Friday, May 8, 2009

Star Trek Ressurection....Still Goin' Where No one has Gone

Much has changed in 7 years and yet we do not even notice.  For the 'Trekkies' out there, it has felt like forever since we've soar through space and time.  I feel the same way for a good movie now a days (you only get 4 a year if you're lucky).  When I went to the midnight showing of J.J. Abram's take on 'Star Trek' I was hoping that I would find people dressed in costume; alas, no dice.  No matter, the movie going experience of seeing 'Star Trek' in IMAX was a great way to enjoy my time off work.  Bottom line...there wasn't a moment of drowsiness in this movie (unlike other movies with claw wielding mutants, or the latest "funny" man in an unfunny movie).  In fact, I'll stop beating around the bush....'Star Trek' was the best movie of the '09 spring season.
I had my concerns with Hollywood taking something as iconic and magical as Star Trek and attempting to make it hip and fresh for today's youth.  Not surprisingly they put their trust in J. J. Abrams ('Lost', 'MI: 3'), who appears to becoming the new 'Go To Hollywood Hitmaker'.  Well after this project, I have to give respect to the man's skill and talents.  He stepped up to the challenge of revamping the franchise, pleasing the loyal followers, and wrangling in a younger audience; and that is exactly what he did.  Cudos to the casting director for such an impressive depiction of the Enterprise's famed crew.  Chris Pine ('Smokin' Aces', 'The Princess Diaries 2') did an excellent job stepping into the shoes of James Kirk.  I had concerns that an injustice would be done by having Pine make the character his own.  Instead, he made the character his own while still giving us a taste of the Kirk he would become in 30 years.  The same Kirk we know and love.  The best performance though was without a doubt Karl Urban, or rather Dr. McCoy.  Full of quirky lines and wit that would make DeForest Kelly (the original McCoy) proud.  
I take it you get the point that I really liked the film; well I did.  The depiction of space travel and battle was probably the best I have ever seen it.  If you've ever wondered if there is sound in'll find out in this movie.  So let's say you are not a fan of Star Trek... that's ok.  The great CGI work will keep you entranced.  Almost as if you were on a roller coaster ride at Magic Mountain.  There was very little room in this story that had to be developed better.  As movies go in 2009, this was in the first tier of excellent filmmaking.  Don't be surprised if it grosses and easy 100 million dollars by Monday. 
My recomendation, watch 'Star Trek', if the effects don't wow you, at least you spent 2 hours of your life on a high octane ride.  

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Wolverine ain't warming up.

     Well, 20th Century Fox is back at it again. Well, trying at least.  From a monetary standpoint it was predictable; let's be honest, who wouldn't want to make a movie on one of the more popular Marvel characters in their roster?  Sadly, justice couldn't be done.  The spin off of the X-Men franchise opened on Friday, to positive reviews....not from this viewer though.  

     With every film that's adapted from literature you have to give latitude to what they put on screen.  I appreciate filmmakers that attempt to do justice to a story however; it shows effort.  Instead of getting the script tight and its development properly laid out, we get several over the top moments that 'ooo' and 'awe' our eyes.  Pluses go to Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber for depicting a better love/hate relationship between Logan and Victor Creed.  Victor Creed from the first 'X-Men' had the look, but the villainy element just wasn't there.   Liev Schreiber was a much better fit for that persona.  An interesting challenge to Jackman’s presence.  Like anything else it could have been better, but take what you get, right?  The weakest points  to this film have to be the story, and the arbitrary introduction of characters for irrelevant purposes (incorporation of Cyclops, Professor X, and Gambit).  You would hope that filmmakers would learn from the success of 'Iron Man' and 'Spider-Man',  I guess that's too much to ask for.  

Needless to say, the 85 million dollar opening weekend, will properly set up a sequel to come within the next 3 years I suspect.  Maybe by that point, the writers will wrangle the story a bit more to what loyal comic fans are familiar with.  Even though I wasn't too pleased with the film, it is a hearty beginning to a summer film season.  There was a mighty hiatus between Christmas and May.  Hopefully, films will only get better as the summer progresses.  With 'Wolverine' bringing in 85 million, I can only imagine what 'Star Trek' will bring in next week. Cheers!!!