Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Star Trek Movie Thoughts

Okey, I hope I gave everyone time to see it. If not, there be spoilers, matey. Turn ye back now!

Seriously. Spoilers ahead. Giving you a chance to stop reading.

All gone? Okey.

First, I really liked the movie. The movie fan in me liked it 100%. The Trek fan in me liked it about 90%.

High points:
  1. The guy who went with Kirk and Sulu to stop the drill; what color was his uniform? That's right. Red as a Bolshevik. I love how gung-ho they made him, just to see him eat it at the first opportunity.
  2. McCoy. I think he is going to be the most underrated part of the movie, but he was dead-tap-center Bones. He had the voice, the cadence, the attitude spot-on. Seriously, watch some old Trek, then find some clips of Karl Urban as McCoy. It is fucking brilliant.
  3. Simon Peg as Scotty. It is obvious, but I think it was a great Mr. Scott.
  4. Little nods of fan-service. Once in a while, you'd see this little touch that really called back some Trek minutiae. Not heavy-handed, but it was there.

Low Points (only two, really):
  1. Why did the Vulcans send so much red matter, when it appeared so little was necessary?
  2. I thought that the destruction of the Romulan ship was unnecessarily blood-thirsty. They were going through a black hole, and dying anyway. Why blast them to bits. Maybe I am taking the destruction of Vulcan to lightly? I did feel less opposed when I re-watched Star Trek VI and saw how vengeful Kirk was toward the Klingons, but still, Star Trek is a less violent future for me.

Okey, that is all. I really hate that some Trekies don't appear to be enjoying the film. I think if they gave it a chance, and looked for all the little nuances that hearken back to the originals they would be pleased. After all, alternate universes and Star Trek are like peas and carrots.


SamuraiFrog said...

One of my blog commenters went apeshit over the fact that I dug the movie and was jokingly (in good nature, I thought) dismissive of his dislike of it. Fanboys in their sixties, ouch. Well, at least he's probably never coming back, so there's that.

It's amazing the things people will take seriously.

But I loved the movie.

iasa said...

I liked the film as well, especially McCoy.

My nine year old was bothered by Chekov's accent. He shouted out in the theater, 'Why doesn't the ships translator fix that?!'

We had to leave during Nero's interrogation Of Pike, it was too much for him after seeing Spock lose his mother and his planet. He wanted to know how the film ended, so i told him. Now I am being asked questions about time travel and wormholes constantly. of course i had to tell him 'Damnit Buju, I'm an archaeologist not a physicist.'

He rolled his eyes at me and said "ok Bones'

My baby is a geek. I am so proud.

Chad Thorson said...

I absolutely loved the new Star Trek movie! And I consider my self a bit of a Trekker.

Bones has always been my favorite character, and Carl Urban was fantastic!

The use of time travel and different times streams was brilliant (especially for the sticklers who would pick apart any discrepencies).

I like Simon Peg, but when he made his appearance on ST I felt like I was watching a parody.

Overall I thought it was a great movie, for fans of the original show and for newbies!

Darius Whiteplume said...

@SF - I guess some people can't go home again. Some Trekies are way to into minutiae to have their cheese moved. I wish they'd be more flexible, but I guess that is part of what makes them Trekies?

@iasa - I forgot about the Pike torture. I guess that could be a bit much. I cannot tell a lie, I cried a bit when Kirk the elder died. That was a rough way to start things off. Glad he enjoys Trek. It is a nice break from the bleak-future, guns-blazing sci-fi we get so much of.

@Atomic Kid - The thing that sold Peg as Scotty for me was when he said "it's like hitting a bullet, with a smaller bullet, blindfolded, while riding a horse." I don't know that I ever thought of Scotty as being smart, just being this fantastic mechanic, but how could he not be a PhD level engineer? I think the movie improved my liking for the character.

M.B. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M.B. said...

First: I am, and always have been, a hardcore original-series Trekkie. It was my second big fan thing after Dr. Who, so for me, Star Trek = the original series.

Second: I have been arguing, for quite a while now as each subsequent series was worse than the one before it, that Star Trek was in need of a reboot -- that it should be about the voyages of the Starship Enterprise, boldly going, seeking out, etc. That it should feature the iconic characters, regardless of the actors playing them, and ignoring the 40+ years of continuity forcing the franchise up its own ass.

So you have to understand that I'm pretty much pre-disposed towards LOVING this movie. Feel free to take that as an asteroid-sized grain of salt when I tell you this:

Star Trek is Back.

The movie is great, and as it ended, I wanted MORE. Right the hell now, in fact. I wanted the movie to be an hour longer. I wanted an immediate announcement of a sequel. I haven't felt so energized (excuse the pun) by Star Trek since the days of Wrath of Khan and The Search For Spock.

The casting is perfect. You know that feeling you get when the new guy playing the lead in Doctor Who first appears, and within seconds you've accepted him as The Doctor? It was like that -- for every character.

The look of the film manages to walk the tightrope between genuinely, believably futuristic while simultaneously deliciously pulpy and retro. (There are some beauty shots of the Enterprise, by the way, which rival some of the best of the movie-era stuff. Absolute catnip for ship-lovers like me.

Abrams and Co. bend over backwards for the fans, throwing in Easter Eggs (even sound effects -- the film opens with the "scanner-ping" noise from the original series), and, most brilliantly of all, rebooting a new continuity in such a way that it preserves the integrity of the original. He's nicer than I would've been -- I would've just said "Fuck it. DEAL." However, by doing it his way, he can "wipe out" 40 years of convoluted back story and have fans actually applaud him for doing it.

So yeah: Geeking out big time. I'll be seeing it again. Multiple times, probably.

Darius Whiteplume said...

I wonder how much this is like the Star Wars arguments when the prequels came out? I did not pay attention at the time, but remember a lot of "George Lucas raped my childhood" talk. I enjoy the prequels now that all the hype has died down.

@Mark - I just watched Star Trek VI, which is my favorite of the old movies, but is near 100% fan service. It was a Star Trek movie almost exclusively for fans, which was perhaps sensible as it was likely to be the last with the original cast (little did we know they'd mix it up with TNG later).

I think I am a lucky nerd, in that I don't care about story so much as I do about characters. You can redefine Batman for me, so long as the essence is intact, and I think they did that with the new movie. I particularly liked Kirk's Dad ramming the Romulan ship in the beginning. That is precisely what J.T. would have done.

Another thing for pleasing the old fans — there are numerous old episodes of Uhura and Spock having a thing for each other. I like that they did it, but showed how flawed the relationship could be.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Its like that with any great geek movie. The haters forget that there was a time when any great comic or pop culture movie we got was more miss than hit and sometimes made us embarrassed to be nerds and I say that with love to all my basement dwelling bretheren. Star Trek was great. Accessible to new fans while giving a great nod to the old ones. I have no problem with the changes to the cannon to advance the franchise. Star Trek is alive and well because of this movie. So quitcha bitchin bitches.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Oh and in a totally unrelated matter - that is the second Milla related I.D. banner that you have used recently and I can't help but approve.

Darius Whiteplume said...

If it had been an odd numbered movie I could understand the complaints. All the odd numbers sucked ;-)

There were some shitty ST:TOSs, and memory is not good, even with nerds. How many times did Bones really say, "he's dead, Jim" — it was once or twice, but it stands out (and fuck you, Dan Ackroyd).

I just might get another Mila or two out. I have a yearning to see Ultraviolet (now that was a stinker, if memory serves :-).

Unknown said...

i loved McCoy as well - that was one of the things that hit me right away. I'm not a Trekker but I picked up many of the nods to the original show in the film. I want a sequel NOW! lol

chunky B said...

Long time Trekkie and I loved this film, it's up there with Wrath of Kahn and Undiscovered Country for me.

I agree Bones and Scotty have had a breath of life breathed into them by Urban and Peg, I think I liked their portrayal more than the rest of the cast, which I thought was dead on across the board.

Darius Whiteplume said...

@chunky B - I thought I was following eclectorama, but I fear I wasn't. That has been resolved. Good to hear from you again.

Here is another one. I am glad they made Checkov a kid, pimples and high voice and all. He always was supposed to be the "Harry Kim" of the Enterprise (or vice-versa ;-), but like Harry Kim was seemingly 30 already!

I do miss his Soviet propaganda bits, "telephone, and ancient communication device created by Russian inventor..." I guess Roddenberry thought the Soviet Union would last forever :-)

chunky B said...

Darius, not a problem I just added the followers feature, glad you're aboard.

Funny you should mention Chekov and the Russian's getting the credit for everything, I was just telling my son they forgot that bit in the movie this morning, great minds think alike I guess, I think that was a Russian philosopher that once said that : )

chunky B said...

Darius, my apologies I thought I was following your blog as well, I cannot keep track. I fixed that as well.


Darius Whiteplume said...

@CB - no prob. "The fwendship deewice is wery complicated, Captain."

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