Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mini Movie Reviews: Bulk Hit No 8

Star Trek
I grew up on Star Trek. You may recall my father conditioning me, very early, to be his little apprentice trekkie. Haki and I went on a triple date to see this Saturday night, just passed (one day after my due date). In a word (suggested by Haki), epic. What a sweeping tale! But more than anything else, I love the tributes paid within the film to the original cast and characters. When the "new Spock" raises one eyebrow at human behaviour, for example, I get a giddy satisfaction at the obvious hat-tipping to Leonard Nimoy's characterisation of the same role. In addition to making efforts to satiate fan expectations, I think the film does a wonderful job at making something enjoyable and accessible for non-enthusiasts or a new audience. Bravi, team behind number 11. P.S. Eric Bana is pretty awesome.

It is worth waiting out this film's unhurried exposition for its second half. The intensity of the interviews is well-captured - perhaps owed to the Method approach the cast adopted on set. I was impressed by both Frank Langella and Michael Sheen, and think this is one of Ron Howard's greatest accomplishments. P.S. Haki fell asleep. It's not for everyone.

Fast & Furious
While I frown upon the blatant coarseness of this franchise (and its a - portrayal of women and b- glamourisation of boy-racing)...I like good car chases. Sorry! And for all the decency and opposition that welled within me, I couldn't help but like number one...and the fourth installment hit the same spot. If you have similarly mixed feelings about the first film (gagging in parts, but engrossed in others), you'll probably have the same reaction to Fast & Furious. There are giant, gaping holes in the narrative...and Vin Diesel is still more animal than human...but the cars and races are all you hope they will be. P.S. Bringing back the original cast = good call.

The coarse language in this film is its biggest let-down. The second downer is how watered-down its examination of terrorism is. The story and acting are both solid, however, and some of the predicaments and solutions presented are excellent. I'm impressed the film doesn't look B-grade, in light of its modest budget and short filming schedule (22 mill and 48 days respectively). If you already like Don Cheadle, you'll most likely enjoy Traitor. P.S. I recommend keeping English captions on for the entire film, because some accents obscure the script's clear delivery (this suggestion will no doubt warm Janssen's heart).
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