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Monday, May 11, 2009

Wherein I gush about the Star Trek Movie

Not only did I love the Star Trek movie -- it turns out to be the perfect Mother's Day film! Who knew it was all about mothers? Well, sorta.

I absolutely loved the way they captured the characters but turned them up to 11. It was them -- the people who have been so central to my imagination for something like three and a half decades -- just more intense and complex. But the added intensity fits with the way I've been imagining them all along. You know what I mean -- the way we fill in the blanks by inferring so much from whatever characterization we see onscreen. It all somehow worked and didn't hit any sour notes for me. 

WARNING: Spoilers beyond

Kirk was true to the original, right down to the womanizing and the arrogance, but with enough real courage and intelligence to back it up so that you admire him. That was especially important to me, because Kirk has always been the person I wanted to be, and it always bothers me a little when he's ridiculed. (I am a bit miffed on behalf of Kirk's mother, who obviously put up with a lot of shit from that kid, but who never got to appear in the movie again after the opening sequence.)

Spock worked just as well, though I have to say that I kept thinking that the makeup made him look a bit like Ben Stiller. (It didn't help that they showed the
Night at the Museum sequel trailer before the movie.) And I'm getting behind Spock/Uhura 100 percent, even if I did cringe just a little at the scene in the lift when she asked him to tell her what he needs. Just a wee bit over the top, that, but never mind. Hot is hot.

Uhura essentially got
Enterprise character Hoshi's job description. It was always really odd that "communications officer" was a more complex, skilled job on a series set a century before TOS, but of course they were fixing the obvious lameness of Uhura's gig. Now Uhura is what she should have been from the start.

Great love for McCoy, whose pessimism balances the trio so well. Probably my major complaint about the movie is that there wasn't enough of him in it.

And, oh, Leonard Nimoy. Love. (And wasn't it brilliant the way they aged his ears to match his face?)

As for the story, it kept rolling along just fine, and yeah, I don't really get some of it: I'm not at all sure what red matter is supposed to be, or why all those cadets ran off to serve on starships (didn't they already have crews?), or why creating a singularity within our solar system isn't a really big problem, or whether both timelines still exist and how old Spock's disappearance from the other one might affect it, get the idea. But it's all good.

As for what is and what isn't canon -- I guess I'm the typical female fan who's far more concerned about continuity of character than about continuity of plot. If the characters feel wrong, no amount of accuracy in detail will salvage the thing for me; if the characters feel right, I'm content to shrug off other problems. In this case, I'm perfectly happy to roll with the alternate-reality premise, because it feels right. 

And besides, they did an amazing job of incorporating all these little details that echoed the original, even if they are somewhat different: "I have been and always shall be your friend;" Sulu and his fencing; the hairstyles and miniskirts; Scotty yelling about giving it everything she's got; Pike in a wheelchair; the Kobayashi Maru; etc etc.

Also, it was wonderful sharing this movie with my sons, who loved it and now want to see more Star Trek. Sadly, my daughter wasn't interested in the least. Oh, well. IDIC. (Though I'm still hoping that her inner sci fi geek will emerge eventually...)

Oh, and we went out for a delicious Malaysian dinner after. The perfect Mother's Day.

I plan to see the movie again, by myself, no distractions. I'm going to enjoy that a lot.