Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Film review - no spoilers (hopefully!)

Ok, a non-sport related post this time...

Over the last couple of weeks, we've been to see two films; both of them prequels to a successful film series, filling in back stories on much loved characters.

Wolverine was a fun romp - purely a popcorn film, where you disengage the brain during the opening sequence, and re-engage it to find your way out of the cinema without treading on too many sticky sweets. The plot was used as a device to get the viewer from one explosion to the next, with the occasional good one-liner to make us smile. One that definitely needed to be seen on the big screen to get the full effects of the CGI (though I do wonder whether some of the final tweaks were a bit rushed following the leak - in particular the de-aging of Patrick Stewart made him look like he was wearing a plastic mask), but not one that I would watch again.

Star Trek on the other hand, was an amazing film. It fills in the back stories of the original crew of the Enterprise, with younger versions of Kirk, Spock, Uhura, Chekov, McCoy, Scotty and Sulu all making appearances. I will state here that I am not a Trekkie, though I did very much enjoy both the original Star Trek and Next Generation (I got thoroughly muddled with DS9 and Bab 5, which were playing at the same time, and gave up on them both originally, and never got into Voyager or Enterprise). By this, I mean that I would sit and watch and enjoy when I was able to watch TV, but I wouldn't dash home specifically to watch it, nor do I know all the names of all of the episodes ;-) (but, hey, I don't know the names of most of the Dr Who eps that I have watched far more recently...) However, a detailed knowledge of Star Trek or the universe that it inhabits was not needed to enjoy the film enormously - there were a number of nods to the series for devoted Trekkies, including a number of the cliches which everyone knows and expects from ST. However, if you had no sci-fi exposure at all, there was nothing in the film which would become incomprehensible should you not understand the in-jokes. The story was enthralling, and, even though you knew that the main players would have to be safe (in order for them to make the next film...), I still found myself holding my breath and willing the characters on. There was a lot of humour, and some excellent one-liners, as well as some real tear-jerker situations (not enough to make me wish I'd brought a hankie, but I did well up on a number of occasions...). If there is one film that you go to see this year, make sure that this is it!

The Onion has given its own, special take on the subject here.

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