Jack Paglen

TRANSCENDENCE

In a misleading article on CNN.com this week, Americans were said to be “excited” and “upbeat” about the way technology will improve our lives in the future. The headline of the piece, though, claims it’s about Americans being “wary of futuristic science, tech.” The article reports the findings of a telephone survey that surprisingly wasn’t tied to the release of the movie Transcendence, which seems at first meant as a promotion of the real possibilities of artificial intelligence, mind uploading and nanotechnology. Misleading in its own way, the movie begins with optimism about advances in A.I. research and then by the end has shown us the dangers of a self-aware omniscient computer that can create super soldiers, controlled via wifi and repaired via tiny, quick-acting robots. Audiences don’t seem to be walking away from the movie actually wary of this futuristic science and tech, though, because it plays out so far from believable that at many moments viewers are straight-up laughing at the way both the plot and science progress on screen. But should the science of Transcendence be believed? And if so, should the movie have been more clear and genuine regarding the plausibility of what all occurs? 

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battlestar-galactica-cylon

Battlestar Galactica, the gone but not forgotten sci-fi series that still lives on in the reruns of our hearts and the cable network Syfy, is getting the film adaptation that fans have been demanding since its end in 2009. But while many may have thought a movie would continue the adventures of the inhabitants of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol in a new journey, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead, according to Variety, the movie will be a reimagining of the story as told by Transcendence writer Jack Paglen (also the man attached to write Prometheus 2) and produced by original series creator Glen Larson. Of course, reimagining is flowery code for a term we’ve come all too familiar with hearing lately: reboot. For a television series that has already gone through three series, including a brief but mentionable run called Galactica 1980, it’s questionable if this move is altogether necessary. But for fans of the highly popular military space drama, maybe anything is worth some more screen time for another chance at seeing their beloved BSG again.

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Prometheus

Rejoice or groan, the sequel to Prometheus is moving forward. According to Variety, both Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender should return, and Jack Paglen – the writer of Wally Pfister’s directorial debut Transcendence — will be writing the script. Hopefully  all the cohesive elements of the screenplay that help make sense of everything will end up being in the movie this time around. But what else is there? Prometheus was so divisive that you’re either currently pumping your fist or pumping your fist with a sad look on your face. About the only general consequence is that it keeps Ridley Scott in this universe a little longer — theoretically preventing him from doing other projects. Although, presumably it’ll be holding him back temporarily from going back into other wells he’s drained before. So there’s that. The only confusing thing about this news is that Variety is claiming that this entry will “feel more like its own film” as opposed to Prometheus, which served to tie things into the Alien universe. That doesn’t make sense. How can a movie, a sequel, sandwiched between a universe-building story and a franchise with 6 entries, feel more like its own film? These and more questions to be answered if Fox decides they like the script enough to flash the green light.

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