drawnonwords - A Writers Tale

My own views, posts, musings, stories and the odd picture for all to enjoy and let others know.

Category: Adventure

Into Darkness

Into Darkness

In 2009 Star Trek was rebooted. It is the in-word for taking a much loved series and starting again. That movie took risks changing what was a well-loved brand, universe and let’s face it huge fan base. However, it worked, despite a few niggles and maybe one set that was never quite right. It worked because it did too things; made money and made new fans. So we move on and wait. Unlike other studios, with Trek there is no spin-off here, no solo performances to fill the void. We have had to wait nearly as long as the original 5-year mission for the second installment.

Having said that, much has been said about this second rebooted Star trek movie and then again, nothing much at all. A trailer teaser gave away something. It featured a character, named John Harrison, a Starfleet officer with the ability to help another’s apparently serious ill daughter. It hinted at something, something that could be very dark in the Trek universe. The whole point of a movie is to tell a story. It is supposed to take the viewer from place A to B with goodness knows what in-between. The story should be make you want to watch and become engaged. This hint teased, you did not know where it was within this story. Again we then had to wait. Finally we get to see what all the rumors were about.

Into Darkness opens with a classic feel. The Enterprise, with a very young and ‘green’ Kirk in charge, Spock in danger of course and the age old prime directive about to be compromised. Now there are many fans who felt at the end of the first movie that Kirk had not earned right to sit in the big chair. But, then to tell that story in the first movie would have taken hours and effectively required a whole host of academy films. Fans might have gone for that, the rest of the public never. Film’s these days have to make big bucks to pay everyone off and create the environment for the next. Yes, in theory Kirk should not have been Captain at the end of movie one. If that had been that, it would have been fine, however it gets addressed a little in this movie.

The dynamics between the young crew have yet to be properly seen. Here is one of the biggest dilemmas for JJ Abrams. In the television series we are led to believe the crew are on it’s five-year mission. They know each other, they have spent time together and have history. By reworking the series, this has all gone. So we are left with building the characters from the start. That was very clear from the first film and it underpins this one, the dynamics of how the crew work and trust each other. In this movie Kirk and Spock are still coming to terms with each other as Captain, first officer and the beginning of one of those rare on-screen friendships. McCoy is the slightly awkward third person here, a sounding board to both. The rest of the ‘original’ crew continue to explore their roles. One which does not really fit yet is Uhura. That character should be more composed with the hint of action. I can only guess that Abrams needs to give this character something to do.

Add to the mix a ‘new’ villain, John Harrison, one who disguises his true motives making the audience wait. The action is fast paced, explosive to say the least and in places typical Star Trek. Humour was always thrown in when others feared to smile. Now for what might sound an odd reference – They do it with mirrors – is a line that comes from an Agatha Christie novel. Now that may appear strange but trust me it does say much about Into Darkness and it’s my only clue. 

I wont give away the plot as I don’t review movies that way. What I will say is that it worked for me and very well. Clever one might say. I did get all the hints and smiled when I was right. The cast did grow in this movie, yes there are a few annoying bits but then the movie was not filmed just for me. They never will and the old fans have two options. Get over it or watch something else.

For me JJ Abrams paced this movie just right. It had action, humour, compassion, classic Star Trek. Remember, he has to fit at least 4 major and 5 not so major characters together. Let alone a supporting cast, some of whom steal scenes. Each needs to give the audience there all in order to make the movie work.

This movie ends with a hope of more films to come. Does it end good or bad? Well, you have to go and see for yourself.

Rating 4.5/5

Tagline ‘Hint – Mirror, mirror, remember?’

Film Treat – The Princess Bride

Hello Dear Reader

Film Treat

Action! Adventure! Romance! Talking to a dear friend of mine, I discovered we both liked certain films. With great help, I decided to review a few favourite films. Given my long list, it might surprise people which ones I picked.

My first choice is the film, The Princess Bride. First published in 1973, this book covered fairy tales, fantasy, romance, adventure, romantic love, comedy, heroes, villains and yes the odd kiss. Written by William Goldman, this version is the abridged one, just the good parts according to the author. It was later turned into a film, also penned by Goldman, to become a classics that works for all.

The Princess Bride

The story is timeless one, hero and heroine, battle various odds and encounters, before finally finding happiness. It is based on a parody of Eastern European nobility centuries ago. Goldman manages to weave just about the right amount of everything in the book that translates so well on-screen.


The film opens with a kindly grandfather visiting his sick bedridden grandson intend on ‘cheering’ him up. The grandfather is played by none other than Colombo himself Peter Falk and his grandson, played by Fred Savage. The book, so we are told, has been passed down the generations of the family and does not have the best of starts. The grandson is reluctant at first, given the title, hoping for something with more action and certainly no kissing. However, the grandfather won’t take no for an answer and proceeds to tell the story. In the book, we join midway through with flashbacks. In the film, the Grandfather narrates with interjections from the Grandson.

It centers around two main characters, a woman called Buttercup and a farm hand called Westley. In true romantic style, Westley falls for Buttercup, responding to her every command replying “As you wish”. It is his way of saying “I love you”. Trouble appears, as Prince Humperdinck of Florian demands, to take Buttercup as his bride.

Buttercup laments the death of Westley, supposedly killed by Dread Pirate Roberts while at sea. To complicate matters further, Buttercup is kidnapped by a group of bandits, Vizzini, Fezzik (a giant) and the anti-hero turned hero, turned good guy, Inigo Montoya. They are chased by Dread Pirate Roberts, who in turn is chased by Humperdinck with his sidekick Count Tyrone Ruggen. What more could there be! Well, a lot more as this story moves effortlessly through action, comedy, and romance.

Be warned, of spoilers.

There are stories within stories, as everything unfolds revealing revenge for a death, finding of true love and a resurrection pill. Not in that order, mine you. The film contains numerous quoted lines with possible one of my top five. It is delightfully delivered each time, never overplayed, never needing to be pushed, just spoken, “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die”. Just reading that line makes me and many others smile. Goldman did not just concentrate on the characters, they alone are priceless, but he made sure the background shone throughout. Adeptly named places add to the humour, the Pit of Despair where a machine appears to suck the life from one of our heroes. Is all lost? Of course not! Well, for a time our hero is only mostly dead. However, in fantasy, anything can happen so long as you have the Resurrection Pill and Miracle Max. Hero restored, castle to storm and heroine to save.

It is just perfect.

The cast includes a number of well-known actors and actresses. The list is quite long and some well-known faces in disguise like that of Billy Crystal who plays Miracle Max. There are also roles for Mel Smith and Peter Cook who plays a priest with a Monty Python-like lisp. I am sure this influenced Rowen Rowan_Atkinson in Four Weddings and a Funeral. However, the actor who steals the film for me is Mandy Patinkin. As Inigo Montoya, he embodies what this adventure is about. There is a point where you think it might all be over. Fezzik (a giant played by Andre the Giant) saves the day making Montoya see that his quest for revenge is not lost. The final action sequences are pure gold, combining fencing, comedy, and romance.

A movie is the sum of its parts. Actors alone can’t always carry the plot. The writing has to be delivered believable otherwise the films lacks quality and pace. Along with an award-winning soundtrack by Mark Knopfler (he of Dire Straits a favourite band of mine), the component parts do become complete.

The Princess Bride is a true family film, to watch and just smile. If I have to give it a score, well it’s 5 out 5.

Once again, many thanks to my friend who put me straight on their favourite film.

Tagline (There is only one line to use) “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die”

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.
%d bloggers like this: