Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Neoteny is the greatest state of mind (Part 2: Star Trek - Into Darkness)

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First of all, I randomly ran into one of my friends whom I haven't talked to in many months. This was out of pure serendipity. I was looking for the medical school library, which was really hard to find as there were no signs I could locate... and I somehow wandered into a genetics lab building, peeked into one of the doors, and saw my friend M furiously scribbling. So I did the logical thing and pushed the (unlocked) door and knocked at the same time. And she was like OMG hellooooo!

So we chatted about life and lamented about work. Not that anything was going particularly badly, just the nature of research. I mentioned that I wanted to see the newest Star Trek movie. M expressed the same sentiment and that she would ping me about it later. Eventually I remembered that I needed to go to the medical library which she directed me to and it happened to be right downstairs. Oops.

That same Saturday at approximately 9:10pm, M emailed me about going to a late showing of Star Trek at 11:35pm. I already showered and was about to make dinner. I quickly whipped up a random pasta stew and slurped it down and met up with her and and her boyfriend K who was driving a new manual car. The amount of (sober) spontaneity was unprecedented. (I did not realize I would top myself a day later.)

We got bubble teas. M and K sneaked in theirs in M's bag. I got the warm barley tea and it wasn't sealed completely, so I left it in the car but that's okay. Maybe I should have specified completely no sugar instead of half. Anyway... Fast forward past the drone of previews. I was getting sleepy.

I was really looking forward to Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto's reprise as Kirk and Spock. And especially anticipating Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal of the mysterious villain John Harrison. He nailed it! I totally enjoyed all three characters' chemistry with one another, as I interpret Harrison to represent a dark and impulsive side of Kirk, which the cool and rational Spock is an antithesis of. The action scenes are quite exciting, but I particularly dig the nuanced performance Cumberbatch brings in his dramatic deliveries.

Scotty is a timely (comic) relief at all the right times. The hot blonde of a weapons specialist with a physics Ph.D. is an ambivalent but admirable attempt at bucking stereotypes. I would have liked to see more of Sulu, but Cumberbatch stole the show :-P

Kudos to the CG artists and set designers as well. I liked the futuristic skyline of San Francisco - where the Star Fleet is based! I assume people would have learned to control earthquakes by that point :-P

The next day I ran into another friend in my lab building and he didn't like the movie and called BC's character "freakazoid". I think he doesn't like the "excessive pandering" to "fangirls". Perhaps he can stick to watching hip-hop music videos.

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