Movie Review – STAR TREK WARPS TO GREATNESS

August 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Movie World Reviews

REVIEW – STAR TREK WARPS TO GREATNESS

9.5 out of 10

I can sum up my feelings and thoughts for the new Star Trek film in one word.  WOW!  No seriously… WOW!  This movie couldn’t be better; it is perfect on every level.  From the brilliant script to the bold directing to the stellar acting, this Star Trek is a thrill to behold, jam packed with action, suspense and vision.  The reboot makes the previous entries in the series look like they are standing still.  Star Trek moves at warp 10 whereas the other films are moving at warp 1.

Let me say that this reimagining of the franchise not only moves the series in a bold, new direction, it also pays serious homage to the original.  Yes details have been changed and the continuity of the prior movies has been altered but it wouldn’t be much of a brand new start if they weren’t.  The script by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Transformers) is perfect in every way, from the time travel plotline to the character interaction to its use of humor, all the while making great use of all the key elements that defined Star Trek for decades and taking them to extraordinary heights.  They even manage to preserve many of the great catch phrases of the original.  “Damn it man, I’m a doctor… not a physicist!”  Then there’s director J.J. Abrams.  What can I say about Abrams?  I’m a huge fan of his and I respect his entire body of work.  This is the man who brought us Lost after all, my favorite series of all time.  He pushes the movie along at warp speed, slowing down for maybe 10 minutes to establish a brief origin of Kirk and Spock.  The action sequences are so enthralling and they draw you in so much, you almost feel like you are on screen, right in the middle of it all.  The new Trek has more action in it than the other 10 films combined.  Not only has he managed to breathe new life into the sagging franchise, Abrams has crafted the definitive Star Trek experience, achieving nothing short of visual poetry in the process.

I don’t know who is responsible for casting this movie, but they deserve all of the kudos in the world.  It is impossible to do a better job.  It would’ve been very easy to play caricatures of these famous characters, but all of the actors step into their roles effortlessly, creating a new take on their respective characters while paying serious tribute to the actors they inherited the roles from.  I’m sure William Shatner will be proud of Chris Pine’s take on his iconic character.  Pine is extremely charismatic and brings the same effortless swagger and cockiness to Kirk that defined Shatner’s portrayal of the heroic captain.  There are even times when Pine actually sounds and looks just like Mr. Shatner.  Zachary Quinto also does an amazing job stepping into the role of Spock, a character who is constantly at battle with himself to balance the emotional baggage that comes with being half human with the logic that is the defining aspect of his Vulcan heritage.  He even stands toe to toe with the original Spock, Leonard Nimoy, here playing an older version of the character (this is a time travel story) in what amounts to be way more than a glorified cameo.  Needless to say, all of the actors, from Simon Pegg’s hilarious turn as chief engineer, Scotty, to Karl Urban’s riveting portrayal of Dr. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy, are brilliant.

Star Trek is the perfect summer blockbuster movie and will thrill anyone who has a pulse.  I give it a 9.5 out of 10.  I would’ve given it a perfect 10, but I’m saving that for the sequel.  To sum it up, whether you are a hardcore Trekkie or someone who has never even seen an episode, Abrams and company have created a Star Trek that is for everyone.

Bill Bonfanti is FilmGo.net’s movie critic and Box office analyst. Every week you will find new reviews and box office predictions for the current crop of films in the theater.

Movie Review: ‘Hubble’ not out of this world

August 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Movie World Reviews

Movie Review: ‘Hubble’ not out of this world
The daring mission by astronauts to repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope in May 2009 is the perfect subject for a brilliant, thrilling 3-D Imax movie. Such a movie, alas, has yet to be made. Instead, NASA, Imax and Warner Bros. have teamed up to produce a visually dazzling, entertaining, but disjointed and underachieving film, Imax Hubble 3D.

Read more on The Columbus Dispatch

Movie Reviews: Just One Person’s Opinion

August 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Movie World Reviews

Many people don’t realize that a movie review is just one person’s opinion, on one particular day, and ascribe a larger value to the reviews. They think that somehow, the critic writing (or speaking/filming) the review has an insider perspective on whether a film is inherently “good” or “bad”.

What they don’t think about are all the factors which can lead a critic or reviewer to value a certain aspect of one movie over that of another, or the fact that there could be any number of things going on to influence the critic’s opinion of the piece.

In an ideal world, a professional critic is someone who can separate their own personal prejudices and tastes from the inherent value of a film, and evaluate a cinematic work on its own merits and based on its own intentions. This is one of the things that separates professional movie reviews from amateur hobbyists, who ply their opinions both on- and off-line and are often not able to make judgments of a) what the film they’ve watched is trying to communicate and b) whether it was successful based on that initial desire to communicate an idea.

Where professional critics can contribute in a highly valuable way is through their knowledge of and dedication to cinema. A professional reviewer with experience over a number of years has a wide breadth of knowledge about film directors, the actors who perform in the film in question, the producers, and other technical contributors, based on their work over a number of years. They also, one would hope, have a wider perspective on the history of cinema and how any one particular work fits into the wider range of cinema production output over the history of the medium. Even so, their opinion can be influenced by any number of things, and those reading professional movie reviews should realize that the review is simply a tool with which they can evaluate what their own reaction to the piece is likely to be. Using this information, one can decide whether a film is worth the cost of the ticket for them or their cinema group.

Hobbyist reviews on sites like Rotten Tomatoes and other internet websites have gained popularity over the years because they aggregate the reactions – not the professional reviews – of a wide number of people. Where a professional critic’s review is just the reaction of one person, these aggregating sites offer the perspective of dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of average viewers who can provide a look at their gut reaction to the content of a film and pass that on to other viewers. This is useful for picking a movie based on mainstream tastes, however, one should realize when accessing these sites that you are not likely to see or have explained the position of a film within the canon of movie production history, nor are the capsule reviews from those who have seen the film necessarily educated or placed within the context of what the film is trying to achieve. They are opinions, and may differ from yours.

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