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    • More +
      06.01.2017 12:15

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      • "Great action fun film and cinema"

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      • "Not cheap"

      Star Trek Beyond - A film I saw here

      Star – Chris Pine
      Genre – Sci-Fi > Action
      Run Time – 122 minutes
      Certificate – PG13
      Country – USA
      Awards – 7 Nominations
      Amazon – £10.00 DVD £15.00Blue Ray
      = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

      So here we all are with film three in the latest Star Trek re-launch. There have been 13 movies in total and Chris Pine has taken on the mantel of playing the young Captain Kirk. The first film with William Shatner did great money in 1979, $139 million world wide. The fans clearly wanted the movie. Of the 6 Shatner movies, alas, just ‘The Voyage Home’ also did big money, $140 million, the other four between $50 and $70 million each. Will Shatner was getting too old and it needed a reboot, the more erudite Captain Pickard (Patrick Stewart) introduced through the enjoyable TV series, clearly with movies in mind. Next Generation did OK with three of the four movies breaking $100 million but the final one sealing his fete with a poor $60 million gross. He hadn’t bought a new audience and had to go for something younger and sexier, seven years later Chris Pine certainly that as the young Kirk reboot.

      So far the new films have been great but they lost the driving force behind that in JJ Abrahams to Star Wars for film three and so pressure on writing and directing partnership Justin Lin and Doug Jong to deliver, with our very own Simon Pegg (Scotty) chipping in on the scripting.


      ===Star Trek numbers===

      (2016) - Stark Trek: Beyond – $195 million (budget) $343 million gross
      (2013) - Star Trek: Into Darkness – $185 million (budget) $467 million gross
      (2009) - Stark Trek – $150 million (budget) $385 million gross

      (2002)Nemesis ($60m) $67m gross
      (1999)Insurrection ($58) $112m gross
      (1996)First Contact (45m) 146m gross
      (1992)Generations (35m) $118m gross

      The film is dedicated to the memory of Anton Yelchin, who played Chekov in all three films and, who died a month prior to the film's release, as well as fellow Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy, who died during pre-production.

      ===Cast===

      Chris Pine ... Captain James T. Kirk
      Zachary Quinto ...Commander Spock
      Karl Urban Karl Urban ... Doctor 'Bones' McCoy
      Zoe Saldana ... Lieutenant Uhura
      Simon Pegg ... Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott
      John Cho ... Sulu
      Anton Yelchin ... Chekov
      Idris Elba ... Krall
      Sofia Boutella ... Jaylah
      Joe Taslim ... Manas
      Lydia Wilson ... Kalara
      Deep Roy ... Keenser
      Melissa Roxburgh ... Ensign Syl
      Anita Brown ... Tyvanna
      Doug Jung ... Ben
      Danny Pudi ... Fi'Ja
      Kim Kold ... Zavanko
      Fraser Aitcheson ... Hider
      Shohreh Aghdashloo ... Commodore Paris


      ===Plot===

      The USS Enterprise is on a five year mission into deep space to chart new galaxies and pop in various planets and races to see what’s what. After Captain Kirks mediating skills fail in trying to arbitrate between two warring alien races, the plan to offer the Crillions an ancient relic as a peace offering from the Zoltons, he returns back to the USS Enterprise to brush himself down. Starfleet command has re-rooted his ship and it’s off to Starbase Yorktown, a remote and impressive and beautiful outpost with cities housed in anti gravity space station on the fringes of Federation space that brings together various races of the universe in a place of sanctuary.

      Kirk is bored of the mission and has applied for Vice Admiral of Starfleet, discussed at York Town with his seniors, the plan to offer the Enterprise to Spock. The job is offered but he has to sleep on it though when the Enterprise is dispatched on an urgent mission, a ships commander named Kalara (Lydia Wilson) claiming her ship and crew are still alive in an uncharted nebula planet and needs them to be rescued by the Federation. On arrival the Enterprise is ambushed, ending up on the planet below with most of the crew in a prison camp. Kirk, Spoc (Zachery Quinto), Scotty (Pegg) and McCoy (Karl Urban) uncuptured after taking escape pods but Sulu (John Cho), Chekov (Anton Yelchin) and Lieutenant Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and co are imprisoned.

      The leader of the aliens is Krull (Idris Elba), who wants that artifact for some reason. The crew’s only hope is Jaylah (Sofia Boutella), a high kicking female alien who can look after herself and wants to get off the godforsaken planet. But why all this just for a tiny artifact and why so many explorers and ships ending up wrecks on this planet?


      ===Results===

      I enjoyed the first two films and enjoyed this. Not in a wow this is really cool and fresh thrilling movie way but in the way you like James Bond movies. You know what you are going to get and that’s what you want. The first film introduced you to the iconic characters and their progression to be ships crew whereas film two is their first action in the Enterprise. Now they are fully formed and rounded characters and picking up what William Shatner did in the TV show every week by endlessly drifting around space. As I said it was a huge ask for the new directing team to take over from JJ Abrahams as he is ahead of his time and responsible for Star Trek still being credible as a film franchise but the South Korean Americans delivered. Trek has a lot of competition against the superb Marvel Universe that has hovered up all the young new comic book fans and so a $350 million return after being buffeted in that universe is a good effort. Luckily the DC stuff is crap and so not hurting their numbers now Affleck has wrecked Batman.

      The film is a stretched TV episode at best but action packed with appropriate special effects and also delivers on the signature Star Trek tongue-in-cheek humor. It’s so critical not to take yourself too seriously in these comic book movies and where the DC stuff started to break down. Christian Bale got it about right with his dry deadpan Batman but after that they missed the point. Another plus with Star Trek is we grew up with these characters and genuinely like them and so onboard the Enterprise with them. I loved the cerebral edge Patrick Stewart and co bought to the series and loyal to the films ever since.

      It is far to say pretty boy Pine has employed to dumb down Star Trek to draw in a bigger world-wide audience. Star Trek has always had that multi ethnic appeal and idealism so no real need for that, Kirk and Uhuru famously enjoying the first ever interracial kiss on TV in America, of course. It wasn’t the first on TV though, that in a British TV Series. But the audience didn’t improve and the black girl written out of the show, mysteriously bitten by a snake in Africa, apparently. But you can’t argue Star Trek has done more than most to be inclusive, the first gay kiss here, Zulu outed in the film.

      So on the whole a cracking special effects treat with some story, humor and message of universal peace between our favorite characters. Yes the undiscovered aliens speak English and the warrior girl that helps the crew is a familiar rebellious female character in most Sci Fi and cartoon movies these days and so there is safety in falling back on cliché here. But its ideal family viewing with no bad language and naughtiness and a touch of popcorn violence threaded around the excellent and not over-the-top special effects and so great for getting the kids to buy the toys.



      ===Special Features===


      -Beyond the Stars-

      Behind the scenes stuff as the new directing team explain where they want t take the move and what they bring to the table. All the cast& crew take part in the segment and an above average extra.

      - Trekking into the Desert-

      The high-rise from the York Town set are real and that of Dubai, where a lot of the film was shot. Not only do they have the skyline and cheap filming permits but also brand new studios and sound stages.


      -For Leonard and Anton-

      Obviously a late add on and tribute to a legend and a great pretender. Tributes are also skillfully played in the movie.


      ===RATINGS===


      Imdb.com – 7.1/10.0 (138,324votes)
      Rottentomatos.com – 84% critic’s approval
      Metacritic.com – 68% critic’s approval


      ===Trailer===
      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2660888/videoplayer/vi354465561?ref_=tt_ov_vi
      ===Special Features===



      ===Critics===

      Salon.com –‘Beyond" is undoubtedly messy, like a Starfleet ship that's taken its fair share of beatings, but it is frequently a reminder of how good the series can be when all its engines are in working order’.

      London Evening Standard –‘It does seem strange that a franchise whose original appeal was futuristic should now be treasured entirely as faithfully retrospective. But there it is’.

      The Metro –‘The Trek series is now like any other superhero series, with a wobbly range between the realistic and the ridiculous. The movie is sworn to fun. And it delivers amusement’.

      Chicago Reader –‘This third installment in the millennial Star Trek reboot races along without an idea in its head, often recalling the silly, monster-driven final season of the 60s TV show’.

      The Sun –‘The appeal of the movie is exactly the appeal of hanging out with the main characters and watching them do their thing’.

      The New Republic –‘Lin and his cast's clear affection for the material helps temper the familiarity. The Enterprise's mission was to explore strange new worlds. This movie's is to give us a smooth ride’.

      The Shreveport Mail -‘The movie bounces along, hurtling its heroes over colliding wreckage and into currents of artificial gravity, pausing just long enough for a punchline or a knowing exchange of looks’.

      ==========

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    • More +
      09.06.2010 14:13
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      Worse than you'd think possible...

      A cinema always seemed to me to be a fairly easy business to run well. All you need to do is show films, how hard can that be, right?

      It was only after visiting Vue Oxford semi-regularly that I realised how many things there actually are that can be done wrong - and they manage them all.

      For those that don't know, the Vue is to the south of Oxford adjacent to the Oxford United football stadium. It's accompanied by a bowling alley, Frankie and Benny's, a Chinese and a substantial gym complex. There's free parking and it's pretty easy to drive to from the Oxford ring road...So, how have they gotten things so wrong?

      For starters, I've been three times when they've been completely unable to play the film. Just couldn't work out the projector, couldn't find the film or other "technical difficulties" - so I've had to return on another occasion to see the film - that's quite a fundamental problem, I think.

      Even when the films have been shown, I've been in showings where the picture's been out of focus, where the sound has been cutting in and out and even in one where the projector was pointing in the wrong direction - so there was a black stripe down one side of the screen and the film was being shown on the curtain on the other side. When you go and point these things out to staff, you just get a grunt.

      The staff are probably a good place to carry on my rant - more often than not, when they accepted nectar points as payment (they still do, but via more expensive "vouchers", now) I was either overcharged, or they tried to overcharge me before I pointed out their mistake. Similarly I'm constantly having to point out errors in their charging of food and drink (which are ridiculously overpriced at the best of times). Quite often they'll have signs up for offers that the cashier will completely ignore. We've also been charged for a 3D showing of a film to discover the showing is actually in 2D. I'm yet to fully conclude whether these errors are just down to a complete lack of training of the staff, or whether it's an underhanded, systematic way to screw a few extra pennies out of each punter.

      Other staff, as is rapidly becoming the trend, seem to be conspicuous in their absence - it's quite common to have to chose your seat not on the best viewing angle or sound arrangement, but on the depth of the popcorn over the seat. It's rare that a screen looks like a cleaner's even turned up between showings - muchless done a good job. Ushers, also, seem to have fallen by the wayside - so it's pretty common to have loud conversations or phonecalls going on throughout a film.

      As they say in the ads - "Cinema: it's the experience the counts" - sadly, Vue Oxford have managed to completely ruin the experience of going to the pictures, so I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. If you're in Oxford, you'll be much better served by Odeon in the town centre - or head south for 15 minutes on the A34 and visit Cineworld in Didcot.

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