“We’ve Got No Ship, No Crew, How’re We Going To Get Out Of This One…?
Taking the helm as only producer this time around, it is resoundingly safe to say that J. J. Abrams is the all-round geek saviour of the 20th century where long before breaking box office records and smashing countless other cinematic achievements with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Mr. Abrams lit the fuse once again in regards to the nations’ love of Star Trek, with a brand new team of space explorers being offset with a brand new timeline, expanding the stories of the crew upon the Enterprise to new and exciting limits. Now, six years since the first Star Trek reboot, Star Trek: Beyond continues the blockbuster success of the franchise, where although it could be regarded as the weakest of the three so far, Justin Lin’s directorial space debut is solid and sometimes spectacular summer popcorn fun featuring everything you would expect from an array of actors each used to their own talents on and off-screen in the six years from which they first began their voyage into deep space, albeit if the series itself is beginning to feel ever so slightly formulaic.
Beginning with a portrayal of a day in the life of our beloved Enterprise crew, Star Trek: Beyond begins rather slowly and then ascends into a two-hour survival mission against the ominous yet dedicated figure of main antagonist Krall, played expertly by everyone’s favourite Bond hopeful, Idris Elba, and his pack of cronies, hell bent on bringing destruction to those who wronged them in the past. If anything, Krall’s role in Beyond is all too small, where although Elba’s performance is enough to make him an effective bad guy, the script just doesn’t allow his character to become complex enough to make him memorable. Of course, the one-two of Pine and Quinto brings the bromance factor to the table, sidelined by the cling-on (no pun intended) of third wheeler Bones, whilst the bad-ass duo of Zoe Saldana and Sofia Boutella gives the female characters an extensive role to bring to life. Of course, overshadowing the release of Beyond is the deeply saddening loss of Anton Yelchin, an actor lost too young and an actor whose roles in films such as Green Room and the Star Trek franchise means he will not swiftly be forgotten. Beyond is Star Trek to the T. A classic adventure with some great thrills, if not entirely up to the mark of its’ predecessors within the 21st century revival trilogy.
Overall Score: 7/10
“I Can’t Die Here With You…”
Of all the previews released into my local world of cine this year so far, Jeremy Saulnier’s latest splatter-fest Green Room, is by far the least publicised and most unknown entity I have ventured into seeing, being one of the few rare times in which I begin a film without an inch of prior knowledge, a rare commodity if ever there was one in this day and age of stuffed-down-your-throat propaganda-esque trailers and endless streams of publicity both on the large screen and the small. Not recognising the director’s name at all until the end of the movie when my overused IMDB app was swiftly opened up, Green Room was indeed the work of a mad-man, one who has an obvious love of blood splatter B-Movie greatness, harking back to the days of grindhouse pictures, whilst having an uncanny knack of relieving tension in the most horrific of scenes with the jet-black comedy element blending seamlessly with the complete and utter carnage that occurs on-screen throughout the film’s more than modest 90 minute run-time. If you can handle sharp objects, killer dogs and death, lots of death then continue to read on; Green Room is one of a kind.
Following in the footsteps of recent B-Movie blood-splatter gems such as the brilliantly comical You’re Next and even last years’ Marmite picture Knock, Knock, Blue Ruin director Jeremy Saulnier brings to life a fusion of punk rock sensibility to the genre, with Anton Yelchin’s power quadruple being caught within a rather sticky situation after performing at a isolated Neo-Nazi clubhouse ran by Captain Picard himself, Patrick Stewart. What follows is a tension-filled gore fest with explosions of violence that can hold up against anything in its’ respective genre in terms of shock value, yet the undercurrent of comedy helps to differentiate the film from being a proper downer of a movie in line with something such as Eden Lake, a movie with no laughs whatsoever, with a recurring joke about desert-island bands being particularly humorous right up to the final scene. Twists and turns, blood and guts, Green Room most definitely isn’t for everyone but if you are like me and enjoy the twisted nature of B-Movie greatness, check it out. Just don’t east beforehand.