It doesn't really seem appropriate for the Star Trek reboot to use the franchise's catchphrase, because, let's face it, going into multiplexes isn't boldly going where no Star Trek movie has gone before. That said, the buzz around the new film is bigger and better than any Trek project, on either the big or small screen, in recent years.
At press time, I hadn't seen the new movie, but it's definitely on my list of summer must-sees. Why? Well, mostly because everything JJ Abrams—who produces Lost and Fringe on the small screen, and who is helming the new film—has done has been spot-on in recent years. And it's not just the stories—one of his true gifts is in casting. Part of what made the run-up to the new film such a phaser-blast was finding out who had landed what role. Beaming down Simon Pegg for Scotty? Genius. John Cho warping into Sulu? Awesome. Anton Yelchin tricording Chekov? Brilliant. Sure, the main storyline is all about the early years of Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto and also Leonard Nimoy) and Bones (Karl Urban), but it's the supporting cast that might make me a Trekkie. Or is that Trekker? Or Tribble?
Actually, I'll just look forward to the movie without partaking in the Starfleet Kool Aid.
Enlighten Up!: Filmmaker Kate Churchill pushes her buddy Nick Rosen to take yoga seriously—and then catches him on film as he tries to do so. No more Big Macs for you, buddy.
Every Little Step: Meta documentary about Broadway hopefuls auditioning for a revival of A Chorus Line, a musical about Broadway hopefuls auditioning for a Broadway musical.
Lemon Tree: A Palestinian widow stands up to the new Israeli defense minister—who's also her new neighbor—when security forces declare her lemon trees a threat to his security. Because, you know, lemons are sour. Starring Hiam Abbass (The Visitor), who won the Israeli version of the Best Actress Oscar.
Love N' Dancing: A wallflower trains to become the world champ of West Coast swing dancing, which features cheesy music and lots of spangles. Definitely for fans of Dancing with the Stars.
Next Day Air: Crime comedy about two dudes who open a box filled with kilos of coke meant for the apartment across the hall. Stars Mike Epps, Mos Def and Wood Harris, the dude who played Avon Barksdale on The Wire.
Tyson: Documentary about “Iron” Mike Tyson that looks at his life and times through his eyes. It doesn't matter if you love him or hate him, just like when he's in the ring, you can't take your eyes off him. See our review on Page 28.
One Time Only
Vincent Who?: Documentary about the 1982 murder of Vincent Chin, who was killed by two autoworkers who accused the Chinese man of being A. Japanese, and B. responsible for Detroit's employment hemorrhage. Presented by the San Diego Asian Film Festival, it screens at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 6, at the Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego. Free.
Top Secret: The Humanist Association of San Diego puts on the Val Kilmer spy-spoof classic to celebrate the May 1 May Day Communist Revolution. Hell yeah, you read that right. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 6, at Café Libertalia in Hillcrest. Free.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona: Scarlett Johanssen and Rebecca Hall are Barcelona tourists who are infatuated with brooding painter Javier Bardem. When his crazy ex-wife (Penelope Cruz, who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the role), enters the picture, the whole trip becomes a total bummer. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 6, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. Free.
3rd Annual Student Media Festival: Work from students within different departments of CSU San Marcos. Starts at 7 p.m., Friday, May 8, in Arts 240 on the CSUSM campus. Free.
A Streetcar Named Desire: Stelllllllllaaaaa! Screens at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 10, at Whistle Stop Bar in South Park. Free.
The Wrestler: Yes, Mickey Rourke is that good as Randy “The Ram” Robinson, a washed-up wrestler on the high-school-gym circuit. Sure, Sean Penn got the Oscar for Milk, but Rourke coulda been a contender. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 10, at Cafe Libertalia in Hillcrest. Free.
The Last Word: This little film from last year never made it to town. Wes Bentley (American Beauty) is an introverted writer who specializes in suicide notes. Winona Ryder is the free-spirited sister of one of his late clients. Yes, he falls for her, but what will happen when she finds out what he does for a living? Screens at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 11, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free.
Running Dry: Documentary about how we're just about tapped out when it comes to H20. Screens at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 12, at Lestat's in Normal Heights. Benefit for Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training. Donation suggested.
Along Came Polly: Ben Stiller is the straight-laced, utterly organized fool who falls for flighty Jennifer Aniston. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 13, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. Free.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Critic-proof summer blockbuster that kicks off the entire season. Decent action sequences, sure, but we prefer our Wolverine to be a short, squat badass, not a brooding sex symbol.
Anvil! The Story of Anvil: The best reach-for-your-dreams film of the year is about aging Canadian metal-heads.
Battle for Terra: The 3-D animated movie you've never heard of is surprisingly good and mostly family-friendly. Aliens looking for a new planet invade a peaceful world. Nope, it's not this one. In fact, the aliens are us, driven off of Earth by our own un-earth-friendly living.
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past: Matthew McConaughey is confronted by the former loves of his life, A Christmas Carol style.
Is Anybody There?: Michael Caine is terrific and tragic as an aging magician forced to live in an old-people's home, where he befriends the young, lonely boy who lives there.
Newcastle: An English surfing movie. Man, that water must be cold.
Earth: Gorgeous Disney documentary about the big blue marble you live on.
Fighting: Dito Martiel follows up his terrific debut, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, with a look at bare-knuckle underground fighting in New York City. Stars Channing Tatum and Terrence Howard.
Lymelife: Alec Baldwin is so good on 30 Rock that you probably forgot you used to hate him. But he's great in Lymelife as the philandering dad to Jimmy Bartlett (Kieren Culkin), who is coming of age just as the '70s turn into the '80s and lyme disease is all the rage.
Obsessed: Idris Elbra, aka The Wire's Stringer Bell, has a gorgeous wife in Beyonce and a gorgeous stalker in Ali Larter. Things could be worse.
The Soloist: Adaptation of Los Angeles Times writer Steve Lopez's book, about the talented homeless musician (Jamie Foxx) he befriended. Robert Downey Jr. plays Lopez.
17 Again: Teen heartthrob Zac Ephron is an old dude who suddenly gets young again. You know, like Benjamin Button.
Crank: High Voltage: Again, Jason Statham has to be like the bus in Speed. If he stops moving, his heart explodes.
Shall We Kiss: French film that's all about making out.
State of Play: Russell Crowe is a D.C. reporter investigating the murder of Congressman Ben Affleck's mistress. Sounds cheesy, but it comes from the same U.K. team that wrote The Queen and The Deal.
Observe and Report: Seth Rogen's new mall-cop movie is darker than you expect it to be. But just as profane as you think it could be, too.
Hannah Montana: The Movie: This just makes us feel old. And we're not old.
Paris 36: It's Paris, 1936, and the local music hall has closed down. So three former employees and plenty of locals get together and—guess what—put on a show!
Sin Nombre: Cary Fukunaga's first feature earned him this year's Best Director award at Sundance. It's a harrowing tale of two immigrants—one a Mexican gang member, the other a young Honduran girl—who find themselves connected through violence as they head north.
Adventureland: Greg Mottola follows up Superbad with a summer romance that stars Kristen Stewart as the unattainable love interest and Jesse Eisenberg, who holds the entire thing together.
Fast and Furious: Vin Diesel and Paul Walker re-team for the fourth entry in the fast-car franchise.
Monsters vs. Aliens: Reese Witherspoon brings some life to this huge 3-D animated extravaganza, but the story is dwarfed by the special effects.
I Love You, Man: Judd Apatow's fingers are nowhere to be found on this bromance, which stars Paul Rudd and Jason Segal. But they might as well be.
Sunshine Cleaning: Almost a sequel to Little Miss Sunshine. Some of the same producers are on board, the film is also shot in New Mexico and Alan Arkin plays pretty much the same part. Still, it has that vibe that made LMS so appealing, as Amy Adams and Emily Blunt play sisters who start a business cleaning up violent crime scenes.
Two Lovers: The final film from Joaquin Phoenix, whose hip-hop career seems to really be taking off, finds him playing Leonard, a depressed Brooklyn boy living with his parents. Vinessa Shaw is great as the girl he should be with, but he only has eyes for drama queen Gwyneth Paltrow. What's unclear is why either of them have any interest in him.
Taken: Liam Neeson is a former CIA man whose daughter gets kidnapped by white slavers in Paris. So he goes to the city of lights and kills everybody. Pierre Morel has crafted a brutally violent guilty pleasure.
Gran Torino: For all the buzz, Clint Eastwood's new film is flawed. Yes, his cranky old guy, Walt Kowalski, manages to be the funny kind of equal-opportunity offender who finds some salvation by taking a good-natured Hmong neighbor under his wing. The problem is that it turns out he's right about everyone he dislikes. Black, white, Asian, his own relatives—they're all awful people in the world of Gran Torino, justifying Walt's latent racism. Nice.
Slumdog Millionaire: A young, uneducated Indian man is tortured by police who want to find how he knows all the questions he's gotten right on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? The answers are all in his life story, which is full of poverty, abuse, hopes for true love, and the crossroads between coincidence and destiny.
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center Space Theater: After undergoing significant renovations, the Fleet is re-opening its dome Imax theater, complete with a kick-ass new screen. Three films will run in rotation initially: Wild Ocean, Van Gogh: Brush with Genius and Animalopolis. Showtimes and prices can be found at www.rhfleet.org.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: No, it's not a time warp—the love-it-or-hate-it camp classic continues its midnight run in its 37th year of release. When the lead character of the film is a transvestite scientist named Dr. Frank-N-Furter, you know you're in for some seriously trashy viewing. And, of course, this is the one movie where you want the audience shouting at the screen. Screens Fridays at midnight at La Paloma Theater in Encinitas.