Transcendence

Transcendence was, to my theater-sitting pleasure, just the right combination of science fiction, suspense, and whatever you call that thing where the movie leaves you arguing about what it means to be human. Of course, I went by myself so I lost all of the arguments by virtue of having them in the first place, though I suppose you could also argue that one aspect of sapience is the ability to weigh two competing thoughts in such a way as to talk yourself into or out of something you'd previously held pretty tightly.

So, yeah, it was a pretty good movie. 

There were the usual computer tropes, including a real groaner, and I don't think the artificial intelligence in the film was smart enough or alien enough, but the AI was pretty smart. And hey, as far as cinematic portrayals of artificial intelligence go, this one is top tier.

Transcendence doesn't clear my Threshold of Awesome, largely because the pacing was too slow for my tastes. I suspect this is because the producers wanted to give typical, non-singularity-literate cinema-goers time to wrap their heads around some of the concepts in the film, and I spent a lot of scenes waiting for them to stop explaining stuff I already knew. As of this writing the film comes in at #6 for the year

UPDATE: On a related note (ha-ha) the Transcendence soundtrack by Mychael Danna is excellent music for working to. I didn't notice the music much during the film itself, suggesting that it did its job well, but I just picked up the soundtrack and I'm enjoying it quite a bit. It sets a nice mood, and then doesn't get in the way when my brain tries to do all of the things that it needs to do.

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