Thursday, December 22, 2016

17 to 01: The Search for Spock

I came out of this with a much higher opinion of Search for Spock than I did going in. It's an ensemble piece which has the requisite emotional beats to support an action movie. I do think Derek is right about the crew--rather than Kirk--taking over the ship.

The Original Star Trek movies do have a problem where they don't handle dealing with younger folks earlier. I would prefer a Star Trek that's more open about young kids and their new ideas without being sarcastic. Maybe that's a bit much to ask for in this context though.

Am I right? Is there some ineffable difference between Kirk's actions at the end of Search for Spock and Kal-El's actions in Man of Steel? It feels different, I just can't put words to it.

My misquote was from Douglas Adams. "I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies: 1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. 2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. 3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things."

The Addams Family was from 1991, seven years after Search for Spock. George Takei was in Mulan

The trailer we're watching can be found at:

17 to 01 is available on iTunes. It updates Thursday mornings at 2:00 AM ET / 1:00 CT. We're also amazingly on Stitcher.


SkilTao said...

Huh. Y'know, I think the B-plot in Firefly's "Shindig" ep may be a deliberate lampooning of how Kirk's crew doesn't seize the ship here.

It's nice that David and Saavik are presented as main characters, and that the denoument stands Saavik alongside the command crew. I look forward to seeing her join Kirk and the others for The Journ--eh, what? She doesn't? Oh. Well then.

I've yet to see Man of Steel so I can't speak to the nuances of that.

Whoa, is the Vulcan Soul Repository where Futurama's Brain Museum came from?!
-If the Vulcans didn't already have a way to store the accumulated experience of their ancestors, I could totally see them swiping the Genesis Project so they could periodically make Resurrection Planets.
-None of the later TNG series or movies develop the Vulcan Soul Repository in the slightest, do they.

That bit at the beginning where the young officer asks Kirk if there's going to be a victory party, I thought it was handled well, and I like how it introduces the mood.

McCoy's dive bar is great. They got the waitress perfect, and I like that Earth isn't so squeaky clean as to keep seedy aliens from passing through dive bars regularly.
-Oh man, McCoy's failed Vulcan neck-pinch. I wonder if that was improv'd or whose idea that was.

I like how Youngest Spock mimics Saavik's gestures.

I watched the movie without captions at first, and I appreciate how the meaning of anything said in Klingon or Vulcan can be inferred from context, without the loss of any important details.

The Klingon medieval stuff is great. Kruge killing the worm at Spock's capsule = the Klingon scientific method at work, which I'm pleased they carried forward from TMP... When Kruge refused to beam Spock up, I originally took that as Kruge intuiting that Kirk was hiding something ("instinct" was established earlier as part of Kruge's character), but I think you're right that Kruge has an intrinsically antagonistic personality. Which is realistic enough, people can be like that in real life, and it's certainly convenient for dramatic purposes; but can

I've said before that I don't like how TOS sets up "emotions" and "logic" in opposition to each other, but this movie is one of the places where they handle that dichotomy well.

(Unrelated: that Douglas Adams quote, hm. I need to ponder how that reaction changes in 3025 BattleTech, where the march of technology is reversed.)(Also, apparently I need to read his Dirk Gently books.)

SkilTao said...

*but can you (talking generally about well-written stuff now, not necessarily Star Trek or this movie specifically) simply make "antagonism" a fundamental trait of a character, and give depth to that trait without also introducing an underlying aggravation, inciting event or other narrative cause?

(Knew I forgot to finish the thought about Kruge's antagonism.)

VanVelding said...

I never watched Firefly beyond the pilot so I don't get that reference. :-\

I didn't even know you could turn those captions off, but that's...high praise if you can decipher that without it. I wonder how many shows you could watch without words? I know Shatner did a movie in Esperanto once...

All I've ever read of Douglas Adams was "The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy," which was exceptional. Can't make a recommendation, honestly. The quote--or misquote, rather--was a happy accident.

SkilTao said...

Firefly's alright. I've seen it too many times, though, so it's just neat to find this new (to me) thing in it.

The thing with the captions is, I think they only used Klingon and Vulcan for very short bits of dialogue which had zero factual content and were 100% emotional content. So really, it's a credit to the actors. (On that note: I've started into DS9 again; I forgot how good it was. Helps that I've forgotten many of the eps.)

SkilTao said...

Whoops: Klingon antagonist paragraph should've ended with "but can it be an intrinsic trait of a well-constructed character, or does a well-written story need to at least imply a particular impetus for the antagonism? (Genuinely on the fence on this.)"