Thursday, May 16, 2013

Movie Review And Short Summer Preview: Star Trek - Into Darkness

To Boldly Go To Roseville IMAX

At a post about the Super Bowl, while more-or-less live-blogging, I mentioned that I had seen the first trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness, and that it gave me a geekrection. Today was the day, and the brother-in-law and I went to see it in IMAX 3D.

Before teh verdict, I have to say that video and sound quality increases exponentially every time I see a new movie - the experience was amazing. Now, on to the movie, and no spoilers if I can help it!

Verdict: Very Good.

It was a mixture of summer action, stunts, and things going splodey; and a surprising number of shout-outs, subtle canon jokes, and fan-boi stuff. I am an SF fan, I don't segregate myself into a particular camp (except the camp which declares Jar-Jar Binks should be eviscerated and then go splodey whilst surrounded by fucking Ewoks. Star Trek, Star Wars, Firefly, Farscape, Doctor Who, Independence Day, Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies, Battle Beyond The Stars for gods-sake.) 
The show moved right along, not much thought needed, both a  good and a bad thing, I know they want to attract more people than, say, me, but a little introspection or exposition well done is a good thing. The aforementioned shout-outs and in-jokes were appreciated, but some could have been set up a bit instead of just dropped. 

Again, I liked it quite a bit, I advise you see it, and advise you splurge a bit for the IMAX thingy, but I have to do a Good/Bad/Ugly widget here.
The Good: The cast was amazing, the actors playing the main characters really do well, Zachary Quinto as Spock really does well, playing Spock as a less controlled, awkward young Vulcan. Alice Eve (spoilers)? Her part is small, and another in-joke, but she does well, and mrowrrr. Simon Pegg needs an Oscar or a Nobel Prize (of course, I have loved him since Spaced and Shaun Of The Dead. Some impressive and surprising actors playing supporting characters. The sense of humor, snarky as current trends in humor tend to be, was snappy, well-timed, and in character.
The Bad: As I said, while I loved the references and in-jokes, in most cases they could have been set up better to really punch 'em home. Some 'splosions were needed, summer film, but the sense of scale needed a sense of scale - you'll see. 
The Ugly: A pretty savage deus ex machina in conjunction with a cameo, very badly unnecessary, pissed me off quite a bit. Any script editor approving that scene should have looked at his diploma from film school, burned it, and got a job holding sandwich-boards advertising one-hour cheep tax returns/massage parlors on street corners, something honest.

Summer Preview

World War Z: Looks good, but since the end of 12 Monkeys/A River Runs Through It era, I have a fear of Brad Pitt. While not nearly as evil as some, no one that popular can be be worth the oxygen they consume. Sorry, TMZ readers.

Elysium: WILL SEE! NERD-ON!!!

Thor: I'll go with teh brother-in-law, looks okay to me. The guy playing Loki, at least in the previews has an appropriate mien of madness that could be fun.

Superman - Man Of Steel: No way in hell. a.) Not a Supe fan, particularly, too, umm something. Baddish. Fuck him. b.) Zack Goddamn Snyder, maker of the patriotic porno 300. Fuck him as well.

This has been another test of the Emergency Broadcast System.


  1. wait, since when do script editors need diplomas? I thought a semi-functional working knowledge of English as a Second Language was sufficient.

  2. World War Z: Looks good,

    Don't be silly. Did you read the book? NO WAY a movie does it justice. ESPECIALLY one with Brad Pitt.

    Needs to be an anthology series.

    1. No to the reading - please advise?

      The best example of movie vs anthology? Dune - the David Lynch version compared to the miniseries, the miniseries much more faithful to the literature, the movie 2 hours of weirdness, entertaining though it be/were.

    2. All I know is that the movie had better accurately depict Yonkers, or I shall write an angry letter to the production company.

    3. Silly Bastard, wrong 'verse. Yonkers is the capitol of New Caprica.

    4. The book is written as a series of chapters about various episodes in the war against the zombrethren, some as first hand accounts, some as reports, some as interviews with survivors. It's kind of a series of snapshots, really an anthology in itself. Making one movie out of it is like making a single movie out of Grimm's fairy tales, or one of Bradbury's story anthologies. But it's good.

      An even better batch of zombie stories are the Feed series by Mira Grant. Blogging about zombies! makes me think about starting a blog.

    5. In deference to the Bastard, I also hope they depict Yonkers with the same level of accuracy that "Laverne and Shirley" did Milwaukee.

  3. Don't be silly. Did you read the book? NO WAY a movie does it justice. ESPECIALLY one with Brad Pitt.

    Yeah, what ZRM said.

    Also Abraham Lincoln fought vampires not zombies. Sheesh, learn your history!

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    1. A edwardian dressed devil on a satellite?

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  5. Replies
    1. Bullshit - I gots you on my mail list, you post in streaks of general weirditude.

      It's why I mayhem into teh Empire every so often.

    2. Wow, you are having a week. Of course you have a blog - It's very, umm, regarded.

  6. subtle canon jokes

    Did I ever tell you the one about the time I left the G15 in the car?

    1. Lookshury!

      I had a midget with a sketchpad in a box, and you never heard me complain.

  7. Most annoying ST:ID cheesy snippet:

    Spock yelling "KAHHHHHN!"?
    Kahn for a third time. Really? REALLY?!??!?!
    Magic blood. Now Kirk has magic blood? I guess if he's gonna be snuggling with two girls at a time, maybe he will need it.
    The truly MASSIVE interiors. Even with the rescale of teh 1701, there's just no room for all those big vertical expanses. Look at the edge of the saucer: still only two decks tall.
    Kirk and scotty running through catwalk land. Made me laugh, because I thought of the MST3K episode where Crow installed guardrails everywhere 'for safety' and everyone kept tripping over them. Kirk and Scotty run up the catwalks, and down, and up and across a was ludicrous. Who designs a mechanical mezzanine like that? I know, I know, a Hollywood set designer.

    But: Robocop.

    1. That's what I meant by scale issues, that and the Dreadnought class the size of effin' London!

    2. Atchally I got a kick outta the tribble. Don't hit me.

    3. I liked the foreshadowing of the Dreadnought with the model of it in Marcus' office.

      But yanno, in the Franz Josephverse, a proper Dreadnought has three nacelles.

    4. Necrotic Tribble will either be the name of my next band, or my next blog.

  8. Proper dreadnought.

    I know, I know, not evil looking enough for the kids nowadays.

    Nice Birds of Prey, though.

    1. Someone better at astrophysics than I (gotta narrow that down a bit) did a thought experiment with fictional spacecraft - what could perform, etc. Some of the conclusions were, ie, the Millenium Falcon would perform fine but would be fuel/distance limited; Discovery (2001) was one of the better designed ships; and the Enterprise would tumble end over end when on Nacelle power - the Dreadnought looks like it should solve that problem.

    2. people get pretty worked up about imaginary details of non-existent spacecraft that use speculative physics, don't they?

    3. and the Enterprise would tumble end over end when on Nacelle power

      Only if the way the nacelles work is analogous to Newtonian rocket-style physics. But my understanding is that the warp drive does not actually operate that way, but that the nacelles provide the warp bubble, and the standard impulse drive propagates the bubble through regular space-time. In any case, it is Hollywood speak for a spaceship that doesn't have to look like a rocket or a flying hamburger.

  9. It seems as if many people hate the new Star Trek movie.

    Of course, they hated all the others also.

    "Not Canon! Gene would never have done it! Too mainstream! Not mainstream enough! Roddenberry never did a deus ex machina!"

    1. I stand by my review - it's a really good movie, it should be seen, I'll be seeing it again with my sweetie.

      It had a couple issues - so did Citizen Kane. (A sled? Really? Bullshit!)

      Canon is a strong term for expectations held by a pile o' geeks, myself included.

      Gene Roddenberry could be a complete doofus - FSM bless Wil Wheaton but what the hell could he do playing Mary Sue?

      Roddenberry never did a deus ex machina!"
      I present to you 'Spock's Brain'.