The Buzz: Top 5 Trailers from Comic-Con and Star Trek Beyond Nothing
On this week’s The Buzz we look at how the latest installment of the Star Trek franchise holds up to the original Gene Rodenberry series. Then with the fallout of last week’s San Diego Comic-Con, we look at the best 5 trailers that premiered at the annual convention.
If you agree or disagree please comment below.
Film: Star Trek Beyond: Gene Rodenberry’s original vision of Star Trek was one of a utopian goal. The USS Enterprise consisted of people from all creeds – the all-American Kirk, his African American love interest Uhura, the logic based Vulcan Spock and most transgressive, the Russian Chekov. The show was about diplomacy and exploration during a time when space exploration was launching and the world was constantly on the brink of nuclear holocaust. This has always been the key difference between Star Trek and Star Wars: the latter is focused on being a timeless action adventure film while the other never had the action as the central conceit.
The rebooted film franchise that started with JJ Abrams’ 2009 film never aspired to the original Rodenberry vision. These films were interested in different sorts of parables. In the last film, Star Trek into Darkness, the film explored the moral implications of preemptive action towards terrorism (which still is a major theme in the political race today). This was not a utopia anymore. No longer is Star Trek about diplomatic space explorers who occasionally get into scuffles. These are action heroes flying through space with a little bit of a lesson from time to time.
This new Star Trek series is a far cry from the original series and in doing so feels less satisfying. This is most evident in the latest film of the new franchise, Star Trek Beyond, a film that falls exactly on the line between quality and bad, making it merely forgettable as a result. With Justin Lin, who is known for all of the best Fast and the Furious movies, now as the director of the film, the franchise has fully embraced becoming a summer blockbuster action film. What it gives up for that distinction is the complete removal of what made the original series interesting and dynamic.
Star Trek Beyond follows the crew of the USS Enterprise in the third year of their five-year mission of space exploration. That fatigue has especially hit Captain James Kirk (Chris Pine) – he did technically die in the last film – and his second-in-command, Spock. As they take a much needed shore leave in what is essentially a space terrarium, called Yorktown, a distress call is made to the city about a mysterious force. The USS Enterprise, being the most experienced crew, answers the rescue missions just to find themselves ambushed by mutated villain Krall (Idris Elba) whose convoluted plan involves getting a weapon that is onboard the Enterprise so he could seek revenge on The Federation.
Essentially, that synopsis of the plot does not matter because the movie does not really care about the plot at all. To give credit to screenwriters Doug Jung and Simon Pegg (who also plays Montgomery Scott, the ship's engineer) they do give good material to the very talented and charismatic cast. This franchise has been one of the best cast franchises in recent memory. Too often, however, the film resorts to the sitcom model by pairing off two members of the Enterprise together. Guess what happens when we put the cynical, wisecracking Bones with the logical, no humor Spock? What shenanigans would occur when Kirk is paired off with Chekov for a solid fifteen minutes? It's all good humored and fun but feels forced.
Luckily, Lin is one of the most talented action directors today. This includes an action set piece that has one of the most exciting uses of The Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” in film. He knows how to compose action scenes without too many cuts so that it distorts what is happening. There is just nothing that puts Star Trek Beyond as something worth re-watching or coming back to. It does not have the substance like previous Trek films like Wrath of Khan nor the transcendent action that fulfills the most basic desires like Fast Five.
It has been evident for a long time now that although they share the same name and characters, the spirit of the newly rebooted Star Trek is not entirely the same. That does not necessarily have to be a bad thing but it certainly does not elevate the series above your average summer fare. Maybe the franchise needs to keep exploring until they find the right notes.
Coming Soon: Top 5 Comic-Con Trailers: The San Diego Comic-Con was last week, which meant that studios were giving fans a sneak preview of a bunch of upcoming releases. 25 trailers of movies and television shows for the next year were released online. Here are the five best trailers that premiered.
5. Luke Cage: Short, simple and sweet. This trailer for the upcoming Netflix Marvel series, in the same universe as Jessica Jones and Daredevil, edits Luke Cage, a superhero with impenetrable skin, just beating people up to ODB’s “Shimmy Shimmy Ya.” You can set anything to that song and I am going to like it.
Expected Premiere Date: September 30
4. Blair Witch: I may have cheated with this pick because it was not the trailer that got me most excited. The trailer is your basic modern horror trailer with a few jump scares here and there. No, what has me excited is that fact that this sequel to 1999’s The Blair Witch Project is directed by Adam Wingard who excels in genre films and subverting them in movies such as V/H/S, The Guest and You’re Next.
Expected Release Date: September 16th
3. American Gods: Ugh, do I now have to somehow subscribe to Starz? Not only is the show Outlander quickly becoming the new The Americans in being a series that has a lot of critical praise but is overlooked by the Emmys--now they are going to be adapting Neil Gaiman’s popular genre bending novel American Gods. It looks to be a folky Americana road trip mixed with fantasy. Plus, Ian McShane is always a great presence on my TV (Shout Out to Deadwood).
Expected Release Date: Early 2017
2. Legion: Speaking of genre benders, Noah Hawley has been making waves with his anthology series Fargo. Now with Legion, another Marvel TV property, he seems to be fully exploiting this schizophrenic concept to delve into fun different genres. In this trailer here there is a brief scene of what looks like a great Bollywood musical scene. This series seems unpredictable and has the most potential out of all the television trailers from Comic-Con.
Expected Release Date: Early 2017
1. Suicide Squad: Solid music choice edited perfectly with the action of the scenes equals great trailer. Maybe it’s because the movie is about to come out in a week--or maybe it’s because the trailer somehow made Jai Courtney seem charismatic--but the buzz on this new anti-hero/superhero film is palpable. They could have just showed stills of each character for five minutes and the film will still be the biggest hit of the summer.
Expected Release Date: August 5th
In the Loop: Last week Hollywood saw the loss of Garry Marshall, famed producer and director, at the age of 81. He banked on good wholesome likability, creating shows such as Happy Days and directing Pretty Woman. His last film, Valentine’s Day came out earlier this year.
In her post Academy Award career, Brie Larson, who won the award for Room earlier this year, is now entering the superhero game. She was announced at Comic-Con to be playing Ms. Marvel/Carol Danvers in an upcoming Ms. Marvel film, making her the first female led Marvel Studio film. The film is scheduled to be released in 2019 so don’t hold your breath.
In a weird Emmy technicality, Peter MacNicol lost his nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for Veep. The category states that in order to be considered a guest star, an actor must appear in less than 50% of the series programming. Unfortunately for MacNicol he makes a background appearance in one episode making his total number episodes to 5 in a 10-episode season. In his place, Peter Scolari was nominated for his performance on the last season of Girls.