Friday, May 8, 2009

Star Trek

I saw the new Abrams-directed Star Trek today. My thoughts, as a queer trekker (no spoilers):

Captain James Tiberius Kirk: Pine is more than adequate. One-dimensional at times, but always fun and fairly natural to watch. I believed his confidence, and there was a sort of Crighton-y quality to him that endeared me. A colleague of mine said: "I want to lick him." I think that statement pretty much stands for most of the audience.

Spock: Uneven, but ultimately I think Quinto pulls off the role. His character had some unexpected developments, but none of them were unwelcome. I really liked the young-Spock as well. He had a Harry-Potter look that could spawn Teen-Kirk and Spock spin-off films.

Romulans: I didn't remember them ever looking quite that way. Bana is pleasant throughout as a lunatic, and it's oddly reminiscent of watching Dennis Hopper in Waterworld. I'm not entirely sure what their ship was supposed to look like, but it did not, in any significant way, resemble my two cast-iron and plastic models of a Romulan Bird of Prey starship (both assembled by me, in a pretty rare feat of dexterity).

Vulcans in general: meh. I didn't not like them. I got the sense that they were deeply-repressed Marxists who just really loved classical rhetoric.

Total lack of visible LGBT characters: meh. Not unexpected. At least there wasn't an atmosphere to discourage any potential queer characters (or character developments). Kirk/Spock slash is, I see, alive and well in Abrams' film, which is great.

Doctor McCoy: a bit scripted, but still, not unenjoyable to watch.

Sulu: thought the casting was weird at first, but I can see that they're trying to butch up his character. I am praying for a George Takei cameo. I thought it was fairly significant to watch him as an out actor in Heroes. I really didn't expect them to squeeze in a Sulu-oriented action scene, but man, did they ever.

Uhura: her character took some really interesting turns. I just got really excited whenever she mentioned morphology and xenolignuistics.

Starfleet trivia: very nice. I think I squealed or may have just murmured "oooooohh," along with the upper-echelon geeks in the audience. Did you own ST:TNG on VHS? Raise your hand.

Scotty: Pegg is sort of neutrally funny, and he has some good lines. One scene with him involving water was a bit much, but I still got really scared while watching it.

The Enterprise: very nice, NCC-1701 promptly displayed. Everything seemed to be in the right place, and I liked all the interior shots.

First Ten Minutes: worth price of admission. I was riveted, and the critic in me just kind of subsided and let the whole narrative play out. It was really orchestral, and I'm glad that Abrams found a way to be contemporary and affective without just making Lost/In Space.

One Plot Point Involving scary Jell-O: I don't think this would work, ever, even granted the existence of a warp drive, which is sort of connected to the Jell-O but not completely, without giving away anything.

One Scene Involving a Cave: just really unnecessary, but I didn't hate watching it, at least.

I think the beauty of Abrams' film is its serial potential, as well as its strong casting and dedication to the original series. I really want to see a big-screen re-enactment of Kirk fighting the Saurian gladiator, and Spock mind-melding with the Horta.

Complete Lack of Andorians: disappointing.

Transporter visuals: I think they kind of phoned the CGI in here, but at least it's clean and not too distracting.

Turbolift: meh, could be better, but I guess we can't expect DS9.

Musical Score: manipulative, but still really good.

All in all, it was satisfying. There were some conventions, but also some innovations, and interesting twists, and nothing out-right pissed me off. The scenes that were meant to be fantastic really were fantastic. I'm seeing it again tomorrow in very good company.


rhbee said...

No spoilers here, either. Just want to say how much fun I had as I recognized the young characters (portrayed)of the players we have all grown to love. Beam me up!

Jes Battis said...

I especially liked young Spock. "I assume you've prepared further insults for me."

The scene were Spock and Kirk are really close on deck was pretty hot, I thought. Very bromance.