Riddick with my favorite character: The CGI 'dog'.

Now, I did see Pitch Black, back when it was first released, though I’ve long ago forgotten all the details. Of course, you kind of don’t need to remember the details since I think this is basically the same movie all over again, just with different-looking things trying to eat everyone. And these scary critters come out when it rains rather than when it gets dark. I guess if you’re comfortable with a certain formula and it doesn’t totally flop at the box office, why not do it all over again? It’s been thirteen years, after all.

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Star Trek Into Darkness

The Enterprise surfaces dramatically from her underwater hiding place.

Once, long ago, someone spoiled the twist ending of The Sixth Sense for me, and ever since then I’ve tried hard not to be That Person. So this review will be very carefully worded, and I refuse to confirm or deny any theories you and your friends may have formulated based on the previews. But the whole crew is back, which was nice to see, and I’ll just take this opportunity to link to the first movie in the new series so I don’t have to worry about it later.

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Star Trek

The old crew and the new crew.

This is a reboot. I really can’t emphasize that enough. This is not your father’s Star Trek. The writers here took all the main characters you remember from the original series, many of the most famous lines, various alien races (most humanoid, a few very much not humanoid), and a few little in-jokes referring back to previous movies and shows, threw them all into a blender, mixed them up for a while, and served up something that’s almost Star Trek, but different.

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Paul Bettany falls for the old "Look behind you!" trick.

We are in the middle of the decade of the comic book movie. Technically, this is based on a 16-issue series of graphic novels by Hyung Min-woo, but close enough. It’s almost exactly nothing like the comics, though, as far as I can tell. Shocker.

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Helen Mirren and one of her impeccable selection of really big guns.

Red isn’t a reference to the color, though of course there’s a lot of blood. Nor is it a nickname — there are no redheads in sight. It’s actually an acronym, though if you haven’t read the graphic novel, I won’t spoil the surprise by telling you what it stands for. And yes, this was based on a graphic novel of the same name, by writer Warren Ellis and artist Cully Hamner. I think a couple of people in the audience were a little startled to see the DC logo in the opening credits, actually.
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