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Movie Review: Quickie Edition XI

What Happens in Vegas: Look, I know this is the kind of movie you’re supposed to hate if you’re any sort of movie buff, but I didn’t totally hate this. The plot: Kutcher and Diaz meet in Vegas, get hitched, win $3 million, are forced to wait 6 months for a divorce to split the winnings. They attempt to devise ways to drive each other nuts, only to (spoiler!) fall in love (no wait, that’s no spoiler – that’s a duh). Despite the hackneyed, predictable plot, it maintains a fluffiness that makes it a great popcorn movie. ★★★

Watching the Detectives: It’s little wonder this movie went straight to DVD – I’m not quite sure what I saw in the trailer that made me want to watch it, but I regret it now. It’s ostensibly a rom-com, but it really is neither. Cillian Murphy (of Scarecrow in Batman Begins fame) is a video store owner (shades of High Fidelity here) who falls head-over heels for a girl who wanders into his shop, Lucy Liu. She defines the term “psycho girlfriend”. This movie is trash, and if it hadn’t been for the fact that I didn’t pay for it, I’d be asking for my money back. ☆

Duplicity: Clive Owen, Julia Roberts pair up in a movie that’s kinda hard to shoe-horn into a genre. Is it comedy? Not enough laughs and slapstick. It’s not a romance by any means, and nor is it a drama or a spy thriller. Is it a heist movie? Not quite, but that’s fairly close to the mark, I guess. The film also doesn’t know what genre it is, as it tries to cover too many bases and inevitably ends up covering none. For all the plot machinations, it left me somewhat unsatisfied. ★★☆

Easy Virtue: Period piece set in the inter-war period starring Colin Firth and Jessica Biel – mostly Biel – about an American who marries into an upper class English family. Inevitably, the newcomer clashes with the stiff-upper-lip establishment and arguments ensue, as she tries to drag the family into the cold light of reality. Based on a play by Noel Coward, this reimagining does a great job at keeping a good pace and tight focus, albeit all too short. A few laughs, a few touching moments, and Biel in a smokin’ hot dress. ★★★

Star Trek: At risk of indulging in some 20/20 hindsight, Star Trek was a series I always wanted to see from the start, if only to find out what it is about this series that exerts such a hold on its fanatical followers and has had a significant cultural impact. However, there was something about picking up a cheesy sci-fi series from the 60s that embodied the image of “nerd” that was a little… off-putting, shall we say. It was a relief to find then that Star Trek was being re-booted by J. J. Abrams, he of Lost and Cloverfield fame (though the second did give me pause).
Turns out, it’s not all that bad – or at least in this imagining, it’s been given a jolt of credibility, along much the same lines that Batman Begins and Spiderman did. The new Star Trek tells the origin story of the crew of the Enterprise, particularly Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto, of Heroes fame), and really those two are the focus of the movie far more than the bad guy (Eric Bana, under a lot of make-up and flat dialogue). The support characters are mostly one or two dimensional, and some of the plot points are mere McGuffins to keep the story moving (A liquid which creates an instant black hole? The rings of Saturn having a detector-blocking-but-teleport-allowing magnetic field? Yeesh), but then this is a blockbuster, and you didn’t come to think too hard. ★★★★, despite all its flaws.