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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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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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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Been a stressful week

For the country in general; seriously, have we come to the point where Donald Trump is a presidential nominee, and his likely opponent is struggling to wrap up her nomination, and looking like her one claim to strength will be Not Being Trump?  Weeks like these we need things like The Force Awakens being told in emoji:

Hope Civil War doesn’t break my heart further.(Although given the way most things have gone in the MCU so far this year…)

Daredevil & Star Wars!

We’ve been anticipating the new Daredevil trailer and our first extended look at the new season since yesterday, but then Star Wars went and dropped this:

Which of course tells us absolutely nothing, but still, it’s fun to celebrate this moment with the people actually making the movie.

And then there’s this:

Strange, how even those of us who have no prior exposure to the Punisher have now spent months hearing enough of his story that the opening of this trailer, the reminder of his murdered children, can hit us this hard. And oh, Foggy, just wanting Matt to not destroy himself. And Karen, too; I’m still not shipping her and Matt, but her willingness to argue with Matt over the rightness of his actions is a good sign. I’m kind of meh on Elektra right now, though. A bit too much femme fatale for my tastes. Maybe the second trailer will make her more interesting, since it looks like that’s going to focus on her.