Movie Review: Star Trek Into Darkness

Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise return in the second instalment of the J.J. Abrams reboot of the Star Trek franchise, an action-packed sci-fi adventure that leans more in the direction of “Die Hard” than “Blade Runner.”

Clocking at over two hours, the movie features non-stop action sequences, gorgeous visuals, and borderline sappy dialogue.  It felt like this film was the very best they could offer without serving up anything new or ground breaking.

Don’t get me wrong, ‘the very best they could offer’ in this case was an excellent action film.  Amidst of all the explosions, ships crashing into each other, and people literally flying through space, the film by in large retains the chemistry of the ensemble cast that made the 2009 film shine.

The villain of this film is played by Benedict Cumberbatch, whom I’ve only seen previously in a support role in “Tinker, Tailor Soldier, Spy.”  The film did not do his character justice, but in an under-utilized position, Cumberbatch was still able to portray Harrison as an evil, enigmatic, and worthy opponent of Kirk’s team.

The status of the Spock and Uhura characters are also elevated in “Into Darkness,” although I’m not entirely sure of the writers’ intentions regarding their progress.  Both characters have grown from rookies in the first film to experienced battle veterans who are the best in the business, but they engage in dialogue that are reminiscent of the awkwardness and over-sentimentality displayed in the Star Wars prequels (Episodes I-III for those who aren’t familiar).  Although it might be illogical for long-time Trek fans, “Into Darkness” does set up possible sequels starring Spock and / or Uhura without Kirk.

“Into Darkness” is well made, but it lacks the freshness of the 2009 “Star Trek,” as well as the ‘wow’ factor.  I’d recommend it because it’s a solid film, but I believe there are better alternatives out there that are either more entertaining (“Iron Man 3”) or a breath of fresh air (“Oblivion”).

RIP: Neil Armstrong Dead at 82

Read the news and updates at the HuffPost link here .

The one who took the giant step for mankind.

You will be missed, Mr. Armstrong.  Even though I was born long after you took the first step on the moon, your legacy has lived on stronger than ever.  You were an inspiration for so many children and adults alike, and you will always be one.

Rest In Peace.

Britain Knights Apple Designer

You may now refer to him as sir Jonathan Ive, chief designer of Apple.  Check out the Huffpost Report here.

According to Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson, the late Apple co-founder viewed him as a ‘spiritual partner’ of Apple.  That’s saying something.  

As someone who was born in the late 80s and slowly became aware of what types of computers were used in the classrooms, the colored iMac desktop made a lasting impression on me as it looked so different from everything before that.  It was cute but not childish.  It was chic.  

I’m not a tech guy, so I’m not about to discuss specifically what made the Ive-contributed Apple designs so great.  But that’s perhaps exactly why Apple products are so great: people love them because they are able to do incredibly technologically advanced things without knowing anything about technology.  They are simple and intuitive to use.  

Ive says in the interview that the product he is most proud off is yet to come.  Perhaps he will debut it at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference next month.

Movie Review: some thoughts on Marvel’s The Avengers

‘Awesome!’ is the word I keep hearing from people who have seen “Marvel’s the Avengers,” the first of the summer blockbusters featuring the superheroes that have had their stand-alone hit movies in the past few years.

Now that the film is breaking box office records almost everywhere and is approaching Avatar-esque gross, just how good is The Avengers?

In spite of all of the fantastic visual effects, action sequences, coherent storyline, and engaging acting, the most brilliant feature of the film was director Joss Whedon’s ability to keep it from becoming scattershot.  Often times, big budget movies with megastars can fail miserably if the direction fails to hold everything together;  “Troy” fell into the wrong hands and became sluggish and campy; “Transformers 2” is one of the worst action movies of all time, although of course that did not stop Michael Bay from making a sequel, and perhaps a sequel after that.

Whedon’s ability to inject humanity into the characters amidst all of the special effects and battles in a film that clocks in at two hours is uncanny.   The characters are not delivering dull, corny lines like in the “Transformers” films.  They were, through their dialogue and various other non-verbal interactions, bonding.   Moreover, the actors were not just stoically reading from their scripts, they made the most in developing their characters and did so in a charismatic way.

That’s about all I have to say about this film.  Praising the action or special effects or acting was would take away from how awesome the film is as a whole.  When you see the film again (if you haven’t, do it!), just take notice of how well it holds together from start to finish, that everything hits the right note.  And above all, this film is what going to the movies is all about, having fun!

New Phones Sport Facebook Buttons… Seriously?

It is amongst the ‘hot’ products being debuted at the Mobile World Congress. Read the HuffPost article with pictures here

A prominent Facebook button on a phone? Seriously? Even though Facebook is very popular, a lot of people actually don’t want others to know that they like to go on Facebook a lot. Getting a phone with this button would automatica­lly lead people to think that the you’re obsessed with Facebook.

Apple COO Tim Cook: Android Tablets Are ‘Bizarre’

Read the HuffPost article here

The ipad series will continue to dominate the tablet market, especially if Apple appropriat­ely jazzes up the ipad2, which would once again prompt huge sales.

Apple’s Steve Jobs Takes Medical Leave of Absence

The Chief Executive of Apple has been granted a medical leave of absence by the board of directors.

It will probably be on the front pages of most newspapers, but you can check out articles from the HuffPost here and New York Times here.

One can assume that this medical leave of absence is for an indefinite amount of time because Jobs didn’t specify how long he’d be gone for.

The man hasn’t been looking at his best for quite a while; even during his most energetic and excited moments, Jobs appeared physically weak and frail.

It’s quite astonishing the amount of privacy Jobs has managed to retain, in light of the success of his company’s products, most of which screams attention when seen in public.

I wish him all the best. He’s one of the greatest innovators and businessman the world has ever had.

Next Generation iPhone, iPad To Lose Home Button? (RUMOR)

Check out the HuffPost article here

I can see maybe a smaller home button to fit in a bigger screen. But as the other tech gurus mention in the article, the home button is what the average customer relies upon when they navigate the phone. I doubt it’ll go away anytime soon.