Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness



8.5 out of 10 | MOVIE, DVD

Rated: PG-13  Intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence
Release Date: May 16, 2013
Runtime: 2 hours 12 minutes

Director: J.J. Abrams
Writers: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, based on the characters and television series created by Gene Roddenberry
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachry Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Benedict Cumberbatch, Anton Yelchin, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Weller, Alice Eve

SYNOPSIS:  After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.

REVIEW: J.J. Abrams (Super 8) returns with his highly anticipated follow-up to his grand re-imagining of the Star Trek universe. With fans clamoring for the next installment, Roberto Orci (Cowboys and Aliens), Alex Kurtzman (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), and Damon Lindeloff (Prometheus) draft a retelling of, perhaps, the most beloved Star Trek big screen tale that doesn't involve whales.

James T Kirk (Chris Pine, Rise of the Guardians) is the captain of the USS enterprise. Ignoring Starfleet Federation prime directive, Kirk and McCoy (Karl Urban, Dredd 3D) steal a religious scroll in order to lure the planet's primitive inhabitants away from danger. When Spock (Zachery Quinto, What's Your Number?) gets into mortal danger, Kirk again ignores regulation to save his friend. With catastrophe adverted, Spock and Kirk face disciplinary action back on Earth, with Kirk losing command of the Enterprise and Spock being reassigned. Their demotions and reassignment are short lived when a terrorist within the Federation bombs a London technology archive and then targets the captains and commanders of all the local Starfleet ships. After the second attack, Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller, RoboCop) declares an all out a manhunt for the man named Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch, War Horse). Armed with a classified payload of photon torpedoes, Kirk is reinstated as captain of the Enterprise and sets off to the neutral zone in pursuit of Harrison. But when he and his crew arrive, their ship is disabled and Kirk's conscious get the better of him against the man who killed so many. Instead of bombing Harrison on the planet with the torpedoes, Kirk decides to arrest him and make him face the charges against him. But there is more than meets the eye as Harrison reveals that there is a bigger conspiracy within the Federation. Kirk and crew must decide whether to investigate Harrison's claims or ship him back to Earth for trial.

J.J. Abrams is a huge fan of the Star Trek universe and deserve the accolades of his reboot/prequel/sequel of the long-standing series. How do you take a 50-year-old franchise back to its roots in a satisfactory way? Abrams took all the time-warping story-twisting that Star Trek is known for to make a phenomenal reboot of the franchise. Many speculated that this second film of Abrams would be similar in scope to the second film of the original cast films with the story of Khan. I believe any fan of the universe will realize that Cumberbatch is the villain as soon as they see any of the trailers or commercials. Abrams must be an encyclopedia of Star Trek lore. He adds in details, Easter eggs, and nuances that may be evident to only the most diehard Trekkie fans. Sure, there are references that any casual fan will recognize, but there are also other references that would not be known unless a true die hard of the Star Trek mythos pointed them out. All add to the familiar, but new, trek universe that the director has created.

Pine, Urban, Saldana (Colombiana), Quinto, Pegg (Shaun of the Dead), Cho (Identity Thief), and Yelchin (Fright Night) fall into their old roles of Kirk, McCoy, Uhura, Scotty, Sulu, and Checkov, respectively, with ease, more natural in their takes of their characters than ever before. The brash young, seemingly infallible Kirk learns the hard way that luck, a cavalier attitude, and a blatant direspect for the rules will not always win the day. Uhura and Spock learn that logic and emotion are not mutually exclusive. McCoy continues to spout out mixed metaphors in the face of adversity. Sulu finds his voice and confidence, seemingly ready to become a star fleet captain himself one day. Scotty, always wary of the shenanigans of his superiors off the Enterprise, puts himself in several picarous situations when his mouth runs too long. And Checkov continues to be a jack of all trades, helping the bridge, running engineering, and figuring out complex formulas. Benedict Cumberbatch, as the infamous Khan, takes a classic original series villainous character and turns the new incarnation on its ear. Still a brilliant warrior with advanced genetics, Cumberbatch is even more savvy and charismatic than that played by Ricardo Montelban. Cumberbatch looks menacing, superior, and self-assured just standing at attention in the Enterprise's brig.

Abrams Delighted with his re-imagined Enterprise in the original Star Trek mythos. He follows up with the story that every fan wanted to see, giving the fans what they wanted in an familiar, but unexpected way. New fans will love this story that was put together, while older die hard fans of the original films may be bothered by the fact that one of their beloved antiheroes has changed so much.

The use of anamorphic photography continues from the first film, adding extra dimension to every frame of celluloid. The CG effects are astounding, the battle sequences are amazing, the story is strong, and the characters are just what you want them to be. For the franchise uninitiated or deeply devoted, Star Trek Into Darkness should be a fun warp ride into the unknown frontier.

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