Tag Archive: Paramount Pictures


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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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?

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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:

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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:

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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?

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Terminator Genisys poster

Just like Arnold Schwarzenegger promised in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, he’s ba-ack, starring in another Terminator film.  It’s the fifth movie in the series: Terminator Genisys, and yesterday Skydance Productions and Paramount Pictures released a teaser for a trailer to be released later today.

The studios also released a digital poster showing Arnold’s famous cyborg, and you can watch it here:

Arnold’s Terminator has the rare distinction of being on both the American Film Institute’s Best Villains (for Terminator) and Best Heroes lists (for Terminator 2).

Busy as the Governator of California, other than brief glimpses of his image as the chiseled cyborg, Schwarzenegger did not make appearances in either Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), or the fourth film, starring Christian Bale and Sam Worthington, Terminator Salvation (2009).

Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor

Okay, maybe Emilia Clarke does look a bit like a young Linda Hamilton.

Terminator: Genisys has an impressive list of genre actors in addition to Arnold:  Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Jason Clarke, Jack Reacher’s Jai Courtney, Doctor Who’s Matt Smith, RED 2 and G.I. Joe’s Byung-hun Lee, The Hunt for Red October’s Courtney B. Vance, and Law and Order and Spider-man’s J.K. Simmons.

After the break check out the teaser for Terminator: Genisys:

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Friday the 13th part 3 3D

The defining film of the 1980s attempt to reignite the 3D medium, the 1982 sequel Friday the 13th, Part 3, represents both the best and the worst in the 3D genre.  It’s a film completely unapologetic about its three-ring circus of 3D gimmicks, yet in providing a hundred ways to throw something at the audience it stands by itself for trying things no other movie has tried.  Want to see an eyeball pop out of someone’s head and come right at you?  This is your movie.  If that doesn’t sound all that appealing, never fear, this is 1980s horror, so there is more to laugh at than truly be grossed out.

But let’s talk about the current options first.  You can watch Friday the 13th, Part 3 a few different ways.  As part of its October Halloween schedule (previewed at borg.com here) AMC is featuring a few showings of the Friday the 13th movie series October 20-22, 2014, including showings of Part 3.  You can also pick up a DVD Deluxe Edition version here or updated Blu-ray with features here from Amazon.com.  It’s not available on streaming but is a rental option from Netflix.  Certain versions, like the Deluxe Edition, come with a blue-red 3D glasses and the standard 2D version.  For this review we chose the standard version with the 3D TV upconvert option with Extreme 3D.

Friday the 13th Part 3 film poster

For some perspective, the film came out in the year of classic hits like E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial, Tron, Poltergeist, The Dark Crystal, Blade Runner, The Thing, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.  Friday the 13th, Part 3 begins with a complete recap of the climax of the prior sequel.  The disfigured Jason Voorhees, who we actually get to see in this film, returns to Crystal Lake, to torment young camp counselor Chris Higgins (Dana Kimmell), one of his targets who slipped away years ago.

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GI Joe banner

Half animated film come to life, half martial arts movie, in G.I. Joe: Retaliation look for one of the best action sequences ever to hit the big screen.  Darker and more grounded in the realities of today’s terrorism themed movies as opposed to the days of action war pictures centered on the Cold War, the sequel to G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra is only slightly less fun than the first live-action look at the action figure-turned-animated show and comic book-turned-action figure again franchise.  Whereas Rise of Cobra was steeped in toy references and faithful action figure costume re-creations, Retaliation has a plot that could have been pulled from the 1980s animated series.

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION

After a disaster caused by a conspiracy between Zartan and the evil shadow organization called Cobra wipes out literally every active G.I. Joe but three, it’s up to new top ranking officer Roadblock, played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to lead the charge to unravel the conspiracy and save the world.  He’s joined in a superbly created, fast-thinking survival maneuver by Flint (D.J. Cotrona) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki), who must then find their way out of a deep water well.  Despite being developed characters from G.I. Joe incarnations past, Flint comes off a bit like Hawkeye in The Avengers and Lady Jaye as the token female Joe in an era you’d think would be long past relying on jokes about women in the service.  Still, they both make the best of it and the trio, along with Duke (Channing Tatum), the squad leader of the Joes in Rise of Cobra, they share some good chemistry and laugh out loud moments in the film.  If there is any fault in Retaliation it is why the producers thought the plot required eliminating such a pantheon of other great Joe characters who were featured in Rise of Cobra, like Scarlett (Rachel Nichols), Baroness (Sierra Miller), Ripcord (Marlon Wayans), Heavy Duty (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), or General Hawk (Dennis Quaid).  It’s also a bit disappointing Bruce Willis’s General Joe Colton didn’t have a few more scenes.  Willis, transitioning from action role to the wise general role, steals every scene and a partnership with Dwayne Johnson in another film, G.I. Joe or not, would be a fun thing to see.

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