I went to the cinema to see Star Trek Beyond for the fifth time this week. It’s now my most watched film at the cinema and I just love it a lot. It’s hard to try and put in words why I love it so much, I do think it might be something to do with the passing of Anton Yelchin which affected me more than any other “celebrity death” ever has, but there’s definitely more to it than that.
Star Trek Beyond is full of hope and characters who trust each other and work together. Pretty much every other summer blockbuster this year has had characters being involved in a conflict against someone they were once friends with, like Captain America: Civil War, or just generally being quite “dark and gritty” like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and X-Men: Apocalypse. Star Trek Beyond is like the opposite of that, the crew of the Enterprise are split up and each face different challenges but they all work together. The line that really encapsulates Star Trek Beyond and its character is when Uhura says “There is strength in unity.” It’s the perfect message for the film and also for our real world where you’ve got Brexit and Trump dividing people and countries. (more…)
When responding to a distress signal in the far reaches of uncharted space, the crew of the USS Enterprise a drawn into a trap by the ruthless and mysterious Krall (Idris Elba). Stranded on a barren planet, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and his crew must work together to find a way to save the universe.
What Star Trek Beyond gets really right, is the characters. The crew of the Starship Enterprise are supposed to be like a family and that really comes through here. It helps that unlike the previous two Star Trek films where they were primarily focused on the relationship between Kirk and Spock (Zachary Quinto), this time they and the rest of the crew are split up into teams that you don’t normally see. It’s a clever move by script writers Simon Pegg and Doug Jung as it allows the film to explore different character dynamics and still gives each character time to shine.
When Scotty (Simon Pegg) ends up stranded, he meets Jaylah (Sofia Boutella), someone who has also been stranded and is fighting to survive. Jaylah is a brilliant character. She’s a badass, she’s funny and she’s also really interesting. She fits in well with the crew of the Enterprise and while she may be a new character, there is neither too much focus on her nor is she pushed into the background.
One of the best character dynamics presented in Star Trek Beyond is that of Bones (Karl Urban) and Spock. They must work together and you see how their personalities clash but they still respect each other. Both Urban and Quinto are funny and give great performances. While Chekov (Anton Yelchin), Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and Sulu (John Cho) may have less to do than their crewmates, they all still shine and have a moment or two of awesomeness. To be honest, one of the best things about the rebooted Star Trek movies is the casting – it has been spot on and each actor brings a lot to their role even when the script doesn’t give them so much.
The script really is great as it combines action, humour and the heart of Star Trek which is hope and unity. There’s never a dull moment in Star Trek Beyond because the film starts right in the middle of a mission and from there there’s always something happening. Justin Lin does a great job directing. He has proved with his outings as director of four of the Fast & Furious films that he can handle action sequences but with Star Trek Beyond there are also quieter moments where the camera barely moves at all. Plus, like the Fast & Furious franchise Star Trek, in amongst the explosions and death-defying situations it really is all about family.
Krall is an interesting villain. He’s foreboding yet pretty mysterious throughout most of the film but when his motivations become clear it offers another layer to his character and everything he has said and done previously makes even more sense. Idris Elba is two of the most threatening and potentially scary villains this year, Krall and Shere Khan in The Jungle Book, and both times you don’t really see his face. That’s some acting.
Star Trek Beyond was truly wonderful. Full of action, humour and brilliant character moments. It is definitely one of the better Star Trek films, not just in the rebooted series but including the previous ten Star Trek films as well. 5/5.
Uhura is a badass. Whether she’s in the original show and films or the new ones, she’s pretty awesome albeit in different ways.
Uhura is super smart. She’s a communications and linguistics expert who is a vital member to the crew of the SS Enterprise. She’s manned the helm when Kirk and Spock have been unavailable, and she’s manned the navigation and science stations on the bridge when the need arose, showing that she can turn her hand to pretty much anything. Uhura isn’t afraid to go against orders when she believes she and her crew are doing the right thing – for instance, she locks a colleague in a cupboard so she can transport Kirk, McCoy and Sulu on-board the Enterprise.
In the newer films Uhura often has a more hands on role. She goes on missions with Kirk and Spock and she stops Spock from killing “John Harrison” and helps bring him into custody. She has an interesting relationship with Spock and her friendship with Kirk is great but Uhura’s friendship with Sulu and Chekov is one of my favourite things about the original films and wish that would factor into the new films more.
Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by BrokeAndBookish each week – I’m thinking I might not take part every week but just see if a week takes my fancy. In honour of Thanksgiving (which I know nothing about really because I’m a Brit) this week I’m going to list the ten fictional families I‘d like to celebrate with, these families are going to be from books, films and TV shows and my favourite trope of “Families of Choice” will almost certainly be making an appearance.
The Pevensies – The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Sure the Pevensies don’t always get along but they always come together and sharing a special dinner with them, and maybe some other characters like Mr Tumnus and the Beavers, would be nice.
The O’Connell-Carnahan’s – The Mummy and The Mummy Returns
This family is #familygoals. Rick may be the only American in the family so he might have to persuade his wife, son and brother-in-law to take part in Thanksgiving but I’m sure they would and then Ardeth Bay could join in too.
The Baggins’ – The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein
Whether it would be a small dinner with just Bilbo and Frodo, or if Pippin, Merry and Sam were there too, it would be a great meal because Hobbit’s know their food and how to party. (more…)
Now I don’t know about you but I’ve never been one to really celebrate Halloween. Maybe it’s because I’m in the UK and when I was growing up we weren’t so into Halloween as the Americans are (and we’re still not to be honest) so I never did any trick or treating and I very rarely went to any Halloween parties.
Me as a zombie red shirt
Obviously when I was at University I went to a few because when you’re a student you’ll take any excuse to dress up. My favourite Halloween outfit when I was at Uni was when a friend had a Halloween/birthday party and the theme was dead fictional characters. There was Cruella De Vil, the Phantom of the Opera and many more I can’t remember. I went as a Red Shirt from Star Trek because it was an easy outfit and they always end up dead.
This year I’m going out for a friend’s birthday to a club in Trafalgar Square and we’re all dressing up. Because I left it a bit last minute, I’m going in a steampunk outfit and then do some cuts and bruises on my face and arms so it looks like I’ve been in a fight – I shall be a steampunk warrior!
Another friend had a steampunk birthday a few years ago so I’ve got pretty much everything I need.
+ = Halloween costume 2015
Are you doing anything for Halloween this year? Are you going to dress up?
Last month I spent a Sunday marathoning five Star Trek films. They were films 6-10 in the series and the only ones I’d yet to see. It was probably over a year ago that I slowly started to watch the original films starring the original series cast. I’d watch them whenever they were in TV and had watched the first five films.
Of course I vaguely knew stuff about Star Trek growing up. Names and phrases like Spock and Live Long and Prosper are now a part of society’s everyday lexicon. But the first Star Trek film I ever saw was the 2009 reboot – a friend and I went to the cinema to see it and the main reason was because we both watched Heroes and so wanted to see Zachary Quinto on the big screen. I gotta say seeing Sylar with a bowl haircut did make us both chuckle when he first came on screen.
Watching Star Trek (2009) I instantly fell in love with Chekov and he became my favourite character. I got really rather worried when the trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness showed Chekov in a red shirt – because we all know what happens to people who wear red shirts that aren’t Scotty or Uhura. So when I started to watch the original films with Walter Koenig as Chekov I was hopeful that I’d like the original portrayal (because they’re the same character just played by different people) And I did! Walter Koenig was brilliant and Chekov was funny, clever and just brilliant – I got rather worried when Khan held him in the like he weighed nothing in The Wrath of Khan. Seriously the amount I care about that character is quite a lot.