Friday, July 22, 2016

Yup, Spock's crying again...

The Enterprise got seatbelts like three movies
ago, so you can stop making that joke now.
So obviously as a big huge nerd I went and saw the new Star Trek movie. I saw it and now I'm going to discuss it on my blog because voicing opinions about Star Trek is what the internet was built for. That and porn. As is traditional when I'm about to launch into a one-sided discussion about something particularly nerdy I give you the opportunity to bail. Now is that time, otherwise: nerd belts. Buckle'em. I'll let you know when I'm about to get spoilery.

Like I was saying, I saw Star Trek Beyond and I liked it, it was fun. Probably the best Star Trek movie since First Contact. It had a great sense of humor, more character drama and in a refreshing move for a summer action movie, didn't try to remind us of 9/11.
Holy shit movies, knock it off.
It'll never be not to soon.
It's the one where Picard and Worf save
Data by singing Gilbert and Sullivan.
No, really. Someone wrote this.
I've been kind of hot and cold on the re-boot Trek universe in general. The curmudgeon in me wants to complain about the changes J.J. Abrams made to canon, how they're kind of big dumb action movies that put special effects and explosions ahead of thought-provoking science fiction. But on the other hand they're, like, pretty good movies. Stupid as all hell, but enjoyable. You can even watch them with your friends and they'll still speak to you afterwards. Try that with Star Trek: Insurrection. I mean, holy shit.

"Save the day with meaningless sciencey
double-talk? Ach! Don't mind if I do!"
But Beyond managed to split the difference pretty well. Sure, there were explosions and Kirk rides around on a motorcycle, but there was also Spock ruminating on his own mortality and a bad guy with a philosophical beef with the Federation. There was some actual space exploration going on. We got some Spock and McCoy banter which had been sorely lacking in the earlier films, oh and technobabble. Not a lot, just enough to remind us that this is Star Trek. All in all, a good movie. I almost don't even want to nitpick. Almost. Ok now, look out, I'm going to get a little spoiler-y.

Still there? Are you sure? I'm not going to give away any of the surprises or anything, but if you want to go in cold, stop reading. For real.

So Kirk can do sweet
motorcycle stunts. Obviously.
Alright. Super. Like I said, Star Trek Beyond is good, but I had a few little issues. Like, if I have to complain, and as a nerd, I sort of feel an obligation here, there were some minor things here and there that just didn't work for me. Take for example the fact that this movie, like the last six Star Trek movies before it, ends with a fist fight. Yeah, they all end with either Kirk or Picard throwing down with the film's bad guy. I'm just a little tired of it is all. Also, why the shit did a derelict starship have a motorcycle onboard?

Never thought I'd miss the lumpy
forehead appliances, but here we are.
Another thing is that this movie introduces a ton of new background aliens we've never seen before which is cool, it's a big Federation, but some classic aliens like an Andorian or a Klingon would have been nice. Also, a lot of the new creatures looked kind of same-y. They're almost all variations on  'regular-humans with enormous, disproportionate and misshapen heads' that the make-up department seems super keen on. It was like they suddenly staffed the Enterprise with a crew of dashboard bobbleheads. I found it a little distracting. And gross.

Of course it's tecno-bullshit, I'm just saying
it should be consistent techno-bullshit.
Oh, and there's the Universal Translator. Usually this piece of plot-driven technology makes aliens speak colloquial, accent-free English and even manages to match the words with their mouth movements because, well, I don't know, it's magic or something. Anyway, for some reason this time the UT is more complicated and not everyone has one. There's one fairly significant alien character whose translator has a lag so we can hear her own language and then the translation. It's actually kind of cool, it's just that it's never worked that way before.

Your logical, unflappable demeanor
would be a lot more believable if
you'd stop sobbing so much... 
But these are quibbles. If I had to pick something that bothered me, it would be this: Spock cries. Yes, again. The whole thing about Vulcans is that they suppress their emotions. They're like space wasps. Sure, in Star Trek, his planet imploded, in Into Darkness his best and only friend died (temporarily) and in this movie he gets some disturbing, mind-fuck-y news from home so it's not unreasonable that his control is overwhelmed, it's just that there's not so much of an impact when he looses it it every time we see him.

I'm pretty sure that's how
the Crusades started.
Anyway, I don't really like to do movie reviews on this blog. Mostly I don't want to be that guy that harangues you into watching movies I like. I hate when people do that. Oh, and then if the thing I recommended isn't your cup of tea, you might blame me and then it'll be this point of contention between us and we'll probably make passive aggressive comments about it to each other in some weird attempt to antagonize the other in to seeing things our way and neither of us wants that.

Sorry, what were we talking about? ...right. The movie. I will say that I dug it and if you're a fan you should totally go see it. And if you hate it, just know that your subjective opinion is incorrect and I will not rest until your worldview aligns with mine.
Why must you hate all that is good and decent?
What are you, some kind of unfeeling monster?

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