Tuesday, May 19, 2009

That Was Satisfying

I jumped the gun on my family today, and went to see the new Star Trek movie. Rob was not all that interested in seeing it in the theater and was waiting until his father got it on video (as he inevitably will), while Dad W. desperately wants to see the movie - preferably with P (the previously temporary neighbor), but with me if P is not available.

Perhaps because my days of Trekkie-hood stem from high school and before I met Rob, let alone his father, I really wanted to savor the movie by myself first, though. I kept intending to see it last week, but the kids were sick in sequence (they're fine now), and movie-going just wasn't happening. So this morning I played hooky on my organ practice and went off to see the earliest Trek showing.

The movie has it's faults, and I'm not blind to them. Nonetheless, it was a very satisfying Trek experience. They captured the flavor of the original series (TOS) extremely well. Sure, there were plot holes and some very transparent techno-babble, but heck, TOS frequently had plot holes you could drive whole fleets through, and the term "techno-babble" largely originated with TOS, where the writers would simply write what they needed to have happen, and the actors would insert whatever sciency-sounding gobbledygook would sound good.

(spoilerish stuff ahead) One of the things I'm finding amusing is that the Mark 2 history for James T. Kirk actually fits with the behavior of Captain Kirk in TOS better than the official history of Captain Kirk in the Mark 1 universe. Captain Kirk TOS, was very much a maverick, feeling free to ignore orders and directives pretty much at his whim, though he was good enough at pulling it off to get away with it. Yet the Mark 1 history for Captain Kirk shows him as a pretty conventional kid - entered Star Fleet Academy at normal times, and with a few exceptions (Kobiyashi Maru, anyone?), having a stellar, yet not particularly mavericky career as a student. The Mark 2 universe makes Kirk much more of a rebel from the get-go, and one who makes Captain by breaking practically every rule Star Fleet ever wrote (in his first three days in space, no less), but making it pay off in a big way. A Captain who gains his place by making those sorts of gambles in the first place is much more likely to continue to make them later in his career, than one who was promoted up through the ranks in more normal fashion - however fast he managed it.

A minor kudo to the make-up people for the movie. It's darned refreshing to see people who get beat up in a movie still sporting bruises, cuts, and black eyes 2-3 days later in the movie time-frame. This movie didn't suffer from the Kevin Costner effect, wherein all damage inflicted is magically removed by the next scene - so named for the Kevin Costner Robin Hood movie, wherein three seconds after a dunking him in a river, dear Mr. Hood's hair is dry and styled.

All-in-all, if you liked TOS, and aren't either so wedded to it that you find the making of a reboot an offense, or such a fan of the offshoots like DS9, that you're annoyed they'd waste time on a TOS reboot, this is probably worth watching. I was smiling for the rest of the afternoon - and I'll go watch it again when Dad W. goes without the least problem.


Becky said...

I didn't read the whole post, since I haven't seen it yet, but I'm glad it's getting another good review. So far, I haven't found anyone who doesn't like it.

wh44 said...

I second Becky: now I have to go see it. Problem is, it is no longer showing in English where I live. :-(

wh44 said...

Well, I went and saw it in German anyway. DW went with me, kind of "okay, if you're going I'll go, too". But afterwards, she said she wants to see it again. :-)