Star Trek : Beyond

The third entry in the J.J. Abrams Star Trek franchise opens this weekend and as far as fun summer blockbuster fare goes, this one hits the spot. I admit I wasn’t totally sure about seeing this one based on the less than ambitious trailer, but I’m glad I did see it. Chris Pine returns as Capt. James T. Kirk as he helms the Enterprise and her crew through another amazing space adventure. He feels the weight of his command and at a point where he questions what he’s doing with his life, an alien creature is found and she needs help. In their effort to help, the Enterprise is attacked by a formidable force led by a warrior known as Krall and he seems to have an intense interest in destroying The United Federation of Planets. Stranded on an alien world with no ship, no weapons and no idea what they’re up against, Kirk and company pull together and set out to stop the bad buy, and save the galaxy in the process.

The returning cast slip into their roles with ease and exhibit the same palpable chemistry that has made the previous two films so successful. Once more Star Trek fulfills Mr. Roddenberry’s vision and shows once more a future where people live together in peace despite their differences. A universe where humanity has finally reached a point where we realize that we are all the same under the skin and we all strive for peace and work towards a future for all. The diversity in the movie is slipped in so easily and casually, you wonder why the real world can’t work like that.

Some highlights of the script, co-written by Simon Peg who of course also portrays Scottie, is the back and forth between the logical Spock and the hot headed Bones, making them a team up that can’t be beat. Chris Pine shines as Kirk. Handsome and daring, a worthy successor to Shatner. Speaking as someone is not a hardcore Star Trek fan, I enjoyed this film, although I have to note there did seem to be a certain decrease in enthusiasm overall in the movie. It’s hard to pinpoint, but maybe the actors or some behind the camera are feeling static in the franchise and there may be call for a shake up in the future. The action is fast and keeps the pace of the movie going. Nothing too jaw dropping I must admit, but on the whole this seemed to be a smaller story compared to the last two films. The film is full of novel ideas and innovative concepts that I’m sure will be built on more in the future and at its core, it was a true Star Trek tale that both fulfilled some expectations while surpassing others. If you’re a fan of this franchise I doubt you  will be disappointed. Don’t expect too much from this as it doesn’t hold too much emotional weight, as it seems many on the crew are settled in their roles and much of the drama born from the first film has leveled off. Could be better, but that’s what the fourth movie will be for, right?

Audience: Packed house at this show and there were a few whispers and chatters, but on average, a well behaved group. One woman sitting a seat away from me seemed to feel the need to comment on all the story points as they occurred on the screen which kind of drove me nuts. Just watch the flippin’ movie! We have no more information about the thing than you do! And a big crossed fingers goes  to the patron who didn’t turn off their phone and it started to ring. I mean, come on! Is it so much of a chore to mute your phone? Is it!? Overall though, they will live. Until next time!

Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates

New idea. I’m going to start reviewing the movies I see but I will also review the audience. You’ll see.

Up first is the new comedy “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” starring Zac Efron, Adam Divine, Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza

First off, I wasn’t aware there was any truth to this movie, but apparently there’s really a Mike and Dave Stangle out there and they did something that was crazy enough to rate a movie being made. I’ll have to research this later, but for now let’s look at the movie.

First of all, our leads are cute, funny and disarmingly adorable from the very start. We like Mike and Dave right off and we can see these are two devoted, close brothers. Every moment we see them on screen you’re just waiting for the next crazy thing they will say, and one of them will say it. Enter the girls who are a different flavor but are just as fun as the guys. They’re two fun loving girls who walk on the wild side, but aren’t bad bad. Just fun bad, and when they find out Mike and Dave are offering a free trip to Hawaii to attend their little sister’s wedding they set out to be those dates. They attack the situation in a different angle than everyone else attempting to join Mike and Dave, showing while they may be fun loving, they’re also deviously clever.

Of course the girls win the guys over and mission accomplished, but when they realize they have to keep up the appearance of respectable young women, things get a little dicey, but not before they manage to ingratiate themselves to Mike and Dave’s family.

The humor never gets stale and thankfully in parts that could have dragged on forever, the director chose to be merciful and compact those bits into brief montages leaving more time for the actual story to unfold.

A very brisk comedy and full of plenty of bite as well as a good amount of humanity. Anna Kendrick comes in as an odd card but easily wins everyone over with her ditzy allbeit sweet disposition. Aubrey Plaza is the edgier of the two girls, which should come to no one as a surprise. It’s what she does well and this time is no exception. Her character is a bit more lively than what she played on ‘Parks & Recreation’ and it suits her. The guys are just fantastic playing off the girls as they begin to slowly realize their dates are a bit more than they thought they were. Zac wields his big eyes and sweet ‘aw shucks’ personality. His chemistry with Adam is totally organic and it’s clear they are playing off each other beautifully. Well cast and never a dull moment, this is a date you will want to keep.

Now, for the audience. It was a pretty full auditorium considering it was opening night. We were packed in. My friend to my left and some kid on my right. There was some whispering in the rows behind me but not too much. My main complaint comes from the row in front of me. There was one couple who could not see to keep their mouths shut for the whole movie as they constantly whispered to each other when anything happened. Then there was a gaggle of girls who came in late in the trailers who seemed to have come just for Zac because they couldn’t shut up whenever he was on screen. I have no idea what the chatter was about, but I’m sure it was some unrealistic dreaming of becoming Mrs. Efron. One of the girls was wrestling with what had to be the loudest bag of popcorn in  history  for about half the film and during one particular scene toward the end, they kept cooing like they had never felt human emotion before today. Not as annoying as a horror movie crowd, but enough to raise my blood temp a degree or two, yet not bad enough to spoil the movie. Either they were better than I thought or the movie was. How knows?

That’s it for this review. Until next time, if someone’s talking in the theater, just tell them to shut up. You know you want to.