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Star Trek

Star Trek Beyond (2016)

beyondDIRECTOR: Justin Lin

CAST: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Sofia Boutella, Idris Elba

REVIEW:

Star Trek: Beyond, the third installment in the “new” Star Trek reboot series, with Justin Lin of the Fast & Furious series taking over from J.J. Abrams (who stepped back to merely producing while busy rebooting another sci-fi franchise with Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens), feels like a super-sized, feature-length episode of the original series (with a budget it could only have dreamed of, of course), but while there are more of Gene Rodenberry’s fingerprints on this one than its two immediate predecessors, the script by Doug Jung and Simon Pegg (the latter of whom, of course, also co-stars as Scotty) fails to go “beyond” as the title aspires toward.   Continue reading

Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

enterprise crashDIRECTOR: J.J. Abrams

CAST: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve, Peter Weller, Bruce Greenwood, Leonard Nimoy

REVIEW:

Warning: While I will try to avoid outright “spoilers”, this review will discuss elements of the film’s plot.

Like Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, J.J. Abrams resurrected the floundering Star Trek film franchise with 2009’s simply-titled Star Trek, and now, after its critical and box office success, he has, by his own admission, sought to provide Star Trek’s answer to The Dark Knight, a sequel that is bigger, more epic, and goes to some darker, more surprising places. I’m not prepared to say he’s completely accomplished this task—Into Darkness pulls a punch where The Dark Knight had no such compunction—but what he has succeeded at is a second breakneck space high adventure that’s engaging and exciting, serves up plenty of action and tension, and is lighter on comedy and higher on drama. Continue reading

Star Trek (2009)

DIRECTOR: J.J. Abrams

CAST:

Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Eric Bana, Bruce Greenwood, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, Ben Cross, Winona Ryder, Chris Hemsworth, Jennifer Morrison, Faran Tahir, Leonard Nimoy

REVIEW:

For the first feature film Star Trek entry since 2002’s much-maligned box office flop Star Trek: Nemesis (giving an ignominious send-off to the Next Gen crew led by Patrick Stewart’s Captain Picard), J.J. Abrams (director of Cloverfield and creator of the Lost television series) and writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (writers of 2007’s Transformers) have attempted to do much the same for Star Trek what Christopher Nolan did for Batman; mix things up and inject freshness in a way that the new film is not tied down to those that came before. While the simply-titled Star Trek is not quite as triumphant a success as The Dark Knight , in my opinion, Abrams and cast and crew have mostly succeeded at what they set out to do. Trekkies with open minds may find much to appreciate here, but be forewarned: this ain’t your Daddy’s Star Trek. Continue reading

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

DIRECTOR: Nicholas Meyer

CAST:

William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, Kim Cattrall, Christopher Plummer, David Warner, Iman, Kurtwood Smith, Rene Auberjonois

REVIEW:

WARNING: This review discusses elements of the film’s plot

The end of an era came in 1991, when Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country hit theaters, featuring the adventures of the Enterprise with her original crew for the last time. Continue reading

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

DIRECTOR: Nicholas Meyer

CAST:

William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Ricardo Montalban, Kirstie Alley, Bibi Besch, Merritt Buttrick, Paul Winfield

REVIEW:

WARNING: This review discusses details of the film’s plot.

After the sluggish and pretentious special effects/philosophical showcase of the highly-anticipated but disappointingly-received Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the powers-that-be returned Star Trek to the roots that had made the original television series so popular: a focus on the characters, and ship-to-ship duels that harkened back to what creator Gene Rodenberry himself had likened to ‘Horatio Hornblower in space’. Continue reading

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