Friday, May 17, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness

My ViewStar Trek Into Darkness  (2013) PG-13   Captain Kirk (Chris Prine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the Enterprise crew are sent on a mission to go behind enemy lines. Will Kirk risk his ship and crew to stop a man (Benedict Cumberbatch) that is hell-bent on death and destruction?  I am a huge Star Trek fan and I loved the first J.J. Abrams Star Trek (2009) film, that brought a fresh take to this iconic series.  But I only liked this film, I didn’t love it.  It felt that now that we know the characters and how they relate to one another, that Abrams, the director and the writers, didn’t really understand these characters or about what Star Trek is really about, that humanity can be good and that we can all live together in a world of hope and exploration.  I did like the special effects and it is worth seeing in 3-D as it adds quite a bit to the overall viewing experience.  I also like Benedict Cumberbatch as the main bad guy, as he gives the role the believability that he is a villain that could take on Capt. Kirk and his ship.  But the story has plot holes the size of the Enterprise itself and it tries too hard with the one-liners that Kirk and the rest of the gang seem to spit out at an alarming pace.  Overall, the film is a fun adventure that just doesn’t have a lot of heart to it.  It’s a  film that could have been so much more, but just never lived up to its pedigree.    My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   Star Trek Into Darkness Website
IndiefestAt Any Price (2013)  R    Henry Whipple (Dennis Quaid) owns one of the area’s largest farms, along with also being the region’s number one seed salesman. But Henry’s son, Dean (Zac Efron) doesn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps and continue working in the family business. He wants to be a NASCAR driver and is just about willing to do anything to make it happen.  This is not your normal, happy “Disney Zac Efron film”, it’s a dark tale where there really isn’t a likable character in the whole film.  I thought Dennis Quaid was perfect in the role of Henry, whose drive to succeed means that he will do just about anything to stay on top.  Efron has grown as an actor and gives a multi-layered performance, as the equally driven Dean, who wants more than anything to become a stock car driver and get out of his small farming community.  But the film feels choppy, as if the director didn’t quite know how to fit all the pieces together and the film is so dark in its outlook that you are almost relieved when the film finishes.   My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   At Any Price Website
Indiefest:  Kon-Tiki  (2012) PG-13   Explorer Thor Heyerdal (Pal Sverre Hagen)sets out to prove that South Americans in pre-Columbian times settled Polynesia by doing what many in 1947 thought impossible – set out on a balsa raft from Peru and cross the Pacific, all 4,300 miles.  This is a fascinating film that follows the Heyerdal and his men on one of the most incredible journeys that man has ever traveled, a journey that inspired generations to become explorers.  Hagen absolutely nails the part of Heyerdal, who is so convinced that he can do this, and he won’t let anyone get in his way, so sure that he can accomplish his goal.  This is a rousing adventure film, filled with interesting action sequences and even though you know how the film is going to end, it still keeps you on the edge of your seat.   My Rating:  Full Price    Kon-Tiki Website
Indiefest:  The Reluctant Fundamentalist  (2013)  R  Changez (Riz Ahmed) is a young Muslim Pakistani man who moves to New York to work in the world of high finance. Changez’s life is going well with a successful job, beautiful girlfriend (Kate Hudson), until 9/11 happens and the World Trade Center comes crashing down. Changez is called back to his home country. Now, he may have to choose between the country, that he loves, America, and his homeland.  This is an intriguing film that shows how 9/11 affected not only people in the U.S. but around the world.  Ahmed is an engaging actor and does a gripping performance of a man who’s beliefs are challenged on almost a daily basis, but I felt that he was much better than the script, which at times seemed a little amateurish.  Kate Hudson does a fine job as Changez girlfriend in New York but the script makes her character seem unreal, like she is an amalgamation of a whole bunch of characters.  This is a film that is earnest in its approach but just doesn’t quite find a suitable way to show the depths of its subject matter.   My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   The Reluctant Fundamentalist Website

Indiefest: It’s a Disaster (2012)  R   Four couples get together for a weekly brunch at Emma (Erinn Hayes) and Pete’s (Blaise Miller) house. The other three couples who attend  are Buck (Kevin Brennan) and Lexi (Rachel Boston), a couple that like to push the boundaries, Shane (Jeff Grace) and Hedy (America Fererra), a couple seemly happy in their relationship, and Tracy (Julia Stiles) and Glenn (David Cross), a couple who has just recently started dating and are using this chance to introduce Glenn to Tracy’s group of friends. The brunch starts out normal but soon the power and phone lines go out, and a next door neighbor shows up in a hazmat suit, a sign that things are about to get weird and scary. This is a funny comedy that goes back and forth between a light couples comedy and a dark, twisted piece, and Director Todd Berger does an incredible job of making the transition between the two, sometimes at a moments notice and the script makes us care about each couple. The cast works well together with the chemistry between Cross and Stiles standing out as a couple that is in the early stages of their relationship and are trying to figure out if they are really do belong together. Have fun with this film and be sure to bring a covered dish.  You just might need it.   My Rating: Full Price  It's a Disaster Website
Forgotten FilmThe Enchanted Cottage (1945)  Oliver (Robert Young) was badly disfigured in the war and moves to a seaside New England cottage to get away from everybody, as Oliver is convinced that his appearance is too horrible for anyone to endure.  Laura (Dorothy McGuire) is a shy, plain girl who is hired to take care of the cottage while Oliver stays there.  Laura and Oliver, slowly fall in love with each other and decide to get married.  The longer that they live in the cottage, the more this magical place heals them, both physically and spiritually.  This is  an outstanding romantic drama where the two leads are absolutely perfect and the musical score does much to make the film feel as magic as the cottage is itself.  My Rating:  Full Price   The Enchanted Cottage Info
In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD)Cloud Atlas (2012) A tale that takes place over hundreds of years where the action of one person affects the lives of many in the present and in the future. If someone commits a horrible act in one life, can that person be redeemed by committing acts of kindness in their future lives?  This a very beautiful look but  very long film (172 minutes) that I felt, that it just wasn’t the overwhelming experience that I thought it should have been.    My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Cloud Atlas Website

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Star Trek Into Darkness:  Electronic Prop Assistant

Coming Soon to A Theatre Near YouMuch Ado About Nothing (2012)   PG-13  Joss Whedon shot this in his home while planning The Avengers.  It’s a modern day telling of Shakespeare’s classic comedy. Much of the cast are from Whedon TV shows such as Buffy and Firefly.   Much Ado About Nothing Website
Until Next Time!

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