Friday, May 8, 2009

Coming down from the nice high of Star Trek

Time to take a break from Relapse, which I'm seriously on the verge of playing out a mere five hours after it leaked----I'm loving the record that much.

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One of the latest television commercials for J.J. Abrams' Star Trek featured a critic's quote to the effect of "This year's Iron Man!," a claim that actually underplays how great of a time Trek is, how well it welcomes newcomers while giving longtime Trekkers plenty to love. Iron Man, basking in the undeniable-cool of Robert Downey, Jr., had all the potential in the world to not alienate those who didn't grow up with the superhero's comic books; Star Trek, on the other hand, with its mostly B-list cast and polarizing source material, could've left crossover audiences in a solar dustball. Totally not the case. Not being a Trek head myself, how would I know that the film so successfully pledges allegiance to the franchise's loyal minion? By the enthusiastic applause and feminine squeals elicited from the souls of the middle-aged fanguys crowding the AMC this afternoon. The truly impressive part: I was right there with them joy-wise, wrapped up in every Enterprise missile battle, James Tiberius Kirk one-liner, and inexpressive emotion delivered so effectively by Zachary Quinto (Heroes) as half-Vulcan/half-human Spock.

Star Trek is, bottom line, a fast, loose, smart two-hour spectactle that washes over your senses while you're in its presence, and then, unless you're an uber-fan wearing a "Live Long and Prosper" t-shirt, leaves your memory bank without damaging anything. Breakneck fun, popcorn goodness. The plot involves an evil Romulan named Nero (played by an unrecognizable Eric Bana) who is out for revenge against Spock, who, decades later in the future, will inadvertently cause the destruction of the Romulan's homeland. Nero and his space-thugs are sent time-traveling through a black hole, first to do battle against the Starfleet's (Star Trek's version of the military) ships under the brief command of Captain George Kirk and then again 20-some-odd years later as Kirk's son, Jim (given tons of charming snark by Smokin' Aces co-star Chris Pine, surely bound to explode thanks to his work here), is a Starfleet cadet alongside a same-aged Spock and several other hotshot students on the U.S.S. Enterprise vessel.

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If that's all a bit cloudy, it's most likely because you're entering this film's lexicon with little or no Star Trek mythology knowledge (or, I just explained the film terribly, either or). Which is fine, because Abrams and screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (also the scribes behind Transformers) keep the franchise's narrative complexities at bay here, sprinkling the movie with tons of Easter eggs references and homages while ultimately reeling in Trek virgins with sheer visual pleasantry. The pace is snappy, the dialogue witty and lighthearted. The performances click on all cylinders from a cast of quite-likeable familiar faces (Harold & Kumar's John Cho, Shaun of the Dead's Simon Pegg, Alpha Dog's Anton Yelchin, Tyler Perry randomly). Even the potentially-confusing time travel plot device is far more tangible than expected.

And then there's the special effects, where Abrams and his behind-the-camera team excel. Each exterior spaceship shot looks unlike a video game, a stroke of CGI wizardry that thankfully comes only a week after the sketchy effects seen in the even-sketchier X-Men Origins: Wolverine. One minor moment, in particular, feels bone-crunchingly real----in an effort to save his family back on Vulcan as Nero is sending the land into a black hole of evaporation, Spock "beams" (Trek's means of body transportation from one location to another, the original Jumper trick decades before that shitty movie) back to Vulcan and corrals his parents, but as they're fleeing from a cave, we see a large pillar-statue falls to the floor on top of a running Vulcan man, and the impact is brutal. Blink and you'll miss it, but, if you catch it, the impact pummels.

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Star Trek isn't without it's flaws, though. Pegg is totally underused as "Scotty," unfortunately stricken with marginally-humorous comic relief lines for the few scenes he does have, and the Nero character doesn't register enough on the "intimidating nemesis" scale. Nero isn't given much to do other than look aggravated and snarl fiery commands to his generic Romulan henchmen. He's a serviceable foe that operates more as a plot-mover than an actual living, breathing opposition that the audience fears. Orci and Kurtzman's script handles the U.S.S. Enterprise's crew so well, though, that the ho-hum nature of their enemies isn't a lasting party foul.

With Star Trek, the summer movie season has officially kicked into motion. That Wolverine flick made bagloads of money last weekend, sure, but the film itself isn't one that'll be praised for months, if not years, to come; Abrams' Star Trek most certainly is. It's made a believer out of yours truly....hell, I'm intrigued enough now to toss the entire Trek filmography into the Netflix and play catch-up. Millions of so-called "nerds" should now feel vindicated, the bullies and cool kids who once slapped them around both apologizing and requesting to borrow their former punching-bags' DVDs and VHS dubs.

Thanks to Abrams and company, we're all nerds this summer. And that's just wonderful.

2 comments:

Carol said...

Effects of iron man!! it's an awesome play i guess i want to know more about this!!
Carol
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Anonymous said...

Ours is an envionment where evil is perceived to be rewarded while good is punished. As with everything the Gods have a reason for creating this perception::::
People who fall on the good side of the good/evil scale have more favor, and when they do something wrong the Gods punish them BECAUSE THEY WANT THEM TO LEARN. The Gods want them to receive this feedback in hope they make corrections and begin to behave appropriately. The Gods DON'T like evil and refuse to grant this feedback.
EVERYBODY pays for what they do wrong, only evil people must wait until their next life before they will experience the wrath of the Gods, manifested in their reincarnation as a lower form of life into environments with increased/enhanced temptations.
Sadly, this allows the Gods to position this perception of evil rewarded as temptation, one which they use as an EXTREMELY effective corruptor.

Both Africa and the Medittereanean are regions which have sexual issues. This is a sign of morbid disfavor once you understand that females are the God's favored gender. Muhammad's (Mohammed's) polygamy halfway through his life as a prophet was preditory. Now a huge percentage of Muslims believes in male superiority and that the abuse of women is God's will. Female genital mutilation is still practiced in Africa. Black misogyny is the most eggregious example in the recent past.
Black member size is temptation to a predisposed population.
The patriarchal cancer spread throughout Europe because of Christianity, of which the majority of policy makers were Italian men. Expect the largest landowner in Europe and the continent's original superpower also played a major role in African slavery.

Militancy in Africa is consistant with the Iraqi example, as was slavery and the KKK here in America:::Fear enforces proper behavior. Without it we see what happens as a result of gross/morbid disfavor:::::AIDS, crack babies, dead young men in gangland retaliation killings. This is the purpose behind many black's historical tendancy towards resistance.
The same principle was true in Europe and throughout the world for centuries:::People whom lived under iron fists were conditioned to think the right way. As a result they experienced higher numbers of children accend into heaven because they were taught to think and behave appropriately, which they passed on to their children. Our preditory envionment of "freedom" was the primary purpose the Gods had when implimenting this strategy that is the United States, one which they used to spred the cancer of democracy and westernization throughout the world. And the Gods use this tool that is America to prey on the disfavored both at home and abroad:::Much like the ghetto, America in general experiences a heightened level of temptation due to the people's disfavor.

Even the Old Testiment is not to be taken literally, but the Gods do offer clues throughout to help the disfavored:::The apple is a tool of temptation used to corrupt Adam and Eve and cast them out of the Garden of Eden.
There is another lesson to be learned from this passage, and it is quite similar to the vailing issue and the discourse over women's attire which ultimately died in the 70s:::Women are responsible for and control the fate of mankind.

Think about what I say. Consider what I teach. Society is going to become disturbingly ugly as we approach the Apocalypse due to spiralling, runaway disfavor.
I do not know when this will occurr, but it is the God's way to grant some time before they end on Planet Earth.
Make the decision to always be good and never look back. Until you do this technology will employ tactics to test your resolve:::Ridicule, beligerance, doubt and refusal to abandon what people perceive to be their "investment".
Pray daily. Think appropriately. Too many are confident, unaware of the God's awesome powers or their status as antients. Others may fall prey to their positioning.
Be humbled, God-fearing and beware of the God's temptations, for everyone is tested to evaluate their worthiness.
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