Here's my brief thoughts on all of them:
- Captain America: Civil War - Marvel! Yay!
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - Doomsday! Wonder Woman! Yay!
- X-Men: Apocalypse - Jubilee looks just like the cartoon! Yay!
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows - Bebop! Rocksteady! Yay!
- Independence Day: Resurgence - Nostalgia! Yay!
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - Wait...the set-up to this Harry Potter spin-off is someone smuggling animals through customs? I'm sorry, but prequels based on bureaucratic hang-ups rarely turn out well.
Even though I'm all obsessed with the new Star Wars coming out this Friday, my first fandom is still Star Trek. In fact, it's because of Star Trek that my hopes for The Force Awakens are somewhat...tempered. "I have faith in J.J. Abrams!" one of my friends commented. My response to that was, "Yeah, last time I did that I got Star Trek Into Darkness."
OK, here's my thoughts on the Star Trek reboot. I love, love love the 2009 reboot. I swear, there's more raw emotion in that pre-credits sequence than in all of the Next Generation films. When I saw it in the theatre, and Michael Giacchino's score swelled, and we saw the Starfleet logo filling the whole of the screen, I got goosebumps. Finally, my beloved Trek was getting the grand, epic big screen treatment I knew it deserved.
And a lot of that is thanks to J.J. Abrams. He admits, he knew nothing about Star Trek when Paramount gave him the project. All he knew was it was the thing with Kirk and Spock. So when Paramount asked him what he'd do, he said, "Kirk and Spock...and how they met?" Brilliant! That's a story that's never been told, and a fresh perspective on the material.
But, I loathe Star Trek Into Darkness. I was willing to forgive it. I was willing to go along with it. But then...one moment happened that pulled me out of the film completely. You know the one I'm talking about, right?
Yup. The death of Kirk and Spock yelling out, "Khan!" What could have been a clever twist on a classic scene from The Wrath of Khan was executed horribly. What happened was they took one of the most poignant death scenes in Star Trek, mashed it up with one of its cheeziest moments, and dropped it into the film with all the subtlety of a Family Guy cutaway gag.
What we discovered about J.J. Abrams was, like a lot of directors who don't know what to do with Star Trek, all he did was give us a half-assed rehash of Wrath of Khan.
So he got wooed away by Lucasfilm to work on that other franchise with "Star" in the name. Good. After the Into Darkness debacle, some new blood was needed. And we found a new director in Justin Lin, who gave us The Fast and the Furious 3, 4, 5, and 6. OK...not the typical director we were hoping for. But hey...he's got blockbuster experience. And they got Idris Elba to play the villain! He's good in everything! Simon Pegg, Scotty himself, and a bonafide super-fan in real life, got drafted to write the screenplay! He's got geek-friendly writer cred. He's one of the creators of Spaced, after all.
Cautious optimism was winning the day! But then, it dropped. The first trailer for Star Trek Beyond.
No. No. No. No. No.
This is not Star Trek. Where's the Kirk struggling with rigors of middle age, like in Wrath of Khan? Where's Picard, struggling to not get consumed with vengeance, like in First Contact?
There's none of that. Instead we get...dirt bikes? DIRT BIKES? A dirt bike race in a Star Trek movie? Witty one liners? Random guys punching random aliens?
This is not Star Trek. This is Big Dumb Science Fiction Action Movie #378.
Star Trek Beyond rapes my childhood on July 22.