I used to game with a bunch of guys in Syracuse, and sometimes some of us would get together to go out and see movies, too. They very quickly learned (right around the time STAR TREK III first hit the theaters) not to ask me how I felt about the movie we'd just seen. The last time they did it was, in fact, after we all watched STAR TREK III for the first time. We were all walking out and they were gibbering like idiots about how wonderful it had been, the best Star Trek yet, and quoting "Don't call me TINY!" over and over again... and one of them, I think it was Gary, said "Hey, you're kind of quiet, what did YOU think?"
So I said "Well, for starters, when the best line in a movie is 'Don't call me TINY' and it's supposed to be funny because it's a little Asian guy saying it... that ain't good. Also, next time one of you repeats that idiotic piece of drivel, I'm going to throw up on your shoes. No lie."
After which, I proceeded to dissect the moronically plot free morass that was STAR TREK III: "There was a moment," I began, low, my voice almost reverent, my tone deliberately pitched to inspire confidence, "a shining moment of wisdom and truth in the Star Trek franchise... a moment when Hollywood itself opened its corporate eyes and said 'Hey, you know what? People get older. They mature and move on. They get promoted, they grow, they change, they take on new roles, new responsibilities. They age, and others come along the trail that they've blazed, walking in the footprints they've left, bringing their own skills, their own strengths, their own peculiar ways of doing things, to the tasks that will always be there, the roles that will always need to be played.' There was a time when a great and classic franchise accepted that entropy happens and we all get older, but it ain't all bad; there was a time when yesterday's titans and heroes gracefully passed the torch, after one last grand adventure, to the sons and daughters of their bodies and spirits, when they handed over the baton of frontline duty and entrusted the guardianship of the universe to newer, younger, fresher hands. There was a moment when that happened, and it was wondrous and moving and for that one brief shining instant, the two dimensional, almost cartoonish near caricatures that were Kirk and Spock and Scottie and McCoy and Sulu and Uhura became truly human and three dimensional and far more than the sum of their parts."
And I paused, for a great crowd had gathered 'round to hear my mighty rolling words. And I let my voice come back up, and I continued:
"And then Paramount sobered up the next day, said 'What the fuck were we THINKING?' and greenlighted a movie that completely destroyed that moment, that went back and pissed and shit and vomited all over that wondrous shimmering transcendent moment, that did its best to kill that unique and glorious moment so dead that no one would ever remember it had happened, by rooting out every last new, innovative element of that franchise which that moment had introduced and murdering them, butchering them, blowing them straight to hell and oblivion with retarded bullshit plot devices like 'protomatter', completely trashing the greatest heroic sacrifice in the history of heroic fiction with what had to be the most ridiculously contrived and hopelessly dumbass resurrection stunt since the Jackal cloned Gwen Stacy, and proving once and for all that the good of the many never ever EVER outweighs the good of the few or the one, if the few are stockholders in Paramount Pictures, and the one is a Leonard Nimoy terrified he'll never ever have another part. And that glorious moment when James T. Kirk was an Admiral and Spock was his Captain and the Enterprise merely a training craft and that was *okay*, it was *all right*, because the galaxy was still vast and the frontier was still final and other heroes and heroines were standing ready to boldly go where no one had gone before... that moment was gone forever, beaten down, broken, burned to ashes and trampled underfoot into the muck of mediocrity. And once again, then and forever, galloping around the cosmos was a game for the old, the tested, the true, the guaranteed box office."
And my voice became a naked flame as I spat: "Star Trek III sucked so hard I thought the movie theater had suffered a hull breech. The characterizations didn't exist, the dialogue was drivel, the plot was so utterly vacuous as to make the admittedly nonsensical plot of STAR TREK II look like Shakespeare, and if William Shatner had chewed the scenery any harder he'd have gone into toxic shock from an overdose of paper mache and spraypaint. That movie was sheer shit from back to front, start to finish, top to bottom, and now I feel like I need to take my brain out and have it dry cleaned."
Okay, I may not have said all that quite that eloquently, but I said a lot of it, as we drove in Gary's car back from the movie theater.
And they never asked me for my opinion of a movie again.
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