Star Trek Is Beyond Good

First of all, let me apologise for the header, my only excuse is punny titles on blog posts and that’s the best one I could think of in this head.

Now, onto the review.

Star Trek Beyond is the third installment in the Star Trek reboot series, and it does not disappoint. The story follows Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk and team crash landed on an unexplored world, separated and facing a dangerous new enemy – Krall.

I, for one, was slightly worried about how this film would turn out. Previous director JJ Abrams was only producing this film, the directors chair now filled by Justin Lin from the Fast And Furious franchise, and I was worried about how that would turn out. Would it still retain the previous film’s charm, the lens flares, anything that made the films feel distinctive? Trust me when I saw that the film feels different, but it’s not too bad a difference. It still feels like Star Trek, the characters are the same, the story line is still good, and there’s definitely enough Trek in there to satisfy fans.

One thing that is rather different from the previous films, is that there is a lot of humour in this one. This would be because Simon Pegg has co-written the film, and has added his sense of humour. But it’s not out of place, it actually works quite well. Most lines go to either Pegg’s character Scottie or Karl Urban’s Bones, though Kirk and Spock also get a few lines in too.

Another difference is that Chekov plays a a larger part than usual in this film. Chekov is usually a slightly more background character, but in this one he’s more at the forefront of the action, having a lot of screen time with Kirk. It’s a lovely thing to see, though still slightly sad, due to the recent passing of Anton Yelchin. His bigger role, and his dedication at the end, really made the film feel like it truly was ‘for Anton.’

The tribute to Leonard Nimoy is also a beautiful touch to the film. I won’t spoil what is done in tribute to him, but I will say that it will make classic Trek fans cry. My best friend and I, who have only ever watched these new films, welled up at his tribute. It was written in brilliantly, and while plays a key role in two scenes, is not completely ‘in your face’ or too over the top. It’s just right, stated well, and straight forward, sort of like Spock in that respect.

There is only two things that bugged me about this film. One was that the camera work during fight scenes was a bit too shaky to see what was going on, which spoiled them slightly for me. And the second was that I felt like Krall’s reasonings for his actions, along with his weapon, could have been explained just a bit more. I was left guessing for most of the film as to why he was so against Star Fleet, and never really understood what his weapon did, or why he needed the artifact to make it work.

But all in all, Star Trek Beyond is a great bit of film. It’s funny, witty, with a good plot line. The cast is great, the fight scenes are good, and it was great to see the affect of five years in space on the crew. They seemed stronger and closer together than in the first two. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Pointless Character Death

Hey, long time no see. Blame the damn assignments for uni. Anyway, I want to talk in this blog post about a problem. Something that is a major problem in so many really good franchises, that don’t just annoy me, it annoys a lot of people. I’m talking about pointless character death.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally fine with character death… sort of. But only when it is a necessary death that serves a purpose. When it doesn’t serve a purpose and it was simply done for either shock value or to create tension between characters, it really winds me up.
Take Sam on How To Get Away With Murder, his death was necessary because the entire show is built around Keating and her students getting away with his murder. His death was semi-justified too, he was an absolutely horrible human being, for reasons I won’t get into for people who plan on watching the show, and his death is the premise of the first season.
Another example is Rue from The Hunger Games. Its a horrendously painful character death, but it serves a purpose of sparking off the revolution and forces Katniss to fight back and get revenge on that Capital.
But when a character death is utterly pointless, I just get so annoyed. Recently, I was watching season 10 of Supernatural, and it got to – spoiler alert here guys if you’re not on season 10 – where Charlie Bradbury died. And her death was so completely and utterly pointless and wrong that I was angry about it for days afterwards. Basically, she died to drive a wedge between Sam and Dean, that was it. She died for that single reason, there was no other reason whatsoever. And it was incredibly annoying.
I mean, the writers could have not killed her, and just injured her instead, easily! The whole reason why her death caused the wedge was because she was helping Sam find a cure for Dean and they were lying to him about it. But because she was in danger, Sam had to tell Dean what was happening, and it caused a huge wedge between them because she died. But the same effect would have been caused if the writers had saved her, but she was badly injured instead. She could have easily been badly injured and the wedge would have still been made. Hell, Cas could have saved her, because he can teleport because he’s an angel and the wedge between the brothers would have still been there.
But no, the writers killed her off. And now she probably isn’t coming back. 
This happens time and time again in things, TV shows especially, where characters are killed off for no reason. I understand it when an actor wants to leave, like with Derek and Greys Anatomy, but even then that death could have been avoided. Derek could have simply just stayed in DC and asked for a divorce or something instead of dying in one of the worst character death scenes I have ever seen. I cried after that one. Actually cried, and I rarely cry over character death, I generally end up just getting annoyed.
Because characters aren’t supposed to just die to create tension, or to be a shock that creates hype on the internet. It’s supposed to really mean something. It’s supposed to be like Buffy’s mum, who died to force Buffy to grow up and stand on her own two feet. Like Dobby, who died saving Harry. Like probably Captain America, who’s death will hopefully force Tony to see the extent of what he’s doing and stop the war.
It’s supposed to be like that, not a death just for hype. When it’s for hype, it’s just pathetic, and clear that the writers are lazy and have no idea on what to do with a character anymore. It’s stupid, and I hate it. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand when writers have to rapidly change story lines because actors are pregnant, like in Bones, so they have to write something like Vincent dying to force Booth and Brennan to finally sleep together out of shock or something, so Brennan gets pregnant. That I can totally understand, but surely it doesn’t always have to end in death?
Can’t a character just be injured for once? Or can’t they come back as a ghost? Or decide to move away? Or something that isn’t them dying for once?! Killing someone off isn’t the only way to get rid of them, it is entirely possible for characters to leave through other means and still have it hurt like hell. Look at the Doctor and Rose at Bad Wolf Bay, Christina leaving Greys Anatomy, Zack turning out to be Gormagon in Bones!
All of those hurt like hell, and with Rose and Zack alike, created great plot twists people weren’t expecting. It’s entirely possible to create a feels inducing moment without killing people off. Writers, take note of that, and stop killing people like Charlie Bradbury off. Please, before I lose my mind.
What do you guys think about character death like this? Do you think any of the people I’ve mentioned had a good send off, if so, why? Or are there any other characters you pretend didn’t die because their deaths were so utterly pointless? Or did you see a really great character send off that didn’t involve them dying? Let me know down in the comments, it would be great to hear from you!

Good Deadpool? Bad Deadpool? GOOD DEADPOOL!

I’ve literally just come back from watching Deadpool and I have to get out my feelings right now, because my God Deadpool is amazing! I loved every single second of this madcap, fourth-wall breaking, swearing, gory, laugh out loud funny origin film, and I’d highly recommend that everybody go and see it… Unless you’re squeamish, or have a delicate disposition, then I’d say stay away as far as possible. If you’re into this sort of stuff, then you’re going to LOVE this film.
Going into Deadpool, all I knew about him was the basics – he breaks the fourth wall, swears a lot, and is known as the ‘Merc With A Mouth,’ other than that, I knew nothing. I’d seen Wolverine Origins (which gets ripped to shreds in this film, or at least Hugh Jackman does anyway) but my knowledge was so skin thin I could have gone in completely ignorant. What I got in return was absolute genius – a completely new take on the ‘hero origin’ story, where the hero doesn’t even want to be a hero. Wade Wilson (the man behind the mask) just wants revenge on the man who gave him his powers and destroyed his skin, and to save his girlfriend from the same man, he doesn’t want to be a hero, and he makes sure everybody knows it.
To be honest, this is more of a revenge story than anything else, it’s nearly two hours of Wade seeking revenge, with pieces of flashback to explain why Wade is after this guy in the first place. And somehow, that works, and more importantly, you fall in love with Wade as he does this.
From the opening scene, Wade Wilson is having gory shoot outs with his enemies henchman, destroying cars and turning one guy into a shish-kabob. The audience knows straight away that Wade is not a good person at all, and yet, as his story is told, you fall in love with him. It’s all through his wise cracks and his love for his girlfriend Vanessa. He’s ridiculous in so many ways, but absolutely lovable, not in a way that you’d take him home to meet your mum, but still very lovable. His jokes about Hugh Jackman (of which there are many), the X-Men in general, and pop culture are completely on point and hilarious.
At points, he gets a bit near the mark with his sex jokes, but that was the whole point of Deadpool in the first place – he’s not supposed to be correct all the time. He’s supposed to be absolutely insane, rude and dangerous, the antithesis of the anti-hero. And in this film, it’s perfect for him. No other hero could pull this off at all, Wade Wilson is the least politically correct super hero ever, and it’s absolutely perfect.
Deadpool in fact doesn’t pull any punches, or hold back in any shape or form. The fourth wall breaks are everywhere, some so subtle you nearly miss them, and others right in your face. Swear words fly around so damn often you forget that this is a Marvel film, they’re not at all bleeped out like they are in the comics. The blood and guts are absolutely everywhere, hell even the naked shots aren’t held back either. Where other films would use tasteful angles to avoid showing someone’s manhood in the middle of a fight, Deadpool doesn’t shy away at all. Nothing in Deadpool is shy, or chaste, or anything of the sort. It’s loud, in your face, hilarious, and absolutely brilliant. I only have two objections – 1) Hugh Jackman doesn’t actually turn up, and neither does Wolverine, even though both are mentioned, and 2) Deadpool never physically meets Stan Lee, which could have been epic. Oh well, there’s always next time for these two wishes!
In all seriousness though, Deadpool is an incredible film, and the perfect way to start this year’s superhero offerings from Marvel. I can’t wait to see what Wade will get up to next, all I can say is that it’ll be absolutely epic.

And Then There Was One Massive Plot Twist

Hey everyone, I hope your Christmas’ were fun and you got everything you wanted! I had a pretty good time, and have mostly been sitting on my arse doing nothing all week. Well, when I say nothing, I mean watching TV, and my God did I stumble upon one hell of a TV special.
Of course, I’m talking about And Then There Were None, the BBC’s latest adaption of Agatha Christie’s novel, and over three nights I was utterly hooked on it. I’d been looking forward to watching this show ever since I saw the advert for it a while back, to be honest, I probably would have watched anyway because a) Aiden Turner is in it and I love that man a lot, and b) it’s a murder mystery. If there’s one thing I love to watch, it’s a murder mystery, or really anything to do with murder. So, I sat down and watched it, and I fallen in love.
First of all, the plot is amazing, ten strangers are invited to an island, each one with a secret, and slowly they get killed off one by one, not knowing who is behind it. Each person is killed according to poem that hangs in every persons room in the house, and when a body is found, the ten statues in the dining room reduce numbers. This could have gotten very monotonous after the third murder, possibly even predictable, but it never did. I was on tender hooks the entire time, wondering who was going to die next, and how it was going to be done. For the first two episodes, I resisted looking up the whole poem, but I had to by the end episode, just to see if I could get any clues from it, all I got instead was the creepy factor amping up further.
Secondly, the characters were incredibly cleverly written. Each one is hiding a common secret – they’re all guilty of murder in some way or other, and none of them have been caught for it. Between a doctor who drunk on the job during a surgery, to a cop who killed a gay man simply for being gay, every single one has killed at least one person and none feel the least bit guilty for it. And while some characters are sort of likable, you as the audience don’t really warm to anyone. Not to say that they all deserved to die (though let’s be honest, Douglas’ Booth’s character was a complete asshole and was pegged to be ‘the first to go’ from the start) but you don’t actually route for anybody, not really. I found myself liking Aiden’s character, not just for his face (or his body, dear lord that towel scene was a nice edition, thank you producers that one) but because he was honest. He admitted to his killings, and while showing no sign of remorse, he did show some brain, and some kindness at times. He didn’t just think of getting himself off the island, he did try to help the others he trusted to. So I liked him. Which (spoiler alert) made his death quite painful in the end, at least he was second to last to go, so it wasn’t too bad.
Nothing is all too obvious in plot line either, nothing is revealed straight away. You have to watch all three episodes to get everyone’s story, and to figure out who is behind all this. It is never made clear, or even hinted at, whether the killer is part of the ten or if they is another player in the mix. Trying to figure it out is nigh impossible, as at every turn you find out something new that creates a new theory. I had so many I lost count, and never once was I right in my deductions. At one point I went so far as to think that maybe this was all happening in someone’s head, and that this was some sort of psychotic break Shutter Island style, which seemed very plausible. Every theory seemed plausible as I went along, and I never expected the plot twist at the end.
Now, I’m going warn you SPOILERS AHEAD. IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, SCROLL PAST THIS BIT RIGHT NOW. I HAVE WARNED YOU.

At the end, just when I thought I would never find out who was behind all the murder (let me tell you right now, if that had happened, I would have hit the roof in anger and this review would be very different) to find out that it was the judge all along – I never saw that coming in a million years! In hindsight, I probably should have, judge/jury/executioner and all that, but I honestly didn’t! I immediately discounted him after he faked his death, thinking him as just another victim, and possibly the sanest one of the lot. So to see him actually reveal that he was behind all of it, as a sort of ‘get the uncaught bad guys’ before dying himself, wow I had never even considered it. I actually screamed a little when I did if I’m honest.

SPOILER FREE ZONE STARTS AGAIN HERE.
Truly, And Then There Were None was a brilliant thrill ride of a TV show. Combing suspense, gore, murder and wonderful plot twists into a beautiful three hours. It distinctly reminded me of an old fashioned How To Get Away With Murder mini series, set in the space of a few days instead of a few months. I love every single second of it, and wish to see more things like this in the future! BBC get right on it, I need more!
Did anybody else see anything good over the holidays? If so, let me know, I need more things to watch to distract me from my essays and currently not much is working. Also, if you watched this show, let me know some of your theories, were you as shocked as I was when the killer was revealed? Let’s start a discussion going, I sure as hell don’t want to let this show end so soon!