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Entries in Star Trek (22)

Tuesday
Jul262016

Linkdale

The Ringer Who is winning the Chris wars: Evans, Pine, or Hemsworth?
/Film Stranger Things will get a sequel season, Netflix confirms. I'm a bit disappointed honestly because I thought an anthology approach would be more satisifying, with a whole new story. Season 1 was resolved satisfyingly. Who needs every story thread neatly tied up? Boo.
The Metrograph has a Madonna week in August which will include a Q&A with Truth or Dare director Alek Keshishian - alas, the latter is already sold out. They also have a fun series in a week called "This is PG?!" featuring movies from the late 70s to the mid 80s when the MPAA was pressured into adding "PG-13" (I really have to get better at this Metrograph thing. They're big nights with Q&As seem to sell out instantly so I keep missing them.)

IGN interviews Joss Whedon at Comic Con. They talk Buffy comic book, secret projects, and whether a Black Widow movie would lure him back to Marvel
EW on the pilot for Riverdale, the new CW series that will rethink the Archie comic books. Unfortunately it sounds like all TV high school dramas mixed with Twin Peaks (???) and not much like Archie apart from the character names.
The New Yorker has a really interesting review of Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie
The Hairpin on the 20th anniversary of Fiona Apple's awesome "Tidal". Fun read.
Current Affairs isn't happy that our political leaders love Hamilton the musical 

"New" Musicals and Plays
Playbill This sounds interesting -there's a new stage musical in readings called Flying Over Sunset about Hollywood's LSD craze in the late 50s the main characters are Claire Booth Luce, Aldous Huxley, and Cary Grant. Good luck casting Cary Grant!
Playbill another movie to stage adaptation - the animated feature The Prince of Egypt has been adapted into a full musical and gets a free concert next month in Sag Harbor, NY
Variety wonders if the new Harry Potter play is the next Hamilton. It's sold out in London and expected on Broadway eventually 

Trekkies Rejoice
Coming Soon Bryan Fuller, who makes such good television (Hannibal, Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls) has two new series coming up in 2017. The first Star Trek Discovery, due in January, now has a visual teaser. American Gods has no air date yet but is also expected in 2017.
Forbes argues that Star Trek's movie franchise division would be smart to go smaller for bigger payoffs at the box office: Agreed.
Space a Star Trek art exhibition called "Star Trek: 50 Artists. 50 Years" debuted at Comic Con and will now be touring conventions and museums, including NYC's Paley Center for Visual Media in September
THR Gene Rodenberry's son is playing release rare unseen footage from the original Star Trek series 

Today's Watch
This reworking of the Cheers theme song by K Anderson & Rosered to celebrate LGBT history is really cool and poignant. [Hat Tip: Towleroad]

Monday
Jul252016

Review: Star Trek Beyond

It’s Eric, an admitted non-Trekker, with some reflections on Star Trek Beyond.  

Is there a better rebooter in the industry than J.J. Abrams?  His last directing effort, a little film called Star Wars: The Force Awakens, expertly combined the franchises’ original charm and simplicity with a new sparkle that made it the best in the series since 1983.  And when Abrams kicked off Star Trek in 2009 for a new generation, he seemed similarly to balance many of the qualities dear to Trekkers’ hearts while introducing a new audience (of which I was one) to the series.   

Abrams also directed the next installment, Into Darkness, but here on Beyond serves as producer only while the director reigns go to Justin Lin.  Lin is an expert action director and has delivered some killer set pieces in volumes three through six of the Fast and the Furious franchise...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jul222016

Posterized: Star Trek Franchise

The Star Trek mission statement is a little silly in retrospect, isn't it:

To boldly go where no man has gone before.

The franchise, now celebrating its 50th anniversary, has produced six television series and thirteen feature films so what man hasn't gone there? It's probably bolder to have never taken a ride on the starship Enterprise. But let's do a Posterized. We'll include the series (which each get one poster) in this roundup. So how many of the 19 Star Trek adventures have you seen? 

All the posters are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jul182016

Stream This: Two Mia Farrow Greats, Hannibal (S3), Terminator 5, Etc...

In the effort to stay au courant we'll alternate between Netflix and Amazon Prime for streaming news each week. And we'll freeze frame select titles at random places just for fun and see what image comes up. You know how we do. 

LAST CHANCE AMAZON PRIME

Amazon Prime has a far better movie selection than Netflix on a month to month basis but they are officially the worst streaming provider in terms of providing dates of expiration on their movies/tv shows. Sometimes the titles don't expire after they're marked for expiration and sometimes they vanish even if they haven't been marked. Sometimes without warning they suddenly cost money when they were once free. And they don't do press releases to announce expiring titles like the other services. So it's all rumors in a way. But supposedly they're losing these titles (among others) at the end of July and they're all worth checking out...

There's no reason why you shouldn't have complete confidence in your chances to come out of this alive and in one piece." 

Airplane (1980)
This smash comedy mocked the disaster epic genre and started the spoof craze. That spoof genre peaked early - maybe even here. It's kind of unreal how fast and quick the visual and verbal gags come. 

7 more freeze frames after the jump... 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jul072016

John Cho's Sulu Comes Out

In a fun bit of refreshing happy news, it has been revealed that John Cho's Sulu will be gay in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond. What a heartwarming nod to the series's original Sulu George Takei, who has been one of the loudest and proudest out performers advocating for LGBT rights for some time.

This is also a welcome alternative to the after-the-fact revisionism granted to franchise icons like Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series, though Takei himself disagrees. But Sulu hasn't previously had any romantic backstory in the canon, so any grousing of opportunistic pandering isn't quite fair either. Reintroducing the character as gay without a "might be" or "actually was" asterix is something else entirely while the series is running, especially without definitively being drawn as straight in his history.

The reported nonchalant introduction of Sulu's same-gender partner is a hopeful sign that gay visability in mass entertainment to moving toward characters that that don't shy from queerness but don't require it to solely define them. Cho commented on the reveal:

I liked the approach, which was not to make a big thing out it, which is where I hope we are going as a species, to not politicise one’s personal orientations...

While the unfortunate obvious truth is that we are not at that point with LGBT acceptance, having a beloved character who now happens to be gay is a necessary step towards wider visibility that has been missing in franchise entertainment.

This is a step in the right direction for franchise entertainment as a whole, but one that seems long delayed for the historically progressive series. Toss in that original Rihanna track and Beyond is starting to look like a gay old time at the movies - but Sulu, honey, you're supposed to come out during Pride month, not after!

Do you find Sulu's outing exciting or revisionist?

Monday
Jun202016

Anton Yelchin (1989-2016)

This calendar year has been filled to the brim with unthinkables. The latest terribly sad happening: The talented Russian-American actor Anton Yelchin died yesterday in a freak accident at only 27 years of age. He was crushed by his own car on its steep driveway incline.

Yelchin was best known to general audiences as Chekov in the modern Star Trek franchise but to us he'll always be Byrd Huffstodt (the sensitive brainy teen in the underappreciated cable drama Huff) or awestruck poseur Ian (from the hipster vampire greatness that was Only Lovers Left Alive), and especially Jacob from the college romance drama Like Crazy (2011). Though Like Crazy was mostly heralded at the time for Felicity Jones's work as his British girlfriend, it was Yelchin that gave the movie its lovestruck foolish soul... but nuanced emotionally astute work by male actors, especially young ones, in romantic dramas are rarely given their just critical props. Even when miscast (when Hollywood thinks you're the next big thing they'll put you in anything, even if it's an obviously uncomfortable fit) as in Fright Night or Terminator Salvation, Yelchin was always, at the very least, watchable. 

A tiny gift of remembrance to fans which in no way makes up for this truly absurd loss: Yelchin worked so steadily as an actor that we will still see a handful of new performances released posthumously. The forthcoming films are: Star Trek Beyond (due July 22nd), Rememory (with Peter Dinklage), the family drama We Don't Belong Here (with Catherine Keener as his dysfunctional mother), the international romantic drama Porto (with French actress Lucie Lucas - Yelchin was fluent in multiple languages and it seems likely he would have pursued more international films later in life if Hollywood offers ever got too repetitive or unchallenging), and the thriller Thoroughbred (with Anya Taylor-Joy from The Witch).

He will be missed. Do you have a favorite Anton Yelchin memory at the movies or on TV? 

Wednesday
May252016

Lukewarm Off the Presses: Beyond Ragnarok & Huppert Fever

Reheating some news we never got around to! But perhaps it's news to you...

Cate Blanchett will be playing Thor's next big bad "Hela". We assume she's the antlered one in this concept art so we cautiously look forward to that costume. But confession: I don't trust Blanchett in villainous mode (*dodges tomatoes*) since she overdid it in both Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Hanna and nearly so in Cinderella and I don't mean overdid it in a fun comic-book kind of way but just too much overall. Plus the Thor movies are easily the worst part of Marvel Studio's work to date. Other new players in Thor: Ragnarok will be Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban, and Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie (a character I loved as a kid so yay, Tessa). And of course Mark Ruffalo as the not jolly green giant and Chris Hemsworth as the guy with the hammer. For some reason they are forcing Sir Anthony Hopkins' Odin back on us (I thought he died in the ssecond movie?) and Tom Hiddleston is back under Loki's horns which is a pity because he deserves to use his time on other things, now, come on. They've wrung that character dry, they've leaned on him so much. 

Apparently the villain in Star Trek Beyond looks like this. It's actually Idris Elba underneath all that makeup. LOUD SIGH. First Oscar Isaac gets buried in ugly latex for Apocalypse and now Idris? Idris Elba is, and I think the internet will back me up on this assertion, one of the most attractive people on the planet. So why won't Hollywood show us his face? It is really pissing me off. This year he's onscreen as a tiger (Jungle Book) a buffalo (Zootopia), a sea lion (Finding Dory), and this alien but not as a human man you can actually look at. As a pasty white boy I am fully aware that there are people who think I shouldn't talk about race... but as a human person stuff like this is really getting to me. I am not one to jump on every perceived racial slight and proclaim racism (As I said much to the internet's displeasure this past season, I think #OscarsSoWhite was oft-misguided because the actor's branch is not the correct target for such things given both Hollywood and Oscar history) but I can't look at Idris Elba's career, and Zoe Saldana's career (note how she's always blue or green in her movies... until she was a black woman doing blackface -yikes!) and Lupita Nyong'o's career post Oscar (a CGI alien and a CGI wolf so far, but not an actress you can gaze at despite her considerable beauty) and not KNOW that Hollywood's race problem is dire and also, I'd wager, subconcious.

This is not complicated, really, if casting directors, directors, agents, executives, managers, and maybe even the actors on occasion would just think decisions through a little more, especially in regards to the optics. FACT: People like to look at beautiful actors. They always have. Stop hiding them from us! 

Isabelle Huppert is having a good year. I missed a lot of articles on Elle and Isabelle Huppert's time in front of the press at Cannes. In a new interview at the Guardian about Elle and her latest stage performance in Phaedra there's a lot of fascinating tidbits including her repetitive unwillingness to talk about other famous actors but her chatterbox response to questions about directors. She also wants to do more comedies...

Viewers do tend to think of her on-screen persona as a full-on neurotic, steeped in psychosexual anguish.

“Yes, but you can be a comic neurotic too.” So does she feel underrated doing comedy? “I certainly do feel…” she hesitates a moment; I take that as a yes. “That’s why I’d love to work with Woody Allen or Noah Baumbach – to do comedy in that New York vein.” But her serious roles, she insists, often contain more humour than is apparent. “Even The Piano Teacher – although I wouldn’t try to persuade anyone that was an out and out comedy…”

Whew. I was worried for a second. That film is not a knee slapper. As for Huppert in comedy. Can you handle that? I liked her in I Heart Huckabees and especially in 8 Women but in both she was working with or riffing on that dramatic neurotic performance so her comedy was stemming from perceptions of her as an actor, just as much if not more than her actual performances.