Tag Archives: J.J. Abrams

Brian’s Review – Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

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After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.

Directed by J.J. Abrams

9 out of 10

It’s a great relief to me to see that J.J. Abrams has taken over the Star Wars series starting with Episode 7 and a great sadness that he will no longer be making any Star Trek films. This is every bit as good as the previous entry where Abrams reinvented the series by creating an alternate timeline that separates it from the original television and movie series with William Shatter and company. That was brilliant masterstroke of sci-fi writing because it opened the floodgates to possibilities of what could happen to these classic characters that differed from the original stories.

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Star Trek:Into Darkness is action packed and loaded with first rate stunts and special effects. However, I’m glad to say that they never come at the expense of storytelling or character interaction. All of the Enterprise crew have a likeability in their own way and you find yourself rooting for them. The main differences between this film and the last is a first rate villain played brilliantly by Benedict Cumberbatch who is far more interesting than Eric Bana’s villain in the last and an even more frenetic pacing because we no longer need introductions to the main players. I won’t give away plot details because there are several easy things to spoil. However, I will tell you that this is first rate popcorn entertainment. It may not be the brainy sci-fi that some Trekkies live for but it sure is fun.

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Brian’s Note: I saw this in IMAX 3-D and recommend it. It’s done much more tastefully than other three dimensional efforts. I still prefer 2-D but it’s acceptable.

Super 8

With a nod toward producer Steven Spielberg’s landmark sci-fi films of the 1970s and ’80s, writer-director J.J. Abrams crafts a supernatural tale about six kids who witness something incredible while shooting a movie with their Super 8 camera.

Rating: 8 out of 10

I’m becoming a huge fan of Abrams for one reason: He’s not affraid to make a fun movie. And neither was the man who made all the amazing Steven Spielberg films Super 8 pays homage to.

This was a popcorn movie I’d been waiting all year for. We haven’t had a great summer for movies, but this one is excellent. Abrams pays attention to developing some great characters in his script. And even though they are put in some ridiculous situations, trying to find a friend kidnapped by a giant alien who escapes the military and lives underground, we care about them through it all.

The directing is total Spielberg. I was lost in this movie like I was the first time I saw “The Goonies,” or “E.T.” My wife hated the film, but she didn’t grow up on those great 80s kids movies. She didn’t like it at all, and I will say it’s totally geared to guys like me, but it’s a fun ride. I highly recommend.