Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What the Trek?!


I went to go see Star Trek tonight, on a special DLP showing of the film. The quality was really, really good. But that's probably the only thing I really enjoyed about the experience.

And yes, I know I must be the ONLY person who was quite disappointed with the film. So strange too because I have been longing for the return of Trek since Voyager went off the air. I try to ignore the existence of Enterprise.

When I saw the very first teaser of the new Star Trek movie, I was so in awe of the epic quality of the extremely simplistic shot of the U.S.S. Enterprise. I truly thought the movie was going to bring a new and enriched story to the history of the Federation missions.

This was not the case. It was just another movie about the destruction of earth and some hot headed kids who rallied together to save the planet. Yes. Kids. Why the Federation decides to populate its starfleet with children, I don't know. You would expect someone would have to be more than 17 yrs of age to be in charge of navigating the damn Enterprise.

Character development? Hmmm. A lot of people have been saying that this film brought new life to the original TOS characters but to be honest, I found it all predictable. If you ever watched the original series or any of the original movies you'll see they brought a lot of character development out that far surpassed the shallow attempts at emotional depth this movie provided.

Yes, the characters are pretty to look at. I'll give you that. Spock never looked as delicious and McCoy would have you going to sick bay every at every little sniffle. Another major eye candy I did actually appreciate is the continual advancement in CGI. Computer graphics started its major relationship with Star Trek during the Voyager Series and continued to advance in the movies following.

I'm always awed at the careful detailing the CGI artists go through to keep enhancing the realism of the space stations and starfleets. Earth still looks ghetto as with all the Start Trek movies though. lol. I can forgive that though as the space scenes are quite breath taking.

But the entire epic quality of the original Star Trek teaser Enterprise ship was lost in this film though as it faded into the cluster of action sequences, even during the shot of it being constructed before the 3 Years Later hyper plot jump. And I have no idea why they have Engineering looking like something out of an Aliens movie. I've always admired the simple Engineering bay of the Trek Tv Series, for me it always made up for the plot driven nightmare of jeffries tubes.

Speaking of plot, what the hell happened? Oh yes, I remember. New Hollywood decided to sh1t over the last 40 f*cking yrs of Star Trek history and go full on "tabula rasa"...

First, yes, I know Star Trek has never been strict about its cannon and have deviated from original story lines in the past. This is always a given when you're dealing with space-time continuum and alternate time-line tangents. But what the movie did was to entirely erase the reality that we have known. It's like going for the "I'd wish for infinite wishes," totally base and ridiculously unoriginal thinking. A four year old could have come up with this plot.

AND...How is everyone not completely and utterly flabbergasted and disgusted with the annihilation of Vulcan? I almost threw up. They are my favorite race in the Trek series so to see their entire civilization kaboomed so a new drone of Transformer kitties can get their cheap explosions...GAH!!! Which means no Tuvok? Jeezus, there are no words to describe my utter dismay at this bastardization.

I mean sh1t, if you're gonna just start over with a new history WHY WHY WHY for the love of god did you just not do a new Trek movie and develop characters that represent the best of Trek???? I absolutely hate prequels for sci-fi. Never go backwards damnit with technology. Did all the creative Trek writers shrivel up and die or get tossed into a Bajoran wormhole? You're telling me they can't come up with new sh1t?

Even the sound production lacked depth in the film. I kept expecting the music to crescendo during wider cut scenes or to have the first warp drive send shivers down my spine with added base to the sound effects. Negative. And it's pretty sad when the soundtrack to the TV series are more epic than the movie.

Add to that the overly predictable dialogue and cliche punch lines, I felt like they dumbed the Trek right out of the franchise. All it needed was some Apple product placement to complete the look. iTrek FTL! Hell, aside from future Spock giving Scotty his equation (talk about cheating the NERD right out of him) for the first transport to a ship moving at warp speed, there was very little exciting science fiction aspects to the film.

Over all, the movie was entertaining in the same sense that all Blockbuster movies have been. But it wasn't just "a movie"...it was Star Trek. And for that, I'm truly truly saddened.


Staab said...

Wow you have summed up most of my feels thanks you. /hug
I really bugged me and the end of the film when everyone is happy and cheering and not just a few hours ago(honestly time line is far from clear traveling from Valcan to earth) you had 6 billion people DIE! Its not a moment where you high five its moment where you reflect that you did what you had to survive but we are all lessen by the events of the day. I agree its a good film on the level of the first transformer film in enjoyability but its nothing earth shaking.

Phayte said...

Good movies != Entertaining movies. Star Trek was entertaining. A Beautiful Mind is good. The difference? I would watch Star Trek again. A Beautiful Mind is boring and has 0 rewatchability. All I really want is to be entertained at the movies. Also - time travel is lazy story telling. And Star Wars > Star Trek.

Mercot said...

It’s hard to make a reasonable case on why I really enjoyed the new Star Trek, seeing as how I’m just another of the 99.9% that absolutely loved it. I loved Khan, Spock, Voyage and Undiscovered Country, and hated all of the other films for ridiculous camp factor. Loved TNG and maybe would have enjoyed DS9 if I’d given it more of a chance. Hated all of the other trek incarnations. Oddly, I don’t think I’ve seen a single episode of the Original Series.

My biggest problem with this film had to do with a happy series of coincidences that bring key characters together late in the second act. 1. For some ridiculously illogical reason, Spock decides to JETTISON Kirk from the ship, rather than simply put him in the brig. 2. Landing on at least a moon-sized / atmospheric hunk of rock, Kirk is conveniently WITH WALKING DISTANCE of a similarly marooned most legendary Vulcan of all time. 3. Both Kirk and Spock decide to walk (yes, they are still both within walking distance on a random PLANET) to a Starfleet outpost where they find – oh yes – Montgomery Scott. In the flesh. And yes, Spock totally cheats by giving Scotty the future transwarp equation. WTF.

But in all, I really, really liked it. Made me choke up, laugh, fear for the characters, and get a thrill all in one sitting. So I’d call that a win. And compared with the Trek films we’d been getting since Generations…this was a freaking transwarp grand-slam. Could have used more glamour shots of the Enterprise, though. They could make a two-hour film of just slow passes over and around that ship and I’d watch it like porn.

Jason said...

I respect your opinion but the time line of the New Star Trek is separate not the same as TOS. So Tuvok and Voyager are fine. It is a alternate yet parallel universe. They even said so in the movie.

In the term of physics this would be Tegmark's classification,M-theory, and Anthropic principle, among many.

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