Tag Archive: Chris Pine


Pine KIrk

It’s an unusual thing.  We’ve seen plenty of unusual with the Star Trek reboot universe–also called the JJ Abrams Star Trek, and now the Kelvin Timeline because of the ship that as destroyed when Nero came back in time to alter the past.  Whatever it is, it’s a different kind of Star Trek than what fans were used to for 40 years.  Now with a 50th anniversary upon us, Star Trek joins James Bond and Doctor Who in the elite club of 50-year genre classic franchises.

Comparing Star Trek to James Bond would be unusual, too.  One is science fiction, the other, spy and action movie.  Star Trek isn’t a spy story, but it has traditionally been dosed with a bit of action here and there, while always taking a back seat to dramatic story telling.  James Bond has a few trademark notables, like a single James Bond theme and a pop song that highlights each new release.  Star Trek, over its entire 50 years, does not have a single theme, instead opting for new scores and thematic cues for each new series and movie.  But now for the first time, Star Trek is getting its own pop song for the next iteration of the franchise.

Star Trek Beyond

Call it a Justin Lin thing, something you’d expect for a director known for Fast and The Furious movies.  The final trailer to drop from Paramount for Star Trek Beyond landed this week, and it features the new song “Sledgehammer” by Rihanna.  Check it out:

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ST MD 3 alt cover     Star-Trek-Manifest-Destiny-4

One of the coolest events going on this year to commemorate 50 years of Star Trek is a new four-part mini-series from IDW Publishing.  Plenty of great issues of Star Trek in comics are coming your way this year, but tomorrow IDW releases the second of four variant covers that we think will bend your view of time and space.  At least as far as the Final Frontier is concerned.

IDW artist Tony Shasteen has created four variant covers for the series Star Trek: Manifest Destiny, and each interprets Star Trek movie posters of the past.  For these posters, the new crew of the Enterprise portrayed by the actors from J.J. Abrams’ movies replace the original series actors.  The results will make the classic Star Trek fan have a double-take.

ST MD 1 cover alt     ST MD 2 cover alt

It also makes you see what untapped places the new universe of Star Trek could conquer.  Who doesn’t want to see Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk and Zachary Quinto’s Mr. Spock in an update of the classic maroon uniforms from Star Trek II-VII in one of the coming sequels?  And Kirk in his classic shell-design civilian outfit from Star Trek II-IV?  IDW is giving us a peek at what that could look like.

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Pine in Wonder Woman

We now have our first confirmation that Chris Pine will be portraying Amazon Princess Diana aka Wonder Woman’s love interest Steve Trevor in Warner Bros. Wonder Woman movie.  Cast member Saïd Taghmaoui released photos on his Instagram account this weekend showing the two co-stars in World War II attire.

Chris Pine, who has now played genre legends Captain James T. Kirk in 2009’s Star Trek and its sequel Star Trek Into Darkness and Tom Clancy’s hero Jack Ryan in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, is becoming the go-to guy for classic genre roles.

Chris Pine Steve Trevor Wonder Woman

Directed by Patty Jenkins and written by Jason Fuchs, Wonder Woman stars Gal Gadot in the title role and Nicole Kidman in an unknown role, with a release date scheduled for June 23, 2017.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

Keira Knightley in Shadow Recruit

Whether or not Keira Knightley wins the Academy Award this year for her role as a World War II codebreaker opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game (which we reviewed previously at borg.com here) we’re confident she will have one or more Oscars on the shelf years from now.  She was one of our picks in our Best of 2014 review.  A lead actress who could pull off any role, she seems to opt for more quirky and challenging roles.  These include her role as a bounty hunter in Domino, but also classic costume drama parts, like Lara in the remake of Doctor Zhivago, Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice, and an against-type Guinevere in King Arthur, genre roles like Padme’s double in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, a withering-away clone in the disturbing sci-fi drama Never Let Me Go, or Disney franchise star in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

Last year Knightley also co-starred in a major studio release, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, as the future Mrs. Jack Ryan opposite Chris Pine, holding her own with the likes of Academy Award winners Kevin Costner and Kenneth Branagh.  The first expansion film of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan stories, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is now out on DVD, Blu-ray and On Demand.

Jack Ryan Chris Pine

As Cathy Muller, a role previously played by Gates McFadden, Anne Archer, and Bridget Moynihan, she’s the first actress to take the part beyond emotional support stalwart for Jack.  In a franchise full of large, in your-face-drama: a nuclear sub about to explode in The Hunt for Red October, battling terrorists in Patriot Games or drug kingpins in Clear and Present Danger, and a dirty bomb smuggled into the country taking out an entire city in Sum of All Fears, it’s a big surprise that Shadow Recruit’s big event is tied to a discovery in forensic accounting by Ryan, leading to a potential economic crisis and small scale bombing.  Yet unlike A Good Day to Die Hard, a sequel using a similar plot (proving that once popular franchise is too tired to continue), the prospect of a young couple working together within Ryan’s secret CIA world in Clancy’s universe of global espionage is a bit refreshing.  And Knightley is probably the highlight of the film.

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jack ryan shadow recruit poster

After Tom Clancy’s passing this week, fans of his biggest character, Jack Ryan, have been introduced to a new phase of the movie incarnations of his geopolitical thriller novels with this weekend’s release of the first trailer for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.  Last December we at borg.com listed Jack Ryan as one of the ten characters to watch in 2013, and we included Jack Ryan, the movie, as one of the 24 films we predicted would be worth seeing in 2013.

Since last year’s announcement of Chris Pine taking on the lead, the title was changed to add the subtitle Shadow Recruit, replacing the prior subtitle Shadow One (we think Hollywood really needs to work on their subtitles).  The role of Jack Ryan was, of course, first played by Alec Baldwin in The Hunt for Red October in 1990, followed by Harrison Ford in Patriot Games in 1992 and Clear and Present Danger in 1994.  Ben Affleck then played a younger Jack in the 2002 prequel film The Sum of All Fears.  All four of these movies were based on bestselling Clancy novels, The Hunt for Red October often being listed as one of the best thrillers of all time.  Likewise, The Hunt for Red October is one of the best, and most exciting, movies of all time, with Alec Baldwin’s performance still the standard for future Ryans to be measured against.

Costner and Pine in Jack Ryan

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Enterprise from Into Darkness

Review by C.J. Bunce

After more trailers than we can count, more minutes of screen-time revealed in advance, and more advertising and hype than any Star Trek film in recent memory, Star Trek Into Darkness is not only better than you’ve heard, it’s the best Star Trek movie since Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.  Considering all my fellow uber-Trek fan friends had more negative to say than positive on this 12th motion picture entry, I was scratching my head to try to figure why this was the most fun I’ve had watching a movie in years–or maybe why they didn’t have as much fun as me.

Star Trek, the Original Series, is pretty much sacred, and not only sacred, its sacrosanct in the eyes of loyal fans, so J.J. Abrams was taking a risk by getting his claws into the franchise in 2009’s Star Trek.  When I read that he was taking on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan material specifically, I thought he was just plain nuts.  But then I asked myself, if I had the keys to the candy store what would I do if I wanted to make my mark on the franchise?  Bring back Christopher Lloyd’s Klingon Commander Kruge or Ricardo Montalban’s regal Khan?  Kill off a main character?  Abrams did just what any of us would love to do, and I expect, this should set our expectations for what he will do with the third trilogy of the Star Wars franchise, which will have a much larger international audience and implications for Abrams’ own future.

STID

As a viewer well-versed in the minutia of Star Trek, I expected to nitpick this film to death when walking into the theater and actually put off watching the film instead of seeing it on opening weekend like I had historically viewed the past films back to Star Trek VI.  But not 15 minutes into the movie, when Kirk is being scolded by Admiral Christopher Pike (played deftly again by Bruce Greenwood) for violating the prime directive and then rightfully demoted, I was reeled into a cleverly twisting plot that delivered the goods at every level with a non-stop, action packed thrill ride that also managed to offer some of the best characterization for key roles than has been given to them in any prior Star Trek film, period.

Take for instance Simon Pegg’s Scotty.  Not since the TV series was Scotty given the opportunity to play a key role in the story of a Trek film.  Here he plants the seeds not as the throwaway silly Scottish chap, but as the moral voice for the film.  Karl Urban’s Bones similarly gets many lines–good lines– and we learn something about him other than his “wait a damn minute” grunting, which was all we ever saw from him in Star Trek: The Motion Picture through Star Trek VI.  We learn for example that he once gave a C section to a pregnant Gorn (with octuplets).  And that they bite.  Awesome!  This sheds some light on why he later would try to work on the dying Klingon ambassador in Star Trek VI.  And someone finally, onscreen, calls out Bones for his repeated metaphors.

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Green Arrow and Superman

If there is a constant as we look ahead to movie franchises and other entertainment properties in 2013, it is the sequel, spin-off, and remake.  We’re sure someone will provide new content and stories for us for movies and TV from entirely new characters and worlds in 2013, but just take a look at the 24 biggest genre movies coming out next year and it is obvious that Hollywood is following the “tried and true” model of investing in current properties rather than investing money in “the new”.

So with that in mind, what are the big characters to watch out for next year–the characters we already know that seem like they can only get bigger?

Chris Pine as Jack Ryan

10.  Jack Ryan.  Back in the 1980s and 1990s it seemed like Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan was everywhere, first with Alec Baldwin taking on the role in The Hunt for Red October, then mega-star Harrison Ford in two sequels, followed by a big break and then Ben Affleck in the prequel Sum of All Fears.  With Star Trek star Chris Pine bringing us yet another prequel effort next December, we think a wide audience will come back again to see what this CIA agent has been up to.

Hugh Jackman as The Wolverine

9.  Wolverine.  I’ve always thought Wolverine should be Marvel Comics’ key property.  Spider-man always relied on Peter Parker (well, until recently) who seemed pretty planted in the psyche of the past.  The Avengers seemed too cartoony with characters with too little in common to really be a huge property (happily I was wrong!).  But Wolverine has a certain modern grittiness that readers, especially young readers, would seem to really attach to.  Audiences seem to like Hugh Jackman’s take on the character and his incredible fifth outing as Logan/Wolverine in July, titled The Wolverine should tell us if this will be the end of a big-screen Wolverine for a while or whether he will only get bigger.

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Yeah, Black Friday and Star Trek set decoration don’t really seem to go together, do they?  I’ll explain.

If you happened to be out and about on the retailers’ big day this week, and you happened to walk by the Target Portrait Studios inside your local Target Store, you might have seen this:

So what’s the big deal?  If you’re a Star Trek fan you might notice that Target is using some Italian-made “Calligaris Jam” counter stools for their photo salon guests.  Still no idea what I’m talking about?  These are the same style of chair that Chris Pine’s James T. Kirk is sitting in when he first meets Zoe Saldana’s Uhura, also sitting in this style of chair, in a Riverside, Iowa, bar, in the 2009 Star Trek movie.  This was the first ever meeting of these two characters in the Star Trek universe. The stools are visible at either side of the frame in this scene from the movie:

This isn’t an every-day chair, and set designer Karen Manthey selected these fairly high end stools along with chairs for the Riverside, Iowa, location filmed in L.A. from the Italian design company’s selection of futuristic colors.  Below is a screen-used version from the set of the film, in the transparent orange variety, which CBS Paramount sold at auction a few years ago with a handful of other props from this scene.  Target has the transparent red-colored version of the chair.  At $300-400 per chair, Target Stores must be doing fine in this troubled economy!

   

If you’re wanting to bring some of the Star Trek futuristic look to your own home, you can buy these online in the bar stool version or a chair version, which also was used in the Riverside bar scene in the film–for the Star Trek fan who has everything, as they say.

Or if you decide to use the Target Portrait Studio this season and you want to get a little sci-fi slant to your photo, ask to use this chair, and send the photo along and we might post it here.  Very unusual to see these obscure chairs as we roamed on Black Friday.

While we’re discussing the Riverside bar scene, below are photos of detail of a screen-used cadet sweater worn by background female cadets in the 2009 Star Trek film.  This is the same uniquely knitted costume sweater as worn by Zoe Saldana playing Uhura as she sat on the bar stools in the above scene in the film.

 

Although Anovos is scheduled to produce a Starfleet female cadet uniform for cosplayers, they haven’t yet announced whether they will produce a sweater for the set as used in the film.  Here is their prototype replica from their booth at Comic-Con this year:

Check out the Anovos website for other custom gift ideas for your favorite Trekker or Trekkie.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

Reviewed by C.J. Bunce

If you saw Taking of Pelham 123 with Denzel Washington you may sense a bit of a deja vu.  That’s probably because both starred Washington and were directed by Tony Scott, who knows how to film an unrelenting train ride.  But Unstoppable doesn’t need the criminal elements to carry a nail-biting story simmering at first then racing non-stop through the final action sequence.

Two-time Oscar winner Washington shares equal screen time with co-stars Chris Pine (Captain Kirk in 2009’s Star Trek) and Rosario Dawson (Sin City), who particularly shines as a smart, lead dispatcher who uses her experience to try to convince railway executives of the unusual danger of this train full of chemical cars racing through rural Pennsylvania without an engineer onboard, pursuing a sharp turn in the more densely populated city of Stanton.

As the story begins, a befuddled engineer (Ethan Suplee, My Name is Earl) steps off the train to change tracks, when the engine slips into full gear and takes off down the track.  Dawson plays Connie, the lead dispatcher who realizes the danger as the train accelerates head-on through train stops, encountering a head-on train of school children, a car wreck on the tracks with frantic horses, and another train being driven by Frank (Washington), who has spent decades on the rails and who recently was given his retirement notice, and newbie conductor Will (Pine) on his first day working with Frank.  Kevin Dunn plays the railway representative who, despite warnings from Connie, continues to make the wrong decisions and fails to get the train to stop.  Lew Temple plays a train welder down the line who comes in and out of the story with a bit of humor, fed up with the failed attempts at stopping the train.  Kevin Corrigan plays a railway inspector adding his own theoretical and mathematical contributions to the core team’s strategy (think if train A leaves town at 5 p.m. and travels at 55 mph and train B advances in the oposite direction at 70 mph, at what time will the trains collide??).

The first third of the film is a pretty comfortable ride.  We get to know about Frank and his daughters, and Will and his problems with his wife, played by Jessy Schram (Life, and young Allison on Medium).  The camera angles and slow-build really sets up the action in a believable, non-Hollywood way, and the ride is steady and not overdone.

After the experience and decisions of Frank working via radio with Connie prove invaluable, the stakes are raised as Frank and Will attempt a reverse speeding pursuit of the train and we get to see incredibly-shot filming of some nice stunt work as Pine and Washington take turns physically trying to take control of the train.  Director Scott could have taken the story, based in part on an actual runaway train through Ohio in 2001, in typical directions, but he instead offers a more nuanced pursuit that is more subtle, while still maintaining humor and a number of great action scenes, including multiple attempts to jump on the train from a truck, harrowing train dangling by Pine, and Washington running atop and jumping between railroad cars.    For the film’s climax Scott gives us a chase scene that involves trains doing what we’ve only seen stunt cars do in the past.

In a summer of blockbusters and overly marketed video releases, this less advertised action movie should not be missed.  Rating: 4 of 5 stars. On DVD and Blu-Ray.

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