Sunday, March 27, 2016
Monday, March 21, 2016
Do you guys have any idea how stoked I am to finally be writing this? Honestly you don't. I love talking about controversial entertainment like this. Let's dive right in!
For those who have absolutely no idea, the Star Trek reboot films have been the talk of the Star Trek communities nowadays. It has completely split the Fandom right up the middle. You either love them, or you hate them. I've encountered one too many discussions about how people love the darker tone which can reflect our post-9/11 country right now, or how people absolutely despise the..."J.J.-verse". Well where do I stand? I'm not entirely sure myself. Each film has their strengths and weaknesses. And each one has given me something to enjoy.
But to avoid ten paragraph reviews, I'm going to get a few of the more common debates out of the gate right here, right now. Whether you agree with these points or not...well...I'm not gonna debate too much about them. HERE WE GO!!!! I like the new layout of the Enterprise, I think the new cast does a great job at portraying their roles, I don't at all mind all the lens flares, while it seems to be the most controversial topic, a lot of the action is very well done, and finally, I really don't give a damn whether or not you think it fits the vision of Gene Roddenberry. Because let's face it, if everything everywhere had to fit the original vision of their original creator, a lot of franchises like Star Wars or Stargate would straight up suck- Have I pissed anyone off yet?
Okay let's get serious. In all seriousness, Star Trek needed the little break it got after Nemesis, and Enterprise. While I've yet to see any Enterprise episodes, I've heard enough fanboy hate to know that Trek needed a break. Some new blood. Something...new. Enter director J.J. Abrams who came up with a little idea of creating an alternate time line, which in all honesty....I'm all for. Now before I get too many hate comments, let me just say, that no, I don't hate the primary time line. I'm just a HUGE fan of alternate realities, time lines, and I won't lie, the plot of this movie is the ultimate story I can think of when time travel goes horribly wrong. I find it really kinda cool to see that the hero fails to fix it. This new dark tone does in fact mirror a lot of what our country felt in the post 9/11 days, and correct me if I'm wrong, but Star Trek kinda likes mirroring recent events. From the Klingon Empire mirroring Nazi Germany of the Original Series, to Undiscovered Country mirroring the end of the Cold War, just to name a relative few. I've heard people call this reboot mirroring "exploitation". So what do they call that other stuff? And again, don't even bother bringing up "oh it's not Roddenberry's vision". Refer to the previous paragraph.
Now I will say this, that yes, fans do give this and the next film legitimate criticisms that I actually kinda sympathize with. Whether it's a relative few plot holes (all of which are explained in deleted scenes or the prequel comic....come on J.J.), or how the amount of action just doesn't fit at times, or how Starfleet doesn't quite act like Starfleet (more on this point in the next review). One point I've heard is that these films don't reflect Star Trek spirit in terms of moral standpoints and whatnot, and all I'm gonna say is this. Leave that stuff to the show, because I pay to watch a movie for a fun adventure. Nearly every Star Trek movie or there has been based on an adventure, and those that tried to be something else kinda failed. Wrath of Kahn, Search for Spock, Voyage Home, First Contact....all adventures. I guess you can say Voyage Home had a moral, but everyone seems to criticize it. In fact the ONLY film I can say has both a good adventure and moral standpoint is Undiscovered Country. So what do people have against this adventure? Because I can easily follow it, I have a lot of fun with it, and while it's not perfect...I'm glad it was the first Star Trek movie I saw in theaters.
The only thing I really have a problem with in this particular movie, is the fact that write quite frankly, I'm kinda done with Kirk and Spock. They had their time in the limelight. But even this isn't do much a hindrance with this movie, because this story that was given was just way too fun not to enjoy. Each cast member portrays their character very well, even if there are a few moments I still kinda scratch my head at (like the Spock Uhura relationship). And despite everything, this movie does portray a very fun new beginning for Kirk and his crew, from Kirk cheating at the Kobayashi Maru, to the intimidating Romulan/Borg ship (comic expansion), to Nero, who is one of my favorite Star Trek villains to this point. The action in this movie is spot on, and even if it's a little excessive, it at least fits, unlike some of the action in Nemesis.
But for me the films strongest point comes from Leonard Nimoy, in a performance I like to call the ultimate finale (if not for his rather forced cameo next film). Once you see him on screen, you immediately smile, you immediately sit yourself down, and you love each and every second he's on screen. Like I said, if it wasn't for his forced cameo in the sequel, this would have been the perfect performance for him to leave the franchise on. Especially in the films final scene, which is easily one of my favorite scenes in all of Star Trek, when we see the Enterprise boldly going where no one has gone before, to Nimoy excellently voicing that iconic monologue. It left me on a high, and only wanting more. Whether I got more? I guess you'll have to check in next week for that answer.
But when all is said and done, this is a film that is easily one if my favorite films of the franchise, and honestly I feel the reason it gets so much hate, is the fact that people will worry that the future of Star Trek will be based on this new time line. Well after doing my own research, all answers point to no. This seems to just be a fun little trip, so all I'm gonna say is sit back and enjoy the ride while we wait eagerly for our new series in 2017. But for this movie, this reboot, Star Trek earns a three and a half star rating out of four. It's flawed, but it does so much right that I can forgive said flaws. The acting is good, the story is great, the visuals are easily amongst the best out there, and the music is absolutely phenomenal. Massive points to Michael Giacchino for the musical score here. If you don't like it for some of the reasons I've stated above, there are some of those I can relate and sympathize with, but I'll quote a favorite critic of mine here. If you're gonna hate something for the sole reason of it being different, I kindly ask for you to go beck to your corner of the room that remembers your Utopian time period which never existed. Star Trek is, and always has been a flawed but enjoyable series to follow, and this film was absolutely no different.
Boy I can't wait to see the hate come pouring in here.
Please feel free to request films you'd like to see reviewed. Leave a comment down below expressing your own thoughts and opinions on this movie, and as always, thanks for reading.
Final Verdict: 3.5/4
One more guys. One more film before July. We're wrapping up ourTrek-a-thon next week, hope you'll read then!
Monday, March 14, 2016
Monday, March 7, 2016
We did it! We're through the Next Generation films! Yup, unlike the crew of the original six movies, Picard's crew only got four films to wrap up their series, and on some levels, that's probably for the best. Unlike the Original Series, which only got three seasons (including that God-awful third season), The Next Generation remained on the air for a whopping seven seasons, all of which were pretty dang good. Yeah the first couple seasons weren't as good, but compared to Season Three of the original series? It's gold. And no, I will never get tired of ripping that third season a new one. Back on track, with such a big series, I don't think Picard's crew needed six films to wrap up their series. Heck, I'm not sure they even needed four, but here we are. Is Nemesis a worthy send-off?
Well...yes and no. Now I will get this out of my system now, this is a film that some people will compare to the Final Frontier, as yet another bad bad bad Star Trek film, and all I have to say to that is.....really? I mean, granted it's not perfect, but I had a lot of fun watching it. It's a bit of a mixed bag, but honestly, I think it gets way too much dirt than it deserves. There are some things here that don't belong. But there are a lot of things here that hit right on the money. And the thing it does decent at right up front is.....I'll be honest, the action. Now before I get too many angry fans tearing me a new one, I will say that some action doesn't fit. And the scene that immediately comes to mind is the ATV action scene in the first act. I still don't get why they added it. It really adds...nothing to the film. It could have been cut, and nothing would have changed in the film. I mean granted we get a couple of cheesy, but likable lines in the scene (I don't care what others might say, unsafe velocities had me chuckling), but the Reman attack was completely unnecessary. And a few of the shootouts....probably could have been edited down and whatnot (a shuttle flying through the halls of a warbird seems a little over the top). But one thing I absolutely love in this film is the space battle, which is absolutely phenomenal. Easily amongst the best of the franchise, and I've yet to get to a personal favorite space battle. It's paced wonderfully, visually appealing, and at times, even intense to the point where you're wondering if it's scary (God I love hull breach scenes). And the fact that the Romulans....long time enemies of the Federation, aid the Enterprise in this battle, only strengthens this battle. It's a real treat to watch.
The concepts of Nature vs Nurture are also a concept I found somewhat interesting, though not so much emotionally gripping as one would hope. Here you have a concept never before explored in Star Trek, where Picard is facing his own clone. You'd hope this would have a bit more of a payoff than what we got. Instead we just get a few scenes of them together, in which the clone just kinda drops the whole "If you were in my place, you'd do the same thing!" a couple times, before we get our eventual climax, and that's that. Honestly, it kinda felt a little anti-climactic,and if it weren't for the....spoiler alert....death of Data giving it a more serious emotion to the overall scene, the whole thing would have felt rather mediocre.
Which leads me to discuss the biggest factor of the movie, the send-off. Let's compare the send-off of the original crew to the send-off of the Next Generation crew. Minor note, this paragraph includes spoilers. If you don't wanna be spoiled, skip ahead to the next paragraph. The original crew's send off was as such. With peace talks now beginning with the Klingon Empire, the Enterprise is ordered to immediately return to Starfleet where it will be decommissioned, and the crew will mainly retire. So...the crew takes their ship out for one last ride to wherever. It's a fantastic, glorious ending that is still every bit as awesome as it should be. Picard's crew? It's...much more somber. Here, Data is dead, Riker and Troi are getting transferred, and while peace talks with the Romulans are beginning, there's not a lot to smile about, because the crew is just...going through such a tough time. I mean sure, the original crew saw the death of Spock, but he came back. And though Data's memories start to resurface in the memory banks of...B-4...(who I won't dedicate a paragraph to, but let's just say I don't like this character at all), we don't get another movie to see Data return. For all we know, he may be gone...forever. Seeing the crew, standing there in near silence, reflecting on Data is truly sad to watch. And it doesn't help that Riker and Troi are leaving the beloved crew of the Enterprise. The send off of Picard's crew leaves so many holes in the crew we have come to know and love. And honestly...that's a really gutsy move. It's not the glorious "everything will be okay" ending that Kirk always seemed to get. Here...things have happened, that have caused a lot of pain. Whether you approve of this or not...I'll let you decide. For me personally...I think it's pretty dang strong.
But I think the biggest reason that Nemesis can get the flab it gets is mainly because for the time it came out...Star Trek was running on fumes. It needed a break, and I'm glad it got one. Whether you criticize it for too much action, or issues in continuity, or anything else...I mainly get the feeling that while it knows what to do in a lot of areas, it gets too distracted with other scenes. I asked about it on G+, and found that roughly 70% of fans liked this movie. There are so many things that I absolutely love about this film, that hit the bullseye, but there are a lot of things also that just didn't need to be there. And the fact that this can happen...continuously, I think is the film's biggest fault. If it were just one or two elements, I wouldn't mind, but it just resurfaces one too many times. While I love the ending of this film and the action, it needed to focus more on those concepts it was trying to introduce, and less on B-4's character, and the very unnecessary action scenes. It's a big mixed bag, but it's still an enjoyable mixed bag.
Star Trek: Nemesis is a film I'm unsure how to rate honestly. I wanted to give this film a three, because by most means, I njoyed this film from beginning to end. While there were elements that I don't care for, not once in the movie did I say, this isn't how I remembered it, or that it was a bad film. It has bad moments, but moment's don't condemn a film for me. However thinking harder on it, I'm going to issue this movie with some tough love, a two and a half star rating out of four. While enjoyable, the film's easy distraction, and whatnot distracts the viewer, and can at times make you question why it was in the film. Is it a perfect send off for Picard? No. Is it worthy? ...you can be the judge of that one for yourself. But as distracting as it can be, I still very much recommend a viewing of it. THe good that is in this film...is just too good to not recommend it.
Please feel free to suggest any movie you might want me to look at in the future down below. Leave a comment telling me your own personal thoughts or feelings about this film. Agree? Disagree? I want to know! And as always, thanks for reading.
Final Verdict: 2.5/4
We did it! The Next Generation films are complete! But...there's still two more Star Trek films out there that I must tackle. Films that I know, not everyone will agree with me on. It's time to tackle the infamous reboot films. See you next week.