Tag Archives: summer blockbuster

Hungry’s Movie Reviews: Star Trek Into Darkness

Either one of us could have and wanted to write this movie review, but our hectic schedule recently it fell onto my shoulders. With that being said, I am pleased and almost even honored to be able to review this movie. I have seen all of the previous Star Trek feature films in the franchise although I remember some better than others. I have seen most of the original series, nearly all of The Next Generation, most of Deep Space Nine, all of Voyager, and nearly none of Enterprise. I have attended some minor conventions but I do not consider myself a Trekkie.

Honestly, I was usually forced or felt obligated to be so involved in the Star Trek universe because my father and brother were such large fans. I believe that my brother knows more about Star Trek than nearly anyone but all of those hours I spent watching him play every Star Trek video game led to my own absurd knowledge on the subject. That is why I feel that I am a capable critic for this movie. I am objective because I never loved the series but I am knowledgeable because of my vast experience in the field.

Alana loves the team that created 2009’s Star Trek because they also brought her Lost. She is a huge fan of the first movie and was far more excited than I was about this sequel. The first point I would like to make is that the soundtrack is stellar. It utilizes themes from previous movies and television shows but remasters them. This brings about a very nice nostalgic atmosphere for fans old and new. The soundtrack also fit the context of the movie perfectly and was honestly what I feel was the most successful element of the movie. Special effects, makeup, costumes, and sets were all very streamlined and stylized compared to what was offered decades ago. It accomplished this effect, for me, without diverging too far from being authentic.

The original crew returned and continued to provide solid performances. Zachary Quinto was phenomenal. Chris Pine was good. Simon Pegg provided great comic relief. JJ Abrams was successful in many ways and it is reflected by critic reviews, box office numbers, and some fanboys’ feelings.

Here is my only qualm and it is a major spoiler so please do not continue if you are a Star Trek fan who is familiar with the back story… the WAY back story. Cumberbatch was perfect as Harrison but he is not Kahn. He did not live up to Ricardo Moltoban’s performance in what is widely seen as the best film of the series. They completely ignored the back story and history of the most prominent individual villain in Star Trek, period. Luckily, it did not take away from the context of the movie that Abram’s built. All of these successes, mixed with solid plot twists supported by a misleading trailer, make Star Trek Into Darkness as one of the most entertaining entries in the series. I would rank it in my top 5 all time of the 12 total choices. Off the top of my head, my list would look as follows.

1. The Wrath of Kahn – The greatest villain in the series creates the Enterprise’s greatest challenge.

2. A Voyage Home – Childhood memories and a comedic self-reflecting take make this one enjoyable.

3. First Contact – A powerful race tries to assimilate humanity as TNG crew fights back.

4. Star Trek – The series reboot provides fresh faces and style as Star Trek “enters pop-culture.”

5. Star Trek Into Darkness – Arguably the greatest back to back delivery, depending on how you feel about The Search for Spock.

6. A Search for Spock – Nimoy’s directorial debut takes Star Trek further outside its box and ties together two great films.

7-12. Final Frontier and Undiscovered Country were enjoyable as a child but were not more than that. Generations fail to capitalize on its title’s concept. Nemesis loses fans as it fails to achieve blockbuster status. Insurrection is nothing more than a bright mess. The Motion Picture bores all with its symbolic and body-less villain.

Watch Star Trek Into Darkness Online

We may go back and watch the classics again because it’s been so long and Alana hasn’t seen them all but from my memory that is how the list stands. Whether you’re a movie fan, a Trekkie, someone like me, or just someone looking for a good time, I highly recommend you go out to theaters and watch Star Trek Into Darkness.

Hungry’s Movie Reviews: Iron Man 3

Last Sunday, a few days after the grand opening, we decided to add a few extra dollars to the nearly $175 mil opening weekend that Iron Man 3 boasted by seeing it in 3D. Luckily it was an early showing at Century Boulder so it only ran us about $11 a ticket.  This review is a week late and it may prove to be better that way because it will contain spoilers. I repeat… SPOILERS follow. I will try to save them for the end and give another warning before they appear if you want to continue reading.

Marvel has done a good job lately creating The Avengers. Both DC and Marvel have gone through countless reboots of characters throughout all of the versions of their movies. Within the past decade Eric Bana, Edward Norton, and Mark Ruffalo have all appeared as Hulk in major motion pictures. The X-Men have been consistent in casting but the only good movie has been First Class. The latest versions of Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man all have my seal of approval. Also, in my opinion,  The Avengers is Marvel’s best representation to date. I think I’ll save all this for another post as I continue to Iron Man 3.

Robert Downey Jr. has done an incredible job as Tony Stark and he is the reason that this series is so good. I would not have enjoyed any of the movies in the trilogy if not for him. The soundtrack is as bad as every other Marvel movie soundtrack and stories have not been up to par. The same holds true for this third film although I enjoyed the story the most with the exception of the predictable and disappointing ending. The rest of the movie was entertaining and engaging. I recommend it for anyone looking for a pre-Summer blockbuster and a good old time. Here comes the spoilers and my personal nerdy issues.

The changes made to Aldrich Killian and The Mandarin made for a good movie, but they could have made this trilogy so much better by doing the following. If you noticed in the first movie, there is a terrorist group ran by “The Mandarin” known as “The Ten Rings.” The Mandarin is Iron Man’s arch-nemesis and one of the super-villains of the Marvel universe. He is a highly skilled martial artist and intellectual being that has ten rings of power from an ancient civilization that grants him powers. Each of the ten rings gives a power and you can look those up if you care or don’t know them. Let’s say it would make for quite a fight scene on the big screen but they decided to throw The Mandarin away like he never existed in the comics.

Furthermore, Killian never was injected with Extremis. He helped develop it with Dr. Maya Hansen but the real enemy in that story was Mallen. Mallen was injected and later fought with Iron Man in some brutal fights before finally being blasted to death by repulsors to the head. Killian committed suicide sitting at his computer because of the monster he created. They essentially combined those two characters in this movie. It’s not a huge deal because no one read Earth 616 but this is how the trilogy would have been amazing. The second movie was so bad I stopped watching it. Maybe I’ll give it a second chance. Nevertheless, keep the first movie as is with the ties to the Mandarin. Next, make the third movie into the second and scrap Mickey Rourke. Lastly, bring Mandarin back in the third movie as an actual villain. You can keep the Ben Kingsley being an actor on drugs and everything, but then have him stumble across the ten rings and actually want to take over the universe. Okay, that’s enough ranting and maybe they can take me up on that idea for a reboot or a third Avengers movie.

All in all the movie was well worth the money and I look forward to Iron Man’s return in the upcoming Avengers 2. Dream to be a superhero and workout like them to be really hungry and fit!