Category Archives: SciFi

Star Trek: Beyond Gets Retooled Trailer

Paramount must be very nervous about how things were going to be received. After holding out at CinemaCon completely last month, Star Trek: Beyond‘s second trailer finally has arrived. Dropped in the middle of the night on a Friday, where all newsdumps go to die, this new introduction to the third installment of the franchise has been heavily retooled in where it emphasizes the story going.

It’s a good retooling, for the record. The problem is that those “Fast and Furious In Space” elements are still there, lurking around the edges of the trailers peripheral vision, waiting to ambush you if you turn your head too fast.

And I’m sure there’s also too much “funny Simon Pegg as Scotty” for most people’s taste, but what do you expect? He did *write* the damn script after all. And perhaps the humor is the only thing that can save this ship….oh wait, no, it crashed. No saving the ship. Righto then!

First Look at Star Trek: The Return To TV

It’s not much–just a logo and some hurtling through space. But there is *one* very interesting detail….

“New Crews.” Those who were betting that CBS’ on line only, toe dipping into Star Trek on the small screen is actually an anthology series rather than a traditional one, you may have been right after all.

Not much else on Star Trek out of the upfront today, other than the logo and the short trailer. But considering that Star Trek: Beyond has barely given us more since it’s disastrous trailer a few months ago, i suppose not crashing an burning is an improvement.


A Few Thoughts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens

This weekend, I did something I rarely do. I went to the theater and saw a movie on opening weekend. I was not alone. Star Wars: The Force Awakens broke just about every box office record this weekend, as everyone went this weekend to see it. (Some twice.)  And after all the hype, the question remains: was this actually a good movie?

Well, yes and no. it was a good movie in and of that it effectively rebooted the franchise. A new generation of Star Wars characters has been brought to life, and presented in a way that audiences across the globe will embrace them. The torch was effectively passed by the old guard to the new. And in several cases, the choices of who the heroes were and who the villains were, was a very effective modernization on the classic story. By using motion capture instead of CGI, the producers bridged that gap between the too-glossy computer animated characters of the late 90s and the hand puppets of the late 70s. And the battle sequences were superb.


But I have several complaints. Above all, the pacing. because this movie was not a new story, but in fact a rehash of the original Star Wars movie plot with new faces in the old roles, the fact that it shot out at us like a cannon, and never stopped was glaring. The original Star Wars moved at a very slow pace, especially on Tattooine. Luke takes an entire sequence to do nothing but gaze longingly at twin setting suns. If anyone had done that in The Force Awakens, they’d have been run over.

Spoilers below the cut.

Continue reading A Few Thoughts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Thoughts on the Star Trek: Beyond Trailer

Whoever thought that dropping the first trailer for Star Trek: Beyond this week was a good idea should be fired. Look, it’s Star Wars‘ week. It just is. Sometimes things aren’t fair, sometimes other franchises have basically stepped in and taken over a space of time in everyone’s brain. This is the week Star Wars returns to theaters after a 20+ year hiatus. It’s their week. DC would not attempt to drop a Justice League trailer 48 hours before an Avengers movie hit theaters, lest there be unfavorable comparisons. Moreover, Star Trek‘s marketing department has little excuse. After all, their rivals have been putting on a master class in cross promotional synergetic marketing since Force Friday arrived in September. They should have taken notes.

Now, I say this as someone who has been for most of their life a Star Trek fan over Star Wars. I’m not saying I don’t like Star Wars, but when I was 14, it wasn’t a world in which I wanted to go live. It was an old school good vs evil tale, like Legend, except instead of Tom Cruise and Tim Curry on two foot stilts, it was Mark Hamill and the voice of James Earl Jones. Star Trek however, was a place I wanted to go. It was a world i wanted to live in–no war, no famine, just the best and the brightest and the bravest men and women of all colors and creeds boldly going into space with nothing but their wits and their power of positivity. The episodes weren’t about sword fights and feats of derring do. They were philosophical debates, like what was the Measure of a Man? How does one communicate with a race that speaks only in Metaphor? Even the original series, which has plenty of shirtless Kirk, always included an intellectual exercise component. It was what made the series so different from the rest of the sci fi genre of the time.

Some would argue that ever since the 2009 reboot, that has been conspicuously missing from the Star Trek movies. The first one was a pure reboot, more interested in restarting the franchise with a side order of serious fan service, than anything full of deep thought, and to that end, it did the job, with many fans coming away feeling like their favorite franchise had been born again. But the lack of depth problem became magnified when the second movie Star Trek Into Darkness, which was a full on Wrath of Khan retread, despite everyone involved outright lying that it wasn’t, seemed more interested in the fighting between Khan and the fan service than it was in making a movie able to stand alone.

Continue reading Thoughts on the Star Trek: Beyond Trailer

New Star Trek Series Coming to Network TV

Ever since J.J Abrams’ 2009 reboot of Star Trek‘s original series was a hit on the big screen, I’ve been waiting for this announcement. Especially after Star Trek Into Darkness turned out to be something of a critical disaster. It made money, but with Abrams off to do Star Wars, and the prospect of diminishing returns on the horizon, it would only make sense for CBS to get the show back on the small screen, where it worked best, before the iron cooled.


Getting the rights lined up properly was the big hurdle–the movie franchise reboot held a lot of power, and at first wasn’t keen to see small screen competition. What changed? Perhaps it was seeing The Muppets jump to the small screen? Or,more likely, the realization that ABC is populated with several small screen spin offs of parent company Disney’s movie franchises, while DC continues to pave the way for their own universe catch up with shows like Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl. TV show spin offs of movies are where it’s at, and it seems like the folks at Star Trek finally figured that out.

To that end, Alex Kurtzman, co-writer of the two Star Trek reboot movies will helm a new Star Trek show through CBS Television Studios. Check out the press release below.

Continue reading New Star Trek Series Coming to Network TV