Sunday, May 31, 2009

Around the world and home again...

Well, it wasn't exactly "around the world" but the feeling of distance from my ordinary, everyday routine was quite large. I've had a week back now, and despite my predictions earlier in the week to my Everlasting SoulMate, I do NOT feel a need for a vacation again. Give me another week or two, and I'm sure I will. [grin!]

We took lots of digital images and video during the trip, and I have them all on the network now for my ESM and I to enjoy. (Hi honey!) I was somewhat disappointed to find out that some of the video I took with my new-to-me MiniDV camcorder did not work. It's like the tracking is off, or the tape wasn't tensioned properly before shooting. Bummer. Some of it does work, so I'll salvage what I can and hopefully come up with enough to make a decent 30-45 minute DVD of the trip for consumption by the parental units and anyone else foolish enough to ask about my trip. Heh.

During our first weekend back, my ESM took me to a movie. We saw "Star Trek" at the Movie Tavern in Aurora. First things first, I am a dyed-in-the-wool, true-blue, stark, raving lunatic of a Trekker. I must say, I had many reservations about how this movie and it's "alternate universe" storyline, would treat the canon I hold so dear. But, I decided by seeing it at the Movie Tavern, at least I would get a good lunch from the deal, even if the movie reeked.

I am glad to say, the movie was fairly enjoyable. However, there were some trouble spots. I'll get to those in a minute. Let's talk good points first.

Beware, Movie Spoilers Ahead!!! Find the matching double-line below and read on from there if you don't want to spoil parts of the film.


Still here?  Good, here we go.

The casting for this film was probably the most successful I have seen in a while. I bought almost all of the characters, with McCoy, Scotty and Chekov as the best three. Karl Urban as Bones was awesome! He had me hooked after the first scene he was in. Kirk and alternate Spock are decent, but are not without some issues. Chris Pine as Kirk has the swagger, the mannerisms and the characteristic dry wit down...but his attempts at romantic encounters are not as smooth and sophisticated (if you can call it that!) as Jim Kirk's were in Star Trek:TOS. Some would argue that is because he is young...yes I suppose you could say that. But it still didn't sit right with me.

Spock is indeed both human and Vulcan, but his human side is a bit too pronounced for me in this film. I know, I know...he saw his mother and most of the Vulcan race wiped out. But IMHO, Spock would not have lashed out at anyone like he did at Kirk, even when provoked. Some might argue that with me, but there it is.

Ok, now some bad points. First, does ANYONE like the Kobyashi Maru scene??? I sure didn't. Too much lackadaisical attitude, especially from Kirk. Eating an apple during the test? Come on! And just having the simulation shut down momentarily, then start up with the changes? No way! Kirk would have been more dramatic! That scene alone just about ruined the movie for me.

The "villian."  Nero is way too 2D. No depth at all, no real motivation, no quirks, no energy, almost no life at all. And wash that crap off your face already! (see the movie, you'll understand.)

And, finally, the Enterprise. TNG and DS9 both recreated portions of the old NCC-1701 for the small screen, and were pretty successful at it. Then Paramount started reissuing TOS with new computer-generated graphics, and the new-old ship was very nice to see. True to the original 1960s version, but updated nicely and looking sharp! I was hoping J.J. Abrams would just carry over some of those graphics to the big screen, but flesh out the inside some more. You know, the old transporter room, sick bay, engineering...all redone with care and reverence for the originals. Well, that's a big negatory, good buddy! The new version of the ship is well executed, but it would be much more appropriate for replacing the NCC-1701A from "Star Trek IV:The Voyage Home", not the original great bird of the galaxy. Where are the blinking lights, the push-buttons, the gray-colored bridge with the red railing? I would have believed the film a lot more if they had been more true to the original designs of the ship, instead of taking the typical Hollywood path of "updating" it to be in line with modern technology. It looks a bit too much like a warp-capable iPod for me. Alternate universe, bah.


End of Spoilers.

Anyway, the film is an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours. But don't expect too much from it.

Next week is going to be interesting. We purchased some new intranet software at work to replace an in-house programmed intranet site. The company we purchased it from included a week's worth of on-site training for our IT staff. The training begins on Monday, hosted by a very nice gentleman who has a German accent thick enough to cut with a knife and spread on toast. I know I shouldn't go goose-stepping around the room or anything like that, but it's hard not to imagine that kind of thing in my mind's eye. More information will be forthcoming as the week progresses.

Sundown, Out.

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