Archive for May 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness – First Impressions (Spoilers)

May 28, 2013

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I saw Star Trek: Into Darkness the Saturday after its release, at the biggest & best theater in my city, and I am happy to say that I LOVED it. Thank you, J.J. Abrams, for giving me exactly what I wanted! For those of us whose love of Star Trek is based primarily in the Kirk/Spock friendship and Enterprise crew relationships, there was so much to hang our hats on in this film. But beyond the iconic characters, the film was simply an exciting and vibrant space action movie, with plenty of humor and a kick-ass villain. Here are some comments on my favorite/least favorite aspects of the film:

What I loved:

  • The density. I’m amazed at how much content was crammed into two hours. Not a second was wasted, but the pace didn’t feel too rushed, either. For me, this was pure escapist entertainment.
  • Star Trek references, character traits, & inside jokes. Bones’ metaphors! A tribble! Mudd’s ship! Gorn babies! Spock has emotions! I know that some reviewers find these things annoying or unoriginal, but I don’t want to see completely original reboot – I’m happy to see the writers borrow from the great stuff of the past.
  • Chris Pine’s acting. Christ Pine’s lips. Chris Pine’s blue eyes. Chris Pine. Although I am eternally Hot 4 Spock, Chris Pine really impressed me this time around. He got to display just about every human emotion throughout the film, and he did it all convincingly. He seemed to embrace every aspect of his role wholeheartedly. And he is so very pretty to look at.
  • Spock’s pursuit of Khan. I loved the sequence where a distraught Spock chases down Khan through the streets of London and unleashes all of his rage on the villain. Even though this is a distressing moment in the film, I always love seeing Spock’s physical power.
  • All things Scotty. Simon Pegg has incredible comedic timing and brings such heart to the role. I laughed out loud whenever he spoke to his little alien assistant.
  • Who’s the real villain? I enjoyed that back-and-forth ride of uncertainty as Kirk and Spock had to determine which side was in the right – Khan? Admiral Marcus? …Or neither?

What I didn’t love:

  • John Cho as Sulu. I’m not sure that I like Sulu’s character in the reboot films. George Takei’s Sulu seems to be lighthearted and a little bit dorky, with a serious/intense/swashbuckling side. John Cho’s Sulu seems quite steely and too-cool-for-school – almost bored. Hopefully I’ll change my mind with further viewings.
  • Plot holes. I don’t need a seamless plot by any means, but the film did leave me with a fair number of questions: Does Starfleet seriously think it’s a good idea to have all captains and first officers gather in a single, windowed room in times of emergency? How did Carol evade the ship’s security so easily, and why is her accent different from her father’s? Why couldn’t McCoy just use the blood of one of Khan’s friends to save Kirk? How did Khan’s ship survive the torpedo explosions to stay mostly intact and crash into London?
  • The gratuitous shot of Carol Marcus in her underwear. Seriously, she needed to get changed right then and there? I was as baffled as Kirk was.

No, the movie wasn’t perfect in every respect – but what movie is?? Part of what I love about Star Trek: TOS is the cheesy/bad/poorly-written moments, so I might as well embrace those moments in the reboot films as well. I would not change one thing about the new film with respect to the Kirk/Spock relationship. I experienced plenty of that excited, stomach-flipping feeling that I love. Bring on Star Trek #3!!

P.S. I don’t think this exact frame made the film cut, but the image is floating around the internet. I love seeing my heroes in peril – and Spock’s hands on Kirk!

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1×21 – The Return of the Archons

May 27, 2013

Premise: The Enterprise discovers a population controlled by a powerful being called Landru. Most of the citizens walk around slowly and placidly, speaking of peace and tranquility, except during a strange brawl called a “festival.” While investigating, Captain Kirk and his landing party are taken captive and slated to be “absorbed” into Landru’s control. The few rebels who have evaded Landru’s possession think that the Enterprise crew are the Archons, come back to save them. Kirk has to figure out who or what Landru is, in order to save his landing party and his ship.

The best things about this episode are the landing party’s costumes and the humorously archaic special effects. Here’s a taste of both:

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30:55 – Spock attempts to do a mind meld with Dr. McCoy, who has been “absorbed” into Landru. He says that it’s impossible because McCoy is “under extremely powerful control.”

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36:08 – I believe this is the first mention of the Prime Directive!

Kirk: “The plug must be pulled.”
Spock: “Sir -”
Kirk: “Landru must die.”
Spock: “Captain…our Prime Directive of non-interference…”
Kirk: “That refers to a living, growing culture. You think this one is?”

37:40 – Spock punches a guard and looks a little bit surprised at himself. Kirk says to him, “Isn’t that somewhat old-fashioned?” We’ve seen Spock punch people before, but it’s true that he prefers the nerve pinch. Speaking of nerve pinches, Spock uses nerve pinch #6 in this episode at 40:10.

46:53 – Kirk somehow talks Landru’s computer into destroying itself. The machine ran for 6,000 years with at most minor repairs, but then overheats when Kirk challenges its conception of how to create a peaceful, perfect society. Wow! Seeya, Landru!

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48:30 -Back on the bridge:

Spock: “Marvelous.”
Kirk: “What?”
Spock: “Landru, Captain. A marvelous feat of engineering. A computer capable of directing the lives of millions of human beings.”
Kirk: “But only a machine, Mr. Spock. The original Landru programmed it with all his knowledge, but he couldn’t give it his wisdom, his compassion, his understanding, his soul, Mr. Spock.”
Spock: “Predictably, metaphysical. I prefer the concrete, the graphable, the provable.”
Kirk: [Smiling] “You’d make a splendid computer, Mr. Spock.”
Spock: [With sincerity] “That is very kind of you, Captain.”

Haha, it’s cute that Spock takes it as a complement to be called a computer. I am certain that he would make a superior computer to Landru.

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This is a strange,  annoying, and repetitive episode, one of my least favorite of the season. It’s made a bit more worthwhile by seeing Kirk and Spock in some adorable suits. The name “Landru” must be spoken 65 times, with “peace” and “tranquility” not far behind. I still have no idea who/what the Archons are, and I’m really not sure what the purpose/meaning of the 6pm-6am festival was. Despite its flaws, this episode is important in that it contains the first reference to the Prime Directive.

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Four Years

May 17, 2013

It’s been four years since the first Star Trek reboot came out in theaters – May of 2009. For four years I have been patiently, excitedly, anxiously waiting for the sequel. During those years, I’ve experienced quite a lot:

  • Broke up with my ex, dated a few people, met my husband, and got married
  • Finished graduate school and moved to a new city
  • Traveled to France, Vietnam, and Thailand
  • Welcomed a new nephew
  • Went on a road trip across the United States
  • Worked several different jobs
  • Started this blog, then got way too busy and never finished my episode reviews

Now, the time is finally here – tomorrow, I will be seeing Star Trek: Into Darkness. My expectations are high. My fangirl excitement level is through the roof. Most importantly, I feel poised to resume Hot 4 Spock!

Here we go!

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