This is the T-shirt I'm wearing today:
- Assorted Trek Thoughts
- I managed to squeeze in a showing of Star Trek in IMAX last night. Aside from the scale, there is not really much of a visual advantage from the 35 millimeter prints, mostly because the film was shot in anamorphic Panavision, yielding much better image quality in 35 millimeter than most 2.35:1 films which are shot in the Super 35 process, which is intrinsically more grainy and usually has less saturated colors and thus benefits more from the digital blow-up process that makes the 70 millimeter IMAX prints. The 'shaky cam' just doesn't work on a screen that big, with certain sequences that were not difficult to follow in 35 millimeter being almost (but not quite) incoherent when blown up to those gargantuan proportions. On the other hand, the sound was fantastic, with the warp speed effect having a particular 'snap' to it that most movie theaters just don't have the wattage for. The special effects are indeed breathtaking at that size, but the advantages do not outweigh the disadvantages for this film.
- As I mentioned in my comments on the film, I have not been to one screening of Star Trek in which the appearance of Leonard Nimoy did not get affectionate applause. And as soon as people see him, they know who he is, and his line "I am Spock" is one that is poignant because there is not one person in the audience who has even the slightest doubt of his identity, regardless of how much background they may or may not have with Star Trek. The line resonates both because that actor in that role is indeed so iconic, and it also reflects Nimoy's own love/hate relationship with a character (his first autobiography was titled I Am Not Spock) whom first he felt constrained by, but then accepted and found reached more people than any other role he had played. It is undeniably his signature role and a cultural touchstone, and his fond farewell here was much more respectful to both Nimoy and Spock himself than Kirk's lame death scene in Generations. Indeed, of all the threads to connect the reboot to the original series, Spock is the one that makes the most sense; Nimoy was there from the beginning, the only cast member in the original pilot to reprise his role in the series proper.¹
- I have to say, I'm a little surprised at how much I have been getting into Star Trek over the course of the past few weeks. Between the Blu-rays of Season 1 and the movies and the J.J. Abrams film, I haven't been this into Star Trek since I was in junior high school (and I'm sure there are some friends on Facebook that will remember some of the not-so-amusing moments in my more obsessive years). In the commentary track for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Ronald D. Moore acknowledges that Star Trek was the franchise that effected him the most on a personal level, and makes a salient point about how the era the original series was produced (the late 60s) and made its impact in syndication (the early 70s), which which the United States was a divided country tearing itself apart, and some of the difficulties faced then seem as insurmountable as the ones that we are facing now.
While it certainly encompasses some dark stories, Star Trek is at its heart a very optimistic view of humanity which postulates that we as a species have solved our social problems and put bigotry and greed behind us to achieve wonderful things. It is this sense of hope and wonder that J.J. Abrams infused into his version of Star Trek, and it stands as a sharp contrast to the harsh landscapes the summer blockbusters are offering. I am the first to admit that darkness is fascinating, and there is something cathartic about staring into the abyss. But that is not all there is in the human experience, and Star Trek may well represent to a new generation of fans the central message that for all of the terrible things we can do to each other, people are also capable of great things, which is what we as individuals have a responsibility to at least attempt achieve.
There are certainly a lot worse things one can aspire to.
- I haven't cut my hair since I shaved it all off on a bet over a year ago. While it was an interesting experience, I didn't feel comfortable bald and will not be doing that again. On the other hand, while I've always wanted to grow my hair longer, its natural waviness means that it is getting quite unruly right now, which can be a bit embarrassing. On the other hand, I am curious to see where it goes. What do you think?
Should I cut my hair or let it continue to grow?Cut it, you're starting to look like a cross between Albert Einstein and Don King.0(0.0%)Don't cut it, it looks awkward now but it will look better further down the line.3(100.0%)Cut it because I'd be embarrassed to be seen on the street with you, fuzzball.0(0.0%)Don't cut it because it will freak people out.0(0.0%)Make up your own mind, slacker.0(0.0%)
- Read about Verizon's sterling customer service in action.
- There are a series of jobs at N.Y.U. Medical Center. While waiting for my partner to show up, I was near to a family in which the patriarch was breaking some extremely horrible news to the rest of his family. I'm going to inform my manager this afternoon that I do not want any more of those jobs; I've spent enough time in hospitals for the past few months thank you very much.
¹ Majel Barrett appeared in "The Cage," but as a different character than Christine Chapel.