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08 May 2009 @ 03:48 pm
Star Trek  
Adding my Star Trek loving here.

I mean, seriously, I'm not a Trekkie, and I can't remember much about the actual plots of any of the episodes I've seen, but I'm familiar enough with the characters and I guess enough of a fan that I had kind of a kid-crush on Walter Koenig (I KNOW!) way back when, when I first watched it in syndication as a kid; n.b., in syndication.

Oh, and I have to admit that I got downright chills down my spine in the movie when they first flashed over the Enterprise's...um...hull? See, so not a Trekkie.

But, all that said, I thought that the movie was very engaging, if a bitty bit slow to take off (though, I suppose, kind of necessary to set up the plot and paid off by the end). It was equal parts character driven and plot driven, funny sequences and action sequences and edge-of-your-seat action and funny-while-in-action (which is a lot of parts and makes no sense, but hey, hey what can I say?).

I kind of loved how they found a way to do an origin story that very much has a loophole built in to escape a crush of Trekkies pounding at the doors of the studio demanding a re-write, because there’s a discrepancy in the story as told on screen here and what could clearly be lipread coming from an extra in the background of scene 15 in S2:E4...in Klingon, of course.

I mean, once they blew up the ship with Kirk’s dad on it (or actually, even before, when the ship with Spock and the one with Nero on it came back through time), they changed history from that day forward and you can certainly use the butterfly effect to argue that it changed it for everyone, everywhere (oy, and now I'm thinking about The Terminator again and time travel and it's all making my head hurt). Yet, they could still keep true to the characters’ basic natures. Which? As far as I could tell, from as little as I remember, they did (see, there's my loophole, I should totally write for JJ Abrams).

I don’t think that I knew much about the original Uhura, except the infamous first interracial kiss on television, but I guess that it was kind of inevitable that as a hot woman and the only woman focused in upon, she’d be the object of a romantic rivalry (though Spock was a bit of a surprise and she never, ever took Kirk seriously). She was my one disappointment, because she didn't seem to do much (okay a bit of translation), except reject Kirk's advances and pine after Spock. I dunno, maybe she didn't do much in the original, either, but it seemed a waste of the one notable woman crew member.

17-year-old Chekov (17!) with his horrible accent. Yes, I know Yeltsin (Hey, Kyle Reese!) was born in Leningrad and is well-familiar with a Russian accent, but did he have to do the whole Koenig switch the “v’s” with “w’s”? I found it a bit distracting. Now, because I’m not that bright, was the whole thing with Chekov running down the hallway to lock in on the tough folk for to beam up a shout-out to the age thing and the fact that a teen, and a geek teen especially, would of course excel at such a quasi-video control situation, or was it just him showing competence and confidence at such a young age for to help set up how he could possibly get such a position on the crew, or some other reason that I'm too dim to have realized all by my lonesome?

Scotty, as the comic relief. Heh, I’d totally forgotten that he was missing from the equation till he showed up and my absolute favorite line of the whole movie was his little alien dude piping up with the “me,” when he asked if Kirk and Spock had ever seen anyone else in his deplorable situation. Well that and Spock demanding that Kirk get out of the captain’s chair. Oh, and, and, Pike asking Sulu if he left the parking brake on.

John Cho as Sulu. Hey, Harold! Where's Kumar? Oh, yeah, that White House gig. Cho, though (poet!) is way better lookign than Takei and also Korean, not Japanese, but whatever.

Bones, who was apparently born a curmudgeon. Okay, I also loved the injected illness and multitude of remedies and the shock and glaring from Kirk and how they bonded almost instantly, while also were inevitably a little clashy, being so ridiculously different.

Spock! Enough said, since I really don't think that I can put many coherent thoughts to words that'll mean much, besides how much I loved seeing the friendship between Kirk and he develop. All, of course, with the gentle guiding hand of awesome OldSpock.

And, last, but certainly not least, Kirk! I have read NOTHING about fan reaction and especially Trekkie reaction, so I'm sure that there are one kajilliony-fifteen reasons why he suuccckkkked, probably with flow charts and algorithms to back them up.

BUT: I really liked the actor who played him. He reminded me a lot of, ahem (sacrilege, I know) Ben Browder and Crichton from Farscape. I mean, after all it was ultimately the tale of a reluctant hero with extreme daddy issues, equal parts badass and wiseass, willing and eager to mack on alien chicks, you know? Though Kirk certainly started off a lot more badass than Crichton.

The nemesis was worthy, the plot engaging and every time I thought they lost me with some of the space/battle stuff they kind of drew me right back into understanding, a lot of because what happened in the beginning and the future being tied into the present (well, as present as Star Trek time can be considered), but it did all finally make sense and I'm known for getting easily lost in a Pixar movie.

ANYWAY, and hee that it kind of looked a bit like kids playing dress up half of the time, but I really liked how they came up with a semi-plausible way to assemble this particular Enterprise crew and keep it entirely entertaining while doing so.

As I said, this isn’t all that thinky…just a general first impression and I’m sure that a lot more things will pop up as more people see the movie and post about it, much, much more deeply than I, but I kind of wanted to write an initial reaction before reading anyone else's and also to state that so far as I’m as I’m concerned, as a summer popcorn movie? Star Trek FTW!

(no, if you hate it, I will not give you your money back)
finleefinlee on May 8th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
Dude, did you watch Chips growing up? The actor who played Sargent Getraer (Robert Pine) is the father of the guy who plays Kirk!
cianconnellcianconnell on May 9th, 2009 01:39 am (UTC)
Did I watch CHiPs? Are you frigging kidding me? Heh, true story, I used to roller skate (not blade, skate), shooting the duck and pulling out all my other sweet moves, like, you know, the full crossover and skating backwards nonstop, hoping...nay, sure that some casting director would spot me and need me as, you know, the sassy kid who totally bolts from the guys, jumping a fence or whatever to get away on skates (heh, wasn't that in like...every other episode?).

You know, in front of my house. In Chevy Chase, Maryland. Oy!

Aw, the Sarge. He was like the pappa Bear (oh, wait, Bear...I forgot about him, but I had a total crush on him, too).

blossom with an attitudemiss_begonia on May 8th, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC)
I really dug the movie too, as a fellow non-Trekkie. I thought it struck a good balance between being a movie geeky enough for Trekkies to actually enjoy and also being a movie that people can watch and understand who don't know much about the franchise. I mean, at this point, Star Trek is a 40-year-old + franchise, right? It could use a little bit of shaking up, and I think they did that here (it was a lot more VIOLENT than I thought it would be, for one thing - I feel like if you didn't like the dude who played Kirk, you at least got to see him get his ass kicked like 62 times).

I agree about Uhura - I wanted her to be more interesting. Idk, maybe in the sequels (which they are all already signed on to do)?
cianconnellcianconnell on May 9th, 2009 01:45 am (UTC)
I'm terrified of Trekkies, but I hope that it struck the balance. I agree that it's totally something where you don't need to know a thing about any of the characters and still find it entirely enjoyable, but the enjoyment may be ramped up just a tad by actually knowing the character's defining quirks and such.

Oooh, sequels. I did not know this, but it makes me very, very happy, so long as the same team is all involved. Hopefully Uhura will get something to do. I mean, I know her job isn't entirely exciting in and of itself, but she could totally be THE ONE to get them out of a jam using her mad translating skills. Or, um, something. I totally take back my comment that I should write with the team.

Hey, hey, hey, you shopping your book, yet?
arualms on May 8th, 2009 09:52 pm (UTC)
Well I am only a semi-trekky, in the sense that I watched TNG, DS9 and Voyager but only some of thee original series, and never went to a Con or otherwise reached the level of obsession that is necessary to be a real trekky. And I have not seen the new movie yet.

But regarding Uhura, I know that she never really got to do all that much on the original series either. I know that, while the series is often praised for having one of the first 8if not even the very first) female afro-amarican cast members who was not a maid, there are also a lot of people who complained that her job was basically to answer the phone. Make of that what you want.

(oh, I do also know that as a kid, Woopie Goldberg was such a fan of Nichole Nichols that she later asked for (and was written) a recurring special guest star role on TNG.

Ok, so maybe I am a little bit of a trekky.
cianconnellcianconnell on May 9th, 2009 01:48 am (UTC)
Dude, you're a Trekkie, just not I guess of the really old cheese.

I was kind of thinking the same about Uhura, but really wish that they'd break the old form. Afterall the whole premise was to shake up the characterizations at least a bit, so it would have been a perfect excuse to spice up her character, so the whole thing wasn't too old boys' club--er, new boys' club, I s'pose.
arualms on May 9th, 2009 09:58 am (UTC)
I blame my cousin for my trekky-ness. I grew up in with the firm believe that everything he did was cool and everything he liked, I wanted to like too. So I played knights and cowboys and built forts in the woods instead of playing princes and decorating a dollhouse. And I started watching Star Trek. That one somehow ended up lasting a lot longer than the otheer stuff.

I think this movie would have been a great chance for them to show more of Uhura as a capable officer. I mean, just because the original series never showed her doing all that much, doesn't mean she didn't have other duties and skills, right? She was a bridge officer, after all.

But I will wait until I have actually seen the movie to pass judgement. I know that I really liked the actress who plays her in this movie back when she was in Center Stage. (Yes, I did some very girly things despite the general appeal of "boy's games". Dance classes from 4 years on was one of them.)
cianconnellcianconnell on May 9th, 2009 03:51 pm (UTC)
I think you'll enjoy it, especially since they really do try to do homage to the characters without making fun of them and there are geeky references that Trekkies will get that'll pass over the heads of the non (but not in an annoying way).

It's funny, too, and again not in a way that mocks the OS, but in an organic way.

missbegonia says that they've already signed for sequels, so maybe they'll give Uhura something to do then. At least one can hope.
Sister Roserose_in_texas on May 9th, 2009 03:12 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed it.
cianconnellcianconnell on May 9th, 2009 03:48 pm (UTC)
Me too!
MiniOrrminiglik on May 9th, 2009 05:20 am (UTC)
This will only be (possibly?) funny to you if you've had to suffer through Little Einstiens, but J and I came out kind of mocking the movie. I enjoyed it more than him, mostly for how they made Kirk WAY more likeable than OS Kirk (who was an arrogant shit without all the "issues" and reasons for authority hatred) and Quinto, who I'm not really a fan of, was really great.

But... really? Did they ALL have to be 17-25 yr old geniuses?

So, uh, J and I are started singling Little Einsteins, and saying "Mr. Sulu, "Blast Off!"" and "Damn it June! I'm a singer, not a physicists."' And "But, Captain, isn't patting power an illogical energy source?"
MiniOrrminiglik on May 9th, 2009 06:01 am (UTC)
Oh, and I said this (too) in my Star Trek entry, but I think the kid who played Kirk was very young Marlon Brando-esque. Which is actually incredibly hard to pull off. So many young actors try it and fail miserably, but he sold it.
cianconnellcianconnell on May 9th, 2009 03:45 pm (UTC)
I went in totally expecting to hate Kirk on principle alone. I actually thought when they first showed the dude playing George Kirk that he was JT and was happy that he wasn't dreamy. And the teeny Kirk was annoying (the kid, not the baby heh), so all was well. But then we met Chris Pine and he's full of the bravado even in the face of knowing he's going to get his ass kicked, which he then does (multiple times) and I'm a gonner, because I really think I want to like him, despite who he's playing. And I did. Because this Kirk rocked. I'd feel kiind of sad for the douche he'll become, but this is so totally different timeline and he'll always have his angsty daddy issues, so...he'll grow into a much less douchy Kirk.

I'm actually looking forward to the sequels. I guess if they had known that they were getting sequels in the beginning, they could have moved slower with the Baby Einsteins, but for a one-off, eh...it did it for me. Not deep or thinking by any means, but I didn't want deep or thinky. I wanted fun, funny and a tip-o-the hat to the OS with a new spin. And, after all, it is all about me.
MiniOrrminiglik on May 9th, 2009 03:51 pm (UTC)
I think my little bit of negativity is mostly because I'm a bit nonplussed at the 96% on the tomatometer. It was a leeetle bit too Michael Bayish for me.

I kinda want to see it again though. Because Chris Pine was hot like whoa. I too went in not impressed, and I feel like of like a schmuck for thinking ANYONE playing Kirk is hot. It's like, I don't know, thinking Fabio is hot or something. Like, no. BUT HE IS. And my hormones are demanding a rewatch.

http://miniglik.livejournal.com/215929.html?thread=3641977#t3641977 Me kind of going on on WHY he's hot.

cianconnellcianconnell on May 9th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC)
Did they ALL have to be 17-25 yr old geniuses?

I know! And I really did kind of think that they kind of looked like little kids playing dress up a lot of the time, but I'm willing to give it a pass for the sake of the story they were trying to tell.

I mean, in the OS, the age differences weren't all that much and if they're going to make Kirk a whipper-snapper, they kind of all have to be and, though it's probably a lot more likely that the crew was assembled bit by bit, rather all at once, for the sake of the fans (or me, at least), it was fun having all of the puzzle pieces slide into places at the Enterprise's controls, as improbable as it all seemed within the framework of the movie.

At least they didn't do it seemlessly (see Sulu not being able to make the jump into hyperdrive and Chekov not being able to lock in on Spock's mom as the cliff crumbled beneath her) and I think that they at least tried to come up with a reason why this group of Baby Einsteins (we don't watch, the older kid is in the Bakyugon stage and the younger only watches sports, because he's a ballhead) were all in charge of the wessle in shuttling the entire Starfleet Academy out to take control of the Starfleet when the crisis arose in the middle of the disciplinary hearing and in assigning the best and the brightest of the kids to the Enterprise (because, why, I guess, split up the talent among the rest of the fleet?).

Realistically (but this is Star Trek), I suppose there could have been more learning on the job mistakes, but for the sake of the ending, these kids had to land at their rightful positions in control of the Enterprise by the end of the film and to do that, their overall competence (and how each excelled individually in their own capacity) had to be shown.

Hey, at least Bones was a bit older, or I assume, since he's had enough time to graduate medical school, marry and establish enough of a practice that his wife could take their whole planet in a divorce.

So, yeah, there was a definite eyeroll at the ages, but all-in-all, I haven't enjoyed a summer action picture as much as this one in a really long time.

I also liked that they managed to make it really quite funny, without resorting to mocking or spoofing the original characters in any sort of a mean-spirited way.
Jer: HappyBoy - Steve Sandvoss (from B'Lane)lugonn on May 23rd, 2009 03:55 am (UTC)
Regarding Chekov running to the transporter console. Here's how I read it as I watched. Chekov stressed that he would be able to get "a lock" on them. As weapon's officer he (presumably) learned some tricks on how to get a sensor lock onto moving objects in order to better target them with weapons, but he knew (or realized) that the same techniques would apply to getting a sensor lock on moving targets for the purpose of transporting them so he ran down to help.

Korean playing Sulu - this was discussed and Takei endorsed Korean Cho: "Abrams was concerned about casting a Korean-American as a Japanese-American character, but George Takei explained to the director that Sulu was meant to represent all of Asia on the Enterprise, so Abrams went ahead with Cho."

It's funny that you were disappointed in how underused Uhura was because I was impressed at how much more important and knowledgeable they made her compared to the original series where she was little more than the receptionist. I also loved how she shot down Kirk time after time because she saw right through him.
cianconnellcianconnell on May 23rd, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
Okay, and yes, that makes a lot of sense as far as the Chekov scene goes, so I'll go with that.

I didn't know about the Korean/Japanese thing. It's kind of sad that "token Asian" flies, though. Heh, though one of my best friends from college (and bridesmaid) is a first generation American-born Chinese from Richmond, VA, where the only Asians she knew were in her own family. She had three catagories for people in life, Black, White and Chinese. I was constantly correcting her that our other friend Sharon (another bridesmaid of mine) was, in fact, Korean, not Chinese.

And...Cho's cute, so I'm down with that.

Knowing that there are sequels, I hope that Uhura is better utilized. I've seen it three times now and I really don't think she was used well (there was the intercepted com at the beginning, her taking over the other dude's place at translator, but the rest was warding off Kirk, pining on Spock, which is kinda shite IMO...yes, she was little more in the original, but we've come a long way baby, from the 60s and if everyone else can keep their character, but also be way changed from the original, I think she ought to have been able to do the same as well...and, yes, the Kirk/her stuff was comic gold, but they could have kept that, and also given her a more pivital role, IMO).