Star Trek

May 25, 2009 at 3:21 am | Posted in Film Review | 1 Comment
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I went to see Star Trek, a.k.a. Star Trek Rebooted, the other night. Warning: plot elements revealed

May 10, 2009 by

Film Hanger

Paper Hanger Blog
New Zealand

The trailer looked good and as it turned out so was the movie.

This film reinvents the characters from the orginal TV Series in a way that the original Star Trek film in 1979 did not – but should have. The ‘reboot’ is nothing like the ponderous self-tributte of the 1979 film. Instead, we see the beginnings of the crew of the Enterprise (NCC 1701); and as it turns out an alternative crew, in what turns out to be an alternative reality! To be fair, this film could not be made in 1979, the fan base was not ready for a reinvention. But, 30 years on, with the fan base widened and diversified, and the plot universe getting crowded, with the example of Battle Star Galactica to follow, it was time. The ‘new’ characters are similar enough to the old ones, that old fans won’t object (too much). While newer fans, and soon to be fans, have lots to latch onto.

The casting of Zachary Quito as Spock was spot on. James T Kirk, played by Chris Pine, has been updated to be a brasher, more testosterone driven, action character. I think that the Spock character will overshadow Kirk character in the inevitable sequels to come – Spock comes across as the more complex character.

Uhura, reflecting modern views of women, is a much stronger character. She is more assured and aggressive than the original. She could turn out to be a very complex character in later films – certainly the base is there. Perhaps a tribute to Zoe Saladana’s characterisation.

Dr McCoy (Karl Urban), Lt. Sulu (John Cho) and Esign Chekov (Anton Yelchin) don’t get much of a makeover. I suppose there is only so much time in a movie, and these three seem pretty much as they always were.

The only new characterisation I did not like was Simon Pegg as Scotty. Scotty is now young brash nerd ! Oh well. He has also acquired a green companion who does – who knows what.

This is without a doubt the first in a series of new Star Trek films. The characters are re-invented, with homage to some of the highlights from the original TV series – like ‘the kiss’. A nice touch is the death of the minor character in the red suit – in the TV series, and Galaxy Quest, the guy in red always died; well guess what he does !

The universe is re-invented too. Through time travel, an alternate timeline is created. So future films will not be shackled by ‘the past’. Needless-to-say the crew save earth (and the Federation as we will come to know it) from destruction by Nemo – Eric Bana – the film’s villain. And in a homage to previous Star Treks, Wrath of Khan, the villain is given quite a bit of depth

A must see on the wide screen.



Last Chance Harvey

May 12, 2009 at 1:10 am | Posted in Film Review | Leave a comment
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Warning: plot elements revealed

Warning: sad and often depressing

May 9, 2009 by

Film Hanger

Paper Hanger Blog
New Zealand

This film revolves around two characters: Harvey Shine (played by Dustin Hoffman) and Kate Walker (Emma Thompson). Harvey is someone who appears to have hit the dead-end of a long cul-du-sac. Kate, seems destined for something similar, though not as bad – due only to the fact she never married. This film is an exploration of their respective cul-du-sacs and how they help each other get their lifes moving forward. Not surprisingly, they end up moving forward together.

Harvey seems to being by-passed at work and being by-passed at his only daughter’s wedding. It looks like he will loose his job and his daughter. Little cues signal Harvey’s genearl uncoolness – the suit he brought for the wedding is the wrong colour and still has the anti-theft tag still attached! Dustin Hoffman does a great job making Harvey somone who is a little out of step with everyone and everthing. It is so sad to watch – every scene is flinch material.

Katie, is no so much by-passed by life, as not having really started. She seems to be in a very unglamorous job with no great prospects. Then there is the issue of her mother, coming off cancer and an ugly divorce, who keeps ring her up on the cellphone.

But it all ends well for everyone.

On the tissue box scale this is a one, maybe one-and-a-half, tissue box movie.


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