covers, web banners, ads and more, so do check out his wondrous portfolio of art. Very reasonable prices, too!
We have just a few chapters left with the reading of Higher Than Jesus. The the All That Chazz podcast will have a format change. (More on that later.)
In the meantime, check out my other podcast, the Cool People Podcast at CoolPeoplePodcast.com. A new guest in the coming week will talk about how her government banned her book! It’s a fascinating interview, but they’re all fascinating because my guests are all cool. I’ll be talking to many more cool guests on that podcast in coming weeks!
Thanks for listening to the podcast. Donations to keep the podcasts going are gratefully accepted through the safe and secure yellow donation button at AllThatChazz.com and CoolPeoplePodcast.com.
Have a great week!
Someone is trying to pull me into their psycho-drama. This is a person committed to the illusion of their victimhood. Every problem is a catastrophe and a conflict. Every slight, real or imagined, is a mortal wound. A mistake is their excuse to try to own you forever.
Worse, they are trying to make a victim of me.
I will not get sucked in. Whatever the problem, I can solve it. Whatever the challenge, I will meet it. And I will remember who I am.
Each day is full of milestones, big and small. If our milestones consist solely of breakfast and lunch and dinner, we are merely marking time and not using it. Negative people create their own hell and I will not live there. Do-nothing people risk nothing and stay nothing and they demand you be nothing, too.
That’s not for me.
I will use this day. I will rise above my enemies. I will rise so far above them, they will look up. They’ll want to be my friends.
I am very good to my friends. I am very bad to those who choose to stay my enemies.
This is the podcast that asks, “How are you going to kill a thing like Lurch?” Brace yourself for a rant against today’s journalists by a journalist from yesterday. Then, an author reading from Higher Than Jesus by Robert Chazz Chute.
“What’s wrong with you?”
“That question has baffled experts.”
Episode 83 of the All That Chazz Podcast gets medieval, but first we begin with a rant against the media and the truth about New Jersey governor Chris Christie that no one would say (until now.) It has to do with fat and truth and fatheads standing under expensive haircuts.
In this chapter, From Dusk Till Dawn, funny and luckless Cuban hit man, Jesus Diaz, must find his love, Willow Clemont, before a couple of white supremacist terrorists kill her. My love of Tarantino is real. Most of the book’s chapters are from movies, old and new, noir and not noir. Enjoy.
This podcast is sponsored by the most excellent graphic designer, Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com. My opinions aren’t necessarily his, so don’t blame him. Just use his awesome services for book covers, web banners and advertising.
To donate to the podcast or buy a book, please go to Amazon through the affiliate links at www.AllThatChazz.com. Thanks for listening!
Back with a vengeance, I talk about how an energy vampire sapped my creativity and hurt my widdle baby feelings. I worked through it, got back on track and now things are going pretty dang swimmingly. If you want to give the therapy talk a miss, go to about 32 minutes in for the author reading.
Yes, at last and finally, a new reading from Higher Than Jesus, my crime novel. The chapter is Some Like It Hot. Go to AllThatChazz.com if you’d like to read the book for yourself. From AllThatChazz.com, you can get it from Amazon as an ebook or a paperback. Nifty! You can also donate to the podcast using the little yellow button at AllThatChazz.com and go to CoolPeoplePodcast.com for my interviews with actors, authors, directors, musicians and more. It’s an audio buffet.
Today’s sponsor is KitFosterDesign.com. Kit Foster is my graphic designer. Check out all his portfolio. He doesn’t just do awesome digital and print covers. He can also design beautiful artwork for your podcast, web banners and advertising. He works with all sorts and he’s the nicest guy in the world. Very reasonable prices, too. Tell him Chazz sent you.
Sorry about the hiatus,folks! Aside from the energy vampire, I also am having some trouble adjusting to running two business at the same time. Life is struggle but I’ll get my time management straightened out. Expect a new podcast soon.
To find out more about me and my horror serial, This Plague of Days, check out www.ThisPlagueOfDays.com. If you’re a writer, go to www.ChazzWrites.com.
Cheers and beers, everybody!
New episodes of the All That Chazz podcast and the Cool People Podcast will return soon. In the meantime, there’s this (NSFW) awesomeness:
Fresh year. Clean slate. New attitudes. New you. How about it?
I’ve been away a while. Had some health problems. Had some issues. However, I didn’t (couldn’t) wait until the New Year to start making major changes. It turns out, the key to change was deciding to.
When that failed, I decided to again. That choice isn’t made once each New Year’s Eve. It has to be made each morning, each hour and each minute.
Come with me if you want to live.
We do what we do and dream of what we want to do, but we will never know why. What motivates us to choose this over that? These are secrets we keep from ourselves. Hidden among many skeins of branches amid forests of neurons, the answers are locked away. Why did you choose this man or that woman, that ambition and this life? Did you really choose at all, or did invisible forces choose for you?
The answers to these questions is a mystery and sometimes (often?) a misery.
On dark nights we peer at the stars and wonder about what life on which planets might be born and living and dying beyond the reach of our senses, long ago and far away.
But we are just as much a mystery to ourselves. Our minds hold secrets and hide memories the brain will never yield. The gears of the subconscious spin and work, autonomous (up to something?) pushing and pulling us, this way and that. We say things we don’t mean and we don’t know why. We drive, zombies on automatic, and awake at our destination hoping the last three traffic lights were green as we sailed through, oblivious and unharmed.
We are not awake.
We do not see all there is.
Even as I write this? My heart rate, the secrets of my blood and what makes me write at all? All unknown to me.
I am still asleep, dreaming of waking. It’s hopeless.
We are never truly awake. I don’t even know which world is better. In moments when I swim closer to the lens that lets in light, I see things. More is revealed to me. I understand more. I am more interested in the world then, but less happy.
This is a dream. When that reality becomes too harsh, I escape to my bed, into a deeper dream within the dream. Each morning fool myself into thinking I am awake.
Maybe death could be merciful like that.
We die, but in the fog at the end, we do not notice our passing. We continue, dreaming that we are living. I don’t believe that, but I love the symmetry and grace of it. We could die and it wouldn’t matter because, no matter how absurd, dreams make sense and we continue dreaming, warm and insulated from the worst the world can offer.
Don’t let me die. Let me keep on dreaming I am alive. Just like tonight.
That wouldn’t be so bad.
~ Robert Chazz Chute is waiting for blood test results and thinking about mortality.