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Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
Star Trek: Into Bad Fan-Fiction...
This would give Prometheus a run for it's money, but at least Star Treks plot made sense. Only problem is it was really reaching to connect the dots. So much that if Gene was alive today, it would have killed him.
In fact I'm calling out anyone attached to this movie as to really being a Trek fan. Star Trek isn't suppose to be about Halo firefights, starting wars, and building warships. It's suppose to be how we as humans came together as technology on earth advanced. Then traveled the stars sharing our wisdom to civilizations who were just like we once were.
If anything this movie is a reflection on today's society and it's sickens me. When the original TV showed aired it was during troubled times ( I'm only 37, but I learned all about that stuff from The Wonder Years). People 30 and under had little hope for the future.
Wars, Cold Wars, Nukes, Political Corruption-- No one at that time thought we as the human race would live to see the year 2000. Then came Star Trek. It showed a future where mankind put its differences aside. We worked together for a common goal. We seek knowledge through exploration and looking back at our own history.
And not only that, but we were the conscience that helped others see the wrongs they were committing. Star Trek gave young people hope.
THEN THERE'S THIS MOVIE
Explosions, Loud music, Gun Fights, Fist fights, head squashing, jumping, running, explosions, explosions, explosions. Did I mention Explosions?!! I'm not sure because this movie probably had more explosions than TOS and TNG combined.
This is an insult to what Trek once was. It pisses on what Star Trek 2 was really about-- The man who never faced death, but stared it in the face-- Only in this one he dies and is brought back to life without a sequel. It crapped all over Kahn as well, who was in essence a remnant of who the human race was in the late 20th century. NOT A FREAKING SUPER SOLDIER WHO JUST MURDER-DEATH-KILLED FOR NO REASON.
AND ABOUT THAT PLOT.
Kahn was a one man army in this movie-- So one would think if he defrosted his people, all 72 of them, they'd be unstoppable-- Instead he puts them in Torpedoes to ruin Robocops plan of starting a war with the Klingons to defrost them later...WHAT THE AM I TALKING ABOUT I DUNNO BUT THAT WAS THE PLOT!!
This movie is for morons who couldn't get into the original Star Trek because they probably see it as old, boring, and full of bad actors. Let's not forget the pride of TOS was the fact all 80 episodes were well written.
Something Into Darkness isn't. This isn't even good fan-fiction. This is an embarrassment. It cost millions to make, it will make over billion at the box office.
Like I said, this is more of a reflection on our society in general and it disturbs me that Star Trek as turned into a mindless 2 hr romp and not a beacon of hope for the future of mankind like the original series did.
The only HOPE these JJ Treks bring is the Star Wars movies he'll make will be just as mindless, which fits perfectly for Star Wars, not for Star Trek.
Gran Torino (2008)
Predictable and Cliché, enjoyable only for the sheep.
If there's a handbook out there on how to make an award worthy movie, Eastwood not only has it, but lives by it. For most people Gran Torino will be on their top list of the year, but Gran Torino is chalked full of content that screams "award worthy" that it has the opposite effect. And the mistakes in this film are too obvious to ignore. At least for me they are.
Despite the praise this movie is getting, this is nowhere near the best of the year, or any best list altogether. This is a 2 hour instructional on how to make a movie with little to no budget that gets people talking about awards for it. So let me prove why that is.
Cookie cutter characters, and Grand Torino is full of them. From Walt ( Eastwood ), to Thao, Thao's sister, the entire Hmong family next door, the gangsta cousin, and the Priest. When you start with generic characters you're going to have a generic story. But wait, if it's generic ( AND IT IS ) why are people talking awards? Why was the screenplay so honored? Simple, you add in the "choker scene".
Despite being a generic story with generic characters there is one scene in the movie people will get choked up on. And I'm going to spoil that. Thao's sister gets raped. OMG HOW POWERFUL WAS THAT!! There I just listed what everyone talking about how they felt when they saw her. At this point in the movie the story already changed gears twice. Now this is the third change and its the gripper. Its the one that makes people say how powerful this movie is ( it isn't ) If anything it was a joke, when she came walking through the door I laughed cause I thought " OH here's the award moment right here." But people eat this stuff up and Eastwood knows it. Cause they did.
With the rape scene being the third story change I want to recap what happened before it. At first you see Walt hates his family, his neighborhood, the priest, and his neighbors. This goes on for a while. THEN SOMETHING HAPPENS!! Walt is liked by his neighbors, and in standard Hollywood fashion he learns more about the Hmong's which is basically a homage to any movie made where a foreigner is taught the customs and heritage of another race through an intelligent interpreter. That intelligent interpreter being Thao's sister ( SEE SO THE RAPE SCENE IS MORE POWERFUL LATER ) Add in something Walt does to SHOCK THE HMONG FAMILY, a mysterious Hmong shaman reads his fortune, Walt having a good time, and a conversation with Thao and end scene. Good to go to the next story change.
From that point on the movie is Walt warming up to Thao and the rest of the Hmongs. Now these guys are good pals. But there's a lot missing in this I feel. Thao goes from Forrest Gump quiet to "won't shut the hell up" in the course of a montage of him doing yard work in the neighborhood. I liked quiet Thao. But no-so-quiet Thao was annoying. From this point on I had a hard time figuring out what the point of this movie was.
And the lack of any really message left me thinking this movie served only one purpose. To win awards. And the screenplay did win one. And I think Clint won one as well. So as far as that end goes the movie was a success.
But for me its more than just about the awards. I've watched a lot of critically acclaimed and award winning movies over the years and for the majority of them they suck. They suck cause they all follow the same sort of pattern. They go to the play book on how to put scenes together and what to do in them that make it predictable. And your award winning moment is always something that shocks people. So Thao's sister being raped is that scene, how it played out was predictable, and what happened after it was uneventful. And in the end your left with a movie that doesn't change anything that you perceive or thought before you saw it.
There's no real emotion being had in this movie. Mostly cause the characters aren't likable. Thao's sister, annoying. Thao, interesting, then became annoying. Walt, funny, but too predictable to even care about. Walt could've have been likable but I had a problem when it was over. He liked the Hmongs who he befriended that summer more than his own family of 50 years. What a dork. I mean he couldn't even open up to them. But Thao was like the son he never had. But the catch is Thao wasn't any better a person than Walt's sons. Thao was better than his grand-kids, but the sons weren't worthy of so much hatred from the old man, at least not from what I saw.
Overall this movie is a disaster. Sure you get wisecracking Eastwood, but you also get feed a lot mixed messages and movie cliché's that make your eyes roll. And to top it off you get Eastwood singing at the end while the credits roll.
Fans of the films might be disappointed. But Stand Alone Complex lives by it's title. Its stands alone from the original movies. But what makes SAC so much more entertaining is the fact it's a series.
In this form GITS becomes more like the manga it was inspired from. Sure there isn't a Puppet Master plot, but now we get to see the inner workings of Section 9 and the role they play in this cybernetic future where the line between the real world and the digital one is too closely blurred.
Everything about this series is top notch. The story's are written in classic science fiction form. The 3-D animation is near flawless. And of course the biggest praise has to be the soundtrack.
But mostly the characters bring out the most in this show. Everyone knows Motoko. But Batou is her complete opposite bringing a little bit of humor to an otherwise serious job. And the old ape, Chief Aramaki, is just superior as the head of Section 9. Also we get to see how the other members of Section 9 make it the elite team that it is.
But really the Tachikoma's bring the most interesting aspect to the show. Since these mini-tanks are controlled by A.I., their experience's help them understand more about the world they live in much like a small child growing up. Overall their playful attitude contrasts the serious aspects of the show. ( and I love their little spots after each episode )
All in all SAC does a great job of showing viewers what a future of great technological advances could bring. The good and the bad. From the hijacked tank, to the Geri's, and even to the terrorist known only as the Laughing Man. Ghost in the Shell SAC shows audiences that anime can be full of action, intelligence, mystery, and humor all rolled into one.
And that makes it a must see for anyone, not just fans of Anime.