We had just finished eating dinner last night, when Dan had an intense desire to see a movie. It happens to me all of the time. I always want to go to a movie and it takes zero convincing, but Dan is usually not as eager, especially on a work night. I decided to take his desire to go to a movie and run with it.
He sat at our dining room table, using a movie app on his Iphone and suddenly he became overwhelmingly excited. Dan just won his movie lottery when he discovered that the Arclight in Hollywood had a special 9pm sneak peek showing of Star Trek Into Darkness and with less than two hours before show time, we could still get seats.
We threw the dishes into the sink and hopped over the hill into Hollywood. Although our tickets were bought and seats reserved, we thought that we should get there early. We arrived to discover that our showing was to take place in the Historic Cinerama Dome.
This created a bit of panic, as the seats that we had secured where in the second row from the front, on the very end of the middle section. I had not been to the Cinerama Dome in many years, not since the Arclight remodel, so I had no clue what we were getting ourselves into. We tossed around the idea of asking for a refund and going to another movie, but the lure of seeing the very first showing of Star Trek Into Darkness, was too great. We killed time at Amoeba Records.
Our seats turned out to be great. Maybe a tad too close, but not in an uncomfortable way. The showing was definitely full, but not completely sold out. There were a few huge Star Trek fans, showing up in costumes, but overall, the tone was much more subdued than I had anticipated. I thought that there would be a greater level of excitement and maybe even some sort of promotion or special tie in. Nope, nothing.
I hate to admit it, but the 3-D was pretty spectacular. I still don't think that 3-D is necessary for any film and in most cases does not add significantly to my enjoyment of the movie, especially for the up-charge in ticket prices. However, this is one to see in 3-D. It was beautifully done, without being overly gimmicky. One of my favorite shots was at the very end, a long shot through the corridors of the Enterprise. It's simple, but just looked great in 3-D, without needing a gimmick.
This is solid summer blockbuster type of movie. It's pure entertainment and although it isn't likely to be a big contender for award season (except for technical honors), it is definitely a cut above average for the genre.
That being said, the first one was better. Into Darkness ran a tad long and had way too many action sequences. At times, I felt like I was on a simulator ride at a theme park because the action sequences were happening in such close proximity that I didn't have time to recover or soak it in. In this case, the old adage, "Less is more" would have been apt.
When not in the middle of intense action, the tone shifted to comedy. There are many great bits of comedic dialogue and memorable one-liners, but after awhile, the jokes were the same. They were making the same sentiments and observations, just rephrasing it. It grew old in the last half of the movie.
The best thing about J.J. Abrams reboot is the casting. This franchise really has the best actors in each role and this adds a great deal to the entertainment value. In particular, I loved the addition of Benedict Cumberbatch.
Star Trek Into Darkness is good early start to the summer blockbuster season. It made for a fun spontaneous mid-week date night!