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Boldly Go to the theaters this week

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you know that making fun of films (and critics) can be more fun than the ten-dollar gamble of a movie ticket.  Last week’s super heroic opening for Wolverine ($87 million) might signal the beginning of the summer stampede to the theater, but this week features the BIGGEST movie of the summer.  Go ahead, mark those words.  Star Trek has everything it needs in the plus column to be a poster child-at-heart for summer 2009: yearlong hype, raving reviewers (Rotten Tomatoes 96% – Metacritic: 84%), and a butt-punting trailer.  Whether you see it this week or two months from now when everyone is wondering ‘will Star Trek ever leave theaters?’ it’s going to be the water cooler movie everyone wants to talk about and its success will resonate through pop culture as much as Dark Knight did last year.  Okay, I’ve done my part to keep the hype wave going, now then let’s take a look at why.
finalstartrek_moviegab
There are two types of critics we’re going to be dealing with here: those that feel challenged to use as many Star Trek references as possible while still conveying meaning and those who don’t.  Behold.

“As rousing as a Klingon war chant and more fun than an engine room full of tribbles.” Robert W. Butler Kansas City Star

Geektastic!  And for those who didn’t watch any trekking growing up:

“…even if you’ve NEVER seen “Star Trek” you’ll be hooked.” Michael A. Smith Nolan’s Pop Culture Review

Use of CAPS in writing makes me think the person is yelling at me.  ANYONE ELSE FEEL THAT WAY?

"Spock, there's people on the other side of this screen watching us."  "That is highly illogical, but kinda rad."

"Spock, there's people on the other side of this screen watching us." "That is highly illogical, but kinda rad."

“The other summer tent poles have to stretch mighty high to reach the benchmark set by this soaring and explosive blockbuster. The action never tires in the amped-up Star Trek, which bursts onto the screen with an exhilarating galactic battle in the prologue.” Radheyan Simonpillai AskMen.com

Star Trek = An amped-up, soaring, bursting, exploding, exhilarating, galactic tent pole.

“…not only a fantastic summer tentpole film, it just happens to be better than each and every one of the most recent Best Picture Oscar nominees.” Laura Clifford Reeling Reviews

Star Trek = winner of the Academy Award for greatest movie ever made (along with Highlander).

I can't figure out why this won't fit on my turntable

I can't figure out why this won't fit on my turntable

“I loved it so much I wanted to Vulcan mind meld with it.” Nell Minow Beliefnet

Perhaps you should try Grokking first.  When critics want to become one with the film, that’s a sign of some serious fanaticism.  However, let’s balance that gushing joy with the angriest critic in America.

“This Star Trek sells cuteness, sentimentality and explosive F/X as if Starship Troopers, Minority Report, Mission to Mars or even Blade Runner or The Matrix (all visionary standard-setters) never happened.” Armond White New York Press

Okay, I’m going to have to call BS on that one.  Starship Troopers, Minority Report and Mission to Mars were not visionary standard setters (hell, two of them weren’t even good movies).  Also, if your point is that you didn’t like Star Trek because you were busy thinking about other films you liked better, your readership might as well ignore your downward facing thumb and go see for themselves if they can focus on the film they paid to see.  Every time I read that guy’s reviews I’m convinced he enters every movie wanting to be disappointed.  Let’s hear from another happy person.

Take my hand America and I will dazzle you with my knowledge of anti-matter and transporter buffers.

Take my hand America and I will dazzle you with my knowledge of anti-matter and transporter buffers.


“This is a different Star Trek. It’s hipper. It’s hotter. It’s going to be the biggest movie of the summer, and no corny little one-liners will do it justice.” Willie Waffle WaffleMovies.com

How about: set your phasers on fun!

“Thankfully, both diehard and casual observers of Gene Roddenberry’s original 60’s televised blueprint will be zapped with stimulating giddiness more effectively than an errant phaser gun gone wild.” Frank Ochieng Associated Content

I know Star Trek has always been a pretty optimistic sci-fi franchise, but when broken phasers fire “stimulating giddiness” instead of red laser death, perhaps we’ve trekked through the neutral zone into the Galactic Federation of Hippies.

“It’s enough to move even a Star Wars fan to tears.” Robert Wilonsky Village Voice

Wow, cross-genre geek weeping.  That might be more impressive than hearing that it was better than last year’s Oscar winners.  All right, let’s round out our round up with a complete nutjob.

“The average Star Trek fan is fatter than a Mugatu. And I mean the kind of Mugatu that just ate a family of Mugatus. Hey, fella, is that your mouth or the Doomsday Machine?” Mark Ramsey MovieJuice!

Dude, what are you spiking your movie juice with?

Mugatu #1: An evil, white-haired fashion designer

Mugatu #1: An evil, white-haired fashion designer

Mugatu #2: An evil, white-furred alien fashion rebel

Mugatu #2: An evil, white-furred alien fashion rebel

Now then, let’s slow from warp speed to impulse, overload our photon torpedoes, and detonate our genesis project over previous installments.  This is the newest next generation of Star Trek.

“If you care about this universe (and I do, damn it), you won’t sit passively through J.J. Abrams’s restart Trek. You’ll marvel at the smarts and wince at the senselessness. You’ll nitpick it to death and thrill to it anyway.” David Edelstein New York Magazine

Enjoy your weekend and your movie.

PDJ number one just made it so

PDJ number one just made it so

And now for our trek down a holodeck simulation of memory lane:

The first film was about a picture in motion and rainbows

The first film was about a picture in motion and rainbows

Part 2 brought us essential trek concepts like mind-controlling ear crustaceans, bare-chested baddies, and major character death.

Part 2 brought us essential trek concepts like mind-controlling ear crustaceans, bare-chested baddies, and major character death.

But it didn't take long to realize that there can't be Kirk-Spock gay fanfiction with just Kirk.

But it didn't take long to realize that there can't be Kirk-Spock gay fanfiction with just Kirk.

And then the crew travelled back in time to hang out in San Francisco and visit Sea World

And then the crew travelled back in time to hang out in San Francisco and visit Sea World

But then they let Shatner direct and he wanted to fire the audience into space

But then they let Shatner direct and he wanted to fire the audience into space

By part 6, the crew was racing a giant head through space

By part 6, the crew was racing a giant head through space

In part 7, they stopped counting and two captains shared one destiny (but not one captain's chair)

In part 7, they stopped counting and two captains shared one destiny (but not one captain's chair)

In part 8, compliance is preferred.  However, when you see all these posters together, the whole 'heads floating in space' image has gotten tired

In part 8, compliance is preferred. However, when you see all these posters together, the whole 'heads floating in space' image starts to look tired

At least this time, it's an evil head floating in space

At least this time, it's an evil head floating in space

In part 10, the creators killed their own series by murdering the most beloved character (Data), sexually assaulting another (Deanna Troi), and turning Romulans into bald clones of Pickard.  No wonder this series needed a reboot.

In part 10, the creators killed their own series by murdering the most beloved character (Data), sexually assaulting another (Deanna Troi), and turning Romulans into bald clones of Pickard. No wonder this series needed a reboot.

Part 11 features pretty young actors, primary-colored uniforms, and a giant space swoosh logo that’s still cool after 40 years.

Part 11 features pretty young actors, primary-colored uniforms, and a giant space swoosh logo that’s still cool after 40 years.

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3 Responses

  1. those new youngsters in the lead role just don’t seem right to me, though I know the old guys could no longer do it either. sigh

  2. “Set phasers on fun” – that was inspired, man.

    Okay, you know that I loved this movie, but geek protocol compells me to complain about something, so it shall be: Uhura.

    They spend the first third of the movie working really hard to show that this Uhura doesn’t just repeat what the computer says: she’s ultra brainy, ambitious, hard-working. I didn’t even think too much of Kirk hitting on her, since that was Kirk just being his cocksman self, and she so capably rebuffs his ass. (And the bit about her not revealing her first name was kinda funny.)

    But then we get the totally Male Gaze stripping-to-her-underwear shot, and things begin to slide back into the same old prefeminist schtick. All the big adventures – and attendant bonding – are for the boys (Kirk and McCoy, Kirk and Sulu, Kirk and Scottie, Kirk and Spock). With so much bromance going on, poor Uhura is relegated to Spock’s girfriend, and there ain’t much juicy bonding going on there. By the end of the movie, I almost forgot she was still around.

    So what gives? It seems like J.J. Abrams et al. were thinking, “Hey, we’re gonna update Uhura, give her some feminist flavor, etc…. but not too much.” But why? Discuss.

  3. Yeah! And they don’t even mention Yeoman Rand or Nurse Chapel!

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