Cult sci-fi series Star Trek is set for a return to the small screen - a Hollywood writer is looking to produce a new TV show to tie in with the upcoming movie.
The space age series, starring William Shatner, became a cult hit after it first aired in 1966 and has spawned six spin-off shows and 10 films.
A new prequel movie, directed by Lost creator J.J. Abrams, is set to hit cinemas this summer and Pushing Daisies screenwriter Bryan Fuller is hoping to capitalize on the film's success with a new spin-off TV series.
He says, "I told my agent and told the people of J.J. Abrams' team I want to create another Star Trek series and have an idea that I’m kicking around. I would love to return to the spirit of the old series with the colours and attitude. I loved Voyager and Deep Space Nine, but they seem to have lost the ‘60s fun and I would love to take it back to its origin.
"I would love to do it in the same era as the J.J. Abrams movie, but on another starship on a completely different adventure."
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
Claire is an attractive CIA operative and Ray is an M16 agent who simultaneously leave their Governmental spy activities in the dust to try and profit from a battle between two rival multi-national corporations both trying to launch a new product that will transform the world and make billions. Their goal is to secure the top-secret formula and get a patent before they are outsmarted. While their respective egomaniacal CEOs engage in an unending battle of wills and one-upmanship Claire and Ray start out conning and playing one another in a clever game of industrial espionage that is even more complicated due to their own long-term romantic relationship.
WHO’S IN IT?
Reuniting Closer co-stars Julia Roberts (as Claire) and Clive Owen (as Ray) turns out to be an inspired idea. They turn out to be the perfect pair oozing movie-star charm and electricity in this elaborate con-game that might have been the kind of thing Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant might have made in the '60s (in fact they did in Charade). Roberts with that infamous hairstyle back the way we like it and Owen looking great in sunglasses prove they have what it takes to navigate us through this ultra-complex plot in which no one is sure who they can trust at any given moment. They play it all in high style and the wit just flows as the story skirts back and forth during the period of five years. The supporting cast is well-chosen with juicy roles for Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti (out of their John Adams duds) as the two CEOs going for each other’s throats. Giamatti who sometimes has a tendency to overdo it is especially slimy here and great fun to watch.
Big-star studio movies today rarely take risks and often talk down to the audience but in Duplicity writer/director Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton) has crafted a complicated con-comedy that requires complete attention at all times just to keep up with the dense plot’s twists and turns. It’s the cinematic equivalent of a New York Times crossword puzzle and Gilroy and his top-drawer production team deliver a glossy beautiful-looking film that’s easy on the eyes hitting locations from Dubai to Rome to New York City.
Like any good puzzle it sometimes can be frustrating putting it all together and Gilroy’s habit of taking us back in time and then inching forward gets a little confusing even with the on-screen chyron pointing out where we are at any given moment. Stick with it though and you will be well-rewarded.
A scene near the end where the formula must be found scanned and faxed in a matter of minutes is sweat-inducing edge-of-your-seat moviemaking and it provides the ultimate opportunity for Roberts and Owen to take the “con” to the next level. Another where Roberts uses a thong to try and trick Owen into admitting an affair he never had is also priceless and gets right to the heart of the game-playing.
GO OUT AND GET POPCORN WHEN ...
Never. Stock up during the coming attractions. If you miss a moment of this entertaining romp you might never figure it all out.
You must be dying to know what happened to FBI Agent Gracie Hart (Sandra Bullock) after she successfully squashed an attempt to blow up the Miss United States Pageant. I know I was. She's become an overnight media sensation--and is none too happy about it. She's frustrated that her newfound fame is jeopardizing the undercover work that she loves and that she's been rejected by her boyfriend which quickly explains away Benjamin Bratt's character from the original. So Gracie goes right back into the frying pan when she reluctantly lets her boss (Ernie Hudson) talk her into being the new "face of the FBI." This time however Gracie takes the task of coifed spokeswoman a little too zealously turning into a Gucci-carrying Prada-wearing prima donna. But when Gracie's friend Cheryl (Heather Burns) the crowned Miss United States and pageant host Stan Fields (William Shatner) are kidnapped it forces Gracie to take action and finally realize who she really is: a snorting hard-ass FBI agent who just wants to hit someone. Welcome back Gracie!
Sandra Bullock is just too darn cute regardless of the highly contrived messes she finds herself in. Remember Two If By Sea and Forces of Nature? Yeah we try to forget them too but not because Sandy is in them. At least she tries to make the stinkers more palatable. And while Miss Congeniality 2 seems to be another oops! Bullock is perfect as Gracie Hart. Either klutzy and uncouth or perfectly manicured the actress shows off an uncanny knack for physical comedy and moments of poignancy. This time around Bullock also gets a sparring partner in the form of an even harder-ass FBI agent named Sam Fuller played by the always-good Regina King. The two actresses have a nice female buddy-movie rapport whether Sam is "reminding" Gracie as to why she became an FBI agent while the two lock each other in choke holds or watching them on stage at a drag club performing Tina Turner's "Proud Mary." Still after her tour-de-force performance as Ray Charles' tortured mistress in Ray King has proven she is good enough to move beyond the throwaway supporting parts. Other than these two however the rest of the cast falls flat. Miss Congeniality's Michael Caine and Candice Bergen are sorely missed.
There really is no need for a second Miss Congeniality. The first one was enough. Sweet and unexpectedly engaging it followed a tried-and-true fish-out-of-water formula sold by Sandra Bullock's hilarious performance. It also wrapped up neatly and concisely. But when the film grossed $106 million the greedy studio execs figured they just had to do a sequel because that's what they do. They probably lured producer-star Bullock and her longtime producing collaborator Marc Lawrence in telling then how tremendous they are and how they are going to make even MORE money the second time around. "Don't worry that people aren't clamoring for more Gracie Hart " they might have said. "Let's just make a sequel!" Well guess what? They were wrong. Again. Helmed by comedic director John Pasquin (The Santa Clause) Miss Congeniality 2 simply beats the original's charm humor and originality to death while straining to find a worthwhile plot--and audiences are going to know that. It feels slapped together a contrivance to let Bullock shine again. She does what she can but unfortunately she can't carry the film past its banality. You'd think these people would learn.