Just forget the words and sing along

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

New Star Trek Trailer! (And Beauty and the Beast, Too.)

So, guys.  You may remember, I was not a fan of that first trailer for Star Trek Beyond.  I was ready to punch the monitor, it was so bad.  During Christmas vacation, forget all the contentious Christmas dinner conversation topics like politics and religion.  When my brother brought up the Star Trek Beyond trailer, I was ready to flip the table.  How dare they reduce Star Trek to just another big dumb space adventure.

I wasn't the only one who hated it.  Scotty himself (and the film's co-writer) Simon Pegg wasn't a fan.  Even the film's director, Justin Lin, didn't like it.  Like me, he had a problem with Capt. Kirk doing sick wheelies on a dirt bike.  Shortly after the trailer's release, I read an interview with him where the interviewer singled out that scene.  "I know, I know!" said Lin.  "I didn't like it, either.  [The studio] made me put that in cuz I'm the Fast and the Furious guy."   (Lin was the director of The Fast and the Furious 3 thru 6.)

Well, we got our second trailer.  And this one...well, I hate this one less.

This feels more like the continuation of J.J. Abrams' rebooted universe, and not a Big Dumb Space Action Film.  I like the new struggle they're giving Kirk.  He's now as old as his father was when his father was killed...is he really on his own path, or just following his father's?  And as brief as it is, I love the quick scene between Spock and Bones about the nature of fear and death.  I've been hoping for a while that we'd get some of that classic Kirk/Spock/Bones trinity in these films...hopefully that's a harbinger.

We're getting a bit of an official plot synopsis, too.  The last film ended with the Enterprise setting out on its historic five year mission of exploration.  Well, we catch up with the Enterprise about three years in, and the crew's starting to get a touch of cabin fever.  And then, they're attacked by an unknown alien and left stranded on a deserted planet.  It's up to our crew to survive and figure out how to stop this new evil, bent on destroying the Federation.  Idris Elba plays the leader of this new evil, Krall, and his sidekick, the female alien in all the trailers, Jaylah, is played by Sophia Boutella (the assassin Blades in Kingsman: The Secret Service.)

Star Trek Beyond hits theaters on July 22.

And that's not the only that premiered over the long weekend that caught my eye.  Next stop on Disney's live-action remake train, Beauty and the Beast.

I haven't made a lot of stops on Disney's live-action remake train.  I saw Alice in Wonderland because I like Tim Burton (sorry, Burton, but not one of your best), and I saw Cinderella because it piqued enough of my interest (it was pretty good).  Still on the fence about going to see The Jungle Book, but the reviews are so good, I may break down and see it.

Anyway, Beauty and the Beast.  Composer Alan Menken, who wrote the music and co-wrote the songs for the original animated movie 25 years ago, has said that this is NOT an adaptation of the Broadway musical, so none of the newer songs he co-wrote with Tim Rice for the Broadway musical are in the movie.  That being said, Menken and Rice are again re-teaming to provide new songs for the movie, and Menken will once again be doing the score.

Makes sense to me.  I read an interview with South Park co-creator Trey Parker about whether he'd ever adapt his hit Broadway musical The Book of Mormon for the big screen.  Parker said that, one thing he learned about making movies and Broadway musicals is how completely different they are, so rather than adapt The Book of Mormon, he would just rebuild it completely for the screen.  Seems to me that's what they're doing with Beauty and the Beast.

Oscar-winning director Bill Condon is directing.  Condon won his Oscar for writing Gods and Monsters in 1998, but he directed it, too.  He also directed Dreamgirls and the recent elderly Sherlock Holmes adventure Mr. Holmes.  For our live-action cast, Hermione Granger herself Emma Watson is Belle, Dan Stevens (Matthew Crawley on Downton Abby) is the Beast, Luke Evans (Bard the Bowman in the Hobbit trilogy) is Gaston, Josh Gad (Olaf the snowman in Frozen) is Gaston's sidekick LeFou, and Kevin Kline is Belle's father Maurice.  For the living objects, Ewan McGregor is Lumiere, Ian McKellan is Cogsworth, and Emma Thompson is Mrs. Potts.

I'm really diggin' this trailer.  Much like the first teaser for Cinderella, this is more concerned with focusing on the iconography of the original, rather than flooding us with money shots.  Really curious to see what the live-action Beast will look like.  In our days of CGI, I guess it's too much to hope for a Jim Henson's Creature Shop animatronic creation.  And that opening music from the original animated film still gives me goosebumps. 

Beauty and the Beast hits theatres next March. 

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