Cannes, Khan, Quicksilver and ‘Arrested Development’ Star in the 10 Best Movie Stories of the Week


There sure was a lot to talk about with a certain summer blockbuster this week. So much that this week’s Reject Recap is nearly half-filled with highlights of stuff written on Star Trek Into Darkness. And yes, the villain’s name comes up. It’s not a spoiler anymore. Everyone knows. And it doesn’t even matter if you know or not. Just like it doesn’t matter if Alice Eve has a gratuitous underwear scene or Benedict Cumberbatch has a shower scene if neither of them is otherwise an interesting character — and that’s a more worthwhile debate for this particular film, too. Anyway, I’ve spread the Trek links a bit, giving them the even alternating slots because there used to be (no longer, apparently) that rule that even-numbered Trek films were the good ones.

Anything else happen in the past seven days? Well, our man in Cannes, Shaun Munro reviewed I think 400 movies, give or take a few. Arrested Development is returning this weekend so we had something fun to share related to that. And filmmaker Sean Hackett (Homecoming) shared a personal essay in the hopes of helping bullied movie fans out there. Two highlights come from outside the FSR gates this week, and as usual I invite you to suggest great writing on film to include here in the future. Because we can’t always cover everything, and I can’t always read everything.

Oh, and one more great thing from the past week, which we humbly didn’t highlight among the ten: our own Kate Erbland was named one of the 15 Great Female Film Critics You Ought To Be Reading.”

Start your weekend right after the jump.


The Best Film at Cannes 2013 Is…

miele 02Miele is directed by Valeria Golino, best known to English-speaking audiences as Topper Harley’s sexy, exotic girlfriend in the popular Hot Shots duology. That description, however, might be a reductive summation of her talents, because two decades later, she demonstrates what must be a higher calling as a director of challenging, thought-provoking drama in a film that should surely have landed In Competition — instead appearing in the still-esteemed Un Certain Regard cachet — and is presently the film to beat of not just the festival but the entire year.” – Shaun Munro

Check out the rest of Munro’s Cannes coverage:
2013 Cannes Film Festival Reviews


Why Bother Having Khan Be the Villain in Star Trek Into Darkness

CUMBERBATCH_STAR-TREK-INTO-DARKNESS“You don’t want to rely on previous knowledge. When you’re taking on something like Khan, you have to figure out…we debated about this, whether it should’ve been Khan or not. The debate was based on that the story did not rely on the knowledge of Khan, the love of Khan, or knowledge of Star Trek. We tried coming up with a story that could stand without Khan…It wasn’t until we had a basic structure where we thought, ‘Yes, Khan fits quite nicely. The details of his life make it even better.’ By the way, for fans, they’re going to be rewarded for their knowledge of the history of Star Trek. For non-fans, it doesn’t matter, because we started by designing a story that stood on its own. It was an interesting process to develop a story where it didn’t matter what the name was. Once we had the structure, we decided Khan was perfect and we could make it even better and more specific.” – Bob Orci, to Jack Giroux

More on the flaws of Star Trek Into Darkness:
7 Questions Left Unanswered by Star Trek Into Darkness
Why Star Trek Into Darkness Works Despite Its Many Flaws
9 Ways Star Trek Into Darkness Is Too Much Like a Star Wars Movie


Arrested Development is a Sitcom Version of The Godfather

Arrested Development Lineup“In The Godfather, Michael Corleone wants to leave his family business behind and seek a normal life on his own terms. However, he’s forced into the family business when an attempt has been made on his father’s life, as he is the only one qualified amongst his brothers and sister to continue that business. Michael is practically the only one who looks after his father…In the pilot episode of Arrested Development, Michael Bluth wants to leave his family business behind and find a normal life on his own terms. However, he’s forced back into the family business when his father is taken to jail, as he is the only one qualified amongst his brothers and sister to continue that business. Michael is practically the only one who looks after his father…” – Landon Palmer

More related to The Godfather:
Francis Ford Coppola Returns to Italian-American Family Dramas With New Film


Is Star Trek Into Darkness Sexist?

star trek alice eve underwear“Where are the women? The strong women? The women we’d like to see in 200 years? Where are they in this world? They certainly aren’t around the roundtable when the Starfleet are learning about Khan (there might have been one in that scene, if so that extra was not cut to in any significant manner to be notable.)…For main characters, Uhura had a FEW nice scenes (as a vehicle to humanize Spock mostly), but that other woman character was the WORST damsel in distress ever. I kept waiting for her turn, waiting for her to not be the victim, to be a bit cleverer, to add to the equation in a “yeah you go girl” way but no, she was there to be sufficiently sexy that Kirk would acknowledge her existence, to be pretty, to serve the plot. I loved her bob. That’s it. What if she had been a less attractive woman, older, overweight? A tomboy? Wouldn’t have that been a tad more interesting choice? Or at least give her a moment where she’s not a princess waiting to be saved.” – Felicia Day (FeliciaDay.com)

More on the alleged sexism and misogyny of Star Trek Into Darkness:
Star Trek Writer Sort of Apologizes for Misogyny in the Film (Women and Hollywood)
To answer charges of sexism in Star Trek, J.J. Abrams shows a cut scene of Benedict Cumberbatch showering. (Conan O’Brien)
Which Movie Franchise Has Been the Best for Female Characters? (Movies.com)


The Avengers 2 and X-Men: Days of Future Past Both Want Quicksilver

Quick_silver_small“This is not a situation where the two different companies are working together to try and create a sense of a larger shared world. In fact, if either of them could get the other to back off, they would. The thing is, Bryan Singer has designed a sequence that he feels only works with Quicksilver, and Joss Whedon feels that there is a pressing reason for Quicksilver to show up in “The Avengers 2,” and so what we’re going to see is a legally-negotiated stand-off in which we’ll get two totally different versions of one character.” – Drew McWeeny (Hit Fix)


J.J. Abrams Is Using the Mystery Box All Wrong

stid abrams 03“The mystery box should be a place for unknowns. Hence the name. Unlike the creatures of Cloverfield and Super 8 or the truth about Lost‘s island, secrets that really could have ended up being anything, Khan is a known quantity loaded with baggage. The smart play here would have been to create a whole new bad guy free of preconceptions. Barring that, why not acknowledge Khan was going to be a player in the film and then have the actual surprise be that he’s a good guy?…Contrary to what some think, the box is not the problem in the case of Star Trek Into Darkness. This particular mystery is.” – Rob Hunter


The Real Problem With Kickstarter

kickstarter“The real problem with Kickstarter isn’t Kickstarter, nor is it the powers-that-be who seemingly take advantage of or benefit from a resource widely used under the shared umbrella of economic disadvantage. The problem with Kickstarter is that it had to exist at all, that it’s a resource that’s essential instead of merely useful… it can potentially become an absolute necessity, rather than yet another viable option, for so much independent filmmaking in the future. What’s wrong with Kickstarter is that, if it weren’t for Kickstarter, too many films, like the restoration of Portrait of Jason, could never have possibly been realized at all.” – Landon Palmer


Star Trek: Nemesis is Better Than Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Star-Trek-Nemesis-2002“In Wrath of Khan we watch characters watch things happen, which introduces one step of separation too many between us and the danger. Nemesis puts us directly in the danger, which is something that even people who don’t have a strong emotional connection to Star Trek can appreciate. Who can’t get behind Jean-Luc Picard getting in a knife fight with his own corrupted clone?” – Nathan Adams

More on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan:
If The Internet Had Existed When Wrath of Khan Hit Theaters
Return Of The Jedi And The Wrath of Khan: Crazy Pre-Internet Starlog Magazine Rumors (Huffington Post)



The Last Stand is a Meta Comeback for Arnold Schwarzenegger

thelaststand-drinkinggame“Most comeback movies dutifully pander to fans’ nostalgic expectations by just giving them more of what ain’t broke…The Last Stand, however, isn’t interested in simply rebooting its star into his old plot and character archetypes. Instead, it offers Schwarzenegger a comeback movie with a character — Sheriff Ray Owens — with a comeback narrative of his own. What’s more, because it biographically grafts Ray to Arnold, The Last Stand turns its fictional character’s journey from former to restored hero into one that parallels the very re-ascension Schwarzenegger is undergoing with this film.” – Alexander Huls

More on The Last Stand:
Kim Jee-woon Talks Bringing Back the Last Action Hero With The Last Stand
Be Back for The Last Stand Drinking Game


Dealing With Bullies By Self-Medicating With Movies

Almost Famous“On a summer day I’d wake up at 8am and go to the movie theater by myself. I’d pay for one ticket and see 4 to 5 films while my dad was at work. When I watched my favorite characters vent, I would vent as well. They were my support group without the styrofoam cups of coffee and drunk uncles. The power of cinema changed my view of teenage life. The writers, and directors, and studios (yes, even them) protected me. Like a sidekick to my imagination they battled the schoolyard logic that said underdogs can’t win. But most importantly they offered the lesson that the bullies might seem cool, but society isn’t afraid of them.” – Sean Hackett

Rather than a reject, Christopher Campbell is a film school dropout. But he has since gotten a master’s degree in cinema studies and has been blogging about movies since 2005. Earlier, he reviewed films for a zine (a what?) that you could buy at Tower Records (a what?). He is married with two children.

Read More from Christopher Campbell
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