Thursday, May 16, 2013

Star Trek: Into Awesomeness

I saw Star Trek: Into Darkness once and I'm going to see it again.  It met my expectations and exceeded them.  It delivered a great story mixed with some cool special effects.

This sequel starts off strong with a mission in progress on the "red tree" planet.  Kirk makes some questionable decisions, getting him into trouble.  However, when Agent John Harrison initiates a terrorist attack, Kirk is pulled back into action.  Nothing goes right, and all the crew members must make the best with what they have and keep it all together.

Cumberbatch plays a great villain, and I would never want to get in his way.  Pine plays Kirk almost as a loose cannon, but someone willing to make the difficult decisions.  Quinto plays up the half-blooded Vulcan still struggling between his two legacies, though slow to admit this to his colleagues.

The composer, Giacchino, has outdone himself.  (He had already surpassed John Williams years ago.)  This time he takes on the style of Philip Glass.  It's by far the most successful emulation I've heard, matching several of his musical markers.  I also heard a little John Adams in the closing credits.  The whole score was amazing, bringing together these styles with Giacchino's own personal touch.

I suspect that almost anyone would enjoy this film ... even those who have never watched any Star Trek.  That is, it's not really a prerequisite to have seen the 2009 movie.

My only complaint about the movie is that it relied too heavily on quotes from the original TV show and movies.  I know these are supposed to be nods to the die-hard Trekkies, but it was a little too much this time, and I found it little too distracting.  In fact, there was one particularly cheezy moment.  Unless they were going for campy-funny, it didn't work at all for me.

I can overlook that complaint (as I watch it again).  But I strongly, strongly and strongly recommend NOT watching it in 3-D.  It did nothing for me.  The coolest part was the IMAX countdown before the movie started.  However, in the movie itself, I could see double images, mainly in my right eye.  And while the conversion was a noble effort, there were still several distance issues as the camera panned, which helped to make certain scenes look fake.  In other words, I don't think they did it right.  I'll try again with good old fashioned 2-D.  I wish they had IMAX 2-D.  Now, THAT would be awesome.

Be prepared for lens flares, as J. J. Abrams can't make a movie without them.  They're cool sometimes, but they really stick out in 3-D (another reason to watch in 2-D).

With the awesome story and new kinds of special effects, you'll definitely want to catch this in the theater.  Enjoy!

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