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Steve Likes to Curse
Writing, comics and random thoughts from really a rather vulgar man
Breaking the dork barrier 
Saturday, April 25th, 2009 | 11:39 pm [commentary, film, personal, star trek]
Early reviews of the new Star Trek movie have been overwhelmingly positive. In fact, according to Rotten Tomatoes, the early reviews are totally positive. Of the dozen early reviews collected so far, there ain’t a single rotten one. These aren’t qualified endorsements, either, but glowing raves. The folks over at Paramount have got to be loving this.

Sure, the movie doesn’t open for another two weeks, almost no one has seen it, and most of the critics who have seen it haven’t yet published their reviews — and one of the most complimentary early reviews is courtesy of Empire magazine, the “Lord of the Rings is better than Ikiru” people — so that 100% tomatometer rating really doesn’t mean jack shit. But what interests me about the raves for Trek so far isn’t how positive they are, but what they’re positive about.

A common theme is the following belief, found verbatim in several of the early reviews: This film will appeal both to the general movie-going public, and to long-time fans of the Star Trek franchise.

Pity poor J.J. Abrams, assuming he believes that for a second. Oh, he may well have made a good film. But that has no bearing on how many of the Trekkies will receive it.

I used to have a very casual acquaintance who was a beyond-stereotypical, past-the-point-of-no-return comic book geek. He had a concept for his own superhero character, Armadillo Man. I don’t think that ever went anywhere. In 2002, shortly after having seen and enjoyed the fuck out of Spider-Man, I ran into this dude at Wal-Mart. Knowing where his interests lay, I asked what he thought of the movie.

“Oh, it was okay, you know,” he said, “until this.” He held out his arms and began touching his middle and ring fingers to the center of his palms, imitating how Spidey shoots his webbing. He didn’t like those organic web shooters, man. Not one bit. Spidey not having those metal things on his wrists totally ruined the film for him. A movie about a dude who can crawl up walls and psychically sense danger moments before it happens was okay — totally plausible, in this guy’s mind, A-okay. But a movie about said wall-crawler that deviated from its treasured source material in a tiny, irrelevant detail? Fuck that!

Reading the raves of Star Trek, the declarations that the die-hards will love it just as much as the normal folks, I couldn’t help but remember the creator of Armadillo Man, tapping his fingers to his palms, his pimply, thinly bearded face a portrait of snide disappointment. Anyone expecting the rabid fanbase to welcome Star Trek with open arms is kidding themselves, or shilling.
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