Continuing a trend tailor-made for the Twitter generation, here are my quick takes on a few recently-watched genre-related films.

My brief thoughts follow…
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How “Star Trek Into Darkness” Should Have Ended

You don’t have to have seen Star Trek Into Darkness to enjoy this video, but if you haven’t, be warned that it spoils one of genre film’s worst-kept secrets.

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REVIEW SYNOPSIS: Though it starts strongly, the sophomore journey of the fresh-faced crew of the starship Enterprise covers too little new ground.

MY REVIEW:

SYNOPSIS:  When a rogue Starfleet agent attacks a secret archive, Captain James T. Kirk is tasked with hunting him down and terminating him.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Good opening sequence; strong interaction between Kirk and Spock; good turns by Karl Urban and John Cho.
CONS: Anemic, especially in its revelations; far too derivative of the previous movie; laughable emotional sequences; action scenes that drag on far too long.

Star Trek Into Darkness, director J. J. Abrams’s follow-up to 2009’s Star Trek, is everything its predecessor was, only too much more so.  This isn’t necessarily a good thing, though several good things work in its favor.  Abrams’s gamble with making over Gene Roddenberry’s classic space opera with a new perspective on a much-beloved universe and fresh faces on seasoned characters reaped a handsome payoff, though astute audience members wondered if he could sustain what often seemed a one-picture trick.  They had a right to question how a crop of young actors possibly could play roles so identified with elder thespians that they wove their dramatic tics into the fabric of their characters.  Loyal fans, by contrast, knowing the full future history of the United Federation of Planets and the floor plans of the NCC-1701 U.S.S. Enterprise down to the last rivet, expressed honest trepidation at possible revisions to Roddenberry’s timeline, to say nothing of its philosophical underpinnings.  The resulting Star Trek was an entertaining if occasionally brainless affair, balancing well the expectations of both a summer movie crowd and faithful Trekkers despite dangling plot lines and scientific rationales bent into configurations that would snap the most pliable rubber.

But it worked even after the novelty wore off, and proffered challenges for a sequel.  Could Abrams and company make a follow-up that was less cluttered with the need to make the new timeline work and more focused on the things that made Roddenberry’s utopian vision compelling—namely, character and story?
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New Trailer: Star Trek Into Darkness


Lots more scenery and special effects appear in this new trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness. And — gasp! — is that a federation ship facing off against our beloved Enterprise…?

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Zack Mandell is a movie enthusiast, writer of movie reviews, and owner of www.movieroomreviews.com, which has great information on movies, actors, and films like Looper. He writes extensively about the movie industry for sites like Gossip Center, Yahoo, NowPublic, and Helium.

2013 is going to be a big year for sci-fi movies set in an apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic Earth. Barring the odd few that aren’t projected to be blockbuster megahits, such as John Dies at the End,which will be coming out this January, or The World’s End, set to release in late October, here are the top five post-Earth sci-fi movies coming out in 2013.


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In December 2011, we had a week where three movie trailers hit the web: The Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit and Prometheus. They looked stunning: these were perfectly crafted marketing tools from films with slick visuals, a promising story, and an unheard of amount of hype around their production. 2012 was shaping up to be an incredible movie year. The Avengers looked quite good good, although it’s trailer was released at a different point in time.

The thing is, in my opinion, none of these movies really held up to the hype. I liked them okay: The Dark Knight Rises was good, but not as good as The Dark Knight (my all-time favorite comic book film), The Hobbit was quite good, but it lingered in almost every scene when it didn’t need to, and Prometheus, well. I liked Prometheus for all the wrong reasons: it’s execution was pretty bad, even as it looked wonderful. The Avengers was the best of the lot, even if it felt like every moment was designed by committee. I fell to the trap of the film’s marketing departments, who knew just what worked to draw audiences to the theaters.

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