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Star Trek: Discovery Lives Up To Its Name

Chris Parker

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Star Trek: Discovery Lives Up To Its Name

 

Star Trek: Discovery takes a less action-oriented approach in the latest episode, resulting in an hour that feels a lot more like classic Trek.

When Star Trek: Discovery premiered, the series put a premium on action and spectacle in a way that rivaled some summer blockbusters and certainly anything on television not titled Game of Thrones. And while the gorgeous visual effects made for a terrific start to the series, and also drove plenty of new subscribers to CBS All Access, so they could at least watch the next few episodes before having to pony up for an actual subscription, the introduction may have felt to fans to be light years away from what Trek is all about and certainly what made some of the best episodes in the franchise so memorable in the first place.

The emphasis on action was upheld for the most part in the third episode, ‘Context is For Kings‘, as a mission to investigate a stranded Federation ship led to a violent encounter with a destructive alien life form that Jason Isaac’s Captain Lorca took a seemingly sinister interest in at the end of the hour. But as Discovery rounds the corner on the first four episodes, there’s a perceptible change in how the series depicts the actions aboard the Discovery amidst the ongoing war with the Klingons. That change not only sets a new tempo for the series that’s not nearly as reliant on action, but it also brings about a sense of… well, discovery that some may have felt was missing.

‘The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry’ doesn’t completely do away with its fascination with phasers and photon torpedoes. For one thing, the plot revolves around a Klingon attack on the mining settlement of Corvan 2, and Commander Landry (Rekha Sharma) meets a grisly end following an ill-advised attempt to sedate the mega-sized tardigrade, lovingly nicknamed “Ripper”, all in an attempt and help with Lorca’s plans to weaponize the creature’s abilities. But the hour does so with an eye toward underlining how the actions of its crew and especially its captain make the Discovery’s name rather ironic.

The hour isn’t exactly shy about getting that particular point across, as Lorca informs Stamets his spoor-based science experiment is the property of a Federation at war and that the Discovery is no longer operating as a science vessel. That sentiment is echoed by First Office Saru, who doesn’t take kindly to Michael using him as a way to gauge her initial hypothesis about Ripper’s propensity for violence. But it’s not just the tardigrade and Michael’s analysis of the creature that drives a good part of the hour, there is also an underlining sense of exploration and, not to put too fine a point on it, the sense that these characters are boldly going where no one has gone before.

That affords Discovery a chance to split the difference between the showrunners’ interest in telling a story that wants to be on the front lines of the conflict between the Federation and the Klingons, and the expectations that a show bearing the Star Trek moniker would in some way strive to feel like a Star Trek series. It’s no coincidence, then, that the spoor-based warp drive Stamets and the Discovery’s science crew have been developing becomes the engine that propels the two halves of Discovery‘s still emergent identity. The new technology promises Lorca an edge in the war he’s determined to win, but it also offers a chance for the series to explore more of the boundless universe the writers have so far built a rather sturdy fence around. As such, Michael’s study of the tardigrade, finding that it is the missing piece of the navigational system found on the Glenn feels like a pat but still appropriate way to bring the two elements of the series together. It also marks a change in Michael’s personality, as she’s determined not to judge the creature by its actions during their first encounter. Again, Discovery casts a wide net with the point it’s trying to make, so that it can be seen to reference everything from Michael’s opinion of the Klingons to her experiences on board the Discovery to the shifting allegiances among what’s left of the various Klingon houses.

Ultimately, casting a wide net works in Discovery‘s favor, as it softens the series to a degree, holstering its phasers and proving the series will slow down to take the time for introspection. Even if it doesn’t entirely achieve that with ‘The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry’, enough hints are made that the series could head in that direction more often, or, as was seen here, split the difference to demonstrate an awareness of how those two elements can generate conflict within the Discovery crew that underlines how this show is and is not like other series that have come before.

Other Thoughts

The Klingon side of the story has literally stalled out. Voq and what’s left of his followers are stuck in the graveyard that was the Battle at the Binary Stars because the Klingon’s obsession with purity prevents him from appropriating parts from the Shenzhou to make his ship functional again. Voq’s adherence to T’Kumva’s fundamentalism keeps him from capitalizing on the events that transpired in the premiere, and as such he finds himself ousted when Kol brings food to Voq’s starving crew. This leads to an interesting wrinkle when the seemingly L’Rell seemingly betrays Voq, only to later tell him his exile is all part of some greater fate. The slow burn of the Voq’s story seemingly presents a problem for Discovery, but it’s much too early to call it that. In revealing Voq’s arc might also be equal parts L’Rell’s, it becomes clear that the show’s writers are in the process of setting up something more substantial.

Star Trek: Discovery continues next Sunday with ‘Choose Your Pain’ @8:30pm on CBS All Access.

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Aquaman Filming Has Wrapped!

Chris Parker

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Aquaman Filming Has Wrapped!

Aquaman filming has wrapped!

UPDATE: James Wan has also posted about the end of filming. You can view his tweet below!

Aquaman filming has wrapped! Stars Jason Momoa and Amber Heard took to their Instagram accounts to announce that they have finished filming the movie, scheduled to hit theaters on December 21, 2018. The Aquaman filming took place at the Gold Coast of Queensland, Australia, with extensive filming accomplished at Village Roadshow Studios. Filming also took place in Newfoundland, Sicily and Tunisia.

The Aquaman cast includes Jason Momoa as the titular King of Atlantis, with Amber Heard as his wife Mera, Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko, Temuera Morrison as Tom Curry, Dolph Lundgren as Nereus, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta, Ludi Lin as Murk, Patrick Wilson as Orm/Ocean Master, Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman as Atlanna and Michael Beach as Jesse Kane.

Directed by James Wan from a script by Will Beall, Geoff Johns and Wan, the film is being produced by Peter Safran, with Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, Rob Cowan, Jon Berg and Geoff Johns serving as executive producers.

Audiences will get to see Aquaman again quite soon, as he is a key member of the Justice League. Look for the superhero ensemble to open in theaters on November 17.

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Stranger Things Season 2 Poster Released by Netflix

Chris Parker

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Stranger Things Season 2 Poster Released by Netflix

The official Stranger Things Season 2 poster!

Netflix has debuted the official Stranger Things Season 2 poster, which you can view in full in the gallery below. The second season will hit the streaming service this Friday, October 27, just in time for Halloween.

Stranger Things Season 2 is set a year after Will’s return, and everything seems back to normal… but a darkness lurks just beneath the surface, threatening all of Hawkins. It’s 1984 and the citizens of Hawkins, Indiana are still reeling from the horrors of the demagorgon and the secrets of Hawkins Lab. Will Byers has been rescued from the Upside Down but a bigger, sinister entity still threatens those who survived.

Stranger Things Season 2 will star Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Natalia Dyer, Cara Buono, Charlie Heaton, and Matthew Modine. New cast additions include Sadie Sink (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Dacre Montgomery (Power Rangers), Brett Gelman (Blunt TalkThe Other Guys), newcomer Linnea Berthelsen, and ’80s icons Sean Astin (The Goonies) and Paul Reiser (Aliens).

What do you think of the new Stranger Things Season 2 poster? Let us know in the comments below.

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Justice League Runtime, Rating and Sequel Talk

Chris Parker

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Justice League Runtime, Rating and Sequel Talk

 

Justice League runtime, rating and sequel talk

Manabyte has confirmed that the Justice League runtime is 121 minutes, or two hours and one minute, which makes it the shortest of the DC Extended Universe films so far. Man of Steel was 143 minutes long, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice came in at 151 minutes, Suicide Squad with 123 minutes, and Wonder Woman was 141 minutes long. The Warner Bros. release has also received a PG-13 rating for “sequences of sci-fi violence and action,” which is not unusual for this type of film.

In related news, Total Film (via Cosmic Book News) spoke to J.K. Simmons, who plays Commissioner Gordon in Justice League and said a script for the sequel is in the works. “Well, Commissioner Gordon wears a trench coat in every scene, so I don’t know that the ‘pumped up’ part is going to be all that evident, especially when you’re standing next to Batman! But this is the first Justice League movie – we hope – of a few. They’re working on scripts for The Batman and for the next Justice League movie. It introduces my incarnation of Commissioner Gordon. I don’t have a lot to do. I feel like I just dipped my toe in the water of who Commissioner Gordon will be.”

Justice League stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon.

Fueled by the hero’s restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Justice League sees Bruce Wayne enlist the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

Directed by Zack Snyder (Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeMan of Steel), the screenplay is by Joss Whedon and Chris Terrio from a story by Snyder and Terrio. Whedon directed the additional photography for the sequel and is overseeing the completion of its post production following Snyder’s family tragedy. Justice League is produced by Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Jon Berg and Geoff Johns. The executive producers are Jim Rowe, Wesley Coller, Curt Kanemoto, Chris Terrio and Ben Affleck.

Justice League opens in theaters on November 17.

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