Keep On Trekkin’

The new old crew.  (Photo originally from UGO (ugo.com))

The new old crew. (Photo originally from UGO (ugo.com))

So.  There’s a new Star Trek film in the works.  They’re going back to the Original Series era and recasting everyone.  Hmmm.  Recast William Shatner?  That’s tough.  How do you recast the role played by the greatest actor in cinematic history.  Not so easy.
I (mostly) trust J.J. Abrams, but the writers– as geeky as they may be– are also responsible for writing Transformers, which is quite possibly the worst film of the last twenty years.  I’d rather watch the Star Wars prequels or Spider-Man 3 or Batman & Robin than that movie.  Not a single frame or word of dialogue is worth anything.  It’s that bad.  It’s the perfect example of what’s wrong with Hollywood nowadays.  Not because it’s big-budget (big-budget can be great!), but because it commits the worst sin any piece of art can do: it caters to the lowest common denominator.  The dialogue is inane.  Everything is a joke.  Everything is a mockery.  It takes away all credibility and power from characters like Optimus Prime, for example, who is supposed to be the venerable leader of an entire race of beings.  When you give him lines like “Oops… my bad,” and put him in constant slapstick situations, you destroy all that the character means.  And characters like John Turturro are Naked Gun-like parodies.  They have no place this sort of film.  Everything plays for a cheap (and misplaced) laugh… and they’re not good laughs at that.  The creators assume that the entire audience is comprised of mindless assholes who can’t simultaneously suspend disbelief and understand a serious movie.  And I hate them for that.  It’s a hell of a leap to believe that there are sentient alien robots who can walk and talk and transform into vehicles.  Let the audience take that jump, and then don’t insult them.  Don’t make a bunch of teenagers talk back to government officials using teen jargon-of-the-week (only illustrating how mindless they really are), and then subsequently save the world using only their theretofore nonexistant intellegence.  Don’t assume the audience can’t comprehend a complex plot.  Every time a movie like that is made, it lowers the bar, and perpetuates the vicious cycle of stupid people watching stupid movies, who then expect less, so the studios make stupider movies, which in turn makes the audience stupider… you get the point.
So that’s why I’m a bit scared.  But I’m also a bit cautiously optimistic because of Abrams’ involvement.  (And because I think the costumes look good.)  I want to see where this is going.  I just hope it doesn’t talk down to us, or lower our bar, as it were.  Star Trek never did that.  Hell, Star Wars never did that– until the prequels.  Let’s keep this one intelligent.
In the meantime, there are only a few photos that have surfaced so far.  Here’s a link to a site that has those precious few all in one place: http://www.cinematical.com/photos/star-trek/
Live long and prosper.
 
~Cristar
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