}

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Two trailers, two reactions


Two trailers for sci-fi movies have been released, and I had different reactions to them. However, the fact that there will be some science fiction movies to look forward to is a good thing.

The trailer up top is for Independence Day: Resurgence, which takes place 20 years after the 1996 film Independence Day. It looks like the sequel has a lot of action, maybe more than in the original.

I enjoyed the original, even though it had a few odd quirks and some poorly written dialogue. It made up for that with good action sequences and healthy doses of humour, all of which made it an entertaining movie. The trailer for the new one seems darker, though it’s hard to tell from a trailer alone. Still, I don’t have any particular expectations for the new film, so it is what is.

The film has a companion website, War of 1996, which treats the fictional events of the 1996 film as if they were real. I’ve seen that sort of thing before, and done well—as my quick glance suggested this is—it can be a lot of fun.

Independence Day: Resurgence opens in New Zealand on June 23, 2016, and June 24 in the USA.

The second trailer I saw was for Star Trek Beyond:



Apparently, the trailer was “leaked” online, so Paramount Pictures rushed to officially release the trailer ahead of schedule (apparently it had been timed for release to be shown with new Star Wars movie.

The latest in the “reboot” Star Trek movies starring Chris Pine as Captain Jim Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock, this one is similarly more action focused than some of the earlier films, and more so than the various TV series.

The films have always been different from the various TV series, destroying the Enterprise many times over. A feature of the TV series was that technology was, basically, a character, while in the moves it was usually little more than a plot device.

So, when I watched the trailer, I was underwhelmed at first. I’ve never been totally comfortable with the re-boot, though I do like the actors, and the movies have taken awhile to appeal to me. That happened largely because I realised the re-boot allowed the characters and storylines to go in new directions—yet that was exactly what made me uncomfortable in the first place.

I grew up with the original Star Trek TV series, watching them when they were new, then for years in re-runs before the various new series began. Interestingly, when it first debuted, I was dubious about Star Trek: The Next Generation for much the same reason as I was dubious about the re-boot movies: It was messing with what I knew and had invested so much time in over the years.

So, I watched the new trailer and at first just saw yet another futuristic action flick with nothing particularly “Star Trek” about it. But at the heart of all the movies and TV series has been the relationship between the characters, and that’s clearly true in this one, too. A few more viewings and I warmed up to it.

The ambivalent feelings I’ve had aren’t unique, and are common when a movie (or TV series) is re-done and, especially, when it’s reimagined. I think this must be the hardest thing for remakes to overcome, no matter how good they are.

So, of course I’ll see it—duh! it’s Star Trek. And I’ll probably enjoy it, too. It just takes more to win me over because my expectations are so much higher.

Star Trek Beyond debuts in the USA on July 22; the New Zealand release date hasn’t been announced yet.

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