Thanks to Azrael, me and Ilyn were able to watch Star Trek last night at the IMAX cinema at the SM Mall of Asia. When Az first sent the email asking if I wanted tickets to an IMAX showing of the movie, I immediately said yes. How could I not? I\’ve been a life long Star Trek fan. It was one of the very first shows I ever saw as a youngster. I still remember our old black and white TV, and peering out of it was William Shatner as Kirk, fighting with Romulans in the original episode \”Balance of Terror\”.
The tickets were for an advance screening courtesy of SciFi and other sponsors. Apparently SciFi channel is launching on local cable. Will there be Star Trek on the channel? I\’m assuming there would be since they carry it in the US. I hope they carry Doctor Who as well. It\’s about time the good Doctor made it to our shores, at least the new Doctors. Ah, Doctor Who, the things I can write about it, but that\’s for another article. At any rate, it ultimately won\’t matter to me because we don\’t have cable.
It\’s my first time at an IMAX theater and I was astounded at how huge the screen was. Almost equally astounding was how close we were to the screen. Our seats were on the third row, and I wondered what it would be like watching from that close. The last time I was that close to a screen was when my friend Eclipse and I watched Tango and Cash in 1990 from the first row at SM Centerpoint. It wasn\’t a nice experience.
The Star Trek movie itself, well, oh my God, the movie was simply magnificent. Truly, absolutely magnificent. As a Star Trek fan, I\’m completely happy with it. I initially had concerns about continuity issues, but that went out the window when I realized continuity was perfectly preserved. Yeah, in spite of George Kirk dying before his time, in spite of Amanda dying before her time, and in spite of Vulcan being completely destroyed by a black hole, the continuity of Shatner and Nimoy\’s Star Trek is untouched. That\’s the beauty of it. As any Trek fan who has already seen it would know, with the entry of a future Romulan ship into the past, an alternate reality was created.
It\’s a reality that\’s very very similar to the original series, with characters that are very very similar to the original characters, but as far as storytelling goes, anything can happen from now on. It\’s an alternate reality, a parallel universe. The fact that old Spock remains, he represents the old continuity and that it it\’s still valid and true, somehow, somewhere.
Alternate realities are nothing new to Star Trek of the original series. There\’s the mirror universe in Mirror, Mirror. In TNG there\’s the darker universe in \”Yesterday\’s Enterprise\” and infinite parallel universes in \”Parallels\”.
It\’s an old trick, and old gimmick but it\’s very well done, and it\’s a brilliant move by the filmmakers to allow them to continue unhampered by what has gone before. What\’s great about this is that they don\’t make it an excuse to change things. There are many things here that a long term fan like myself can recognize and appreciate. Kirk was Kirk, Spock was Spock and oh boy, McCoy was McCoy! Bruce Greenwood was awesome as Captain Pike.
The only thing strange that I noticed was Uhura as Spock\’s girlfriend. What? What about T\’Pring? Oh right, she might already be dead.
After the screening I was kinda speechless. I didn\’t know how to react right away. I was in a kind of daze. I didn\’t realize I was just completely stupefied. A brilliant film, and I can\’t wait for future sequels. And I\’m sure there will be.
So really, apologies to Brannon Braga. Franchise Rot, Genre Rot, Sci Fi Rot had nothing to do with it. Trek just needed better creators. Period.
All right then. IMAX. Whoever thought having seats that close to the screen in an IMAX theater should have his brain shrunk. As much as I loved the movie, I was struggling all throughout with the size of the screen. I could only focus on, at the very best, one third of the screen at any one time. There were many things I missed. The storytelling on the more fast paced scenes became somewhat incomprehensible to me. I have better than 20/20 vision but there were times when all I could see were fast moving colors and shapes.
The nurse/doctor that delivered Jim Kirk at the start of the movie was an alien with big eyes. And I didn\’t know that at the time because everything else was so distorted.
Apart from being a comic book creator, I\’m an Architect as well. And as far as acceptable design goes, that theater is a failure. I would not design a cinema in that way. Never mind the \”standards\” if the standards still fail. How much of a success is a cinema design if it doesn\’t fulfill the primary and most basic goal of a cinema? Which is to properly show the audience a movie?
I should have gotten a better seat? The thing is, I shouldn\’t have to get a better seat. All the seats should give a good and comprehensible view of the movie. If you have seats there that interferes with the message that the filmmakers want to give the viewer, then it\’s not very good, is it?