The most die-hard View Askew fans know there was originally a “third Clerk” in Kevin Smith’s first feature. When test audiences reacted negatively toward Tobias Fünke, Miramax made Smith digitally remove the character from the final product.
I have done my best to restore the film as it would have been had Smith not caved to corporate pressure.
I’m trying to formulate a review of “Star Trek Into Darkness” that accurately sums up my feelings. And it isn’t easy. I think Abrams did a few things right and a lot of things wrong, but I also have a feeling I’m not exactly his target demographic.
The real difficulty is in airing my grievances about the flick without flagellating a deceased equine. Yes, by this point you’ve already read about the lens flare, the obnoxiously loud score, the constant explosions, and the general “Abramsiness” about the whole thing. And you read about all of that back in 2009.
Overall, not much has changed. The new movies still veer too wide from the original series at some points, then cling tightly to it at other points. There are a few predictable plot twists. I’m sure by this point you’ve read about them already. Then just when you think the flick has forgotten all about the original series, it serves up a double-scoop of fan service.
Still, none of this should be news to you. And there’s the rub. Any complaint I levy against “Star Trek Into Darkness” by this point should sound old hat. Sure, they’ll be my words. But somehow they’ll seem familiar to you, like you’ve read them before. And this is ultimately the experience of watching the movie.
Despite the new packaging and larger effects budget, the entire product just seems like something that has already been done before.
Ultimately Abrams seems to be confused as a director. If I were in his shoes, I’d be confused as well. Is it safer “to boldly go” in a new direction or stick to familiar territory?
Much as the Enterprise spends the majority of the plot perilously stuck in the neutral zone between Earth and the Klingon planet Qo’noS, “Star Trek Into Darkness” is a film perilously stuck between old and new ideas. Ultimately it drifts into forgettable territory.
I was a bit taken aback by “Iron Man 3.” I went in expecting a two-hour popcorn flick with explosions and PG-13 violence. Instead I got a David Lynch-esque cerebral horror-drama with undertones of 1997 Iranian film “Taste of Cherry.”
The 3-D was not used to enhance the action, but to disorient the viewer. At a certain point, a different image was fed to each eye. The entire time, Robert Downey Jr. can be heard solemnly reading passages from Michael Jan Friedman’s novel “Planet X.” Imagine the boat ride scene from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” but in stereo.
Around the time director Shane Black suddenly remembers he’s making a superhero film, he goes about it all wrong. For starters, did we really need a cameo from Michael Allred’s beloved character Madman? He’s a great character, but he’s not even in the Marvel universe.
But not all is bad in the world of “Iron Man 3.” I was skeptical when I heard there was a five-minute scene in which Tony Stark and Colonel Rhodes discussed the difference between the red, blue, yellow and green Yoshis in “Super Mario World.” I didn’t feel this would play off well in a traditionally action-oriented genre, but clever editing makes it work.
The film does feel a bit lazy in certain spots. For about 45 seconds, Pepper Potts is played by 80’s comedy star Dean Cameron in an obvious wig. A second later, Potts is back to looking like Gwyneth Paltrow. Was Paltrow just unavailable for reshoots?
Nonetheless, if you’re a fan of independent cerebral films like Albel Ferrara’s 1995 vampire film “The Addiction,” or if you’re into art house classics like Richard Linklater’s “Slacker,” definitely give “Iron Man 3” a chance. You might want to leave the kids at home, though.