‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Reveals its Mystery Captain

There are a lot of unknowns about the upcoming STAR TREK: DISCOVERY series, not least among them the precise setting and direction of the series, but also the titular starship and its commanding officer. Captain Lorca was notably absent from all previous promotional materials. Until now.

Entertainmentt Weekly unveiled the first image of Jason Isaacs in character as Gabriel Lorca on the bridge of the USS Discovery.

It’s not much, but at least it’s something, and perhaps it will signal an opening of the publicity floodgates and some real answers to fans’ questions.
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STAR TREK Meets… MAD MEN?

Turns out there’s a great nostalgia-oriented website called The Retroist that curates some of the coolest stuff from/about bygone ages (like the 1980s or 1960s), and these fine folks have uncovered a mind-bending mashup of cool, courtesy of artist Matt Wiley, who has reimagined the classic STAR TREK series as vintage advertising.

You gotta love the non-plussed look on the yeoman’s face as Captain Kirk hits on her in the turbolift. Don Draper would be proud (of the design and mack daddy Kirk)!

Thanks to @TedOnTV for the heads-up via Twitter.

New Star Trek’s Spock vs. the Volcano

Forget this “John Harrison” and whether or not he’s Khan Noonian Singh — watch this clip, in which the crew of the Enterprise tries to prevent Spock (Zachary Quinto) from being barbecued inside a volcano even as he quotes Starfleet regulations to discourage them.

Looks pretty exciting to me, but we’ll all learn how it plays out on May 17, when Star Trek Into Darkness opens.

Star Trek Into Darkness: New Poster Rocks; New Trailer… meh.

enterpriserisesParamount has just released what I think is the best Star Trek Into Darkness poster so far — and the greatest poster to feature the Enterprise ever! (Yeah, I said it.)

A new trailer was also released over the weekend, and while it adds nothing of substance to any storyline rumors, it does have the advantage of being fairly dull and generic. So I’m featuring the poster here, and you can follow the jump to get to the new video clip.
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Star Trek Into Darkness: First Teaser Trailer(s)

The teaser trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness has done its job well, making me want to see the movie, but it accomplishes that feat by showing what I consider to be a lot of great stuff; more than usual in “teasers.” We are able to piece together the bones (no pun intended) of a story.

And, as if this great teaser isn’t enough, the Japanese version contains an extra scene, and it is a gobsmacker, hinting at a reprise of something major that happened in a previous movie. I will place that clip after the jump, because it could be considered spoilery…

Here is the American trailer:


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Star Trek 2: First Photos!

At last, a photo was released from the filming of Star Trek 2, 2013’s sequel to J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot of the Star Trek franchise. And the images are not simply actors standing around in character; these are action shots!

First up, we see Zachary Quinto as Spock, battling Benedict Cumberbatch, a newcomer to the Trek universe, who is playing the unnamed, unidentified Big Bad in the film. Some folks will doubtless recognize him from starring in the BBC’s Sherlock Holmes reboot, SHERLOCK, which transplants the Victorian sleuth to modern times.
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Oscar Unseals the (Nomination) Envelopes

Jeff Bridges

So, it will be Avatar, The Hurt Locker and Inglourious Basterds duking it out to climb to the top of the Oscar heap, eh? Should be quite a tussle.

I am going to weigh in today with a few quick thoughts about the nominations; just my initial gut reactions. I will return to the topic with a more in-depth look at some of the categories. Those of you looking forward to a treatise on sound mixing will, alas, be disappointed. (For an overall look at my take on 2009 at the cinema, read this.)

I figure former spouses James Cameron (Avatar) and Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) will tangle with Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds) for the best director crown. My money is on Bigelow, even though I enjoyed Avatar. (The devil in me would love to see the imaginatively titled Basterds get plenty of ink, so people will continue to wonder if the title is a typo.)
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HEROES Is Bleeding Out

Heroes' Claire

Well, HEROES returned from hiatus with a two-hour “event” that, truth be told, was more of a non-event. As soon as I heard Mohinder’s navel-gazing voice-over in the opening frames, I knew the show hadn’t changed, and I was in for a long night. (To be fair, I’ve always hated Dr. Suresh’s monologues, even back in the halcyon days of the first season.) “Events” kicked off with Claire moping around the sinister Sullivan Brothers carnival, lugging boxes of teddy bears (Her nickname is Claire-Bear, get it?) while Eli the replicating man did his impression of the world’s least-subtle spy. (I actually could not help wondering if Hayden Panettiere identified with her character being stalked by creepy older guys, LOL.)

Elsewhere, Hiro’s (Masi Oka) plotline had him talking in complete gibberish –which was sort of a microcosm of the series itself. HEROES used to be about the sense of wonder that came from being special, It was important to be different; it was cool to be different. Now what is the show? What is HEROES trying to say? Apparently nothing, as it has devolved into a self-referential muddle with no direction.
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Movies I Loved (and Hated) in 2009

The Hurt Locker

From Adventureland to Zombieland, there was quite a lot to like about movies in 2009 – and the good stuff was spread out over the course of the year. Both The Hurt Locker and Watchmen were released way back in March, and Avatar came out in mid-December. And while it’s not on this particular list, I quite enjoyed Sherlock Holmes (see my review), which was unwrapped on Christmas Day. I know, I know, it’s Jan. 2 – what took me so long to post this end-of-year list? Well, I’m still watching stuff, okay? I haven’t managed to catch Up yet, so reserve a potential 12th slot for that one.

And I want to emphasize that these are movies that I loved – not necessarily the best-made or deepest films of the year. I leave that to experts who have actually seen everything. (People still read Roger Ebert, right? Or is it all about Rotten Tomatoes now?) I know Watchmen has flaws, and The Hangover is rather silly, but hey, I enjoyed ‘em. So there! Now, on with the list…

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Avatar: Like Life, Only Better

avatar

Neytiri and Jake as a Na'vi

Writer/director James Cameron’s first film since the blockbuster Titanic is another big-budget widescreen epic — but Avatar is like nothing you have ever seen before. It is a space opera, but on a much grander scale than ever before attempted.

Set on the physics-defying jungle world of Pandora, the movie stars Sam Worthington (Marcus, Terminator: Salvation) as Jake Sully, a paraplegic Marine recruited for a science project that projects human minds into cloned bodies that mix human DNA with genetic material from the Na’vi, a race of 10-foot-tall blue, cat-like people who inhabit Pandora. A sociology team is studying Na’vi, while a military-industrial conglomeration is mining the world for a valuable mineral (an obvious McGuffin with the unlikely name Unobtianium). Jake is also recruited by Colonel Quaritch (Stephen Lang) to gather intel on the Na’vi in case the military ever needs to take action. Jake does his job — for Dr. Augustine’s science team and Quaritch – but perhaps a little too well. More than merely learning from the Na’vi, he goes native. And falls in love with Neytiri (Zoë Saldana, who played Uhura in this summer’s Star Trek).

Cameron is a master at world-building. Part of the reason the running time is so long is because he is willing to devote time to exploring Na’vi culture. Jake’s assimilation is not covered in a quick montage; he spends months there, and we explore the planet right alongside him as he becomes immersed in Na’vi spiritual culture. Cameron understands that it is important to like the Na’vi if we are going to root for them. And you will cheer for them.
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