Re: Vin Diesel
Actually I was really annoyed by the new Trek movie because it was such a lost opportunity: you have a decent cast, good filmmaking team, and great intellectual property and they wasted it telling Yet Another Save The Universe With Lots Of Explosions movie.
How many times do we have to watch Kirk and friends save the earth? BORING! This was an awesome opportunity to tell some great junior officer stories. You ask any crusty old Colonel or Admiral about their career and they will tell you about their character-building experiences when they were a lieutenant or ensign with a gleam in their eye and a smile on their face. Junior officer stories are good stories--there's a pilot maxim, more true every day I live, that "good judgement comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgement". You get good character-building stories when people make mistakes and learn from them (see the first Spider-Man movie for a good 'junior officer' story; with great power comes great responsibility). But in the new ST movie, Kirk never makes a mistake and never learns a single thing--he's a weenie from beginning to end, and they give him command of a starship for it. Bah. Entertaining movie, but could have been so much more.
I'm still hoping Vin Diesel gets better writing. I absolutely loved him in Pitch Black (a great "early movie" for a bunch of folks), and found him tolerably fun in Riddick (so much cheese in that movie I wanted chips to go with it), and while it wasn't a "Vin Diesel Movie", I did quite like Iron Giant. Vin is a great "well made B-movie actor" and has a lot of fun with it.