music friday: bob dylan, “all along the watchtower”
shameless: season two finale

by request: star trek (j.j. abrams, 2009)

I have a backlog of requests (thanks to all who made suggestions), but sometimes requests are more spur of the moment. This time, our friend Doug came over, wanting to watch something “science fictiony action”. Which is how we ended up watching Star Trek.

More than two years ago, I wrote:

I’ve never really watched any of the TV series, and only saw one of the movies prior to this one. … I approached this as I would any other sci-fi epic, or at least, I thought that’s what I did. When the movie started, I understood that even a non-fan is aware of the basics … I knew the names of the main characters, knew some catch phrases, stuff like that. So it’s silly to say I’m totally outside the Trek universe. How did I like the movie? It was OK … the science part of the plot didn’t reward any deep consideration, so I avoided that. The action scenes were ok, nothing special, the acting reasonable. … It was a nice way to spend two hours; don’t think I’d go farther than that.

I feel a bit more kindly to the film now. It is indeed a nice way to spend two hours; what is especially nice is that two hours is all it takes … this isn’t the typical bloated two-and-a-half-hour blockbuster of the 21st century. I'm also a bit surprised that I didn’t mention the time-travel angle in my earlier post, because this time, I found it the most intriguing part of the plot. It’s not exactly trend-setting … it’s more like Grade-B Phil Dick … but it offers enough head-scratching confusion to make it interesting (I mean “head-scratching” in a good way).

I also found myself obsessing over the way we all knew these characters before the movie even started. There was nothing wrong with the first 40 minutes or so, but at some point, I realized that most of those minutes could have been cut, since the majority of them was spent letting us see for the first time characters we already knew. By the end of the movie, I didn’t feel I knew much more about the characters than I did before it started, which means the film ultimately stands or falls on those action scenes (OK) and acting (reasonable).

Still, as I say, I feel more kindly now. Previously, I had given Star Trek 6/10, but I’m going to up that a bit. 7/10.