Star Trek was amazing. I can’t imagine a better relaunch for a tired franchise than what J.J. Abrams and company delivered. I was pretty much the target demo for the reboot, since I was not a big fan of any of the previous incarnations of the series aside from a brief fluttering of interest anytime The Borg showed up. I know next to nothing about the canon or the long-term storylines. I was always slightly turned off by all the confusing time-travel nonsense that previously made the series inaccessible, and Abrams wisely sidestepped any of that nonsense while giving the diehard fans an out in the form of some easy to understand time-travel nonsense. In order to retain my critical street cred, I thought maybe they went a little over the top with the lens flares and a few of the performances (I’m looking at you, McCoy) danced precariously close to impressions. But those are minor, trivial things that didn’t keep me from enjoying a great film.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine was better than I thought it would be, but still managed to kind of suck. Talk about your wasted opportunities. There was a decent story here, but the constant mutant cameos kept distracting me from it. I knew something was up when Wolverine barely showed up in any of the trailers for his own movie. The result was an overstuffed mess, with needlessly cheesy fight scenes and some suspect special effects. Not that great.
Terminator: Salvation was entertaining, although it also has to fall into the missed opportunity column. I was glad to see the action shift to the actual post-apocalyptic war with the machines instead of time travelling to kill the future messiah. The Fallout-esque scene where Kyle Reese and Marcus Wright survey the rubble that used to be Los Angeles was appropriately foreboding, while the advanced technology of SKYnet made for some sweet-ass chases and battles. The plot veered wildly from awesomeness to incoherence, averaging out to highly unlikely. Not everyone has motivations that make sense and people behave in strange, illogical ways. I also wish that the previews hadn’t revealed Marcus Wright’s true nature, as the plot treats it like a surprising revelation. I would have figured it out pretty quickly, but it would have been more enjoyable if they at least tried to keep it a surprise.
In Star Trek, Starfleet Academy is based in San Francisco in my old neighborhood. That was kind of cool, especially when the evil Romulan warlord started to destroy it with his Fire Drill of Death. But I started to feel like Hollywood was trying to tell me something when SKYnet also chose to put it’s headquarters in San Francisco. Suspicious…