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Star Trek: Into the Darkness Review

Posted in 4 Stars, Action, New Movie, Review, Sci-Fi with tags , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2013 by russellsreviews

In 2009 J. J. Abrams breathed new life in the Star Trek series. He managed to update it to make it more exciting for a newer generation while at the same time keeping everything in place to appease the long time trekkies. The film was not just smart science fiction, but just plain fun to watch for anyone. J.J. tries to keep the momentum going with it’s long awaited sequel Star Trek: Into the Darkness.

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Star Trek: Into the Darkness faces a new set of challenges that might be harder to deal with that the original reboot. Now that the new Star Trek universe has been set how can you top the first? If you push for more action and please the new fan based you run the risk of disappointing your very loyal fan base. Do you take the chance of a more traditional route building on what you made and greatly encouraging the trekkies that the reboot was more than a one hit wonder, but then loose the mainstream push you gathered? J.J. Abrams once again decides to take the same approach as his first and tries to get both.

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Trying to accomplish both in this sequel the film starts off with a high concept adventure movie and then about half way through throws  a twist bringing back a famous story from the original show. Just like before the movie does a great job of explaining how this event could happen before it did in the show and fits very well being something new as well making it feel like it fits into Star Trek lore perfectly. That being said it does bring about the only negative I can see in the film. If you are a long time Star Trek fan you will probably guess who this person/twist is and even though the writers flip the roles you will know how it ends. It’s still exciting seeing it all play out, but it does lower the score of the film in my eyes.

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I can not finish this review without talking about the break out performance of actor Benedict Cumberbatch playing John Harrison. You might recognized him since he played Sherlock Holmes in the perfect British TV mini series Sherlock and if you don’t you will remember him now. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto reprise their roles so well that the fact that he even stood out above them only testify how great he really is. He out does the original character and bring not just charisma, but true superiority. (Hint, hint)

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Star Trek: Into the Darkness is just as smart and entertaining as the first reboot. All of the crew members you know and love get their time to shine and perhaps even more so. Did I forget to mention Klingons? Yup, the fan favorite race finally makes an appearance and with a unique interesting take, but don’t worry they keep the essentials of what makes them so popular. This new Star Trek doesn’t surpass the original only because it looses some steam because it retreads some old ground, but everything else is done so well its only as good as the first. Sometimes when a film tries to better its former sometimes it can get a little ridiculous and loose its heart. Being only just as good as the awesome first film isn’t a bad thing. In this reviewer’s eyes that’s a huge compliment. When this film ends you will be ready to go on a five year voyage of the Starship Enterprise. To boldly go where no man as gone before.

4 STARS

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Spider-man 3

Posted in 4.5 Stars, Action with tags , on April 29, 2009 by russellsreviews

the battle within...

Spider-Man 3 is a perfect example of how a trilogy should be when you keep all the same actors, writers,  and most importantly the director.  After each of the first two films, small layers of story were planted that were going to be resolved in this final film. It’s extremely satisfying to see all these threads come to a head finally after the first two films. Peter’s relationship with Mary Jane grows more mature and Harry’s resentment towards Peter comes full circle.  Some would say the movie tried to take on too much. However, each new and old villain had a purpose and melded at the end to the theme of the movie; really the same theme of all the movies: responsibility and forgiveness.  The best part of these movies is that the death of uncle Ben which is the very reason Peter becomes spider-man is still affecting the overall plot even still in the third movie… and I hope that it continues to in the fourth movie in three years. lol

Eddie Brock was basically a mirror image of Parker. They look similar, act similar, have the same job, and eventually were the same suite. They both make very bad decisions. Brock tries to cheat his way to the top and Peter lets his new found confidence get to his head and mistreats MJ. The Venom suite feeds off the dark side of humanity. Peter, because of the tragedy of Uncle Ben, sees his mistake and gets rid of it, while Brock embraces it. The pain of Peter losing his father figure actually built his character and gives him the ability to deal with hardships of life.

The sandman in the comic was a very generic thug, just with a really cool power. The movie actually improves his character, which is rare, and somehow ties him back to uncle Ben’s death.  The action scenes between the sandman and Harry lived up to the aerobatics of the first of two. Sam Rami really came up with creative ways to use sandman’s powers. The scene at the end when Peter forgives him for uncle Ben’s death is really touching and a deep scene for a comic movie.

The backbone of all three movies has always been Harry, Peter, and MJ. The tension has been building and when Harry and Peter finally face off and face their demons it was a huge payoff. It was kind of sad to see MJ and Peter take a step back, but it was plain to see that they both still had a lot of growing up to do.

It has been stated that Sam Rami ( the director) was talked into adding Venom into the movie and it was great seeing such a fan favorite finally on the big screen, but it did take a little way from sandman a bit; and will make people who only saw the movie just to see venom feel a little let down. However, Rami did a masterful job making Venom fit in the overall theme and put together a very “deeper than the surface” comic book trilogy of one greatest super heroes of all time.

4.5 stars