Stagnation serves as a crucial part of Star Trek Beyond, the third feature in the rebooted Star Trek universe. It is not just the characters and their battle against stagnation, but the filmmakers too, who enlist Simon Pegg’s writing talents and the work of Fast and Furious franchise stalwart, Justin Lin, in the director’s chair. Not the worst of pairings, but the cracks are beginning to show. The strain takes hold. Let it ride. Star Trek Beyond is clutching at straws as soon as it begins without any real sense of who the villain is, how they’re going to patch over tragic omissions and where the story is going to take a group of characters that are now a little too comfortable for one another.
An already established universe behind it, Star Trek Into Darkness should have an easy run of worldbuilding exercises that can help further expand this J.J. Abrams science-fiction vision. No such luck. Meandering along without much to prove and even less to show for itself, Star Trek Into Darkness is an uncomfortably predictable piece with quite a strange change in pace and tone. Bumping out some of the more established characters and gambling on the introduction of Benedict Cumberbatch as a nostalgia-pop villain, surrounded by the fairly well-established new heroes adorned in roles of a bleak and whimsical past. There is room to grow into them for these characters, and thankfully, Star Trek Into Darkness does offer that in spotty moments of discourse.
Even with those thick, glossy atmosphere choices, the work of J.J. Abrams on Star Trek is far better than first expected. Having no love for the series that spawned it all certainly helps when engaging with what is, essentially, a remastering of the characters and varied stories at the heart of this installation. A reference here or there will go over the heads of newly approached novices to the Star Trek universe, but as long as the bulk of it is understandable, the threats obvious and the chemistry between the ensemble successful, then Star Trek will have no trouble appealing to a new generation. A desire to engage with that is quite difficult, but easily optimised by smart writing that rattles through the quick and successful portions of the Gene Roddenberry show.
Grim, grey palettes and an ensemble separated from one another with little reason, what a quick and horrid change of pace Terminator Salvation is compared to the previous instalment just six years before it. Grip the fun of the third instalment like it were the final days because that is the last film in the series to inspire any level of slight enjoyment. Even then, the confusion founded in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines was on thin ice to begin with, the rest of the series is the scurrying fear of trying to break free from the depths. No such luck for Christian Bale and Sam Worthington, who don’t quite get to grips with the worldbuilding around them, or lack thereof. Even with simplicity and the fears of a new Terminator model, they struggle to figure out their place in an ever-changing landscape of miserable characters and poor twists.
To be young in America, according to Cory Finley, is to be in over your head with ideas of extremeness, looking for that unlikely friendship to lash it all out on. Thoroughbreds relies on the stark differences between two former friends and the murder most foul that will absolve them of problems. They have fallen out of favour with one another, and it is clear to see why. They are from different backgrounds. While their outlooks and upbringing are different, they are brought together, presumably by hobbies and activities they share with one another off-screen. It does not matter all too much to the story Thoroughbreds wishes to spin. Nothing much does matter to Finley and his simple-yet-cutting narrative.
Believe it or not, but I’ve always wanted to be in a band. I can’t sing and I can’t play any instruments either, also, I don’t have the confidence needed to go onto a stage and perform. However, aside from these rather tedious obstructions, I’ve always found myself wanting to give it a go. After seeing Green Room, I can’t say I’m all that keen to play a gig for skinheads, but the chances of that happening are hopefully slim. Green Room is a horror from the minds over at A24, the thinking man’s independent film distributor, if said thinking man has only seen three hundred films and spends all their time discussing films on Twitter. From that vein of cinema comes a story of a punk rock group who must fight for their lives when accidentally witnessing a murder in a Neo-Nazi bar.