I love new Spock

Star Trek** Spoiler alerts!!! I am going to disclose spoilers for Star Trek Into Darkness. **

I have mentioned that I am a Science Fiction fan. So it should come as no surprise that I am a Star Trek fan. I watched the reruns of the original series, with William Shatner as Captain Kirk. I watched all the “based upon” series. I watched the movies, with the original cast and the “new generation.” Really, I even re-watch the ones I didn’t particularly enjoy.

I am a fan. So I identified Khan before my friend did, and I kept trying to see Dr. Carol Marcus (from the Wrath of Khan) in the accurately described “damsel” from this movie because I knew who she was. I knew what she’s going to accomplish, or supposed to accomplish. (By the way, there was no resemblance.)

The actors in Into Darkness were great. They did the best they could with what they had. I especially like the subtle and not-so-subtle differences in the characters, from McCoy and Uhura to Spock and Kirk. They have depth and passion and flaws that crack open in clichéd moments. The flaws often work as wonderful plot devices, they move the story along.

I hated that the “girls” were just girls. Uhura picks the worst time for a fight with her boyfriend. Marcus just keeps getting in the way and is no help whatsoever. That’s quite a come-down from the woman who created the Genesis project. And why exactly was she stripping down to her underwear?

I hated that they seemed to have combined two or three movies and tried to make one from it, unsuccessfully. There was too much going on. Too many plot twists. And I was disappointed that I could anticipate the biggest of them.

I would still recommend the movie. It’s a lot of fun. If you don’t pay too much attention to the plot (or don’t know the original well enough to make continued comparisons) you will enjoy it much more than I did.

And it’s Zachary Quinto as Spock, with a cameo from original Spock. Isn’t that enough?

My new goal: to make it to Latino Film Festivals

I recently came across this post, Chronicles of Undercover Mexican Girl: Latino Film Festivals, and now have added attendance to these festivals to my bucket list. I think I’m going to start with this one, since it’s the closest:

Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, now in its 15th year, takes place during the month of April

Check out the post for more info on others you might want to visit yourself.

dance with me

DANCE WITH ME is the new movie starring Chayanne and Vanessa Williams.

It’s a tame little movie set primarily in a dance studio in Houston. In case you see the movie, that skyline is ours — Houston has a very impressive skyline and I want to make sure that you understand that the one in the movie is ours. That said, there is no chemistry between Chayanne and the talented Ms. Williams. They do a good job with their characters, but I never believed that the romance was real. And before any of you think that “it’s a movie, girl” thought that you’re bound to go through, I know that it’s a movie. But I pay good money to watch and, for the moment, believe that what’s going on might be plausible. And a romance between the stars of this movie just didn’t make the cut. I’ll admit that maybe, just maybe I was too harsh — I did just see HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK last week and the chemistry between Stella and her young lover was sizzling. DANCE WITH ME suffers by comparison.

As a writer I also have to point out that there are major holes in the writing of this movie. I won’t spoil the movie for you, but I will say that the plot is just an excuse to set up some elaborate dance scenes. Dance scenes that I enjoyed very much, thank you. Vanessa can really move and I love salsa and merengue. Just listening to the music makes me want to get up and dance. Did you know that Vanessa refused to use a body double for any of the dance scenes? There are some complicated and dangerous moves you really need to see to believe. The dance scenes alone are worth a matinee viewing.

The sheer enthusiasm Chayanne demonstrates in this role is almost enough to get me to commend his performance. Almost, but not quite. Chayanne isn’t an actor. I don’t think that a seasoned actor could have done more with the two-dimensional character we were shown, but there was an awkwardness to his performance that could have been ironed out. To his credit, his scenes with Vanessa were very natural and his dance scenes were exceptional. Also to his credit, he didn’t cop out and do a singing scene. For those of you who have never heard of him, Chayanne is a Puerto Rican singer, an ex-Menudo. And if you need to have someone explain who Menudo is, then I wash my hands of you right here and now. You are beyond help.

I am, of course, recommending to all of my friends that they go out and watch the movie. And I’m not encouraging them on the basis that the movie is entertaining or that the dance scenes are incredible or that Vanessa Williams looks great or that Chayanne has this boyish charm thing going. Nope. I’m telling people to go to the movie so that the numbers for the movie look decent and when the next producer goes to a studio to do a “Hispanic” movie the studio can’t use bad ticket sales on this movie as an excuse not to fund it. Unfortunately, as a Chicana I have to look at the big picture.