Advertisements

Tag Archive: Paramount Pictures


The best production of 50 years of Star Trek, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, returned to theaters Sunday for two screenings nationwide, and audiences packed theaters from coast to coast.  The 35th anniversary of the biggest summer of movies continues Wednesday with your last chance to see 1982’s The Wrath of Khan back on the big screen as Paramount Pictures partners with the Fathom Events series once more.  We couldn’t wait to see it again and saw the first screening Sunday and were quickly reminded why the film was such a success.  What were my takeaway thoughts this time through the film?  Leonard Nimoy’s voice echoed throughout the theater with every line (was this his finest work as Spock?).  Kirstie Alley’s Lieutenant Saavik fits right in as the new crewmember.  The lengths director and screenplay writer Nicholas Meyer took to make the Enterprise look like a functioning military vessel:  from the boatswain’s whistle, to the formality of the uniforms and ship inspection by Admiral Kirk, the pulsating real-world sound effects of the two competing vessels, and the military tactics and trickery as Khan and Kirk try to one-up the other that always connects this film for me to another favorite, The Hunt for Red October.  William Shatner was so cocky and confident.  Tightly edited action sequences, camera angles placing the audience inside the bridge and into every nook and cranny inside the Enterprise (Turbolift doesn’t work? Let’s take the ladder), and James Horner’s unforgettable and unique musical score.  And it was fun for me to think back of all the people who made this film that I have had the good fortune to meet, like Shatner, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, and Walter Koenig.  Each of these actors seem to have done their best work in this film.

What surprised me?  After watching Sunday’s screenings I heard remarks from viewers about how many new scenes they did not remember, and this was echoed across the Internet, including comments from long-time Star Trek fans and insiders.  But it makes perfect sense–unless you are a rabid Star Trek fan, you probably didn’t track all the variations in the film that have been released over the past 35 years.  If you have a photographic memory at all, you may hear lines in this week’s presentation that don’t quite match up.  But if you only saw the film in theaters or via early DVD and Blu-ray releases, you will have seen different versions of the film (for one example, the original cut didn’t include the current title, instead it was Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, without the II).  If you watched the expanded ABC TV movie re-broadcast on television in 1985–as many did before the prevalence of home video options–you saw a version different from the 1982 release, full of entirely different takes of several scenes.  In 2002 a Director’s Edition was released, and if you saw the film recently at all, but before 2016’s official Director’s Cut, then you probably last saw the Director’s Edition.  The differences from what was scripted and filmed and what made the original theatrical version alone literally fills ten pages of Allan Asherman’s 1982 book The Making of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, but even that book of course couldn’t include the differences found in the much later ABC TV version and subsequent editions.  The version in theaters this week is the official 2016 Director’s Cut, itself absorbing so many modifications from the original 1982 release from prior incarnations.  But this is the final, the version Nicholas Meyer (the reputed “Man Who Saved Star Trek”) discussed with me in my interview with him here at borg.com last month.

Wait–What’s going on here?  I don’t remember this scene in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan! (Keep reading!)

So if you recall a more suggestive relationship between Kirk and Kirstie Alley’s Lieutenant Saavik, or sensed a romantic relationship brewing between Saavik and Kirk’s son David (played by the late Merritt Butrick), you won’t notice that so much in the Fathom Events presentation (below you’ll see the ABC TV version offered more “steamy” close-ups and additional dialogue amplifying the more womanizing Kirk of the original series).  If you don’t recall that Scotty has a young relative aboard the Enterprise, be prepared for a pleasant surprise, including some great additions featuring Kirk and Scotty.  The midshipman’s (played by Ike Eisenmann) death is more poignant in the latest cut, and an entire sequence between McCoy and Kirk gets us further into Kirk’s thoughts in the aftermath of Khan’s attack.  A conversation about ego between Spock and Alley adds further justification for Kirk’s actions as he taunts Khan into the nebula.

Newspaper advertisement for the 1985 ABC television presentation of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

But do you recall seeing a child in Khan’s crew on Ceti Alpha V?  McCoy mentioning he served with Paul Winfield’s Captain Terrell?  How about McCoy operating on Chekov after he returns from the Genesis planet and Chekov struggling to return to help on the bridge?  Sulu’s promotion to the Excelsior, or Kirk’s final line, quoting Peter Pan’s “first star on the right, and on ’til morning”?  That Saavik is half-Romulan?  David besting Kirk and holding a knife to his throat?  How about these lines from Khan:

Continue reading

Advertisements

Not many R-Rated movies these days get much attention in a genre world of sci-fi, fantasy, superhero, action, or suspense/thriller films.  The current wave of hit films seems to be targeting the broader, all-age audience, not just the adult set, with Deadpool being the notable exception.  But a new historical romance opening this weekend is so loaded with genre actors it drew our attention.  The background for Tulip Fever is as unusual as its subject matter.  Tulip Fever was initially set to be a Steven Spielberg film with Paramount Pictures starring Jude Law, Keira Knightley, and Jim Broadbent, way back in 2004, but a change in UK tax rules stopped the film in its tracks.  So Harvey Weinstein bought the rights and re-cast the film and production commenced in 2014.

The costumes, from Academy Award winning designer Michael O’Connor (Dredd, The Duchess, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) and the set design by Simon Elliott (Bleak House) look quite good, a dark European drama with Les Miserables-esque cinematography.  The film’s premise is unusual.  Academy Award winning actress Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Jason Bourne, The Danish Girl, and next year’s Tomb Raider) stars as Sophia, a young married woman who falls for a portrait artist during Tulip Mania in 17th century Amsterdam.  Her lover is played by Dane DeHaan (Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, The Amazing Spider-man 2).  The comparison of this couple to Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio’s secret lovers in Titanic is unmistakable.  But can a movie set with the backdrop of Tulip Mania possibly hope to draw the appeal of the sinking of the Titanic?  Probably not where this film is heading.  The film was originally screened at Cannes in 2015.  It’s release has been delayed at least six times.

But the genre actor cast list continues.  Sophia’s husband is played by two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (Spectre, Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, The Legend of Tarzan, Muppets Most Wanted).  Oscar winner Dame Judith Dench (the James Bond series, The Chronicles of Riddick, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Shakespeare in Love, Henry V) has a cameo role as a nun.  BAFTA winner Tom Hollander (Pirates of the Caribbean series, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Muppets Most Wanted, Valkyrie, Gosford Park) plays a doctor.  Primetime Emmy winner Zach Galifianakis plays a friend of DeHaan’s character and DeHaan reunites with Valerian co-star Cara Delevingne.

Here’s a trailer for Tulip Fever:

Continue reading

Khan crew image

One of the greatest all-time sci-fi villains and best productions of the 50 years of Star Trek is coming back to the theaters this summer.  The 35th anniversary of the biggest year of movies continues, with the 1982 masterpiece Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan hitting theaters across the country as Paramount Pictures partners with the Fathom Events series.  It is the sequel not only to Star Trek: The Motion Picture but a direct follow-up to the original series episode “Space Seed” starring the incomparable Ricardo Montalban–and his Khan has remained the unchallenged best villain in the franchise ever since.  Initially Montalban envisioned his character as a brash, over-the-top, shouting image of villainy, but director Nicholas Meyer took Montalban aside to coax from him his iconic, sinewy, scarily subdued personification of the Klingon proverb, “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”

The legendary test of character for a Starfleet officer, the Kobayashi Maru, and the death of the entire Enterprise bridge crew revealed in only the first minutes…  A ship full of trainees…  An experiment called Genesis…  Where Jaws prompted us to fear water everywhere, The Wrath of Khan made us fear anything crawling into our ears.  Kirstie Alley as Lieutenant Saavik…  Paul Winfield as Captain Terrell…  Ike Eisenmann as Scotty’s ill-fated nephew…  Who would have guessed James T. Kirk had a son?  The most emotional of scenes of the series as Spock says goodbye to Kirk…  And with all the new faces, the familiar ones were back again, at the top of their acting game: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, and Walter Koenig…  All rounded out with a score by James Horner and the most memorable of uniform styles for our heroes created by Robert Fletcher.

But you already knew that, right?

“Making Star Trek II seems like only yesterday,” Shatner said announcing the theatrical re-release.  “Even back then, we knew we were creating something really special, and to have The Wrath of Khan back on the big screen 35 years later is a wonderful testament both to the film itself and to the incredible passion of Star Trek fans.”  *Don’t miss our borg.com interview with The Wrath of Khan director Nicholas Meyer here.

Continue reading

Star Trek blu-rays 50th anniversary box set

If you don’t already own Star Trek’s original series, animated series and movie series, a new boxed set coming next month may be the thing for you.  As part of its 50th anniversary celebration of the original series, CBS and Paramount are partnering to release a high-end compilation of Blu-ray editions of some of the franchise’s best productions.

Every movie featuring the original Enterprise crew of William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, and Walter Koenig, except Star Trek Generations–Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country–can be yours on Blu-ray.  The original series is also included, and the director’s cut of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan released earlier this year.

ST disc 30 collection

For those who already have invested in the above content on Blu-ray, the additional material in the new boxed set that may draw you in is a first-time release of Star Trek: The Animated Series in high-definition on Blu-ray, as well as a multi-part documentary: Star Trek: The Journey to the Silver Screen—New 50th Anniversary.  CBS/Paramount promises two hours of features with new content, covering The New Frontier: Resurrecting Star Trek, Maiden Voyage: Making Star Trek: The Motion Picture, The Genesis Effect: Engineering The Wrath of Khan, The Dream is Alive: The Continuing Mission, and End of an Era: Charting the Undiscovered Country.

Continue reading

Star Trek Beyond Fly spot USS Enterprise inside Starbase Yorktown

Review by C.J. Bunce

In the fiftieth year of Star Trek, fanboy Simon Pegg proved that the franchise has never been stronger.  Probably more so than any prior entry in the now 13-movie catalog, Star Trek Beyond found a way to be the most loyal to the original series, with the writers weaving a story you could also find comfortably set within Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek Voyager.  And director Justin Lin showed that an action heavy film can also tell a good story.

Get ready.  Star Trek Beyond, opening this weekend in theaters everywhere, is also the most fun of the Star Trek movies since Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, thanks to clever and witty dialogue and circumstances that put the Bones and Spock relationship at center stage.  By movie’s end, diehard Star Trek fans will find themselves trying to categorize the latest big budget blockbuster against the past even-numbered films, generally regarded as the cream of the crop.  That consideration alone elevates the movie into the top echelon of all Trekdom, a welcome jolt for the franchise.

Better than the admittedly good Abrams contributions Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, Star Trek Beyond taps more subtlely into throwbacks we love, like a look at the Enterprise itself and spacedock in a way we haven’t seen since Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek III:  The Search for Spock.  And speaking of the original Star Trek III, this third reboot mirrors many key moments from that film, despite having an entirely different plot.

10731850_star-trek-beyonds-fourth-trailer-released_42cb4d6_m

What does it mean to serve on a ship on a long voyage?  What toll does it take on the captain and his or her crew?  Beginning with a humanitarian mission that we think Jean-Luc Picard would have appreciated, including an in-world guest actress (Sofia Boutella) like none other we’ve seen in Star Trek, featuring a strong actor–Idris Elba–as a brilliantly conceived unique–yet also familiar–villain, and dividing up the crew in twos to highlight the strengths of the characters–Star Trek Beyond is practically flawless.  Star Trek Beyond is not just good Star Trek, it’s great Star Trek.

Continue reading

ST Beyond Enterprise

We’ve seen Kirk and Spock duke it out for screen time over the years, both getting their own scenes where they sacrifice all for their crew.  Isn’t it time Bones gets the spotlight?  Will the next film be the one to put the ship’s doctor to the test?

We have been fans of all the Star Trek television series and movies from day one.  In this 50th year of Star Trek, the franchise catches up to the benchmark only recently passed by Doctor Who and James Bond.  Even the bottom of the Star Trek catalog is better than the best of many other franchises.   That bottom is in the eye of the beholder.  For many its Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.  For others it is Deep Space Nine or Enterprise.  Whatever your view, it’s sure to spark a conversation (and controversy) among Star Trek fans.

Next year a new streaming weekly series will no doubt clear the way for more chatter among fans like we saw when Star Trek: The Motion Picture was first released, when Star Trek: The Next Generation first aired, and the pilot of each series thereafter.  And of course the J.J. Abrams reboot films spurred its own schism between the fan base.   But for good or bad we’ll keep coming back and find something awesome about every new image of Star Trek on the big or small screen.

ST Beyond

Paramount has released several TV spots in the past few days that provide even more glimpses at an Enterprise under attack, our familiar crew, and new aliens and villains.  Check them out, after the break:

Continue reading

Star Trek Beyond Kirk poster    Star Trek Beyond Krall posterSince the first Star Trek reboot movie Paramount Pictures has presented fans with some attractive individual character posters.  In 2008 hundreds of fans waited at the Paramount booth at San Diego Comic-Con to land a set of four featuring Kirk, Spock, Bones, and Uhura.  The marketing team followed up with two sets of character posters for the 2013 sequel Star Trek Into Darkness, including action shots for each of Kirk, Spock, Uhura, Scotty, Chekov, and newcomers Khan and Carol Marcus.

The character posters are back again.  In this 50th year of Star Trek, Paramount has issued a new set of movie posters for display at movie theaters and other public display areas for the 13th film in the franchise, Star Trek Beyond, this time featuring Kirk, Spock, Bones, Uhura, Scotty, Chekov, and new featured aliens Sofia Boutella’s Jaylah and Idris Elba’s Krall.  This is in addition to a teaser poster, a Star Trek: The Motion Picture-inspired poster that appears to be the official standard release poster, and an international release poster reminiscent of one of the posters for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

Note that the Sulu and Uhura posters have a pretty glaring error.  Can you spot them?  Will it have an impact on their collectability and future value?

Star Trek Beyond Uhura poster    Star Trek Beyond Sulu poster

These are pretty sharp and definitely the style we’d expect as giveaways at Comic-Con.  The world premiere will be at Comic-Con this year, Wednesday, July 20, 2016, at Embarcadero Marina Park, shown in IMAX.  The San Diego Symphony Orchestra will perform the score and the cast will make an appearance.  Follow the San Diego Comic-Con website for details and a chance to get tickets.

Continue reading

ST Beyond poster

Along with a new poster, this weekend Paramount launched an attempt to save face from last year’s first trailer debacle with a more traditional sci-fi action film trailer attempting to hit all the marks detractors of the first trailer have long been hoping for.  But what is this about?  Is it really just an action-packed road race across the stars?  The first of the reboots–the 2009 J.J. Abrams film Star Trek–was a trek to the past.  The 2013 sequel Star Trek Into Darkness looked back to the series’ most popular and possibly darkest villains.  So what is the “beyond” in this year’s Star Trek Beyond?  The preview doesn’t provide much of a clue.

What does come through after about a dozen views and reviews is that the next Star Trek film, as with earlier Trek stories, looks back to earlier films for inspiration or all-out copying.  A scene with the Enterprise in spacedock conjures the long, long scene where Scotty flies Kirk to the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.  The Enterprise is ripped apart here evidently for good, harkening back to the destruction of the ship in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.  If we’re back in STIII territory, can we at least see Commander Kruge again?  Please?

star-trek-beyond

The new trailer reveals a movie that appears to have more in common with Star Trek Nemesis and Star Trek Insurrection than any other past incarnation of Star Trek.  It is difficult to look at the prosthetics on Idris Elba’s lead villain and not think of Star Trek Nemesis’s Reman warriors.  And a planet-based story is something more along the lines of Star Trek Insurrection, Voyager’s “Basics” two-parter, and the original series episode “Arena”.

Is there going to be anything new for Star Trek fans in Star Trek Beyond? 

Check out this second trailer for Star Trek Beyond:

Continue reading

Diectors Cut Wrath of Khan Mondo

The most lauded production in the Star Trek catalog is getting a facelift.  Coming this summer, Paramount is releasing Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in Nicholas Meyer’s popular director’s cut version for the first time in Blu-ray format.  It’s one of several releases this year celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise.

Long referred to as among the best science fiction films of all time, Wrath of Khan has been digitally remastered in high definition with a higher picture quality than available before.  It will include both the Director’s Edition (previously only available on DVD) and the original theatrical version.  The Blu-ray also includes a new, nearly 30-minute documentary entitled “The Genesis Effect: Engineering The Wrath of Khan,” which details the development and production of the film through archival footage, photos and new interviews.  Two hours of previously released material fills out the disc set.

Star Trek II The Wrath Of Khan (1982) 2

Pre-order it now here from Amazon.com to get it when it is released June 7, 2016.

Director Nicholas Meyer was recently tapped as chief writer for the next Star Trek TV series, coming in 2017.  He also directed the other Star Trek film competing for “best of the best” cred, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

Here are the complete specs for the Blu-ray release:

Continue reading

Bueller art

Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Bueller?  Bueller?

Ferris Bueller, you’re my hero.

Where’s Abe Froman when you need him?

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Fathom Events, Paramount Pictures, and Turner Classic Movies is hosting a return of the beloved comedy masterpiece to theaters for a limited release.

The screening will include an introduction to the late John Hughes’ seminal work from Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz.

Here is the original trailer from 1986:

And a slightly better version:

So… When and where?

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: