Star trek

star-trek-posterAmerican sci-fi from 2009.
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg
Director: J.J. Abrams
Writers: Gene Roddenberry, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman
Bechdel test: Pass

Exposition

A space ship of unfamiliar design and origin charges Federation ships and changes the whole future. Now the familiar adventures of Spock, Kirk, Bones, Uhura, Scotty, Sulu and Chekov are changed. This time when they set out to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life-forms and new civilizations; to boldly go where no one has gone before, it is in unfamiliar and unexpected ways.

Reactions

This is a difficult film to talk about for an old Star Trek fan. On the one hand, it is a movie with high production values and a brilliant cast, and it is in such ways wonderful compared to some earlier Star Trek movies. On the other hand, seen as just a movie, with the same standard as the rest of the movies I watch this year, the judgement becomes slightly more negative. I will try to write a little about this movie from both points of view.

Contemplations

Visually this movie is mostly quite pleasing and shows the established universe in a modern tone without breaking with it. However the enormous amounts of lens flares are maybe a little unnecessary.

The characters are mostly well portrayed and the actors are well suited for their parts. The exception is Karl Urban as Bones who is unconvincing and stiff.

The audio is just fine, and there are some nice nods to the previous movies and TV shows.

The story is ridiculous and fantastically unbelievable, which is saying a bit for a sci fi movie. A quick googling would probably provide anyone with a summary of the plot wholes and strange choices in the story, and any listing or explanation from me is superfluous.

A worse sin, in my opinion, is the change in feeling of the movie. It is a straight action movie without the moralistic and overbearing attitude of the Federation. There are some more action oriented parts of the Star trek franchise from earlier, but there is also usually more then that.

The saddest lack in this movie is the change in relationship between the central trio in the original TV series; Bones, Kirk and Spock. In the original show Kirk was often dragged between the logic of Spock and the “humanity” of Bones. In this movie the Bones character is on the side, and the relationship between Spock and Kirk is the central idea. I feel like the trio is the main soul of the original series, and missed it here.

Judgement

I am glad to have watched “Star Trek” but it isn’t really worth watching a second time.

Epilogue

I will only recommend “Star Trek” to people who are fans of the franchise or wish to see the later movies in the reboot  and want the beginning of the story.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “Star Trek” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

56 movies down. 309 to go.

If you want to get “Star Trek” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “The deer hunter”. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

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The Secret in their eyes (El secreto de sus ojos)

the-secret-in-their-eyes-posterArgentinian Spanish language romantic mystery from 2009.
Starring: Ricardo Darín, Soledad Villamil, Pablo Rago
Director: Juan José Campanella
Writers: Eduardo Sacheri, Juan José Campanella
Bechdel test: Fail

Exposition

Retired police officer Benjamin Esposito decides to write a book about a case from early in his career that still bugs him. He contacts his former boss Irene Hastings to get her input on how he writes and his recollections of the case.

Reactions

One part of this story takes place in Argentine during the 70’s and we get a glimpse of several things that I associate with the country, like football, coffee, Isabel Peron and the dirty war.

We also get a little look at some things that I didn’t know about Argentina, like how all buildings seems to consist of a mess of rooms put together in unexpected ways. That might just be how this film reveals the space around characters, but it might also be how houses are built there. I haven’t been, so it would just be a guess, either way.

There also seems to be an unfamiliar way of organizing the employees of the justice department. Some are judges and some are police officers, without any familiar division between the two.

Contemplations

The story is in two parts; a modern tale of an aging police man trying to write a book about a case from early in his career, and the crime story from the 70’s he is writing.

First we meet the writer, Benjamin, as he attempts to begin his book, and he doesn’t seem to quite know where to begin, so we get bits and pieces of the older story as he tests multiple beginnings. He then meets with his former boss, Irene, to tell her that he is working on the book. She tells him to begin with the part that he remembers the best. After that we get the the rest of the old case story mostly in a linear fashion. This was an ingenious storytelling device, we get important parts of the story presented right away and we get to know our storyteller by what is most important to him. And it helped keep up the tension in this whodunit. It isn’t too often I am unfamiliar with the way a story is told, but this was a good surprise.

The acting is good, if a little exaggerated in a few scenes. The two main characters are specially well portrayed.

The imagery of what people look at and how, referenced in the title, could have been made cheap and turned the movie into a mimicry of a soap opera, but is done just simply and subtly enough to ring true.

The audio and visuals reflect the two times we see in the movie and accentuated the storytelling well.

Judgement

I enjoyed this murder mystery and how it casts a light on some sides of the human condition; maybe mostly love in this case.

Epilogue

I would recommend this movie to anyone adult. A good and romantic whodunit is nice entertainment for an evening. It could, in spite of the murder case, be a date movie, if both enjoy a crime story, that is.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “The secret in their eyes” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

40 movies down. 325 to go.

If you want to get “The secret in their eyes” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “Selma“. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.