Friday Flix: Star Trek Into Darkness

friday flix jae scribblesIt’s that time again, and this week we bring you something dark and sequelish. Okay, not -ish, just the sequel bit. But still! Top notch movie headed your way. I’m going to start out non-spoilers and give you fair warning when they begin. Anyway, is this Jae’s favorite movie of the year? Quite possibly!

My only complaint? More Cumberbatch please? No, actually one of my real complaints was only a brief appearance by Noel Clarke (also known to us Whovians as Mickey). I mean, it’s cool that he got a part and all that, but why so short?

And speaking of geekery, is there some way we can get Cumberbatch and David Tennant in a project together. I don’t know what said project would be, and I really wish Tennant was still the Doctor for this little bit of geekery. Either way, somebody make this happen.

Okay, onto the IMDB description:

After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.

It’s not often that sequels are better than their predecessors, but in STID’s case, this is certainly the case. Lots of action, a few less lens flares, and a whole lot of fun.

THE MUSIC

Those who have followed the blog long enough know I’m a big fangirl when it comes to John Williams, but my close second is Michael Giacchino. In fact, if John Williams weren’t taking the job, I’d suggest Giacchino for composing the new Star Wars movies. He’d do it right, peeps. He made it still very Star Trek, with theme kickback to the first film, but also brought in a little new. And who can’t love a soundtrack with titles like these:

THE GEEKERY

I think the word is out, so I don’t feel like this is a spoiler. But I recommend watching The Wrath of Kahn if you want to get all the fan jokes plentiful throughout the movie. JJ loves his alternative universe jokes, and STID is no exception. There will be a scene you’re crying along with everyone else and then suddenly laughing your geek self silly with people giving you the stink eye, cuz they don’t get the funny. Trust me, it’s delightful, but if you don’t know Wrath of Kahn well (meaning having watched it recently or often enough), you may not get it.

I think it’s JJ’s way of saying to the fans, I know I’m totally screwing with this franchise, but here’s some delicious candy. See? Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?

THE BROMANCE

Kirk and Spock have a sort of lover’s quarrel a lot of the movie, though with good reason. It makes certain parts of the climax that much more effective. Which is one of the main reasons I love this show. They did a lot of groundwork in the beginning to make the climax both believable and satisfying.

Zachary Quinto does the perfect Spock, much as he did in the last film. Everyone so glad he was cast as Sylar, even if that show completely fell apart? Mm-hmm, thought so.

Okay, but back to the bromance, there are tons of Vulcan/Human mishaps and misunderstandings to be had, which for us writers, is good to watch and see how the relationship arcs for the climax.

And now, here comes the…

STORYTELLING

We start right in the middle of action, which is good. It doesn’t like some movies, with, let’s say, two jedis on some boring mission they didn’t care about.

Nope, we get right into it. Spock must stop a volcano from erupting to save some powdery tribal peeps. Okay, one nitpick. I didn’t get why Kirk and Bones were in the temple, other than for the plot’s sake to get the people out of the temple when the volcano smashes it, and to bring Kirk and Spock on screen.

Anyways, so Spock is supposed to stop the volcano and does, but at the cost of his own life, except Kirk won’t let the latter part happen and gets them in trouble. So, the inciting incident for me was this moment. Because now Kirk faces the big problem.

He no longer is captain of the Enterprise. Now Kirk must prove he understand the responsibility of being a captain and how his choices affect his crew or lose the Enterprise team forever. (Sounds like a query letter, right?) Great big problem.

And now come all the subplots: the terrorist, Spock’s betrayal and their deteriorating friendship, proving himself, etc. All culminating back to solving the big problem.

It’s like the movie Home Alone. No, stay with me for a second. Kevin’s big problem is he’s too little/immature to take care of himself. He’s mistakenly left at home where he not only learns to “grow up” but takes care of some bad guys all by himself. Even with all the slapstick humor aside, Home Alone is a great example of a well-written movie (we often cited it in film school). Mind, I’m just talking about the first movie, not about any of the sequels.

But back to STID. Kirk’s story follows a great line of climax build with things continually getting worse for him. I remember from Donald Maass’ books the question: if your character gets what they want, how can you make it the worst possible thing? And vice versa. And for Kirk, they follow this rather nicely.

He gets a position as 1st officer with Admiral Pike back on the Enterprise. Okay, not exactly what he wanted, but he’s back on his ship and perhaps he can regain captainhood soon. Only the worst happens. The terrorist attacks. Now he’s not only lost his position but a father figure in Pike.

He convinces the head honcho (can’t remember the dude’s name, Marcus I think) to let him take the Enterprise and go after Cumberbatch. Yay, he has his ship back! Except he learns he’s been set up as the scapegoat to start a war and wasn’t expected to come back alive.

It goes on and on like this, the stakes getting higher and higher. *sigh* I really enjoy a movie with a good plot. It seems so rare these days.

SPOILER-FREE ZONE COMMENCING IN 3… 2…

I CAN HAS MOVIE NOW?

The only downside to watching this movie is that you can’t buy it yet. I know, I could go back and see it again in the theater, but I’d rather spend my $$$ on owning the movie. So I guess I’ll have to wait a few months… 😦

But seriously, I ❤ this movie in a major way. If you loved the first movie, you’ll certainly love this one. Lots of high drama, stakes, action, and great humor. I can’t say enough about this movie, except, if someone knows JJ personally, please tell him to send me an advance copy. What are we thinking, all, September for this to be out?

Have you seen Star Trek Into Darkness? Please mark your comments with a nice big SPOILER if necessary, but what did you think? Did you enjoy it? Best movie of the year? Did you see it more than once?

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12 thoughts on “Friday Flix: Star Trek Into Darkness

  1. I saw Star Trek Into Darkness recently and thought it was pretty fantastic. It’s been so long since I’ve seen the Wrath of Kahn that, although I had an inkling about the little fan hints Abrams kept dropping, I couldn’t have caught all of them. I may have to watch the 2 movies one after the other when STID comes out on video to pick up all the Wrath of Kahn references. 🙂

    • Hey, I made a spoilers-free section and give plenty of animated gif warning about when spoilers begin. You can read it from there if you like.

      • Okay, I enjoyed that and am now even more excited to watch the movie knowing the high regard in which you hold it. 🙂 I was a little disappointed with the first Abrams film, so hopefully this one redeems him in my eyes!

  2. I will admit that I didn’t like the original Wrath of Khan (eeek *ducks for cover*) but I still really loved this STID. I was a big fan of the original Trek and loved the “candy” Abrams doled out, although I probably missed some. My son and I were chortling most of the way through at the humor, and also really captivated by the plot. SPOILER(??)Cumberbach did a great job as khan and I was inspired enough to watch Sherlock, (which I had been avoiding for some reason).

    I enjoyed every second and am also bummed that I can’t buy it now. Soon, maybe?? 🙂

    • Was that a SPOILER? I mean, I guess we’ll label our comments this way, just in case, but I feel like I knew about Cumberbatch long before the movie ever hit theaters. Maybe I’m on the interwebz too much. 😉

      I’m guessing September-ish for purchase?

      • I didn’t know if him being Khan was well known or spoilerish. Just being ultra-safe! 🙂 I actually avoided all references to this movie in the months before going specifically because I didn’t want my non-love for Wrath to spoil it for me. And it worked really well (I just lived in a cave of writing and not interacting with other humans for 6 months)!

        … counting down to September now… I think I can justify purchasing that as a “hey get back to school now, kid” present.

  3. I enjoyed it though the whole Khan continuity things is weird because he is from the 90’s and this is supposed to be an entirely new timeline..but I wasn’t too fused..and I enjoyed the fun of the story!

  4. Yay! I watched this last week and was hoping you’d do a Friday Flix on it soon (if not, I was going to drag you to the cinema so you could review it, xD).

    You see, I wasn’t sure. I mean, Quinto will never be Nemoy, but he’s not a bad actor. It’s just *pulls face*, I don’t know. He doesn’t FEEL Spock to me, you know? Other than that, and not being totally satsifed with the plot, I enjoyed mostly everything else. I love how similar the new actors can be to the original crew, especially Bones (though I did spend a quarter of the movie trying to work out what his accent was).

    I also agree with your Noel Clarke point. When I saw he was going to be in it, I sort of high fived the magazine I was reading, but then he died so soon in, I felt like they shouldn’t have mentioned him.

    And, yes, the music was awesome.

    I haven’t seen the Wrath of Kahn. *sads* I was too young when it first came out, and I was always a bigger fan of the later Treks than the Original Series (well, that makes sense since Voyager started the year I was born, so I had an instant introduction to Trekkie life with Janeway and crew), so I never got around to it. *repeats sads* So, the only fan-joke I really got was the “I’m a doctor, not a torpedo technician!” Those poor Trek doctors – people never let them be!

    Oh, and that spoilers gif I have on my computer already. It gives your post awesome points straight away! 😛

    • They wanted Bones to sound like the original Bones, which was probably a mutt of an accent, a mix of Georgian southern and Californian. I think the actor did a pretty good job considering he’s from New Zealand. It was a nice detail I appreciated.

      As for Quinto, I don’t think anyone can really replace Leonard Nimoy. For me, Quinto’s the best we’ve got and the chemistry between him and Pine on the bromance end works for me. Argh, I want to see this movie again. I just can’t fork out the dough for it right now.

      I figured out of anyone, you would appreciate my spoiler gifs the most. 😀

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