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christopher ecclestone Archives - Funerals & Snakes

Review: Star Trek Into Darkness, Song for Marion, Gambit, Spring Breakers and Maori Boy Genius

By Cinema and Reviews

The 2009 Star Trek reboot went into production on the eve of the writers’ strike and therefore had no right to be as entertaining — or to make as much sense — as it did. In fact, it was so successful that it has become the gold standard of dormant franchise resuscitation and I’m hoping that the lessons — what to honour, what to ignore, the mix of knowing humour and state-of-the-art action — are taken on board by the forthcoming Superman blockbuster Man of Steel.

A re-watch of Star Trek on Wednesday night confirmed my thoughts from the original review. It worked so well, on so many levels, that by the end I was eagerly anticipating my Friday night reunion with Christopher Pine’s Kirk, Zachary Quinto’s Hot Spock, etc. So, it is with a heavy heart then, that I have to report feeling let down by Star Trek Into Darkness. Everything seems a lot more self-conscious than before, as if the filmmakers have just realised that there are a squillion people watching and they’d better not make a mess of things. Which usually means that’s exactly what happens.

Not long after the Federation has been saved in the first film, our heroes are out exploring the galaxy, getting into trouble. As punishment for violating the Prime Directive (and incomplete paperwork), Kirk is relived of the Enterprise command but before he has time to properly lick his wounds, a terrorist bombs Starfleet’s London office and threatens to kick off an intergalactic (intra-galactic?) war with the Klingons.

dying is easy — comedy is hard

It’s the execution that disappoints this time around. The humour feels a bit heavy-handed, the attempts to incorporate beloved elements from the Original Series are clunky and the action is repetitive — there are several last second rescues, for example, and at least two of them involve actual on-screen countdowns. I can’t say more for fear of spoilers but — suffice to say — Star Trek Into Darkness is only a B minus while its predecessor merited an A. Read More

Review: Separation City, G.I. Joe- The Rise of Cobra, Coco Avant Chanel, Flashbacks of a Fool and Earth Whisperers/Papatuanuku

By Cinema and Reviews

Separation City posterBecause privileged white males haven’t had a fair suck of the sav in recent times when it comes to arts funding it seems only fair that the Film Commission should try and redress that injustice with the new Tom Scott-scripted comedy Separation City.

Aussie Joel Edgerton plays Simon, a normal kiwi bloke who has a gorgeous intelligent wife, a beautiful house on the beach in Eastbourne, a job steering affairs of state for a cabinet minister and a mid-life crisis caused by nothing more dramatic than a lack of action in the bedroom. He falls for beautiful cellist Katrien who may or may not be Dutch or German but has the cut glass English accent of London-born Rhona Mitra (last seen in skin-tight leather as a vampire in Underworld 3).

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