Love crappy movies but are too ashamed to admit it? Are you a big Rob Schneider fan but you're tired of being burned? Not sure if you want to waste your money on the same old movie? That's why you have Joe.
Joe Loves Crappy Movies is by Joseph Dunn. Joe willingly goes to see the very worst that Hollywood has to offer. Whenever a crappy movie comes out Joe will be there to see it, make fun of it, and actually review it. Nothing is safe, and nothing is sacred. From the big budget action disasters to the low brow fart based comedies, to anything starring Martin Lawrence? Joe will tear it apart.
With each entry you'll get not only a comic poking fun at the movie, but also a detailed review. Joe's not educated in film or cinematography or acting, he's just a guy that draws comics and likes movies. So if you're looking for the everyman perspective and a little joke in comic form... you're in the right place.
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Leonard Nimoy, Eric Bana, Bruce Greenwood, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Ben Cross, Winona Ryder
Directed by: J.J. Abrams
The Official Site of Star Trek
Discuss Star Trek on the boards!
What was always so uniquely wonderful about the Star Trek franchise, when compared to other films that depicted mankind's future, was that it showed an optimistic one. No post-apocalyptic robots or living dead terrorizing a scorched landscape with humanity cowering underground waiting patiently with dirty headbands and homemade weaponry to take back the planet. Star Trek was always about adventure and the excitement of discovering the unknown. In rebooting a franchise that had all but fallen apart under a faulty TV series (Enterprise) and an undercooked feature (Star Trek: Nemesis, a film so unimpressively bland that you kind of root for Evil Data to win) I think that director/producer J.J. Abrams understood it was necessary to bring back that optimism. He’s produced a slick origin of this franchises’ most prized cast in a way that both honors its fans and makes it accessible to a whole new generation. He creates optimism that this treasured tent pole of Science Fiction has some greatness left in it. He’s given us back that sense of wonder and hope. But it ain’t exactly a masterpiece.
I wish it weren’t so but I did not love Star Trek. It's not as easy a success as the praise from critics or on line buzz would have you believe. It's inventive, well cast and certainly fun but arguably incomplete and hollow. At times the movie drags. At others it feels like the juggling act of a one-armed clown who never really favors his Scotty pin and somehow gets Spock and Uhura bumping into each other from time to time. Yet at other times Trek seems so perfect. Like a piece of your childhood reborn; pristine and faultless enough to get the new generation of childhoods addicted to it.
In Star Trek, a Romulan named Nero (Eric Bana) has traveled back in time to exact revenge upon our beloved Mr. Spock for the crime of not being quick enough to save Romulus some 129 years in the future. The conflict revolves around time travel and black holes and should easily fit the fringe science standards of storytelling for Trek fans. Especially after Nero starts altering our timeline by killing off characters and destroying planets.
The focus though is on the birth of the Enterprise staff, a group of cadets coming up at the same time. Despite their excellent qualifications it seems that the easiest way rise to the senior staff of a starship in Star Fleet is to sleep with your commanding officer or just wait for them to be sucked out the side of a ship. There are at least 6 promotions in this film and only one of them is based on ability over availability.
The casting is insanely awesome. A group of about-to-break new comers that perfectly embody the essence of the characters without turning into caricatures or copycats. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto (Kirk and Spock) were easy fits. Watching these soon to be longtime friends battle over logic and recklessness was incredibly entertaining. Getting this peek at the birth of their respect for each other is as good a reason as any to tell this story. The rest of the cast are reduced to supporting players but each is given a moment in the spotlight. Anton Yelchin as the Russian wiz kid Chekov wins you over with his quick thinking and talk of “Wessels” and Simon Pegg, who doesn’t turn up until at least the midway point of the movie, is a big comedic breath of fresh air (and plot development) as Transporter specialist Scotty.
While the crew is impeccable their adversaries are far from sound. I am a humungous Eric Bana supporter (I even think he was the better Hulk) but at fault of either his poor performance or an incomplete script Nero is a character that does not make the impact he should. He's a tragic figure on a mission. A creature of vengeance. Pure anger. Our only clue to this is a brief monologue where Nero tells us the fate of Romulus and his wife. You sympathize with him but only because you’re told to. There's no power behind it. In the juggling act of introducing the new era of Star Trek there's just not enough time to establish the brooding force that's supposedly pushing the plot. Nero becomes secondary to making sure we all know Sulu can swing a sword or Vulcans went to school in "learning holes". What should (and could) have been a classic Trek icon of villainy is reduced to nothing and when the threats gone - the adventures gone.
A full cast is no excuse for not developing a villain. I realize they had a lot of things to check of their list but establishing a credible threat should be at least in the top three. It's hard to watch a character that could be to Spock what Q is to Picard or Khan is to Kirk and see nothing come of it. It's a missed opportunity. It's the difference between a good and great movie in my opinion.
The film's only sure-fire success is Leonard Nimoy who plays an aging Spock in a man out of time. He is PERFECT in this film. Every line of dialogue trips off his tongue like it was written by Abraham Licnoln. He's instant integrity for a film that, at that point, was desperate to get its audience to believe. His performance is something that for Trek fans, should solidify this movie as a classic in the franchise. For none fans it will legitimize the film and give them a taste of the passion that the hard-core fans live with everyday.
I'm optimistic about the future of the franchise but... shouldn't I have loved what was supposed to be that optimistic future's grand introduction? Is it enough for us to say, "Well, part 2 will kick all kinds of ass!"? Shouldn’t part one kick similar kinds of ass? At times it’s certainly an ass kicker but shouldn’t an introduction leaving you feeling more than just “optimistic about the future”?
Rating: 7.5 out of 10 - Star Trek is already beloved all over the Internet. I fear that many will read my review and only see the negative. Please pay close attention to my very complimentary rating. Despite my not being overwhelmed by the film or my little complaints, Star Trek is a must see on the big screen. It’s the kind of adventure that is just begging to be experienced.
My review was one written by someone that appreciates the Star Trek universe but was never especially a fan of The Original Series. There will be some intense debate over the next week of fans versus newcomers and how each reacts. I’d like to think I’m offering something from the middle of the road but for a great review from a passionate fan out David Chen’s review at slashfilm.com
For Trek fans this should be an easy decision. Star Trek honors its source, is easy, fun and in many ways light years ahead of the films in the franchise that came before it. For my own personal collection I’m struggling with the decision a little. Part of me thinks that repeat viewings will make the smaller character touches sing but another part of me worries that all repeat viewings would do is accentuate the negative. Those minor moments of lag problems may seem unbearable when I actually know what’s going to happen next.
Chances are that it’ll make it into my collection. Fun usually wins out over illogical nit picking. I can’t help but wish though that the movie were so good that there was no choice. That I would have to own it.
G.I. JOE: Rise of Cobra - If there was any doubt before about the tone of the G.I. JOE adaptation the latest trailer certainly put them all to rest. This movie, for better or worse, is a cartoon come to life. And I’m definitely on board with that.
I’d always thought that a great G.I. Joe movie would just be a high quality war movie. Totally stripped down with little touches to make each character stand out. Like Saving Private Ryan except one of the dudes is a ninja. But that’s not what G.I. JOE is. It’s supposed to be larger than life. It’s supposed to explore the impossible sides of bio-weapons, world domination and even physics. I’m not sure how audiences will respond to it. I’m anticipating a lot of debate over how people can’t jump like that or how this guy would never survive this activity and that’s cool I guess. It’s sort of not the point of the movie though.
That’s my brother-in-law Sam in today’s strip and he pointed me towards this real article on Slashdot.org about the Klingons being cut from the final draft of Star Trek. Rumor has it that there was a short scene filmed that even included the spoken Klingon tongue but it was edited out for time. A wise move considering there’s enough going on in this movie as is and there are more than enough tips of the hat to the fans. Let the Klingons have their moment in the sun in one of the sequels.
The comic itself is an indirect reference to how Klingons appeared in The Original Series, without their since trademarked foreheads. I remember after years of watching The Next Generation turning on an episode of TOS and being shocked that the Klingons were basically just black dudes with crazy facial hair. Warf apparently explains this in an episode of TNG as “a dark period in their culture that they do not speak of” - A fantastic wink to fans looking for clarification.
I’m keeping it short and sweet today so that I can post this beast of a review as soon as possible. I may have more to say about Star Trek though. I’ve definitely got a couple more comic ideas and few areas I’d like to explore. Stop wasting time though. Get to the theater and see this thing already!
Joe – The creator of the strip who has embraced giving crappy movies the chance they deserve. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.
First Appearance - The Introduction
Yeo – Yeo is Joe’s wife and often the voice of reason in the strip. Having her act rational allows the rest of the cast to embrace being in a comic strip which primarily involves randomly punching people, interacting with fictional characters and talking about boobs. Yeo is smart, beautiful and way too good for Joe. Don’t tip her off.
First Appearance - Fever Pitch
Irv – Joe’s movie-going sidekick who’s always down for watching Jason Statham crescent moon kick some thug through a plate glass window and getting some drinks before after and during a Vin Diesel movie. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.
First Appearance - Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior
Agent 337 George Jones – A government Agent that took over for Joe after he was bad-mouthing President Bush in the V for Vendetta strip. George ran the show for over a month bring a much needed sense of patriotism and justice to both the strips and reviews. He eventually got too attached to his work, empathizing with Joe’s plight to give crappy movies a fair shake. In a way he came to love crappy movies as well and was pushed out of the position. He spiraled out of control and ended up in prison. His adventures will be told in the limited series JLCM Presents: 337 Locked Up which is set to début Christmas of 09.
First Appearance - V for Vendetta
Other Notable Appearances: Stay Alive, Ice age 2, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, Slither, Here Comes Guest week, Let’s Go To Prison
Leonidas – The former king of Sparta who has traveled into the future and is having trouble coping with the modern times. Yelling loudly and kicking people into giant holes doesn’t really work the same way it did in the olden days. As time as gone by he’s adjusted but it’s a safe bet that he’s always one bad message away from throwing a spear through someone.
First Appearance - 300
Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Strip# 300, The Golden Compass, Rambo, Untraceable, The Ladies of Max Paybe
Palpatine – Former Senator, Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Sith Lord... He shows up in the Joe Loves Crappy movies galaxy on occasion to let people know that they’re being stupid. No one’s really sure how he shows up in this universe but chances are it breaks all kinds of copywrite laws.
First Appearance - Episode III: The Dark Side
Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Night Watch, Saw 3, Are We Done Yet
Slow Billy – Billy is a sweet kid but he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. If you’re watching him for the day be prepared to explain to him the plot of the movie or how popcorn works or, not so much where babies come from, but what babies are. He’s a complete moron.
First Appearance - Four Brothers
Other Notable Appearances: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Da Vinci Code, Vantage Point, Journey to the Center of the Earth
Kyle the Movie Snob – Be careful what fun facts about movies you tell your friends at a friendly gathering or in line for the latest blockbuster, because if you’re even slightly wrong, Kyle will be more than happy to let you know. He usually gets what’s coming to him though. Poor guy has cracked three ribs since joining the JLCM cast.
First Appearance - Ultraviolet
Other Notable Appearances: 16 Blocks, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Transformers, Journey to the Center of the Earth
Jean-Luc Picard – Another lawsuit waiting to happen is Jean Luc Picard who, towards the end of the strip’s first year, became the go-to background character. If there was ever a seat to fill or a random person to place wandering around in the background, nine times out of ten it was Picard. While Picard has crossed paths with Irv he and Joe have never met. Perhaps they will some day but for now just can an eye on the background.
First Appearance - The Producers
Other Notable Appearances: I’m not telling you, that’s no fun. It’ like Where’s Waldo – go find him!
Ice Cream Sandwich – Delicious and… deadly? Usually when you see someone eating an Ice Cream sandwich, someone else is experiencing a substantial amount of pain. Still, how nice is an ice cream sandwich on a hot summer day?
First Appearance - Saw IV
Other Notable Appearances: Bee Movie, Run Fatboy Run, Saw V