Monday, May 20, 2013

Wknd Box Office: Star Trek Into Darkness, The Iceman, Erased, The Company You Keep

Here is an interesting article from reviewing some of the movies that came out over the past weekend. This follows this post about some of the movies from last week and THIS POST about some movies that have been released over the past few years that you might have missed! This all follows this post about guidelines to chosing good movies to watch yourself!

Wknd Box Office: Star Trek Into Darkness, The Iceman, Erased, The Company You Keep

By Debbie Schlussel

Not much to love among the new movie releases at theaters, this weekend.

* “Star Trek Into Darkness“:  I did not care much for this first sequel to the Star Trek reboot (which I much preferred, read my review). It was long, kinda silly, and by Director J.J. Abrams’ own admission, the storyline/plot is an analogy to 9/11 Trutherism (that Bin Laden was just manipulated and used as a vehicle so that the leader could manipulate America’s soldiers into a losing battle–Iraq and Afghanistan and that Bin Laden didn’t really “do it” or “was forced to” because we gave him no choice).

This movie was soooo gay, to the point that I thought Spock (Zachary Quinto, who is gay in real life) and Kirk (Chris Pine) were about to have sex in one particular scene. They cry and put their fingers together to “touch” each other on a window that separates them. Awwww. Oy. William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy (who has a cameo again in this movie as he did in the previous installment) would never CRY. At least, they didn’t dare, back in the day. Also, does a sci-fi movie–that its makers know young kids will see (and to whom they are marketing it)–really need to have a menage-a-trois scene in it? Mommy, mommy, why is Captain Kirk in bed with twin alien chicks with tails? Was this a Star Trek version of the Doublemint Twins ad, “interspecies erotica”-style?

Other stuff I hated about this movie: if I’m gonna see a Star Trek movie, I wanna see all kinds of aliens in weird colors with weird faces and limbs, etc. This movie had none of that. The very few aliens we saw (and that was a scant few) were blah. And they only showed them very briefly or in passing for the most part. It’s like, with a James Bond movie, men go to see it to see a lot of scantily-clad beautiful women. And when you see a Star Trek or Star Wars movie (and this and the next Star Wars movie share Abrams as their director), you expect to see a lot of strange-looking aliens. That was missing here. Plus, the movie was filled with silly, stupid story lines, like Uhura’s (Zoe Saldana) dumb lovers’ quarrels with Spock (yup, more “interspecies erotica,” though at least none of theirs is shown on-screen in, again, a movie lots of kids are sure to see).

The story: Kirk is demoted from Captain, after he violates policy and risks everything to save Spock from being killed by a volcano on an alien planet. The aliens from that planet see the ship going to save Spock, and this alters the course of history in violation of policy. Spock files a report telling on Kirk for his misdeed in saving Spock’s life. Upon his demotion, Kirk is at a meeting of all the top commanders, including the Admiral, Marcus (Peter Weller), when many of them are attacked and killed by Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch), but in the end Khan was forced to be the terrorist because Admiral Marcus is really the bad guy, who manipulates Kirk into trying to start a war with the Klingons and inviting more revenge from Khan.  The movie is not only a 9/11 Truther fantasy (just as the recent “Iron Man 3″ (read my review) was), but it is also peacenik/anti-war baloney.

The movie was a little long, but it was chock full of special effects and action. I saw it in 3D, but that was a waste of money. See it in 2D, and you’ll miss nothing. This movie was just okay, nothing to gush over or write home about.

After the first major credits roll at the end of the movie, there is a dedication to the “post-9/11 veterans,” as if to drive the Truther theme home. That was disappointing. And what’s with not recognizing the efforts of our pre-9/11 veterans, too?


* “The Iceman“: I hated this movie. It’s cold, pointless killing-porn. It’s supposed to be the story of real-life mob hitman Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon), who died in federal prison, where he was sent for life, after getting caught. I like a good mob movie. This wasn’t one. It had no story, unless you count a guy killing people and sawing them up into pieces–in a very graphic way–a story. I don’t. I didn’t exactly enjoy the brutal killings up close, such as the murder of an innocent homeless man on a dare. Famous shoplifter Winona Ryder plays Kuklinski’s naive wife, who does not really know he’s a hitman for a living (nor do their two young daughters). But it’s not like we haven’t seen that in a million mob and gangster movies. There’s nothing new or novel here. In fact, it’s so hackneyed and retreaded that Ray Liotta is cast in the novel role of mobster.


* “Erased“: This could have been a great thriller and starts out that way. But it ultimately becomes a ridiculous, politically correct, anti-business, pan-Muslim bore in the second half. Aaron Eckhart develops high-tech security mechanisms for the branch of a company based in Belgium. He is divorced, but his ex-wife died, so now his teen daughter–whom he does not know well and with whom he is trying to get closer–is living with him.

One day, Eckhart shows up to his workplace and finds it empty, all traces of it erased. And he soon discovers that almost all traces of himself are erased, too. His bank account is empty, and the company has no record of the office where he worked, that he worked for the company, or that the company ever made the products he developed. And there are hitmen chasing him and his daughter through Belgium.

And now for the super-fantasy part: the only people who will help Eckhart and his daughter are Arab Muslims, who risk their lives and are killed for helping them. Eckhart’s daughter was dating one of them, and he didn’t like that, but now he’s forever grateful.

Eckhart’s daughter begins to notice that her father has all kinds of skills that aren’t typical of a man who develops security systems: he can kill people with his bare hands, knows how to shoot a gun very well, and so on. So, who is he, really?

The CIA is involved, and the bad guys who are killing everyone (in partnership with the CIA) are the company for whom Eckhart worked. It’s trying to avoid paying a lot of money to victims of a sunken boat who are suing. And the CIA helped the company hide implicating documents to snooker those dumb, poor European victims.

Yeah, that’s the ticket: another anti-American, anti-business, pro-Muslim propaganda piece on the silver screen.


* “The Company You Keep“: You’ve probably heard more than enough about this thriller, which glorifies the Weather Underground terrorists as some sort of idealistic, righteous ones who were fighting a “noble” cause. And that’s exactly what it is. Instead of showing us the Bill Ayers of the country bombing the Pentagon and the Capitol and killing bank guards (who are fathers of four) when robbing banks, the movie gets viewers to pity them as unfairly accused “innocents.” The movie focuses on Robert Redford (who stars and directs this propaganda), an aging lawyer who is a single father raising a much younger daughter whom he had with his wife who died of cancer. He is soon outed as a Weather Underground activist who is wanted by the FBI, and he’s forced to flee with his daughter while trying to avoid the FBI manhunt.

Redford is unfairly accused in the bank robbery and murder of the guard, we are told, and that’s the storyline: he’s trying to clear himself and needs his former Weather Underground lover, Julie Christie, to clear him. She is also living a secret life as a drug dealer.

If this movie wasn’t a big fat lie and propaganda extraordinaire, trying to soften us on domestic terrorists who murder fellow Americans, it might have been an interesting thriller, at least at the beginning. But it is, indeed, propaganda and lies, whitewashing reality. And, ultimately, it becomes a silly bore about a nosy reporter (Shia LaBeouf) trying to get the scoop on Redford and his former lover and daughter, before the FBI does. It’s not interesting or thrilling.

Just disgusting.

How sad that a whole ensemble of semi-big-name stars agreed to participate in this crap. But soooo predictable that they would. Hollywood doesn’t have a conscience, and isn’t about to develop one now.


No comments: