Film Review: Star Trek Beyond
Release date: 22nd July 2016
Director: Justin Lin
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Idris Elba, Anton Yelchin, Sofia Boutella
Runtime: 122 minutes
Genre: Science-Fiction, Action
Watched in: 2D
Rating: 4/5 stars
Star Trek Beyond is the third film in the rebooted Star Trek series. When the Enterprise is attacked by villain Krall, played by Idris Elba, the crew are split up and must survive and reunite to defeat this new enemy. Although I haven’t seen any of the original Star Trek TV series and films, I loved the first two in this reboot and the third didn’t disappoint.
The film’s plot was fresh enough to stop the series becoming stale, which I was afraid would happen with repetitive themes. It continues the story arcs of Kirk and Spock, who both have doubts about their positions in Star Fleet, so I’m glad they didn’t sacrifice character development for action. There was plenty of action, with some excellent sequences with great visuals and tension.
The characters are all there and the actors just work so well together to show the dynamics between the characters. This time they are accompanied by Jaylah, played by Sofia Boutella, who did a great job of bringing in the new character.
Overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable film, with plenty of action and some laughs along the way.
Film Review: Jason Bourne
Release date: 27th July 2016
Director: Paul Greengrass
Starring: Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander
Runtime: 123 minutes
Watched in: 2D
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Bourne is back in Jason Bourne, the fourth film featuring Matt Damon as Bourne, and the fifth in the Bourne film franchise. Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) brings new information to Jason Bourne about his past, bringing out of the shadows and back into the thick of it, with the CIA immediately tracking him down once again.
I was more than a little worried that this would be a repeat of the previous films and wondered what they were going to do with the plot, but they made enough of a story for the extra film to be worthwhile. It carried on in the same vein of the previous films, which is a style I like, but it also meant they didn’t bring anything particularly new to the table. The action sequences were good and I really enjoyed the film, but I guess it was just more of the same in the end.
The acting was good, with Alicia Vikander playing a new character in the CIA. I felt she could have been fleshed out more. At one point there are quite heavy suggestions about something significant in her past which is relevant to her motivations in the plot, but it is never explained. I don’t want to say too much and give away spoilers. Perhaps they’re planning on a sequel and didn’t want to give everything away in this film.
It was a good film with plenty of twists and turns that kept me wanting to know what would happen next. Worth watching, but nothing new.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publishing Info: Kindle Edition, 6th June 2013, Orion Children’s (first published June 2012)
Star Rating: 4/5
Back Cover Summary:
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.
Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy.
When I read this a few weeks ago I was unable to write a review. Since it is no longer fresh in my mind I don’t feel I can write a full review. However, I wanted to do a mini review to express just how much I loved this book. It had been on my TBR list for a long time, but I hadn’t got round to getting my hands on a copy. I wasn’t disappointed when I finally read it.
I found the plot fairly original and the setting was different, with some inspiration from Russia. The world building was good and I loved all the magic and mystery. The ending was also pretty good, which is often where books fall down for me.
It wasn’t perfect, and there were some elements which were pretty typically young adult, but I couldn’t help but love this book. I liked the characters and found that I couldn’t stop turning the pages. I took every opportunity to pick it up and read another few pages in down moments of my busy day.
I have the next two books in the series on my Kindle, and can’t wait to read them. I just hope they don’t flop and disappoint, since I enjoyed the first book so much.