Saw the new Star Trek movie last night – I won't do a full review, since it has been reviewed by just about ever other magazine, newspaper, and blogger out there. Plus, I'm largely uneducated in the Star Trek oeuvre – I have never seen a full episode of the original series and just about nothing of any of the newer series. I also haven't seen much of the movies either. It just hasn't been one of those things that I've felt compelled to see.
However, I'm very aware of the impact it has had on our popular culture – there are many quotes that have become part of our everyday parlance: "Set your phasers on stun," "I'm giving it all she got sir," "To boldly go where no one has gone before," "beam me up Scotty,"etc. I'm glad to say that nearly all of them – along with the general sense of humor and self-aware kitsch – is present in the movie. Again, not being a "Trekkie" I found the movie entertaining and thought they did a nice job explaining the origins of the crew, based on what I know.
Of course, there was a climatic space battle scene, complete with front shields fully powered and all phasers firing away at the enemy ship, resulting in massive, loud… operatic music.
This is a trend in recent sci-fi action movies that I find disturbing – the final, climatic battle scenes aren't filled with the most mind-blowing explosive sound effects, but are instead shown along side quiet, nearly soundless clips or buried under soaring vocal choral music. I don't get it – 100 years of sound technology development, and two hours of great sound effects, but when it counts, we get a crappy version of a Wagner throw-away or sound effects that make you wonder if the sound track is skipping.
I say give me more – push the limit of the sound system! I want borderline ear-bleeding effects that keep me from even thinking about what's going on.