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Its Fifty Year Mission....

I try not to think about getting older, but sometimes I find myself wondering if the years are finally catching up with me. Yeah, I'm getting fatter and lazier, but that's not what I mean. I'm referring to my attitudes and impressions of things; in particular, my attitudes and impressions of the latest Star Trek film, Into Darkness.

First, I'll admit that I saw the previous film in the series, released way back in 2009, four years ago. I was not impressed. In fact, I was depressed. It was, to me, a nondescript action movie with more stupid scenes than good ones. I did not understand the rave reviews the film received.

Now, although once having considered myself a Star Trek fan, I have no interest in seeing the latest film.

I find most new movies boring. I find the pace of new movies too hectic. I definitely find the movie-going experience too expensive. The latest films I've watched have been 1950s films I'm watching via NetFlix on television. (Jivaro, 1954, with Fernando Lamas and Rhonda Fleming -- now that was a movie worth watching!) And... I still like the original Star Trek TV series.

Here's the thing: besides the overall appearance of the new films being too glossy and high-tech and digital-ish, to me the actors don't look right for the parts. They look -- and this is why I'm worried that I'm starting to turn into a geezer -- too young! To me, Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine look like kids playing dress-up.

I think part of the issue is modern style. I looked up the ages of the actors before writing this post. Pine and Quinto are now almost exactly the same ages as were Shatner and Nimoy when the original Star Trek TV series aired. Yet, to me, the new actors look like high school kids. Kinda dorky high school kids, actually. Okay, maybe that's an overstatement. More like adequately competent college-age Comic-Con cosplayers.

Shatner and Nimoy looked, and played, the characters as older, or more mature. The Kirk character wasn't any older than the actor -- in "The Deadly Years" Kirk states his age as thirty-four years old. Back in the 1960s, thirty-four looked... mature. Nimoy, portraying Spock, is the same age as Shatner, yet Spock looked, as befit his character, older than Kirk.

Modern style favors a more youthful look. To my eye, the new Kirk and Spock look like characters in their twenties, even though the actors are both in their mid-thirties. For me, they just don't have the screen presence of someone who looks a little bit... older.

I realize I am no longer in the target demographic for Hollywood movies. This doesn't mean I want movies to star a bunch of old codgers, though. I saw Cowboys & Aliens a couple of years ago, and realized it's time for Harrison Ford to hang up his hat... at least until a remake of The Whales of August comes along. Bruce Willis, yeah, he could fill the niche left by the passing of Wilfred Brimley, except that Wilfred Brimley is still alive and may outlast Willis.

I've been trying to think of who exemplifies "the look" I would want to see for Kirk and Spock. Actor Daniel Craig, of the James Bond films, is, I see via the internet, only 45 years old. An image search indicates he looks surprisingly old and haggard when not in screen makeup. Through the magic of makeup and effective cinematography, Craig, in his Bond persona, to me looks about the right age to portray a believable Captain Kirk. Not, obviously, a fresh out of Starfleet Academy Kirk, but a forty-something, experienced officer. For younger versions of the characters -- I dunno, I'm so out of the pop-culture loop, I can't even name any currently popular actors.

Oh, I know -- to the internet again! I'll type in "popular actors" and see who comes up.

Okay, this guy, Chris Gorham; I've never heard of him, but apparently he's on TV and in movies. He's about the same age as Quinto, but he has some lines in his face, and he looks more expressive and less like a plastic GQ fashion model. As long as the makeup department didn't putty up all those lines, I bet he'd have the right screen presence to portray a creditable Mister Spock.

As for Kirk, I dunno, how about this guy, Australian actor Hugh Sheridan. He's only twenty-six years old, quite a bit younger than Chris Pine, but he looks more mature, a bit more rugged... older. As long as they didn't Hollywood-ize him to make him look sixteen, a guy like this might make a believable Kirk.

I dunno why I'm wasting my time thinking about this. Well, actually, maybe I do. I remember being excited waiting for the first Star Trek movie -- that would be the 1979 film, not the 2009 film. Jeepers creepers, that original Star Trek movie is almost older than the actors starring in the new film! Anyway, the movie wasn't all that great, but for a TV show fan who anxiously awaited the film from the time of its announcement, it was exciting. And the actors looked good -- while it had seemed like forever since the series ended, in actuality only ten years had passed. I also remember the excitement of waiting for the second Star Wars trilogy. Ultimately the films were a disappointment, but the anticipation was thrilling; and really, almost nothing could have measured up to the anticipation. By the time the fourth Indiana Jones film was announced, my keen anticipation for long-awaited sequels had begun to ebb... until I saw the poster! The teaser poster for the film totally rekindled the excitement! Of course, the movie itself didn't entirely (as in, not even close) deliver on the promise of the poster. And, with apologies to the True Fans, I must opine that Harrison Ford was too old, or at least, he acted too old, to portray the character. (It's gonna be really sad seeing Hamill, Fisher, and Ford in the new Star Wars film, by the way. As with the latest Trek film, I really have no desire to even see it.) I'm wishing I felt at least a twinge of excitement about, or even interest in, the latest Star Trek film, but I don't. I was hoping that the "reboot" would rekindle my interest in the franchise -- an interest that flagged a long time ago (the episode of Next Generation in which Counselor Troi was impregnated by a mysterious energy-absorbing being was where Star Trek irrevocably jumped the shark for me).

I guess I'm old school... or just plain old; I want to see Kirk fight a Gorn, not Spock making out with Uhura in the elevator.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
sjonsvenson
May. 20th, 2013 09:32 pm (UTC)
I don't think it's the age of the actors playing or the age of the characters played
Most recent films are 'over acted' . As if the directors don't trust the audience to understand the actions and plots. Everything gets explicit and exaggerated.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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