it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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hush, hush, i dreamed i was happy

I watched the Star Trek reboot with friends tonight. I didn't see it in the theatre, and I'm s ort of sad about that now because it was very pretty and I imagine it would have been improved by being very big.

...It's really not a very good movie. The plot makes not a lick of sense even by Star Trek standards, and it has about as much internal consistency as a bowl of goulash.

Bits of it were fun (I tweeted while watching it that I now knew that "live long and prosper" is Vulcan for "fuck you.") and the actors in general did a wonderful job playing 1960s TV characters as if they were playing real researched people in a biopic.

It would have been nice if Uhura and Chappel got a moment of glory apiece, as everyone else did. It would have been nice if the movie had a fragment of the generousity of spirit of Roddenberry's original. It would have been nice if the dialogue weren't so awful even Leonard Nimoy couldn't sell it.

But I think from a narrative standpoint, for me, what was most interesting is how much this felt like any other retelling of a cultural legend. It could have been Robin Hood or Sherlock Holmes; this is a story we all know in our bones, because it's integrated into our cultural background noise. We know the characters as archetypes; we know their broad traits and their incantatory phrases. They are mythic beings, and the narrative relies almost completely on that mythic status for its emotional impact and character arcs.

Kirk, Spock, Uhura, McCoy, Scotty, Chekov, and Sulu are among the legends now. We're expected to care about these people not because the movie works to make us care, but because we are presumed to already know them. We grew up with them, and now we're listening to stories that are already in our bones. Which is why the payoff is Kirk in the mustard-colored command uniform.

It is peculiar and wonderful to watch that happen to the nerdy space story I loved when I was six.
Tags: dammit jim, i got yer jetpack right here, media

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