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  • Sam Darling

Star Trek Into Darkness – some thoughts

Preface: I had a great time. I’m a movie fiend and Trekkie of long standing and this reboot is joyous good fun. I’m sharing these random thoughts because I imagine a lot of you enjoy these movies, too. Let’s coffee klatsch together.

Star Trek Into Darkness

[As an aside, I need someone to make an app that is simply an accurate hum of USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D). That is my jam. That would be the white noise generator I use in heaven. It’s like an auditory Xanax. Someone please get that for me, okay? Thanks.]

It was great to see Aisha Hinds on the bridge, but it would have been nicer if she’d had (s’more) lines

Doctor Who fans will love to know that Noel Clarke is in the movie in the emotional opening scenes, but it would have been nicer if he’d had (s’more) lines.

Put “lens flare!” on your Facebook status and every Trekkie in your friends list will know you’re referring to J. J. Abrams. I think his obsession with CGI flare is probably for scenes that feel too static to him. It’s like he’s afraid of stillness. Instead of restless leg he has Restless Lens Syndrome.

For old-time fans there are somewhat subtle inside jokes. Such as when Captain Kirk orders two “red shirts” to change into civvies for the Away Mission. And I’m sure I’m not the only nerd in the audience who shouted “Jefferies tube!” during the pivotal final scene where Kirk goes into the core of the warp engine.

Unlike Lucas’s laughable decision to have Darth Vader screaming during a moment of high emotion, we all expected and wanted someone to scream “Khaaaaaaan!” and we were not disappointed. But it was still laughable.

The new filming techniques are so highly detailed that it’s sometimes unkind to the actors. I became fixated on Chris Pine’s enlarged pores or the way the make-up caked into Sea Otter Cumberbatch’s wrinkly forehead when he was in the brig. And Spock’s ears were looking rather waxy in those close ups.

[By the way, one of the funny dudes I went to school with wrote the recent Audi ad that features the two Spocks and I enjoyed it. Particularly the Bilbo Baggins reference. Isn’t it nice that Nimoy has a sense of humor?]

Quibble quibble. Silly stuff, but I was enjoying myself. This is a fun time at the movies. But then I hit the scene that’s already been decried by so many people that one of the screenwriters apologized. Oy gevaldt. The underwear scene.

I recently saw Iron Man 3 with a scientist friend who was grateful that the botanist didn’t have to be “sexy” in a cleavage-baring way. I’m glad that Damon Lindelof  apologized for how they depicted Alice Eve in that scene because it was truly stupid. Not only do they get her in her underwear in a purely gratuitous manner, she tells Captain Kirk, twice, not to look at her while she changes and he looks anyway. The only way that scene would have worked for me is if she’d punched him in his grody-to-the-max peeping tom face. She doesn’t. She manages a weak, “Hey!” hand-on-the-hip gesture and just… no. She’s a physicist and weapons specialist and her coworker is peeping on her. I don’t need to see her in her skivvies. Who are they trying to appeal to with this scene? Does anyone go to a Star Trek movie for gratuitous girl-in-bikini images? These new movies manage to be less progressive than the original series!

On the subject of underpants, in the future we get flying cars but foundation garments stay the same? You’d think they could have innovated an anti-gravity bra that Lifts & Separates in a newfangled way to justify that scene a little bit. But… no.

We want a bright and bubbly vision of the future. We what whiz! bang! electronics and special effects. We want super evil villains and explosions in space. We want adventure and mystery and beautiful images. I don’t mind that every person on screen is beautiful, but I do mind when the men stay clothed and have lots of ass kicking but the women are either objects of desire or in jeopardy. Simon Pegg got to beat up on people, but when Uhura tries out some Klingon she almost gets choked to death. I’m sorry, but Zoe Saldana would easily kick more butt in real life than Pegg. Easily.

And Uhura! She spends the whole movie being all emotional about Spock. Meanwhile, the closest thing to a love scene is between Spock and Kirk. As it should be. The relationship between Spock and Uhura in the reboot feels forced.

Also, I probably could have done without the tribble.

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