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Star Trek Beyond 
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Heinlein Nexus
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:10 am
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Post Star Trek Beyond
Having vociferously demolished the first reboot, I am pleased that the series has finally shown some promise. After the last one it was a toss-up whether I was going to the latest movie, but it was worth it.

Usually, the problem is that weak characterization is obscured by glitzy special fx. This time, the problem was that strong characterization was competing with glitzy fx and an incoherent plot. I don't know exactly what was going on - aside from contrivances to keep the action at maximum frantic - and I don't care. Far more interesting than the dust storm of a story were the performances of Chris Pine and Karl Urban.

There were many obvious hat tips to fans in this movie, echoing numerous scenes in classic episodes and movies, but the real gem here for me was Pine's Kirk. He has developed the best Shatner impression - without veering into oh-so-tempting caricature - this side of Vic Mignogna. At times I thought the voice was indistinguishable. Finally he is portraying a captain that a crew member would feel worthy of his/her service and sacrifice. His crew would have given their lives for Shatner's Kirk, and Pine is within hailing distance of that pinnacle. Pine's Kirk has equanimity, comfortable self-deprecation, and enough self-assurance to be able to give his crew the attention they deserve.

Karl Urban gives the next most faithful rendition, and must have spent nearly as much time studying DeForrest Kelley as Pine spent watching the Shat. Unfortunately that's about as far as it goes. Zachary Quinto's performance merely points up how hard it is to play Spock and what an amazing job we never realized Nimoy was doing. Emotion ranges over his face with impunity and he looks for all the world like a boy putting a solemn mask over entirely human emotions with limited success. Nimoy inhabited the role with gravitas without descending into robotic vacancy. Quinto's scenes of grief over Nimoy's passing were, however, touching.

None of the other characters merit discussion for the reason that the movie appears unable to decide what to do with them. They get decent screen time but it's wasted. There is a peril in a movie, of course, that it has to have some cosmic theme and cannot afford to indulge in trifles - no feature-length Trouble with Tribbles - and it has to include all the characters as fairly as possible. Whereas an episode can afford to spend an hour on Scotty or with barely an appearance of Kirk. So we are constrained to deathless plots where the fate of the universe is in peril and the Enterprise is rendered into kindling. It's hard to get a complete view into the soul of a character when they have to share the screen with whatever tortuous device propels those kinds of plots, but we got something worth seeing nonetheless.


Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:15 pm
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Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:59 am
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Location: Kansas
Post Re: Star Trek Beyond
Thank you. I agree. This was the best Star Trek movie since the one about the whales and that one wasn't all that great.


Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:53 am
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