Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

James Kirk’s Phony Death and the Exasperation of Star Trek: Into Darkness Inspired by Wagon Train (ABC/NBC, 1957-1965), Gene Roddenberry in the 1960s developed in Star Trek (NBC, 1966-1969) a science-fiction vehicle capable of grappling with the canonical questions of Western drama in a pseudo-anthology format. Each week, the crew of the Enterprise would arrive ...

The Great Gatsby (2013)

Fitzgerald’s Words, Luhrmann’s Music, and Asia’s Special Effects To prepare for tonight’s release of Baz Luhrmann’s new film, a highly promoted adaptation of The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio, I read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel for the first time since high school. What I discovered is that teaching great literature is wasted on teenagers. The ...

Star Trek (2009)

J.J. Abrams and the Heart of Science Fiction The foundation of big budget science fiction cinema, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927) theorizes its own bifurcated audience reactions. On the one hand, the film presents such a sumptuous world of the future that its production design continues to dazzle almost a century later, inspiring everything from Queen ...