And another month has gone by sans update… Super disappointing for me, to be honest. I was hoping to get back to a semi-regular schedule once I got my new computer up and running. But that’s the thing: it’s not up and running. Problems with the new system have persisted, so even now I’m working on a computer that is only sort of functional. As near as I can tell it’s something to do with the video card. I’ll have to get it looked at.
But screw it. If you wait for everything to be perfect before forging ahead, you’ll never get started in the first place. So let’s just carry on, shall we?
Rather than do the usual news post thing, today I’ll talk a bit about some of the stuff I’ve been watching lately. First though, a quick word on the podcast… Yes, it will live on, and yes it’ll be back soon. I’m planning on doing the next one this coming weekend, after I’ve had a chance to watch – and more importantly, digest – Upstream Color (which is now available to buy/rent on iTunes and various other locations). Looking forward to that.
So I’ve seen a few movies in the last month, though not so many as I might’ve liked. I went on a horror binge for a bit, and I’m planning on doing a write up about some of those. In terms of newer releases, I also checked out Iron Man 3 and Star Trek: Into Darkness. So for this first post back, I’ll share some really brief thoughts on those…
Iron Man 3 was good! It wound up going in a really weird direction that I definitely didn’t see coming (and I’m sure if you’ve seen it you’ll know what I mean). Shane Black definitely brought something to the franchise. He subverted my expectations in a really odd way and even though I didn’t really love the reveal, I hope his involvement with the franchise continues.
The movie for sure has problems. There’s a whole segment of the movie that focuses on Tony Stark’s relationship with this kid. And of course it’s a precocious kid who talks like he’s 30 but who’s actually 10. By no means did it ruin the movie or anything but I did kind of sigh inwardly a bit.
Anyway, it’s a definite improvement over the second film, and as good or better than the first. So, yay!
As for Star Trek: Into Darkness, it’s basically the quintessential summer popcorn action movie. It’s the kind of thing where if you analyze it even in passing, it’s complete nonsense. The plot is utterly paint-by-numbers. It absolutely feels like they came up with some cool action sequences first, and then just wrote some dialogue to string them together.
This is actually the same feeling I got with the first movie, but it’s more intense here. The first Star Trek had such a breathless quality to it and did such a great job of giving everyone in the crew their own badass moment that the seams stayed mostly hidden. All the plates kept on spinning and somehow it just worked.
This time around, the seams are clear as day. Characters behave in dumb ways to service a plot that doesn’t make sense and that’s mostly delivered via exposition. It’s like those Bond movies where the villain has to go, “And now I will explain all my motivations and outline my evil plot in exacting detail in order to demonstrate my genius!” Just bad.
And yet… It’s still a lot of fun! The core group of actors JJ Abrams assembled for the crew are once again super solid and really feel like they’re growing into their characters. They don’t all quite get the same level of attention as they did in the first movie. Chekhov and Sulu in particular feel rather wasted. It’s mostly the Kirk/Spock/Uhura show. But that’s fine too. Given what they had to work with, the three do a great job of carrying the movie. For what it’s worth, I want to see these actors do more stuff with these characters. And maybe if Abrams brings Kurtzman, Orci, and Lindelof with him to mess around in the Star Wars universe, Paramount can bring in someone new to write Star Trek 3 and really knock it out of the park. Here’s hoping.
That’s it for now, but I’ll be back soon. I promise!