chalcedony: (pale imitation)
So I went to the movies yesterday. While I was very unhappy with what I saw, it didn't upset me in the same way as the previous Abrams!Trek endeavor did. It's not that this second outing is a better movie - believe me, it's not - but this time I had no hope going in to it, so I wasn't nearly so disappointed.

In case some of you have been living under a rock for the last six months, Spoilers, Sweetie! )

It was fun. Big, dumb fun. It just wasn't Star Trek.
chalcedony: (Indy)
One of the several billion previews we saw tonight was for The Hobbit. It looks absolutely gorgeous! THIS is what a prequel should be. Can't wait!
chalcedony: (eames & goren)
We went to see Skyfall tonight, and it was fantastic. Daniel Craig was ... well, James Bond. Javier Bardem was absolutely amazing as the bad guy. Lots of stuff blew up. There was a manor house that reminded me of Torchwood Hall. And there was an absolutely stunning long shot of a glacier-cut valley. All in all, an excellent evening at the cinema. I recommend it highly.

(Having said that, I understand completely why several feminist bloggers/reviewers were unhappy. I didn't particularly like that turn of events myself, but in the context of the story, it was necessary. IMO, of course.)
chalcedony: (tulip)
I've seen a number of posts complaining that the actors just don't look old enough in the Epilogue. Let's run some numbers, shall we? The trio were 17 at the time of the war, and the epilogue took place 19 years later. 17 + 19 = 36. That means that the trio were 36 and Ginny was 35. I realize that to someone in their twenties (or younger) 36 sounds really ancient, but these days, it isn't even middle aged. Add to that the fact that people in the industrialized west look younger longer than they did in the past, and I have to say that I thought the makeup was subtle, effective, and age-appropriate.

Now get off my lawn. ;)
chalcedony: (pale imitation)
I've had chocolate and a pat on the head from someone who understands, and I feel better now. Regardless of what I said before, I basically enjoyed the movie. I'll undoubtedly see it at least once more, probably on IMAX. I may even buy the DVD when it comes out. It was a really well done, early twenty-first century flashy sci-fi action flick. There were SW-type aliens in bars and lots of space ships zipping unrealistically through space. It was stupid fun. It just wasn't Trek.

One thing really bothered me, however. If Bill is telling the truth, he was never approached about any kind of involvement with this movie. The official line is that there was nothing for him to do. That's not true. The movie ends with Leonard doing the opening "Space ..." monologue. It was fine, but considering that a big part of the movie is Kirk finding himself, it would have made much more sense to have Bill do it, and if it's true that they didn't even ask him ... well, that's just petty.

The Good:
Zachary Quinto. OMG, amazing! We first see him in profile when he comes to say goodbye to Amanda before leaving for Starfleet Academy, and he looked so much like a young Leonard I gasped. Not only does he look like Leonard, he moves like him and even sounds a bit like him. It's very clear he did his homework. His performance was subtle and moving; speaking as a Spock girl from way back, he was the highlight of the movie.

Simon Pegg. I've read comments that criticized his role as comic relief. He certainly was funny, but Scotty always was. And it was made quite clear that he's as much a genius as the rest of them. If they turn this into a series of movies, I hope he stays with it.

Lt. George Samuel Kirk, Sr. Good man. Stalwart, brave, and true. Even if he was married to that chick from House.

Sarek. How did I not know that Ben Cross was playing him? Not surprisingly, he was terrific. I particularly liked the fact that, in this universe, he told Spock the truth about why he married Amanda.

Engineer Olsen. He should have known better than to choose that red flight suit. ;)

Leonard. Do I really have to explain why?

The Okay, I Guess:
McCoy. The actor isn't skinny enough, and I expected a bit more of a southern accent at the beginning, but he sold it, they got his backstory right, and I laughed out loud when he said he liked Spock.

Sulu, and Chekov. They were fine. Sulu got to swing a sword and Chekov got to be brilliant, which is more than he ever got to do before.

Uhura. On the up side, she didn't say "hailing frequencies open" even once. On the down side, she's doing Spock. Given all the yakking that people have done over the years about the role of women in Classic Trek, and how "we would do so much better if we were making it now," I'm not happy that they changed her from an underused bridge officer to a cadet who's involved with one of her academy instructors and who uses that relationship to get assigned to the ship she wanted. That is not an improvement, no matter how often they told us about her brilliance. Even the fan dance was less offensive. (Hmmm. Maybe she should be dropped down to Bad.)

The Bad:
No Sam Kirk. No Gary Mitchell. I know, I know. It's an AU. I still wondered where they were.

They frelling killed Amanda on screen. That's just not right, even if she was played by Winona Fucking Ryder.

CGI spaceships. As always - ugh. I may have to make a pilgrimage to the Smithsonian this summer to get the bad taste out of my mouth.

The Big Bad, however, was Chris Pine. IMO, he was the almost-fatal flaw because he played Kirk as a real asshole. James T. Kirk may have been a swaggering, overbearing, tin-plated dictator with delusions of godhood, but he was never an asshole. One of the realities that people don't often acknowledge about Trek is that Jim Kirk is the heart and soul of the show. When that heart is played as an flaming asshole, it throws everything out of whack. I don't blame the actor for this, BTW. I saw him on Letterman the other night, and he seems like a nice guy. No, I lay all the blame at the feet of the director. Fannish heresy, I know.

The Truly Ugly:
The science. Oh. My. God. Jesus wept, people. Magnetic effects from Saturn's rings? The rings that are made of ice and silicate rock? A supernova that threatens to destroy the galaxy? Really? "Red matter" that's so dangerous it can trigger the formation of a singularity at the center of a planet (eh?), but can still be handled with a syringe? Dear God.

What many younger fans don't seem to realize is that back when they were making Classic Trek, there was a very real attempt to be scientifically correct. And in large part, this - the combination of good stories and good science - was what attracted many of us to it in the first place. Yes, science sometimes took a backseat to the requirements of plot, but they made a real effort, and Trek was miles ahead of their contemporaries in this regard. That commitment has waned with each subsequent spinoff, and has really hit bottom with this movie. Since they clearly Don't Get It, rather than a reboot, maybe this should be the end of the franchise.
chalcedony: (pale imitation)
I cried through the whole thing. And now I feel like I just came home from a funeral.

No doubt I'll have more to say later. Right now I need chocolate.
chalcedony: (Default)
This year, in our annual quest to Avoid The Superbowl At All Costs, Judi and I rejected the previously-proposed Alien Nation marathon (I'm still not sure where the DVDs are, exactly) and home-made Mexican, and decided to go out for a movie and dinner. The local googolplex was emptier than either of us had ever seen it; it was actually quite a pleasant experience. Needless to say, we had our pick of movies, and we ended up choosing The Reader. It was absolutely amazing. I haven't been paying attention to the Oscar nominations, but I will state here and now that if Kate Winslett wasn't nominated for this, the Academy should just call it a day, pack its collective bags, and go home. It's not an easy movie to watch – "definitely not a popcorn movie", as Judi put it – but stirring, moving, thought provoking, and remarkably contemporary. I recommend it most highly.

Dinner was at The Olive Garden. (Don't look at me like that – the one by me has good chicken parmesan.) Again, the place was mostly empty, and we had a great time chatting with our waitress while we ate.

On the fannish front: About a week and a half ago, my DVDs of Moonlight arrived, and during the past week, I've watched the entire sixteen episode series run. Twice. Now, of course, I am in search of fic and have joined several LJ communities. I am sadly predictable.

I do not have lab this afternoon, and so am off to do laundry. I thought you'd like to know.

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