Film > Critic vs. Critic
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While Corey Hall and I agree that the new Star Trek movie is the first official summer blockbuster worth seeing, our reactions differed in proportion to our geekdom. As a kid, I dutifully watched Kirk deliver flying kicks and double judo chops to alien adversaries each Saturday evening while eating my Swanson's TV dinner. I owned Trek action figures and technical manuals and even had the bridge with the revolving door transporter. Still, I never quite crossed into the convention-going jocks-beat-me-up world of being a true-blue Trekkie.
Hall, on the other hand, not only drank the Trayna flavored Kool-Aid, he's the kind of guy who'd learn Klingon so that he could chat up dorky girls at the merch table. He can recite starship specs and obscure alien physiology at will, name-check every episode and, yeah, probably even knows how many horses William Shatner owns (obscure SNL reference).
Anyway, instead of blathering on and on about how cool J.J Abrams' franchise reboot is, we thought we'd offer up the nitpicky criticisms of two nerds who most likely should be doing something more worthwhile. —JM
JEFF MEYERS: OK, to begin with, where was the cool Kirk fight? You know, where he interlocks his fingers and smacks down on Klingon back? And what was the deal with him blowing it with the chicks. Kirk was the original intergalactic "playa." In this flick, Spock got all the red-skirt action. Does metrosexuality become the norm in the 23rd century?
COREY HALL: This Kirk is a pretty boy, but he's also tough, but I also wanted more Shatner-style double-ax, handle-scissor kick-fu. New Kirk does briefly mack on a green Orion skank, but he's too busy trying to work the buttons on that crazy Apple Genius Bar-meets-Tokyo airport bridge set. The design's all next-gen shiny white and chrome except for Scotty's engine room, which is filled with more pipes and valves than a sewage treatment plant.
MEYERS: Yeah, it did kinda look Willy Wonka-ish. I half expected Scotty to run into Augustus Gloop in those tubes. And, hey, where was Nurse Chappel? Her sexy beehive and black go-go boots were responsible for many a nerdling's nocturnal emissions. And I think the movie missed some of the grandeur of the old show and films. A big part of that was Michael Giacchino's shapeless musical score. It just didn't have the oomph that Goldsmith and Horner brought. Yeah, he sampled themes from the original series but the overall effect seemed kind of generic.
HALL: Other annoyances: the overused lens flares, phasers shooting bolts instead of beams (too Star Wars), the silly techno babble about "red matter," Eric Bana's underdeveloped, blah baddie. However, there was enough nerd porn to satisfy: Sulu was useful for once, and the space battles really felt epic. And I got great bird of the galaxy pimples when we learned how James T. Kirk got his name.
MEYERS: Best moment? Pretty much any scene with Dr. McCoy. Karl Urban was brilliant. The sad truth is Abrams' Star Trek doesn't have a whole lot of quotable moments but the overall package is definitely well worth your ten bucks and two hours. And, hey, was that really Winona Ryder playing Spock's mom
HALL: Was that really Tyler Perry out of drag playing an admiral? What's with the parachutes? A Beastie Boys song in a Trek movie? It broke all the rules and made me love it. While it is short on the big ideas Gene Roddenberry loved, it's big on hope and heart, and takes a stalled franchise to Warp 9.
Jeff Meyers and Corey Hall write about film for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.