5 reasons why Gravity is a must see in 2013

May 10, 2013 at 7:45 am

5 reasons why Gravity is a must see in 2013 | Gravity Alfonso Cuarón 2013 preview

[UPDATE] Multiply these reasons by 50 now the the trailer has been released!  Forgive the pun but Gravity just skyrocketed even higher on my 2013 must see list.

Originally posted on January 30, 2013

Gravity is the next film from director Alfonso Cuarón. (Children of Men)  It’s a thriller about two astronauts who get stranded in space after their shuttle is destroyed.  Two people floating around with little hope of setting foot on Earth again.  Where will the story go?  How will they survive?  Why has this film’s development taken so long?  These are just a few questions that make Gravity one of my most anticipated movies of 2013.

Click here for 43 more movies to look forward to in 2013.

5. THE WAIT

Original Release Date: November 21, 2012

Actual Release Date: October 18, 2013

Those who were anxiously awaiting Alfonso Cuarón’s space thriller were forced to wait another year.  A year!  It’s unclear why the film was delayed given the overwhelmingly positive early buzz but I’m over it.  The film is obviously packed with challenging special effects.  If he needed an extra year to get it right I’m more than happy to forgive the delay.

4. THE CAST

5 reasons why Gravity is a must see in 2013 | Gravity Alfonso Cuarón 2013 preview

George Clooney and Sandra Bullock.  Two fantastic actors tasked with bringing these astronauts to life.  Many big names were attached to Gravity before George & Sandra took on the roles.  Names that included Robert Downey Jr., Marion Cotillard, Scarlett Johansson, Blake Lively & Natalie Portman.

5 reasons why Gravity is a must see in 2013 | Gravity Alfonso Cuarón 2013 preview

Tons of interest in roles that are sure to be challenging to pull off.  With a high concept that demands a ton of screen time for few actors, the cast is crucial.  As a fan of them both, I think this movie is in good hands.

3. THE DIRECTOR

5 reasons why Gravity is a must see in 2013 | Gravity Alfonso Cuarón 2013 preview

Children of Men was a phenomenal movie full of imaginative ideas and incredible visuals.  Director Alfonso Cuarón gave us a thrilling science fiction adventure that dealt with extremely tense circumstances.  I loved Children of Men.  It’s full of breathtaking long shots that pushed the limits of what you can accomplish without an edit.

Rumor has it Gravity begins with a spectacular 17 minute opening shot.  I can’t wait to see it. (If it’s true.)

2. THE PREMISE

Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) in command of his last flight before retiring. But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone–tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness. The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth…and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left. But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space.

Sounds awesome doesn’t it?  For now, this is all we know BUT it’s what we don’t know that makes Gravity so intriguing.

1. THE UNKNOWN

What excites me the most is what WON’T happen.  A concept like this could easily end with some kind of space battle or an alien world.  Perhaps a ship picks them up and they must fight to survive.  I’d be okay watching a movie like that but Gravity promises to be something different.

Two characters.  Endless Space.

A while back, George Clooney did an interview and had this to say:

“It’s a two-hander with only two actors in the whole film,” he says. “It is a very odd film, really. Two people in space. No monsters. It’s more like [2001: A Space Odyssey] than an action film.” (USA Today)

No monsters?  No aliens?  Just two people stranded in space and tethered to each other?

…  What’s going to happen!? I can’t wait to find out.  What do you think?

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Larger Than Life Movie Villains Revealed!

May 9, 2013 at 8:19 am

Movie Hype: Larger Than Life Villains Revealed!

EPIC VILLAINS IN A SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

If I may quote Mission Impossible 2:

“Every search for a hero must begin with something which every hero requires…  A villain.”

We all love great villains.  They are the reason our heroes are called to action in the first place.  Throughout history we have been blessed with iconic and unforgettable villains.  The Wicked Witch of the West, Hannibal Lector, Darth Vader, Auric Goldfinger, Nurse Ratched, The Joker, Norman Bates, Freddy Krueger, Verbal Kint, Biff Tannen, Bill the Butcher, Doc Ock, Tommy DeVito, Alex DeLarge…

Movie Hype: Larger Than Life Villains Revealed!

Dramas, horror, thrillers, comedies…  Every genre has it’s classics but no group faces more scrutiny that the Summer Blockbusters.  Big franchises, sequels and the unstoppable force known as the comic book movie.

It’s the first question we all ask when a giant blockbuster is announced.  Whether it’s a new franchise or a sequel we all want to know who our favorite heroes will fight next.  How will these villains look?  Sound?  Move?

Fans crave every detail leading up to the movies they cannot wait to see.  I remember staring at this image wondering what Christopher Nolan’s Joker would be like.

Movie Hype: Larger Than Life Villains Revealed!

The Joker was brilliantly realized by Nolan and wonderfully portrayed by the late Heath Ledger.  However, by the time the movie arrived, we had several trailers, clips and more that took away at least a little of the mystery. Is that a bad thing?  I don’t think so.  We live in a different time.  I suppose the question is…

Can you keep a big villain secret?  Should you?

I wonder how much scrutiny Darth Vader would face if Star Wars was released today.  A world where studios preemptively release images from sets in order to beat the spies to the punch.  Every time a movie shoots an exterior scene, images shot on cell phones pop up online.  We live in an age of social media.  An era where promotion is 24/7 and fans are closer than ever to the development process.

Now, I don’t want to sound like a spoiled brat.  Here I am, discussing my relentless craving for new villain reveals while complaining that we know too much before they are unleashed.  I just appreciate the evolution of the villain reveal.

We may have 4 or 5 trailers for each big blockbuster these days but I could choose to avoid them.  I just don’t.  I simply cannot resist pressing play and envisioning the adventures that await on the silver screen.

There are filmmakers out there who work tirelessly to keep their big projects a secret.  J.J Abrams immediately comes to mind.  When he and his team produced Cloverfield, it nearly broke the internet when they unveiled the mysterious trailer.  What the hell did the Cloverfield monster look like?

Cloverfield awesome monster movie

Personally, it drove me nuts for months.  The director repeated this tactic when he created Super 8. It’s a proven way to generate interest in a film.   Super 8 was actually my favorite movie of 2011.

He’s doing it again with Star Trek Into Darkness.  Who is John Harrison?  Is it really Kahn?  The answers are coming.

Movie Hype: Larger Than Life Villains Revealed!

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Honestly, I can’t decide which side I’m on.

Do I prefer the shroud of secrecy and the anticipation it ignites?  Or do I want a constant stream of updates and risk burning out before the lights dim?

WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?

In the last few weeks, we were treated to new trailers that revealed Superman’s enemy Zod and Thor’s next challenge Malekith.  Both look incredible.

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We were also given a glimpse of Jamie Foxx as Electro in next summer’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2:

Movie Hype: Larger Than Life Villains Revealed!

Would you rather wait to see the villain?

I’m not sure if you can argue one way or another which approach is better.  Secrecy is frustrating but could ramp up the hype to impossible heights.  On the other hand, transparency invites discussion online and the promotion never stops.  There are pros and cons to both.  Sometimes too much secrecy can be seen as a weakness or a lack of faith in the studio.  Sometimes, a villain is revealed and hardcore fans tear it apart in vicious blog posts, tweets and parodies.

Yet sometimes, magic can be captured in the imagination of a film fan’s curiosity.  The same blogs and tweets can also be overwhelmingly positive.  Take Electro for example.  I think he’s going to look awesome on the big screen.  I can’t wait to see what he looks like with added effects.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how or when a villain is revealed.  Whether it’s a year out or opening night, the only thing that really matters is…  The story.

The next generation of heroes and villains are coming.  Which ones will claim their place amongst the greatest of all time?  That’s a search that will never end.

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ROUND TWO: One Trek, One No Trek

April 18, 2013 at 11:25 pm

One Trek... One No Trek | Original Star Trek vs New Star Trek J.J Abrams Star Trek Into Darkness

THE DEBATE CONTINUES

ONE TREK…  ONE NO TREK INTRO

ONE TREK…  ONE NO TREK ROUND ONE

ONE TREK…  ONE NO TREK ROUND TWO

ONE TREK…  ONE NO TREK ROUND THREE

The Setup:

JAY: A fan of J.J Abrams’ Star Trek Universe with little knowledge of the original series.

JOHN: Not a fan of J.J Abrams’ Star Trek Universe but a huge fan of the original series.

ROUND TWO

(JAY) The simple answer to your question is no.  I haven’t seen an episode of the original series.  However, in the spirit of One Trek, One No Trek, I did watch Wrath of Kahn.  I’m happy I did because I recognized a bunch of references from J.J Abrams’ adaptation.  Take the Kobayashi Maru for example.  Kirk cheats and beats the unbeatable test because he doesn’t believe in no win scenarios.

It brings up an interesting point and further confirms that they at least tried to please fans of the original cast.  While I agree that Chris Pine is no Shatner, the spirit of Kirk was alive in him on the screen.  The new Kirk doesn’t believe in no win scenarios either.  In this way, while different, they were still true to the character.  The Kobayashi Maru test was just one of many references they included in the reboot.

Regarding Spider-Man, I couldn’t agree more.  It was a quick reboot but I actually liked Marc Webb’s take Spider-Man’s origin better than Raimi’s.  I’m not saying The Amazing Spider-Man is THE Spider-Man movie (Spider-Man 2 is still my favorite) but I liked it.  Mostly because I love Spider-Man and it was great to see the character on the big screen again.  I suppose the comparison is difficult as so little time passed between the films.  Andrew Garfield had it a lot easier than Chris Pine.  But I’m curious, did they ever do a Kirk & Spock origin story in the series?

I think we both agree that while the new Star Trek was rebooting legendary characters, it was created to bring new fans to the franchise.  Honestly, if they had created all new characters or reused existing cast members, I wouldn’t have been interested.  I wasn’t interested in them before but there was something about that first trailer that hooked me.  Maybe the new Star Trek will be different?  I think that’s why I liked it so much.  It was an opportunity to get in on the ground floor.  At the beginning.  A chance to get to know Captain Kirk, Spock and the rest of the crew from scratch.  I just wasn’t interested before.  (Which I admit is tragic as I’m a big science fiction fan.  I’m still baffled that I never watched Star Trek growing up.)

I actually interpreted the ‘new universe’ approach differently than you.  I saw it as their way of preserving the original series while still giving them a clean slate to work from.  When you deal with prequels there is a fundamental lack of suspense.  Take the Star Wars prequels for example.  We all knew Anakin would survive any situation throughout the new trilogy because Darth Vader doesn’t die when he’s a kid.  In Star Trek, they went back to the beginning but there are rules when you are setting a film in an established universe.  Creating an alternate reality means all bets are off.  Every episode of the original series and all the previous movies still happened AND suspense can exist in the universe again.  It could have been a disaster but I actually think Star Trek was one of the better reboots/prequel we’ve seen because it solved that problem.

Beyond that, they were successful in making me want to see the original cast in action.  I thought Wrath of Kahn was a solid movie.  I actually wish there was more ship vs ship action in the new Star Trek as a result.  Kahn vs Kirk was a fascinating battle.  However, I still like the new movie better.  You love the original because they were all you knew.  I feel the same way about the new series.  The alternate universe created in the reboot was my first exposure to the franchise.  J.J Abrams’ Star Trek is my Star Trek.

But I totally get why you’re attached to the original.  Star Trek is a treasured part of your past and brings back fond memories of your youth.  I can’t think of a similar series that I grew up with.  But I would argue that, while it’s frustrating to see new people assume the iconic roles, they did so with you in mind.  But they presented it in a way that would get people like me interested.

I think the filmmaker’s knew they had a 50/50 shot at winning over fans like you.  People who grew up watching the original series.  I think that’s why they sold the movie with the tag line: ‘Not Your Father’s Star Trek.’  It’s a line that speaks to you and I simultaneously.

That was their way of saying ‘Keep an open mind.’  What did your father think of the new Star Trek?

I already discussed how I loved watched Kahn vs Kirk attempt to outwit one another.  The new movie lacked the strategic element.  I think they left that out in favor of a faster paced narrative with frantic action.  That’s more in line with Star Wars than Star Trek.  This is a Star Trek built from the ground up with shorter attention spans in mind.  But that’s the balance I’m sure they struggled with.  I hope they bring that element back in the sequel.

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“Are you a fan of ONE movie that came out, or are you a fan of science fiction? The exploration of ideas, concepts, time and space? Things that make you think? Equality, the human condition, political issues? These are the things Gene Roddenberry was thinking about when he created the series back in 1966. THAT is what the franchise was built upon.”

I think this is a great point.  At the end of the day, the Enterprise is tasked with exploring strange new worlds and there wasn’t a lot of that in the reboot.  But let’s look at it another way.  They’ve rebooted the series now.  The characters are established and the alternate universe is in place.  I think they have to reboot the series with the original characters.  It’s just not as interesting without Kirk & Spock and it gives them an opportunity to introduce the icons to new fans.   The movie was doomed if they focused too much on pleasing new and old fans.  They still had to tell a good story.  Now they don’t have to set anything up moving forward.  The world exists.  Star Trek Into Darkness will be able to build on the foundation they laid down in the reboot.  They have the attention of the new people (me).  Now they have a golden opportunity to incorporate elements that will put smiles on the faces of Trekkers that didn’t like the first film.

Do you think the sequel has a chance to win you over?  Will Star Trek Into Darkness be what Wrath of Kahn was to Star Trek: The Motion Picture?  I’ve got my money on ‘yes’.

It must have been frustrating to watch Kirk & Spock fight but solidifying that friendship and watching Kirk take his seat as captain was a great moment.  A launching pad for exciting things to come for the series.

They have an entire universe at their disposal now.

Going back to the Spider-Man reboot, I was just happy to see the character alive on the big screen again.  Obviously I don’t get the same feeling with the new Star Trek movie as I have no attachment to the original series but you might if the sequel delivers.  They had to reboot Star Trek with the original cast and find a way to co-exist with the original series.  I think they did a brilliant job.  Imagine if they rebooted Spider-Man but used Spider-Man 2099 as the template.  I think hardcore fans may have been excited but general audiences would have been frustrated.  Where is the Spider-Man we knew?  So you take the classic character and all the elements we know and love and then you bring something new to the table.  (Like the story of Peter Parker’s parents in the new film.)  J.J Abrams brought back classic characters and kept their rich histories in tact but brought us something new.  It’s the spirit of adaptation.  You take risks and hope for the best.  But going in a completely new direction would have been a mistake.

What do you think it would take for them to win you over when Star Trek Into Darkness is released? Maybe there will be elements that make you think back to exploring new worlds with Shatner and Co?  You might just be happy to see something new.  You might just be happy to see these characters on the big screen again.

Accept the new Kirk!

(JOHN)

“You might just be happy to see these characters on the big screen again.”

Unfortunately, these aren’t the actors I want to see portraying these characters. Add to that, I’ve seen these characters live, (and in some cases die) and have accepted that time moves on and their journey is done. Nothing lasts forever and I’m cool with that. There are so many stories to choose from.  If I ever have a craving to see them on screen again, I’ll just pop in a DVD.

I will say that I think I’m definitely in the minority when it comes to people MY age that puts The Original Series as their favorite Star Trek series. The Next Generation ran while I grew up so one would think that was my automatic favorite series in the franchise, but as we discussed earlier, it’s narrowly edged out by the ORIGINAL Kirk and co. I only bring this up again because that may be part of the reason why the reboot didn’t work with me. A lot of other fans I know our age, yourself included, very much enjoyed the new “Star Trek” because they didn’t have the allegiance to TOS that I did. My dad has not seen the new film, nor will he ever. As a loyalist to the original I can tell you he has absolutely no interest in seeing it.

They didn’t do one “single” origin story about Kirk or Spock, more along the lines of adding little pieces of history as the series went along. Kirk was supposed to have already served on a few other starships before becoming Captain of the Enterprise, Spock had already been on board for up to 11 years serving under Captain Pike. These are direct references taken from TOS. I don’t mind “origin” stories, but it depends when they are being told. Many times during some of the original running of the various Trek series’ they did an origin story and that was fine. They used the existing characters and actors to tell it.  Well done. To do an origin story 46 years after the show premiered with a different cast just doesn’t translate with me.

I’m afraid to say that the sequel does not have a chance of winning me over. I’ll be the first to admit it, I’m stubborn but I just can’t accept new actors playing these characters. If it were up to me, they never would have gone back in time to revisit these characters. I’ve accepted that it’s over. I think sequels and prequels and any other kind of ‘quels are becoming a growing problem these days. Studio’s want to squeeze every bit of money they can out of an idea, so more and more we see one movie stretched out into 2,3 or more until they are absolute garbage come the end of the run.

We all laughed…because it’s true. Now I know this is a different scenario and I also know that once again, it’s all about dollar signs. Can’t we just let some things end?

“Maybe the new Star Trek will be different?”

Different than what? Having not ever seen an original episode or movie previous to this, what was the concern?

….and yes, I will probably go see the new movie in theaters.  To me, I won’t be going to see Star Trek. I’ll be seeing a sci-fi/action movie that just happens to be using some names I recognize.

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two: 10 Things I’m Looking Forward To

April 10, 2013 at 9:49 am

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To

Marvel set out to create a massive cinematic universe and delivered on that promise.  Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Captain America: The First Avenger & Thor told separate stories but everything led to The Avengers.  To say that Phase One was a success is an understatement.  It’s not everyday you get to see 4 major franchises come together so brilliantly.  Bring on Phase Two!

How will Tony Stark overcome the events of The Avengers in Iron Man 3?  What threat will the Dark Elves pose against Thor in Thor: The Dark World.  Captain America continues to adjust to the modern world in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  We will meet a new team of cosmic heroes in Guardians of The Galaxy.  Last but not least, The Avengers take on the Mad Titan Thanos in The Avengers 2.

It’s an amazing time to be a Marvel fan.

Here are 10 things I’m looking forward to in Phase Two:

10. CAPTAIN AMERICA EXISTS NOW

The only thing that kept Captain America from being my least favorite Phase One film was Iron Man 2.  The reason is because of the origin story.  It took a really long time before we finally got a look at Cap in action.  Understandably, it was a necessary story to tell and I understand that.  I didn’t like it as much as I wanted to but he exists now.

Thanks to The Avengers, we got many glimpses of what The First Avenger can do…  And it’s pretty awesome.

I can’t wait to see a full Captain America movie without the need to establish his origin.  It’s time for a full tilt, action filled hero fest!

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To

9. IRON MAN VS MANDARIN

The final battles in Iron Man and Iron Man 2 weren’t the greatest in my opinion.  I doubt Iron Man will fight The Mandarin in a fist fight but there’s no way the finale won’t be massive.  Just look at all the Iron Man suits in the second trailer:

I think Iron Man 3 will kick start Phase Two in a BIG way and I can’t wait to see it.

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8. SO…  LOKI…

How will Loki fit into Marvel’s Cinematic Universe after his action in The Avengers.

“….  Sorry?”

I think he will still be a force to be reckoned with especially with Thor distracted by Maleketh.  I’m also curious to see if Loki mentions anything about his connection to Thanos and what lies ahead.  Love him or hate him, he has answers…  And I want those answers.

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To

7. THE CAMEOS

Which major characters will appear in other movies?  Are The Avengers truly disassembled until The Avengers 2 in 2015?

We really got a sense of what Marvel had up it’s sleeve when Nick Fury appeared at the end of Iron Man.  Whether it’s Tony Stark in the Incredible Hulk or Hawkeye in Thor you never knew who would appear next.

That trend will most certainly continue in Phase Two.  Part of the fun will be catching all the subtle references they will include in the next slate of films.

6. A POST INVASION WORLD

We’ve already seen glimpses of New York after the events of The Avengers as well as the effect it’s had on Tony Stark.  I can’t wait to see how the world has changed after Loki opened a portal and unleashed an alien army on the world.

What’s different?  How has humanity evolved now that these threats have been revealed?  What do people think of The Avengers now?  I think the majority of the answers will be dealt with in Iron Man 3 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

But what about the rest of the universe?

5. HULK SMASH…  AGAIN

It’s very unlikely we will see The Hulk again until The Avengers 2 premieres.  He isn’t getting a standalone movie any time soon but I think saving him is a good move.  Watching Hulk punch giant alien snakes in the face was part of the fun of The Avengers.  We may see Bruce Banner pop up at some point before then but I’m willing to wait.  It’s going to be awesome when the Hulk is unleashed again.

4.  THE CREDITS

No one will ever leave at the end of a Marvel movie again.  We all know the extra scene is coming.  A teaser of what’s to come.  A few moments that connect these movies together in ways that frustrate and delight fans.  (I say frustrate because the wait for answers can be painful.)

When we last left a Marvel movie, they gave us a glimpse of the villain who will be the center piece of Phase Two…  Thanos.

The ending of Iron Man 3 is rumored to introduce The Guardians of the Galaxy.  I know it’s a lot to ask but it would be nice if they at least mentioned Thanos.  Either way, I’m really looking forward to the bonus scenes.  Especially double bonus scenes like this:

3. THE GUARDIANS

A brand new Marvel franchise!?

I don’t know much about The Guardians of the Galaxy but I’m looking forward to learning more about them.  A Marvel movie directed by James Gunn set in space with talking Trees and Raccoons might seem risky but I’m excited.

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To

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The very idea that Marvel’s is expanding their universe is exciting enough.  What’s more exciting is the connection this movie will have with Thanos.  It will no doubt lead directly to The Avengers 2.

I'm glad I don't know anything about Guardians of the Galaxy | Preview

2.  THANOS

Who doesn’t love a good villain?  When Marvel announced The Avengers people wondered who the villain might be.  It was ultimately revealed to be Loki but it wasn’t his plan.  It’s always been Thanos.  We may not have seen him but he’s been around the whole time plotting against humanity.

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To

It’s unprecedented to have not one but many films to set up a villain.  Especially one as powerful as The Mad Titan Thanos.  I’ve read about the history surrounding the character and his connections to The Avengers & The Guardians but what will the cinematic version of Thanos be like?

Will he impact the events of the films leading up to The Avengers 2 directly?  Or will he take a back seat and allow pawns like Loki take center stage.  When will we see him again?  What’s his plan?

…  I want answers!!!

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To

1. THE AVENGERS 2

It took years to set up the events of Marvel’s The Avengers and we are in for another long but entertaining ride.  Along the way, we’ll catch up with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the rest of shield.  We’ll get updates on Bruce Banner and the ‘other’ guy.  We will meet the Guardians of the Galaxy and learn more about the looming threat known as Thanos.

Through all of these fantastic adventures we will all be wondering how it will all end.  How will these films connect?  What does Marvel really have planned for Phase Two?

Everything leads to The Avengers 2 and it’s going to be an amazing adventure indeed.

Phase Two is about to begin.  Cinematic history is about to be made.

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To

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ROUND ONE: One Trek, One No Trek

April 5, 2013 at 7:17 am

One Trek... One No Trek | Original Star Trek vs New Star Trek J.J Abrams Star Trek Into Darkness

ONE TREK…  ONE NO TREK INTRO

ONE TREK…  ONE NO TREK ROUND ONE

ONE TREK…  ONE NO TREK ROUND TWO

ONE TREK…  ONE NO TREK ROUND THREE

JAY: A fan of J.J Abrams’ Star Trek Universe with little knowledge of the original series.

JOHN: Not a fan of J.J Abrams’ Star Trek Universe but a huge fan of the original series.

THE DEBATE BEGINS

ROUND ONE

(JAY) When J.J Abrams’ Star Trek first trailer came out, we were both pretty pumped but for different reasons.  For me, it was the first Star Trek movie I was genuinely excited to see.  For you it was a chance to see classic characters re-imagined.  Of the two of us, you were definitely more of a skeptic.

I grew up at the height of The Next Generation so I never got into the original series.  You would think I would have been all over Star Trek growing up but I was never interested.   Still, I was aware of Kirk and his crew.  How can you not be?  Whether you love the series or not, you can’t deny Star Trek’s impact on pop culture.

It was obviously the filmmakers goal to simultaneously pay homage to the original series while introducing new fans to characters.  This approach worked perfectly for me being relatively new to the Star Trek Universe.

I suppose my question to you would be how you discovered the original series?  And what were you hoping J.J Abrams would deliver for long time Star Trek fans like you?

One Trek...  One No Trek...

(JOHN) Skepticism is an understatement when it they announced a new Star Trek.  A reboot that involved characters so near and dear to my heart.  Like yourself, I’ve always been a bit of a trailer junkie and it is in fact trailers and teasers that got me interested in editing as a career path. I’ve always been fascinated how a trailer could take many of the main sequences and dialogue from a film and put them together in a way that still leaves the viewer wanting more.

But how many times have we seen a trailer that looked awesome, only to find the film itself was actually not what we expected? (Personal examples: Once Upon a Time in Mexico,  Matrix: Revolutions. True, these are sequels that build upon pre-established characters, but then again, isn’t “Star Trek”?)

The ability to draw people in and often trick the viewer into thinking a movie is going to be awesome (when unfortunately a little too often it doesn’t meet expectations) is what I love about movie trailers. So when I saw the trailer for Star Trek, I wasn’t excited for the movie itself, rather how good they were able to make it look. Add to that the music they used was pretty damned good.

I shall try to contain my inner Trekker from taking over and ranting too much. (Yes, Trekker. I’m not a Trekkie. I don’t dress up.)

I discovered the original series when I was a kid through my dad. He has always been a fan of the original series.  During my youth an old TV station called CKVR based out of Barrie, Ontario used to rerun the original series and he would always be taping them on VHS.  He would catalog them and keep track of which episodes he had and which ones he still needed.

My Saturday afternoons as a kid consisted of playing road hockey with my dad, then coming inside, eating Kraft Dinner and watching an episode of Star Trek: The Original Series with him. You could practically set your watch to it. In fact, I’ve been told that even before I could really comprehend what I was watching, I used to tell my dad that I wanted to watch “Spock Ship.” This is what I thought the show was called as a toddler.  Talk about an early start, eh? The adventures of Kirk, Spock and the rest of the Enterprise crew became a part of my upbringing and the characters became almost like family. Almost everyone has a show they look back at growing up and loving.  For me it was The Original Series (TOS). So, right there, it is easy to see how I have a very personal connection with the show, the characters, and the actors who portrayed them. They became a part of my Saturday afternoons, right there with my dad, road hockey and delicious Kraft Dinner. (I shudder to think how much of that stuff I have eaten over the years.)

Now, what was I hoping J.J. Abrams was going to deliver for a long time fan like myself?

To not screw it up. To be loyal to the original. To respect what came before it.

… Oops.

The moment I heard that they had the stones to RE-cast the original characters, I lost all hope.  Someone ELSE other than Shatner playing James T. Kirk? A different actor donning the ears and bringing Mr. Spock to life? Not possible.  Not after all this time.  Not after, as you said, the show, characters and actors themselves became a part of popular culture. They are entrenched. There’s no going back.

Want to make a new Star Trek? Fine, do just that! NEW! Create NEW characters! They did it 4 separate times after TOS was over. With the exception of The Next Generation (because that was airing as I was growing up and is practically 1-B to the 1-A that is TOS) I was slow to accept the new series’ each time they came out. But that’s okay. Because even though they were all under the “Star Trek” umbrella, they were also all different and new characters, and if I didn’t care for some of them, that’s fine. It’s not like they are trying to mess with the original. (As a side note, after given enough time and getting used to the new and different characters, I grew to enjoy aspects or all of the more recent incarnations of Trek, those being Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise.)

IF…

IF they had cast unknowns as the original characters…IF they had decided not to mess with 701 episodes, 10 feature films, and over 40 YEARS of history…they might have had me. I may have accepted it.  They decided against that though. They decided to cast one of the Tremor Brothers as Kirk, Sylar as Spock (I will give them credit, he was the ONE actor who I think actually resembled his previous counterpart), KUMAR’s freaking pot smoking, White Castle craving buddy Harold as Sulu and Shaun/Nicolas Angel as Scotty? Simon effing Pegg?? All of a sudden Scotty is a comedian? Complete with a sidekick?? And yes, you could say “but John, they DIDN’T mess with history, they created an alternate universe!” well that’s almost worse! To me, I’m taking that as a huge middle finger from the creators of this movie. (Spoiler Alert…although to me, it just seems like they were trying to spoil the whole franchise) I’m interpreting that as they didn’t like what had been established and what had transpired beforehand. “Hey, I don’t like what you’ve done here, and because I can’t come up with my own original ideas, I’m going to take YOUR characters and YOUR universe and erase everything and use YOUR stuff to make what *I* wanna make. So there.” So now that I’m playing with your toys, let’s kill off Spock’s mother. Let’s destroy Vulcan. Let’s have Spock and Uhura try and get into each other’s pants. Excuse me?

My real question is why. Why did they have to use TOS characters? Clearly the answer is money. They figure if they are going to “re-boot” the franchise (isn’t there too much of that going on these days? A Spider-man reboot 5 years after the third installment of the previous incarnation premiered?? Are you kidding me? Hey, The Avengers just came out in 2012…lets reboot it in 2013.)  Then let’s start at the “beginning” and use characters people know or have heard of and gear it towards young people and get them invested in Star Trek again.

For right or wrong, it worked. The movie did extremely well. It catered to all the people who just wanted to see explosions and sex (well who doesn’t) and slapped the title “Star Trek” on it. Star Trek is “cool” now! “I’m a Star Trek fan!”… Are you? Please, be specific. Are you a fan of ONE movie that came out, or are you a fan of science fiction? The exploration of ideas, concepts, time and space? Things that make you think? Equality, the human condition, political issues? These are the things Gene Roddenberry was thinking about when he created the series back in 1966. THAT is what the franchise was built upon.

So I guess my question to you is, by using the names, characters and setting of TOS in “Star Trek”, are you at all interested in seeing where it came from? Are you invested in The Original Series? Have you watched a single TOS episode or movie? Because if not, then what was the point of using those characters?