STAR TREK

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caliban
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STAR TREK

Postby caliban » Sun May 10, 2009 8:02 pm

Spoiler-free review

The new Star Trek movie is, to me, an excellent "reboot" of the series that had gotten increasingly creaky with age. It captures much of what worked in the original, in particular the optimism and brightness of spirit, and still manages to make some clever tweaks to the canon. I was particularly pleased that Uhuru was a much more fleshed-out character. Chris Pine does a good job of capturing Kirk's swagger--almost a little too much--and Zach Quinto is excellent at conveying the anger and resentment beneath the young Spock's placid surface. One could quibble (for example, despite Uhuru's expanded role, it's still at heart a pretty macho movie, all about boys trying to prove their manliness), but really, this stands equal or better than the other Trek movies. And after the dour gloom of Battlestar Galactica, it simply felt fun!
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Marie
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Boldly go to the theater and catch this flick!

Postby Marie » Mon May 11, 2009 8:52 pm

I will enthusiastically agree with Caliban’s assessment of the new Star Trek that hit the movie circuit this weekend. Although, I am a trusted supporter of the original series and cast, this was a fine prequel that alluded to many of the factors presented in past scripts. I found that the selected actors/actresses had captured the essence of the characters extremely well.
The prelude gave us a brief glimpsing introduction of the two major characters Kirk and Spock with their polar opposite upbringing. Kirk the daredeviled, smartmouthed, randy but brilliant cynic living in rural Iowa to the staid, reserved, cerebral yet emotionally simmering Spock. I enjoyed the switch from Earth’s wild countryside to the study pods of a Vulcan classroom. Both Pine and Quinto displayed a fine report with the identities they represented. I, too, like Athena hoped that Uhura would have more of a part than “answering phones and smooching with Kirk and although it was enhanced to my satisfaction, her romantic relationship with Spock raised my eyebrow more than once during the performance.
As the scenes progressed through entry into Starfleet Academy and the final destination of the crew members aboard the USS Enterprise it was indeed a treat to watch. The heroes and villains were both inspiring and despised by an audience issuing displays of boos and cheers during the appropriate scenes. There were many young attendees as well as those of my generation who watched Star Trek evolve and none felt lost by the action packed adventures experienced by the crew.
For those who have not seen the film, I do not want to give out any spoilers but the plot though a little muddy in places is action packed and the visual effects outstanding. Most know that I collect movie soundtracks and this background display by Michael Giacchino is a tremendous blending of orchestral genius that brought scene after scene to vivid life. Even the finale “To Boldly Go” has Leonard Nimoy reciting the “Where no man has gone before” monologue with raspy emphasis before exploding into a version of the original Star Trek theme of the past.

My advice, go see it and it not only felt fun, Caliban, it was fun!

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Set your Transporter Coordinates...

Postby Windwalker » Wed May 13, 2009 10:19 am

... to Centauri Dreams, where my friend Paul Gilster is graciously hosting my more extended take on the new Star Trek film.
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Postby bretonlass » Mon May 25, 2009 4:26 pm

Star Trek
or a neophyte's introduction to the Alpha Quadrant

Stardate 20095.20

I have just come home from watching the latest (or should I say the earliest?) installment of the adventures of the NCC-1701, better known as the USS Enterprise, and her crew.

It has been, all matters considered, a rather enjoyable ride, much improved by the Imax screening and a receptive audience.

What I appreciated the most was its unrelenting optimism and faith in a bright future, even as it was overlaid with lighter and darker shades of gray. It did not fear to touch upon difficult subjects, such as genocide, the right to vengeance, the ability to lead and the relevance of personal feelings and attachments in relation to the greater picture. All in all, a deceptively simple tale which, under the guise of a space opera, can make one reflect on great universal themes. It also lays the bases for two bildungsromans centered upon the parrallel life journeys of two misfits, one James Tiberius Kirk of Earth and one Spock of Vulcan. We see unfold under our eyes their comings of age, where they must needs define themselves and take charge of their futures.

In addition, the rest of the crew never felt thrown into the movie "just because". Nor were their skills shown off for their own sakes, but rather skillfully woven into the story. The way the crew got together often made me smile, from Leonard "Bones" McCoy plunking himself in the shuttle to Starfleet Academy to Chekov's bright-eyed, whiz-kid interventions. By the bye, I can tell ye Scotty's accent is verra, verra guid, wi' a fine dose o'... weel, Scottish humour thrown atwixt his scientific blather. And I really liked how Uhura's role has been expanded. She's got brains, she's got brawn, she's pretty determined and not afraid to make a stand, and on top of that she's perfectionnist and very, very professional. Her personal choices, not quite so surprising when one reflect upon them, make a great deal of sense. A quite decent role model for women of all ages.

As a SF/Fantasy fan, I also have to say that I liked the references to another great space saga. One young boy's stubborn affirmation of self, his reluctance to embark on his life journey, his quest to live up to his father's ghost, his interlude on an ice planet, his friend's planet being in danger... I found this... fascinating, to say the least. An heartwrenchingly familiar tale, yet told from its unique, innovative vantage point.

I shall not dwell needlessly on the special effects. As always, Industrial Lights and Magic does an outstanding job. What truly held my attention was the soundtrack, shamelessly heading in Wagnerian territory as it embraced its epic scope. Yet at the same time, it never intruded on the dialogue or the action, rather choosing to enhance both. A bit I appreciated was that it only cued Alexander Courage's famous theme at the very end, as the Enterprise's journey truly begins and she and her crew sail away on their first official mission.

In the end, it is a movie I warmly recommend. It opens our heat to the many-splendoured possibilities of space travel, as in the same breath it warns against misuses of technology. The technobabble is there, of course, but does not detract from the main plot (there's a fine inside joke as, at one point, McCoy tells Scotty, gone off on a tangent: "I'm a medic, Scotty, not an ingeneer!").

May the Enterprise sail as true as on her maiden voyage, and may her crew live long and prosper.

Eloise

PS: For those bemoaning the loss of the Vulcan culture, may I remind them that Spock actually saved the Elders, fount of the Vulcan knowledge, and that the remaining Vulcans are rebuilding everything on a new colony. I believe the phoenix will rise from its ashes...

PPS: I agree that Spock is the most snacho of them all. But Kirk ain't so bad himself (and Chris Pine's rather dashing, besides). For all his brash 'tude, I think he's got potential, and he may yet learn a thing or two.
"First, you see the world in black and white. After a while, you begin to see the shades of gray. And if you but have the courage to try, you then get to see all the colours of the rainbow." My philosophy of life

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Postby bretonlass » Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:37 pm

Out of curiosity, I went on J.J. Abrams' IMDB page. There is an "Untitled Star Trek Sequel" slated for 2011. If it indeed gets made, it'll be interesting to see how they handle the future adventures of the Enterprise and her crew...

Cheers,

Eloise :)
"First, you see the world in black and white. After a while, you begin to see the shades of gray. And if you but have the courage to try, you then get to see all the colours of the rainbow." My philosophy of life

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Postby bretonlass » Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:21 pm

In my previous review I said:

bretonlass wrote:As a SF/Fantasy fan, I also have to say that I liked the references to another great space saga. One young boy's stubborn affirmation of self, his reluctance to embark on his life journey, his quest to live up to his father's ghost, his interlude on an ice planet, his friend's planet being in danger... I found this... fascinating, to say the least. An heartwrenchingly familiar tale, yet told from its unique, innovative vantage point.


Today, I came across a most interesting article, which illustrates more aptly than I could the similarities between Star Trek and Star Wars:

IGN: May the Trek Be With You

And this made me wonder if, perhaps, these similarities were not one of the causes of Athena's reserved response towards the movie... I suppose that only time will tell if the planned Star Trek sequel confirms or infirms these apprehensions.

Cheers,

Eloise :)
"First, you see the world in black and white. After a while, you begin to see the shades of gray. And if you but have the courage to try, you then get to see all the colours of the rainbow." My philosophy of life

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Postby Windwalker » Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:35 pm

bretonlass wrote:And this made me wonder if, perhaps, these similarities were not one of the causes of Athena's reserved response towards the movie... I suppose that only time will tell if the planned Star Trek sequel confirms or infirms these apprehensions.

Eloise, many thanks for the link! I enjoyed the article's intelligence as well as its snarkiness. I think that one of its early sentences encapsulates my reservations: both SW and the ST reboot are Joseph Campbell 101 -- myth stripped to its most generic and anti-progressive version.

ST was previously the carrier of many myths, some more complex than others. To see this nuanced vision reduced to a stale formula was perhaps my major disappointment.
For I come from an ardent race
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Fame is Beckoning!

Postby Windwalker » Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:42 am

When my review of the Star Trek reboot appeared at Centauri Dreams, Peggy Kolm of Biology in Science Fiction wrote a post about it which attracted the attention of the editors of an online speculative magazine.

As a result, yours truly is now holding forth in the latest issue of Crossed Genres. And I don’t have even a Master’s in Futurism!
For I come from an ardent race
That has subsisted on defiance and visions.

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Now fortune is beckoning as well!

Postby Windwalker » Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:01 am

At the heels of the interview, Crossed Genres also accepted a story, Dry Rivers. Some of you may recognize the title, it is one of the legends that appear in Spider Silk. They will publish it in their next issue, which focuses on alternative history.

Just when I had come to think that my genre-crossing fiction had become unpublishable in today's micro-niche climate!
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That has subsisted on defiance and visions.

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Postby caliban » Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:12 pm

I know I said it elsewhere but it bears repeating: congratulations!
"Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won't work." --Thomas A. Edison

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Postby Windwalker » Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:14 pm

caliban wrote:I know I said it elsewhere but it bears repeating: congratulations!

And you, as well as several others on this forum, have an awful lot to do with these successes. You constantly fuel my engine as both collaborators and friends.
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Marie
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Fortune and fame to the watchful and patient!

Postby Marie » Sun Jul 12, 2009 10:15 pm

For this event I have patiently waited!

Dry Rivers is one of the legends you so creatively constructed for Spider Silk to bring the events of the past to the forefront of the first home hinted in your wonderful epic. Interwoven in this particular story are the references to the Minoan culture after the Thera eruption and the editors of Crossed Genres saw this as a perfect example of alternative history.
Congratulations Athena! I am looking forward to the publication in their next issue.
Also, the interview was a tremendous tapping of your research biologist's knowledge and insight. Ms. Holt was very thorough and asked pointed and speculative questions. Your answers didn't need a Master in Futurism. Reading your stories more that fulfilled those expectations. :D

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Re: Fortune and fame to the watchful and patient!

Postby Windwalker » Sun Jul 12, 2009 11:08 pm

Marie wrote:For this event I have patiently waited!

I'm so happy you enjoyed the interview, Marie! I had a wonderful time, because Kay was so interested and well informed. I've had great luck with my editors so far.

As for the fiction, you have been with me on this journey from its start. I don't know if, or when, Spider Silk will appear into the world. But its prologue, Shard Songs, has a slim chance. On the topic, I just read an interesting book indirectly about Minoan Crete -- I'm writing a brief blog post about it.
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Postby bretonlass » Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:56 pm

Just a wee link...

to Diamond Sky Productions where Carolyn Porco, science adviser to the movie production and leader of the science imaging team of the Cassini mission, has made available high-resolution images of the Enterprise rising off Titan.

For those of you in quest of fine Star Trek wallpapers, you would be hard-pressed to find better offerings.

Cheers,

Eloise :)
"First, you see the world in black and white. After a while, you begin to see the shades of gray. And if you but have the courage to try, you then get to see all the colours of the rainbow." My philosophy of life

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Postby Windwalker » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:03 pm

Great image! Thanks for the link, Eloise!
For I come from an ardent race
That has subsisted on defiance and visions.


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