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Old May 19 2013, 01:39 AM   #2989
Hober Mallow
Location: The planet Terminus, site of the Encyclopedia Foundation on the periphery of the galaxy

Okay, I just saw the film Friday. It's a typical big dumb Hollywood action film, but that's all I expected so I can't say I was disappointed. It's like Transformers; check your brain at the door and just have fun. The theater wasn't too full, but we went pretty early.

Things I liked:

*It was better than the last film.

*Benedict Cumberbatch. Actually, he's mostly the reason I went to see the film. It was a bit disappointing he didn't say most of his cool lines from the trailers, but whatever. I thought he was a good Khan. No one can top Montalban, but Cumberbatch wasn't trying to, he just did his own thing and it worked, I think. Just as no one can top Jack Nicholson as the joker, but you can have a guy like Heath Ledger play the Joker his own way so that people don't even compare the two.

About halfway through the film, I came to the realization that Cumberbatch should have been cast as Spock. After two films, I still just can't see Zachary Quinto as Spock. He looks a lot like a young Nimoy, they've got him in the Beatles hair, but it just doesn't work for me. Quinto doesn't do subtle very well. His passive-aggressive stuff is over-the-top. All Nimoy had to do was stand there with a twinkle in his eye. Cumberbatch could have handled the subtleties better, I think. They could have given him pointy ears but otherwise kept his look as Khan. There was mystique to Spock in TOS Quinto just doesn't capture but Cumberbatch could have.

Anyway... the point is I liked Cumberbatch.

*The effects.

*The Klingons. Although I wouldn't have minded if they'd made them even look fiercer, more alien.

*The Praxis shout out.

*The mirror "Wrath of Khan" stuff. Or, at least, I liked the idea. I'm not sure it was all that well executed.

*Nimoy. Yes, it was an almost pointless cameo, but... well, it's Nimoy. The woman sitting behind me summed up my feeling. As soon as Nimoy's face appeared on the viewscreen, I heard behind me, "Yay!"

Things I didn't like:

*Quinto's Spock.

*The God-awful Orci/Kurtzman dialog.

*More a criticism of all modern action films -- I hate how they're structured around set pieces. A movie written as so many set pieces makes for sort of a -- for want of a better word -- flat movie experience. Build up, action, come down; build up, action, come down; build up, action, come down. Action film producers don't seem to even think in classic screenplay structure anymore. You don't have the same slow build up to plot points, the peaks and valleys which draw you into the story and hold you. Now, movies are often begun with ideas for cool set pieces before there's even a story. It's a trend I don't like.

I took my dad, and he had a good time, and Cumberbatch was good, and it's always nice to see the Enterprise on the big screen, so overall it was fun time. But I don't plan to ever watch it again on DVD or BD.
"Beep... beep!" --Captain Pike
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