The road signs in Hell or High Water kept catching my eye. They’re like a Greek chorus, commenting on the action in the foreground of the film. During the opening sequence, the robbery of a small Texas bank, the camera pans across the front of a Goodyear Tire Shop, essentially mocking the two brothers carrying out the robbery. (Their mother has just died and they’ve turned to crime to make ends meet.) A few moments later they drive past a “Closing Down” billboard, and there are also signs advertising “Debt Relief,” “Pass With Care,” and “Fast Cash,” all tempting (or perhaps taunting) these two men as they engineer a crime wave in West Texas.
It’s been a while since the crew of the Starship Enterprise visited a strange new world in search of new life and civilizations. The Star Trek of television was full of strange new worlds; the Enterprise seemed to discover one every single week. The Trek movies, so focused on special effects, violence, and intricate revenge plots, have frequently strayed from Trek’s original mission. And while there’s plenty of action and excitement in Star Trek Beyond, there’s also a clear attempt to return this series to its core principles: Exploration, diplomacy, teamwork, and the hope for a better tomorrow. After the missteps of the punishingly bleak and the unfortunately rehashy Star Trek Into Darkness, it’s a necessary and welcome course correction; a Star Trek back into the light.
Paramount has released the fourth and final trailer for Star Trek Beyond ahead of the film’s July 22 release, and if early word is to be believed (and we think it is), you have every reason to be optimistic about the new sequel. Shorter, punchier and more action-packed than the first three previews, the latest and last trailer may be the best of the bunch, and if nothing else, it looks like Justin Lin was definitely the right pick to replace J.J. Abrams in the director’s chair.
Star Trek Beyond hasn’t even hit theaters yet, but there’s already talk of the next installment in the franchise — and if early reactions to Justin Lin’s new Trek sequel are to be believed, then we have every reason to be optimistic about the future of the series. But just in case you needed one more, J.J. Abrams has revealed his “incredibly exciting” idea for Star Trek 4, which will reportedly bring Chris Hemsworth back to the franchise to team up with Chris Pine.
It feels like Comic-Con has already begun, what with all the new sneak peeks at upcoming movies like Rogue One and The Dark Tower. But how about a fresh look at a new superhero film? Four images from Wonder Woman have debuted online, and as you can see, it looks like Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince is looking for a fight.
It is interesting that, given a reboot could theoretically go off in any direction it chooses, that the relaunched Star Trek has begun to repeat events from the first Star Trek movie series. Star Trek Into Darkness was essentially a revisitation of The Wrath of Khan; the movie not only reintroduced the title character, it also flip-flopped the famous end of Wrath of Khan where Spock dies saving the Enterprise. (This time around it was Captain Kirk who made the ultimate sacrifice ... for about 8 minutes, and then he got better.) Certainly the circumstances of the film are very different, but Star Trek Beyond shares one crucial ingredient with Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, namely the destruction of the Starship Enterprise, and the shipwrecking of its crew on a distant alien planet.
J.J. Abrams’ first two Star Trek films weren’t entirely about spectacle — they certainly dealt with some #issues and bigger ideas, but they were still glossy, big budget blockbusters at the end of the day. Although co-writer Simon Pegg has said that Star Trek Beyond goes back to the series’ roots — more fun, more interesting concepts — his co-star Chris Pine has a slightly more cynical take on the franchise.
If you weren’t particularly sold by the first trailer for Star Trek Beyond, then you may find the latest preview for Justin Lin’s sequel far more persuasive. It has a bit of everything: emotion, drama, epic intergalactic action, and Idris Elba as a menacing new villain unlike any the crew of the Enterprise has faced before. One thing is clear: this isn’t your average Trek mission.
Most people probably don’t take the idiom ‘come hell or high water’ to the same extremes as Chris Pine and Ben Foster in their latest movie. While nothing may stop them from saving their family farm, Jeff Bridges’ Texas Ranger won’t let them get away with how they do.
For decades, there’s been a clear delineation of roles in the Affleck clan: Ben’s the leading man, Casey’s the character actor. Ben has the perfect chin and lustrous hair, not to mention the major height advantage. (He’s almost half a foot taller than Casey, according to IMDb.) Even when Casey Affleck takes a central role in a film, it’s almost always in material that explores the unlikelihood of a guy like him becoming a hero (think The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford or Gone Baby Gone). But that’s not the case with the new historical adventure The Finest Hours. There’s nothing quirky or unconventional about Affleck’s charisma here. Even with a more traditional leading man co-anchoring the story and serving as its de facto protagonist, Affleck commands the screen with quiet, steely resolve and intense eyes. At 40 years old, he’s blossomed into a full-fledged movie star.