Now That We’re Back in Blog Action, Let’s Discuss Star Trek

star trek wicked awesome

Sometimes you need a blog break, a short hiatus to take a blog breather and recharge your blog batteries.  Some people take this is the form of a stay-cation, or perhaps they take a debauched long weekend in Las Vegas, or maybe instead it’s a quiet rest in a cabin in the mountains that’s far away from civilization.  In my case, you spend time with the family for Mother’s Day.  And you see Star Trek.  Hot damn does that movie ever do the blog body good.  

I recognize, what with it only being a mere two weeks into summer movie season and all, that I may be veering into full-on nerd hyperbole by making the following statement, but seriously, y’all: Star Trek is this summer’s best escapism.  It really has everything you could ask for in a summer movie.  There’s Chris Pine being hot and brash as James Kirk.  You’ve got Zachary Quinto being hot and Vulcan as an emotionally complicated Spock.  Eric Bana does his magic (aka, being hot) while also being evil and bald as the villainous Romulan Nero.  We also get Zoe Saldana being hot and feisty fierce as Uhura, and James Cho also being hot and doing some totally bitchin’ sword fighting as Sulu.  And, oh yeah, there’s also some of the most dazzling (and in all likelihood the most coherent) action sequences you’ll see all summer.

Perhaps the fact that I’ve never been the ardent Trekkie (but a big ol’ nerd) allowed me to appreciate the movie by knowing the familiar beats of the franchise without demanding a fastidious attention to the details of the mythology.  That perspective allows one to delight in the pleasure of seeing Leonard Nemoy as future Spock without also being sent into a tizzy over the fact that the film’s narrative uses time travel and alternate universes to effectively ignore all that came before in the series.

Or maybe it’s the fact that I’m in awe of J.J. Abram’s direction.  He’s crafted effortlessly epic images and dazzling camera movements that glide and soar like they came from Carl Th. Dreyer’s long-lost, sci-fi-obsessed grandchild.  Here’s a movie that’s smart yet fortunately not self-indulgently self-important.  J.J. Abrams has secured himself as a talent, and Hollywood should frankly put him in charge of rebooting EVERYTHING.

Or maybe I just like Star Trek‘s vision of the future.  Everything looks like a really fancy Apple store, space travel is exciting, and we’ve evolved to the point where everybody is really attractive.  That is the sort of future I want to believe in.

Whatever the reason, though, I’m convinced Star Trek is our great escapist film for the summer.  While we’re guaranteed to get plenty of frenetic (and hopefully fun) CGI action from later summer entries like Terminator Salvation and Transformer: Revenge of the Fallen*, they’ll indubitably lack Abrams’s deft touch that so perfectly blends grandiosity with effervescent, pop thrills of genre filmmaking done right.  J.J. Abrams has the nimble talent of a brainsurgeon, and McG and Michael Bay just have fat, clumsy sausage fingers.  This isn’t to say that I won’t see Mr. G’s and Mr. Bay’s efforts this summer, nor is this to say that I’m not going to enjoy them (for being loud and stupid and disposable entertainment), but you don’t need to take Cinema Studies 101 to know you don’t make masterpieces (or even really good movies) with sausage fingers.  Just sayin’.

So really, if you’ve already seen Star Trek, then let’s discuss, because I just can’t get over how completely incredible it is.  And if you haven’t seen it, set your phasers to fun and go see it.  IMMEDIATELY.  Then we shall discuss all its glorious space battles and perfect cheekbones and general excellence, and I’m sure you too shall agree: Star Trek is THE summer movie to beat.  

*Don’t even get me started about G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra.  The entire Stephen Sommers filmography reads like Filmmaking for Terrible Hacks, and G.I. Joe is not going to take his career off the road to Sucksvillve.

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4 Responses

  1. You missed one: Karl Urban. Hot.

    I loved this movie, it is difficult to describe my love in simple terms. I am a huge Trekkie. I loved every minute of the movie.

    OK, why you might ask? Well, it was engaging for every minute of the movie and dabbled into just the right proportion of technobabble. It was “kinetic” as you say and richly portioned. It also pointed back to the original with cute moments, like the red shirt dying (drill dive). You know what else it did? It was really laugh out loud funny in moments, in a way that I’ve never seen in Star Trek.

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    • You’re totally right. I did neglect to mention Karl Urban, but I felt like Star Trek gave him the shaft in terms of doing much other than nailing his requisite “Damnit, blah, blah, blah…” lines with gusto. That, and I felt like the mop-top didn’t suit him. I prefer Karl Urban circa The Bourne Supremacy, but that’s just me. Still, there’s no denying that he was yet another of the many reasons to see the film. Of course, there’s also no reason to not see Star Trek.

      I also totally agree with your assessment of the movie. I can’t claim the title of a “Trekkie” (I was always more of a Star Wars kid myself), but I know enough of its pop-culture impact to appreciate the details brought to the screen (the red shirt, as you mentioned, which has been utilized in Lost as well; and let’s not forget the Tribble that’d been hanging with Scotty). More importantly, though, I love the fact that this is a Star Trek that doesn’t neglect its roots in the sci-fi genre while it simultaneously opens itself up to a broader audience. I think, for those of us who’ve always been enraptured by the thoughts of future visions and foreign galaxies, Star Trek is a real gift; as for the rest of ’em, this movie’s an open invitation to the party, and I’ve always believed in the notion of “the more, the merrier.”

      And, if nothing else, there’s always Chris Pine’s impressive package in those boxer briefs. That image is enough to launch a thousand star fleets of ladies and gay men into the theaters…

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  2. Nolove for Greg Grunberg (voice of Kirk’s step-dad)? You know it’s not a JJ vehicle without him.

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  3. I was waiting until I saw Star Trek to read your review, and I totally agree, especially about how it all looks like at an apple store. I just read that bit one of my colleagues and she said “now that’s change we can believe in.” Seriously, I will follow JJ Abrams to the end of the earth. I was also very impressed with Spock’s emotionally nuanced performance.

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