Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Star Trek

I’ve been a fan of Star Trek since I was about four years old. Granted, I had no idea what the hell was going on, can barely remember which episodes I watched and for some reason was afraid that Worf was going to come through the screen and kill me (again, I was four years old and had no idea that underneath all that makeup was just Michael Dorn).

I grew up on Star Trek: The Next Generation while my father’s generation and those before him grew up loving The Original Series. And after TNG ended, I followed all the other shows in the franchise very closely...except for Star Trek: Enterprise. I knew Enterprise would suck from the moment it was announced. Prequels suck with the exception to the Star Wars prequels though 10 years after being released I see that they are not quite the masterpieces I saw them to be when I was 12.

But perhaps I’m being unfair. The premise of Enterprise was certainly interesting, exploring a time before Captain Kirk where Starfleet has only one ship and at the moment, there is no Federation. What hurt Enterprise was bad writing, bad dialogue, scenes that were meant to draw in the Baywatch audience and the fact that a pair of breasts got more character development than both the tactical and communications officers.

It was lucky to last four seasons before the people at Paramount got the message and decomissioned Enterprise and the Star Trek franchise in whole.

And as a fan, I thought that was a good idea. Since 1976 (When Star Trek: The Motion Picture was released) up until the time Enterprise was cancelled there had been 10 movies, four new series, thousands of action figures, comics and paperbacks all bearing the Star Trek name. It was time for the franchise to go into hibernation and come back in maybe another decade or more and capture the imagination of pop culture.

So you can imagine my disapointment when it was announced that there was going to be another Star Trek movie and it was going to be a prequel that examined the early days of Captain Kirk, Spock and how they became the crew we’ve known for so long.

You can also imagine my fury when it was announced that Matt Damon was being considered for the part of James Tiberius Kirk. Now, clearly William Shatner is by no means a great actor. However, one thing to his credit is that he never made Captain Kirk look like a pussy. Matt Damon (I don’t care how many Boune movies he does) is a pussy.

Which goes back to the thing that really pissed me off about this. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, all the rest of them are icons. When someone can’t think of Leonard Nimoy’s name they say, “That guy who played Spock.” Like it or not, when people see these actors in real life, that’s who they identify them with. You wouldn’t have Han Solo played by that kid from Two and a Half Men if they remade Star Wars (By simply typing that I fear George Lucas might be reading this and considering the possibility) and you wouldn’t have Dakota Fanning play Ripley in a remake of Aliens. Sorry, but that’s the way my mind works.

The trailers didn’t do much to help keep me from being nervous. Hearing people say, “I’ve never watched Star Trek before but this looks cool!” made me cringe. Idiot, if you’ve never watched Star Trek, watch Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Granted you might have to watch the Original Series episode Space Seed to fully understand who Khan is and while the 60’s episode might seem laughable at times (Listen to how 1960’s writers viewed the future of 1996) it is a great prologue to an even better movie. Also, aside from letting me know that it was a prequel (No shit, Scotty!), I had no idea what the plot was about. All I got were half a second flashes of random scenes that go by so quick it almost put me in a seizure.

I didn’t go see it in theatres because I was afraid of what might appear on that screen. However after months of putting it off I decided that I would sit down alone at watch it from beginning to end (Another one of Aaron’s illegally downloaded films).

I literally stopped the movie 12 minutes in because of how pissed I was.

Now granted, before seemed interesting in an OK sort of way. Romulan ship comes through temporal hole, fights Federation starship, starship goes boom, James Kirk is born yadda yadda.

However, what got me to stop this film was the scene when a young Kirk is driving a stolen car and all of a sudden we see that Kirk is on a 23rd century equivilant of a Nokia phone...complete with Nokia logo.

What . The. Fuck?

Now, maybe I’m making a big deal out of nothing but the one thing you never saw on any Trek episode or movie (Even the one where they went back to Earth in the year 1986) was product placement. It just seems so out of place especially since Star Trek sometimes has the habbit of lecturing us on the evils of greed and how humans of today are very much like how the Ferengi of the 24th century are.
I got the same sort of reaction when Uhura ordered a Budweiser in the bar scene.

Going back to the car scene: What did any of that have to do with anything!? Kirk steals a car, drives towards the edge of a canyon like a retard and then jumps out only to be confronted by Robocop. Was this to show us that Kirk is rebellious? Who cares!

I’m not going to get into continuity problems too much cause someone could argue that it was already addressed by Spock in the film. What I will do is go over the characters and give you my thoughts on them.

JAMES T KIRK played by Chris Pine-Did his best. Hard to look like a young William Shatner but he pulled it off well. At least he wasn’t Matt Damon

SPOCK played by Zachary Quinto-Really liked how he did Spock. There were times where he looked and sounded exactly like Leonard Nimoy. Great bit of casting. However what the hell was with him and Uhura? Seriously, you have this Vulcan who is supposed to be in control of his emotions and yet we see him making out with Uhura on the transporter pad. Didn’t care for that.

LEONARD McCOY played by Karl Urban-I think this was even better casting than Quinto as Spock. Really gave the air like he was De Kelly from TOS.

UHURA played by Zoe Saldana-What’s up with the Spock humping? You can be upset that he’s lost his homeworld and his mom but face it, he’s emotionless (Unless you call his mom a whore) and won’t set that phaser in his pants to “screw” if you want to offer some pity sex.

MONTGOMERY “SCOTTY” SCOTT played by Simon Pegg-I have a feeling that the writers of the script were just about to finish this screenplay when someone screamed, “Fuck, we forgot about Scotty!” By the way, isn’t it great how Spock was able to remember that formula for trans-warp transporting or whatever it was. Why the hell hadn’t we seen this any sooner in any other episode when it was convenient...though my guess is that Scotty from the future probably made the formula just a few days before future Spock went into the past.

HIKARU SULU played by John Cho-Did a good job. Kept expecting Kal Penn to relieve him at the helm but it never happened.

PAVEL CHEKOV played by Sacha Baron Cohen-Apparently after great success in comedy mockumentary genre, the Brittish comedian decided to lend his voice to...wait I’m sorry. Chekov is played by Anton Yelchin who I think might have watched more Borat than Star Trek to prepare for the accent of Chekov. High five!

A few questions about the film:

-What is up with Red matter? It either creats a black hole or it sends you back in time? Bullshit.

-Also, why drill into the centre of the planet to release it? Why not just put it a few meters outside the planet’s atmosphere. That should still give you the same result, right?

-If Spock was on Delta Vega, how could he see the destruction of Vulcan so clearly?

-If Spock wanted to save his mother, why not just have them beam her up from where she was? Spock clearly knew where to find her

-Kirk goes from cadet to Captain just like that? Considering Spock was already a commander, shouldn’t he be given a promotion instead of the cadet who clearly cheated on the Kobayashi Maru?

-Nero’s ship is a mining vessel so why in the hell is it armed to the teeth? I mean, yeah, don’t fuck with the Romulans, clearly but come on!

-Also, what was Nero doing for all those twenty years? Why not just send his highly advanced mining ship of death and obliterate Vulcan since the Federation can do jack shit?

Back in 1990, Paramount considered making the sixth Star Trek movie to be about the adventures of young Kirk, Spock and McCoy at Starfleet. This was scrapped for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. If it makes sense in 1990, it should make sense in 2009.

As you can tell, I did not like this movie. It is not Star Trek, I do not consider it cannon and there are probably fanfics on the internet that could come up with a better storyline than this. Now obviously sequels are planned and to the writers of those films I say this: DON’T GO NEAR KHAN!

I don’t care if you can get Justin Bieber to play him, nobody sounds better reciting Moby Dick while trying to kill his rival in a starship than the late Ricardo Montalbán. Besides, the timeline shouldn’t be altered so much that it creates a different outcome should Kirk find him.

So, if you liked this and would like to see other good Star Trek movies with the original crew, I recommend you see Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. See The Motion Picture and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier at your own risk.

That’s all I have to say on the matter. Sorry if it was long winded. Live long and prosper.
Did I just say that? Shit, I am a nerd!

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