Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

star-trek-into-darkness-trailer-finalRoze-Rating: 4.5 / 5

This second installment of Star Trek follows a now experienced James Tiberius Kirk as he captains his crew on the prestigious USS Enterprise. He has now taken to the chair but not Spock’s lack of emotion when it comes to certain situations. As a result of compromising a mission to save Spock’s life, Kirk is relieved of his captaincy and is demoted to first officer. This doesn’t last long as there is an attack on Starfleet’s archives in London by an enemy that no one is aware of but Fleet Admiral Alexander Marcus. Kirk is then sent with his crew to find the attacker with limited knowledge about who he really is.

Star Trek Into Darkness is definitely the most ambitious Star Trek film as it has almost everything you want in a Sci-Fi film. I’m not familiar with the past Treks and because of that I can’t offer any meaningful Comparison’s. But from what I hear the old films never touched upon some of the things the modern adaptations have. For instance they never had a clear depiction of Earth during the 2200’s and Kronos. Thank god for the development of modern technology for we wouldn’t be exposed to such awesome sites as these. Thus heaps of satisfied fanboys.

What I love about this film is that it’s more than just a space adventure, it’s nothing like Star Wars as people might think. From what I’ve read Star Trek has always been about developing stories that encompasses drama and character, not so much about the thrills of space shootouts. Star Trek Into Darkness definitely has the action and large scale thrills that previous installments lacked but it also has a strong plot and story line. It’s more of a space crime thriller than a full on action which I found quite refreshing. The action actually had substance, it wasn’t just silly and gratuitous, there was a believable reasoning to each action sequence.

What really differentiates Star Trek from any other space film is its filming style and overall look. We get too indulge our eyes to a colorfully crisp film consisting of a shit load of lens flares, which I actually liked a lot. It gives the franchise a new identity but also gives the impression that the future is bright. The film’s opening is probably the best example of a beautifully filmed shot of vivid colors aided massively by a great set.

I like how this film tried it’s best to film as much as they could authentically, making it a lot harder to pick out what’s real from the CGI. Huge props to them because it improves the film massively. The design as a whole is awesome, I don’t usually notice costumes that much but they’re freaking NAICE in this film, I want nothing more than to have a Starfleet jacket now.

Performances and cast are as solid as the last film. Slowly giving their own twists to their previously acted characters. I like the chemistry that they have which makes you as a viewer really buy into the crew’s relationship dynamics. What needs to be mentioned is the villain played by Bennedict Cumberbatch who is just phenomenal. I think quite a few people would agree when I say he’s gotta be the best villain of 2013. His character is more than just a ruthless super human, he actually show’s genuine emotion which almost makes his actions justifiable emphasized when he asks Kirk “is there anything you would not do for your family”; then the mind games ensue. On the first viewing these mind games are great fun making the film a whole lot more tense; who’s telling the truth and who’s your enemy? Overall, great popcorn flick with more substance than your used to in your average blockbuster film.

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Skyfall (2012)

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Roze-Rating: 4.5 / 5

This time round the story is centred round James Bond and his loyalty towards M, forcing him to come out of hiding after a failed mission. MI6 is under attack by a mysterious villain who has managed to get his hands on extremely sensitive data which could put British intelligence agents in danger. The more they find out about the villain, the more they realise that he has a strange interest in M, which could put the agency and her life in danger. James Bond meets his match as he tries his best to get one step ahead of his enemy.

The newest edition of the Bond franchise brings a gritty, dark and incredibly polished film, making it one of the best made Bond films ever. It may be technically better than its predecessors, but it still seems to fall short to Casino Royale, but only by a bit. The location shots were incredible and remained incredible throughout the film. You could tell a lot of work went towards finding those perfect locations and the attention to detail aided the success in making them look stunning and extremely sexy. It’s definitely one of those films you have to watch in HD and would make a perfect addition to anyone’s Blu-ray collection. It’s hard not to appreciate the polished aesthetics which you will notice from the traditional music introduction, which will stand as one of the best music intro’s for a bond film to date. It was clean, innovative and really nice to look at, I was literally in a state of awe.

Skyfall totally triumphs in terms of the dialogue, bringing it back to its British roots, exuding sarcasm and good old British wit. This is what Quantum Of Solace missed out on. M and Bond had genuine chemistry in this film, which is what I haven’t seen explored before in the Bond films I’ve watched. They’re both snappy with their replies making for a humorous and fun listen.

The plot is smart and interesting, aided by Bond’s antagonist who is a lot more memorable than past villains. Bond definitely found his match in Silva (Javier Bardem) who is always a step ahead. The villain is one of the major highlights of the film because Javier Bardem puts in an amazing performance playing this insane character who has an obsession with making things right with M. It’s such an unusual and crazy character that it’s actually brilliant. James Bond is of course gritter and darker than ever, which shows in his rusty attitude towards missions. It seems that due to the ending of Casino Royale, the Bond character has been moulded to a specific tone, a dark, gritty, no nonsense James Bond, and it totally works for Daniel Craig. There’s a certain vulnerability that I’ve not seen from past Bond characters and that makes him a more compelling character, and you realise that he is actually human sometimes driven by his feelings. Props to Daniel Craig who has, in my opinion, played this character to perfection making the character his own. There’s some pretty cool appearances as well by Ralph Fiennes, Naomi Harris and Ben Whishaw, which are worth watching for, and make for a promising sequel as they all seem to be sticking around for future films.

The action scenes were realistic and engaging and were stylish at times, continuing the polished aesthetics of the film. But that’s what Daniel Craig has brought to the films from the start, a more believable character with realistic fighting scenes showing true brutality with his kills. Despite that, I think that’s where the film was a let down. It lacked proper iconic, large scale action sequences which Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace had. There were some big explosions here and there but it needed more in my opinion, and then it would have been a perfect film. Luckily everything else about the film compensated for the lack of action and still makes for an incredible watch.

I just hope that Daniel Craig has the capacity for at least another two films, because this character is truly one of my favourites at the moment, and he just seems to fit the role so perfectly. Although, I do think the next films need to be a lot more light hearted and fun, we’ve already had three fairly dark films and I think it’s time for a film filled with gadgets, over the top action and a freaking creepy villain wanting to destroy the world. Thanks to the introduction of Q and Eve I reckon the sequel will give us those gadgets we’ve missed and some sexual innuendo, WOOP.