Io9′s Rob Bricken offers a much-deserved evisceration of Star Trek: Into Darkness (and he doesn’t even bring up the “why Khan’s blood but not one of the other 71 guys” problem.) The first one had a number of egregious plot holes too, of course, but it at least had a charming cast and the benefit of novelty. The charming cast remains, but since Into Darkness is otherwise just a lousy and ultimately insulting remix of Wrath of Khan with a frisson of 9/11, the extreme dumbness here is even more aggravating.
I would say this does not bode well at all for the upcoming Star Wars films, but it seems pretty obvious the main problem here was the writing. Star Trek: Into Darkness is the most blatantly nonsensical film since Prometheus, which I called the most disappointing film of 2012. The most disappointing film of 2011? Cowboys & Aliens. All three were co-penned by Damon Lindelof, who’s clearly supplanted Akiva Goldsman as the hackiest hack in Hollywood. He’s like franchise kryptonite.
FWIW, as a Star Wars kid, I’m mostly OK with this ginormous SW revival over at the Mouse. The prequel trilogy — especially Attack of the Clones — already broke the seal in terms of bringing bad Star Wars into the world. So, even if this all seems extremely commercialized even for a franchise that was always driven by toy sales, I’m still curious to see other diverse and talented filmmakers playing in the great sandbox Lucas made. But JJ Abrams? Eh. I already saw his Star Wars movie back when it was called Star Trek.
Popular Science previews the flight of NASA’s Sunjammer, set for launch in 2014. “The destination for Sunjammer is the Earth-Sun Lagrange Point 1, a gravitationally stable spot way out there between us and our nearest star…Sunjammer will be carrying the cremated remains of various individuals, including Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and his wife Majel Barrett Roddenberry.”
In Slate, old friend Seth Stevenson surveys the practice and methodology of supercuts. At the very least it’s both funny and instructive to see how many times, to take the example of ST:TNG, Worf gets denied and bad things happen to Geordi.
“[W]hen I told Dr. King I was leaving the show, I never got to tell him why, because he said, ‘You can’t.’ He explained to me just what I’ve just said. ‘Here you are on the command crew in the 23rd century, fourth in command, while we’re marching in the streets for equality.’” Nichelle Nichols, a.k.a. Lt. Uhura, relates the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Trekkie.
“All he wanted to do was go to the movies.” In the most recent trailer bin, John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) has a little too much fun as Public Enemy #1 in the second trailer for Michael Mann’s Public Enemies, also with Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, and Billy Crudup. Siblings Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo ill-advisedly go for one last — complicated –heist in the trailer for Rian Johnson’s The Brothers Bloom, also with Rachel Weisz, Rinko Kikuchi, and Robbie Coltane. There’s more trouble at work (this time of the factory variety) for Michael Bluth and Office Space/King of the Hill creator Mike Judge in this first look at Extract, starring Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis, Ben Affleck, Kristen Wiig, Beth Grant, and Clifton Collins, Jr. And writer-director Robert Rodriguez continues in the Spy Kids vein in the cloying new preview for Shorts, with a gaggle of kids, Jon Cryer, James Spader, and William H. Macy.
Last but not least, seemingly content they’ve got a winner on their hands, J.J. Abrams and Paramount begin an early publicity rollout for their big summer tentpole with this collection of new clips from Star Trek. Still unsure about both SylarSpock and the general tone of this thing, but Chris Pine’s Kirk and especially Karl Urban’s Bones look like they’ll be good fun here.
“I’ve been waiting for this day my whole life, this day of reckoning.” Some choice offerings from the rest of the Watchmen trailer bin, which are now online: Harry digs deep into the memory hole to Anakin up He-Who Must-Not-Be-Named in the second preview for David Yates’ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. (To be honest, I think I might’ve missed the first trailer from last November (at the same link) — that one’s not bad either.) Iowan ne’er-do-well James Tiberius Kirk straightens up and flies right in a preview for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek of epic scope. Hugh Jackman dons the claws once more in another look at Gavin Hood’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. (Meh, bub.) And an animated Ed Asner braves floating houses, boy scouts, and talking dogs in the newest trailer for Pixar’s UP. Pixar will go wrong someday — this doesn’t look to be it.
Captain, the second wave of posters from the Star Trek reboot has hit off the starboard thrusters, and this time it’s Bones, Scotty, Sulu, and Chekov. Hmm…ok. Simon Pegg seems bizarrely unrecogizable at Montgomery Scott here (despite the hairline), and Anton Yelchin and Karl Urban look quite like their original counterparts. But, while I dig Harold as much as the next guy, the distinctively Korean-American John Cho seems a somewhat lazy and distracting choice for Hikaru Sulu. Couldn’t they find anyone of Japanese lineage, or did they just expect us not to notice?
In advance of ComicCon, the preview poster for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot hits the tubes. (That’s Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), Uhura, (Zoe Saldana), and the Big Bad (Eric Bana) — click through for the individual one-sheets.) Still unseen: Bones (Karl Urban), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Sulu (John Cho), and Chekov (Anton Yelchin).
Hmmm. I’m only a casual Trekkie at best, and everything I’ve ever seen with Abrams’ name on it (MI:3, Cloverfield, the occasional episode of Alias and Lost) has been underwhelming. And I can’t say frontlining Uhura as the eye candy or introducing yet another putty-ridged-forehead baddy (He’s meant to be Romulan, apparently) gives me much enthusiasm for this. But I’ll probably see it nonetheless.
Ten stunning ultra-geeky home cinemas. (Via the Daily Dish.) If I ever become inordinately, stupendously wealthy, this sort of thing would be on my short-list (after setting up a progressive think tank and working to end world hunger, of course.)
In case you were savvy enough to take a pass on Cloverfield, the teaser for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot is now online. I have my doubts.
Mickey Rourke signs on to play The Wrestler for Darren Aronofsky, set to begin shooting this January. (He replaces Nicholas Cage in the role.) And, more casting on the Star Trek reboot front: Bruce Greenwood is Capt. Christopher Pike, Winona Ryder is Spock’s mother, Amanda Grayson, and House‘s Jennifer Morrison and P2‘s Rachel Nichols are in too, possibly as Yeoman Rand and/or Nurse Chapel. Well, ok then. Update: Another Trek addition: Clifton Collins Jr. of Capote will play Big Bad Eric Bana’s #2.
He’ll need more dilithium crystals, Captain…Following news that Chris Pine has been offered the role of James T. Kirk and that Eric Bana will play the villain (“Nero”) in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot, Simon Pegg joins the Enterprise crew as Montgomery Scott. Ooh, that’ll be fun. Perhaps we’ll get Nick Frost as a Redshirt? Update: And another. John Cho, best known as Harold of Harold & Kumar, will suit up as Sulu. Update 2: And now McCoy…Karl Urban.
Is it any wonder I reject you first? David Bowie rips up Ricky Gervais on Extras. And, while I’m snarfing arch Youtube links from Ed Rants, see also Kirk and Spock get “Closer,” in the Trent Reznor sense. (Some profanity…but you’ve probably heard the song by now.)
Paramount enlists Alias, Lost, and M:I:III guru J.J. Abrams to revive the Star Trek film franchise. Well, ok, but are the Starfleet adventures of young Kirk & Spock really the right direction to boldly go? That lame plot device sounds like a Kobayashi Maru.
R.I.P. James “Scotty” Doohan 1920-2005. From the beaches at Normandy to the Enterprise engine room, he was a good man in a pinch.
Be careful at those conventions, folks…According to a grisly recent LA Times story on the Toronto Sex Crimes Unit’s attempts to curb kiddie porn, “All but one of the [over 100] offenders they have arrested in the last four years was a hard-core Trekkie.” (Others have rightfully cast doubt on this rather dubious claim.)
“‘A good war is based on honor, not deception,” says K’tok (Earth name: Clyde Lewis), a 40-year-old Klingon from Lair Hill.’” Finally, some good news on the political front…Kerry is winning handily among Portland-area Klingons. Hopefully, they can offset Dubya’s considerable pull with the Ferengi in and around Salem.(By way of Usr/Bin/Girl.)
Two fanboy icons get the Remix treatment…First, Tyler Durden gets all Tekken up in here with Fight Club: The Game. (Hmm, sadly, it looks Ikea-Nesting-Instinct-lame.) Meanwhile, Kirk & co. get their funk on in this strange ad for the Star Trek Original Series DVD. Well, it’s definitely more fun than an Odd-numbered Trek.
Also in fanboy news, the new Trek trailer has snuck onto the web (scroll to the bottom for mirror sites), a weekend before its official web release. Cheesy taglines, and my love of the genre just doesn’t go far enough to incorporate interstellar jeep chases, but at least it looks better than the last one. Update: It’s now officially up.
Not to denigrate another science fiction franchise here, but the NYT has deconstructed the next Trek film, placing it squarely among the five reusable plots in the franchise. In the unforgettable words of Homer Simpson, “It’s funny because it’s true!”
I found this on Napster a long time ago, but had never seen the Ming Tea-like accompanying video. The one and only Leonard Nimoy (and the Nimoyettes?) sing The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins. (Via Monkeyfarts.)