Zachary Quinto

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Please note, this piece is to be read by those who have either seen Star Trek Into Darkness or who don’t mind having its various plot points spoiled for them. It is a frank discussion of what works and what doesn’t work in the film and will include descriptions of all the major beats, including the ending. Let me start by saying that I quite like Star Trek Into Darkness. I have now seen the film three times and while I don’t quite love it like I love the 2009 Star Trek – director J.J. Abrams‘ first attempt at boldly going and so on — I did enjoy it. The first film certainly has problems of its own, but several things keep you from stopping to think about the film’s issues, mainly the breakneck pace, the incredibly charismatic cast, Michael Giacchino’s fantastic score and, yes, even Abrams’ direction. In fact, it’s most of those same things that help keep Star Trek In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida afloat. But the cracks in the hull are far more apparent this time around, and the whole thing could have easily been a disaster. After the jump I review the downsides and then move past them to highlight the upsides.

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commentary-startrek

The reboot of Star Trek in 2009 was a risky move for Paramount. However, it paid off, reinvigorating the franchise that had died with the poorly performing film Star Trek: Nemesis in 2002. J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek became one of the biggest hits of that summer and introduced a whole new generation to the classic franchise. Abrams was not a Star Trek fan before working on the film (and arguably even less of one after making the movie), but that didn’t stop him and his production team from making a solid science fiction update. Throughout the commentary with his writers and producers, recorded only a month after Star Trek came out in 2009, it’s clear that the Star Wars films had a greater impact on the production team’s childhood. Maybe the search for a Luke Skywalker in the character of James T. Kirk was what made the film work so well.

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review star trek into darkness

2009’s big screen Star Trek reboot was a success on just about all fronts thanks to director J.J. Abrams and friends’ delivery of an exciting and entertaining adventure that managed to overcome large script flaws with personality, fun and a real sense of energy. It was a hit with audiences and critics alike and left many people genuinely interested in a follow-up. Four years later and Star Trek Into Darkness is finally here, but instead of taking that time to strengthen the area of their first film’s biggest weakness (the script) they’ve actually made things worse. Fresh faces, dazzling lens flares and witty one-liners were enough to distract before, but this time the script’s egregious efforts to pillage the past for story ideas and even lift whole scenes has resulted in a hollow shell of a film that thinks ticking recognizable boxes is a valid substitute for earned emotion and engaging narrative. After a brief pre-title card scene on a primitive alien planet where the Prime Directive is seemingly redefined, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and his pointy-eared second in command Spock (Zachary Quinto) are called before Admiral Pike for punishment. Kirk is demoted, but when a terrorist attack in London leads to a deadly assault on Starfleet headquarters he’s quickly de-demoted and sent after the suspect, John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch). Himself a member of Starfleet, Harrison has gone rogue for reasons unknown, but when the Enterprise follows him to a Klingon planet the truth is revealed and endangers everyone aboard.

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STID Pine

Turns out, all of that Khan mumbo jumbo has just been some super-clever misdirection on the part of Paramount and J.J. Abrams, as this new series of Star Trek Into Darkness character posters reveals the film’s true nemesis – wind! Big, gusty, blowing wind! Somebody, put a goddamn helmet on! We are, of course, kidding (or are we?), but this batch of posters certainly puts wind power front and center, and with the highly anticipated sequel just about a month away from release, there’s little else to talk about beyond the silly stuff and our excitement over the new feature. Check out the rest of the new Star Trek Into Darkness character posters, including Benedict Cumberbatch as whoever, Zachary Quinto as Spock, and Zoe Saldana as Uhura.

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It looks like Jennifer’s Body director Karyn Kusama isn’t quite done journeying into human darkness with an “insidious” edge, as Deadline Brooklyn reports that the filmmaker is set to start shooting her next film this summer – one that appears to come with a possibly inhuman and definitely weird bite to it. The film is tantalizingly titled The Invitation, and will star Luke Wilson as a man who is “invited to his estranged ex-wife’s dinner party. Over the course of the evening, he’s gripped by mounting evidence that something insidious has taken hold of his ex, and that she and her new friends have a mysterious and horrifying agenda.” The script has been penned by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, who previously wrote Kusama’s take on Aeon Flux, and who have also penned such varied projects as R.I.P.D., Clash of the Titans, and Crazy/Beautiful to their names. The film’s ensemble will also include Zachary Quinto, Topher Grace, and Johnny Galecki, most of whom we can assume are part of that creepy group of new pals that unhinge Wilson.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr is all giddy because apparently Joseph Gordon-Levitt has decided to copy his signature hairstyle. Undeterred by folks telling him Gordon-Levitt shaved his head to play the role in 50/50, Kevin tries to lobby other Hollywood actors to copy his image. Unfortunately, What’s Your Number? star Chris Evans refuses to grow a huge belly and Dream House star Daniel Craig just won’t latch onto Kevin’s charming American accent.

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The antidote for your boring day (at least your boring day today) is this new trailer for Girl Walks Into a Bar which might seem like another sequel in the sequence of Sebastian Gutierrez’s Vagina Dialogues (aka Women in Trouble and Elektra Luxx), but even though a lot of the actors are the same, this one seems to take place in a new universe altogether. This trailer is a hell of a lot of fun, which is why I love Gutierrez’s movies. They’re smart, wacky, ridiculous and heartfelt. Plus, there are multitudes of remarkably beautiful women in various states of undress showing off their acting chops like there’s no tomorrow. Write a strongly worded letter to Congress, because there just isn’t anything wrong with that. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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If you were concerned about Zachary Quinto claiming to quit all things Star Trek, you can let out that breath you’ve been holding.

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StarTrekXI_D2

Reviewing Star Trek on Blu-ray was such an all-encompassing, enjoyable experience, I had to fight to find the right words to describe it. Luckily, about 1600 of them just popped into my head.

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This week Culture Warrior asks, just how ‘new’ is the new Star Trek, anyway?

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If you missed this past weekend’s Justin Timberlake hosted Saturday Night Live, you certainly missed out.

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FSR

Kevin Carr reviews this week’s new movies: Star Trek and Next Day Air.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Neil and Kevin go completely ga-ga over the new Star Trek movie, singing praises to J.J. Abrams and the gang. Neil also laments the fact that he now has to start reviewing movies again while Kevin gives us his take on Next Day Air.

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trek-list-header

I’ve had my chance to hoot and holler all over the place about the latest entry in the Star Trek franchise from director J.J. Abrams. But as you might expect, I’m not quite done yet.

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Star Trek Review

A complete Trek Virgin gives his perspective: Star Trek showcases the brilliance of science fiction: building a universe that is different from our own and filling it with people that are just like us.

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Nathan (Adrian Pasdar) faces off against Sylar (Zachary Quinto) to keep him from meeting the President (Michael Dorn). Sylar has his own plans for his new partner.

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The folks at Paramount Pictures just won’t give up on this new Star Trek movie — it is as if they want this thing to make hundreds of millions of dollars or something.

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heroes-iamsylar

Sylar continues his unusual partnership and begins to have an unexpected identity crisis. Hiro and Ando take measures toward bringing down Building 26.

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turnedon-trektrailer

Due to overwhelming demand, we’ve decided to run a special encore of Bethany Perryman’s new sex column, Turned On, Tuned In. This time Bethany goes after the men of Star Trek, with lessons to be learned by all.

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heroes-1961

Angela Pertrelli (Cristine Rose) and the heroes examine the origin of Primatech, revealing that the family ties extend beyond the ones they’ve grown used to.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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