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Living Loz
I ended up saying a lot more than I thought I would... 
18th-May-2013 02:02 pm
Loz Cola
Things about me:

1. I am mostly fine! Working a lot, walking a lot.

2. Tonight I'm going to go see a play starring Darth Vader and Jessica Fletcher. I am excited.

3. I went to see Star Trek 2: Electric Boogaloo, the following are my scattered thoughts:
A) I enjoyed the movie for the most part, although I did laugh a lot at Kirk's dying scene. My brother Nick was seriously pissed off with me for how funny I found it. I'M SORRY. IT WAS SO CLICHE. HE DID A LITTLE COUGH. I did bounce around like a spring when they did the hand thing, though. That was kind of gorgeous. Expected, knowingly referential, but gorgeous.

B) I appreciated the humour. The trailer made it look there wasn't going to be any, so I was glad there was. Some of it was funny, too, which is always a plus.

C) I was REALLY disappointed in the score. I adored Giacchino's first reboot soundtrack, but not enough to want to hear it again without any noticeable change.

D) I felt like there was TOO. MUCH. JEOPARDY! all the way through. I think the first reboot movie is like that too, but I was willing to ignore it barring the stupid monster chase scene, because it was the first reboot, and I was stupidly charmed by everyone's faces, but here I found it super grating. I wanted more of the character moments, because I thought they were done pretty damn well. By the end, I was kind of plot twist and jeopardied out.

E) I didn't like that Benedict Cumberbatch was Khan. The fact that Abrams lied about it annoys me, but the thing I mostly found was that it was unnecessary. I love Benedict, I think he's a great actor --- just look at the original pilot of Sherlock and the actual series to see how nuanced and clever he is, but he didn't bring anything particularly special to the role, so I really didn't see why he had to be cast over an actor of colour. I subscribe to the idea that it was always awesome that a superhuman, brilliant villain was played a person of colour. Because, yes, villain, but not a Caliban, not the stereotyped portrayal of a villain of colour being a savage thug: a preternaturally extraordinary example of excellence. If you're going to fuck with that, at least have the actor you use be the most amazing thing ever. But he wasn't. I was just kind of --- eh --- about him the whole time, and I really don't think I should have been.

F) I wasn't keen on how they underused both Carol Marcus and Nyota Uhura. Considering the fact they were the only two significant female characters and that they're awesome characters in their own rights, I was pretty pissed that, well, Carol was shown in her underwear for NO REASON AT ALL, got fucked over by her father, and then was grievously injured by Khan --- that, while being awesome with her linguist expertise, Uhura almost got grievously injured by a Klingon, that she served as an annoyed love interest for a huge portion of the movie and then her rescue of Spock was shoved aside and hugely downplayed for a Kirk/Spock scene (and I am usually DOWN with Kirk/Spock scenes. I don't OTP them, but I appreciate them.)

G) It comes down to me having to reconcile that I was quite entertained for two hours with all of this other stuff, particularly regarding representation. Because, no, the Star Trek franchise has never been perfect, but fuckdammit, it's got a long tradition of being better than the rest when it comes to casting people of colour, of having awesome characters that are male and female, of being philosophical. I feel like some of the philosophy has been shoved aside for some flash and bang and I like flash and bang well enough, but I don't connect with it. Star Trek is something I hold dearly because it speaks to outsiders, courts them with characters like Spock, Uhura, Data, Geordie, Worf, the Siskos, Odo,Janeway, Seven of Nine, B'Elanna, The Doctor, T'Pol and yes, even Khan. Because differences are shown, and usually not shown to be a bad thing. Because, as the great Philip J. Fry once said, because it... it taught me so much. Like, how you should accept people, whether they be black, white, Klingon or even female... But most importantly, when I had no friends, it made me feel like maybe I did.

(I just really feel like the reboot could do so much more, and it relies upon THIS EXCITING CHASE SEQUENCE WITH A SWIRLY COAT, this casually sexist scene, this mandatory catchphrase, this white British-sounding villain like all the white British-sounding villains that have gone before.)

18th-May-2013 04:55 am (UTC) - Apologies in advance for geeking out all over the place, I've been talking about this all day...
Okay... I'm in kind of a weird position here. I basically grew up with Star Trek because my mom is a huge fan, but I was never really that into it myself. So I respect the franchise, and I'm in a position of being disappointed by this movie both as a casual fan/average viewer AND as someone who cares about movie-making and storytelling.

First: yeah... casting fail. Even my mom's first comment was "He wasn't the right race!" And even apart from that, as much as I like Benedict, I think he was all wrong for the role. He felt too cold and clinical to me, which doesn't jibe with what I remember of the original Khan, and the scenes with him coming unhinged at the end just felt painfully forced.

Which brings me to the ending. Which is where I felt they seriously failed by cribbing so heavily from previous Trek. The thing with Khan's blood (which didn't even make any sense) took all the tension out of Kirk's heroic sacrifice (I was spoiled going in, but even if I hadn't been I STILL would have seen that coming from a mile away) and giving Spock the iconic yell took me completely out of the movie and almost made me laugh during what should have been the emotional climax.

And I have to admit here that I kind of agree with J.J Abrams about the "philosophy" of the original series, but he doesn't seem to realize that you can have both - you can keep the heart of the show intact and still have your lens flares and lasers and stuff blowing up. The movie needs someone who'll do that.

18th-May-2013 05:07 am (UTC) - Re: Apologies in advance for geeking out all over the place, I've been talking about this all day...
I really only got into Star Trek: The Next Generation when I was about 13. I refused to watch it before then, because I saw an episode with Locutus and it scared the shit out of me. I only watched TOS when I was 18 or so. I'm currently watching the first couple of series of DS9 because I must have missed them before. I've never really considered myself a huge fan, because there's a metric fucktonne I don't know. But I am, apparently, a bigger fan than I ever credited myself with being.

I did laugh at KHAAAAAAAN! Couldn't help myself. (Nick may never see another movie with me again.)

And yeah, I think you can have a balance of philosophy and FLASH. BANG, which, when the movie tried to do that, it actually did okay, so I don't get why we don't have MORE. I would argue that Farscape is a great example of a show that combined both philosophy and explosions from mid S1 onwards (early S1 is like Star Trek TOS in so very many ways.)

The thing is, I fucking love referential stuff that builds on known narratives and explodes/fucks with them. Meta is my favourite of all the literary and cinematic devices. I like things where the fourth wall is flimsy, where the creator and the audience are in cahoots --- but like we've been saying --- they could take this in whole new, interesting direction, and they seem to be hemming themselves in with like, reverse-Sweding the originals.
18th-May-2013 05:17 am (UTC)
Yes! I thought they had some hints of it with the whole militarization of Starfleet thing and how they really are explorers, not soldiers... but nope, that was a pretext for a lot of Growly-Voiced White Guy.

and OMG I LOVED Farscape! It really is my ideal sci-fi scenario. Lots of alien creatures, and good emotional/thoughtful storylines without skimping on the humor and action. (Of course it kinda went off the rails near the end. :P)

And YES! I love self-reference and meta too, but I think in this case they didn't show enough respect for the original material. It didn't come off as an homage, it just felt like they were too lazy to write a new story. :P
18th-May-2013 02:51 pm (UTC)

I'm NOT reading your ST comment because I'm seeing the film tomorrow and so far have managed to remain spoiler free.

I just wanted to say that it's lovely to see you around. ♥
18th-May-2013 02:58 pm (UTC)

It's lovely to see you around too! I have, actually, been lurking when LJ has been working. Just not as often as I'd like.
18th-May-2013 04:57 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad I changed my plans to see Star Trek today to plans to see Iron Man 3 today. Based on how much I enjoyed ST1 and how just okay IM2 was, I was sure I'd made the right pick (I will probably not have the time to see another summer movie 'til much later in the summer), but having heard so much word of mouth I was feeling like I'd backed the wrong horse.
19th-May-2013 12:00 am (UTC)
On the whole, I adored Iron Man 3 and found it a lot less annoying to the little voice in my head that picks stuff apart!
18th-May-2013 10:50 pm (UTC)
YES, the representation issue, and the philosophy. The philosophy is really missing, and that made me really sad. Because, yes, that's my Star Trek.
19th-May-2013 12:17 am (UTC)
♥ We are of an accordance.
20th-May-2013 01:19 am (UTC)
I have a similar reaction to the ST. Because it was enjoyable as hell but you step back and realize that that doesn't necessarily mean it was good.

Uhura did get a really awesome moment up with the Klingons.
20th-May-2013 08:22 am (UTC)
Yep! *sigh*
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