Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Why I Yawned Through the New STAR TREK Movie

I admit it. Unlike the fawning hordes who are praising this new version of Star Trek, I was bored and couldn't wait for it to be over. I was the only one in our group of six who felt this way when seeing it at a matinee on Sunday.

Why, Ricky, why? Can't you appreciate awesome special effects? Much sexier leads? A somewhat inspired prequel? Um, yes, I can appreciate those things. I'm not dead.

So I thought about why I wasn't thrilled with Star Trek and why, throughout the movie, I was thinking, "Beam me up, Scotty."

But see, I was similarly nonplussed by such flicks as the Harry Potter movies...and The Lord of the Rings movies...and well, just about anything set completely in some fantastical/future/space environment. Maybe it's because I live so much in my imagination that when I get out for some escapist entertainment, I want there to be real people and real places in it. That's what interests me. When the whole world is made up, I just can't find a point of entry and simply can't get into it (and all you dirty minds can have fun with the double entendre of that last sentence). If you want me to be interested in science fiction and/or fantasy, you have to put some real people in it and real places...so I can boldly go with them to new places (like in some of Neil Gaiman's stuff, or in sci-fi movies where Earth is under siege).

So while I'm not saying the new Star Trek is bad (for that, go here), I'm just saying it wasn't for me.


  1. I haven't seen it yet...the kids don't allow for many date nights.
    I can see where you're coming from and there is nothing wrong with not liking something just because the masses say "must consume." I'm that way with the whole Twilight phenomenon...I just have no interest.
    I like fantasy and some sci-fi...but the way I write is real people with extraordinary/ paranormal things going on around them. I am admittedly a Harry Potter fanatic, but I don't expect everyone to be into it.

    If it's not your cup of tea, it's just not your cup of tea.
    Thanks for sharing :)

  2. I agree with you, Rick.
    I saw it with the husband the other day. He's a Trekkie and was all excited about it. He liked the movie. I didn't.
    I thought they changed too much, some of it made NO sense at all. I liked the actors, but that was about it.

  3. "I was similarly nonplussed by such flicks as the Harry Potter movies...and The Lord of the Rings movies...and well, just about anything set completely in some fantastical/future/space environment."

    This a bit off topic, but Harry Potter is set in modern-day England, and most of the kids are basically regular people.

    You probably didn't like the Harry Potter movies because most of them just aren't very good.

    The books somehow work better, especially the last three.

    Whatever makes them interesting as books just doesn't carry over into the movies. (I think the same is often true with Stephen King.)

  4. I haven't seen the new Star Trek (yet; if I know the hubby, he'll have it on DVD when it comes out...) but I expect I'll like it pretty well. Space Adventure + eye candy = happy Ally most of the time LOL (yes I'm easy to please *g*). But yeah, there's nothing wrong with something not floating your boat. We all like different things, it's what makes the world interesting :) I like sci-fi and horror. Fantasy, not so much usually. Except Tolkien. Yes, I'm one of those read 'em 'til they fall apart LOTR geeks, and I have all the extended edition DVDs of the movies :B

    David, you are dead right about Stephen King. I have yet to see a single adaptation of one of his works that I liked even CLOSE to as well as the book. I think it's because a movie just can't include all the detailed characterization he has in his books, all the extensive worldbuilding and getting to know the people and places. That's not to say some of the movies aren't okay in their own right, but for me they're kind of like a flashlight compared to a supernova when you hold them up to the source material.

    IMHO the difference isn't as great with the Harry Potter books, but it's a similar sort of thing, yes. The books are much more complex, especially the later ones. They "grow up" along with the characters. There's just no way the movies can possibly compare, even though I do find them entertaining.

    Hey, am I the only one who was dreadfully disappointed that Harry and Draco did not declare their undying love for one another and ride off into the sunset together on their Firebolts?

  5. LOL Rick you sound like my sister Karyn, who has her feet planted up to the ankles with real people and real places in movies. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I, on the other hand prefer my escapist fantasies to be as far away from the horrid reality in which we live as possible. I refuse to see anything remotely dealing in the real world because I can nap at home for free. I loved the Wrestler, but if I had been forced to see it the theatre I would have fallen asleep faster than an eighty year old man at bingo.

    As far as Star Trek, it was awesome, made absolute perfect sense and I intend to see it again and again.

  6. I totally get what you're saying, Rick, and can understand why Star Trek just wasn't your thing.

    I on the other hand...am one of the fawning horde. *g* I really dug the movie, have already seen it twice, and am going for the third time on Wednesday. I'm not sure I can put my finger on why it does it for me, I just know it does. But many of my fave movies are pure escapist fantasy set in "other" worlds. I heart the LOTR movies in a big way. They're some of my all time faves, and I can't tell you how many times my teenage boys and I have watched all 17 hours of the extended versions on DVD. I love the Harry Potter movies a heap, too. (And no, Ally, you were not the only one rooting for H/D *g*)

    But just like with books, if we all liked the same movies, what a boring world it would be. :)

  7. I am so glad there are so many different opinions out there. M.L., you need to talk to my partner...you could talk for hours. He loves the same things (but will he ever watch a horror movie with me? No).

    As for Stephen King film adaptations, I would agree that many weren't up to snuff, but two I thought were wonderful (and that held their own with the books) were Delores Claiborne and The Green Mile).

    And I would argue still that Harry Potter is set in a fantasy world. But that's another blog.

  8. There's a place where we definitely differ. Movies like Independence Day, which involves "real people and places" are too much for me to get into BECAUSE of the clash of sci-fi/fantasy and reality. To me, those kind of sci-fi movies are like wearing teal and turqoise... it just clashes in an unpleasant way for me.

    BUT... I do understand your inability to get into things that require escaping the "real world". I know one other person like that.

    I also need to add that the Harry Potter series does involve a real place... England. Hogwart's isn't in an alternate reality, its in England but is cloaked from "muggles" like us.

  9. I'm with your partner about horror movies, Rick. I used to be a huge horror fan. Then one night I realized I hadn't been able to go to sleep with the lights off for almost a year so I decided I'd better cut back on the horror for my own peace of mind. *g* I still read Stephen King because he's one of my all time fave authors, but movie-wise, I stay far, far away from horror flicks. I'm probably the only person on the planet who got so freaked out over just the hype about Blair Witch that I couldn't go into my basement to do laundry at night for months...and I never even saw the movie. LOL! How pathetic is that? :)

  10. Actually, ML, it's not pathetic. That final scene in BLAIR WITCH was truly terrifying (even if the movie itself was uneven). That final moment stays with me to this day. So I understand.

  11. Hi Rick...

    A little late to this party but whatever. I saw Star Trek on Sunday and like you, I was eager for it to be over. Yawn, yawn and I used to love the TV show. Spock's nose was too big and it bugged me. Kirk wasn't sexy. But I didn't like the little Russian kid.

    Roger Ebert's review (2 1/2 stars) pretty much sums up how I feel about the movie.


  12. Oops, I meant to say, I DID like the little Russian kid!


  13. Maybe your subconscious was trying to tell you you really DIDN'T like the Russian kid.

  14. Well, I for one, being an avid TNG (or rather Data) lover, as you might know, I hate this 'thing', (like many 'true' old Trek fans) for several reasons too long to explain here. But if you really wanna find out more, feel free to read my own blog about it.


    Live long and prosper - And keep the horror ink flying!

  15. Liking the movie doesn't make us "fawning hordes." Respect and be respected in return, SVP.