Category Archives: 2013

Mr 3000

Mr3000Mr 3000 (2004) – Originally written April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILERS

There’s something somewhat predictable about this film, but after 30-45 minutes of the film (yes, I’m reviewing it half way through), it’s enjoyable.

The late Bernie Mac is Stan “Mr 3000” Ross. An arrogant, egotistical individual who never cared about his team or the fans. Instead all he thinks of is that 3,000 home runs and getting into the hall of fame.

When it becomes clear that the records are wrong, Ross assumes he can just walk back into the game and reclaim his name. Sometimes life doesn’t work like that.

So, let’s not beat around the bush, this is not an original film.

The plot is predictable and you can more or less write out the script in advance.

If anything though, that is part of the charm. You don’t need to think about it, you simply watch and you simply enjoy.

Character personalities change over night, cinematography, soundtrack and direction fluctuate between mediocre and woeful. However the one endearing factor is that in the title role, Mac shines.

Yes, it’s not a challenge role for him, but the film was never going to be an Oscar contender.

It is simply a fun, relaxed, happy film that you can watch and (dare I say it) feel inspired by.

Not one to go out and buy, but if it’s on TV and there’s nothing better to do, you might as well watch it. There are worse ways to spend an evening.

Star Trek

Star Trek 2009Star Trek (2009) – Originally written April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILERS

There’s an article referenced on imdb from 2006 called “Spaced Out: Re-Booting Star Trek”. Written by Bryce Zabel, he talks about the concept of re-booting a series now only 3 years off it’s 50th anniversary. The Crew of the USS Enterprise, first hitting our TV Screens on September 8th 1966.

Well, saying “our” screens, my Mother would’ve been 15 at the time of premier, my Dad 14. It would be a further 16 years until I entered this world, and a further 5 years and the Premier of the Next Generation for my first discovery of Star Trek, and a love affair that would last for the rest of my childhood and most of my Adult life.

Anyway, back to case in point.

Zabel, like many others had a dream of bringing back a series and developing it into something new, something fresh.

Everyone in this life dreams of telling their own side to every story. Gathering the memories of life and taking them in a fabulous new direction.

Star Trek would eventually find this new life, this (to steal from another recently, successfully rebooted series) regeneration. It would find it thanks to the tender love and care of one of it’s own fans.

J.J. Abrams, the man behind Lost, Alias and countless other hit series/movies, took hold of Star Trek and reinvigorated it.

After Jean Luc Picard’s final outing on the big screen in 2002, Star Trek was flat out cold.

Personally, I’d never had a problem with the final film Nemesis, and a review written on imdb way back in 2003 by yours truly (yes I’m referencing myself from 10 years ago, and no I don’t care) showed that whilst at the time I enjoyed it, it never finished the series off properly. Admittedly the idea of the time whereby all surviving characters from the Next Generation, Deep Space 9 & Voyager would fight to the Death against an enemy (I even started writing a script where DS9 is blown up within the first 5 minutes) was a little far fetched, I honestly thought there was life in the series. The box office, and most other fans/pundits/critics felt differently. Star Trek was effectively KO’ed.

This meant that when Abrams got his hand on the series, there must surely have been only one option? A mainstay of Hollywood commercialism, a prequel.

At the time I shuddered and wondered how it could even work. A prequel is fixed within a universe, a point in time. Heroes shown as their younger selves, they cannot be changed, they cannot be written.

A character’s life is written in scripts/novels and cannot be changed. So how can a prequel be anything other than a attempt to recapture youth and recapture a former glory?

Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, writers of this film find the only way possible. To create a prequel, to recapture the old heroes of your youth, whilst simultaneously telling a fresh and original story, there’s only one way to do it. You need to make it 100% crystal clear that you are effectively creating an entirely new world, a parallel to the world of our dreams and memories. A place where anything can happen, and facts can be manipulated.

This Back To The Future style alternative reality, it allows for an entirely new future to develop. One where the characters can change and personalities rewritten.

Should a key actor quit, the story can accommodate this. Should they choose to blow something up, again, this is acceptable.

What makes the whole concept of these films so wonderful is that they ARE able to do this. The shock value in this movie of destroying Vulcan, the pure genius of this move, it is breathtaking, it is wonderful.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t tributes within the film to the original. The throw away lines to series, the introduction of nicknames like Bones and Scotty, they all add to the wonderful effect.

Include some superb (but not ground breaking) special effects, and the story takes on a life of it’s own.

The acting is average, but acceptable, all actors mimicking the originals to varying degrees of acceptance. Karl Urban deserving special praise for his Leonard McCoy.

The film captures the mood effectively and does exactly what you’d expect really. It moves and enthrals. It makes you laugh, and it makes you think of days gone by. As a tribute it is superb, and as a fresh start, it is a masterstroke.

The sequel is due within the next month, and personally, there’s a thrill and an expectation. Star Trek is firmly back where it belongs.

Bibliography

Re-booting Star Trek by Bryce Zabel – http://bztv.typepad.com/newsviews/2006/06/spaced_out_star.html

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