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I wanted to like this Trek more than I actually did. It has the emotion and character interaction I love to see from Star Trek, but it seems dumbed down from a Sci-fi standpoint compared to the TV show. There are convenient plot contrivances that we are supposed to take for granted. Like when Picard knows exactly where to hit the Borg ship in the opening battle scene. The Borg, once a unique race, all united as one one collective, are given a queen in this movie, reducing them to the equivalent of an ant colony. Picard, usually such a calm, collected, concerned officer, is a revenge driven action hero type this time around. Also while the parts on the ship were fairly well done, in that they had tension, the scenes with Cochrane and the rest of the crew feel very awkward at times. The idea of time travel (once again) is taken far to lightly in comparison with the series. I also found it rushed at times.
Despite all this I don't hate the film. It had some enjoyable character moments and was well acted for the most part. The "action" scenes with the Borg are appropriately eerie and suspenseful. It also boasts a superb score from the late, great Jerry Goldsmith. It's a half decent action movie but Trek works best when it has headier concepts to work with.
Warning: This Review Contains Spoilers
There's a scene early on in Bicycle Thieves, where Ricci's wife go to see a lady who tells fortunes. When Ricci find's out what his wife is doing he goes up to see her, leaving his bicycle in the doorway and asking a young boy to watch it. My immediate reaction upon seeing this was that the bicycle would be stolen here, I thought to myself, "how predictable". But then, as Ricci and his wife walk back down the stairway and the doorway comes back into the frame, I see that the bicycle is still there. Then it dawned on me: The only reason I thought the bike might get stolen in the first place was because of the film's title, De Sicca had used the title of his film to make the scene suspenseful! It was at that moment that the film had me hooked.
The brilliance of Bicycle Thieves lies in its simple yet relatable story. Following the precepts of Italian neo-realist movement, began by Roberto Rossellini, De Sicca filmed it on location and used only untrained actors. The realistic tone of the film helps to ground it and make it more relatable. This is not a story about superhuman heroics, it doesn't feature any crime lords, fairy tale lands, or over the top violence. It's simply a story about a man who needs a bicycle to support his family and loses it. Yet it's so compelling. That's the power of cinema, and that's why I love Bicycle Thieves.