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Showing posts from July, 2016

I'm real when it's useful.

Movies on My Mind Week Ending 30 July 2016
The Last Days of Night
I’m marginally intrigued by this one, because it will be interesting to see how it treats that most marginalised of pioneers of scientific advance (except by conspiracists), Nikola Tesla. He features in Graham Moore’s novel, on which this is based (which I haven’t read), which charts the rivalry between George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison over the future of electricity. Morten Tyldum directs, whose Headhunters was an effective and gripping little thriller and Hollywood calling card. However, his aim for respectability with The Imitation Game suggested a rather shallow approach to subject matter demanding greater insight. He has science fiction original (from Jon Spaihts) Passengers incoming at the end of the year (with Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt), which needs to do very well to justify its cost, so he at least seems to be attracting interesting material, whether or not he makes the most of it.
As for the legacy of…

We could be mauled to death by an interstellar monster!

Star Trek Beyond (2016)
(SPOILERS) The odd/even Star Trek failure/success rule seemed to have been cancelled out with the first reboot movie, and then trodden into ground with Into Darkness (which, yes, I quite enjoyed, for all its scandalous deficiencies). Star Trek Beyond gets us back onto more familiar ground, as it’s very identifiably a “lesser” Trek, irrespective of the big bucks and directorial nous thrown at it. This is a Star Trek movie that can happily stand shoulder to shoulder with The Search for Spock and Insurrection, content in the knowledge they make it look good.

But where, say, The Search for Spock had a rock-solid script undermined by sloppy direction, Star Trek XIII is pretty much the reverse. Simon Pegg and Doug Jung have delivered the most generic, tick-box affair imaginable, ensuring each of the regulars gets their moment in the sun, some more so than others, and that requisite bases are touched in terms of the enduring bond between these fine star travellers. Ther…