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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
Michael Bay has a history of taking a much loved property and rebooting it while destroying everything that made it so loved and successful in the first place.
Now it's the Turtles turn and although Michael Bay is only the Producer on this one it still suffers from all his trademark madness.
Obviously the most important part of a TMNT movie is the Turtles right? not in this movie it isn't, it's April O'Neill who has top billing here and it's a disaster.
The character is supposed to be a top investigative journalist but she is just so stupid, the only reason she is a credible reporter is that all her colleagues are even worse.
Meagan Fox is terrible in this role, she might as well have been a cardboard standee for all the emotion on display. She has the same spaced out look on her face the whole way through. April is also very poorly written with no scenes of any real depth, You get the feeling that they knew Meagan Fox was to play her and knowing that she can't act, dumbed it down intentionally.
Miss fox was cast for one reason, she looks hot in the advertising, something to draw in moviegoers who are then disappointed that in reality she isn't sexy at all because she lacks something that the original April, played by Judith Hoag, had in bucket loads, personality.
Now we get to the Turtles themselves which are by far the worst versions of these characters to date. Firstly they look hideous, it's no wonder they live in the sewers. Secondly they also suffer from April's no personality syndrome, the exception being Michelangelo who is a total jerk who constantly makes sexual innuendos and jokes at inappropriate times destroying all the dramatic tension.
The other main character is of course Shredder and it is he who suffers the most. William Fichtner's character Eric Sacks is the same main villain and appears to be Shredder until ii's revealed Shredder is actually just this guy stands in the corner.
Unfortunately the terrible script is least of this movie's problems, it's real enemy is the CGI. Every time the turtles engage in any action it feels like a different movie as they fly all over the screen and the cameras spin around all over trying to distract you from how awful it looks.
This becomes a real millstone around the movies neck and totally destroys the end of this movie. The final battle with Shredder looks like a video game, there's nothing real for the audience to connect with. The 1990 movie may only have had 2 guys in rubber suits hitting each other but you felt every contact.
When you can't do better than a movie that was made 20+ years earlier, you have to wonder why they bothered making this in the first place.
Star Trek Beyond (2016)
A Return to form for the Enterprise
Despite a respectable Box Office haul, there were a lot of people who were dissatisfied with Star Trek in to Darkness, so this latest instalment in the Star Trek franchise (the 13th) had a lot of making up to do, and boy does it succeed.
The movie opens with a quick comedy action sequence before hitting the brakes to allow The Enterprise to take on supplies at the Yorktown Starbase. It's at this point that the real movie begins with a deep sense of melancholy that remains for the rest of the film, as two of our heroes ponder their mortality and question their future with Starfleet.
Kirk as he realises he is now a year older than than his father was when he died and Spock learning of the death of his future self.
The downbeat atmosphere continues as the Enterprise is sent on a routine rescue mission which quickly escalates in to a spectacular disaster that gives the Titanic a run for it's money as our beloved ship is torn limb from limb.
The incredible effects combined with the haunting music and the crew's desperate attempts to save her, result in an unforgettable sequence that really does feel like a death.
Stranded on their enemies' planet the shipwrecked crew discovers that the architect of their misery is a man called Kraal who isn't very happy with The Federation.
The surviving crew members must find a way of off the planet and stop the evil Kraal from destroying Yorktown. From this point on the cracks along at a fair old pace and it's action all the way to it's dramatic conclusion.
The returning cast have really settled in to their roles and each is given a good share of the screen time. Idris Elba is unfortunately wasted in this movie, under heavy prosthetics for most of his role and with a speech filter that not only renders his voice unrecognisable but almost unintelligible. That said it's a minor point as he does do a very good job with what he's given.
The real star of the show however are the visuals, perfectly conveying the wonder and majesty of Space followed by the helplessness of being totally cut off from all help. See this in 3D, it's worth the extra cash.
This movie is everything a Star Trek movie should be, an intelligent but uncomplicated story, spectator action and relatable characters. The comedy isn't forced, music is used to great effect and you need no pre existing knowledge of Star Trek to get in to it.