"Star Trek" and "Absolutely Fabulous" started out on the small screen, but both are getting the big screen treatment this weekend. Paul McGuire Grimes from Paul's Trip to the Movies weighs in with his thoughts on both flicks plus one to watch at home this weekend.
STAR TREK BEYOND (theatrical release)
The USS Enterprise is three years into a five-year mission in deep space. Captain James Tiberius Kirk has a birthday looming on the horizon, which prompts deep soul searching. He’s beginning to question is mission in life and if they are out searching for something that may not be out there. The death of his father continues to stay present in the back of his mind. His crew decides to take a slight pit stop in Yorktown, an advanced galactic city where they can restock and spend time with family. As they head out into uncharted territories to rescue a fellow ship, they head through an unstable nebula and are attacked by a swarm of invaders. Imagine a magnitude of powerful drones instead of bees or locusts that have the ability to completely wipe out the entire Enterprise ripping it apart. The leader of the attack is an alien named Krall who has his eyes set out at finding an elusive artifact. Naturally, the crew is able to escape but become separated landing in various locations making it all the more challenging to work together and figure out who Krall is and stop him from causing more harm to the galaxy.
-Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, and Simon Pegg. Idris Elba is new to the franchise and is almost unrecognizable as the villain, Krall.
-Third film in the new reboot of the series following 2009’s Star Trek and 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness. It helps to have an understanding of these characters and their relationships before going into this one. Wouldn’t really recommend it for anyone who has zero knowledge of Star Trek. Utilizes more galactic creatures and species than the other two films. May turn off fans that like it more universal.
-Sadness that looms over the film with the recent death of Anton Yelchin who plays Chekov. There’s also a really touching tribute to Leonard Nimoy, the original Spock.
-Simon Pegg, who stars as Scotty, co-wrote the film. He’s an extremely funny writer and actor, and while he definitely injects humor into the film, it’s not as witty or clever as I had expected.
-Directed by Justin Lin, who takes over for J.J. Abrams. He’s known for directing four of the Fast and the Furious movies and definitely brings that heavy action/blow ‘em up energy to it
-The cast has great chemistry together, and the themes of family and teamwork are very present. There’s banter between the characters that keeps it fresh and energized. Due to the nature of this story, the middle really drags when they become separated and paired off.
-The story is fairly simplistic and takes too long for the true motivations of Krall to come into play. It’s a big third act reveal that should have happened earlier in the film.
-Hopefully it will lead moviegoers to seek out the original Gene Rodenberry TV show with Nimoy, William Shatner, and George Takei. All episodes are streaming on Netflix.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Trekkies will probably enjoy it.
RATING: 3 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS THE MOVIE (theatrical release)
Sweetie! Sweetie! Our friends Edina “Eddy” Monsoon and Patsy Stone are seen stumbling out of their car after having one too many at a party. Some things have never changed. It’s been 24 years since they first made an impression on audiences thanks to the British television show of the same name, and they are back for more shenanigans. Eddy believes she has a book deal but can’t seem to get an advance on it after her assistant, Bubble, poorly wrote sections of it. Patsy is the fashion editor at “The A” magazine. Eddy’s work in PR is suffering, and she sets her eyes on model Kate Moss to be her next client. It will be a challenge, but she’s ready to make her move at huge party for “The A”. It’s not long before tragedy strikes and Kate Moss falls off a balcony and disappears into the River Thames. Eddy becomes the prime suspect in the investigation as she was approaching Kate when it happened. It becomes a paparazzi nightmare outside Eddy’s home, but the two of them are able to escape to Cannes hoping it all goes away quietly.
-Stars many of the original stars: Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Jane Harrocks, Julia Sawalha. Chris Colfer also stars as Eddy’s hair and make-up guy.
-Plenty of cameos from: Stella McCartney, Kate Moss, Gwendolyn Christie, Joan Collins, and John Hamm, Jerry Hall
-Fans of the show will no doubt get a kick out of the movie. It’s a 90-minute riot. It would help to watch a few episodes to get into the sense of humor of the characters. All episodes are now streaming on Hulu.
-Full of crazy fashion, color explosions, peppy music, and lavish European culture and couture.
-A majority of the humor is over-the-top, wacky physical comedy mixed in with some politically incorrect musings due to how clueless they both are about life.
-Speaks to the brilliance of Saunders writing of these two characters that they still are relevant and funny. There’s a timeless feel to them after all these years. Many people can relate to their struggle with getting older, wanting to feel young, and taking desperate actions to stay that way.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? I was laughing so hard that I missed a few jokes.
RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
DEMOLITION (home release)
Davis’ world is turned upside down when his wife is killed in a head-on collision. He survived the car accident without a scratch. At first, he doesn’t seem to know how to cope with the loss. He begins to carry out his day, business as usual. He shows up for work as if nothing has happened. While he was in the hospital after the accident he lost some change in a vending machine and decides to write a letter to the company about his loss, the loss being his money and his wife. Karen, their sole customer service rep, responds after Davis sends four letters to the company. She takes an interest in his story, and it’s not long before they meet up and a new friendship ensues between them. Like Davis, she is a bit unstable herself. She’s sleeping with the CEO of the company, is a big stoner, and has a thirteen-year-old son. Curiosity starts to set in for Davis who feels like destruction and demolition is the way to break down his life into realizing what’s important. He approaches it in a metaphorical sense and a physical sense when he decides to take apart his office bathroom stall, a cappuccino maker, and tear up his house. Davis, Karen, and her son all find themselves on a path of crisis and self-identity.
-Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts, Chris Cooper, Judah Lewis, and Debra Monk
-Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée who helmed Dallas Buyers Club and Wild. This has been my favorite of the three.
-Gyllenhaal gives another exceptional performance. His last few films like Southpaw and Nightcrawler have felt like “transformation” kinds of characters for him. This film is more raw, stripped down, and vulnerable.
-All three of the main characters are edgy, loose canons making the film fairly unpredictable as to how far and quirky they will go to get their lives on the right track. Gyllenhaal’s character really teeters back and forth on self-destruction versus clarity leaving you to question if the craziness of one can lead to the next.
-The erratic nature of characters will divide audiences. It will be easy to dismiss the absurdity behind someone who is wealthy but takes his grief out by destroying his gorgeous house and ruining his job. While I’ve never been in that situation and don’t necessarily approve of his actions, I emphasized with Gyllenhaal’s character and really understood his plight of wanting to tear his life up in order to figure out how to put it back together
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Gyllenhaal and Watts give exceptional performances for two characters that are far from it.
RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS