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Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness is a 2012 sci-fi film, and the twelfth cinematic installment of the Star Trek series. It’s a sequel to 2009’s Star Trek reboot and it’s once again directed by J.J. Abrams (so get ready for lens flares!). Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, and John Cho all reprise their roles, and Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve, and Peter Weller join the cast. The film made $467,381,584 at the international box office, which is good enough to make it the highest grossing Star Trek film. Avatar made $2,787,965,087. Basic math tells us that Avatar is 5.965% better than Star Trek Into Darkness.

The basic plot of Star Trek Into Darkness involves Captain Kirk and Commander Spock matching wits with Kahn, a genetically engineered superhuman. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the basic plot of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn. It’s more of a rehash/remix than a virtual retelling, but it pays homage to the Star Trek movies/episodes that came before it. There’s even a reference to tribbles.

I enjoyed this movie until someone pointed out that it’s not advancing the plot from 2009’s Star Trek. The entire crew was fully assembled and ready to go on adventures by the end of that movie. J.J. Abrams didn’t know how to proceed, so he chose to dismantle the crew at the beginning of the sequel so that they could reassemble by the end of the flick. It’s almost the same movie, only with new characters and a different villain with a different motive. It’s still entertaining; it’s just not moving the franchise forward. Oh well, I’m more of a Star Wars fan than a Trekkie anyway. Bring on Episode VII!

Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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American Horror Story: Murder House

American Horror Story: Murder House is the first season of the acclaimed FX series. Dylan McDermott and Connie Britton star as Ben and Vivien Harmon, who move into a haunted house in an attempt to repair their broken marriage. Taissa Farmiga plays Violet, the brooding teenaged daughter. The Harmons have to deal with a nosy neighbor with a hidden agenda and the many deceased occupants of their new home.

McDermott and Britton do a good job as the main characters, but Jessica Lange steals every scene that she’s in. She plays Constance Langdon, the next door neighbor with an obsession for the haunted mansion. She used to live in the mansion and quite a few of her dead children call it home. Her son Tate (Evan Peters) is her pride and joy, despite the fact that he’s a homicidal high school shooter and a ghost. Naturally, Tate and Violet start to fall for each other.

There are quite a few dead residents living in the mansion. There’s a maid that appears to be old to some people and appears as a sexy minx to other people. Ben’s ex-fling gets murdered and moves in. Zachary Quinto and Teddy Sears play a dead gay couple. Even Mena Suvari found time to play a ghost.

As with most shows, the characters make or break the show. American Horror Story: Murder House has great characters. Most of the episodes are interesting enough to keep watching, but the show fizzled at the end. The last episode was downright terrible. Yeah, it tied up loose ends, but it was really cliché and a let down. It sucks getting to the end of a season and being disappointed. It makes you want to give up on the series. Luckily the second season is like a whole new show. It takes place in a different time with different characters and with an asylum as the setting.

Murder House is a good start to a good show. It’s kind of scary and kind of creepy, but it’s more of a character-based thriller with ghosts. The first few episodes suck you in and get you addicted pretty quickly. There are cool characters and crazy twists and interesting backstories. But that last episode really sucks.

Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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