Movie Reviews

I have always been something of a movie nut, and (take it from the people I ruin movies for {I don’t know why people don’t watch movies with me anymore}) I love reviewing movies. Here, I’ll be talking about old movies, new movies, popular movies, cult movies … whatever I feel like watching.

Godzilla Review

Here is my review of the 2014 version of Godzilla. I warn you ahead of time that this post will have spoilers, so please do not read until after you’ve seen the movie. You’ve been warned.

Isn’t it Gojira? This last weekend, I had the chance to watch the new Godzilla film, and I have to say, I was pretty excited about it. My history with the King of Monsters is pretty well documented, and I hoped that this film would make up for the 1998 abomination.

I’m approaching this review not from a stand-alone movie but as a representative for a franchise. The movie wasn’t exactly a reboot, as it recognizes the fact that Godzilla existed since at least the 1940s, but it does include characters from the original version, like Dr. Serizawa. I feel like the 2014 version made some interesting choices that I did not expect.

Admit it. You miss the rubber suit. Visually, this movie was stunning. I am typically not a fan of lots of computer graphics, but in the case of Godzilla movies … I’m not sure how else it can be done well. I loved the use of smoke and dirt and fog to obscure the creatures. That helped, I think. And keeping so much of it from a human perspective helped as well in keeping the monster somewhat real-feeling. Visuals have always been the weakest part of the Godzilla franchise, so it’s pretty easy to score well here. Still, I love that they kept more consistent to the original monster, with the spikes and the vertical gait.

Thematically, I also thought they treated the original Godzilla story with respect. Godzilla, Godzilla 1985, and Godzilla 2014 are all political movies. The original Godzilla is one big metaphor for a nuclear bomb in an increasingly Westernized Japan. Godzilla 1985 deals with the tensions of the Cold War. In this version of Godzilla, it seems to use the Fukushima nuclear disaster as inspiration. In this sense, I think the filmmakers did an excellent job of maintaining the thematic quality of Godzilla while modernizing it.

I was a bit surprised, and a little disappointed, in their choice to use the sort of “Godzilla protecting man from other monsters” version of the big guy. In my opinion, the best Godzilla movies are ones where he is wrecking Tokyo and other cities like a force of nature. I thought it was odd when that same Godzilla would come in to save Japan from various monsters. And this movie tried to explain it by having Godzilla act as a super-predator to the Mutos (Mothra? Muto? Get it?), but when he killed the giant creatures, he didn’t eat them. He just walked away. I could be wrong, but shouldn’t a predator be looking to eat its prey? Was it sport hunting?

My biggest issue with the movie was the human story. I thought Bryan Cranston’s Joe Brody was great, but they killed him off quick and left Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Who? Exactly.) to carry the movie. What a lame plot they left for the human drama. It was essentially the exact same thing as Will Smith in Independence Day. Pretty character is invested in helping save the city that is being destroyed, because, dammit, his family’s in there! I feel like I can hear Harrison Ford shouting, “Bring me back my family!” The human drama, which made up most of the movie, was lame. Very lame.

Holy Crap! Finish already! Okay, okay. So, this version of Godzilla, while a huge improvement of the 1998 version, is pretty flawed. The monster is treated with respect, but the super-predator plot line didn’t hold up. And the human story … well … sucked. But despite all that, here is my rating:

Theatre One: Yes, I know that’s my highest rating. And no, it doesn’t deserve that, but this is a movie that is worth seeing in the theater. The sound is huge and the visuals are crazy. Watch it in the theater, but know that it’s not going to be a fantastic movie. It’s a fun movie. It’s a summer movie. Let me know what you think.

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Godzilla, King of Monsters!

So, I, rather famously, grew up as a big Godzilla fan, and with a new movie coming out (which I plan to see soon {watch for reviews if you’re unsure}), I figured I’d talk about the Godzilla canon.

Famously unread, maybe. When I was a kid, I slept ever night with a big plastic Godzilla. I’m not sure what drew me to this giant monster. May have just been I was crazy about dinosaurs. What kid isn’t?

Anyway, I have watched (and owned at some point) most every Godzilla movie between the 1956 American version of the original and Godzilla 1985 (a movie I’m struggling to find). I have always enjoyed the story, and a couple of years ago, I decided to rewatch the original Godzilla film. Despite the fact that Godzilla movies are fantastic B-movie fodder for worst movies ever lists, mostly for scenes like this, the original is actually a decent movie. Yes, the effects are pretty bad, given the time period, but it’s a smart movie that questions humanity’s use of super weapons, even in the face of massive destruction.

Canon? More like CAN’T … on. Hmm. Well, anyway, just like so many franchises, I feel like a few decent and interesting movies get tainted by a series of ridiculous movies. And the movies that I feel like deserve some consideration are the bookends of what I watched: the original, and Godzilla 1985. Why? Well, they make the most sense … or any sense. In the other movies, it’s like Godzilla is a different character, protecting Japan from other monsters (though if I remember right, Mothra protects Japan from Godzilla, but that’s an outlier). But which is he? Destroyer or protector? I feel like he can’t be both, and for that reason, I reject those other films.

Wow. Somehow, I’ve lost respect for you. As this new version comes out, yes, the effects will be better (though they were better in the ghastly 1998 version … buh), and yes, it will be less campy, but I hope that they will stick to similar ideas and themes. I would recommend, if you have not seen the older version yet, that you watch the original American version of Godzilla before you watch the new one. It’s available on Netflix, and it’s a fun watch.

Also, for some reason, I’m crazy about the Godzilla theme. It gets in my head. Give it a listen:

Godzilla's Theme by Akira Ifukube on Grooveshark

Anyway, watch the original. Give it a chance. I know most people struggle with the idea of old movies, especially black and white ones, and especially movies that seem so weird and goofy, but if you’re open-minded, I bet you’ll enjoy it. I’d love to know what you think … I can’t wait to see the new version. It looks pretty sweet.

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The Past Review

This last week, I had a chance to watch a great French film called The Past at the Ciné Art Theater in Athens, Georgia. Here is my review.

French film, eh? You’ve gone soft, mister! So, I’ve been watching some foreign films of late, and it’s something relatively new for me. I mean, when I was a kid I watched and owned all of the Godzilla films. They are rarely seen as quality foreign films (though I would argue that the first one is quite compelling, especially for its time).

Anyway, The Past is a brilliant story about a broken family with a series of short-term father figures. The mother is a woman who is trying to figure out what she wants in love, and she seems to repeat the same mistakes in relationships, projecting onto her lovers a singular identity. The whole story ramps up conflicts for the characters (the daughter struggling to deal with her mother’s choices, the soon-to-be stepson struggling to adapt to his new “home,” the new husband’s struggle to move on from his wife in a coma, the ex-husband’s struggle to make a clean break from the family, etc.). Individually, these conflicts are tough to pull off, but The Past carries them all out spectacularly.

Geez. Spoiler alert! This movie feels so human, and it’s a great example of where fiction feels more real than real life. All of the characters are identifiable in his film. There are no easy or clear villains. And the characters are emotionally desperate, projecting their wants and pains on others, as they struggle to take responsibility for the choices in their lives.

Here is the trailer:

What is your verdict, oh judge, jury, and executioner? This movie is fantastically directed and dark, and the acting is top notch. There are no weak characters in this film, including the children. My rating on this movie is this:

Theatre One: This is a great movie. You should watch this movie any chance you get in theater. This is the kind of flick to see on opening night and then come back the following day.

Do yourself a favor and watch this movie. It’s great.

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House of Cards Season 2

There isn’t a lot I love on TV. Most TV shows (particularly TV dramas {I’m looking your way, CBS}) seem to be churning out stale, badly-written shows with stock characters. But there is hope ….

More like Frank Underwear! So, yes, my favorite TV show right now … well, it’s not on TV. It’s the Netflix original show that, unless you’ve been hibernating, you’re surely aware of. But are you watching it? If not, let me correct you.

House of Cards is the best written show I have seen (granted, I do not have an HBO subscription) since my favorite show, Homicide: Life on the Streets. The characters in House of Cards are rich, complex, deeply flawed, and almost unbearably human. In my humble opinion, this show represents Kevin Spacey’s best work, by far, but he, to me, isn’t even the most shining character on the show! Robin Wright, playing Claire, wife of Spacey’s Frank Underwood, is outstanding. She’s ruthless, powerful, sociopathic, and yet, somehow, I love her (you may remember Robin Wright from this).

You’re in love with Robin Wright?! Maybe, antagonist, maybe. Could you blame me? Anyway, the show came out last year with all of the episodes available immediately. It’s a very interesting approach Netflix has. I had some time on my hands, so I watched the first one on a lark. Within a couple of days, I’d watched all of the first season. It was addictive, encapsulating, horrifying, and magnetic. As far as I am concerned, we American TV viewers have not been treated to such a Shakespearean drama, filled with treason, murder, hubris, passion, and ambition in a very long time.

I will say that this show is not for everyone. It’s very dark, and it deals with adult stuff, so if you’re easily offended or if you’re thinking of having your kids watch this … well, I’m not their parent. Still, the best conflicts we see are not easy to stomach. The best characters are not so easily good. It’s when we’re challenged that we find the intrigue. It’s not to be shocked for being shocked’s sake, but it’s about trying to reconcile the fact that we’re drawn to such abject humanity … maybe it’s just humanity, for connecting with that does feel rather human.

I’ll watch it if you’ll shut up. So, don’t start at season 2. Do not start on episode three. This is the sort of show you’ll need to watch from the beginning. If you’ve seen season 1, don’t despair. It stays amazing. It’s all available now on Netflix, so go watch. I promise, you will not be disappointed.

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The Conversation Review

I love reviewing older movies, and along those lines, I take a look at the classic Francis Ford Coppola film, The Conversation.

It’s always old with you. Well, yes, I am a bit of a sucker for classic film, though there are still a few movies made today that know how to get to me. Anyway, so I was sitting around the other night with nothing to do, waiting out the impending snow storm (Snowpocalypse II: This Time It’s Personal!), so I decided to throw a movie on the projector. I ran across an old Coppola film he made in the time between The Godfather and The Godfather part II called The Conversation.

The movie stars Gene Hackman (one of my all-time favorite actors) and also features a young Harrison Ford, Robert Duvall, John Cazale (Fredo), Teri Garr, and more. On rotten tomatoes, the movie received a 98% on their tomatometer, which, as far as numbers go, seems pretty good. Suffice to say, I was intrigued.

Your approval means nothing to me. Well, that’s just it. I’m not sure I would say I approve. The movie is set in the 70′s, and, unlike the Godfather movies that Coppola does such a nice job of making feel like they could have been made yesterday, this movie feels extremely dated. It is all about the dangers of technology, and yet, by today’s standards, the technology is quite laughable. Maybe that was part of the problem, but I don’t think so.

I don’t often mind when things like dated technology come into a movie, because what matters most is the human conflict. I think Gene Hackman’s Harry Caul is a fantastic character (as almost all Hackman characters are {minus his Lex Luthor}), but the movie is terribly paced. And maybe that goes part and parcel with a movie about bugging people’s conversations. It’s hard to make long scenes that involve nothing but play, listen, rewind, play, listen, and rewind stay compelling.

So, you didn’t like it. I get it. I guess I’d say that. I mean, it’s certainly not the worst movie I’ve ever seen. It’s a very interesting concept for a movie, and of course, the acting is superb, but though this movie is only 113 minutes, it feels like it drags. It’s definitely not one of Coppola’s best works. I do like the chances he takes with this film, but at the end of the day, I think they fail.

Still, if you’re stuck inside, wondering if the snow will entomb you and your days on this world may be few, it may be worth checking out. It’s possible I’m impatient and my attention span has become limited to a YouTube clip. I dunno. Anyway, below is the trailer. Make up your mind for yourself.

Aren’t you forgetting something? Ah, yes. A while ago, I’d come up with a rating system for movie reviews (that I have not been using). It goes as follows:

  • “Theatre One”: This is a great movie. You should watch this movie any chance you get in theater. This is the kind of flick to see on opening night and then come back the following day.
  • “Dollar Theatre”: This is a good movie. It’s fun, and you should go out of your way to see it.
  • “Laptop-Worthy”: Laptop-Worthy movies are just that. You’re bored, and you need something to kill time? Try these.
  • “DMV Phone”: If you’re absolutely desperate, and you can watch movies on your 4″ phone, these movies can be appropriate.
  • “NEVER EVER EVER”: There is never a time that is appropriate to watch these movies.

I will try to remember to use this system from now on. On that note, I would say that The Conversation is Laptop-Worthy.

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Inside Llewyn Davis Review

What do you know about music … or movies? So, last week, I had the chance to see the new Coen bros. movie, Inside Llewyn Davis. As most Coen bros. movies are, it was breathtaking. I’m constantly impressed by their ability to take on new forms (Western, Comedy, Action, etc. Maybe they’ll do Sci-fi next? {Why couldn’t they be directing the Star Trek or Star Wars reboots?!}) and create brilliant works of art.

I am a Coen bros. fanboy, it’s true. They’re one of the few reasons I still feel that same sort of giddy excitement I used to when I was a teenager going to the movie theater. I was first exposed to them by the movie Fargo, and it has been on my top ten greatest movies list ever since. And while Fargo and No Country For Old Men are in a league of their own, I would say that Inside Llewyn Davis is just a notch below.

Oh yeah? … How much? What makes the Coen bros. great, to me, is their absolute commitment and fidelity to whatever genre or form they choose. As in, they find what is amazing about a particular genre, and they play that card as well as anyone. They’re not trying to reinvent anything. They’re like a restaurant that makes a stupendous cheeseburger. It seems simple, but they focus on the quality of the bun, of the meat, of the cheese. They don’t stuff it with capers or drizzle gold leaves on the meat. They just do it right.

And with this movie, they brought in lots of musical talent to get the feel right. Marcus Mumford was brought in as an Associate Producer, along with many other names. Heck, even Justin Timberlake (who I have found nothing but disdain for {sorry, ladies}) shined in this film, both in his acting and his music. Oscar Isaac, the film’s lead, who I had never before seen in a film to my knowledge, was outstanding.

OK, OK, so you like musicals. No surprise there. Well, that’s just it. It’s not about the music. It’s a powerful character study about an extremely real, human, flawed, and identifiable character. All of the characters in this movie are complicated and compelling, and the writing is top notch. Yes, absolutely, the soundtrack is fantastic (I just bought it yesterday), but you’re not going to see your run-of-the-mill music movie. This is about the man, and it’s powerful stuff. Check out this trailer:

Pretty good, eh? It’s a super limited release, so it’ll be hard to find in theater, but if you can, if it’s less than three hours away, make a road trip and watch this film. You will not be disappointed.

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Where are America’s Leading Men?

I don’t go to the movies much anymore, and frankly, I just plain don’t watch too many new movies. I have some directors I watch regularly, but I think one of the big issues in movies today is that there are no good leading men.

What do you know about leading men? So, I’ve been thinking about this lately: Who are America’s leading men? I mean, when I think of leading men in movies (and by leading men, I mean actors that can carry a movie and are identifiable in their acting style by showing some humanity and humor, etc.), I think of the guy to the left, Humphrey Bogart. Bogey could carry a movie. And we have a long history in this country of great leading men in film: Charlton Heston, Kirk Douglas, Harrison Ford (what happened to you Harrison?), De Niro, Pacino, Hanks, Jimmy Stewart, etc. But who are today’s leading men?

Yes, there are some actors from across a pond or two who can carry a movie. I’m thinking of Christian Bale, Huge Ackman, Michael Fassbender, etc. But when I think of younger American actors, it’s disappointing. The names that come up are Bradley Cooper, Mark Wahlberg, Ryan Gosling, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (though I loved him on 3rd Rock From The Sun), and Leonardo DiCaprio. I don’t think of any of those guys as solid leading men. Yes, they have decent performances here and there, but I don’t think they have the prowess of some of the older actors I’ve mentioned in terms of carrying a movie.

Everything used to be better, eh? Well, I think the most egregious on the list is DiCaprio. A lot of people rave about his work, but I don’t see it. The guy is humorless, and he lacks the humanity of some of these other actors. Yes, he can act, but that doesn’t make him a good leading man. Sad thing is, I think he’s probably one of the best we’ve got. But I’ve heard him mentioned as similar to De Niro (I imagine that comparison is made simply because of the Scorsese association), but I think that comparison is ludicrous. Imagine DiCaprio as Vito Corleone, or in Raging Bull, or in Taxi Driver, etc. I can’t.

Sad thing is, I think DiCaprio’s best work was Catch Me If You Can, which was a movie in which he shared the lead with a competent actor, Tom Hanks. But this is the reality of the situation: when people name Marky Mark as one of America’s best younger actors (his brother Donnie is a better actor), it is truly a sad day.

All you do is complain, bro. I mean, there’s nothing to be done with this. I feel like this is probably one of the reasons that movies are struggling in the US, and I feel like many people accept these actors as decent because they haven’t allowed themselves to experience these other classic actors. In essence, I wonder if today’s movie watchers simply don’t know better. I don’t know, but I hope that’s true. I know the black-and-white screen can be intimidating, and some people get immediately turned off by it, but classic films are worth giving a chance.

Wrap it up, Scorsese! OK, OK. People like what they like. Maybe I am just picky. Maybe I am in love with old things … this may be true, but it’s also possible that we’re buying into inferior products. This is my assertion.

So, who is your favorite “young” American leading man? I put young in quotes, because I’m willing to accept anyone under forty-five.

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Ender’s Game Review

In this blog, I take on a very important topic to some: Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game. I have some very strong opinions on the book and the movie.

Tread lightly, sir. So, last summer, at the behest of one of my nerdy friends, I finally got around to reading Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game. I’d been bugged to do it since I was a teenager by the nerdy wing of my friend group (basically all of my friends when I put it that way), but just hadn’t wanted to do it. Still, wanting to be able to talk about the movie intelligently, I finally picked up the book and gave it a read.

Now, a note on Science Fiction and Fantasy in general. I do not often read these genres. I love Bradbury and Asimov and Philip K. Dick and Lewis and Tolkien, but that’s about where my interests end. Generally, I’ve found that I do not appreciate the sort of hard Sci-fi and Fantasy that often lacks real and interesting characters. (Plus, with Fantasy, I feel like it’s such a narrow genre, it ends up often feeling like a constant attempt to replicate Tolkien. You can read more on my feelings on the Fantasy genre here.)

You’re going to alienate your only reader, you know that, right? So, I would say, with that qualifier, that I did not particularly enjoy either version of Ender’s Game. And yeah, it boils down to character. The thing about Ender that bothers me the most is that the kid is flawless. He’s super capable at a super early age, never loses in any competition or fight, and every time he displays some violent behavior, he’s wholly justified because it was out of self-defense.

I know Sci-fi does not depend heavily on characters, and as one of my dear friends put it, “It’s about the big picture.” In this case, I suppose we’re talking about themes. And yes, Ender’s Game does make some interesting comments on the morality of war, even just war theory, but for me, that’s not enough. If Card wants to lay down a philosophy on war and how society justifies it, he’d have been better off writing an essay, rather than creating thin type characters to preach his message for him. I mean, we destroy Ayn Rand for this all of the time (rightfully so), but at least she had a fully fleshed-out belief system that no reader could miss (because she beats us over the head with it … again and again and again and again … ).

Well, it’s just you and me again. I feel like this story, while exciting, does little to let us identify with the main character, except perhaps through wish fulfillment. Think about it. Here’s a smart little kid who beats the daylights out of any bullies that cross his path. He’s not an amazing physical specimen. He’s not an athlete. But he kicks so much ass. What nerdy little kid couldn’t want to be that? And I feel like that’s the secret of the success of this book. And that aspect isn’t a knock. It works. We see this sort of wish fulfillment in lots of genres. For example, the Romance genre is full of wooden characters that are impossible to identify with as read people, and yet it’s super popular. This is real fantasy (and yes, I’m talking to you, oh whittler of mannequins and self-proclaimed Hemingway of your day, Nicholas Sparks {WARNING: do not read that interview unless you feel like both laughing out loud and getting angry.}).

You’re a wooden character. Fair enough. So, I think this book does something special for a readership that wants to escape their life and embody one much more unrealistic and exciting. I don’t think it’s a particularly good book, despite its heavy themes. This is just my take.

The book was better than the movie, right? Well, so, I watched the movie adaptation the other day at a very sketchy $2.50 theater. In this case, I kind of enjoyed the movie better. Though the movie was essentially set up like one long video game, it was nice to have victory after victory after victory by Ender trimmed down. And I feel like the movie makers did a decent job of trying to humanize the boy more, though not by much. I’m not saying I loved the movie. In fact, I think I enjoyed my bag of popcorn and cup of Mr. Pibb about as much (though I do love Mr. Pibb … I like it even beter than Dr. Pepper).

You apologize. Sorry nerd fans. Maybe I don’t get the story. Maybe I don’t get the genre. I try to be open-minded about Fantasy and Sci-fi, but generally I am disappointed by my excursions into those genres. What am I missing? Am I approaching them wrong? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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Paths of Glory Review

I have always loved Stanley Kubrick. He is my favorite director, and last week, I got the chance to watch one of his earliest films. Here are my thoughts:

Haven’t heard of it. I mean, yeah, many people haven’t, but it is one of his earliest works, like The Killing. I was drawn to it because, of course, Kubrick directed it (I suppose this is why I like The Moon Landing so much), and it was set in France in WW1. I think WW1 is a much more compelling story than WW2, but it’s not given much love in movies.

So, you love war. Not exactly. Anyway, this movie is a brilliant little piece that covers only a few days. It’s a tragic and powerful take on the rules of war, the morale of men, discipline, legalities and rights of soldiers, and the motivations of those in war.

Kirk Douglas is the star of this piece, and he seems to be the original “hunk” in Hollywood, as evidenced by the fact that the man never has a movie where he wears his shirt the whole time. Kubrick directed him only one other time, I believe, in Kubrick’s most mainstream epic, Spartacus. If you haven’t watched Spartacus yet, stop reading this trash, and get watching!

OK, OK, I’ll watch it! What about this movie? Well, it’s heavy, it’s dark, but the writing is real, it’s human, and it fleshes out a number of characters. The direction is beautiful (duh) and uniquely Kubrick, and the action scenes were, to me, ahead of their time. The acting was spot on, though I must say, the villain of the piece is kind of simply evil, though, if one considers the context (the German army sitting a couple hundred yards from their position and pelting them with howitzer rounds), even he is able to be identified with.

So, yes, go watch this movie. It immediately jumped into one of my favorite movies. It’s compelling, the story is small but powerful, and it does just about everything right. It’s a classic we should be talking about more than we are. Watch it.

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Star Trek Into Darkness Review … in 3D!

I typically try not to spoil anything for anybody, but in this post, I will be revealing spoilers, so don’t read this unless you’ve seen it. You’ve been warned.

3D, huh? Yeah, this was my first 3D movie. In fact, it was IMAX 3D … so many capital letters, it must be good. Anyway, I must admit, I have long criticized the idea of 3D movies. I had no interest in seeing a movie with the technology, and I didn’t feel like it would add to the experience.

I was wrong. 3D was pretty intense. I have a bit of trepidation concerning heights, and the 3D effect at times, when it was a high-up shot over a city, made me squirm in my seat. I’m not saying every movie should be in 3D, and I don’t like it when scenes are filmed in a way solely for the purpose of improving the 3D experience (arrows flying toward the camera, for example), but it was cool, and for a movie like Star Trek Into Darkness, it was a great fit.

OK, so what about the movie? OK, but let me take a moment and talk about this cast. Yes, they’re all very pretty (minus Simon Pegg, but he has a beautiful personality), but they have absolutely no chemistry. I mean, when you watch Shatner and Nimoy as middle-aged+ men in the Enterprise, you know that they’ve worked together for a long time. You feel a certain camaraderie between the crew, yet I don’t feel that with this new crew. They’re all (supposed to be) very young. They’re fresh out of academy and have spent very little time together, yet we’re supposed to believe that they have the sort of bond that we see in the original cast.

There’s this really awkward moment between Kirk and Spock, where the two are separated and put into different ships. Though Spock has basically screwed Kirk over, and again, they show no real signs of closeness (remember that they didn’t know each other at the academy and that Spock was basically just a dick to him when he first came aboard), Kirk says to him, “I’m going to miss you.” He then waits for Spock to respond in kind, and he does not. It’s sad and weak.

This is perhaps my biggest knock on the reboot so far … they try to show emotional stakes that they haven’t earned. Plus, Chris Pine is, sadly, no Shatner. There. I said it.

OK! OK! What about the movie?! Eugh … why must I be so cynical? I don’t know what to say. The things I liked about this movie were stolen from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Yes, the bad guy is Khan {I WARNED YOU!}). I know they’re replaying the timeline, and I appreciate that Khan should probably show up in this reboot, but the way it was done was often a lame copy.

I mean, Abrams gets clever in that it’s Spock who shouts “KHAAAAAAN!” this time (which is horribly delivered, by the way). I don’t know. The basic premise of an admiral who is trying to bait the Klingons into war is an excellent one. I just wish it didn’t have to ride on the coattails of the original movie so much.

Also, can we stop betraying the Star Trek universe so much? I mean, at one point, Khan beams from Earth to Kronos. If that’s possible, why the heck does anyone take a ship anywhere? Also, does Abrams have to reinvent the way Klingons have looked for so long? I feel like these sort of inventions are wholly unnecessary and do little more than to create questions about the plot and the universe.

So, you didn’t like it. Well, I don’t know how I feel. It’s not up to snuff with some of the original Star Trek movies, in that they did not rely on constant action scenes and rehashed story lines. I miss the moral questions Kirk would face in conversations with Bones (his humanity) and Spock (his logic). I feel like the question of “Should we do this?” dropped to the cutting room floor for more phaser battles and gratuitous girl-in-underwear shots.

Still, it was fun. I’ll give it that. It was a very fun movie, and if the element of baiting the Klingons into war was better pulled off, it could have been excellent. I suppose I would say it was decent, not great. It’s worth a watch, especially if you can do so in 3D, but I would suggest you don’t get your hopes too high.

But that’s my take. What do you think?

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