Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Great and the Horrible: Star Trek and X-Men

It's been a long while since I've written anything--nearly two months to the day--and I don't like that. I'm going to stop not writing, I promise. It's good for me to write about movies, and I assume (since people actually read this thing) that's it good for others to read about me writing about movies. With that out of the way, let's get on with it.

Even though summer isn't officially here, as far as the movie world is concerned, it's in full force. We've got X-Men Origins, Star Trek, Angels & Demons, and Terminator Salvation already in theatres. Pixar's Up, the Transformers sequel, the sixth Harry Potter, and Public Enemies are on their way soon. Yep, it's a summer full of blockbusters...and hopefully they're all better than X-Men Origins.

I am not above being a tad bit shallow every now and again, and I think that sometimes beautiful visuals can spare a movie from being absolutely awful. Alas, no amount of shirtless Hugh Jackman and sword-wielding Ryan Reynolds could save X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The opening credits are more interesting than the entire movie. Heck, I'll give you the first five minutes, but after that, I was struggling to be entertained.

It is overly dramatic, too predictable, and lacks a definite story arc. It has far more talk than action, and a majority of the characters are scarcely used or used badly. The so-called twists aren't really twists at all, and I swear there is only one moment of true surprise in the entire movie. (If you've seen it, I'd like you to guess what I'm talking about.)

Oh, and please do not get me started on the crappy effects! I thought that I was looking at animation from Who Framed Roger Rabbit when Logan's playing with his claws in the bathroom. What? Did someone forget the final steps on finishing that scene? Wow. Also, at the end, there are people going towards a helicopter that is blatantly just people running at a green screen. I know that we're in an economic crisis, but I'm sure you could've spared a few more dollars for better effects than that.

I heard Hugh Jackman wants to make another one. Well, if he does, hopefully a different screenwriter will take the reigns and make an action-packed watchable movie about Wolverine. Maybe then I can try my hardest to forget this schlock that is called a movie.

As awful as X-Men was, Star Trek was that incredible. I'm a little partial because I'm a big fan of the series, but I do believe that non-fans and casual viewers alike will have a great time too. The cast is great. The storyline works. There is plenty of action and a whole lot of funny.

I had doubts about Chris Pine playing the later-to-be Captain Kirk (mostly because I'd only seen him in Princess Diaries 2 and Smokin' Aces), but he plays Kirk with all the wit and slyness needed. Zachary Quinto is perfectly casts as Spock. Granted, it's not too far of a stretch for him to play an emotional challenged character, but I still think he flawless. Simon Pegg, with his short time on screen, is an impeccable Scotty. Zoe Saldana (Uhura), John Cho (Sulu), Karl Urban (Bones) and even Anton Yelchin (Chekov) turn in exceptional performances as well.

The comedy is surprising yet hilarious. There are many moments throughout the movie that are just there for the laugh, and I loved that. The action scenes--everything from photon torpedoes to sword fights to bar brawls--are packed with excitement and never cheesy...okay, they're hardly ever cheesy. And there's just the right amount of inside jokes for the Trekkies (or Trekkers, whatever).

There are Trek purist who might scream foul, but they need to just go back home and watch old episodes on DVD. J.J. Abrahms honors the series and its characters while also injecting the franchise with some much needed action, sex appeal, and all around fun.

Just writing about it makes me want to go out and see it again. It's been a long while since I've said that about any summer blockbuster.

So, no matter what your friends say, X-Men can wait for DVD. Honestly, it can wait for HBO. But go out and see Star Trek. The beautiful shots of the Enterprise in all its glory are well worth seeing it on the big screen. Oh, and that whole fun, action-packed story doesn't hurt either.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

I was also hit with a wave of nostalgia when the enterprise rose onto screen from deep space. :-P