Star Trek: Beyond

Wasn’t able to see Star Trek: Beyond last week, so I went yesterday instead.  By which time the showtimes at my local place had decreased enough there was no 2D showing at a convenient time, so I went to the 3D version.  I’m not entirely sure why they bothered with one; they seemed to make little use of the technology during the movie itself, fully utilizing it only during the end credit sequence.

As for the movie itself, I’m still not sure what to make of it.  It was an enjoyable ride, that’s for sure.  But the plot was a touch incoherent at times, the script juggling a lot of balls and maybe trying to juggle them too fast.  Or maybe that was just Justin Lin.  I’ve never seen any of the Fast & Furious movies, but I suspect they might feel a good deal like Star Trek: Beyond did, and I still question the appropriateness of that.

On the other hand, they did at least rid themselves of many of the ills of Into Darkness.  Kirk is much less of a sleazeball, the over-cynicism of the last movie has given way to a much more optimistic vision of the eventual future of humanity, if less so of its near-future, and if it seems they will keep this Spock/Uhura nonsense, at least it took up relatively little of her screentime.  In fact, the movie made good use of the entire cast, especially with a little Spock & McCoy show to flesh out an important dynamic of the original show, and the writer having lots of fun with Scotty(and I do hope Jayla shows up in the next movie).

All in all, I think this is a case of a franchise realizing it veered down the wrong path and so is now trying to retrace its steps.  Who knows, maybe it’ll be fully recovered by the next movie.  Even if losing Chekov’s going to be a hard blow.

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So What Do We Know Now That We Didn’t Before Comic Con?

Trying to get one’s head around all the news that dropped at Comic Con isn’t easy when more of it keeps coming out!  Especially when I’m still anxious to hear that we won’t have to wait until 2019 for that third season of Daredevil.  Sadly, it is now confirmed it’s not coming next year, but it sounds like Matt and Jessica will both have seasons in 2018, while The Punisher may be the one that waits longer.  Which might be smart; it’ll give them time to figure out how to center a series around a character like Frank Castle, since that’s not the easiest thing to do.

Meanwhile:

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Finding Dory (& Piper)

In the thirteen years since Finding Nemo was made, Pixar’s animation has advanced considerably.  We got a reminder of that before Finding Dory even started playing, in the form of the short in front of it: Piper, a charming little movie about a sandpiper chicklet, which uses the newest techniques to make CGI birds look so realistic, you have to remind yourself they’re computerized, especially they’re wandering through sand and waves that look like they came straight out of a live-action movie.  The story is one that might have just carried an obviously animated short, but the filmmaking turns it into an awe-worthy one.

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More from JK Rowling

Honestly, I’m not sure all this extra Harry Potter stuff has gone all that well with JK Rowling’s image, especially since some of the details I’ve heard about the possible plot of Cursed Child make it sound like she’s gone off her rocker.  But I did like the story about Ilvermorny posted to Pottermore yesterday.  It even prompted me to go back the website when I’d fled it after it sorted me into Slytherin.  I deleted my account, rejoined, and took the quiz again, which got me safely back into Ravenclaw.  Also, I’m a Thunderbird, which feels kind of odd, but then again, we still don’t know much about these Ilvermorny houses.

Actually, that’s the strangest thing right now: we’re getting sorted into these new houses, and clearly Rowling has figured how what they are and what kind of students they take, and likely beyond the vague notions in yesterday’s release, but why not tell us everything?  The only explanation I can think of is we’re going to find out the rest in Fantastic Beasts.  But that takes place down in New York City, and so far we haven’t been told or shown in the trailers if the characters are going to be traveling somewhere else.  Is Ilvermorny a single side trip, or are Newt & friends going to be wandering all around the country, sending MACUSA into hysterics at the thought of how many chances No-Majs will have of spotting or bumping into them?  And either way, why would the details of how the houses work be so important that Rowling feels a need to withhold them?

I suppose placing wizarding immigration history on the Mayflower is easy, because it’s a story everyone knows(with few enough details utilized that Rowling sidesteps how much of it is myth.)  But I do think it appropriate that America’s European-style magic school was formed by an Irish witch, considering the heavy Irish immigration this country has had in its history.  Even more so when its in Massachusetts.

Yet another death

One of the brightest lights of the new Star Trek movies has now gone out.  It seems, too, that we’re only learning what we had with Anton Yelchin now that he’s gone, given how my timeline erupted yesterday, and it definitely wasn’t just the Trekkies who had reason to mourn; this man had done so many good things by 27 it’s painful to think how much more he might have done.  Plus he seems to have been a delightful person:

Anton Yelchin & the birds

Seriously. You can’t even.

RIP Anton Yelchin.

The Wrath of Khan and First Contact

Until this year, I hadn’t really watched any of the older Star Trek movies that came out before I was in my teens, though I had seen bits of The Wrath of Khan when I was very young.  Fortunately, Netflix has made this much easier to remedy than it used to be, especially when, after I watched my way through The Wrath of Khan a couple of months back, they actually emailed to inform me they had First Contact available.  It’s kind of strange, seeing movies you’ve spent half your life hearing about for the first time.

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Love and Friendship & X-Men: Apocalypse

The problem with a movie having  a guaranteed audience is that the people making it are more likely than usual to get lazy, to think they don’t have to create a masterpiece, because they’ll make money anyway.  This weekend, I saw two very different movies with two very different guaranteed audiences, both of which I think feel victim to this phenomenon, but to different extents.

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