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On Star Trek

2009-05-09

Category: movies

I saw the new Star Trek movie, though I kept my expectations low. The film lived up to most of its potential. Here's the link to the web site, but it is extremely annoying and there is no easy way to turn off the sound. The design obviously involved a lot of morons.

The story runs fairly cohesive and entertaining. Few things clash with material from the original series, except for maybe a missing planet or so. The characters come together in acceptable ways and are motivated fairly well.

One of the big questions was how well the new cast would fit into the roles of the old cast. They surprised me greatly. The new guys did a good job of being young punk versions of the characters. Zachery Quinto performed excellently as Spock. Karl Urban fit into Dr. McCoy's shoes just fine. Chris Pine played a little too much of the punk, but he still did ok. Of course, with Winona Ryder in the role, Spock's Mom had it going on.

Topping my list of highlights: Simon Pegg as Scotty. They really needed to find more ways to include him. He was both a good Scotty and a good Simon Pegg. If they make a sequel to this flick they need to find more screen time for this boy.

The good news is that they gave Iowa plenty of screen time. Captain Kirk is from Riverside, Iowa, of course. In the film, this little town is the home of the Riverside Shipyards where star ships are built. Today, it just has a casino and the annual Trek Fest. The movie depicted a rather large canyon in Iowa, but I'm sure we can get that patched right up in no time.

Now we move to the bad part. I'm sure the visuals would have been stunning, if they left the camera on any of them long enough to be seen. That's right; they used shaky-cam, the mark of the true amateur.

It reminds me of a similar problem found in writing. New writers experience hardship learning that writing has to be better than reality or it won't seem real to the audience. The movie makers have gone overboard in the opposite direction to introduce excessive realism and they do this by making images jump around as though the viewer is there. In this movie, even computer generated images jump around too much, and that takes conscious effort.

They think they are adding to the experience by making it more real. Nobody goes to the movies for reality. It needs to be better than real. If all you are doing is trying to cause epileptic seizures, maybe entertainment isn't your best career option.

The sets concerned me also. Bright lights and shiny surfaces decorated the decks of the Enterprise. It takes away from the idea of going back to an earlier aspect of Roddenberry's universe. They disappointed me a bit.

Over all, I enjoyed the flick. I recommend it, if nothing else than to see the portrayals of Spock and Scotty.


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