Star Trek

Posted on May 14, 2009. Filed under: Movies to see before you die | Tags: , , , , , , |

As I mentioned before, I am in no way a trekkie, but a friend is taking steps to change that, and I was up for the new Star Trek film as soon as I heard they were making it.  The fact that I’m a big Zac Quinto fan may have had something to do with it, and the early trailers seemed to promise a good old fashioned SciFi flick.  So…did I survive my first big screen Trek experience?

Hell Yes! I LOVED it! I was expecting the film to be good, I wasn’t expecting it to be awesome!

First of all, let me take back everything I said about Chris Pine.  He’s great in the role of Kirk, starting out on a motorbike with a definite James Dean air and never taking himself too seriously (not unlike Shatner).  Hollywood can’t resist Daddy issues, and our hero has them in spades, but that overused plot devise aside, the new Kirk definitely fits the bill.

Rebel without a cause?

Quinto is also great as Spock, although I couldn’t help staring at his eyebrows just a little bit.  But then as Quinto himself has said in an interview:

“My brows are a big part of the character I played already and a big part of the character I play now…they’re a big part of my face!”McCoy

Simon Pegg Chekovmakes a brilliant Scotty, adding more laughs to a film which is genuinely funny throughout, but an unexpected favourite of mine was Chekov.  His comedy accent might be a bit much, but he’s so cute and naive I’m more than willing to let him off.  Great work by Anton Yelchin, although I do hope he doesn’t really talk like that.  I also liked having Karl Urban back on screen (known to many of us as Eomer in LOTR) as the sarcastic McCoy.  The budding relationships between Spock, Kirk and “Bones” are the real plot of this film, and while there’s nothing groundbreaking in how its portrayed, the writing is very good.

As for the story, the time travel aspect lost me for a while and sent images of Doc Brown whizzing through my head at 88 miles an hour (particularly when they started talking about paradoxes) but setting the film in an alternate reality is a nifty way of getting round any continuity errors.  Abrams gets the film just right: there’s enough references to the back catalogue to keep the hard core trekkies happy, but if this is your first trip into the Star Trek universe you don’t feel like you’re missing a ton of information.

The fight scenes are well choreographed and shot, especially the one on the drill, proving beyond a doubt that we’ve moved on from the clunky special effects that once made Star Trek so infamous.  In fact the whole look of the film is pretty stunning, especially on the giant Empire cinema screen, and the score (Michael Giacchino) has some great choral moments that caught my ear.

So, am I converted? Well, this looks like the begining of a beautiful franchise, and if this is the future of Star Trek then sign me up for the next convention!

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How to survive the British Summer

Posted on April 29, 2009. Filed under: News, Ramblings, Trailers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Summer’s coming, and that means one thing…loads of movie releases to keep the kids (and everyone else) happy during the inevitably rainy summer holidays.  The Summer Blockbuster line up has already begun with Wolverine, but there are a few more to keep an eye out for if, like mSpocke, you need something to look forward to during exam season.

The first, and most obvious, is the new Star Trek movie, opening next week (8th May).  I’m not a trekkie, but that’s more because I just never saw it than a conscious decision to avoid.  I have been made to watch one star trek film, and it was good, despite the fact I needed most of what was going on explained to me by a trekkie friend.  I’m intrigued by the new offering, if only to gawp at the ridiculousness of Zac “Sylar” Quinto’s eyebrows, and it does look promising. Surprisingly little has been said about Chris Pine, our new Kirk, with most promo focussing mainly on Quinto and Simon Pegg.  As a relative unknown, that makes sense, and it will be interesting to see what the hard core fan reaction is.  From the little I’ve seen in the trailers, and in my hugely inferior knowledge, I think something’s missing. But I’m more than likely to be wrong.

Following Star Trek, we have Angels and Demons, the sequel to The DaVinci Code. I’m semi-ashamed to admit that I loved the books, but I accept that the writing is terrible, and this is coming from someone who, as a rule, doesn’t read.  However, I was really disappointed with The DaVinci Code movie after some plot tweaking took all the sympathy out of Paul Bettany’s Silas.

Angels and Demons is a carbon copy of DaVinci, you can even match up character types between the books, but having said that, the twists and conspiracy theory that makes Dan Brown so infamous did make it very compelling and I have no doubt the film will be the same.  Perhaps the fact that I haven’t read the book in 3 years will mean I can enjoy the prequel more, since I’ll be in less of a position to play spot the difference with the adaptation, and the addition of Ewan McGregor to the cast should be a good thing, altough I’m sure boys will be mourning the loss of Audrey Tautou.

If drama isn’t what you’re after, then on the 10th July Bruno hits the screens, the latest of Sacha Baron Cohen’s creations.  I have no doubt that this will be a huge success, but I wont be seeing it.  I think I’m in the 10% of the world that thought Borat was awful and so I’m not holding my breath for Bruno, but maybe it’ll be better than I expect.  I know that lots of you out there can’t wait for it.  Maybe I’ll catch the DVD.

A friend also pointed out Moon to me.  Starring Sam Rockwell and coming out on 3rd Sept.  Not strictly a blockbuster but as soon as I saw the trailer I was hooked.  It follows an astronaut about to end a three year stint alone aboard a space station when everything goes a bit 2001.  Check it out ‘cos I reckon it’s going to be the turning point in Rockwell’s career.

Finally, I’ll quickly mention Up, a film I’ve been telling a few friends about and have been looking forward to for a while.  It doesn’t quite count as a Summer blockbuster, as it’s not coming out until the 16th October, but I wanted to give it a mention.  It’s the latest from Pixar Animation Studios, and once again they’ve chosen to pick a challenging medium and place a storyline in it.  They’ve done fur (Monster’s Inc), water (Nemo) and fast track racing (Cars) but now they’re taking us into the air, with one of the weirdest story premises I’ve ever heard.  Wanted to see it instantly.  Here’s the trailer:

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