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Alex Kurtzman Archives - ShowBizCafe.com

Alex Kurtzman Archives - ShowBizCafe.com

Jack Rico

By

2014/05/01 at 5:08pm

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Movie Review)

05.1.2014 | By |

The “1-4-0″: #AmazingSpiderman2 is a heavy teenage romance story a la Twilight franchise, but with superheroes and action bits. Women will like this film. Read More

Jack Rico

By

2013/05/17 at 12:00am

Star Trek Into Darkness (Movie Review)

05.17.2013 | By |

We’re introducing “The 1-4-0″, a brand new movie review summary that will begin each review in 140 characters or less that you can then copy/paste onto Twitter. Enjoy!

The “1-4-0”: ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ is the best action movie of 2013 so far. Killer action scenes, throwback Star Trek homages & intense IMAX 3D. Read More

Karen Posada

By

2012/06/29 at 12:00am

People Like Us

06.29.2012 | By |

People Like Us

People Like Us’ is a good mix of drama with a sprinkle of comedy and sweetness, a perfect dose of entertainment. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this film since it seems to have a pretty clear plot, but fortunately thanks to all the different personalities it is anything but predictable. At times the film gets dangerously corny, but as Alex Kurtzman’s directorial debut it is a refreshing film about life choices and family, which teaches us all a lesson.

 

When Jerry Harper a record producer and Sam’s (Chris Pine) estranged father passes away, he reluctantly flies to Los Angeles with Hannah (Olivia Wilde) his girlfriend, to attend his funeral and settle his state. At home we get pieces of what his childhood was like, as his mother, Lillian (Michelle Pfeiffer) doesn’t seem very nurturing. To his surprise his father left him the task of contacting a half sister he didn’t know existed, Frankie (Elizabeth Banks) to deliver an enraging amount of money to her. While contemplating what to do with the money, Sam scouts out his half sister and gets a peek into her complicated life as the single mother of Josh (Michael Hall D’Addario) and unexpectedly gets drawn into their lives.

 

The best part of this movie is D’Addario, the kid is hilarious because not only does he act like an adult since he has to take care of himself, but he’s too smart for his own good. Banks doesn’t stay too far behind as we see where the kid gets it from, she also has a smart mouth, is strong and sexy all at the same time. Pine’s character is the darker, mysterious one and he plays the roll well. Wilde although doesn’t have a lot of screen time, serves her role as Pine’s conscience perfectly. Finally Pfeiffer, rounds out the parent role, as obviously the missing parent is talked about a lot and becomes a presence in the film, but she’s one of the characters that can bring him to life the most.

 

The movie’s fuel is the tension between the siblings and although it is beyond frustrating, it works, because that’s exactly what keeps you interested and cringing at the same time. The movie weaves in music with funny and dramatic moments masterfully. Slowly without noticing you come to care for this characters and even when it starts to get corny you still want to know how the story ends. The key to the story is that we see how someone’s actions (the deceased father’s) affected the lives of many people, even the ones that didn’t know him. The movie is loosely based on the director’s real life and this isn’t a story that is hard to believe; it’s pretty down to earth without being dull.

 

Pine delivers some worthy life lessons, but most of all the film let’s us know that there’s usually more to the actions of others than we know. As children we are quick to judge our parents and react on it as adults, here we explore how the options of running away or sticking around pan out. In the mist of summer movies this is a heartfelt hidden drama in between all the action and comedy ones that will leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling.    

Ted Faraone

By

2011/12/06 at 12:00am

Cowboys and Aliens

12.6.2011 | By |

Helmer Jon Favreau seems to have found his métier as a director of sci-fi flicks.  That may be good for his bank account, but not so good for auds.  Favreau is a very talented guy who has done just about everything that one can do in film and largely done it well.  A few box office hits in the sci-fi genre with bankable stars in the cast (Iron Man and Iron Man 2) have shown him the light.  It’s not exactly the headlight of an oncoming train at the end of the tunnel, but he could do better.

Cowboys & Aliens, which opens Friday, July 29, is a silly movie.  That is not to say that it isn’t fun to watch.  Even the 1936 propaganda film, “Reefer Madness” (a.k.a. Tell Your Children) offers a degree of amusement.  But watching “Cowboys & Aliens” is akin to ordering from a Chinese buffet menu — One from column A, two from column B.  Pic is a blend of clichés from high-tech sci-fi pix (think “Aliens,” “Priest,” and “Super 8”), a morality tale, and a western, topped off by a sucker-punch to auds delivered by a hummingbird.

It also stars Daniel Craig as bandito Jake Lonnergan who has a bad case of amnesia and Harrison Ford as former Union Army Civil War Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde and current local cattleman and padrone of a one-horse town in the wild American West of 1873.  In other words, it was bankable.  Dolarhyde is a greedy bastard who has trouble showing emotion.  He also has a son, Percy (Paul Dano) who is the local bully.  Keith Carradine is perhaps one of pic’s two or three most convincing thesps as the local sheriff.  And Olivia Wilde graces the screen as a good space alien — which explains why her eye makeup withstands explosions, physical attack by bad space aliens, and plunges into deep water.  Max Factor, eat your heart out!  At least she gets a better part than she had in “Priest.”

Throw in a cast of thousands including a plucky kid (Noah Ringer), a loyal dog, a tough-talking minister (Clancy Brown), and an Indian chief (Raoul Trujillo), and a bunch of bad space aliens who look like a cross between the thing from “Super 8” and the acid-blooded creatures from “Aliens,” and shake until the mixing glass is frosty.  You get a movie of sorts.

What little humor “Cowboys & Aliens” offers comes from some deadpanned punchlines uttered by Craig, Carradine, and Brown.  Dialogue is not pic’s strong suit.  Best lines seem to go to Trujillo who allegedly speaks only in the Apache language.

There is a moment in an adventure or crime movie when an experienced filmgoer will say to himself — or to the very attractive and incisive amateur critic seated to his left), “I knew that was going to happen.”

“Cowboys & Aliens” has more than a few.

Pic opens with a wounded Craig waking up in a desolate landscape wearing an odd metal bracelet and being set upon by a trio of bad guys.  He dispatches them with super-human dispatch, a gift which serves him well throughout pic’s 118 minutes.

Arriving in the one-horse town, he dispatches the local bully and gets the attention of gun toting Ella (Wilde) and the sheriff, who recognizes him from a “Wanted” poster.  What Craig doesn’t remember is that he has stolen gold from Ford and that he was abducted and escaped from the bad space aliens.  Evidently amnesia is one of the after-effects of alien abduction.

Just as Craig and Percy the bully (who accidentally shoots a deputy) are about to be handed over to U.S. Marshalls, Ford arrives to spring his kid.  At the same time, the bad aliens attack the town with what appear to be jet fighter-bombers.  In the process they kidnap about half the inhabitants.

The rest of pic centers on a few revelations (Craig’s memory slowly returns thanks to Ella and some Indian mysticism) and the need for banditi, greedy guys, a good space alien, and the Apache to join forces to defeat the aliens before the planet is taken over for its gold deposits.  The bad space aliens arrived on a rocket-powered space ship which contains both gold mining and refining equipment.  Like Nazis, they even pull the gold teeth from their captives.

Ending is totally predictable.  Harrison Ford’s shell cracks.  The “Wanted” poster is forgotten.  The bad aliens appear to be dispatched, some good guys die heroic deaths, and the plucky kid comes of age early.

Pic’s sucker punch comes in the form of a hummingbird, a special-effects hummingbird, no less, connected to Ella, which appears to Craig first as he regains his memory and again in the final reel only to scream a figurative “sequel!”

“Cowboys & Aliens” offers more than a few good action scenes.  Special effects, save the bad aliens, are not bad.  Best effect is Wilde emerging buck naked from a funeral pyre set for her by the Apache.  In order to keep pic’s PG-13 rating Craig covers her with an Indian blanket before any more than her fine backside appears on screen.  Have no fear in taking the kids.

The morality tale, utterly politically correct in today’s climate, is that greedy people have to set aside their greed and unite with their erstwhile enemies for the common good.

A final note:  “Cowboys & Aliens” boasts a list of writers, producers, executive producers, and production companies almost as long as its cast of thousands.  With that many cooks, it is no wonder that the stew verges on mish-mash.

Ted Faraone

By

2011/07/28 at 12:00am

Cowboys and Aliens

07.28.2011 | By |

Cowboys and Aliens

Helmer Jon Favreau seems to have found his métier as a director of sci-fi flicks.  That may be good for his bank account, but not so good for auds.  Favreau is a very talented guy who has done just about everything that one can do in film and largely done it well.  A few box office hits in the sci-fi genre with bankable stars in the cast (Iron Man and Iron Man 2) have shown him the light.  It’s not exactly the headlight of an oncoming train at the end of the tunnel, but he could do better.

Cowboys & Aliens, which opens Friday, July 29, is a silly movie.  That is not to say that it isn’t fun to watch.  Even the 1936 propaganda film, “Reefer Madness” (a.k.a. Tell Your Children) offers a degree of amusement.  But watching “Cowboys & Aliens” is akin to ordering from a Chinese buffet menu — One from column A, two from column B.  Pic is a blend of clichés from high-tech sci-fi pix (think “Aliens,” “Priest,” and “Super 8”), a morality tale, and a western, topped off by a sucker-punch to auds delivered by a hummingbird.

It also stars Daniel Craig as bandito Jake Lonnergan who has a bad case of amnesia and Harrison Ford as former Union Army Civil War Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde and current local cattleman and padrone of a one-horse town in the wild American West of 1873.  In other words, it was bankable.  Dolarhyde is a greedy bastard who has trouble showing emotion.  He also has a son, Percy (Paul Dano) who is the local bully.  Keith Carradine is perhaps one of pic’s two or three most convincing thesps as the local sheriff.  And Olivia Wilde graces the screen as a good space alien — which explains why her eye makeup withstands explosions, physical attack by bad space aliens, and plunges into deep water.  Max Factor, eat your heart out!  At least she gets a better part than she had in “Priest.”

Throw in a cast of thousands including a plucky kid (Noah Ringer), a loyal dog, a tough-talking minister (Clancy Brown), and an Indian chief (Raoul Trujillo), and a bunch of bad space aliens who look like a cross between the thing from “Super 8” and the acid-blooded creatures from “Aliens,” and shake until the mixing glass is frosty.  You get a movie of sorts.

What little humor “Cowboys & Aliens” offers comes from some deadpanned punchlines uttered by Craig, Carradine, and Brown.  Dialogue is not pic’s strong suit.  Best lines seem to go to Trujillo who allegedly speaks only in the Apache language.

There is a moment in an adventure or crime movie when an experienced filmgoer will say to himself — or to the very attractive and incisive amateur critic seated to his left), “I knew that was going to happen.”

“Cowboys & Aliens” has more than a few.

Pic opens with a wounded Craig waking up in a desolate landscape wearing an odd metal bracelet and being set upon by a trio of bad guys.  He dispatches them with super-human dispatch, a gift which serves him well throughout pic’s 118 minutes.

Arriving in the one-horse town, he dispatches the local bully and gets the attention of gun toting Ella (Wilde) and the sheriff, who recognizes him from a “Wanted” poster.  What Craig doesn’t remember is that he has stolen gold from Ford and that he was abducted and escaped from the bad space aliens.  Evidently amnesia is one of the after-effects of alien abduction.

Just as Craig and Percy the bully (who accidentally shoots a deputy) are about to be handed over to U.S. Marshalls, Ford arrives to spring his kid.  At the same time, the bad aliens attack the town with what appear to be jet fighter-bombers.  In the process they kidnap about half the inhabitants.

The rest of pic centers on a few revelations (Craig’s memory slowly returns thanks to Ella and some Indian mysticism) and the need for banditi, greedy guys, a good space alien, and the Apache to join forces to defeat the aliens before the planet is taken over for its gold deposits.  The bad space aliens arrived on a rocket-powered space ship which contains both gold mining and refining equipment.  Like Nazis, they even pull the gold teeth from their captives.

Ending is totally predictable.  Harrison Ford’s shell cracks.  The “Wanted” poster is forgotten.  The bad aliens appear to be dispatched, some good guys die heroic deaths, and the plucky kid comes of age early.

Pic’s sucker punch comes in the form of a hummingbird, a special-effects hummingbird, no less, connected to Ella, which appears to Craig first as he regains his memory and again in the final reel only to scream a figurative “sequel!”

“Cowboys & Aliens” offers more than a few good action scenes.  Special effects, save the bad aliens, are not bad.  Best effect is Wilde emerging buck naked from a funeral pyre set for her by the Apache.  In order to keep pic’s PG-13 rating Craig covers her with an Indian blanket before any more than her fine backside appears on screen.  Have no fear in taking the kids.

The morality tale, utterly politically correct in today’s climate, is that greedy people have to set aside their greed and unite with their erstwhile enemies for the common good.

A final note:  “Cowboys & Aliens” boasts a list of writers, producers, executive producers, and production companies almost as long as its cast of thousands.  With that many cooks, it is no wonder that the stew verges on mish-mash.

Mack Chico

By

2009/11/17 at 12:00am

Star Trek

11.17.2009 | By |

Rating: 3.5

Rated: PG-13 for sci-fi action and violence, and brief sexual content.
Release Date: 2009-05-08
Starring: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman
Director(s):
Distributor:
Film Genre:
Country:USA
Official Website: http://www.startrekmovie.com/

 Go to our film page

2009’s ‘Star Trek’ is a youthful, and very entertaining modern revival of the classic and outdated TV series and movie franchise starring William Shatner and Leonard Nemoy. This new version is an all out action film that manages to balance it with some terrific casting, CGI effects and humor. Very similar to what ‘Iron Man’ as a movie offered. Star Trek has been designed with the lofty goal of keeping current fans, repatriating lapsed ones and, by re-branding the name, opening the Trek universe to millions of new viewers. J.J. Abrams‘ attempt has mostly succeeded.

 

The storyline is essentially the deep exploration of the beginnings of Captain Kirk and Spock. This allows the story to establish the origins of all the classic characters and the circumstances that brought them all together. Within this framework, Kirk and Spock meet and soon become competitive cadets-in-training. With their drastically opposite styles, one driven by passion, the other by rigorous logic, they become defiant adversaries, each going all out to be th4 captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise.

 

Leonard Nimoy (the original Spock) makes a cameo in the role that made him famous, and the connection between “new Trek” and “classic Trek” is created.  Just like Nimoy’s appearance, there are a myriad of subtle homages to the old television series and Patrick Stewart films that the true Trekkies will appreciate. Oddly enough, Shatner was nowhere to be seen.

 

There are some narrative cracks though. Abrams and his screenwriters, longtime Trek fans Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Transformers, Mission Impossible 3), do their best to keep things engaging despite the tremendous constraints of the “origin” format, but there are times when the material feels rushed. When considering pace, this is most definitely that anti-Star Trek: The Motion Picture. No loving, languid shots here.

Star Trek is clearly an action-oriented motion picture, with an intensity that exceeds even that of The Wrath of Khan. The pace is blistering, and the movie is littered with the eye candy of expertly realized space battles. The special effects are beyond those seen in any of the previous ten Star Trek features. In addition to the battles, there are also chases, fight scenes, and all the other staples one expects from an action movie.

The casting could not have been better Chris Pine (Kirk) and Zachary Quinto (Spock) truly embody the essence of the priginal characters. The dominican actress Zoe Saldaña plays Uhura, but with a new sexiness absent from the previous versions.

Ultimately, when the end credits roll, we’re left with the sense that Star Trek represents a good beginning. As a film tasked with getting all the characters together, re-booting a timeline, and finding a way to return a veteran actor to his beloved role, Star Trek works. There is some awkwardness here – it feels like the “hybrid” it is (or, as it has been called, “Not Your Father’s Star Trek”) but, considering how ponderous and stilted the Star Trek movie series had become, perhaps that’s not a bad thing. Still, as with any prequel/re-start, the real test will arrive with the next movie (purportedly in two years – assuming this one does not flop at the box office). The setup is complete; now it’s time to see whether the implied potential of this first entry into a new series can be realized in its sequel.

Mack Chico

By

2009/05/08 at 12:00am

Star Trek

05.8.2009 | By |

Rated: PG-13 for sci-fi action and violence, and brief sexual content.
Release Date: 2009-05-08
Starring: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman
Director(s):
Distributor:
Film Genre:
Country: USA
Official Website: http://www.startrekmovie.com/

Go to our film page

Star Trek

2009’s ‘Star Trek’ is a youthful, and very entertaining modern revival of the classic and outdated TV series and movie franchise starring William Shatner and Leonard Nemoy. This new version is an all out action film that manages to balance it with some terrific casting, CGI effects and humor. Very similar to what ‘Iron Man’ as a movie offered. Star Trek has been designed with the lofty goal of keeping current fans, repatriating lapsed ones and, by re-branding the name, opening the Trek universe to millions of new viewers. J.J. Abrams‘ attempt has mostly succeeded.

 

The storyline is essentially the deep exploration of the beginnings of Captain Kirk and Spock. This allows the story to establish the origins of all the classic characters and the circumstances that brought them all together. Within this framework, Kirk and Spock meet and soon become competitive cadets-in-training. With their drastically opposite styles, one driven by passion, the other by rigorous logic, they become defiant adversaries, each going all out to be th4 captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise.

 

Leonard Nimoy (the original Spock) makes a cameo in the role that made him famous, and the connection between “new Trek” and “classic Trek” is created.  Just like Nimoy’s appearance, there are a myriad of subtle homages to the old television series and Patrick Stewart films that the true Trekkies will appreciate. Oddly enough, Shatner was nowhere to be seen.

There are some narrative cracks though. Abrams and his screenwriters, longtime Trek fans Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Transformers, Mission Impossible 3), do their best to keep things engaging despite the tremendous constraints of the “origin” format, but there are times when the material feels rushed. When considering pace, this is most definitely that anti-Star Trek: The Motion Picture. No loving, languid shots here.

Star Trek is clearly an action-oriented motion picture, with an intensity that exceeds even that of The Wrath of Khan. The pace is blistering, and the movie is littered with the eye candy of expertly realized space battles. The special effects are beyond those seen in any of the previous ten Star Trek features. In addition to the battles, there are also chases, fight scenes, and all the other staples one expects from an action movie.

The casting could not have been better Chris Pine (Kirk) and Zachary Quinto (Spock) truly embody the essence of the priginal characters. The dominican actress Zoe Saldaña plays Uhura, but with a new sexiness absent from the previous versions.

Ultimately, when the end credits roll, we’re left with the sense that Star Trek represents a good beginning. As a film tasked with getting all the characters together, re-booting a timeline, and finding a way to return a veteran actor to his beloved role, Star Trek works. There is some awkwardness here – it feels like the “hybrid” it is (or, as it has been called, “Not Your Father’s Star Trek”) but, considering how ponderous and stilted the Star Trek movie series had become, perhaps that’s not a bad thing. Still, as with any prequel/re-start, the real test will arrive with the next movie (purportedly in two years – assuming this one does not flop at the box office). The setup is complete; now it’s time to see whether the implied potential of this first entry into a new series can be realized in its sequel. If you can watch it in IMAX.

Mack Chico

By

2009/03/31 at 12:00am

‘Star Trek’ will have a sequel!

03.31.2009 | By |

'Star Trek' will have a sequel!

As Paramount Pictures readies the May 8 release of its “Star Trek” franchise relaunch, the studio is moving forward with a sequel, and has hired Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof to pen the screenplay.

J.J. Abrams, who directed and produced the latest chapter, is onboard to produce the follow-up alongside his Bad Robot partner Bryan Burk. No decision has been made yet on whether Abrams will return behind the camera for the sequel.

Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof also are receiving producing credit on the sequel.

Story is still in the embryonic stage, but the trio are aiming to deliver their script to the Melrose studio by Christmas for what would likely be a summer 2011 release.

“There’s obviously a lot of hubris involved in signing on to write a sequel of a movie that hasn’t even come out yet,” said Lindelof, co-creator with Abrams of ABC’s “Lost” who produced the upcoming “Trek” but did not contribute to Orci and Kurtzman’s screenplay. “But we’re so excited about the first one that we wanted to proceed.”

As for potential storylines, Kurtzman stressed that the writing team will wait to take a cue from fan reaction about which direction to go.

“Obviously we discussed ideas, but we are waiting to see how audiences respond next month,” he said. “With a franchise rebirth, the first movie has to be about origin. But with a second, you have the opportunity to explore incredibly exciting things. We’ll be ambitious about what we’ll do.”

Though Orci and Kurtzman have worked together as a writing team for more than 12 years, the duo has worked with Lindelof on only one screenplay: DreamWorks‘ “Cowboys and Aliens,” which they are currently writing together.

Paramount has high hopes for the “Star Trek” relaunch, and is pulling out all the stops on the marketing front. Studio began a full-scale campaign six months before the film’s May bow.

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