Movie Thoughts: Star Trek Beyond & Jason Bourne

Hey, everyone! I’m not dead and I promised Charlene I would try to get around to reviewing Star Trek Beyond, so here I am coming back from my unintentional absence to talk about two summer flicks.

I went into these two different movies with different expectations, and they may surprise you. Despite my love for Star Trek, my enthusiasm for Star Trek Beyond waned before I saw the movie because, of all things, my rewatch of the two previous reboot films. I really enjoyed Star Trek 2009 and Into Darkness the first few times, but the more I watch the show and the more I watch these movies the less I care for the latter. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy them enough to rewatch them, but I definitely have problems with their respective stories.

On the other hand, I was really excited about Jason Bourne. It just looked spot-on and I could not wait.

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Ultimately, when I went into Star Trek Beyond, I went in a little warily but also hopeful that I could enjoy it based on everyone else’s reviews that it was fun. And fun is a very good word to describe it. Not that there aren’t any serious moments or stakes, but it felt like TOS to me, in the best way. (Well, not the literal best, like The Trouble With Tribbles, but another solid and fun episode like A Piece of the Action or something.) Chris Pine actually for real felt like Kirk to me, but not in some rip-off-of-Shatner way at all. I believed that this alternate Kirk was actually a viable Kirk. Really, the entire cast of the Enterprise crew were great, and I loved how they spent part of the movie separated but paired off, giving us a taste of some different interactions we don’t normally get.

Jaylah was a great new character too, though I’m still annoyed that there are like zero aliens from the prime Star Trek universe other than Vulcans and a couple others, and that almost every alien is something brand new. I appreciate the creativity of it, but it just feels disproportionate. And I feel that leads me to my main quibble with this movie, the villain.

Before we see Krall or even know he’s the big bad, he seems pretty vicious the way he attacks the Enterprise. When we actually meet him and see him on the planet he doesn’t seem quite as bad until we see how he attacks one of the crew members. Then we get a big reveal about him (that I guessed beforehand) that is pretty significant but we get so little development that it ultimately falls flat, and we end up with someone who was just a hair better than Nero in 2009.

Overall, I enjoyed all the great character interactions that felt so genuine, the fun lines, and I really appreciated the tribute to Leonard Nimoy (and there’s just a tiny bit there for Anton as well). I was absolutely against more of the reboot films before seeing this film, but now I’m more open to it if they stay more true to the feel of this film.

Left to right: Simon Pegg plays Scotty, Sofia Boutella plays Jaylah and Chris Pine plays Kirk in Star Trek Beyond from Paramount Pictures, Skydance, Bad Robot, Sneaky Shark and Perfect Storm Entertainment

The new Jason Bourne feels pretty much just like the first three Bourne films, just more modern. If you enjoyed those, you’re probably going to enjoy this one as well. I had some problems with it… mass amounts of unnecessary destruction, the death of a certain character that felt meaningless, and perhaps a slightly shallow/flimsy storyline… but overall I was entertained. I think my favorite part of the movie was Alicia Vikander’s character, Heather Lee. I love how there was more to her than met the eye, and if the story continues, I definitely want more of her. There was also a little bit of a subplot that I felt was sadly too underdeveloped that I want more of, involving a social media company called Deep Dream and its mogul.

And since I’m like the only person who prefers the Aaron Cross/Jeremy Renner movie to the Matt Damon ones, I would be super intrigued if we could see these two intersect in the future as well. But please don’t fridge Rachel Weiss.

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Have you seen either of these? What are your thoughts?

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The Top 10 Books I’d Buy Today with a Loaded Gift Card

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Ten Books You’d Buy Right This Second If Someone Handed You A Fully Loaded Gift Card. I’m usually very well-restrained when it comes to gift card usage. I try to stretch it out thin and really only get I want. So if you gave me a gift card today, chances are I’d make it last until January. However, let’s pretend for this prompt today that I am going to waltz right into a bookstore that has available for me all the books I could possibly want and I get 10 right on the spot. (I’m saying a bookstore over Amazon because (1) it’s more fun to buy books in bookstores and (2) so I don’t have to wait ten years for them to ship to me since I’m not a Prime member.) In no particular order…

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

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I usually wait to get Kasie West books from the library or buy an ebook of hers when it’s cheap, but this cover! If I saw it in store while I had a loaded gift card, you’d better believe I’d pick it up.

All In by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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I’ve been buying The Naturals books as the paperbacks come out, but I’m tired of waiting for All In! If I have a loaded gift card with me, I’m all in for buying this one!

The Book Thief (Anniversary Edition) by Markus Zusak

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Once upon a time I loaned my copy of The Book Thief, only for it to never be returned. So I would totally gift myself with this anniversary edition with the better cover anyway!

She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedwig

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I’ve been interested in this one for a little while.

Shades of Milk & Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

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I’ve been interested in this for a while because of the Writing Excuses podcast, and my interest level went up even more when Charlene recommended it so highly. Why haven’t I gotten this yet?!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

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No, I don’t have this yet. I’m actually kind of waiting to see if I want to read it. The Deathly Hallows was just perfect to me. But if I’m already buying a bunch of books, I don’t think I would pass this one up.

The Anatomy of a Story by John Truby

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One of my writing friends has highly recommended this one, so a loaded gift card is good motivation to finally check it out.

Starflight by Melissa Landers

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This one sounds fun and worth checking out.

Something from the Jane Austen Vintage Edition Collection

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Even though I technically own all the Austen novels, I want to collect all the Jane Austen books in this vintage collection, so I would go ahead and treat myself to at least one with the gift card!

The Glass Sentence by S.E. Grove

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I’ve really been meaning to look into this one for a while now.

Have you read any of these? What would you buy with a loaded gift card?