Thursday, August 19, 2010

Star Trek (2009)


Star Trek (2009)
seen @ Pier 54, Hudson River Park, New York NY
8.18.10

To fully write about what Star Trek has meant to me would take a considerably long time... so I'll attempt to be concise.

I remember watching classic Trek marathons on TV as a kid, but then I also watched similar marathons for shows like The Twilight Zone and The Honeymooners. (God, how I miss watching those marathons...) I think classic Trek came across to me at the time as fun but cheesy, at least in comparison to The Twilight Zone, which I liked more. So when Star Trek: The Next Generation came on, I didn't pay it any mind at first.

In college (early 90s), I went to see Star Trek VI on opening night with my friend Pete and some other guys. It was their idea; I didn't object, but neither was I as excited about it as they were. We had to sit in the fourth or fifth row because the theater was packed. As it turned out, I liked the movie more than I thought I would. Now, I don't recall if I had changed my mind about TNG and started watching it before or after seeing Star Trek VI, but I do know that the movie made me more interested in Trek in general, so I immersed myself deeper into it.

I slowly gained a deeper appreciation for Trek. I looked beyond the bargain-basement sets, primitive special effects and somewhat high-strung acting (to put it nicely) of the original series and found a sincere attempt to tell stories relevant to modern life and culture, with a strong emphasis on characterization. The behind-the-scenes stories intrigued me too: the struggle to keep it on the air, the fandom, the life of creator Gene Roddenberry. Mostly, though, it was the inclusiveness, and the overall sense of hope and optimism, that appealed to me most. Trek makes you believe a better tomorrow is not only possible, but that you will have a place in it. This carried over into TNG and Deep Space Nine, the latter of which may have been somewhat darker in its themes, but by that point in my life I developed a greater desire for more sophisticated storytelling.

I saw J.J. Abrams' re-imagining of classic Trek when it initially came out last year, and while there are fundamental story problems in this film I find difficult to overlook, I like that he, a non-Trekkie, strove to stay true to the characters and the themes while providing a fresh spin on them.

Pier 54 is an outdoor venue. The last time I came here was a couple of weeks ago for Julie & Julia. I saw Trek with my friend Reid. I don't think I like this location much. They inundate you with useless free crap at the door (well, not entirely useless - last night we got tote bags and I used mine to sit on), they provide free popcorn but they're stingy with it, they leave the DVD subtitles on during the movie and the noise from the passing party boats playing music at high volume is a distraction.

The weather was against us for most of the day; it was mostly cloudy with intermittent drops of rain that somehow managed to not become a drizzle, much less a downpour. At least we got to see a stunning sunset.

After the movie, Reid and I wandered around looking for a dollar pizza joint still open, couldn't find one, and ended up at a regular overpriced one. I didn't get home until after two in the morning.

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Related:
Star Trek Into Darkness
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Star Trek TNG: The Best of Both Worlds
The Captains
Mixtape movies: The Trek captains volume

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