A Slice of Fried Gold

Movie Reviews: One surprising, one not at all

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Predictably recommended: Star Trek

Over couple years, many people questioned JJ Abrams and his pending restart of the long stagnant Star Trek franchise. Some people questioned the casting, some questioned restarting such a treasured franchise, and some just questioned whether or not Abrams was the right architect.

Well it turns out the answers to their questions are as follows: the casting was great, restarting was a great idea, and Abrams was the right architect. Star Trek was wildly entertaining, at times touching, hilarious, and nearly always action packed. Restarting the franchise in a new world that is seemingly full of limitless possibilites (genius idea of Abrams to essentially establish this world as an alternate reality) was a wonderful idea, and everyone involved was game, from the ace leads of Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto as Kirk and Spock respectively, all the way through the superb support of John Cho, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, Karl Urbanm and the ridiculously attractive Zoe Saldana. Plus, using Leonard Nimoy as a transitional character was a brilliant move.

The last thing I want to say about this movie is Abrams blows me away as a director. His movies have such a unique look to them, seemingly inventing a new style entirely his own over his short career. Star Trek took that style to a new level, and this movie is a visual masterpiece. I really cannot wait to see further adventures of the crew, led by their Captain JJ Abrams.

Not so predictably recommended: 17 Again

Having seen previews for this movie, I have to admit: it looked pretty cute. With that said, it still was a romantic comedy aimed towards the teen set, and it still starred Zac Efron, he of the High School Musical movies. Not exactly an auspicious start, but as it was Mother's Day and as a family we were going to see it, I figured I'd give it a fair shake.

I'm glad I did, as it was a very entertaining movie with a great message, albeit delivered in a pretty formulaic fashion. Efron provided effortless charm as guy having a second lease on life, trying to reconnect with his family while surviving high school a second time, and I have to admit, I was fairly impressed by the guy. As I told my nephew before the movie (he was far more skeptical of the movie than I was, as I have the secret love for movies aimed at families), Leonardo DiCaprio started his career as a heart throb type - maybe Efron is starting his career in a similar fashion. While I definitely do not think Efron will end up moving in that direction (Leo is a truly elite talent), I do think he has a future as more than just vacuous shell of charm and cool hair.

This movie is more of a recommended rental for those who have a spot spot for movies with messages and incredibly awkward (and strangely hilarious!) humor. At the very least, see it for hysterical Thomas Lennon as Efron's best friend/fake Dad and the top notch soundtrack. He is pretty much the dorkiest person on the planet, and every time he is on the screen he generates laughs and was everyone's favorite after the movie. The soundtrack was filled with tracks by Spoon, Santigold, Cat Power, and the Kooks (amongst others), and it perfectly fit the feel of the movie.

Now I am going to go shower because I feel dirty for writing that.


Patty said...

Non-, crudity is refreshing! It's nice to see one without the language and innuendos; just simple humor.

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