On fight-scene envy, the future of science, technobabble and comic relief.
As physician Leonard 'Bones' McCoy and Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott, Karl Urban and Simon Pegg get to provide the Enterprise with its brainpower -- and, as actors, provide the film with more than a few sidelong laughs and moments of meta-commentary. We spoke with Urban and Pegg in London about jargon, fusion, fights, accents and more.
MSN Movies: Playing Scotty and Dr. McCoy, do you guys ever get fight scene envy? You get great lines, you get great action bits, but you two don't exactly get to turn the five into one and put that fist into anyone's faces.
Karl Urban: (Laughs) I like that. That's a good one.
Do you have fight-scene envy?
Urban: No I don't, actually, and it's because I've done quite a few films where I get to do that. So for me it's a real pleasure to play a character that's based partially in comedy and in medicine.
Simon Pegg: I actually got to deliver what's called a 'Glasgow kiss' in this film.
Urban: You did. You get to fight in this film.
Pegg: I had a fight sequence, which was a lot of fun.
Urban: I'm so envious.
Pegg: So you do get it! So that was nice, but Kirk in the end is the real brawler. So yeah, we all look at Chris, although Zach gets some extraordinary fight scenes.
He also has that great action run like something out of "Terminator 2," the whole stiff-elbow ready-to-kill.
Urban: The Tom Cruise action run!
The fest kicks off with an okay 'Gatsby' and the button-pushing 'Heli'
Amat Escalante takes a long, hard look at how organized crime warps one Mexican family
The antihero returns and, you know, now it's personal
It seems we've missed the fervor over one of Vin Diesel's most iconic roles - as antihero Riddick, the perma-escaped convict who can see in the dark, utterly destroy his enemies in battle, and continually get away from the apparent hordes of bounty hunters coming after him. Diesel's Riddick has starred in (and survived, somehow) two films already - 2000's "Pitch Black" and 2004's "The Chronicles of Riddick" - and now he's back for more. Because that's what people want? Seriously, is this what people want? We've missed the spaceship here. We're more fans of "Fast and Furious," really.
So what's on board for the newest Riddick film? Well, it seems like more of the (apparent) same. We'll just let the press release explain this one, as we're still at a loss when it comes to the appeal and mythology of the character: "the infamous Riddick has been left for dead on a sun-scorched planet that appears to be lifeless. Soon, however, he finds himself fighting for survival against alien predators more lethal than any human he’s encountered. The only way off is for Riddick to activate an emergency beacon and alert mercenaries who rapidly descend to the planet in search of their bounty. The first ship to arrive carries a new breed of merc, more lethal and violent, while the second is captained by a man whose pursuit of Riddick is more personal. With time running out and a storm on the horizon that no one could survive, his hunters won’t leave the planet without Riddick’s head as their trophy." Okay...so, that will be fun? Or violent? Or entertaining? Or all of those things?
The film also stars Karl Urban, Jordi Mollà, Matt Nable, Katee Sackhoff, Dave Bautista, Bokeem Woodbine, Raoul Trujillo, and Nolan Gerard Funk.
Check out the first trailer for "Riddick" after the break.
"It's nice to part of something that's a little bit more ... enigmatic.'
In a grey cardigan and white t-shirt, Benedict Cumberbatch couldn't possibly look any less like John Harrison, the villain and rogue Starfleet operative he plays in "Star Trek Into Darkness." Greeting the press with a warm smile -- which nonetheless must tightly keep the film's secrets -- Cumberbatch spoke with us in London about playing the bad guy, getting in shape, J.J. Abrams' secrets and more ...
MSN Movies: How comforting is it as an actor to just put on the apparatus of evil? The dark clothing, the menacing poses, the threats?
Benedict Cumberbatch: I try to play with those elements, but also to try and carve out something new; this is a man who cries and has deep emotional and very sort of justifiable reasons behind his terrifying actions. Yes, he's terrorizing and scares the living daylights out of you, but at the same time there's a real moral purpose to his actions. He's a terrorist, but he's also another man's freedom fighter. And he's home-grown; he comes from Starfleet. So there are those kind of complexities that I think we try to pull him into, which was there in the writing of J.J.'s direction. But especially those kinds of psychological warfare that goes on when he's a still body and not wreaking havoc on ships and space on the ground and on Earthand everywhere else he's wreaking havoc, but you know, it's fun to play with their minds as well as the brawn.
Your character John Harrison has a number of secrets. Were you informed of those before you read the script, or did you discover them like the audience is going to?
No, I knew of them. And that's a good thing obviously because you need to have that sort of thing to back up the decisions you're making at any given moment. It's a contextual thing so if you know what your previous circumstances are and what your end game might be it's helpful to understand the tactics that you're employing to get what you want in the scenes. So I kind of needed to know. But yeah, it was a bit of a process to get the script. It was actually flown over here in person from someone from Bad Robot who (had it) ...
Handcuffed to their wrist?
Yes. And it didn't self-destruct after five seconds -- I'm joking. But it was a joy. And that kind of makes it a thrill you know? It's a thrill that hopefully the audience will enjoy it because they'll walk in and they won't have a checklist of what they've seen, supposed even trailers, or interviews like this. They will just discover it in the moment of the scene in the theater. So I think that's a rare thing in our modern, saturated, kind of publication of things and publicizing things, and it's nice to be part of something that's sort of a little bit more enigmatic.
Audiences best know you from that terrific, new iteration of "Sherlock Holmes" that you do, but was it gratifying to be able to jump into something a lot more physical with a capital 'P?'
'3:10 to Yuma' and 'Jubal' get the Criterion treatment
"3:10 to Yuma" (Criterion)
Delmer Daves was a Hollywood pro with a long career and an impressive filmography. He established himself as a screenwriter with a series of light comedies and romantic melodramas (including the original 1939 "Love Affair") before stepping behind the camera with the World War II adventure "Destination Tokyo." Like most directors of his era, he moved easily between all genres – war pictures, romances, melodrama, and a few noir-inflected dramas (notably "The Red House" and "Dark Passage"), but he proved his affinity for the western from his very first effort in the genre, the 1950 classic "Broken Arrow." Along with his fine eye for imagery, Daves brought a psychological dimension and an adult sensibility to his westerns. In his best films, his characters had relationships and emotions that came out of real life.
Criterion's stamp on two of his most interesting westerns may help bring a little more attention to the director. "Jubal" (Criterion) is the first of three westerns Daves made with actor Glenn Ford, already a seasoned western presence by 1956. Here he's an itinerate cowhand and a wary loner hired by rancher Ernest Borgnine, a garrulous, generous guy who becomes both father figure and best friend to the emotionally bottled up cowhand. It's been called "Othello" on the range, with Rod Steiger as the bitter ranch hand playing Iago to Borgnine's Othello, but the Desdemona of this piece is no innocent victim but a dark, exotic beauty (she's Canadian, apparently to explain away Valerie French's accent) in a stifling marriage to the sincere but crude and boisterous cattleman. Young and deeply disenchanted, she sets her eyes on the simple, stoic cowboy.
This is less a Shakespeare western than a Hollywood melodrama in chaps and Daves was a seasoned hand at both genres. He favors suspense to action and violence, tightening the tension until Steiger (himself spurned by French) finally pushes his boss over the edge and the cycle of violence begins. Even then, the violence is brief and abrupt and Daves leaves the most brutal assault offscreen. Noah Beery Jr. and John Dierkes offer easy-going support as Ford's friendly bunkmates and fellow cowhands and Charles Bronson takes a small but key role as a plain-speaking cowhand whose loyalty to Ford's Jubal is unshakable even when Steiger turns the town against him. Daves brings out Bronson's easy-going humor and understated style, a side so rarely tapped by other directors.
The new-school Kirk and Spock talk ...
Since 2009's "Star Trek," the actors playing the film's central duo have had no small amount of success in its wake; Chris Pine will step into the shoes of Baldwin, Ford and Affleck with the upcoming "Jack Ryan," while Zachary Quinto produced and appeared in the Oscar-nominated "Margin Call." "Star Trek Into Darkness" sees the two back as Kirk and Spock, with more than a few changes this time; we spoke to Pine and Quinto in London about the film.
MSN Movies: The reason why people love "Star Trek" isn't just the plots or the pitch of the series; it's the relationships between the characters. How much fun is it to play the classic Kirk-Spock relationship and live up to it, in a way?
Zachary Quinto: Very fun. And it's a great pleasure to do it with somebody that I enjoy working with, hanging out with, spending time with. And I think our off-screen relationship informs the dynamic of the characters we play. And that's great fun.
Chris Pine: Yeah. These characters are fun because they come from such completely different kind of worldviews. And I think that people can relate to it, or it resonates through people, because they see that, I think, like in their own lives, whether it's themselves trying to find a balance between the mind and the body or with people in their lives. But certainly what they find in the beginning to be the differences that drive them apart are actually those things that drive them together in the end.
A great thing about the first film and this film is that Kirk gets beaten up a lot more than he dishes out. Is that a key to the character -- that you'll always get up no matter how inadvisable it is?
Pine: Yeah, I think you're exactly right. I think it's fun to see, just like with McClane in the "Die Hard" series. It's always fun to see the underdog kind of in the face of great obstacle and great hardship get up again and again and again. And I think that that is a sign of a good leader.
Speaking of action, Mr. Quinto, you get a heck of a fight scene in this, and part of that you do that the "Terminator 2"/Tom Cruise action elbow-run. Is stuff like that fun to do even on the day?