I'd never seen any of the Star Trek series before I saw this movie. All I really knew about the series was that it took place in the future, people could be beamed up by Scotty, and some of them gave V-shaped high fives. And I knew that Zachary Quinto had a major role in the movie, since I'm a member of his ZQ-mmunity. I will admit, though, that I knew a little about Leonard Nimoy when I IMDB'd him as background for my Hobbitted post. In terms of spacey movies, I've seen Star Wars (the original three) and Event Horizon, and truthfully, I have a fear of spaceships because of EH. *shudders*
But I really liked this movie! It's pretty rare that I emotionally get into a sci-fi movie because I have a hard time swallowing the absurdity of it all. I think the light flashes every 4 seconds trained me like an animal to submit to the setting. Here's what I remember as notable:
1. The Ship
When we meet Kirk, Sr's wife in the beginning of the movie, my wind wandered at the possibility for civilian life in outer space because, dude, that ship was amazing. I found myself wondering if their living quarters were bigger than my Brooklyn apartment? It probably has a nicer shower, fewer bugs. But I've been on a Navy submarine before and can vouch for the laughable level of fantasy that this movie brings towards the future. Subs are TINY. Space in those vessels comes at a premium so much that hallways can only fit the width of two people who have to tilt "ut to ut" which are all of the permutations of "nut" or "butt" -- official Navy terminology, I think, since women haven't been allowed to serve on subs until the policy change this year. But the Enterprise was the bomb. Changed my mind about that whole 'to hell and back' fear from Event Horizon, which is a silly earthling fear if you really think about it.
OMG. How MIND BLOWING is it to watch space footage?!? In the ridiculous scene where they decided to hide behind one of Saturn's rings, I found myself thinking "OMG. THAT'S SATURN!" and all of the existential talks that parents must have had with their kids after the movie to explain that we can't actually film movies in space. I'd be okay with a fake series similar to Planet Earth with all the other galaxies that the Star Trek crew has been.
I love how they made Iowa the centerpiece for Americana. Of all the places in the universe that the starfleet people COULD train, they chose Iowa.
3. Depiction of Military Personnel
I liked how they highlighted the presence of women and the unique personalities of service people in general. It was better than the traditional whitewashing of men in uniform. I also liked that they showed that they dated amongst themselves but still ran a tight ship. It contradicts the dumb military rule that women ruin everything in the workplace. The fast-talking doctor earned an A in my book for his New Yorker sense of urgency and humor.
What I didn't like, though, is that Captain Kirk is the hero who has obviously American "Maverick" traits. Whistling at every woman who walks by, stealing and wrecking a '66 Corvette in the opening scene, picking fights in bars -- this ain't no modern hero.
4. Zachary Quinto's Eyebrows
I don't remember a word that he said.
So, now that I've seen it, is it worth seeing the old series? Tracie said the effects are cheesy but the interpersonal relationships, especially the tension between Kirk and Spock, are still pretty good.