Sam Worthington ( Terminator: Salvation ) is a wheelchair-bound Marine who is hired by a Mining Corporation to work on an alien planet named Pandora. The Corporation is willing to risk destroying Pandora's entire ecosystem in order to obtain a vital ore named Unobtainium. He is genetically bonded to an Avatar, a remote-controlled entity identical to the planet's blue-skinned natives. Of course, he then falls in love with the local Pocahontas ( Zoe Saldana ).
The story is a rehash of Dances With Wolves, but no more so than The Last Samurai. However, it pales in contrast to Star Wars: Shatterpoint - the finest story of this sub-genre so far.
The film also owes something to Aliens , and not just in terms of the visual look of the futuristic technology. Giovanni Ribisi ( The Gift ) is a more sympathetic version of Carter Burke, while Michelle Rodriguez is a kick-ass chopper pilot instead of just a trigger-happy grunt like Vasquez.
The thing is, this is not just a film, it is an amazing 3-D experience to be enjoyed in all its glory. You can forget about the story and just enjoy the ride!
It is a time of civil war. The evil Count, Zarth Arn, plots a rebellion against the Emperor of the Galaxy (Christopher Plummer). When the Emperor's son (David Hasselhoff - Knight Rider) goes MIA while looking for the Count's superweapon, smuggler Stella Star (Bond girl Caroline Munroe ) is roped into searching for him.
Stella spends the entire film in a very impractical costume, and gets chased by dodgy stop-motion models. One scene is blatantly cribbed from the Telos scene in Jason and the Argonauts ! That said, if one ignores the SPFX and concentrates on the costume, the film might be considered watchable ...
The kids meet up with an astronaut (Dax Shepard - Idiocracy ) who is trapped in the game. He has an inherent dislike to the eldest of the boys (Josh Hutcherson - Futureman ), for reasons that are explained later.
As a side-trip, Riddick is captured by bounty-hunters Nick Chinlund ( X-Files ) and Christina Cox . They take him to a barbaric prison on a Hell World, where he meets his old friend Jack ( Alexa Davalos ).
Riddick is chased by bounty-hunters. No, not Nick Chinlund ( X-Files ) and Christina Cox , this is a new bunch or rather, two new bunches. One is a ragged gang of gunsels including Dave Bautista ( Guardians of the Galaxy ). The other is a clean-cut crew of professionals led by Ra's Al Ghul from Arrow and including Katee Sackhoff and Bokeem Woodbine ( Blade: The Series ).
Jabba the Hutt's son is kidnapped. The Jedi send Anakin and Obi-Wan to save the boy. Anakin ends up with a Padawan of his own, a young Twilek girl. She is actually quite likeable - her potential annoyingness musty offset her Master's!
Christopher Lee turns up as Count Dooku, though the cartoon character does not look much like the actor. However, Jabba's uncle has been compared by most reviewers to Truman Capote, and this reviewer has to agree.
The action is pretty good, and Amidala even pops up briefly. She has more to do in this cartoon than in the entirety of SW3: Revenge of the Sith , in fact. It is not a vast, world-changing adventure the way each of the main films is, but it works well as a stand-alone venture.
All this happens in the first half hour, so it is set-up that preceeds the inciting incident. And strangest of all, it includes three action scenes!
Finally, the good guys meet up with Gangster Number One (Paul Bettany - A Knight's Tale ) who gives them a mission. Yes, this is when the main storyline really begins. They must conduct a heist that involves teaming up with Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover - Community) and breaking into the Spice Mines of Kessel. Yes, this is not merely an action-adventure story - it attempts to squeeze every piece of Han's backstory into one movie.
The movie had a troubled history. To start with, it replaces the established version of Han Solo's origin story. If Disney wanted to be woke and promote more females as storytellers, why did they not just get Ann Crispin to adapt her Han Solo novel trilogy? Instead this was filmed as a comedy, then re-shot with Ron Howard as director. Sole director, according to the credits, although apparently he re-shot less than half of it. And finally it was released early, just a few months after the much-hated Star Wars 8: The Last Jedi . As a result it was notably less financially successful than expected. Perhaps this is unfair. It is not a bad movie as such, it is merely disappointing. Much like Star Wars 1: The Phantom Menace , it is a wasted opportunity that could have been a real masterpiece.
Years later, Jyn Erso has become Felicity Jones . She is recruited by the mainstream Rebellion, who are a bunch of murderous cut-throats willing to torture and kill people who are on their own side. They want her to help them destroy her father's creation, the Death Star. The odds are sorely against them. However, the Empire's elite stormtroopers can be easily beaten unconscious by hitting their helmet with a stick.
The movie's visuals are intended to make it grittier, more like a standard war movie than a heroic fantasy. However, this is totally undercut by the movie's inability to respect the laws of physics. The dusty desert city, supposed to be reminiscent of Baghdad in movies like American Sniper, has an Imperial Star Destroyer hovering over it like the Visitors' flying saucer in V: The Series . As all Star Wars fans know, the ISD does not have repulsorlift capability for hovering in mid-air. Later, the Saving Private Ryan beach scene has the Death Star looming over it, much larger (and thus closer) than it could be without gravity pulling it into the planet's surface.
Farmboy Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill - The Guyver ) teams up with the droids, Kenobi and interstellar gunslinger Han Solo (Harrison Ford - Raiders of the Lost Ark ). They must save the Princess from the villainous clutches of Darth Vader (Dave Prowse - Clockwork Orange ) and Governor Tarkin (Peter Cushing - Dracula ) ... then save the Galaxy from the Death Star!
This is the ultimate Space Opera. It has been repeatedly duplicated in sequels, copied in rip-offs and parodied in comedies ... but never EQUALED! Star Wars spawned a thousand imitations, but this is a sign of its superiority. This is the film that defines a generation!
Luke goes to Dagobah to find Obi-Wan's teacher, Jedi Master Yoda. meanwhile, Leia and the others are chased by Darth Vader. They hide out with Lando Calrissian, an old friend of Han's. But Vader has hired Bounty Hunters ...
This is regarded by many Star Wars fans as the greatest of the series. It was directed by Irwin Kirshner , who was George Lucas' tutor at Film School. The film certainly has a strength to it.
The second half of the film concerns the Rebellion's attempt to destroy the Empire's second Death Star. Luke, Leia and the others lead a commando team to the forest moon of Endor. If they succeed, Emperor Palpatine's evil reign will be ended. But taking on a Sith Lord is not as easy as they think!
This is the climax to the series. It was directed by Richard Marquand , a relatively inexperienced newcomer who was easily manipulated by Producer George Lucas . As a result, this film has a lot more Prequel-style cheesiness than either of the original films. However, it still contains some of the most potent scenes in the entire series. Luke's final duel with Darth Vader stands out.
In an effort to avoid revealing any spoilers, we shall discuss things only in the most general way possible. This film is set over three decades after SW6: Return of the Jedi , but not much has changed. There are a few new characters, but they just re-enact scenes from the previous films. The landscape is littered with debris from the war against the Empire, but the New Republic has not bothered to clean things up. They have not even established a regular military - it falls to General Leia ( Carrie Fisher ) to run a new Rebellion group, known as The Resistance. They are against the First Order, a bunch of Imperials who have teamed up with a Darth Vader wannabe named Kylo Ren ( ).
This film is much-lauded by critics and audiences alike. Certainly, it has a visual flair that the Prequels lacked. But while the direction may be better, the writing is certainly inferior. Gone is the epic feel, replaced only with remade scenes from older, better films.
The film starts with the First order on the offensive. Despite losing at the end of the previous film, they have recovered well enough to attack the Resistance HQ. Just like when Vader cornered the rebels on Hoth, only with comedy instead of suspense.
Damn Poe goes up in his X-Wing to take on the Imperial fleet single-handed. Luckily they only have one ship with weapons, a Dreadnought. Apparently the rest of them are just there for show. The Imperials have not learned anything from SW4: A New Hope - their defensive weapons cannot hit an X-Wing, and they do not bother to deploy their fighter screen until it is too late. The rebels deploy their bombers - upgraded B-Wings that have huge bomb loads at the expense of maneuverability. The Imperials are terrible shots, but the laws of probability state that sooner or later they will hit something by sheer chance.
Dameron gets demoted by Leia for disobeying a direct order. This is about the one thing that rings true about the military aspect. As General, she was the one in charge. However, she had no plan and thus he had to improvise. Star Wars is not based on sound military tactics but on heroics.
Just as Damn Poe gets punished by the Rebels, so does General Hux get punished by Supreme Lord Snoke. Under the circumstances they could both have done better, but since the battle is a skirmish without a decisive winner neither really deserved to be dragged over the coals.
Snoke has a fallback plan. Somehow he is tracking the rebel fleet when they jump through hyperspace. Just like in Battlestar Galactica (2003) .
Finn has been hanging around in the med-bay. Instead of the old-fashioned bacta tank, the new system is to give every patient a watertight suit filled with bacta. He goes walkabout, and meets a new love interest - Rose Tico. Yes, fans previously paired him with Rey and Poe, but now there is a third potential match for him. She actually has a lot in common with him. They are both space janitors!
Rey has continued her Jedi training under General Leia ( Carrie Fisher ). Yes, it turns out that there was no reason to go looking for Luke in the first place, since Leia was in plain sight and could have done a better job by herself all along. In another shock twist, it turns out that Jedi have the ability to spend some of their Force points if they want to heal another person. This may have been taken from the West End Games RPG, which was de-canonized back in the year 2012, but it does not really fit in with the rest of the movie series. Nevertheless, it helps this story do what it needs to do.
Rey and her friends have to go on a quest, following a series of clues that will lead them to the enemy base. This is not unlike the show Alias , although it is squeezed into a movie instead of stretched over two dozen episodes of a TV show.
Kylo Ren is hunting down Rey. His former rival, General Hux, now has bigger problems. Another General (Richard E. Grant - Hudson Hawk ) is now running the First Order's military, while Hux has been relegated to a supporting role.
Kylo's story runs alongside that of his mother, Leia. Unfortunately with the unavailability of Carrie Fisher, a certain part of the storyline had to be filled in by someone else. Hence there is an unexpected cameo.
The villain, Kluge (Christopher Lloyd - Back to the Future (1985) ), is basically an average Klingon Captain. He may have a cloaking device on his warbird, and one or more spies inside the Federation, but he is no more than above average. How tragic that such an important figure in Kirk's personal history would be such a non-entity. This also illustrates the key difference between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. The Feds are an empire with a fixed bureaucracy, while the Klingons are basically libertarians with a do-as-you-will philosophy.
Kluge wants to take the secrets of the Genesis planet for himself. This is bad news for Lieutenant Saavik (now played by Robin Curtis ) and Kirk's son, who stayed behind as a survey team.
Things are going well for the Enterprise crew. Geordi has eye implants. Data has been reassigned to a surveillance mission, where he apparently went haywire. Picard takes the Enterprise to investigate.
Starfleet Admiral Anthony Zerbe ( Omega Man, Licence to Kill ) and his ally F. Abraham Murray ( Last Action hero ) take on six hundred Luddites, because The good of the many outweighs the good of the few. Naturally, Picard objects. And since his opponents are rent-a-villain actors, things are more than a bit predictable.
The Romulan senate is taken over in a coup by an Admiral who is backed by the Remes. The Remes were enslaved by the Romulans, who are a Vulcan sub-race. The Romulans use the Remes as slaves and cannon-fodder. The Admiral is human, cloned by the Romulans from a sample of Picard's DNA in the hope of creating his equal in strategy and tactical ability. He does not look much like Picard, except for the bald head (strange, since Picard lost his hair in middle-age, not at birth!), but he is confident he can out-fight him.
Janeway is now an Admiral, when all she has done is get lost for seven years. Picard, who has twice the experience in years and Alpha Quadrant duties, is still only a Captain. But while Janeway is presumably doing paperwork somewhere she has no actual responsibility, Picard is sent to enter diplomatic relations with the Romulan Admiral. Ron Perlman ( Blade 2, Hellboy ) is the Reme Viceroy, who acts as the villain's psychic sidekick. En route, the Enterprise detects a positronic signal. The source is an android, one of Data's brothers.
There is a saying that the odd-numbered Trek films are mediocre, while the even-numbered ones are the best ones. This film is the tenth, following a disappointing ST9: Insurrection , and it is based on ST2: Wrath of Khan . But it is unfortunately just not a very good film. Apparently about fifty minutes of film was cut, and evidently they sacrificed the character-based scenes in preference to SPFX-intensive action scenes.
In clips set over the next couple of decades we see James T. Kirk grow up as a rebellious young man, until Captain Pike intervenes and gets him into Starfleet Academy. However, as a Starfleet Cadet Jim Kirk (Chris Pine - Wonder Woman (2017) ) falls foul of the young Spock (Zachary Quinto - Heroes ). But Nero is back, in an amazing coincidence - just in time for the Enterprise (with the younger versions of the ST: TOS crew aboard) to fly off on a great adventure ...
The film works on a number of levels. It is good science fiction, acknowledging that time travel creates alternate universes. There are enough references to the extensive continuity of Star Trek for the most hardened Trekker to accept it. And finally, it is an excellent action-adventure film.
This actually feels a lot more like Star Wars than Trek in many ways. The Transporters are used extremely rarely, with shuttles and escape pods (and sky-diving) given preference. That said, a film made by hard-core Trekkies could never have used the irreverent humour that really brings this story to life. There are a lot of unlikely coincidences and plot holes (Somehow, Kirk is the only one to realise that the Romulans are to blame for what is going on) but it is best to ignore them and enjoy the ride.
Mickey from Dr Who (2005) blows up a Federation base. The suspect is a traitor (Benedict Cummerbach - Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug ). Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and his team are called in by Admiral Peter Weller ( Robocop ) to save the Federation.
The plot actually has a twist or two. It turns out that the villain's target was Section 31. The Federation has its own agenda, to enable its survival in the brutal new universe that Nero created in the previous film.
The story's soap opera elements are toned down from the first one. Things seem to have cooled down between young Spock (Zachary Quinto - Heroes ) and Uhuru ( Zoe Saldana ). Instead of re-introducing characters, this movie concentrates on the action and adventure.
Kirk and the Enterprise crew stop off at the Federation's capital, a massive space-station with vertigo-inspiring geometry. Soon they get called off on a rescue mission, but end up marooned on a desolate world by space-pirate Krull (Idris Elba - 28 Weeks Later ). Spock (Zachary Quinto - Heroes ) and McCoy get lots of interplay, Uhuru ( Zoe Saldana ) faces the villain while Scotty teams up with an ass-kicking alien woman. Even Chekov (Anton Yeltsin - Fright Night 2011 ) gets lots of screen time, which is all the more poignant since the actor died before the film's release.
The villain's agenda is basically to punish the Federation for their pacifism. The problem is that when the Federation was formed, Starfleet abolished all military forces like the Makos from the TV show Star Trek: Enterprise . The narrative is that the Feds did not have any truly aggressive enemies. By Picard's time, the Klingons had become passive towards the Federation and the Romulans stayed quiet on their own side of the Neutral Zone. Even the highly aggressive and militaristic Cardassians are ignored as a threat. In fact, it took the encounters with the Borg to create the two things that protect the Federation best - the USS Defiant and Benjamin Sisco!
The previous film was a rehash of Star Trek: Wrath of Khan . The inspiration for this effort is a bit more difficult to pin down. It certainly shares the ethos of a lot of episodes of Star Trek: DS9 , which is deemed by many fans as the show that strays the farthest from Roddenberry's vision. However, of all the films it seems to share the most with the much-hated Star Trek: Insurrection .
The bottom line is, this movie basically proves that the villain is correct. Were it not for Captain Kirk, a renegade who by his only admission joined Starfleet on a bet, the entire Federation would be destroyed. It is a corrupt institution that absorbs smaller cultures and removes from them everything that makes them strong and unique. In comparison, the Borg merely add technological distinctiveness to their own, rather than repress entire cultures.
He has an entertaining series of one-on-one discussions with :
The interviews are not shown in sequential order, but rather they are intercut with each other so each actor's views on certain topics are aired. For example, the problem of working 18-hour shifts every week while raising a young family is given consideration.
Since Shatner is a regular at the annual Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas, he did some filming there. Not only did he interview a number of supporting actors from the various Trek shows, he also greeted a couple of differently-abled fans..