Monday, May 20, 2013

Who's On Top: Movies

This Week's Spotlight:
Star Trek Into Darkness

There is some intermittent complaining, in “Star Trek Into Darkness,” about the militarization of the Federation’s Starfleet. You may recall that the historic mission of the starship Enterprise was “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations.” While the crew on the first television series found its way into plenty of fights, the show itself always tried to stay true to the ideals of peaceful intergalactic ethnography. You get a bit of that in the beginning of the new movie, the second in the rebooted franchise directed by J. J. Abrams, which takes place before all the stuff we remember from television and the first six feature films. James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) is on the surface of a faraway planet overgrown with bright red vines and populated by primitive creatures with chalky white faces. For a few minutes, the nerdy, earnest multicultural vision of 1960s television is brought to life in the digital present, giving rise to an exciting sense of continuity. How great it would be to update the wit and sincerity of the original with the scale and velocity enabled by 21st-century moviemaking. That hope is not entirely dashed. Mr. Pine and the rest of the cast, with some important new additions, continue to pay sharp and playful tribute to William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and others who first made the voyage from small screen to big. The identity of the main villain cleverly connects the movie to some of the very best episodes from long ago. But all the same, it’s hard to emerge from “Into Darkness” without a feeling of disappointment, even betrayal. Maybe it is too late to lament the militarization of “Star Trek,” but in his pursuit of blockbuster currency, Mr. Abrams has sacrificed a lot of its idiosyncrasy and, worse, the large-spirited humanism that sustained it. — A. O. Scott

Top 10 List:
1. Star Trek Into Darkness
2.  Iron Man 3
3. The Great Gatsby
4. Pain & Gain
5. The Croods
6.  42
7. Oblivion
8. Peeples
9. Mud
10. The Big Wedding

Disclaimer: The list and blurb come from

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