Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek (2009)

Original Theatrical Release: May 08, 2009
Director: J. J. Abrams

James Tiberius Kirk (Chris Pine) is a hot-headed young man with a lot of potential. Under the tutelage of Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood), he is expected to rise in rank although he sometimes goes against the grain and earns the ire of instructors such as Spock (Zachary Quinto). When the planet of Vulcan becomes endangered, the newly-commissioned USS Enterprise and her crew must come together to stop an evil Romulan named Nero (Eric Bana).

Let me start out by saying that I was never a massive Star Trek fan, so I’m not sure how my review would hold up against a true fan of the original series. I did watch a lot of the original, with Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner as Spock and Kirk, but it was such a long time ago that I don’t remember a lot of it. I am more familiar with Star Trek: The Next Generation, and even then, I’m a little fuzzy on the Star Trek mythos.

With that said, I do have to say that I enjoyed this entry into the Star Trek franchise. Say what you will about JJ Abrams, but the man knows how to direct action. There were plenty of fight scenes to wet the palate, and there is even a Beastie Boys cameo (in the form of music – lest we forget, the Beastie Boys are huge Star Trek nerds) during a cool action scene.

In this first film, the characters (I think) were a little more true to their television counterparts than in the second film, Star Trek: Into Darkness. I actually liked the casting choices of Zoe Saldana as Uhura and Zachary Quinto as Spock. (And, of course we get to see Leonard Nimoy back as Spock as well. Shhhhh!) I think Chris Pine plays a great Kirk. He is arrogant, a womanizer and indeed looks “corn-fed”. You want to hate him but his charm wins out.

Bana was lackluster as Nero – screaming and full of rage.  The Romulan ship was pretty neat. Not sure I was sold on the Uhura/Spock love entanglement, however.

All in all, this film might frustrate some hardcore Trekkies I know, but people must remember that it’s supposed to be an alternate timeline. Whether or not that helps, I’m not sure. As a non-Trekkie, I found this an easy introduction to the Star Trek characters, and I enjoyed the ride. It didn’t get too involved in the normal political mess (boring) of the television program and instead focused on the action and drama.

(Oh, and the weird thing is that you get to see Chris Hemsworth as Captain Kirk’s dad. Yup.)

JOE Rating: ★★★★

Movie Trailer For Star Trek

 

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Heathers (1988)

Heathers (1988)

Original Theatrical Release: March 31, 1989
Director: Michael Lehmann

Veronica (Winona Ryder) despises school and all its politics. To have any semblance of normalcy, you must be popular, and a trio of girls, all named Heather, have inducted her into their ranks. However, Veronica hates the games and cruelty, eventually falling for J.D. (Christian Slater) a sociopath who leads her down a dark rabbit hole of hate, unintentional murder and suicide.

We all hated high school. I think I can say that with some confidence and still mean that everyone, even the popular kids, hated it.

I watched this movie again recently mostly because Christian Slater started coming into my workplace and sort of, by proxy, reminded me of all his films. I think this is one of his better roles. Also, for all her flaws in real life, Winona Ryder is actually a very great actress and she is in fine form here.

The movie is a great commentary on high school life (even if this takes place in the late 80’s/early 90’s….the politics are mostly the same nowadays) and is especially poignant in these times after all the recent school shootings like Sandy Hook and others.

Dark, twisted, funny, sad…Heathers has a lot of different facets but is ultimately a gem of filmmaking that was probably a bit ahead of its time. I think its message holds up very nicely, though.

After watching this, I dare you to try not spouting lines from the movie for days.

JOE Rating: ★★★★★

Movie Trailer For Heathers