Review: Star Trek Into Darkness; SPN 12.19

So I've started watching movies with the family again, after a long hiatus. We don't have a very good run so far--the Nickelodeon production based on a rebooted kid's cartoon is still probably the best of the lot. Star Trek: Into Darkness just continued the streak, which is a shame because the opening was rather promising. The opening voice-over felt like it could've come from the show; Kirk and Bones having a confab over confiscated booze was delightful; the awkward elevator ride with Kirk and Spock seemed like it might lead into a nice emotional backbone for the rest of the movie. But instead we got 90+ minutes of breathless action, with character arcs so shallow they might as well have been straight lines (and also a sound track that just didn't know when to shut up). It's almost like the beginning and end belong to one movie, and the middle hour and and half were spliced in from a different one (with lots of explosions). I'd still rank it above Dr. Strange--tonally, the thing was a lot more consistent, and they at least attempted to give the antagonist a backstory and logic for blowing everything up--but all around the thing was a disappointment.

"The Future" (SPN 12.19), on the other hand, definitely wasn't. I always go into the myth-arc episodes knowing that they're probably not going to be my cup of tea (I'm a monster-of-the-week gal, through and through), but this kept me engaged throughout. Everyone's actions flowed fairly believably from their underlying emotional states, and there were some nice character details. Lucifer felt properly creepy, Sam used past experience to come up with a clever idea, Dean got to display his mechanical know-how, and Cas--well, none of his actions really came as a surprise. Also, some of the visuals were quite lovely.

(Does anyone else have the feeling that this next bit leading into the finale might wind up clearing the decks a bit?)
I enjoyed both Dr Strange and Star Trek, but I wasn't expecting much other than a couple of hours entertainment, rather than character development (though that would have made them excellent instead of just a bit of forgettable fun).

The last two SPN episodes have been good! This last one felt almost like a finale, which makes me wonder what its to come - clearing of the decks seems highly probable!
My problem (and it really is a problem, I freely admit) is that I _cannot_ shut off the writer/editor portion of my brain when engaging with fiction of any sort. So it kills me when I'm watching something and see nothing but squandered opportunities to tell a deeper story. I'm glad you were able to enjoy both movies!

I know some people have been disappointed by this season, but aside from a couple of bobbles, I've loved pretty nearly the whole thing--with the last couple of episodes really cementing things. I have a couple private predictions about the direction of the finale that I'll be watching for with interest. (Mostly involving people dying, I must admit. ;D )