It took me a while to finally see Star Trek: Beyond. There was so much buzz about that film being the best in the current, rebooted franchise.
Action-wise it is slick and exciting; visually it is stunning and near perfect. The set pieces are grand and there is so much incredible detail so that the best way to appreciate everything they’ve done is to see it on IMAX (which you probably have today left to do because Suicide Squad will be taking over tomorrow).
We got to know the characters more and see just how strong the bond of the crew was; but I found one key thing missing: the philosophy, social commentary and thought provoking ideas, which was such a trademark of the original Star Trek.
After having spent the summer that celebrated 50 years of Star Trek—seeing a massive special exhibit and a panel (with William Shatner, Brent Spiner, et. Al., and moderated by Bryan Fuller, showrunner for the new series, Star Trek: Discovery), one is constantly reminded of how the show was known for throwing brave ideas out and pondering the human condition.
Perhaps it was too much to ask of Hollywood, and maybe the new Discovery series will be able to tackle these for the rest of us missing the Star Trek that made us think and debate.
On other notes, Idris Elba has always been a formidable presence on screen, but Algerian-born Sofia Boutella (who was in Kingsmen as Gazelle the villainous assassin) was a standout as Jaylah. The film also said its goodbye to the legendary Leonard Nimoy and the young and talented Anton Yelchin.
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The Ignacio de Loyola film is out and while I did sit in a full house Sunday night, who knows how long it will last in cinemas. What I felt the film had going for it were the sets, the photography, the very well made costumes (apparently 400 costumes were sewn and made in the Philippines), the even performances, and the sword fighting scenes (though not enough).
The pacing though felt closer to the fare I was used to during Holy Week in the ‘70s when local television either went off the air or showed religious stories. For those less engaged in the story, it may sputter in the middle.
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Suicide Squad opens this Thursday and the press screening happens after my deadline so look out for the review in a week.
I leave you with a photo of cosplayer Heidi Mei Herrington who was part of squad who got to meet their cast counterparts.