The viewing experience sometimes needs to
be shared, and I’m talking about films beyond the obvious genre
exercises — the found-footage horrors where very little happens,
seemingly made for midnight screenings, or the mythic displays of
cartoonish world-beating violence that dominate the shared mythic realms
of our comic book universes.
As Michael Bay has proved over and over again, writing bigger and bigger checks doesn't automatically make a director a better judge of a script. The story that matters — the only story that should matter — is what's on the screen. James Cameron puts a hell of a lot on the screen in 'Avatar,' but he still has to contend with something he can't finance his way out of: his own limitations as a writer. Grade: C plus.
With this prequel, director J.J. Abrams aims to give us the legendary back-story of one of Starfleet's great leaders, James Tiberius Kirk. Of course, the truly great leaders achieve that status thanks to the support of top-notch subordinates. Where would Kirk be without Spock, Chekov, Sulu, Uhura, Scotty and Doc "Bones" McCoy? This film races right to the heart of that question, defining each and every one of these loveable characters in deft strokes. Grade A.