Ok, so I have had a few hours to let the movie work its’ way into the subconscious and can now take a more logical approach to the new Star Trek movie…
I LOVED IT!!!! LOVE IT!!! LOVE! IT!
Now, this is not just a fan boy’s unwavering lust for things trek. Nor it is the answer to a long wait for either a new Star Trek film or for a new Star Trek launch. And it is not even a need for something new and refreshing in the world of Trek.
No, this is an appreciation for a film that is long overdue and is a fresh perspective on an iconic legend. Just like the myths of ancient Greece, the heroes (no pun intended, considering the casting) of our modern time need, from time to time, to be retold and given new life. Hercules went from having just one task (“Herc…the baby needs new loincloth diapers and goats milk. Can you marathon to the corner store and get some… Herc? Herc? HERCULES!!! PUT DOWN THAT GYRO AND GET THE STUFF!!!”) to a series of tasks. King Arthur originally had ordered a square table, but after they weren’t able to it in the castle doors, they decided to round it off and wheel it in. And Superman could only leap tall buildings in a single bound; there was no flying around….
And Kirk and Spock and crew had an early start at saving the Galaxy from threats from the beyond……
This is what the film is about- a refreshing re-launch for a new generation (or two new generations).
On a personal, emotional level, this was the film I have been waiting and wanting to see for the LONGEST time. When Trek first started, it seemed to be.. well, mellow. There were some fight scenes, but they were limited and very tame, in many respects. The action was implied more times then seen- when the ship was attacked, it was up to the actors to shake and rattle and move from one side to another side. (You know what I am talking about). Later, when the crew was thrown into the movies, they were… well, they were more mature. There wasn’t the action that there could have been… and with each new movie, things got more and more… well, it was hard to image a 60+ Shatner engaging in Hand to Hand combat with a 8 foot alien. (Or getting it on with a hottie like Iman… And don’t even mention the Uhura fan dance from Final Frontier- I still am amazed that I am straight after watching that scene). Furthermore, by the time the Next Generation got around to filming, things were getting to be very sterile in the action scenes (although I will give an exception in First Contact- I get the feeling that Patrick Stewart had a few Ben Gay evenings following filming certain action scenes….). And when the last series came around- well, it was a bit more believable that Captain Archer would be a man of action, and get the snot kicked out of him from time to time…. It was a time when things were a bit more rough and rugged, and Bakula did have a history of being more physical, hands on in his previous sci fi roles.
So then we come to this film. I will admit it- I was NOT looking forward to seeing what J.J. Abrams was going to do to my fandom. This is a guy who is known for things like Alias and Lost. (And don’t get me started on Cloverfield/ Cloverdale/CloverYourEyesThisIsABadFilm…
BOY WAS I WRONG!!!!
From the opening scenes, I was hooked. The movie starts with less of a space battle, and more of a David vs. Goliath show down- with results that one knew was going to have long term effects. Flash forward a few years, and we see the struggles of Spock and Kirk, as each one tries to define their place in the world. Later, we see the two gentlemen made a decision that would impact their lives- and bring them closer to their intertwined destinies. Meanwhile, there is a villain, which for the most part, is not one that is terribly memorable. (Nero is certainly NOT a Khan or even a Borg Queen. If anything, he is part Soren, part Ru'afo- less of a villain out to conquer the galaxy and more a man who is seeking revenge against those who have stolen the one thing in his world he loved. And as for his ship- well, it is huge and ugly and powerful- but then it sort of reflects the person in command). But then, this is a film about the start of a friendship and the coming together of a crew that would stand the test of time- again and again and again.
And as for the issue of how these events, so early in trek lore, came to be acceptable was handled nicely, in my opinion. Instead of the Trek of Shatner, this is the Trek of Pine (or should it be Abrams… need to come up with a way to distinguish between the two series…). This is a Trek where the Planet Vulcan is destroyed, and the Vulcan people are a fraction of who we are familiar with. A Trek where Starships are built on the ground, and not in space (where they are SUPPOSE TO BE BUILT!!! HELLO…..). A Trek where the things I know are to be forgotten, for the most part, and new stuff is to be learned. (I am sure that in future movies, we will see Klingons with neither smooth or ridged foreheads, but maybe no heads- makes it harder to decapitate something when there is no head to cut off- or Cardassians that are…well descended from an avian line rather than reptilian line- try pictured Dukat with feathers instead of neck-cords and a beak….).
Now, some of the more interesting highlights in the film, for me were as follows:
- Kirk and the choking- Makes me think that he has this Erotic Asphyxiation thing going on. Join Starfleet, Explore the Galaxy. Get Choked by Alien Species. (Can you image Pine being told about what would be expected of him-
well, there will be love scenes and scenes where you will be expected to buck the system. There will be aliens- both real and digital, you will have to interact with. And, oh yeah, you will get choked by almost everyone in the film… “)
- Spock- WOW- You Da MAN!!! Who would have guessed that Spock would bring passion and romance to a movie…And nice choice. Guess you have your Pon Farr partner all lined up…
- Outdoor/ Atmospheric action scenes- WOW- never would have thought a long range shot would show such detail. I DEFINITELY would have not imaged Shatner and Takei fighting aliens top a drilling platform miles above a desert floor
- THERE WAS AN ALMOST NAKED GREEN SKIN ORION WOMAN!!! (That was worth the price alone…. Loves me some Orion women)
- Product Placement- well, it is nice to see that in the future, Nokia is still providing cellular service- and that hands free is a feature on all ancient model cars. (I am almost positive that Abrams has sold his soul to the cell phone companies- I still think of Alias when I hear a certain cell phone tone)
- Winona Riker as Amanda (Spock’s mother)- I HOPE that they used makeup and such on her face, to give her that aged look. Otherwise- she has NOT aged well…
- Scotty- my new FAVORITE TOS II (yes, that is going to be my new way of dividing the TOS characters- TOS and TOS II) era character. He is more believable as an engineer… plus, he brings a humor to tense situations. (His trip through the water tanks- LMAO…). And correct me if I am wrong, but did he say he was assisting Admiral Archer and transported his dog?@!?! (If so, guess Porthos got off easy, only having alien parts transplanted into him…)
- Humor- Well, there certainly is more humor in this one than in many from the past. Sure, there are no “Oh shit” Data moments – but there are scenes that you obviously can’t help but laugh at. (Even Spock’s deadpan humor approach worked will in the film). And even the un-intentual was funny- next time you watch the movie, watch Spock’s hair as he is running through the mining ship, after Kirk- his Beatle/ Bowl cut hair flops around like out of a Doris Day comedy.
- Bones- “She got the Planet in the divorce” WOW, she must have had an AMAZING lawyer. The guy is more bitter about his divorce then I was about mine.
- Red Matter- So THAT is what happened to the Rambaldi bubble of liquid matter thingie…
- Chekov- ok, seriously, you mean to say that they are going to put a 17 year old ON THE BRIDGE CREW, IN CHARGE OF SO MUCH OF THE SHIP?!!? Sorry, as much fun as it was watching him struggle with the computer’s inability to understand his Russian accent (I would have LOVED to see him say “nuklear wessel”….), I just have trouble believing that he would not have been assigned to a minor ship duty- Waste reclamation or Stellar Cosmetology…. Yes, he would be dress up the Stars….)
- Sulu- when he says Fencing, he was obviously referring to Super Cool Futuristic Ninja Fighting moves… (BTW- if anyone is looking for Birthday/ X-mas gifts for me, I will take- the police officer’s hoverbike, Kirk’s motorcycle, Sulu’s expanding samurai sword, or the Kirk’s Orion Companion…. ). Plus, I want to award Sulu the “Those Were the Droids We Were Looking For / The Escape Pod Shows No Life Forms” Award - his forgetting to remove the ship’s inertia dampers when the fleet launches allowed the ship to have enough time to be spared the smack down the other vessels received. (If you are confused by the reference, go and watched SPACED, with Simon Pegg; there is an episode where he talks about the whole Star Wars saga being related to one person).
- Spock re-quoting the Sherlock Holmes axiom “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains is the truth”- I am one who holds onto the Wold Newton idea of Spock and Holmes being distant relatives.
- Ship Design- NOW THAT IS HOW THE ENTERPRISE SHOULD LOOK. Face it, the Enterprise is a HUGE ship- something along the scale of a aircraft carrier on steroids. The image that is has had of being all clean and compact rooms and maybe- MAYBE two or three levels of work space is wrong- it is a structure that is open and braced and made to look like a workshop… that there are steel beams that support a massive, powerful engine, there are catwalks and elevators and walkways that one has to cross to go from one place to another- and rarely can it be done in one path. And as for the bridge- ok, it does look much more modern than the one from the 60’s. (But then, my office computer looks more modern than theirs). But when compared to other shows, it almost outclasses them… But that might be part of the whole Alternative Timeline issue again... Although there is one thing that bothers me- why would the sudden release of a minor water control system justify the sudden attention of a ship’s bridge crew, in particular, the captain?!?! (“Captain, the vermin capture sensors have been activated. Pulling up video on the screen… captain, I do believe we have captured a tribble…”). You would think that there are a lone hierarchy of systems that would be notified of this issue before coming to the captain’s attention. Warp Core breach- Yes. Transport malfunction- Definitely. Clog in the Chicken Soup Dispenser- no, not an issue for the captain…
Ok, so those are some of the things that I enjoyed about the film. But I do have one thing that has been bothering me since the film- AGE!!! I realize that this is the future- and as such, things are a bit different. Furthermore, with the advances in the 250+ years from today’s time, I am sure that people have a chance to learn more and do more at an early age. And sure, kids will be kids and steal their step-father’s car in their youth and take it for drive (I think I was the only one in the theater who saw the impending doom for the convertible top- I even winced when it happened. I ended up going out to my car and promising her that I would never let a Federation legend drive her at a young age….). And sure, I can even image, during a crisis, the need to recruit an academy full of cadets to help out on unmanned starships- but GIVING KIRK A SHIP AND CREW AT SUCH A YOUNG AGE?!?!?! WTF?!?!? The line in the movie “graduate in 4 years, get your own ship in 8”- well I could image that- provided the ship was a smaller, workhorse of a ship (cargo transport; border patrol; ambassador escort ship; TOS II version of SCE/COE), but a Flagship like the Enterprise- sorry, but it takes a BIG leap of faith for me to accept a 20something being given a ship like this- and having it crewed by a group of nearly graduated/ graduated cadets. (About the only “veteran” on the ship is Spock and Scotty). About the ONLY reason I can see for some justification for this is that the number of ships lost during the attack on Nero’s ship might- MIGHT- have put a drain on the pool of available officers and crewmen- but you would think that a more SENIOR officer would want/ need to be put in charge of the ship…
Anyway, there you have it. My thoughts, feelings, and ideas about the new Star Trek movie. Am I a fan- DEFINITELY. Was I entertained- Without a Doubt. Will I see it again- well, I am already jonesing for another viewing this weekend. But now, I am also needing more adventures- something to tied me over until the next movie comes out. (I am already thinking that hopefully, in the near future, there is going to be a series of books based on this movie… HINT HINT HINT!!!).
(cross posted to MySpace, Livejournal, and Facebook)
- Current Location:My Bed
- Current Mood: geeky
- Current Music:The Stand VHS set