The characters of Star Trek 3, from lots of new women to a “Bryan Cranston” villain | Film Divider


I had already went down this road on what the next Trek movie and the overall franchise direction should focus on. The article below, if correct, does offer more food for thought. I do like the idea of seeing more female characters from being in less supporting roles to being one in position of authority. My favorite part of this piece is the possible introduction of McCoy’s ex-wife. If it plays out in my head, we can see a better bonding of the holy trinity of Kirk, Spock and McCoy via their female relationship. Urban definitely needs to have more screen time. He is just as valuable a team member as Kirk and Spock and not just not being the comic foil of doing medical testing in the most inopportune time. Let’s see the classic elements come back to Trek while still doing something new. As for the Bryan Cranston-like villain let’s not go down the same path as Nero and Kahn as just one-off characters. Let this not be our last battlefield; Star Trek must live.

I’m a forgiving soul but even I struggled with Star Trek into Darkness.

After initially enjoying the film’s scope and the welcome integration of dubious Starfleet Intelligence practices into the rebooted universe, I found that the further away I got from my first viewing, the less I saw to like.

I’m not saying it’s inherently a bad movie, but there was a lot to put me off: the whitening of Khan, a horrifically botched misinformation campaign throughout production, and the fan service inclusions of both Klingons and Old Spock.

But what drove home the final nail was the ‘Carol Marcus lingerie scene.’ Having Alice Eve strip to her underwear was arbitrary to the point of feeling clinical, and certainly did nothing for what was already an ill-served character. This choice seemed to reveal the movie for what it honestly was, being both loveless and exploitative of its founding elements.

via The characters of Star Trek 3, from lots of new women to a “Bryan Cranston” villain | Film Divider.

Star Trek’s Troubling 50th Anniversary | William Bradley


star_trek_into_darkness_movie-wide

It’s been a while, a long while, since I last rant about Star Trek Into Darkness on my podcast for the worst film of 2013. Given time, the failed attempt of the 2009 Star Trek sequel, I am looking for redemption. Star Trek will be turning the big 5-0 next year which means they quality for a Jitterbug cell phone and lower car insurance rates from AARP. Still, there is a lot to look forward to in achieving this milestone except on the big screen. Robert Orci who was on the writing team with Alex Kurtzman wrote some good stuff like Transformers and Star Trek.

Since JJ Abrams was not coming back, Robert was not only going to write the story but also direct it. This was not a cause for alarm at first but when it was discovered that the story was going involve an undoing of the new Trek timeline and with possible Shatner involvement, I am really glad that this has been halted. We do have a new director Justin Lin, from the Fast and Furious franchise but there is no story at this time. This concerns me more than the lack of Justin’s scifi credentials. JJ was able to make the Trek franchise accessible and fun for everyone with a much needed reboot. We should this franchise go then? Insert the opening Star Trek theme… cue Kirk “Space The Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise…” Let’s get back to its roots

I would love nothing more to see our space gang explore the final frontier as it is meant to do. The Trek universe has been reset but it needs to be repopulated. Paramount needs to spend the time to map out what this new new future will be. From there, there needs to be big bads or baddies that meet our crew from time to time. One two our movie is not enough to set up a villain let alone make it a compelling one. Kahn works because we saw him on tv during the Space Seed episode and then many years later on the big screen. The new Kahn failed to prove anything compelling because there was no history. The new movie needs to be about what is the new universe is about and set it up like the Marvel Cinematic Universe; it can be done. We just need another Great Bird of the Galaxy to make it happen!

 There was some heartening news over the holidays for those of us who are longtime Star Trek fans. And there was some alarming news, none of which has been mitigated since.

The next Star Trek film in the rebooted franchise now has a launch date in its 50th anniversary year of 2016. It opens on July 8th, which happens to be my birthday. But there are plenty of signs of disarray, with little evidence that the 50th anniversary of one of the biggest scifi cultural phenomenons of all time has much in the way of celebration in store. This stands in stark contrast to the recent 50th anniversaries of the James Bond and Doctor Who franchises.

Star Trek, the rebooted 2009 movie that presented the original series characters living in a new timeline, provided a great renewal for the franchise. With Trek reboot director J.J. Abrams off to his first love Star Wars after a promising and exciting first film and a maddening follow-up, and co-writer and producer of the 2009 and 2013 films Roberto Orci in and out of the director’s chair, the anniversary film finally has a director. It’s Justin Lin, from the Fast and Furious franchise.

via Star Trek’s Troubling 50th Anniversary | William Bradley.

Wonder Woman Movie: Studio Searches For Female Director [Report]


This caught my eye yesterday and I wanted to chime in about the idea of a female director when it comes to the upcoming Wonder Woman movie. Let me begin with… WE HAD A FUCKING DIRECTOR CALLED JOSS WHEDON WHO WAS NOT ONLY GOING TO DIRECT THE MOVIE BUT ALSO WRITE IT AND WHAT HAPPENED NEXT IS WHY DC/WB IS PLAYING CATCH UP!!! I’m sorry, I lost my cool. This is a very, very sore subject with me.

Back in 2007, Joss was working on the script for a Wonder Woman movie and while the studio, I believe, liked the script had wanted to go in a different direction. It happens all the time but I hated the studio for letting Joss go cause as we all know he went on to direct Marvel’s Avengers which kicked major ass. Those who know Joss’s work with Buffy, Angel, Serenity and Dollhouse will know how much he loves having female characters that are strong and on par to their male counterparts. Imagine if Joss did a Wonder Woman movie and how that tide might have turn to DC/WB favor instead of Marvel? The outcome would have been tremendous. Yet, one could say that Joss might have been our last hope but to quote Yoda, ‘There is another.”

David E. Kelley, writer and tv producer, of such shows like L.A.Law, Picket Fences, Ally McBeal and Harry’s Law, to name a few, had many strong female characters. In 2011, David took a crack at bringing back Wonder Woman to the small screen. The pilot that he wrote failed to get picked up but upon viewing this unfinished product, I saw this Wonder Woman version to have great potential that mirror the comic at that time. So, when I read yesterday about finding a female director to the upcoming Wonder Woman movie with Gal Gadot, I have to ask if this is even the right move.

Do not take what I said about female director out of context. All I want is to have the right director for the right job regardless of the gender. Yes, it would be great for a female director to break into the all male directors group which have direct 99.999% superhero movies past, present and future. Thor 2 might have been the first with Patty Jenkins but departed the project when there were difference between her and Marvel. Even Portman wanted off the Thor 2 but had to stay due to her contractual obligations. Does that mean female director can’t helm big projects? No, but when there are restrictions or a conflicting visions of the project, the studio is going to win 9 out of 10 times; hence Edgar Wright leaving the Ant-Man project so it’s not a gender thing.

Still, I don’t want a female director for female sake. Though, the first thought about a great female director would be Kathryn Bigelow. With Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker being my two favorites movies of Kathryn, I would nominate her instantly to the top of the list. Sadly, I can’t think of another female director to this project. Now, having said this, when Star Trek needed to be rebooted, Abrams was brought in to direct it. He even admitted to not being a Star Trek fan and yet he made one the best Star Trek films. Yet, Shatner, our Captain Kirk, made of one of the worst Trek films. So despite being associated with a franchise it’s not a given that success will come. The same can be said about the female director and Wonder Woman; it would be great but not necessary.

Warner Bros. is reportedly looking for a female director to helm the recently announced Wonder Woman movie. The film would mark the first time the superhero has had her own standalone film, and also the second time a female director leads such a production.

In the aftermath of the studio’s announcement of nine superhero films to premiere between 2016 and 2020, starting with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, WB is trying hard to respond to criticism that superhero films are ruled by males, both in front and behind the camera. Additionally, critics have accused Hollywood of lack of diversity in casting main characters.

via Wonder Woman Movie: Studio Searches For Female Director [Report].

The World Still Needs a Superman


christopher reeve as superman

Today marks the 10th anniversary of Christopher Reeve passing. Still to this day, Christopher remains not only many people’s favorite Superman but THE quintessential Superman. There is an honesty and purity Christopher brought to this role. Having watched Superman The Movie countless of times, I still love the scene where Lois is interviewing Superman before their flying time in the sky. He is a bit pensive at first by the line of questions but he ends the discussion about never telling a lie. That line blew me away. In an age of heavy skepticism, you still believe him after all these years. He is honor bound by his word.

Those who remember the movie, Lex put on Superman a kryptonite chain which he could not escape. Ms. Teschmacher saved Superman by insisting that he save her mother in Teaneck, New Jersey. While he could have chased the other missile heading towards California, Superman kept his word. That is a trait that I’ve admired in Reeve’s portrayal and have tried to live so. We could use more people like him in our world today.

Over the years, there have been many other versions of Superman including last year’s Man of Steel by Henry Cavill. Some say that newer incarnations fail rivals Reeve’s more optimistic tone. I’ll give you that but Superman needs to adapt to the times we are in to stay relevant. Still, Cavill’s Superman channeled Reeve’s Superman for extra help in one scene that is amazing.

reeve cavill

This brings me to this point, I am by no account a Superman but if I tell you something that I am going to do for you or myself, I will do it. Sometimes keeping that promise requires the strength of Superman. When I’m running, I am blasting the Man of Steel soundtrack and remembering the shot above so I too can channel the strength of Superman. This may sound weird but when you believe in something so strongly positive things can happen.

One of those positive things came to me last year when I spoke in front of the Miami Dade County Commissioners for saving my library. While I used a Star Trek 2 line of dialogue about the needs of the many… I was wearing a Superman t-shirt underneath the shirt I was wearing. The image below is the design that I wore. I love this shirt. My voice was part of a larger chorus that help save our library system but believing in a Superman and finally myself led me to believe in myself even more.

superman tshirt

Yes, Superman does not exist but once actor made me believe in one. If we all believe in the symbol that Superman represents imagine what we can do to help this ourselves, those around us and the world. I can not think of a better time for the world to have a Superman. Thank you, Christopher.

The Star Trek Movie Franchise Is Headed Backwards (VIAB)


Believe me when I say that this article and title is right on the money. While both Trek movies from 2009 combined made over a billion dollars, I believe Paramount is not thinking long-term enough. Fine, the new director Robert Orci has written a boatload of tv shows and some great movies as well as serving as either producer or executive producer. Star Trek 3 will be his first outing at least that is what I found on IMDB. I’m not so keen about this idea because this is not the normal course of action to hire directors especially on big movies like Trek.

On the Fly II with Eric Stoltz, makeup artist/sfx Chris Walas from the first movie became the director of the sequel. Sadly, anyone following David Cronenberg’s work has a hard act to follow regardless. Walas taking over the reigns for the Fly 2, while it had some good moments, failed to rival or even come close to the first. Let’s move to Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation which was headed by Phil Tippet. Star Wars fans and other great visual f/x movies will know that Phil’s great talent is making great visual f/x. Trying to follow the very skilful job that Paul Verhooven did in the first Starship Troopers was next to impossible much like the same problem Walas had. The budget was smaller to fit a smaller story and except for nudity to keep me awake there was very little to watch. I love Phil and will always have a place in my heart as he played the Rancor monster in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Another example is Frank Marshall. He has been a phenomenal producer and executive producer. One could almost watch any Spielberg movie and see Frank’s name. He had also turned to directing and has had some modest success. His first movie was Arachnophobia but I believe his better movie was Alive which was based on the plane crash in the Andes Mountain. However, Congo adapted from Michael Crichton’s book of the same name is sadly forgettable. All these examples are to help illustrate that hiring Robert Orci maybe a mistake given the track records of those I mentioned. However, let us look forward to a future where Paramount can be happy with the future of Star Trek.

Taking a cue from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Paramount needs to re-establish the Star Trek Universe (STU). Let’s start with mentioning the original series (TOS) that started the franchise. We then get three Star Trek movies one of the best Trek movie of all times. Star Trek gets back to tv with The Next Generation (TNG). Trek 4 makes a big splash with Nimoy taking the director’s chair and making this a more accessible film for non Trek fans. Trek 5 is nearly killed by Shatner’s hand but 6 makes up the last movie for the original cast and ends their run on a high note. TNG then takes over with their turn on the big screen: Generations and First Contact (their best movie by Frakes). Luckily another Trek series on tv comes into play Deep Space Nine (DS9). TNG fires back on the screen with Insurrection also directed by Frakes but lacks any real bite like First Contact. Star Trek launches Voyager (VOY) on the small screen. TNG makes one last movie Nemesis (worst ever). The last Trek series is called Enterprise (ENT). And then the two movies by JJ Abrams. Got that? Moving on.

Why did I go through all that? To showcase my Trek nerd cred… sh’yeah. More importantly, where do we go with STU? Abrams movie gave us a rebooted Trek universe that can allow us to do anything or do it all over again. Let’s do some creative planning and make this next movie a launch for bigger things. I believe the time is right for another Trek series on tv. Last year, there were rumors of two series in the vein of CSI. UHM, OK? But I would rather see 5 year missions or show how TNG, DS9, or VOY might fare in this alternate Trek history Maybe we get a Picard with hair? A female Data? Or nasty Ferengis as was once visioned by Roddenberry? Think of the possibilities for use fans and for the fans of the future. In between, lace these series with movies on the big screen and empire for Paramount can rise though not as mightly as MCU but still better than the Spiderman franchise over at Sony. Now is the time to plan big.

Paramount Pictures is taking a huge risk naming screenwriter Roberto Orci to direct the next film in the Star Trek movie franchise, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the the following video.

According to an exclusive report in Variety last week, Orci, whose screenwriting credits include work on Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, will team with J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay to write the threequel. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are expected to reprise their roles as Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock.

Good news, right? If only it were that simple. Instead, history shows the franchise is suffering decelerating returns. According to The-Numbers.com, Star Trek earned a combined $578.6 million including box office, DVD, and Blu-ray revenue. Star Trek Into Darkness earned $540.4 million on the same basis. Orci is taking on a turnaround story.

via The Star Trek Movie Franchise Is Headed Backwards (VIAB).