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There are over 30 million Americans who live on the streets of our nation. Can you consider giving something to a shelter near you? Your fellow human beings need socks because they walk everywhere. Food and shelter are great too, if they will take them. So please give.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Reviews by Hubie Goode: Star Trek

Star Trek
Christian perspective movie review
Primary Audience:
Teens, Adults, Family
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure, Drama, Adaptation, Sequel
Length: 2 hr. 6 min
Year of Release: 2009
USA Release: May 8, 2009 (wide—3,500 theaters)

Chris Pine (James T. Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Leonard Nimoy (Spock Prime), Eric Bana, Bruce Greenwood, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Ben Cross, Winona Ryder, Chris Hemsworth, Jennifer Morrison, Rachel Nichols, Faran Tahir, Clifton Collins Jr., Antonio Elias, Sean Gerace, Randy Pausch, Tim Griffin, Freda Foh Shen, Katarzyna Kowalczyk, Jason Brooks, Sonita Henry, Kelvin Yu, Marta Martin, Tavarus Conley, Jeff Castle, Billy Brown, Jimmy Bennett, Greg Grunberg, Spencer Daniels, Jeremy Fitzgerald, Zoe Chernov, Max Chernov, Jacob Kogan, James Henrie, Colby Paul, Cody Klop, Akiva Goldsman, Anna Katarina, Douglas Tait, Tony Guma, Gerald W. Abrams, James McGrath, Jr., Jason Matthew Smith, Marcus Young, Bob Clendenin, Darlena Tejeiro, Reggie Lee, Jeffrey Byron, Jonathan Dixon, Tyler Perry, Ben Binswagner, Margot Farley, Paul McGillion, Lisa Vidal, Alex Nevil, Kimberly Arland, Sufe M. Bradshaw, Jeff Chase, Charlie Haugk, Nana Hill, Michael Saglimbeni, John Blackman, Jack Millard, Shaela Luter, Sabrina Morris, Michelle Parylak, Oz Perkins, Amanda Foreman, Michael Berry Jr., Lucia Rijker, Pasha Lychnikoff, Matthew Beisner, Neville Page, Jesper Inglis, Greg Ellis, Marlene Forte, Leonard O. Turner, Mark Bramhall, Ronald F. Hoiseck, Irene Roseen, Jeff O’Haco, Scottie Thompson, Deep Roy, Majel Barrett Roddenberry

Director: J.J. Abrams
Producer: Bad Robot, Paramount Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment, J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Jeffrey Chernov, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, Roberto Orci, David Witz
Distributor: Paramount Pictures

I’ve long been a fan of the original series, one which I grew up with and made countless jokes about with buddies of mine who also shared a kind of love/gentle derision relationship with the show. And I must admit, when I saw that the villain was a Romulan, it was a bit of an offense to me. My favorite episode was always the battle between the Enterprise and the Romulan Vessel in the “Balance of Terror” episode. It’s big dramatic moment being the realization that Romulans, who had never been seen before, were related to Mr. Spock. Almost like they were distant cousins. But this movie re-writes all of history for a brand new age. I’m also a big Deep Space nine fan, and used to drive home 225 miles every week from a weekend excursion just to catch the next episode at 11pm at night. Now, none of that happened. I’m not a big fan of this idea. Comic books have lead the charge on this sort of thing, making it acceptable to re-write history for a new audience. What’s wrong with my money? Why do comics and movies need new money? Isn’t it enough that Iron Man (another fav of mine) now belongs to Afghanistan and no longer to Vietnam? Is this what we have to look forward to? Every 22 years those things we all grew up with, the “cannon” of our entertainment lives, will be thrown out for a new generation? I’m afraid so.

What makes my protest even more redundant is the fact that director J.J. Abrams has pulled off a real coup with this movie. How can you hate something that is so well done? Nothing was spared in making the writing and production so meticulous and top drawer that if I did, protest the changes to my boyhood Trek universe, then I would probably be the only “nut” outside the theater walking up and down with a sign. There are bigger and better things to protest against, things more meaningful and important. So the producers and writers WILL get away with this, and it’s not such a bad thing.

As far as the relatively mild sexual situations go, these can provide a moment of discussion, and probably should; especially in these days and times when sex before marriage is considered a part of the “third date” ritual. So James T. Kirk is a rake. So were many of the old movie heroes from the 30’s and 40’s, but you knew that was happening off screen. No body had to spell it out for you. In those days a movie could write and the audience would “get it” and you didn’t have to pontificate to your kids about the dangers of pre-marital sex to themselves and others.

Kirk is also displayed here as the brash rebel. I suppose the attraction to the one who breaks all the rules while still succeeding is a deeply ingrained trait in mankind. But it reminds me of that old adage from movies themselves about a ploy that is “so crazy it just might work”. As you and I know, the crazier a plan is, the less likely it is to work. So you see for Hollywood, heroes who follow the rules and win are just not interesting. Women love bad boys, right? And what trumps the bad boy? The good boy who can bring him down. But he can’t do that unless he goes against convention and authority.... right? I mean, if he followed the rules while the bad guy didn’t, then how could he win? Once again, something to discuss with your kids.

As an addition to this theme, Kirk passes Starfleet academy training by cheating a program designed to be a no-win situation. And toward the end of the movie, Old Spock uses something similar and smiles about it. I think we as Christians, need to ask ourselves and discuss with our kids ... just what, or whom... is it that these characters are cheating? Is cheating “power”?

Other sites can tell you all about what this movie is about and describe the sequence of events, so you can go and see them there. What i am here mostly to do is let the reader know about the things would be important if you were watch dogging Hollywood movies for yourself. And, really there isn’t a whole lot that is objectionable, it all depends on your own “line in the sand” as it were. There is some mild cursing, one G**D***, and some female flesh shown, also a few suggestive situations. But these situations don’t get gratuitous, unlike a recent superhero movie that definitely deserved an “R” rating, and should NEVER be allowed in a child’s home. Remember folks, there are some things that cannot be “unseen”... but I digress.

On a plus side, however; these days, perhaps even more than in the turbulent 60’s we need a grounded source as an example for moral and character building representations from show business. So many young people, today, more than any other time in the past, because information and entertainment is so prevalent, use entertainment figures as role models. No other films out to date this summer convey the positive aspects of honor, sacrifice,love, and the concept that revenge is a personal killer, that ultimate corruption corrupts ultimately. So there are those good points right along side the bad points, but that doesn’t mean we should overlook them. After all, what is the reality? It should be emphasized greatly that good behavior reaps good, and you can’t have your cake and eat it too in this life. We are not sitting a smorgasbord of life filled with choices of good and evil, and any mixture will do.

One thing you can say for Star Trek, is that it keeps Hope alive . A hope that in the world of our future, even in the face of adversity, there will be a final resting place for integrity, compassion,true justice. Where there is Hope, there is life... and fulfilled Hope is no Hope at all.

These beautiful concepts are only underscored by the Christian. Put into practice, Jesus’ commands to love thy neighbor, honor mother and father and those in authority, keep oneself pure until marriage, sacrifice for a friend, give to the poor and share with others no matter whom they may be, is the basic reason Christians are drawn to the Trek ‘verse. Although Trek, even as honorable as it’s motives have always been, is not perfect, it is a reassuring knowledge thatJesus was, and although his flesh and blood body is no longer with us, His spirit, The Spirit of God Himself, lives on in us. That He Lives.

If you haven’t already done so, I very much suggest you visit the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California. So much of what Star Trek is based upon lends itself directly to the reality of Astrophysics. I recently went myself, and I was amazed and awed by the wrap around movie of the universe I saw. The guy next to me in the reclining seats fell asleep but I was sitting there tearing up at the representation of what is out there n the universe. Our God is an awesome God. And when you put aside the fantasy of things like time travel, and faster than light speed trips, and really take a look at the reality of what has been created, you come to see that Truth is more fantastic than anything created in the mind of man, even Star Trek. The vast depth of space and all it contains is indeed ALL God. The presenters will tell you about man’s discoveries with a footnote of: “We don’t know what that is... or we don’t know why that happens. But those of us who know Christ are very much aware and need to make sure that our kids understand that there is a reality to our universe that has God’s fingerprints all over it, not just Gene Roddenberry’s or J. J. Abrams’.

4/5 Stars

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