Victor Rebikoff Welcome to the movies at PS News.
   Each week, PS News's film critic Victor Rebikoff will highlight the latest offerings from the silver screen and share his expert commentary for our information and guidance.

Couples Retreat
   Director: Peter Billingsly, Universal Pictures, Rated PG, 113 mins

Peter Billingsley, an actor in his own right (and appearing recently in Ironman), makes his directorial debut with a comedic take on four couples on a special vacation.
   The film is co-written by Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn - both of whom play lead roles in Billingsley’s first movie, Couples Retreat.
   Jason (Jason Bateman, Hancock) and Cynthia (Kristen Bell, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) are on the verge of getting a divorce, and in a last ditch effort to save their marriage, persuade their friends (three other couples) to visit a tropical resort that specialises in counselling and therapy.
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   The other couples include the all American family man, Dave (Vince Vaughn, Fred Claus) and wife Ronnie (Malin Akerman, The Heartbreak Kid), the unhappily married Joey (Jon Favreau, Four Holidays) and Lucy (Kristen Davis, Sex and the City), as well as the recently divorced Shane (Faizon Love) who is much bigger and older than his 20-something girlfriend Trudy (Kali Hawk).
   The three other couples believe they are just going to have fun and help their friends, but they soon realise their own relationships will be examined as well.
   Beautifully filmed in French Polynesia, Billingsley provides an appropriate setting for his particular style of comedic expressions.
   And to add further humour into the mix is the resort’s counselling guru Marcel - a tongue in cheek performance from renowned French actor Jean Reno, seen recently in the Pink Panther movies.
   Couples Retreat is a comical skit looking at modern day relationships, using what Billingsley perceives as four ‘average’ couples that each have their own set of problems and are hoping to resolve them at the holiday resort.
   Despite the average performances of each of the lead actors, this was still an enjoyable movie to watch with a number of laughs arising out of some of the comical situations.
   The lesson learnt from seeing this movie is that it may not always be a retreat that everybody’s likes!

VIC'S VERDICT:       3 ½ Rubber Stamps


DVD Releases
Star Trek
   Release Date: 29 October 2009
   Director: J.J. Abrams, Rated M, 122 mins

The much anticipated blockbuster Star Trek is finally being released by Paramount in a 2 disc Special Edition DVD.
   This 21st century version of one of the great franchises in movie and television history is destined to be the smash hit of the year considering its great storyline, spectacular action sequences, wonderful cast and some scintillating settings.
   Acknowledged action director J.J. Abrams has brought a refreshing approach to
his brilliant re-creation of Star Trek by providing a fascinating insight into the early years of the two major characters-Jim Kirk and Spock.
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   The opening scenes show an amazing battle in space between the Federation’s starship the USS Kelvin (featuring Kirk’s father) and a Romulan vessel commanded by Nero (Australia’s Eric Bana, Troy) during which Kirk’s father is killed while his baby son is transported to an escaping spacecraft.
   There is also an interesting introduction to Spock’s early childhood on the planet Vulcan.
   It is not too long before the young Jim Kirk (Chris Pine) follows in his father's footsteps by joining Starfleet Academy after being persuaded to do so by Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood).
   Here he meets up with his future crew and long term friends including McCoy (Karl Urban), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Sulu (John Cho), Chekov (Anton Yelchin), Scotty (Simon Pegg) and the half human, half Vulcan, Spock (Zachary Quinto).
   They are soon together on the starship USS Enterprise heading into space to stop Nero’s annihilation of Vulcan and Earth.
   There is no doubt that this Special Edition DVD of Star Trek will be one that everybody will want to own, with both discs providing a fascinating array of features including a behind the scenes look into the making of this blockbuster.
   In particular, the features To Boldly Go and a New Vision are just incredible additions, providing a bridge to the Star Trek franchise as they show the past, present and future.
   Abrams’ brilliant direction has successfully relaunched Star Trek into the new century with a cleverly crafted script, cutting edge special effects and solid performances from a group of talented actors.
   Legendary actor Leonard Nimoy provided the link between the past and the present with his appearance as Spock Prime.
   Paramount’s Special Edition DVD of Star Trek is a visual extravaganza that must rank as one of the best sci-fi adventure movies ever to be released, ensuring a multitude of new fans everywhere.
   This is a must for everyone’s home collection.
   It is no wonder that it is the highest grossing movie in the entire Star Trek franchise.
VIC'S VERDICT:       4 ½ Rubber Stamps
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