Colleen Houck

“I took hold of that scourge -filled ship and crushed it between my limbs, hurtling it into the second sun, the red one that gave me strength. But I was too late." Terraformer

Colleen's blog

  • Movie Review: Transcendence

    April 23, 2014

    Movie Review: Transcendence


    Colleen’s Movie Review

    Romance: I love Johnny Depp. I love the characters he plays. I love his charm and his creative genius. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do romance well though. That’s not a terrible thing. There are all kinds of actors and romance is just not his thing. The sad part is, I didn’t even think he liked his wife in this case. There wasn’t enough shown in their relationship to make me believe she would actually risk her career to make all of this happen. A few more scenes of tenderness between them would have made a world of difference. Seriously, do these people look like they’re in love? The distance between them is palpable and the body language screams don’t touch me.

    Special Effects: I really liked the nano-tech and the way it rebuilt all sorts of things.

    What I Liked: The idea. Though its been done before and done better. Paul Bettany as the best friend.

    What I’d Change:

    Problem 1: Johnny Depp’s character, Will Caster, wasn’t much different as human than he was post download. He was a stiff and robotic scientist that I couldn’t relate to on any level. If the film makers wanted to elicit an emotional response in viewers, then the character needed to show some emotion about what was happening to him. He was dying, after all. Tears should be flowing and I felt zip in the sadness department.

    Problem 2: If what Will was doing post download really was all for his wife then that point needed to be made several times. The Romeo and Juliet themed ending as well as the finding a way to have a body so they could be together and physically touch should have been heart wrenching and instead I just felt confused as to what was motivating them and what was the point of it all.

    Problem 3: Morgan Freeman’s character was a throw away role that served no purpose whatsoever except to maybe add some extra star power to the film.

    Problem 4: I was hoping the best friend, played by Paul Bettany, had some sort of secret crush on Evelyn. That would have made it much more interesting and it would have increased the drama and the angst tenfold.

    Problem 5: The whole science/computer aspect of the film didn’t make sense and I’m willing to go in almost any science direction Star Trek will take me. They needed a few more actual science/computer people to explain to them how all this would work because there were big enough holes in the tech aspect of it that I had time to jump through them and look around at the mess they made.

    Problem 6: None of the actors responsible for “fixing” the problem were believable as either computer geniuses or science guys. In fact, most of them appeared to me as if they needed an assistant to show them how to access their email.

    The Tagline: There were three actually. 1) What if a new intelligence was born? 2) Yesterday Dr. Will Caster was only human 3) Dr. Will Caster is dying to keep a secret None of these really did the movie any favors. First of all, a new intelligence wasn’t born. Though that would be an interesting twist. Not that these guys would have come up with that. The yesterday quote is just a fact. The third is the best, though the so called secret wasn’t clearly identified. Was it just research that not everyone knew about or was it actually clandestine? They never said. Also his death had nothing to do with his secret if indeed you can call it that.

    Hunky Hero: Though I love Johnny Depp, this movie had no hunky heroes in my opinion.

    The Villain: Kate Mara as Bree was about the lamest villain ever. I rolled my eyes in nearly every scene she was in. First, she’s about as scary as a Barbie doll. Second, no way do I believe she’s any kind of computer genius or science nerd let alone the leader of some huge, extremely organized anti-tech terrorist group. No way. Completely unbelievable. Also don’t think I overlooked the fact that we “hate technology” and yet we rely on it completely to terrorize those who use it. This whole angle needed desperate cleaning up and focus. You can’t just be anti-tech, they needed to be more specific, target Will’s research only, and have a purpose behind what they were doing, not just hit every lab in the country or maybe the world. They weren’t clear on that either.

    Best Line: Predictable but also creepy.

    Evelyn: Where are you going?

    Will: Everywhere.

    Best Scene: The nano tech healing a plant.

    Recommended for YA fans: Eh. Up to you. Just don’t go in expecting a lot.




    Grandma’s Review

    2014-01-19 15.04.07

    Grandma’s Bio: My name is Kathleen and I’m Colleen’s mom. I’m a mother of seven and grandmother of seventeen with one bun in the oven (not my oven). They’re all great. None of my kids are duds-you know, like the popcorn kernels that don’t pop. My father taught me to love science fiction and mysteries. I’m a dreamer whose secret wish was to be an actress and sing and dance on stage. I have lots of things I still want to do. A few of my favorite things include-discovering new restaurants, going to movies, traveling, seeing plays, children, my dogs, Elvis, reading books, The Beach Boys, and Rhett Butler because he doesn’t give a damn AND he can carry Scarlett up the stairs.

    Definition of Kicky-providing a kick or thrill, exciting

    Review:  I love science fiction movies and this one was right up my alley. I was never bored. I was fascinated the whole way through. At the end of the movie I had to think and think about the meaning of the story. It wasn’t a simple conclusion. I had to figure out what the whole thing was about. Was the world really better off without him? Basically the computer became human. He wasn’t just sentient. He was human because he could still sacrifice. I would have liked to see an alternate ending to see what the world would have been like had he been able to achieve his vision. I give this movie 9 out of 10 kicks.

    Karate Girl Sticker Car Window Decal Fight Woman Kick Neat Gift Vinyl Black Belt


    A Guy’s Perspective

    2014-02-01 22.54.02

    Bio: I’m Colleen’s husband, Brad. I’m the youngest of four kids. I’ve been Deaf since I was five so I watch every movie with caption glasses. I love sports and reading (I’ll admit I’ve read Twilight but prefer thrillers like Jack Reacher). My favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip. I’ll never turn down a taco. I write poetry. My man credentials include: a high school career in wrestling, watching sports every time my wife is too busy to notice, a receding hairline, two repaired ACL’s, and a stockpile of Axe body wash.


    “Transcendence is Anything But”

    This techno sci-fi film had some good ideas, but they came across like half-baked potatoes.  Even Johnny Depp did not seem fully invested in his character, Will, who was strangely normal to Depp’s usual quirky recklessness.  The antagonists weren’t villainous enough and many long scenes suffered from lack of engaging, smart dialogue. Everything else–the script, the other characters, the plot, the drama–also felt like half-baked elements.  There was that underlying tone throughout that something was missing, and while there was a mild build-up toward a conflict, I never got the feeling that a climax had been reached, so the let-down wasn’t major–it simply just never got off the ground.    I give it 2 Hulk Smash Fists out of 10.


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    This entry was posted in A Guy's Perspective, Grandma's Review, Movie Review.

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    Author Bio
    Colleen Houck

    New York Times Bestselling author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, paranormal, science fiction, and romance. When she's not busy writing, she likes to spend time chatting on the phone with one of her six siblings, watching plays, and shopping online. Colleen has lived in Arizona, Idaho, Utah, California, and North Carolina and is now permanently settled in Salem, Oregon with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers.