Elf M. Sternberg (elfs) wrote,
Elf M. Sternberg

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Thursday: Star Trek, no spoilers

Thursday evening, omahas, lisakit, and I all went to see the new Star Trek film. The crowd that showed up had all the energy you'd expect of an opening night crowd at a Star Trek film, with many people showing in TOS costumes, and more bizarre t-shirts than you can shake a tribble at. At one point, a fellow I've met only a few times pulled me aside and said, "You're Elf, aren't you?" When I said yes, he said, "Look, my partner and I are thinking about starting a family, and you're one of the few people who's both in an open relationship and raising kids, can I talk to you about how that works?" I said sure, but later: the movie was about to begin. Saw the very lovely tonyawinter, and ran into more people from Amazon and other projects around the Puget Sound. We all exchanged info on what we were doing and could do, just looking for that job opening we each needed.

The movie was... okay. It was big and noisy and I liked the way it played many of the homages, as well as trying to keep the personalities of the main characters intact. On the other hand, it really tosses overboard much of the "dream big" lessons of Star Trek that Newsweek pimped last week: this was a JJ Abrams extravaganza, which like a Michael Bay extravaganza is more roller coaster ride than intellectual exercise. This was not a film with ethical qualms of any kind, and since Star Trek was always about ethical issues this film is just a "WWII Atlantic Theater in space" movie the way Star Wars is a "WWII Pacific Theater in space" movie.

But the sets are pretty, the actors prettier, and it moves along at a "brisk pace," as reviewers often say, with Kirk gleefully banging an Orion Starfleet Cadet, there's a very nifty "parachute from orbit" scene that makes me envious of big screen producers, and both McCoy and Scotty are a total blast.

The biggest problem is simple: the triune of Kirk-McCoy-Spock is missing. Those three really drove a lot of the original show, with McCoy clearly the voice of moral authority and Spock the voice of restraint, and Kirk often breaking the tie or finding the right compromise. It's just not Star Trek without that, and I don't think you can create that in 120 minutes. It takes a TV series. And these guys aren't going back to the small screen after this, which is why I don't think this is really "Star Trek" as we know it.
Tags: movie, review

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