REVIEW: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

CAST

Chris Pine (Into The Woods)
Zachary Quinto (Heroes)
Zoe Saldana (Avatar)
Karl Urban (Dredd)
Simon Pegg (Paul)
John Cho (Total Recall)
Anton Yelchin (Alpha Dog)
Bruce Greenwood (Thirteen Days)
Leonard Nimoy (Transformers: The Movie)
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Hobbit)
Alice Eve (Men In Black 3)
Peter Weller (Robocop)
Noel Clarke (4.3.2.1)
Nazneen Contractor (Heroes Reborn)
Amanda Foreman (Alias)
Aisha Hinds (Cult)
Bill Hader (Superbad)
Heather Langenkap (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
Sean Blakemore (Bones)
Nick E. Tarabay (Spartacus)
Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Arrow)

In the year 2259, Captain James T. Kirk is removed from command of the starship USS Enterprise for violating the Prime Directive: he exposed the ship to the primitive inhabitants of the planet Nibiru in order to save them, and Spock, from a cataclysmic volcanic eruption. Admiral Christopher Pike is reinstated as commanding officer with Kirk demoted to the rank of Commander and first officer. Commander Spock is transferred to another ship. Shortly after, the Section 31 installation in London is bombed, perpetrated by the renegade Starfleet operative John Harrison (Cumberbatch). Harrison then attacks Starfleet Headquarters in a jumpship during the emergency meeting about the situation, killing Pike and other senior officers. Kirk disables the jumpship, but Harrison escapes by transporting to Kronos, the homeworld of the hostile Klingons.

Admiral Alexander Marcus (Peter Weller) reinstates Kirk and Spock to the Enterprise with orders to kill Harrison. Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott strongly objects to allowing untested torpedoes on board the ship, and when ordered to allow them resigns his commission in protest. Kirk assigns Pavel Chekov to replace Scotty. En route to Kronos, the Enterprise’s warp capabilities mysteriously become disabled. Kirk leads a team with Spock and Uhura onto the planet, where they are ambushed by Klingon patrols. Harrison dispatches the Klingons, then surrenders after learning the number of torpedoes aboard the Enterprise.

Dr. Leonard McCoy and Marcus’s daughter, Dr. Carol Marcus (Alice Eve), open a torpedo at Harrison’s behest. Inside is a man in cryogenic stasis. Every torpedo aboard Enterprise contains a human in stasis. Harrison reveals his true identity as Khan Noonien Singh, a genetically engineered superhuman awakened by Admiral Marcus from centuries of suspended animation to develop advanced weapons of war against the Klingon Empire. Khan reveals that Marcus had sabotaged the Enterprise’s warp drive, intending for the Klingons to destroy the ship after it fired on Kronos, creating an act of war by the Klingon Empire. Khan also gives Kirk a set of coordinates. Kirk contacts Scotty on Earth and asks him to investigate. Scotty discovers they lead to a covert Starfleet facility near Jupiter.

The Enterprise is intercepted by a much larger Federation warship, the USS Vengeance, commanded by Admiral Marcus. Marcus demands that Kirk deliver Khan, but the Enterprise, with a hastily repaired warp drive, flees to Earth to expose Marcus. After the Vengeance intercepts and disables the Enterprise near the Moon, Kirk reveals Carol’s presence aboard the ship. Marcus forcibly transports Carol to the Vengeance before ordering the Enterprise’s destruction, Kirk offers Khan and himself for the lives of his crew, but Marcus rejects Kirk’s offer and orders Vengeance to fire when ready. However, Vengeance suddenly loses power, sabotaged by Scotty, who infiltrated the ship. With transporters down, Kirk and Khan, with the latter’s knowledge of the warship’s design, space-jump to the Vengeance. Spock contacts his older self, who warns that Khan is ruthless and untrustworthy, and, in another reality, Khan was only defeated at a terrible cost. Meanwhile, after capturing the bridge, Khan overpowers Kirk, Scott, and Carol, kills Marcus, and seizes control of the Vengeance.

Khan demands that Spock return his crew sealed in the cryogenic tubes in exchange for the Enterprise officers. Spock complies but surreptitiously removes Khan’s frozen crew and arms the warheads. Khan beams Kirk, Scott, and Carol back aboard the Enterprise, but betrays their agreement by critically damaging the Enterprise; however, the Vengeance is disabled when the torpedoes detonate. With both starships caught in Earth’s gravity, they plummet toward the surface. Kirk enters the radioactive reactor chamber to realign the warp core, saving the ship, but losing his life in the process.

Khan crashes the dying Vengeance into downtown San Francisco in an attempt to destroy Starfleet headquarters, destroying some of the city. Khan escapes the wreckage as Spock transports down in pursuit. McCoy discovers that Khan’s blood has regenerative properties that may save Kirk. With Uhura’s help, Spock chases down and eventually subdues Khan, who is consequently arrested and re-frozen, and Kirk is revived.

Nearly one year later, Kirk speaks at the Enterprise’s re-dedication ceremony. Khan is sealed in his cryogenic pod and stored with his compatriots. The Enterprise crew embarks on a five-year exploratory mission.I didn’t overly mind that the film is based on Khan, but I can understand how some people would have an issue with it. The first film so cleverly re-wrote the shows history and gave Abrams the opportunity to do whatever he wanted story wise so it was a little bit surprising to see he had embarked on somewhat of a `re-make.’ But all in all a very good film. Great action sequences and great CGI – even if you’re not a Trekkie this is still an enjoyable film.

Advertisements

REVIEW: NEVER SLEEP AGAIN: THE ELM STREET LEGACY

 

CAST

Robert Englund (Wishmaster)
Heather Langenkamp (Hellraiser: Judgement)
Wes Craven (Scream 4)
Robert Shaye (New Nightmare)
Amanda Wyss (Highlander: THe Series)
Jsu Garcia (Along Came Polly)
Johnny Depp (Blow)
John Saxon (From Dusk Till Dawn)
Leslie Hoffman (Star Trek: DS9)
Robert Rusler (Weird Science)
Kim Myers (Hellraiser 4)
Clu Gulager (The Virginian)
Marshall Bell (Total Recall)
Ken Sagoes (Intolerable Cruelty)
Rodney Eastman (I Spit On Your Grave)
Penelope Dudrow (After Midnight)
Jennifer Rubin (Screamers)
Ira Heiden (Alias)
Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Priscilla Pointer (The Flash
Brooke Bundy (General Hospital)
Lisa Wilcox (Watchers Reborn)
Tuesday Knight (The Fan)
Lisa Zane (Bad Influence)
Tracy Middendorf (Scream: The Series)
Kane Hodder (Jaxon X)
Breendan Fletcher (Bloodrayne 3)
Zack Ward (Transformers)

The documentary itself lasts just under 4 hours, each film gets at least 25 minutes dedicated to it, and Freddy’s Nightmares and New Line Cinema get a brief discussion as well. Asides from Johnny Depp and Patricia Arquette more or less everyone from the 8 films is interviewed. I watched the whole documentary in one sitting, at no point does it drag. It isn’t just talking heads there are interesting behind the scenes photos and videos, some of which feature unused special effects and deleted scenes – including a replacement for Robert Englund if he had wanted to much of a pay rise for the second film, I’ll say this, thankfully the two parties came to agreement! The interviewees don’t just pander to one another and pat each other on the back, they are quick to point out flaws in their own performances and disappointment with others.

Highly recommended. It is the perfect companion to the films.

REVIEW: WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE

CAST

Robert Englund (Wishmaster)
Heather Langenkamp (Hellraiser: Judgement)
Miko Hughes (Roswell)
John Saxon (The Night Caller)
Tracy Middendorf (Scream: The Series)
David Newsom (Runaway)
Fran Bennett (Jessabelle)
Wes Craven (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back)
W. Earl Brown (Bates Motel)
Jsu Garcia (Predator 2)
Tuesday Knight (Fame)
Rob LaBelle (Jack Frost)

Heather Langenkamp lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband Chase and their young son Dylan. Heather has become quite popular due to her role as Nancy Thompson from the Nightmare on Elm Street film series. One night, she has a nightmare in which she, Dylan, and Chase are attacked by a set of animated Krueger claws of an upcoming Nightmare film in which two of the workers are brutally murdered on set. Waking up to an earthquake, she spies a cut on Chase’s finger exactly like one he had received in his dream, but they quickly dismiss the notion.

Heather receives a call from an obsessed fan who calls and quotes Freddy’s nursery rhyme in an eerie Freddy-like voice. This coincides with a meeting she has with New Line Cinema in which she is pitched an idea to reprise her role as Nancy in a new Nightmare film, which Chase had been working on, unknown to her at the time. When she returns home, she sees Dylan watch her original film. When she interrupts him, he has a severely traumatizing episode where he screams at her. The frequent calls and Dylan’s strange behavior cause her to call Chase, who agrees to rush home from his work site, as the two men from the opening dream did not report in for work. But Chase falls asleep while driving and is slashed by Freddy’s claw, which results in his death. His death seems to affect Dylan even further, which causes concern for Heather’s long-time friend and former costar John Saxon. He suggests she seek medical attention for both him and for her after Heather has a nightmare at Chase’s funeral in which Freddy tries to take Dylan away.

Dylan’s health continues to destabilize, becoming increasingly paranoid about going to sleep and fearing Freddy Krueger even though Heather had never shown him her films. She visits Wes Craven, who suggests that Freddy is an entity drawn to his films, released after the series completed and now focuses on Heather, as Nancy, as its primary foe. Robert Englund also has a strange knowledge of it, describing the new Freddy to Nancy, only shortly after disappearing from all contact. After another earthquake, Heather takes a traumatized Dylan to the hospital, where the head nurse, suspecting abuse, suggests Dylan stay for observation. Heather returns home for Dylan’s stuffed dinosaur while his babysitter Julie tries to keep the nurses from sedating the sleep-deprived boy. Dylan falls asleep after the nurses sedate him, and Freddy brutally kills Julie in Dylan’s dream. Capable of sleepwalking, Dylan leaves the hospital of his own accord while Heather chases him home across the interstate as Freddy taunts him and dangles him before traffic. Upon returning home, Heather realizes that John has established his persona as Don Thompson. Upon Heather’s compliance in embracing Nancy’s role, Freddy emerges completely into reality and takes Dylan to his world. Heather finds a trail of his sleeping pills and follows him to a dark underworld. Freddy fights off Heather and chases Dylan into an oven. Dylan escapes the oven, doubles back to Heather, and together they push Freddy into the oven and light it. This destroys the monster and his reality altogether.

Dylan and Heather emerge from under his blankets, and Heather finds a copy of the film’s events as a screenplay at the foot of the bed; inside is a thanks from Wes for defeating Freddy and playing Nancy one last time. Dylan asks if it is a story, and Heather agrees that it is just a story before opening the script and reading from its pages to her son.

There are many great references to the original movie, but Craven’s biggest success is that he makes the character of Freddy terrifying once again. There are no jokes here and the movie is a dark one. This is a triumph given how Freddy had become quite a jokey character in the previous films.

REVIEW: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: DREAM WARRIORS

CAST

Robert Englund (V)
Heather Langenkamp (Hellraiser: Judgement)
Craig Wasson (Body Double)
Patricia Arquette (Medium)
Ken Sagoes (Death By Dialogue)
Rodney Eastman (Mobsters)
Jennifer Rubin (Screamers)
Bradley Gregg (Nightwatch)
Ira Heiden (Student Exchange)
Laurence Fishburne (Hannibal)
Penelope Sudrow (Bronx Zoo)
John Saxon (War Wolves)
Priscilla Pointer (The Flash 90s)
Clayton Landey (Norma Rae)
Brooke Bundy (Lassie)
Nan Martin (Loving Couples)
Zsa Zsa Gabor (Batman 60s)
Stacey Alden (Grotesque)

Kristen Parker is a young girl who dreams herself into an abandoned house in Elm Street where she is chased by serial killer Freddy Krueger. She wakes up and goes to the bathroom, where she is attacked by Freddy again and slices her wrist with a straight razor. Believing her to be suicidal, her mother has her sent to Westin Hospital, run by Dr. Neil Gordon, where she fights against the orderlies who try to sedate her, for fear of falling asleep. She is eventually calmed by intern therapist Nancy Thompson who recites part of Freddy’s nursery rhyme and earns her trust.

Nancy is introduced to the rest of the patients: Phillip, a habitual sleepwalker; Kincaid, a tough kid from the streets who is prone to violence; Jennifer, a hopeful television actress; Will, who is confined to a wheelchair after a suicide attempt; Taryn, a former drug addict; and Joey, who is too traumatized to speak. Later, Kristen is attacked by Freddy again (this time as a giant snake), and unwittingly pulls Nancy into her dream with her, allowing them both to escape. Kristen reveals she has had the ability to pull people into her dreams since she was a little girl. Over the next two nights, Freddy throws Phillip off a roof in what looks like a suicide attempt and kills Jennifer by smashing her head into a television that she was watching.

In their next group session, Nancy reveals to the remaining patients that they are the last surviving children of the people who banded together and burned Krueger to death many years ago. Nancy and Neil encourage them to try group hypnosis so that they can experience a shared dream and discover their dream powers. In the dream, Joey wanders off and is captured by Freddy, leaving him comatose in the real world; Nancy and Neil are fired. Neil is told by a nun, Sister Mary Helena, that Freddy is the son of a young nun who was accidentally locked in a room with hundreds of mental patients who raped her continually, and that the only way to stop him is to lay his bones to rest. He and Nancy go to her father, Don Thompson, to discover where the bones are hidden, but he is uncooperative. Nancy rushes back to the hospital after she hears Kristen is going to be sedated, while Neil convinces Thompson to help them.

Nancy and the others again go through group hypnosis so they can reunite with Kristen, but are all separated after Freddy interrupts them. Taryn and Will are subsequently killed by Freddy while Kirsten, Nancy, and Kincaid find one another. The trio rescue Joey but are unable to defeat Freddy, who has become too powerful because of all the souls he has consumed. However, Freddy senses that his remains have been found in an auto salvage yard and possesses his own skeleton to kill Thompson and incapacitate Neil. He returns to attack the others, but Joey uses his dream power voice to send him away. Thompson appears to Nancy to tell her that he is “crossing over”, but he is revealed to be Freddy in disguise, who stabs and kills Nancy. As he is about to kill Kristen too, Nancy rises from behind and uses Freddy’s own claws to stab himself, saving Kristen heroically. Neil awakens and consecrates the bones, finally destroying him. Nancy dies in Kristen’s arms. At Nancy’s funeral, Neil sees Mary Helena again and when he tries to follow her, finds her tombstone, revealing herself as Amanda Krueger, Freddy’s mother.

This is a very much improved part of a franchise that could of died early on if it wasn’t for this third installment that brought sparkle back into the invading dreams plot with hugely improved acting,set pieces and at last genuine frights and humor when its needed.

REVIEW: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984)

 

CAST

Heather Langenkamp (Hellraiser: Judgement)
Robert Englund (V)
John Saxon (War Wolves)
Johnny Depp (Ed Wood)
Amanda Wyss (Highlander: The Series)
Ronee Blakey (A Return To Salem’s Lot)
Joseph Whipp (The Hidden)
Lin Shaye (The Long Riders)
Jsu Garcia (Along Came Polly)
Mimi Craven (Swamp Thing)

Tina Gray, a teenager, walks through a boiler room dressed in a nightgown. She is stalked and attacked by a disfigured man wearing a blade-fixed glove. She awakens from the nightmare, but her mother points out four mysterious slashes in her gown.

The following morning, Tina is consoled by her friend Nancy and her boyfriend, Glen. Later, Nancy and Glen sleepover with Tina following her mother’s out-of-town departure. The sleepover is interrupted by Tina’s boyfriend Rod, who tries to have sex to reconcile after arguing. Falling asleep, she sees the man and runs. Awakened by Tina’s thrashing, Rod witnesses her being fatally slashed by an unseen force. He flees as Nancy and Glen find Tina, mistakenly blaming Rod. Nancy tells her father, Lieutenant Don Thompson, of Tina’s death.

The next day, Rod proclaims innocence to Nancy, but Don arrests him. At school, Nancy falls asleep in class and finds the man, calling himself Freddy Krueger, chasing her in the boiler room. Nancy burns her arm on a pipe and awakens in the middle of class, excusing herself. She notices the burn mark on her arm and is concerned. At home, Nancy falls asleep in the bathtub and nearly gets drowned by Freddy. Nancy goes to Rod, who tells her what happened to Tina, and Nancy believes Freddy is responsible for Tina’s death.

Nancy has Glen watch over her as she falls asleep. She tries to find Freddy and sees him preparing to kill Rod. He turns his attention on her; she runs and wakes up when her alarm clock goes off. Nancy and Glen go to the jail and discover Rod has been hanged in his cell by his bed sheet in an apparent suicide. At Rod’s funeral, Nancy’s parents become worried when she describes the man in her dreams. Her mother, Marge, takes her to a dream clinic. In her dream, Nancy is attacked again and grabs Freddy’s hat. When the staff wake her up, she has a gash in her arm and she somehow has Freddy’s hat with her.

At home, Marge bars the windows and begins drinking heavily. Eventually, she tells Nancy that Freddy was a child murderer released on a technicality. In a form of vigilante justice, the parents in the neighborhood burned him alive. Realizing that Freddy desires revenge, Nancy convinces Glen to help her. She plans to take Freddy into the real world and set up booby traps in her house. Concerned over her influence, Glen’s parents prevent the two from meeting. Glen falls asleep at their appointed hour, and Freddy kills him.

Alone, Nancy puts her drunken mother to bed and convinces her father across the street to break into the house in twenty minutes. In her sleep, she locates Freddy at the last second and pulls him out of the dream. In the real world, Nancy runs from Freddy, who trips on the booby traps. She lights him on fire, locks him in the basement, and rushes to the door for help. The police arrive, and they realize Freddy has escaped the basement. In Marge’s bedroom, they see a still-burning Freddy smother her. After Don puts out the fire, Freddy and Marge have vanished. Despite her father’s words, Nancy believes she is still in danger.

Freddy attacks Nancy once again. Realizing he is powered by his victim’s fear, she calmly turns her back on him, reducing him to nothingness. She steps outside into a bright morning where all of her friends and mother are still alive. She gets into Glen’s car to go to school when the top comes down and suddenly locks them in. As the car is driven uncontrollably down the street, Marge is grabbed through the window of their front door and is dragged through it to her apparent death.

Wes Craven’s best attempt at making a good scary movie! I love the scene where Freddy’s razors come up out the bath between Nancy’s legs. Plus when Freddy says to Tina ‘This is God’ waving his razor fingers at her! Effing brilliant movie magic!!!! Well worth watching over & and over again