Star Trek: Into The Darkness

Star Trek: Into The Darkness

What a great flick that was! Start to finish was fantastic. The acting was good, the plot good and the visual effects good.

I was impressed with Star Trek (2009) with the actors for Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty and how they were able to really capture the likeness in mannerism of the original actors. They did a remarkable job and it continued with Into the Darkness.

I also enjoyed the sort of role reversal between Kirk and Spock regarding the flash-forward from the early Star Trek films and TV series. The radiation scene, Kahn and his crew being rescued from cryo-sleep and turing on the Federation, just like in TOS.

I also was reminded of the highway scene in The Matrix (2? or 3?) when Spock and Kahn were fighting on those ships flying through San Francisco, just like Morpheus and the Agent.

Early in the film, they encounter the Klingon’s and their D-Class ships. One thing I noticed was they had a sound reminiscent of the Tie Fighter from Star Wars. I thought that was strange, but interesting.

Then the head of Star Fleet was played by Peter Weller who played Officer Murphy, RoboCop, in 1987. That was cool seeing him again since I don’t think I’ve seen anything he’s done since then.

JJ Abrams did a great job in bringing in new technology, a new story intertwined with bits and pieces from the early movies and TV series. I loved it all.

Lastly, they left the door open for more movies with the crew talking about their 5-year mission which is just beginning and that Kahn and his crew are being kept alive in their tubes. Surely they won’t stay there forever.

Side Effects (2013)

I watched Side Effects (2013) with Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones. I found this movie on iTunes recently while searching around for something to watch and added it to my wish list. I’ve liked Jude Law since I first saw him in Closer and I’ve always had an affinity for Catherine Zeta-Jones. With those two starring in this film I figured it would be a worthwhile one to watch.

It was a good film, with great acting and wonderful settings and a subtle score of music that wasn’t overbearing, but just right. The execution of the plot was excellent in that by the end there were several plot twists that I did not anticipate but wraps up the film in a good way.

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Spolier alert:
Side Effects was a psychological drama where a young couple, successful in business has their world torn apart due to a white collar crime of insider trading by the husband, Martin Taylor, who was arrested and convicted of his crime. His wife, Emily Taylor had resented him for his crimes and the subsequent consequences that followed. Her fairy tale life had fallen apart and she began to see a psychiatrist, Dr. Victoria Seibert (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Emily and Dr. Seibert develop a secret, sensual relationship that lasts the duration of Martin’s incarceration.

Upon Martin’s release a plot to get rid of him for his sins ensues. Emily learned all the tricks to make herself appear depressed and used them against him by crashing her car into a wall, having a breakdown at a formal party. Then she sought out a new psychiatrist to see under the guise that Dr. Seibert was no longer available to treat her. The plot needed a patsy to use and Dr. Banks (Jude Law) just happened to be the one to fall prey – it could have been anyone though; he wasn’t personally singled out.

The plan was to get Dr. Banks to prescribe a new drug for depression which had the side effect of sleepwalking. After several rounds of treatment with other brands, the new drug was prescribed and soon led to Emily stabbing Martin in their home until he died. She practiced her call to 9-1-1 to make it sound as if she didn’t do it and happened to wake up and find him dead. A court trial ensued and she was found not guilty due to insanity and sent to a hospital for treatment and observation. The case had a very negative side effect on Dr. Banks’ career and personal life.

Through the plot and a research study on this new drug, Dr. Banks had received $50,000 to participate and was encouraged by Dr. Seibert to do so and prescribe it to Emily. After the court case, public scrutiny caused Dr. banks to lose his research study, his practice and his family after supposed compromising photos were anonymously mailed to his wife – by Dr. Seibert.

Dr. Banks obsession as I initially thought was the cause for his family problems, which in a way was the truth, but by the end it wasn’t obsession, but perseverance toward knowing why Emily killed her husband that drove him. Dr. Banks finally suspected Dr. Seibert had ulterior motives when he kept asking her questions about Emily and the drug and saw how she reacted and became evasive.

Through his personal investigations and assistance from state law enforcement he uncovered their romantic plot of murder, conspiracy and fraud. Dr. Seibert gets arrested and Emily is arrested [again] and is sent back to a psychiatric hospital.

Dr. Banks gets his name cleared, his practice back and his family back as well.

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