Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stinking Thinking

So my second semester as a college student has ended, and I managed to sink from a 4.0 GPA to a 3.6 GPA. Great. I simply have not been studying enough. It's difficult when you are employed full time as well as enrolled full time, but still. I should just do better, because I am better. The problem is, I cannot study unless I'm totally alone, relaxed, and have music playing. So all the time I'm sitting here at work with absolutely nothing to do, I try to study, but end up giving up after being distracted by all the noise and occasional duties. What's worse, I think my boss wants me to do poorly. Every time he has seen me studying, he has gone out of his way to either choose that time to try chatting with me or to assign me some useless, mindless task to perform. Dude, it's called Work-Study for a reason. Part of it is supposed to involve study. Meh. Anyways, that's my rant for today. Poor rant, I know. I am losing brain cells here. I'm honestly surprised that I can manage to write anything.

What else? Oh! I saw Star Trek on opening night, of course. It freaking r0XX0rz! I honestly have a problem with the whole time-travel thing that they've been pulling since The Voyage Home in order to make the story work, but with this movie, it is necessary. The fact is, the original crew and the Next Generation crew needed to be completely phased out and the 'new' original crew given an almost completely new history in order for this movie to appeal to a new audience. For too long have writers, directors and producers been pandering to the now aged uber geeks who bitch and cry whenever something in one of the movies is not as it was in the original series. For Star Trek to be successful again, it had to be completely made over for a new generation. This movie certainly did so, and I'm confident the franchise will continue to live on thanks to that bold choice.
As for the film itself। It begins and ends with action, just like a Star Trek movie should। There is a ten-minute space battle before the credits, during which we are shown the circumstances of Kirk's birth. Minutes after Kirk's father orders the evacuation of the USS Kelvin, his wife gives birth aboard a shuttle craft. A quick scene after the credits introduces us to a young man of about twelve, driving a stolen classic car and running from a police officer in an awesomely Orwellian uniform. The ballsy kid, who ends up almost killing himself, is obviously Kirk. After this we are treated to a scene at a seedy bar which introduces Uhura, played by the stunningly beautiful Zoe Saldana. Kirk happens to be there, and his attempts at wooing Uhura, a Starfleet cadet, land him in hot water with a group of Starfleet hefties, who proceed to beat the bejesus out of him. This brings in Captain Pike, played by Bruce Greenwood, who informs Kirk of the circumstances of his birth and the heroic actions of his father, challenging him to live up to his father's example by joining Starfleet.

The good thing about this movie is that it gets the background stories out of the way quickly without leaving the viewer confused. After this, Kirk of course joins Starfleet Academy, where we meet the characters "Bones" McCoy and Hikaru Sulu, played by Karl Urban and John Cho. Karl Urban makes an excellent McCoy, accurately portraying the good Doctor's gruff negativity without seeming like he's trying to imitate Deforest Kelly. Sulu, as usual, gets very little screen time. We also see Spock as a child, struggling to control his human emotions among the strictly logical Vulcans. Zachary Quinto is the real star of this film, in my opinion. He gets more screen time than Kirk, and it is obvious that he is the more capable officer. The main focus of the movie is on Spock and his relationship with Kirk, who absolutely despises him. The rest of the movie focuses on the cadets' involvement in an emergency battle against the Romulan Nero, played by Eric Bana (am I the only one who's tired of bad guys having tatooed faces to make them look like bad guys?)। The cadets all end up aboard the newly commissioned USS Enterprise, commanded by Captain Pike. Now we are introduced to the seventeen year old wunderkind Pavel Chekov, played very well by Anton Yelchin, whose heavily accented English provides some comic relief, but who also turns out to be a key player in the movie. We don't meet Scotty until close to the end of the movie, and I'm honestly thankful. His is the only character who is obviously there for comedic value and not much else. Though Simon Pegg is always funny, he doesn't fit as Scotty. He sounds more like Groundskeeper Willie from the Simpsons, for one thing, and he doesn't actually do anything worthwhile for the film.

The plot is almost ruined by the whole time-travel thing, like I said earlier. We are re-introduced to the original Spock (Spock Prime, as he is called on IMDB) played, of course, by seventy-eight year old Leonard Nimoy. Spock reveals why Nero is bent on destroying the Federation, and turns out to be completely instrumental to the film's plot. However, they could have just as easily skipped the time-travel thing and just started from scratch, the aged uber geeks be damned. But it just wouldn't make the movie work, even for those of us who aren't that concerned with whether the movie stays true to the fictional history. But oh well. Still, best movie of the year! You should go see it if you haven't already.

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