nic said: “it is inevitable that you see star trek tomorrow on the big screen”, and to add weight to this, he added “i don’t mind paying for it, but that does not make it a date.”
so i said to dan: “it is inevitable that you see star trek on the big screen with me and nic but he is not paying for your ticket, just mine”. dan is not a star trek fan at all, and i needed a tabula rasa person like him to see if the movie offered any entertainment value to the casually random by-watcher, in the most likely case me hating it. nic on the other hand was more of a proper fan, while i perceived myself as a peculiar case of a “big fan of the original series, suffers the others”. by peculiar i mean i enjoyed the series in ways never intended.
the whole all-male-night-out started on a somewhat wobbly leg as the meeting time of the rendez vous was misinterpreted by the order of some 10 hours (16.30 instead of 6.30) and i ended up hours early at dan’s place after a less than stellar sleep of 6- hours punctured by fever-like floatings in and out of consciousness while an army of workers was busy destroying all of the ground flour with sledge hammers. as my public transport ticket has just expired a couple of days ago i’ve decided to ignore that it’s daylight outside and get on my bike and just ride down to him. except the sweating it was a brilliant idea.
after some confused phone calls, the time of our get-together has been finally established as 6.30 post meridiem. me and dan were punctual as english lords but at 7, after much grumbling and just as the film started, it turned out—as nic came looking for us—that for a change our coordinates were somewhat out of sync and we waited at the wrong place. if this doesn’t seem like a cheap plot device, then listen to this: i couldn’t call him cause his cell-phone’s battery died… just what we need before a star trek movie — even more clichés.
so we missed the movie, but i wasn’t ready to give up. although initially i did not want to see it, now i was strangely at peace with the idea of seeing another symbol of my childhood destroyed by: adding to it. there is a reason why there is no “romeo and juliet: the beginning” and it’s not only because the protagonists died. after some grown up discussion, we have decided there were other theatres in the city and we might catch the next time slot around 8. and so we ended up at flora's multiplex, incidentally where nic had just left a couple of hours ago, with the well deserved feeling of leaving his workplace behind for the day, and go back being a human being.
so the movie started and i really wanted to give it a nice, deserving, non-jaded chance. unfortunately the projectionist thought we were a group of retired war veterans (of the romulan-klingon wars) and adjusted the sound levels accordingly high. or maybe wanted to ruin the experience simply because he’s paid peanuts. just to make sure, he also set the projector so that the top part of the picture bulged to the ceiling making all the close ups even worse. but i am getting ahead of myself. suddenly i remembered why i haven’t been in a cinema for ages. and there weren’t even kids with cellphones or slurping burping freaks. it seems like it’s either slash or: if no customers misbehave, someone has to step up.
i hated the movie.
but it was not because of the exquisitely poor writing: really, a bad script is as essential to the original series as spock’s pointy ears. it also wasn’t because of the questionable cast manifested in a feminine spock behaving like a hissy, simon pegg and all his 4 sentences as scotty, some guy who pretended to be checkov without the slightest resemblance, a main villain so flat, cardboard is ashamed to be associated with, and so on, no, no: that too is in the true spirit of TOS’ campiness as i perceived it. it was also not because of the liberties they took with the canon, or how they presented the federation consisting of 10 spaceships and 2.5 planets all on one street down from each other. or how the total closeups of the protagonists’ freshly shaven faces looked 12 years older than the original series, where older men played the same parts. or how the always mystic, uber-ambiguous homo-erotic non-tension between kirk and spock has been once and for all massacred by the puritan, jesus-freak script writers in the form of a cheap and perfectly impossible romantic subplot. i could go on for 126 minutes, the length of the movie. but these, i could have lived with. (a so called “white lie”).
i hated it.. because my head got hurt from the tried-and-tested hollywood super formula for action movies: the now-you-see-now-you-dont blindingly fast camera movement where motion blur doesn’t even start to describe my motion sickness. this “storytellig device” solves any problem with any script. no transitioning problems between scenes, guaranteed. just put in a lot of motion blur with total close ups and nobody knows what is happening. do this for a minute, then back up, and show the hero panting and the enemy dead. the viewer will work out the rest. this, combined with the total-closeup documentary-style (mandatory shaky-handcam) principal photography killed the movie for me starting with the very first scenes. the strange thought that hit me during these action parts was: if i didn’t know i was watching star trek, it could have been any other recently made action flick. it’s just the same blurry nonsense where apart from the viewer, the laws of physics aren’t respected either.
a comment popping up fairly often on imdb by people sharing my sentiments goes something like this: “that whirring, helicopter like sound you hear is Gene Roddenberry spinning in his grave.”
the best thing in the movie is changeling, the font made by mark simonson.
will shatner must be furious: while nimoy could still play a part in a franchise reboot, a nice but sad feat in itself, there was no easy way to write him into this “epic”. or maybe he has his pride and wanted no part of this garbage?.. because i think that is what cpt kirk would have done.
you go tiberious, show them. tos forever!