Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Anniversary:Trekking from baseball to the movies

It was our anniversary last Friday and Long Suffering Spouse and I, as we have on so many prior anniversaries, spent the day watching one of our kids play baseball. You may not think this a particularly good way to commemorate the day... but it beats spending an anniversary in an emergency room. We've done that, too.

This year we were out of town, traveling to Middle Son's college conference tournament. There was some time in between his team's first and second games Friday so Long Suffering Spouse and I decided to go see a movie.

Star Trek.

Now, I know what you're probably thinking: What kind of an anniversary is this? Sports and an action flick? I'm sure that, for many women, this itinerary sounds like a description of a day in Purgatory... at best... and perhaps some place hotter still.

But Long Suffering Spouse likes baseball... and she likes Star Trek, too.

In fact, 30 years ago, a couple of years before we actually met, she came down to the student newspaper office at the university we both attended to complain about the negative review I gave to the first Star Trek movie, "Star Trek: The Motion Picture." (We figured this out years later after we'd gone to see another Star Trek movie. She began complaining about the review that had made her so angry years before... and I was obliged to confess that I was the one who had ticked her off. Not, as it happens, for the last time either.)

I had modest expectations about the new movie.

In fact, I expected to hate it.

I am a Star Trek fan. It is not by accident that one of the first blogs I ever linked with was Captain Picard's Journal. Let's put it this way: I take to science fiction like Bee takes to cruising. And Paramount should send me some kind of award: I started watching the original series in first run, OK? Since then, I've watched the cartoon, "TNG" (in my house the kids referred to the show as Star Trek their generation, while "TOS" was Star Trek my generation), and "Deep Space 9." I didn't really keep up with "Voyager" (Youngest Son got too scared, watching as a baby) or "Enterprise" -- I was never home when the show was on -- but if there were 200 Star Trek paperbacks, I must have bought and (guiltily devoured) 150 of them. I used to donate them to the local library when I was done. I even have some Star Trek hardbacks. And videotapes, and now DVD's of several of the movies.

(By now, you are completely creeped out at the unvarnished geekiness of someone who has pretended, in many of the essays here, to gravitas. Ah well.)

It is widely believed that odd-numbered Star Trek movies are inferior to even-numbered ones. The second Star Trek movie, "Wrath of Khan," was light years ahead of "Star Trek: The Motion Picture." "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" (the whales movie) is by far the best of the series. This new, er, enterprise, would be the 11th movie -- and therefore, according to form, likely to disappoint.

I was therefore pleasantly surprised to enjoy the film. The new movie plays with the original characters, and the time lines, and the relationships... but there are explanations that pass muster within the realm of Star Trek fiction. The new movie is faithful to the spirit of the original series without being locked into its canon. I have one major objection to a plot point... but I won't ruin the surprise for anyone who wants to see the movie for themselves.

When the lights came up, after the show, there were three old, scraggly looking guys sitting a few rows ahead of us, vigorously debating various plot points. These had to be three of the guys that William Shatner made fun of in his famous SNL skit, still living in their mothers' basements. Sadly, I could follow the entire discussion.


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

well curmy let me review what my brain saw in this post. and please don't take offense, it's just my brain on fish oil, k?

sports blah blah blah anniversary (oh! maybe there will be a cake mentioned!) spouse likes sports (??) star trek blah blah blah blah snl skit (oh, maybe the one about the land shark!) no, blah blah blah...

sorry. this is my brain on fish oil. you know, like that drug commercial with the egg in the frying pan, this is your brain on drugs??? well, that's me.

still friends??? i think i MIGHT have taken too much today...

smiles, bee

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Actually, I've yet to see it. Hope I can soon!

Linda said...

One of my dispatch co-workers is a major league Trekkie and he absolutely L-O-V-E-D this film and plans on going to see it again. I may actually haul myself off to the theater this weekend and see it myself if time permits.

Belated Happy Anniversary to yourself and Long Suffering Spouse by the by!

Shelby said...

Well, my brother went to see it. He liked it. I'm too much of a Kirk fan myself.. seems a little treasonish..but I could be wrong.

Happy anniv to you and yours.

sari said...

I want to see this! I'm glad to hear it's good!

Hilda said...

Happy Anniversary!

I loced the movie and thought the casting was *brilliant*! I hope this is the beginning of a franchise with the "young'uns".