The year was 2009. After 17 years of consecutive production, there had been no Star Trek actively airing on television for four years, no feature film in theaters since Star Trek Nemesis died a painful box office death in 2002. One of the most dominant science fiction franchises in pop culture history was on life support.
Then J.J. Abrams unleashed his sequel/prequel/reboot, Star Trek, and everything changed. The film quickly became the highest-grossing in the history of the franchise, and was almost universally acclaimed by audiences and critics alike. It is the second highest-ranked film of 2009 on Flickchart. And now, four long years later, it’s finally time for a second helping.
The creators of the new Star Trek films have said they look to Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight as the right way to make a sequel, and it is apparent that they have really taken this attitude to heart. For their sequel, they are banking on heavy action, a diabolical and memorable villain, and have even thrown the “Dark” right into the title.
Such is the hype behind this sequel that it was voted the Most Anticipated Film of 2013 at our 2nd Annual Flickcharter’s Choice Awards. It’s already playing overseas, but North American audiences get their first look at special IMAX screenings tonight, with the film in wide release tomorrow.
It’s finally time for a Star Trek Into Darkness.
2013 is shaping up to be a pretty big year for science fiction, probably the biggest since 2009 brought us heavy-hitters like Avatar, District 9, Moon and Star Trek. Major sci-fi releases this year will include J.J. Abrams‘ sequel Star Trek Into Darkness, Zack Snyder‘s Superman reboot Man of Steel, Neill Blomkamp‘s D-9 followup Elysium, Iron Man 3, World War Z, Ender’s Game, and Guillermo del Toro‘s monsters-vs-robots extravaganza Pacific Rim, among many others.
Two of the sci-fi juggernauts vying for your theater bucks are Oblivion, starring Tom Cruise, and After Earth, featuring Will Smith. Both are big-budget future tales involving a major box office star returning to Earth after humanity was forced to abandon the planet, only to find something sinister at work. Which of these movies looks to be more worth our time? Let’s size them up – Flickchart-style, head-to-head – and find out.
Benedict Cumberbatch, star of the BBC series Sherlock (which brings Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character of Sherlock Holmes into a modern-day setting) has been tapped by Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot to star in the sequel to J.J. Abrams‘ 2009 hit film Star Trek.
Cumberbatch will be assuming the villain role in the sequel. Bad Robot had previously been in talks with Benecio Del Toro for the role, but those negotiations broke down about a month ago. In addition to his role in Sherlock, Cumberbatch is recently finding himself with more film work. He stars in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and War Horse (both currently in theaters), and will be playing Smaug the dragon (via motion capture) and voicing the Necromancer in Peter Jackson‘s upcoming pair of Hobbit movies.
The crew from the 2009 film, headed by Chris Pine‘s Captain Kirk, are returning for the sequel. Joining Cumberbatch as newcomers in the cast are Noel Clarke, Alice Eve and RoboCop‘s Peter Weller. Abrams will return as director. Originally slated for a 2012 release, the sequel has now been moved to May 2013.
Tangled, a retelling of the Rapunzel fairy tale from Walt Disney Animation Studios, did quite well for itself this past holiday season. A hit with both critics and audiences alike, it did well at the box office (earning nearly $200 million domestically, and – in its second weekend of release – dethroning Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 as box office champ). It did quite well in disc sales, too, raking in over $80 million in its first week of release. It’s ranked in the Top 20 for 2010 on Flickchart, with a healthy 58% win percentage, appearing in 48 users’ individual Top 20 lists. It’s quite charming, hearkening back to the glory days of Disney princesses, and I found it to be thoroughly entertaining.
But am I the only one who has a problem with this?
As Marvel Studios begins their big push to the 2012 release of The Avengers, their films are increasingly taking on more of a soap-opera-like continuity between them. This serialization might be a little aggravating, but so far, it’s not keeping the films from being enjoyable in their own right (at least for the most part).
Still, comic book superhero films in general (and Marvel films in particular) are only becoming more prevalent nowadays. This year, we’ll see the X-Men prequel, X-Men: First Class. And, only five years after the hit-and-miss (mostly miss) Spider-Man 3, the webslinger will be getting his very own shiny reboot in 2012.
But in The Avengers is Marvel’s juggernaut, and before it brings together Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, it has to introduce more members of its roster in their very own films. It can be a little exhausting trying to keep up with these Avengers, so if we really only want to check out one Marvel movie this summer, which should it be? With that question in mind, Flickchart‘s Reel Rumbles take on a slightly different form as we present: Pre-Rumbles: Thor vs. Captain America: The First Avenger.