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from its intriguing angle and settling into a more standard cat-and-mouse pursuit, one that’s capped by an endless car chase filled with inconsistencies and illogical diversions.

Star Trek Into Darkness

OOOP

What J.J. Abrams and his writers) are accomplishing with Gene Roddenberry’s brainchild mirrors a tightrope act performed with exquisite delicacy and balance. They’ve managed to embrace the Star Trek canon while also expanding it, expertly weaving together elements that will appease the Trekkie faithful while also making the property more friendly toward the uninitiated. Having introduced an alternatetimeline scenario in the previous picture, Abrams and company charge full steam ahead, opening with an Indiana Jones-like sequence that will inform many of the scenarios unfolding throughout the picture. Chief among them is the tension between James Kirk (Chris Pine), who hasn’t met a Starfleet regulation he can’t break, and Spock (Zachary Quinto), whose adherence to the rules taxes not only Kirk but also Uhura (Zoe Saldana), who’s learning that it’s not always easy dating a Vulcan. But personal issues take a back seat once a terrorist attack decimates a London building; the culprit is one John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), and Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller) orders the Enterprise crew to follow Harrison into the heart of darkness and terminate him with extreme prejudice. From here, the story takes some interesting turns; it also lends an enormous amount of complexity to Harrison, allows the returning cast members individual moments to shine (although I wished Dr. McCoy, perfectly played by Karl Urban, was as integral to these films as he was to the series) and reworks elements from one of the classic Trek films in a highly imaginative manner. Star Trek Into Darkness only flags toward the end, when a careful excision of a few minutes of CGI bombast would not have been unwelcome. In most other regards, though, the film is an unqualified success, and it promises a bright future for this tireless franchise. CS

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hopelessly riddled with gaping plotholes, narrative coincidences and a final twist that couldn’t have been more preposterous had it revealed that Chewbacca was actually Luke’s father. For a while, the film delivers on its promise of a good time. Four magicians of differing popularity perform acts of magic, either for the amusement of audiences or for themselves. J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg) is the most successful of the bunch, first seen showing off his skills with a nifty card trick. Then there’s Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), whose act involves being dumped into a tank of piranha. Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson) is largely a has-been, a mentalist who now employs his skill to bilk money out of folks with unsavory secrets. At the bottom is Jack Wilder (Dave Franco), the rookie who’s still performing con jobs at street level. All four accept the invitation of an unknown person to gather at a certain location; cut to a year later, and we now see that the quartet has formed a world-class outfit known as the Four Horsemen, playing to massive audiences under the sponsorship of the wealthy Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine in a role that makes absolutely no sense). Their gig in Las Vegas is a doozy: They teleport a Frenchman to his bank in Paris and return him with a vaultful of Euros in tow, all of which are rained down upon the crowd. This Robin Hood act doesn’t sit well with Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), an FBI agent who doesn’t like to see anybody fleeced. Forced to team up with an Interpol agent named Alma Dray (Melanie Laurent), he works hard to not only nab the team but also debunk their tricks — to help him with the latter, he turns to Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), a former magician who has made a name for himself exposing trade secrets. The opening portion of Now You See Me works so well because it focuses exclusively on the four tricksters, who are all interesting characters whether working alone or sharing the screen. The Vegas show and its aftermath are also riveting, as Thaddeus patiently explains the act to a frustrated Rhodes. But after this point, the screenplay by Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt spirals wildly out of control, with the emphasis taking a hard right away

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Connect Savannah 06-19-2013 issue  

This weekend, it’s Savannah’s first three-day jam band festival. Find out about the Summer Solstice Festival, and converse with Zach Deputy,...

Connect Savannah 06-19-2013 issue  

This weekend, it’s Savannah’s first three-day jam band festival. Find out about the Summer Solstice Festival, and converse with Zach Deputy,...

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