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Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)


Enjoy These Final Moments of Peace.

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)Tuesday again.  Time again for a double feature at my local theater.  It’s problematic for a film critic to hate crowds so much that he doesn’t like to go see new movies until the theaters have slowed down, but that’s the kind of critic you idolize.  Me.  This would normally be too soon for me to want to go see a movie of this magnitude, but there weren’t a lot of options in theaters right now, and my desire to see this movie was pretty strong.  I was never a fan of the TV series this movie comes from, and I didn’t see the greater majority of the movies that helped make the series so popular.  But I did see the movie right before this one and it made me a fan.  I absolutely loved it.  So when they put out a new one, it made me very excited.  Did it live up to those expectations?  Find out as I review Star Trek Into Darkness, based on characters created by Gene Roddenberry, written by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof, directed by J. J. Abrams, and starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Weller, Bruce Greenwood, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, Karl Urban, Alice Eve, Noel Clarke, Nazneen Contractor, and Leonard Nimoy.

On a mission to the planet Nibiru, Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) violates the Prime Directive in order to rescue First Officer Spock (Zachary Quinto) from danger.  This causes Admiral Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) to be forced to relieve Kirk of his command of the USS Enterprise.  Elsewhere, a man named John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) offers Starfleet Officer Thomas Harewood (Noel Clarke) a way to save his dying child in exchange for blowing up a Starfleet archive.  Admiral Alexander Marcus (Peter Weller) calls together the captains of Starfleet to figure out their next move, falling directly into Harrison’s plan.  Harrison attacks the meeting, killing many of the Starfleet commanders.  In retaliation, Kirk is sent out with 72 prototype Photon Torpedoes with the order to destroy Harrison, while trying not to bring on a full scale war with the Klingons.  But all is not as it appears…

For the first half of this movie, I admit that I was feeling a little underwhelmed by it.  It was good, but it was not living up to my expectations for it.  Then shit started to get real.  Some might be embarrassed to say that they started to tear up near the end, mostly on moments between Spock and Kirk, but I’m not your usual man.  I’m barely a man at all!  What I am is a nerd, so it’s completely appropriate.  The story is also heavy with references to the past of Star Trek, which I’m sure I missed a bunch of because of my relative inexperience with the franchise, but I still got most of them.  I know Khan, for instance.  I know Tribbles.  I also know what happens to Spock at some point in a radioactive room.  But I like that these movies are taking place in an altered timeline so thing happen close to what happened in the past, but occasionally roles are reversed to be able to still catch the audience off guard.  But I was beginning to get trepidations in the beginning because a few things made me think they’d be treading the same ground as the previous movie, like when they took away Kirk’s ship and wanted to put him back in the academy, but they didn’t waste that much time in that.  Then Kirk would start getting at odds with the crew again, although he had a good reason.  I got most worried about how I’d feel about this movie when Kirk and Scotty parted ways.  BRING PEGG BACK!!  But then they did, and I could calm down.  But the end of the movie was filled with some great action and great emotional moments, and I’ve always said that ending strong is more important than opening strong.  I won’t spoil what was happening, but when Uhura told Spock to, “Go get him,” I got some wood, and surprisingly more because of the awesomeness than Zoe Saldana’s hotness.  I would have to admit that I saw the ending coming, making it not that much of a surprise when we find out Kirk’s fate.  I even wrote it in my notes just after I first saw the Tribble.  That being said, I didn’t feel like it was any less effective just because I knew how it would turn out.

There’s really no point even talking about the look of the movie, is there?  You saw the commercials and how awesome and epic they make the movie look, right?  Yeah, that’s what it looks like.  They were not lying to you.

I loved all the performances in this movie as well.  Chris Pine is great as Kirk.  He does the funny parts as well as he does the emotional parts.  He also plays a dick very well, easily making me silently curse him in the theater for making Simon Pegg leave.  I find it hard to talk about Zachary Quinto’s performance as Spock.  Through most of the movie, he’s acting really robotic.  On the other hand, that’s exactly what he’s supposed to be doing.  And he’s able to convey quite a bit of emotion through his performance while still being such a Vulcan, and he kind of breaks down at the end of the movie in an awesome way.  Zoe Saldana is hot.  Simon Pegg is awesome.  Peter Weller was Robocop.  I was unfamiliar with this Benedict Cumberbatch before I went into this movie.  I had heard him talked about a lot in nerdier crowds, so I knew he must have some nerd cred of some sort.  I think it’s because he’s in that Sherlock show, but I’ve never seen it.  And you never see him in The Hobbit because he only lends his voice to it.  That being said, I still thought he was pretty awesome in the movie.  Maybe not quite a Ricardo Montalbán, but pretty damned solid.  Even with the emo hair that occasionally happened in the middle of a fight, he maintained a certain level of quiet badassdom.  And the starring role in this movie for me is the white-haired chick on the command deck of the Enterprise.  I don’t know who she is, but I want to be in her.

Star Trek Into Darkness is another addition to the series that wins in my book.  The movie starts off a little slow for my taste, but ends strongly with a great deal of awesome action and emotion that actually made me tear up.  It looks great and all the performances were also top notch.  I’ve never considered myself a Star Trek fan, but if Abrams keeps this up, I might actually start watching the stuff that inspired the guy to make these awesome movies.  In the meantime, I recommend getting yourself to the theaters to check this one out as soon as you can.  Star Trek Into Darkness gets “If you test me, you will fail” out of “Because I am better.”

WATCH REVIEWS HERE!  YouTube  OTHER JOKES HERE!  Twitter  BE A FAN HERE!  Facebook  If you like these reviews so much, spread the word.  Keep me motivated!  Also, if you like them so much, why don’t you marry them?!

Star Trek (2009)


I Like This Ship!  Y’know, It’s Exciting!

No one requested this movie and I think most people already know how I feel about it.  I watched this for me.  I bought it on BluRay, special edition style for the win!  I’ve watched it numerous times since purchasing it and I likes it just as much every time.  Let’s get right into it, shall we?  This movie is Star Trek, the revamped movie series written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, directed by J.J. Abrams, and starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Leonard Nimoy, Eric Bana, Bruce Greenwood, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Winona Ryder, Chris Hemsworth, Clifton Collins Jr., and, unfortunately, Tyler Perry.

Alright, this little ship comes up on this black hole and this huge ass ship comes out and is like “WHAT?!” and then starts going “Pachew, pachew pachew”.  The USS Kelvin is no match for the Romulan ship, the Narada, so the captain of the Kelvin goes over to discuss a cease fire.  The captain of the Narada, Nero (Eric Bana), asks him a few questions about a person he’s never heard of, then kills him.  George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth) takes over as captain and orders an evacuation of everyone on board including his really, really preggers wife.  Kirk must stay aboard the ship and his wife leaves, giving birth to their son, James Tiberius Kirk.  Also, on Vulcan, baby Spock gets picked on for having a human mom.  Now grown up, James Kirk (Chris Pine) drunkenly hits on Uhura (Zoe Saldana) at a bar and gets beat up by her Starfleet buddies.  One of the shots to the noggin and a pep talk from Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) and he enlists in Starfleet.  On the way there, he meets and befriends Leonard “Bones” McCoy (Karl Urban).  Years later, Kirk and Spock (Zachary Quinto) get on each others bad side when Kirk cheats on Spock’s test and Spock gets Kirk suspended for it, which keeps Kirk grounded when the Starfleet leaves to check on a distress call from Vulcan.  McCoy gets Kirk on board the USS Enterprise where Kirk is able to stop the ship from warping into a trap from the Narada.  Some people are saved, but most of Vulcan is lost, and Captain Pike is captured by Nero.  Can Spock and Kirk settle their differences and take out this new threat?  No, Spock jettisons Kirk to a frozen planet instead.  But at least he gets to meet old Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and Montgomery “Scotty” Scott (Simon Pegg)!

Some may assume that my nerdiness would inherently make me a Star Trek fan, but this is not the case.  I’ve seen this movie, but I’ve never seen an episode of the TV show and I’ve only ever seen parts of the original movies.  As any self respecting nerd, I picked a side in the Star Wars/Star Trek war and irrationally disregarded the other half.  I’m a Star Wars man.  But something inspired me to watch this movie and I’m very glad that I did.  It rules.  Does it rule as much as Star Wars?  I’ve conferred with my nerdiness and determined that I cannot confirm nor deny that.  But this movie is very good.  The story took a dangerous concept and pulled it off.  Not only is it dangerous to remake such a beloved series, but time travel can be a dangerous, easy story device used by bad writers, but both are pulled off well.  I don’t think I heard too many Trekkies getting their panties in a knot about this movie after it came out, though most had preemptively tied up their panties.  But the story they delivered was well thought out, action-packed, emotional in parts, and charming throughout.  It also looked better than I assume every other incarnation of Star Trek, so it’s got that goin for it too.  The Narada looked awesome, but it was a little problematic for me.  It was apparently originally a mining vessel, but was also more menacing than any mining vessel ever was or should be, and apparently loaded with the most advanced weaponry of it’s time.  Seems a bit overkill for a mining vessel.  But it is comforting to know that we’ll still be able to listen to the Beastie Boys in the year 2245.  Also, why come they have all this advanced technology but they forgot that some technology can automatically time stamp things, taking away your need to start everything with the stardate?

The casting is the best part of this movie.  Every single person in this movie fits their characters and performs them excellently.  Chris Pine was a cocky douche, was funny most of the time, and pulled off the emotional scenes very well.  Zachary Quinto made a fantastic Spock.  When he turns down the Vulcan council early in the movie, I loved the way he practically spat “Live long and prosper” at them.  But for the rest of the movie I felt he was a little dry and unemotional.  Just kidding.  He’s a Vulcan.  He actually came close to emoting too much for a Vulcan.  I didn’t like the choice for his mom though.  Winona Ryder is too hot to pull off being Zachary Quinto’s mom.  Zoe Saldana was fantastic as well, and super hot as always.  She also managed to Navi-whip Spock.  Navi-whipped, p-whipped…get it?  No?  It sounded better in my head.  I got in a argument with myself over whether I liked Simon Pegg or Karl Urban better in this movie, but I wasn’t able to decide.  They’re my favorite characters in this.  Simon Pegg easily gets the win over Karl Urban in total career, but in this movie I give them equal.  Both were funny whenever they were on and both captured their characters.  I felt like Eric Bana may have hammed it up a bit, but not too bad.  Tyler Perry was my only problem with the casting.  Not because he didn’t do his small part well, but because his movies are awful.  I don’t want to go through every name in the movie, but every other name was great.

So, yeah.  This movie rules.  You should watch and own it.  And this is coming from a verified non-Trekkie, so this comes with no bias whatsoever.  I dig the look and the story of this movie a lot, but it wouldn’t be anything without the fantastic cast.  GO WATCH NOW!  Star Trek gets “I’ve never beamed three people from two targets onto one pad before!  I thought that was pretty good!” out of “I am grateful for this.”

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