When I first saw a trailer for the movie Transcendence (IMDB/Wikipedia), I thought to myself that the premise was somewhat interesting but the actual plot looked mundane. In other words, I suspected it would be like The Purge (IMDB/Wikipedia). The premise of whether or not a man’s consciousness should be digitized onto a computers and then expanded onto the internet is the sort of sci-fi philosophical conundrum that would pique my curiosity. Unfortunately, the trailer looked like a creepy Johnny Depp just menacing his former wife and then the rest of humanity. Instead of being a movie that would make think, it’d just be a disappointing techno-thriller.
I’ve watched up to episode 11 on Youku (神盾局特工 第一季), and I’m not sure I can continue giving the show any more of my attention.
I actually began watching the episode half a day ago but decided to stop and go to sleep about halfway through it, which likely says something about the episode’s ability to keep me riveted to my seat despite how much anticipation I had to see the continuation of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman’s take on the famous detective duo. Let me therefore say up front that the episode has left me somewhat lost and confused.
The movie features an ensemble cast with Forest Whitaker (whom I’m still annoyed with from The Experiment [Wikipedia/IMDB]) in the lead role of Cecil Gaines, a black man who learns how to work as a servant for white employers, eventually getting a job in the White House. As the history of political race-relations plays out in the White House over the terms of multiple American presidents (from Eishenhower to Obama), we see how race-relations also estranges Cecil from his son Louis. The father believes in keeping his head down, just thankful for the opportunities he’s had to improve life for himself and his family, while the son chafes at the persistent racial inequality, becoming an activist pushing for change in society, first as a pacifist following Martin Luther King and later momentarily as a militant Black Panther.
The movie features Clint Eastwood as an ornery old white war veteran stubbornly living in an increasingly run-down Detroit neighborhood that has been taken over by Hmong Asians. There’s culture clash, a lot of racial slurs thrown around, and most major American ethnicities get a cameo, including Hispanics and blacks.