November 21, 2008

For the record, Twilight, only drinking the blood of animals does not make a vampire 'vegetarian'.

It makes him lame.

In order to be vegetarian a vampire would have to drink the blood of vegetables. And that would make him Bunnicula, not a die-hard romantic.

To quote your beloved tween demographic, "Srsly, WTF?"

November 18, 2008

Star Trek. The final frontier.

I should have known that killjoy chaos-loving director J.J. Abrams would want to leave his mark smeared across the face of an established canon sooner or later. I just didn't expect that canon to be Trek. After all, in Abrams' own words, Star Trek "was never my thing".

The reasons for rolling my eyes at and making a note to studiously avoid the upcoming Trek reboot are myriad and I've refrained from commenting until this point because I was reserving judgment. But now with the trailer, cast list, and promo photos swarming the internet its very difficult to maintain neutrality. So I'm coming out on the side of Intense Dislike. Here's a paint by numbers portrait of why:

1. The cast. Taken individually perhaps I could get behind any or even some of the casting choices. After all I love Simon Pegg and Karl Urban isn't exactly hard on the eyes. But each casting choice seems less like a careful character decision and more like filling a slot on the 18 to 25 Demographic Checklist. I presume the casting think-tank went like this...
"Let's make sure this Trek hits all the marks with the target audience, okay?"
"You mean let's get all the original cast back so the Trekkies are happy?"
"No. SHIT no. Fuck them. We want to make the 18 to 25s cream their pants."
"Um... okay. Is that the specific target demographic for a reboot of the original Star Trek, though? I mean..."
"Yes. And you know what kids like?"
"Um, not Star Trek?"
"Exactly. So we need someone from Lord of the Rings and someone from a zombie movie, preferably a British dude, and definitely someone from Heroes and... are you writing this down?"
"Right. Right, yes. Lord of the Rings, zombies, Heroes..."
"And someone from the Gen X heyday, you know a cool chick with back-in-the-day cred. Winona Ryder. Also a black dude. Tyler Perry is popular, right? And somebody who's done a Lindsay Lohan movie and the guy from Harold and Kumar."

2. They're all so... YOUNG. Setting aside my tendency to shake my fist at 'kids these days' and their on-my-lawn antics, the cast is so young it makes one wonder how they blew through the previously rigorous Starfleet Academy training in a mere year or two. The main bridge crew gives the ship the appearance of a The Hills: Post Academy special. I get it, it's a prequel, they're younger, but they also need to be credible. Is it credible that a wanton bunch of twentysomethings would be given a command together?

3. All the sex. I may be aging but I'm not a prude. I love sex scenes. Bring on the X rating! But it seems incongruous in a Trek movie. If this is the sole reason for updating it - to actually show in glorious jerk-cut editing all the things Kirk did to the revolving door of alien babes through his quarters - then it's lacking. I can think of things I'd rather see. Like all the babes (3) Picard brought into his quarters...

4. The lack of visible attachment to well-known and, by this stage, almost legendary canon. You need not be a die-hard Trekkie to understand that the basic tenet of Vulcans is that they employ the use of logic over emotions. In the trailer alone there are enough WTF moments to discourage even a lesser fan. Spock provoked into punching Kirk through taunting. Kirk having a fixation on old cars and bikes in 23rd century Iowa. Alien space babes in push-up bras. And the weird Millennium Falcon feel to the ship. Everyone knows that Starfleet ships have always been pristine, alien babes wear no visible form of support, Spock doesn't resort to punching when teased or Bones would have sported a lot more shiners, and Kirk was into equestrian activities not gearhead ones.

5. The director of Lost. This will either be a pro or a con depending on your views on Lost. I personally think Lost has become a clusterfuck of indecipherable chaos loosely narrated from within an egoist's self-important mythos. Feel free to disagree but one thing Trek has never been is either intrinsically chaotic or deliberately misleading. The Roddenberry vision of Trek was about a utopian future in which humanity had set aside their differences to unite under the common banner of exploration and self-betterment within a larger galaxy. Does that sound like the basic J.J. Abrams tenet to you?

I can't bear to post photos of the cast so you'll just have to search them out yourselves if you're interested. It's well-known that my Trek geek credentials do not extend past The Next Generation but I've borne Deep Space Nine and Voyager with little fuss because though I disliked them I could see that they were at least still valid explorations of the Star Trek premise. I drew the line at Enterprise because honestly I expected Scott Bakula to quantum leap into another body at the end of every episode and because prequels are not my favorite things. But this Trek is too much. Its taking the beaten dead horse, standing its rigid corpse up at the fence again, then shooting it down and kicking it into unrecognizable pulp just because it's still there. Paramount, get a new franchise. I'm sorry to say it but Trek is done. And this Star Trek: Lost in the Fast and Furious Hills reboot is just offending every one of my senses.

It will probably make a fucking fortune at the box office.
But that doesn't mean it will be good.