“Live long and prosper” is the least that one could say about the Star Trek franchise. Over four decades have passed since the first incarnation of Gene Roddenberry’s brainchild. The original series, known for it’s cheese and moral pomp, ran a mere three seasons, but nonetheless inspired eleven movies, five television series, countless books, toys, videogames and, above all, generations of space enthusaists and geeks. Daunting, then, is the task of re-introducing the classic characters onto the big screen. Thankfully, director and television impresario J.J. Abrams rises to the occasion to make Star Trek (it’s actually the first film to bear that name alone) not only a welcome addition, but an inspired thrill-ride which really kicks summer 2009 into gear.
Unlike some other 2009 blockbuster, screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman have crafted a legitimate origin story for the franchise. The film opens with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock as children on their respective planets showing a distinct promise of greatness. Over the years, the Star Trek galaxy has become so vast that the characters within it seem to have shrunk in stature, considered more to be model citizens of the Federation than anything more. By focusing on the early years of these two shipmates, Mr. Abrams is emphasizing that Kirk, Spock and their cohorts are not the norm; they are extraordinary; they are superheroes. Continue reading at the candler blog.
Of the few episodes I have seen of the successful HBO series, I can say with confidence that the televised incarnation of Sex and the City is smarter, funnier, classier and all around more significant than the recently released film version. This wouldn’t be such a problem if that laundry list of positives didn’t apply to pretty much every film I’ve seen in the past year when stacked up against Michael Patrick King’s first foray onto the silver screen. In the end, as with every male-driven action film that comes out around this time, quality isn’t such a concern for the core audience, who have come out in droves to instantly push this rom-com into the black. We’ll get to the ladies who turned out their pockets and bedazzled purses at the box office in a moment, but let’s start with the movie.
The film starts almost like any episode of the show, with a modified title sequence that should a harbinger of shlock to come. Instead of Carrie’s tutu-ed prance about town which ends with her getting splashed with muck, we are put through an awful montage updating us on the shows ups and downs over some terrible popified version of the theme song. Message: this is a fashion show of foolishness you are about to see. Read on…
“I’m working on something big.”
The last thing you’d think the world needs is another comic book movie franchise, and yet Jon Favreau’s Iron Man breathes fresh air into an otherwise stale summer blockbuster season. It has all the staples of a big summer hit (star power; grade A special effects; built in rock anthem) but it does feel, even if only in the tiniest way, that something like the comic book genre in large part has been rethought, and not a moment too soon.
The summer of 2007, the most successful on record, was riddled with sequels that helped solidify the studios’ ridiculous haul to the bank. The powers that be knew there would be only one way to come close to making ludicrous amounts of money this summer with nary a threequel in sight: go back to the drawing board and start up great new franchises. Iron Man is the first taste we have of this new season of grass-roots heroism, and it is a scorcher of a first look. Read on…