Captain James Tiberius Kirk (Chris Pine) is back, and so is his cocky, rulebreaking attitude. And it's that attitude that gets him in trouble with Starfleet after saving Spock's (Zachary Quinto) bacon in a volcano. But it's only his expertise (or lack thereof) that may give the Starship Enterprise even the slightest bit of hope in defeating John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), an unstoppable, vicious, mutated human with an epic voice and slick hair.
The first Star Trek was a fun movie, filled with great acting, great action, but a less than stellar bad guy. I caught that flick every time it airs on T.V., now four years later a sequel has been made, and if you pardon the cliche, but this movie boldly went where no sequel had gone before.
It had plenty of fun eye candy all around, including beautiful visuals, great setpieces, and epic action scenes. The 3D even was by far the best 3D experience that I ever had in a movie theatre. It looked so real that I ducked out of the way of an arrow once in the movie, it's that good.
With the acting, like the first movie, the cast is firing on all cylinders. Chris Pine is of course great as Jim Kirk. I really like this actor in Unstoppable and Rise of the Guardians, and I welcome his next motion pictures with open arms. Some people disliked Zachary Quinto's Spock in the first film (to quote Sheldon from "The Big Bang Theory": Live long and suck it, Zachary Quinto), but I really liked how he played the character, and even though I felt that this Spock was lacking and I sure miss the fights between him and Kirk that were in the first film, I still enjoy his presence onscreen. Benedict Cumberbatch, perhaps most famous for his miniseries Sherlock, plays the villain John Harrison very well. With the ability to manipulate our heroes with such panache, but still seem trustable but evil is a tall order, but Benny Cumberbatch is a great, threatening presence onscreen. Miles better than the villain in the first film. I for one am happy that Abrams and crew upped Simon Pegg's role in this film. He had a limited role in the first Star Trek, and now he's everywhere in this movie. Good for me, because I think Pegg is a really funny man. The other members of the Enterprise, like Zoe Saldana, who tries not to get into Megan Fox syndrome, John Cho, a good role, Anton Yelchin, shame I didn't hear more of his awesome accent, Karl Urban, not as well written as the Bones in the first Trek, and the new members like Alice Eve, who does well, Peter Weller, who is surprisingly scary, and a limited, but still good returning role from Bruce Greenwood.
J.J. Abrams is a filmmaker who really knows how to direct. Right from Lost, he's proved that he's got stories to tell and that he means business. With into Darkness, he manages to make you love these characters, care about what's happening, laugh whenever they are wise-cracking, and want to get into these characters. Thanks to the writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Abrams mainstay, Damon Lindelof, you do just that. It's arguably a better script than the first film, because as the relationships were set up in the first film, now is where you really start to test your ability. Even the hardcore Trekkies, while still treading familiar ground, will feel like they never saw anything like this before.
Michael Giacchino's great music, Maryann Brandon & Mary Jo Markey's wonderful editing and all the crew of the VFX, and sound design should recieve mad props for making this adventures as rousing and super fun as it is. They all deserve Oscars, but I have my doubts that it will still resonate come January.
With great acting, a good plot, wonderful writing, fabulous VFX, awesome music, some holes here and there, and a wonderful cameo in the middle by someone (not telling whom), Star Trek into Darkness is just as good as the first film, if not even slightly better because of the character development, epic 3D, and great performances. I highly reccommend checking this out when you movie in the theatre when you have a chance. You will NOT be disappointing.
Tony Stark (played once again by Robert Downey, Jr.) is living life high on the hog. He designs revolutionary machines, has a great girlfriend (Gwyneth Paltrow) and saves the world from time to time. But when it all goes downhill after a couple of sleepless nights, and a new terrorist going by The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) threatening to overtake the United States. After a threat to The Mandarin, Stark finds himself in a world of hurt after hardship after hardship befalls him. Now he must ask himself, does the suit define him or does he define the suit?
I didn't start on the Iron Man franchise until the second one was already in theatres and my sister had rented the first one to watch and I took a look at it. I was immediately hooked, thinking that it was one of my ten favourite films of 2008 and Robert pulled off one of his career best performances as the egomaniacal Tony Stark. After a while, I checked out the second one on DVD and thought it was good too, though not as tremendous as the first one. Now three years later we come to the third movie, a new director, a new villain and new surprises. How does this rank up after Marvel's most successful film by far, The Avengers.
This being the fourth time Tony dons the Iron Man suit, Robert plays him again very well. The things he says/does usually always made the other members of the audience (myself included) guffaw with laughter. The character can literally say anything that to anyone else would be considered a jerk, or smart-aleck. But when Tony says it, it usually gets laughs and some sounds like "oh no, you didn't" from the audience. But his humanity, humor and pure epic-ness makes him a pleasure to watch onscreen. I, for one, am glad that the writers decided to give Gwyneth Paltrow's character more stuff to do after falling victim to the "Megan Fox syndrome" (as I aptedly put it) in the first two movies. Don Cheadle is great, Ben Kingsley is menacing in a true unexpected performance given his prowess and Guy Pearce is fiery, in more ways than one.
Shane Black replaces Jon Favreau as director for this movie (though Favreau did return as exec. producer, and playing Tony Stark's bodyguard, Happy Hogan). He reunited with Downey after working together in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. So it's known from the get-go that this will be different from the first two movies, but still have great action. Kudos should go to Black and his co-screenwriter Drew Pearce for making a movie that's not the conventional superhero movie, by way of it being a good guy v. bad guy struggle. A lot of stuff about the Stark character himself are tested, and though it's not in the final showing, a deleted storyline of alcoholism would've been a really original thing to put in (and may have put my rating up a bit).
The only bad things I have to say about the movie is that no actor is a clear standout that Robert or Jeff Bridges were in the first, or that Mickey Rourke or Sam Rockwell were in the second. Kingsley and Pearce are close, but in the long run they weren't as memorable as them. Also, I would've made the running length slightly shorter and the plotline is borderline confusing by the end of Act II.
Expect this movie to receive Oscar nominations for Sound categories and Visual Effects.
Overall, Iron Man 3 is a great action film with great performances, stellar action scenes, witty humor, and surprises aplenty. Even if you are not partial to the Iron Man movies, or to superhero movies in general, I recommend that you swing by the theatre to go see this, even if it means paying the extra eight dollars for the 3D.
For the first time since Toy Story, I will give all three movies in the franchise the same rating (no accident, might you).
Can someone make a series of unfortunate events into a family film? Apparently, they can.
The Baudelaire siblings, Klaus, Violet & Sonny, are orphaned after their rich parents are killed in a fire. The person recieving custody is the devious Count Olaf (Jim Carrey) who will stop at absolutely nothing to steal their fortune, even if it means trying to kill the kids using various disguises.
Macabre synopsis aside, this is a good family film. Jim Carrey is a tremendous pleasure. Absolutely awesome in a role that was just screaming his name. The kids are also great, including a standout for Liam Aiken playing Klaus. Jude Law's wonderful narration adds a cinematic punch to the storyline with his velvety smooth voice. Meryl Streep... well, I don't have to say how great she is.
Some story problems aside, and not quite as well done as some other family dramas, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events boasts great acting, great script, bold set pieces, nice music but is not quite as satisfying as countless other Unfortunate Events-like movies.