Hello again, my geeky friends. Here is a snapshot of what is coming this weekend to a theater in the greater Charlotte area.
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS (PG-13 130 minutes)
There is really no way around it, this is the biggest release this weekend. In fact, this is so big that most other studios are staying clear of it. That is going to make this weeks blog a little light, but lets take a look at what we have here. In 2009, JJ Abrams (LOST, Alias, MI3 Super8) took on a pretty thankless task, namely rebooting a franchise that, while had ground to a halt in most regards (There hadn’t been a successful film since First Contact in 1996, and the last and least loved television show Enterprise had fizzled out) still had and has one of the most vocal and fervent fan bases in all of fandom. In fact, in many ways the Star Trek fans, or Trekkies, founded what we know of as fan culture and the very idea of a Con. I’ve used all those words to say this: JJ Abrams took on the almost superhuman job of rebooting the franchise and introducing the Trek universe to a whole new audience while at least not making the fan base so angry they would hunt him down and hang him on a cross.
He sort of succeeded at both those goals. When STAR TREK came out on May 8th, 2009, the word traveled fast. The film was….pretty good. Where the original series had been a thinking mans show, the new version had a lot of brawn. Things happened. There were chases and explosions and firefights and punches and a LOT of lens flares. The film moved fast and looked sleek. It did the job asked of it: it got a whole new generation of people who did not self identify as geeks into the seats and they liked what they saw. Also, it had enough of the spirit of the original show in it that the old guard fan base didn’t HATE it. A lot of them said they did, but they at least did watch it a few times on the big screen and on dvd just to be sure.
It made 260 million dollars in its initial run (which is 110 million more than the last two TNG films made combined) and that pretty much secured a sequel. After four years, the wait is over as STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS launches into theaters and IMAX this weekend. By now anyone who has any awareness of geek culture knows that JJ Abrams is set to direct the next film in the STAR WARS saga, this time with the original cast, so although we will get to see how many lens flares there can be on the Millenium Falcon bridge as Chewie and Han argue, this will be that last film in the Trek universe for JJ.
As with any film made by BAD ROBOT, which is Abrams production company, there is little known about the actual plot of the film or who the main villain is. Is it Khan? Is it John Harrison, as the cast list says? I actually know tha answer but I won’t spoil it for you here. The one thing no one could argue about in the first film was the cast. These guys (and Zoe Saldana) just really fit the characters with Karl Urban almost seeming to become DeForest Kelly as Bones. With the addition of Benedict Cumberbatch as Kh….I mean John Harrison, you can at least be sure that the scenery will be chewed by really good actors.
You already know if this film is worth your money, so I’m not going to sell you anymore. It is the first Trek film to be in 3D and if there is a God, it will be the last, so see it for the novelty if nothing else.
I will be checking it out at the special advanced screenings in IMAX tonite and I hope to have a review up by Saturday. This is really the only film that is coming out this weekend, so this blog will be a little short, but next week brings The Hangover 3, Fast and Furious 6 and EPIC, so I’ll make it up to you next Thursday, I promise.
Until next time, Keep the projector threaded.