Friday, November 14, 2008

In which I rant about the new Star Trek trailer and gush over Quantum of Solace...

Ok, so it worked out where Gabriel and I got to see Quantum of Solace, the new James Bond film last night at midnight. I was pumped about the trailers, too, since the new trailers for both Watchmen and Star Trek were to be included also.

The trailer for Watchmen wasn't up. Goddammit. I'm reserving judgement on what I perceive to be an unnecessary sin of Hollywood, but I accept that it is unstoppable. So I want to see the trailer. Is that too much to ask, you AMC fuckers??? Word to the wise: if there is a highly anticipated movie, and the studios release that its trailer is to be put before a certain film, PUT IT THERE! Assholes. A lot of fans were expecting to see this trailer. I am perturbed that I did not get to.

New movie about Nazis... I was watching amazing Brit actor after amazing Brit actor crawl across the screen. My interest was piqued. And then Tom Cruise, er, cruised onscreen, and I got the feminine equivalent of dickshrivel. He's a wonderful actor, yes. Why he can't bother to have the same accent as anyone else in the film, I don't know. But he's gone too weird. I have a hard time watching him, and the campy-looking eye patch in the flick. It's called Valkyrie, by the way. It reminded me of other stuff that was fantastic once you scraped the turd off the top and ignored its existence.

There was a new Adam Sandler film that I won't be seeing.

But the new Star Trek trailer was first. It's a reboot of the Original Trek from the sixties. As someone who abhors the constant retconning in comics (where the writers decide to start over and pretend that a lot of history just doesn't exist so that they can skip the whole creativity part), I reject the idea.

J.J. Abrams touches something and it turns to gold, usually, so we'll see. If this flick ends up being successful, I imagine we'll be subjected to more of them with random new directors. I shudder at the thought of Michael Bay or Jonathan Frakes at the helm.

The writers have written for Alias (which I never watched), but also committed the sin of writing the new Transformers movie (which kinda blew goats, though that's not all the writers' faults), MI:III (moderately ok). Worse, most of that Hercules and Xena shit was their doing. GAH! Those were so campy and awful and inaccurate, I hardly have hope for Star Trek. The dudes who wrote The Island? Come on, that's hardly amazing enough cred for Trek!

So, the trailer shows Kirk as a kid, then teen in Iowa. Ok, not bad. Chris Pine looks ok as Kirk, although Kirk was never the attractor for me. I'd need to see the film and an old Trek episode next to each other to see. But he's got the posing, arrogance, and posturing right.

Not sure if I buy the kid from "Harold and Kumar go to White Castle" as Sulu.

Didn't see hair or hide of Karl Urban as McCoy, at least not a devoted shot as such.

There was, however, a devoted shot of Uhura getting undressed, white bra and all. Zoe Saldana is quite pretty, but way too thin to be Uhura. It's like they succumbed to current skinny-model trends in the retcon. Grrrr... She's a fine actress, but not what I was hoping for. I'm sure she'll do fine, it's just the stereotyping that if you're attractive, you must also be skinny. I hate that. But here's Nichelle Nichols as Uhura Statuesque and voluptuous. A little big for a film star today. You'll see what I mean when you see all of Zoe's ribs and abs when she's taking her shirt off. Covering her face, even. You know, Nichelle once told Dr. Martin Luther King that she wanted to leave the Trek show while it was filming. He told her she shouldn't, because what she was doing for African-Americans was important. The idea of a black female Lieutenant on a flagship for the entire world was an important one, especially since she couldn't have sat in the front of the bus at the time. Star Trek was pivotal in gradually turning racism on its ear. Pop culture laid the groundwork for fighting racism, and Gene Roddenberry (bless him!) saw the future as it should be: raceless. If they reduce Uhura to T&A in this film, I shall be disappointed, just because it ignores the character as a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement of the sixties. More than disappointed. Angered.

Oh, and the last bit: Spock. Oh, where to begin? I suppose you'd have to begin with me as a child to understand my point of view. Small girl, poor, in suburbarural Atlanta in a mixed-race tiny town. At home, white people doing white things. Family of firemen, truckers, dentists and artists. Music everywhere. Broke-down cars and banana pudding, farming at my grandparents' place, and at that damn Christian cult several times a week. And poor. Deciding to feed us or the dog poor. Turning on the oven for heat poor. Living in grandpa's old house poor. Library books, network tv on a tiny black and white set (in the late seventies, color had been out a WHILE), and my imagination as toys poor. I was happy, so I'm not complaining.

But when you compare that to the show, my mind was blown. I was around other races, so Uhura and Sulu were real to me. I had black friends and asian friends. I had white friends, full of bluster like Kirk, and full of earnest help like McCoy. But I'd never seen ANYTHING like Spock. Not just the ears and brows, but the soul, the aching clarity of the self. A man trapped between two worlds (I don't think I had any mixed-race classmates), brilliantly intelligent, strong, tall, secure. He was the first man I fell in love with. Not a sexual love, since I was too little to think that way yet, though he is certainly very attractive also. Not Leonard, either, since I didn't have the fortune to know him. But Spock, the character. I wanted a man like him.

Enter my doom. I once told my girlfriends in high school that my male ideal had a big nose. Tall, dark hair, preferably mussed, broad-shouldered, narrow waist. Brilliantly intelligent. They looked at me like I was nuts and gave me Tom Cruise movies to watch (remember the aforementioned feminine dickshrivel? There ya go). If I saw a man like that, I wanted. If he were distant, I wanted more. I totally missed the point that Spock is completely distant emotionally, and would never open up. Hoo, boy.

Every relationship got me closer to that ideal until my disaster of a marriage with the most "perfect" man: He was actually a cesspool of imperfections. That unavailable thing reeled me in like a goddamn trout. I didn't see the hell I was wrapping myself into. And hell it was. I was a tool. In the words of Nick Cave, "I feel like a vacuum cleaner - a complete sucker!" Glad to be out of that!

It took me forever to see my problem. It also took me forever to find out Leonard was Jewish. Apparently, a lot of Jewish men have big noses and dark, mussed hair. Oh. Funnily enough, I'm with a sexy man of Jewish descent. He's like a mix of Spock and Joe McIntyre from New Kids: Big nose, mussy hair, blue eyes, rosy cheeks. I'm in heaven.

So, you can see the loaded history for me with Spock. The boy had damn well better be right if he's going to play young Spock. And he looks like Leonard is the thing! But I don't know if that cool brilliance is there from the trailer. I am completely unconvinced that anyone can deliver that. The times were so poignant and the costs so much, that there is only one Spock.

I am unenthralled. I hope I'm wrong.

And I'm late for work! GAH! I'll pop back in for the Quantum of Solace bit later....

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