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411 Movies/TV Fact or Fiction: Is Patrick Stewart’s Return Star Trek’s Best Move In Years?

August 9, 2018 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Patrick Stewart Jean-Luc Picard Star Trek

Welcome back to 411 Movies Fact or Fiction! We’re back for week two of the ressurected Movies/TV Fact or Fiction. This week, we have two longtime 411 contributors who have worked together many a time in Steve Gustafson and Tony Acero. Let’s just jump in and see what they have to say, shall we?

The Meg looks to be fun action film to finish out the summer with.

Steve Gustafson: FACT. Let’s see. A massive 75-foot Megalodon shark attacks a deep-sea submersible, leaving it disabled and trapping the crew at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and only one man can save them. That man being Jason Statham. On paper it looks like solid summer fare and the trailers have been entertaining enough that make me believe this one could be a surprise hit.

Tony Acero: FICTION. While the trailer makes me believe that the film is very aware of what it is, and one can never have too much Rainn Wilson, I don’t see this being all that “action” filled in terms of the typical fare of said description. No, I’m sorry, but no amount of Dwight will make me interested in this, and if there’s one thing I’ll definitely need from a Statham film, it will be him kicking actual ass, and not a CGI shark. The question is specific to ask whether I think it will be a fun action film, and although it’s not completely eye-roll inducing, I just have little interest in it, thereby removing an “fun” I can have from it. Couple that with, again, the reality that it’s a big fake shark, then it means a bulk of the “action” will be fake and non-practical. So meh, don’t sign me up.

Warner Bros.’ plan to develop an ALF reboot series is a bad idea.

Steve Gustafson: FICTION. At this point, (almost) nothing surprises me and when they announced an ALF reboot my first reaction was, “What took them so long?” They could play this a number of ways because the whole concept is ridiculous in its set up. An alien crash lands in the garage of a middle-class, suburbanite family. Gordon Shumway, a sarcastic guy who they nickname ALF (for Alien Life Form) who likes to eat cats and cause trouble. They can load it with humor, social commentary, and squeeze out a few seasons of acceptable entertainment.

Tony Acero: FACT. But admittedly, I’m not offended by it. TV is a medium where shit will always be thrown against the wall, and often times it’s some repetitive or outdated shit. I only just vaguely remember ALF as an entity on my television in my youth, and although I recall a snarky puppet, I don’t recall much else. This doesn’t mean, however, that I am clamoring for a rebot or even a close iteration of said snarky puppet. I really wanted to say Fiction because I don’t care enough about this to give a strong opinion, but giving Fiction would be allowing them the justification to move forward, and since I’m somewhat a big deal on 411mania.com, maybe my words will carry enough weight to get this whole idea scrapped. Eh, who am I kidding, I don’t even read my own writing…

Sony’s plans for a Kraven the Hunter movie will fail unless they can get Spider-Man involved.

Steve Gustafson: FICTION. This movie will fail with or without Spider-Man. We’ll get a better idea of how this will shape up once Venom hits theaters and we get an idea of how audiences react. A movie with Kraven is perplexing and seems to be another example of Sony throwing something out there to see what sticks. Kraven is a b-level Spider-Man villain who has had one incredible story (Kraven’s Last Hunt) and a handful of slightly pretty good ones. You can do some tweaks to him but at his core he’s a hunter (who aren’t really popular these days) who became obsessed with hunting Spidey. If they aren’t going to have Spider-Man in the movie and if they will try to make him an anti-hero, I suppose you can have him hunt something that poses a huge threat. What kind of threat? Not dinosaurs, too close to Jurassic Park. Aliens? Too close to Predator. Plenty of possibilities but nothing that seems like it allows Kraven to stand on his own. Even with Spider-Man’s involvement, audiences want to follow the web-slinger, not Kraven’s point of view.

Tony Acero: FICTION. If they make this film about “A Spider-man villain” first and foremost, then yes a Spider-Man will actually need to exist, and not just in passing. If the film is a stand-alone film with a creative backstotry, then it’s possible that it can work. I’m not saying it will. In fact, I feel like they won’t do what they need to do to create something as impactful as they’d like without Spider-Man to be successful. But I don’t think that it hinges on the presence of Spider-Man to be successful. For instance, the new Venom film seems to be ridding itself of the Spider-Man and focusing solely on the character of Venom. The thing is, that character is loved by many and Tom Hardy is no slouch. These two factors are incredibly important. I feel Kraven doesnt have that same backing, and although I have no idea who would play him, the casting will be incredibly important.

SWITCH!

Patrick Stewart returning to Star Trek is the best thing to happen to the franchise in years.

Tony Acero: FICTION. But only because he’s Patrick F’n Stewart. Here’s the thing; I’ve seen a grand total of maybe three episodes of any version of this franchise, and I don’t feel bad about it at all. I remember it being on at my aunt’s house a lot, and her loving the entirety of the series and all involved. I haven’t even seen the films yet, so I have absolutely no credibility to speak on it. Still, Patrick Stewart was the big name when I did start to learn about the show and how important it is to nerdom. This is the right way to do a callback and hit on the nostalgia factor without seemingly stretching for pops.

Steve Gustafson: FACT. As I said in my column, we live in a time where we are inundated with relaunches, reimaginings, and reboots, this could easily come off as an obvious cash grab or nostalgic gimmick. On top of that, there are very few actors and characters in television that I would like to see in a sequel series.

Sr Patrick Stewart’s Picard is one of them. I’ve been a casual fan of Star Trek thanks to Next Generation, and Stewart’ Picard is the main reason. I feel confident this series will do the series justice and serve as a worthy continuation of the character. This is a rare instance of a relaunch that I’m really looking forward to and excited for.

Matt Reeves has the right idea with his Batman film by not basing it on an existing comic book storyline.

Tony Acero: FACT. I am a life-long Batman fan. I am an avid Batman comic reader. I am in love with the lore and all involved. Every pen that has touched the page, and every artist that has sketched The Dark Knight holds a special place in my heart. I once watched every single Batman film from ’66 onward in one day as a birthday celebration event. That was only 4 years ago. With all that being said, I am also aware that there will forever be many many different ways to portray my beloved hero on the big screen, little screen, and any other medium. The thing is, however, there are far too many good stories that haven’t been portrayed yet in mediums outside of perhaps the video games that still could be used properly and better. I say this, though – my Batman films were already made. Nolan did the best anyone can ever do, and I’ll stand by that for years. So any new version of Batman will only ever pale in comparison, thereby making decisions such as this – or Affleck – just a minor annoyance.

Steve Gustafson: FACT. Batman feels like a mess right now and I believe more and more that they dropped the ball when they didn’t do a better job of building off of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy and establishing a new, younger Dark Knight. Ben Affleck’s version was good but they’ve put themselves in a corner in terms of stories by staying with him. I know the rumors say he’s out but that remains to be seen.

It came out that Warner Brothers’ superhero cinematic universe is not officially known as the DC Extended Universe over at production headquarters and the way they are playing fast-and-loose with movies, I’m not surprised at all the Reeves won’t tie his movie into any one story. This fits right alongside the Joker project and a number of other random projects that have been announced.

A legal thriller take on 24 without Jack Bauer is destined to fail.

Tony Acero: FICTION. Another little series that flew under my radar, and don’t harp on it because I have little guilt about it. I never saw it, never clamored at the bits to see it, and didn’t care while it was on. This takes nothing away from how good it was, how heralded it still is, and how many people still talk about it to this day. While ALF is far too many years removed, the idea that there is a different POV of a show that was universally loved is a far better idea than a reboot of an old TV show. The premise of the legal take on it just gives us a more exciting version of Law & Order, doesn’t it? And how many of those shows are there? Nah, they’ll ride the train of Bauer for namesake only, then try and stand on their own. I don’t think it’s destined to fail, but I also don’t think it’s destined for greatness.

Steve Gustafson: FACT. While legal thrillers can be popular when done right, the 24 franchise is known for its action and using the clock to raise tension. I’m just not on board with a legal themed show using the 24 concept. On top of that, Jack Bauer IS 24 and the only way they can save this is whenever Jack Bauer is not onscreen, all the other characters should be asking ‘Where’s Jack Bauer?’”

And there you have it…the return of Movies/TV Fact or Fiction. Thanks to both Michael and Aaron for taking part and we’ll see you all next week!