Film Friday #131

Star Trek: Into Darkness

After Admiral Pike (Bruce Greenwood) is killed during a terrorist attack, Kirk (Chris Pine) must lead the crew of the Enterprise on a daring mission to track down the perpetrator (Benedict Cumberbatch). Armed with a cargo of mysterious long-range missiles they head for the hostile Klingon home planet, Kronos. Soon Kirk realises that he and his crew are being manipulated and the only person who might be able to help him save The Enterprise is exactly the person he’s been sent to stop. The latest instalment in the iconic Star Trek franchise is action-packed, absorbing and looks absolutely spectacular on screen. It’s worth watching for the interaction between Kirk and Spock (Zachary Quinto alone), with one moment in particular bringing my Trekkie husband to tears. Bless. Add in action Cumberbatch, who is surprisingly sexy even while playing pure bad, and you’re onto a winner. Unfortunately there is no escaping the fact that Chris Pine is no more than a fair to middling actor with a passing resemblance to William Shatner. He just doesn’t quite have the chops to carry off something quite so epic. 3.5/5

This is not the luxury full-body massage I paid for

This is not the luxury full-body massage I paid for

The Black Dahlia

It’s 1946 and cops, Dwight ‘Bucky’ Bleichert (Josh Harnett) and Lee Blanchard (Aaron Eckhard) are brought together for a boxing match in order to raise the profile of their police department. The two become firm friends and partners, taking on the high profile case of a young murder victim known as the Black Dahlia. It doesn’t take long for the case to start to affect their personal lives, while dredging up old grudges from the past. I have to admit that I found this attempt at a vintage noir clumsy and difficult to follow. There are so many subplots on the go at once that it involves a monk-like level of concentration that I just couldn’t be bothered to muster. I also found the heavy handed lesbian storyline exploitative without adding anything. 1/5

Cause of death: boredom by subplot

Cause of death: boredom by subplot

A Dangerous Method

At the birth of psychoanalysis, psychiatrists Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) are at the forefront of the new movement. As the two develop an intense and sometimes explosive relationship, Jung tries to balance the rigors of family life with his intense attraction to a patient (Keira Knightley), who enjoys a bit of recreational spanking. I rather enjoyed the beginning of this film and found that Knightley was a lot less annoying than usual and pretty good at playing insane. Goodness knows what was happening with the accents though. Towards the middle it started losing its way and by the end I was bored and just wondering what the whole point was. It can’t just have been Fassbender putting a corseted Knightley over his knee… surely… 2.5/5

Keira had just found out she'd won a date with Nigel Farage

Mike had just broken the news to Keira that she’d won a date with Nigel Farage


After attending a party strange things start happening around college student, Smith (Thomas Dekker). He is blacking out, being followed by shadowy figures in animal masks and also oddly sleeping with pretty much everyone he encounters. As things get weirder and weirder he realises that the father he believed was dead might not be so dead after all and that he might also have super natural powers. This is an absolutely bonkers film that makes next to no sense. It seems like writer/director, Gregg Araki, just wanted an excuse to write up a bad acid trip and show loads of beautiful young people getting it on with each other. A theory further supported by the fact that it ends abruptly, seemingly at the point where Araki wrote himself into a corner and gave up. I have to admit though that I found myself weirdly sucked in so I can’t write it off completely. Also if there are any Secret Circle fangirls out there (highly unlikely since it never got past a the first season) they might enjoy watching Dekker lust after his onscreen roommate and Secret Circle cast mate, Chris Zylka. I imagine reams of slash being written. 1.5/5

It's Keira Knightley. She says she's been kidnapped by Nigel Farage

It’s Keira Knightley. She says she’s been kidnapped by Nigel Farage


  1. Good reviews again. 🙂 I’ve only seen Into Darkness – I agree with your review of that. Cumberbatch is great but I don’t fully buy into Chris Pine. Always wanted to see Black Dahlia but think I’ll skip it now. I like Cronenberg but A Dangerous Method doesn’t appeal to me (other than the spanking maybe!). I’ll skip the other one too but I’ve had kind of a thing for Thomas Dekker since The Sarah Connor Chronicles…

    1. Abbi

      I just feel like they could have done better than Chris Pine for such epic films! Black Dahlia is terrible. Stay well away. Chris Dekker is utterly adorable in Kaboom but the whole thing is just a disaster area. It’s like if you let a 14 year old boy with unlimited drugs make a film.

      1. Ha – a lot of films these days feel like they were made by 14 year old boys on drugs. Project X comes to mind. Yeah – I really don’t think Chris Pine is that great.

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