Thursday, May 23, 2013


(because I am not a dick).

So here is the deal with the new Star Trek franchise: when you say you "like Star Trek", or you don't like Star Trek, what exactly are you referring to?  This is the problem that has plagued Star Trek for the past 40 years.  Which "Star Trek" is currently in the movie theatre? 

Look at Star Wars as a comparitive for example.  There's six movies.  That's it.  Now, I know that there are video games and books and action figures and cartoons, but basically, for 90% of us, when we think of Star Wars, we think of the original three movies (the good ones) and then the next three movies (which are the first ones, or the bad ones—this may be confusing, so let's refer to them as the "Jar Jar" ones).  I would pay $20 to kick Jar Jar in the binx. 

This newest Star Trek movie reboot is loosely-based on the 1960s TV show.  When J. J. Abrams rebooted the franchise in 2009, I gave a big ho hum.  It wasn't even a "boo!" - I just didn't care.  The Star Trek Franchise has gone on the following run in the past 40 years:
  • Original Series (1960s) - virtually nobody watched it
  • Original Series (reruns) - watched it when you were sick and home from school
  • Next Generation (1987) - lots of people really enjoyed this show
  • Deep Space Nine (1993) - okay, we are starting to get a little tired of this
  • Voyager (1995) - good lord, even baseball only has 162 games
  • Enterprise (2001) - I am officially terrified of turning on my TV at any time of the day or night for fear of seeing Star Trek.
Plus the movies!  There were six "Original" movies and then four more with the Next Generation cast.  That's a lot of Trek.  More like Star Bleecchh!  (Thanks Mad Magazine.)

However, J. J. Abrams got every thing right with the 2009 reboot.  It is designed for people who would not normally go to a science-fiction movie—the movie has great characters not bogged down with years of backstory, and the action is second to none. 

That brings us to the newest installment: Star Trek Into Darkness.  Quite simply, this is a perfect action movie.  I loved everything about it so I won't just drool like a nerd and leave—instead I will rave about Benedict Cumberbatch, who is a british actor.  He plays the villain in the movie.  If you ever get a chance to watch BBC's Sherlock, you will see how great an actor Cumberbatch is.  (Plus Sherlock stars Tim from The Office, or maybe you know him as the Hobbit.  Anyway, Sherlock is a fantastic show).

As much as the action is the driving force in the movie (big crashes, fist fights, etc) - there are a lot of really intelligent, strong characters in the film and that is the backbone of any great story.  Every really good movie has a powerful villain who doesn't act like a villain (they think they are the hero), and this film has a perfect villain (Cumberbatch).  

If you don't like crowds or people talking on their cell phones, I recommend seeing a film during the workday. There were nine people in the theatre.  One guy sat down within forty feet of my seat and I was outraged. 

I watched the movie in 3D but I'm not sure how much that adds to the experience—in some scenes, the 3D is awesome, but in others, like when people are standing around, it can be kind of distracting.  I keep waiting for someone to throw a machete at me or something.  Anyway, I loved this film. 
At the end of the day, a great movie (to me) is one that you get to the end and you didn't look at your watch, or wonder about work the next day.  I was totally engrossed and loved it.  If you are a science-fiction fan or an action fan, check out the 2009 film (simply called "Star Trek") and then hit the theatre for a big-time action movie.