Box office: Star Trek, Ice Age come down with sequel fatigue

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Sequel fatigue hit two venerable franchises at the box office this weekend.

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Flashback: More than 20 years of Star Trek reviews!

Note: This is a revised and updated version of a blog post I wrote in May 2013.

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I grew up with the Star Trek series. When I was six years old and living with my family in Poland in the mid-1970s, three of my favorite and most-read books were the David C. Cook Picture Bible, C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, and Stephen E. Whitfield’s The Making of Star Trek, which covers the first two seasons of the original TV show. (I wondered sometimes what Mister Spock, with his emphasis on logic, would make of Lewis’s logic-based arguments for the Resurrection, etc.)

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Watch: Another action-packed trailer for Star Trek Beyond

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The second Star Trek Beyond trailer is here, and with it, a lot of new footage — though it doesn’t really tell us anything we didn’t already know from the first trailer. The Enterprise is destroyed, the crew are stranded on an alien planet, and somewhere in there Kirk rides an old-fashioned motorcycle. Check it out below the jump.

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Trailer watch: Star Trek Beyond destroys the Enterprise and X-Men: Apocalypse destroys the world… or tries to!

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Well, that didn’t last long.

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Roberto Orci: the first Trekkie to direct a Star Trek film?

Deadline reports that Roberto Orci, who co-wrote the last two Star Trek films and has overseen the comic books that take place between the movies, is “the clear frontrunner” to direct the next one.

I could be mistaken, but if Orci gets the job, I believe he would be the first Trekkie to direct an actual Star Trek film.

Of the twelve films produced so far, six were directed by veterans of the various TV shows: actors Leonard Nimoy (ST3:TSFS, ST4:TVH), William Shatner (ST5:TFF) and Jonathan Frakes (ST:FC, ST:I), plus episodic director David Carson (ST:G).

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Darren Aronofsky on the “fantastical creatures” in Noah

The dinosaurs of Jurassic Park may have been the first photorealistic computer-generated animals to grace the big screen, but in the 20 years since then, filmmakers have used computers to simulate more familiar lifeforms — sometimes for safety reasons, sometimes because it gives the filmmakers more control over the animals’ actions, and sometimes because it’s just more cost-effective. See, for example, the horses that were crushed underfoot during one of the big battles in The Lord of the Rings, or the tiger and other animals that shared a lifeboat with a human shipwreck survivor in Life of Pi.

And it’s not just animals. Just last night I was watching the iTunes commentary for Star Trek into Darkness, and one of the special-effects guys mentions quite casually that “literally fifty percent” of the aliens who worship the Enterprise at the end of that film’s opening sequence were actors in make-up, and the rest were created in a computer. And this, despite the fact that there are only a few dozen characters onscreen and they are relatively close to the camera; we’re not talking about one of those epic cast-of-thousands shots like the ones Peter Jackson popularized.

So it should come as no surprise that movies based on the story of Noah’s Ark have been turning to computers to create their little zoos, too.

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