You know me, I like movies, and I like sci-fi. Oldest and I just got tickets for his taking me to see The Force Awakens, an obscure sci-fi film that’s coming up. A couple of nights ago, I saw a trailer for what presumably will be a summer blockbuster, a sequel to a movie that became a benchmark in film. And this morning, a trailer was released for some other franchise movie called “Beyond”.
Independence Day. The alien ships’ attacks on significant building and monuments caught the imaginations of moviegoers everywhere. And the cast – Will Smith, before Men In Black. Jeff Goldblum, after Jurassic Park. Bunch of other people you know, in major roles. Bunch of other people you know, in minor roles. Not sure where you’d place Brent Spiner, between those two categories. Adam Baldwin, before Firefly. Tim Kelleher (might not be really famous, but I like him).
And the effects (watch the special features, man) were really a breakthrough at the time. The lines may have been corny and catchy (“All right, you alien assholes!”), but it had more of a sense of fun than many other disaster movies, there’s good reason it’s popular.
So it’s actually pretty surprising it’s taken them so long to make a sequel. the Resurgence trailer has some images that echo scenes from the first movie. The UN convoy at the beginning is a bit reminiscent of all the cars and caravans turning up at Area 51. The swaggering pilots. The planes (wanna bet upgrading them with alien tech was a bad idea?). A scene reminiscent of the lab breakout in the original. The fire cloud surrounding the ship entering the atmosphere, of course. The wake of the alien ship destroying a satellite dish on what looks like the moon, as opposed to Armstrong’s footsteps being obliterated. Goldblum looking worried. Some people standing around looking to see what happens next (reminded me of the newsroom from the original).
So there’s a similar visual style, with the slight upgrade to a more recent camera style. Not enough dialogue to be able to tell if it’s as fun as the original. The original set a benchmark for so much action in a movie, and subsequent advances in CG made it possible for movies to do even more, it’s going to be hard for Resurgence to really set itself apart, in that area.
But it seems like a 20-year gap between movies would have given the makers a lot of time to think about how to follow up on the original. One hopes they spent the time well.
The other trailer, the one I caught this morning, was for a little movie called Star Trek: Beyond.
Beyond what? Well, the last movie was Into Darkness, so presumably this would be Beyond Darkness.
The writers were told not to make the movie too Star Trek-y, which seems like a dumbass direction to take for a Star Trek movie. I feel like I ought to have reservations about the director, known for some of the Fast & Furious movies. Having not seen any movies in that series, I don’t think I’m really qualified to pass judgment. He directed three episodes in the first season of Community, so we’ll say that’s a mark in his favour…
I really like the shot of someone getting out of the upright escape pod. Would suggest Kirk, it looks like he’s next to a pod int he next shot, but I’m not sure that one is upright. I like the “This is where the frontier pushes back” line. The shot at 1:11 of the Enterprise crew in a big, long, serpentine line, watched over by some armed guards.
you can’t judge a movie by its trailer, so the saying goes. The trailer tells you a bit about the idea of the movie (they go without the ship for a bunch of the movie, and there are bad guys), but not much at all about the “why”s. Bit of a “wait and see”. And I will wait, and I will see, just… a bit early to get excited about it.