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FLICKS: Star Trek Into Darkness

Posted on 23 May 2013 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano


With 10 motion pictures, four versions of Next Generation television shows and endless novels, the Star Trek franchise was collapsing under its own weight until Paramount executives hired J.J. Abrams to “reboot” the series. Abrams remained true to the Star Trek core audience, while inviting a new audience not familiar with the difference between a Klingon and a Gorn.

For his second and last Star Trek motion picture, Abrams has provided another adrenalin-filled motion picture with heart and tiny references to the 50-year-old franchise. With the best Star Trek movie, The Wrath of Khan, used as a narrative blueprint, Star Trek Into Darkness fulfills expectations of popcorn-eating Saturday Matinee fun.

This film finds the Enterprise crew in a perilous mission on a primitive planet. While Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) saves the world, he is demoted for disobeying orders. With his untrustworthy first officer Spock (Zachary Quinto) reassigned, Kirk becomes first mate to his mentor, Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood). Before Pike and Kirk can begin their next mission, Star Fleet Headquarters is attacked by Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), a one-man weapon of mass destruction.

From this point forward, this film turns into an action-packed sci-fi narrative with character twists and turns. The joy of this film is how the screenwriters take sacred Star Trek beliefs (i.e. “The Prime Directive”) and reveal what a bureaucratic cage these regulations are in the real world. This storytelling freedom is infectious.

The film will be playing on the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Discovery (MODS) fivestorey IMAX screen until mid June, when Man of Steel is scheduled. It’s worth the extra couple of bucks. I felt I was aboard the Star Trek Enterprise and could give navigational tips to Lieutenant Sulu (John Cho).Besides the excellent documentary Flight of the Butterflies, MODS will kick off the summer with a new exhibit — Tony Hawk RAD Science, which relates “physics” with “skateboarding.” This kinesthetic learning experience concludes Labor Day Weekend.

Last, but not least, Gary Sinise and Joe Mantenga return to the National Memorial Day Concert on PBS Sunday, May 26 from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Given the recent loss of my World War II generation father, the tribute to The Greatest Generation will be especially poignant for me. Memorialize our vets … and honor them this Memorial Day weekend by enjoying freedom and having a good time.

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