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A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

JTK meets IPH

Star Trek.  Seen Sunday evening May 10, 2009 at the AMC Empire, screen #6.  3 slithy toads.

This is the Star Trek meets Star Wars movie that we've all been waiting for, the one where James T. Kirk lands on the Ice Planet of Hoth, is attacked by a Tauntaun, gets rescued by Obi Wan, but somehow misses the Imperial Walkers.

Or is it the movie where Sar-Ek saves his son Spo-ck from the destruction of his home planet Vulton (Kyrpcan?) by putting him into a rocket ship?

I'm kidding some, but only some.  A large part of the pleasure from this very pleasurable re-boot of the Star Trek movie franchise is in finding all of the lifts not just from the Star Trek series but from any other sf movie franchise that starts with an "S" that's been around over the past 30 or 40 years.  

I was never a huge fan of the Star Trek TV show.  It's not that I disliked it, but I wasn't part of the cult that surrounded it.  But I faithfully saw all of the Star Trek movies, from ST:TMP at the Cate Plaza Twin in Middletown, to the classic Wrath of Khan at the RKO Stanley Warner Route 4 Paramus Quad, then Star Trek 3 and Star Trek 4 at the old Loews State Twin in Times Square.  After that closed, it was off to the Loews 34th St. Showplace for Star Trek 5, then to the Loews Orpheum for Star Trek 6.  The first movie I saw at the Loews Lincoln Square was Star Trek 7, and then I was very happy when the series returned to Times Square in grand style for the next few movies at my much beloved Loews Astor Plaza.  With the exception of Star Trek 2, I can't say I was thrilled with any of them, but the sf geek part of me always compelled me to the theatre, and always on the nicest screen I could think to go to.

So yeah, goosed by the excellent coming attraction and the attractive young cast, Star Trek is the first movie in a while I was heavily anticipating, and I saw it at the biggest non-Imax screen at the AMC Empire, and I had a really good time.

It's a very energetic movie, a lot of fun, the casting is excellent pretty much all the way around, it's got good action, good humor, nice eye candy.  I liked the depictions of all of the young characters, and don't have favorites or an "I liked all of them but..." reaction.  The special effects might be expensive but they're human scaled.  The move to warp speed wasn't so hot; I don't know if there will ever be a match to watching them go to warp in Star Trek 2 on the gigantic screen at the Paramus Quad with then state-of-the-art 70mm 6-track sound bringing it to life, but that's about the only aspect of the movie that left me feeling at all flattened by what JJ Abrams had wrought.  And the villain is no Khan, but Khan was the one and only...

I don't know if it's a great movie, or if it's something I'll want to see over and over again.  But paired as it was with the coming attractions for some pretty dismal summer stuff to follow like the new Transformers movie or Land of the Lost.  Land of the Lost looks truly totally dreadful on any level.

It's fun.  And not overblown fun.  I like that in a movie.


Peat said...

I agree. If you think about it and start pulling at the loose threads around the seams, you can find plenty of flaws in the movie, but overall it was so enjoyable that pulling those threads feels curmudgeonly.

Transformers and Land of the Lost will suck, but the new Terminator movie looks friggin' awesome.

Anonymous said...

Boy does it ever. What I really liked about the new Star Trek flick was that it is that thing that all of us comic book fans love most - a giant, extended origin story. Attractive cast may be the understatement of the century. That, or I was in Iraq way too long.

Bill Swears said...

I don't know about Transformers, because I thought the last one would suck, but I had a great time. Will Ferrel has a way of pulling off great shows when I fully expect suckage, with Stranger Than Fiction as an example.

I'm hoping that the choice to use Wynona Ryder as Spock's mom indicates a continuing storyline there. I'll be there, real close to opening day, just to find out.


Bill Swears said...

Okay, the Will Ferell comment? I just saw Land of the Lost, and recommend that you exercise care about attending. There were some good bits, I thought, but we may have been a specialty crowd, laughing when the rest of the audience wasn't, that sort of thing.

I think it won't earn much slith, here.