Sunday, 8 September 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness — Look, Ma, NO COLON!!

7th September, 2013.
You know, it HAS to be said. I’m a film fa …

Actually, no.   No, I’m not.   I was going to start off by telling you I’m a film fan.

Except I think that’s possibly not the phrase to use.

Instead, let me tell you I like watching movies,. as many people do.

Like many, I like to be entertained, watching certain genres of film: and certain film franchises, as well.

I’m also on a budget.

So the fact I’ve given up smoking — just over two years ago, now — means that, occasionally and very rarely, I can afford to buy myself an iTunes gift card: and smear out the credit on renting a film or two, and — equally as rarely — buying a single or two.

Rizzle Kicks new one, Lost Generation … ?   Very catchy, if I do say so, myself.

But that’s NOT what I was going to tell you about.


No, I rented a movie, tonight.

And, tempting as it was to contact a few people to see if they fancied joining me, I have to admit to being impatient to see something I’ve been waiting to see since it’s theatrical release.

The film … ?

The 2013 released, J. J. Abrams directed entry into the Star Trek family that is Star Trek Into Darkness.

And I have to admit to having enjoyed myself in the films company.

Right … back in the morning!

8th September, 2013.
OK … 

Back in the EVENING … !

Mostly where I’ve been babysitting my nephew, Jude: short chap in the stripy top, bottom picture, JUST so you know … !

At ANy rate, what I meant to tell you about — before being interrupted by nappies, jigsaws, cars, horses, walks rain and runny around — was the film I saw last night.

The 2013 entry in the Star Trek franchise, Star Trek Into Darkness.

I have to admit, I’ve talked to Kevin D and Graham about this.

I think I can safely say Star Trek Into Darkness is getting something of a mixed reaction.

One I think I can understand.


Set a few years after the original rebootStar Trek Into Darkness sees the crew of the USS Enterprise overseeing the Federation’s monitoring of the Nibiru: a primitive world who’s equally primitive people the Federation find scientifically interesting, but nowhere near ready for First Contact.

Until the ship is recalled after its Captain — James T. Kirk, reprised by Chris Pine — saves his first officer, Spock: played, as in the first film, by Zachary Quino: Kirk is seriously reprimanded by Admiral Pike (Bruce Greenwood), after violating the Prime Directive, and — as a side effect — being worshipped by Nibiru’s inhabitants.

With the net result he’s demoted to First Officer, Spock is transferred to another ship, and both Are dragged before Admiral Marcus — Peter Weller* — Admiral Pike is the new captain of The Enterprise … 

And Kirk, along with quite a few of Star Fleet’s senior staff end up on the wrong end of an assassination attempt, by a rogue Star Fleet intelligence officer called John Harrison†.

A rogue intelligence officer who ends up on abandoned patch of Kronos^ home-world of the Klingons‡.

You can tell this is going to get messy, can’t you … ?


Now … understandably mixed reactions, AND enjoyable … ?

Yep: I know Kevin D found it frustrating.

And I think I can understand why.

Now, please bear in mind, I found Star Trek Into Darkness as thoroughly engaging and enjoyable as most of its franchise members.

But even though I’ve quite probably missed one or two internal references a more knowledgeable fan would have caught, I’m also very aware that Dr McCoy’s sudden urge to perform a sudden, apparently random, Tribble autopsy — seemingly because John Harrison/Khan’s blood seems to have the remarkable effect of bringing the dead back to life — was a SERIOUS bit of telegraphing.

To the point where, as Kirk is climbing his way into the Enterprising warp core — reprising the climax of the Wrath Of Khan — I knew for a fact that Kirk wouldn’t be killed.

That tribble … 

Well, that thing certainly telegraphed the cop-out ending for me … ?

Anyone else … ?


On top of that … ?

On top of that, I have to admit Star Trek Into Darkness had a hell of a mix of good and bad points.

One thing that certainly struck me … ?

Was the fact that it seemingly couldn’t work out who the principal villain of the piece was.

Both Weller and Cumberbatch were well cast, and executed their roles with verve and menace.

But it hit me that perhaps the having Harrison as a revived Khan could well have been a mistake: that Cumberbatch’s role could well have been just any super-genius, employed as rogue weapons designer and hard-nut.   And that a reintroduced Khan could well have been saved for another movie.

And focused the plot more coherently on Admiral Marcus’ schemes to 

There’s possibly more to highlight: including the relatively minor point that the film seems to imply that any left over tribbles on the Enterprise were a result of the ship’s run-in with Harry Mudd: when, in the original Trouble With Tribbles featured as similar(ish) character called Cyrano Jones.

Hmmm … 

I’m possibly going sideways, here.

I should stress that Star Trek Into Darkness is flawed: possibly deeply, certainly noticeably to fans.

But, as a counterbalancing point … ?

It’s ALSO one that romps along nicely, with a cast that’s more than competent — as far as I was concerned — and one that — uneven plotting aside — certainly had some nice snappy dialogue.

Personally … ?

I’d have to give Star Trek Into Darkness two stars.   Flawed, yes.   Entertaining … ?

Certainly …
Star Trek Into Darkness

*        They got on the wrong side of Robocop … ?   Oh, well, THAT explains everything … 

†        Played by Benedict Cumberbatch.

‡        Personally, I felt we didn’t get enough of the new-look Klingons: something I hope would be remedied in a future film.   I’m very aware that one of the classic series movies — Search For Spock, if  I remember correctly — mentioned the fact that one faction of Klingons — a sub-culture, almost — were habitually masked: if I ever manage to find a reference, I’ll try and add it.

^        Of course, if you actually speak Klingonº, it’s spelt Qo’noS.   I hope that clears things up.

º        Tlingan Hol, rather than Klinganaase.

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