“Star Trek Into Darkness” isn’t as effective as the first film overall, but there are so many exceptional set pieces within the whole that it packs more than enough momentum to pull through and deliver a riveting experience.
The film begins mid-mission with the crew of the Enterprise trying to keep a volcano from exploding, destroying an alien planet, and killing its inhabitants. When things go awry, Kirk (Chris Pine) makes some brash decisions and even though he gets his ship and crew out in one piece, Starfleet isn’t pleased that he disobeyed orders and Kirk is demoted. However, when a bomb is detonated in London and the Starfleet headquarters are attacked, Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller) opts to reinstate Kirk so he can eradicate the enemy – John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch).
The film kicks off exceptionally well. The chase scene on Planet Nibiru is downright mesmerizing courtesy of the planet’s lush red plant life and eerily fascinating looking natives, and also because it involves an engaging and clear-cut mission. While there are loads more easy-to-follow, gorgeously shot mini tasks to come, there’s just so long the cycle can continue before you’ve had enough.
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Judgment is coming to New York City. Well, actually it already came, but don’t worry, it comes back in full force when “Dredd 3D” hits theaters on Friday, September 21st.
With roots in the popular comic strip, “Dredd 3D” takes place in the future, when America lies in ruins and most of the population is addicted to the drug Slo-Mo, a substance with the power to make you feel as though time is going by at 1% its normal speed. With a monopoly on Slo-Mo and some ruthless business policies, Ma-Ma (Lena Headey) maintains full control over her tower, Peach Trees. When Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) is called to investigate a murder in the block, both he and his rookie sidekick, Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), must fight their way up the tower to hand down judgment.
“Dredd 3D” certainly stormed its way into the Regal Union Square theater last night. Despite torrential downpours and gusty winds, Urban and Thirlby as well as producer Allon Reich and writer Alex Garland hit the red carpet to chat about the adaptation process, shooting it in 3D and, the most important of all, what Judge Dredd does in his free time.
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You know what’s a great San Diego Comic Con movie? An action-packed, futuristic thrill ride that gets the audience to cheer for the hero. The screening of Dredd indeed got a few whoops here and there, but all were quickly drowned out by deafening audio and no understanding of what’s to cheer for.
Dredd takes place in a world decimated by atomic wars, with a focus on an area called Mega-City One. The region is decrepit, oozing with drug dealers and criminals, leaving little room for the innocent to live safe and honest lives. Their only hope are the Judges, a futuristic police force rocking voice-activated weaponry with one-track minds; deliver the appropriate sentence.
When Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) is paired with a rookie, Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), the two are assigned to investigate a triple homicide in one of the massive housing complexes of Mega-City One, Peach Trees. Little do they know, this isn’t your average homicide. These are the victims of Ma-Ma (Lena Headey), a ruthless drug dealer with a monopoly on the drug Slo-Mo.
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Is it possible for a film starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren to be bad? Maybe, but if you put handguns, machine guns and grenade launchers in theirs hands and give them some snappy dialogue to work with, you’re basically home free.
What happens when a highly skilled CIA agent retires? He’s labeled RED, short for Retired and Extremely Dangerous and there’s really no better way to describe retiree Frank Moses (Willis). He’s doing okay in a cozy suburban town, decorating his house for the holiday like he’s supposed to, but the highlight of his day is calling a particular federal pension employee, Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker). He calls on a regular basis to report missing checks, but the two simply enjoy talking to each other. Unfortunately for Sarah, Frank’s house is bugged and after narrowly escaping an ambush, he knows the bad guys will head straight to her place.
Having no choice, Sarah reluctantly tags along with Frank as he visits all of his old CIA pals. First stop? Joe (Freeman) who now calls an old aged facility home. Next up is Marvin (Malkovich), a wacky, but skilled ex-agent who’s convinced the government is out to get him. Then there’s Ivan (Brian Cox), a former Russian spy who has a history with the team’s last member, Victoria (Mirren), an elegant ex-MI6 agent. Now that the gang’s all back together, it’s time to take out the bad guys; some nasty folks who don’t want them to spread a little secret.
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