Monday, May 27, 2013

Mini Review: 5 For; 5 Against - "Star Trek: Into Darkness"

Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine
The movie's already been out a week; it's late on the last day of my 5-day weekend; I'm still sore and everything's already been spoiled, so I thought I'd give Star Trek: Into Darkness Jeep Guy Sean's "5 For; 5 Against" treatment.

5 For

5. Zachary Quinto. The adorable Marriage Equality activist proves once again to be Nimoy's destined successor. 

4. The New Timeline. It allowed them to take a Rubik's Cube approach to Wrath of Khan, sometimes quite cleverly refitting and reusing major plot points as part of an overall new story. This franchise shouldn't be viewed as a reboot as much as an Alt History version of the original. If they continue to mine the rest of the cannon this cleverly, they could make as many of these as they want for a very long time.

3. Deep Roy! The diminutive Indian actor has been making genre films since the mid '70's. I first noticed him in 1980's fabulously over-the-top Flash Gordon, billed as Princess Aura's Pet. I didn't realize he was Keenser in Star Trek until I saw his name in the credits this time around. He's in a million things and you usually know him when you see him. Hidden under a ton of makeup in yet another silent role, Roy manages to still convey the humor in Scotty's weird, little alien sidekick.

2. Karl Urban; John Cho; Zoe Saldana; Anton Yelchin and Simon Pegg. While Urban brilliantly channels his own version of DeForest Kelly, the other supporting leads take their iconic characters and make them both new and familiar. Plus... a Tribble!

1. The action sequences and special effects are simply magnificent. J.J. Abrams' eye for exciting action is flawless. Of course we know our heros will survive. They always do. But Abrams manages to make the danger they are in seem very real, no matter how preposterous.

5 Against

5. Chris Pine. Ventriloquist's dummy-headed Pine's version of a young James Kirk just bugs the heck out of me. It's not that he's doing anything particularly wrong... he just doesn't seem to be quite right.  Of course, it could be the way the character is written. Or his age (too young). It just... well, he just isn't the 'Win' that the rest of cast is for me.

4. Benedict Cumberbatch. I don't get the trend of unattractive, pasty Brits in American films lately. But an unattractive, pasty Brit playing a role originated by a handsome, swarthy Spaniard? Khan Noonian Singh is NOT a pasty anything. Was Javier Bardem not available? Or even Gael Garcia Bernal? Hell, Bollywood hottie Hrithric Roshan would have been an even better choice.

3. Lens Flare. Okay, we get it, J.J. It's kind of your thing. But it's getting damned annoying and it hurts my eyes. If you do it in Star Wars, I will hate you forever. Stop it. Stop it now.

2. The Deck. Is it me, or did it look like Hello Kitty threw up in the Enterprise? What was up with all the pink? 


To be honest, K, Q, Dale and I actually enjoyed it a lot. It was a fun and exciting movie, even if there were no real suprises. Hearing Quinto shout one of Shatner's iconic lines was particularly funny and I was pleased to see Leonard Nimoy in a brief cameo. We didn't see it in 3D and we all agreed we didn't miss anything. ***1/2 (Three and a Half Out of Four Stars). A great way to start the Summer Movie Season.

More, anon.

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