Geeky Mom Likes New Star Trek Movie

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I never thought I would see the day when I’d actually ask my husband to take me to a Star Trek movie.  When we first met, his love for the series was one of the things about which I most teased Greg.  Well, my transformation into a very geeky mom has been fulfilled even more greatly by my enjoyment of the new Star Trek movie.  Not only did I ask Greg to take Adam and I today, I actually really LIKED the film.

Let me say up front that no matter how much you love Star Trek and want to share it with your children, this is not a film for little ones.  Before deciding if the film is family friendly, please read the reviews by the USCCB and Decent Films.  Along with some very intense but not too graphic action scenes, there is one incidence of “a short but frisky bedroom scene with skimpy attire, some crude language and a single profanity.” (USCCB review)  That “frisky” scene actually made me a bit mad – it was completely unnecessary for the film (we already know James Kirk is a womanizer by that point) and added nothing.  It upsets me when filmmakers take what otherwise could be a fairly teen friendly film and add content that makes a mom squirm.  That scene aside, there was nothing too intense in the film for my almost 15 year old Adam, but I wouldn’t recommend the film for anyone younger then thirteen.  The Bishops have given it an AIII rating, classifying it as appropriate for adults.  Decent Films calls it appropriate for teens and up.  You alone can decide if you want your teens subjected to this level of “friskiness”.

The bedroom scene aside, I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the film.  I’ll say that I’m a big LOST fan, and J.J. Abrams impact on the film is very apparent.  A particularly twisted time travel plot gives the film a bit of a LOST feel, as does the film’s attention to character development.  Since I’ve never watched an entire episode of the original Star Trek series, I wasn’t upset by what some refer to as a defiling of the “canon” — changes in the stories time line and license taken with some characters.  I’ve seen enough Saturday Night Live style parodies of Star Trek and popular culture references to realize that the actors were chosen to carefully reflect young versions of the originals.  I also truly enjoyed Leonard Nimoy’s reprisal of Spock.  If you’re irritated by the time travel elements of LOST, you may be bothered a bit by this theme on the Star Trek movie.  As for me, I thought it added to the story and was connected enough that I didn’t feel totally confused.

Immediately following the movie, I surprised myself by turning to Greg and asking if we could rent the DVDs of the original series – who knew a mom of teens could suddenly be turned into a Trekkie!  If you think you might have my same reaction, check out Star Trek: The Original Series – Season One (DVD/HD DVD Combo, Remastered Edition) over at Amazon.  We actually popped into Best Buy after the movie to take a peek and found the first season entirely sold out.

Have you seen the new Star Trek movie yet?  If so, I’d love to hear your take on what you liked, what you hated, how you felt about the “friskiness” and if you’d recommend the film to others.  I’m particularly interested in what true Trekkies have to say about the film.

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About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at www.LisaHendey.com for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.

16 Comments

  1. Lisa, you can watch the whole original serieson cbs.com. Look up the classic shows and watch seasons 1-3.

    Your review is spot on. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and while my review is abit more geeky and celebrating the “authenticity” of the movie, we both agree that it is spectacular. And nobody had to drink a tuna smoothie.

  2. Oops. Here’s something I forgot to say. Although they deal with a different reality, I like that their fundamental destinies stayed the same. In other words, some of the details of their lives were different, that is, Kirk’s dad was dead, Uhura and Spock (what was up with that?) and even Christopher Pike in the wheelchair–they ended up where they were meant to be, even though the minutiae of their lives were a little different.

    It makes me think of free will and God’s plan for us. We end up where we are meant to be according to God’s plan, but the details–those seem to be left up to us.

  3. re: defiling of the “canon” — changes in the stories time line and license taken with some characters.

    I think the time travel alternate universe is a good device …. because of it they will be able to mke Star Trek movies using the Characters we know anad love for another 30 years.

    I think they did a good job of staying within the lines of what we know of these chacters – while further developing who they are as people.

  4. Maria, as always you leave me laughing!! Anyone who wants to read Maria’s review can find it online at http://begojohnson.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/i-am-giddy-with-joy-in-the-nerdiest-kind-of-way/
    I’m loving the “free will” analogy! We have an ongoing discussion around our house about God being a “macromanager” – your comment reminded me of that!
    If you’ve posted a review of your own, link to it here in the comments. I’m also going to try to do a better job of indexing these reviews, now that I’m doing them more frequently. You can find them centrally located here at http://new.catholicmom.com/fun/movies/
    I’m not really a movie reviewers, just a mom who enjoys going to the movies and writing about what she sees!

  5. Joy Rebello on

    I think the alternate reality bit just made it possible for a whole new line of Star Trek movies series based in this new and unknown continuum. Comic books have been doing this for decades.

    I absolutely loved the movie. I have been a Trekkie since I was quite small. I do recall the scene, but I noted it as one of those “gratuitous sexuality” scenes which seem rampant in most movies. I am not sure I would be comfortable taking teens to this movie.

    I wasn’t expecting to see Spock and Uhura together. I always thought she was infatuated with Kirk, as was almost every woman who met him.

  6. We decided our son (13.5) could see it only after he has seen “The Wrath of Kahn,” “The Undiscovered Country,” and hopefully some of the old series. It will make so much more sense to him and he might actually get the jokes. I agree about the steamy scene. My husband informed me that the “green ladies” were very “loose” in the series. I wish they hadn’t added it. It certainly could have been less steamy.

  7. While I’m definitely not a parent – and don’t worry Lisa, you would be the first to know if I was going to be 🙂 – I didn’t find the bedroom scene bothersome or gratuitous. In fact, I actually found it to be pretty integral to the plot as well as the canon of the series. Kirk was, and still is, a very open and non-prejudiced male when it comes to his sexuality. This is a movie based on a series that had interracial kisses on national television in the late 1960s. Interspecies kisses were very much a metaphor for the same. Not only is the scene in question in the movie a nod to the groundbreaking nature of the original series, it’s a confirmation to us that despite the fact that we are in alternate reality in this new film, Kirk is very much the same man.

    I am definitely sensitive to a parent’s quandary when trying to decide to take their child to a movie with a scene like this. However, I personally would recommend against not seeing this movie based solely on this one scene. Given the fact that this scene wasn’t much more graphic than some similar scenes featured in the original series, and considering that those were shown on national television in prime time 40+ years ago, I think the PG13 rating is more indicative of the fact that there is some serious action involved that might not be appropriate for younger viewers.

  8. Mike, I will hold you to that promise about being among the first to know! Thanks for putting the scene into some perspective in the context of the original series, which I haven’t seen. I agree that it’s a great thing that the series was able to be so forward thinking when it came to diversity – great metaphor! You’re also right that sometimes this mom gets more caught up in worrying about having my sons see “adult themes” than I do about violence or bad language – I definitely have a few double standards when it comes to prescreening what they will be allowed to view. I was very happy in that scene to see that all parties were at least partially clothed, which is not typically the norm these days. Thanks for chiming in!!

  9. Avti Expistos on

    Excuse my grammar if it is bad, I’m of a foreign land.

    I found it funny when you said that “this is not a film for little ones.” It is a film for absolutely no one of a true Catholic faith. All who have watched and enjoyed this movie should be ashamed of themselves, even the bishops who have approved it. It is a blasphemous movie, it denies god, goes against the teaching of the bible, and pollutes Christian minds with scientific voodoo. I frown and shake my head in sadness for those who allow themselves to indulge in such pagan pop-culture. J.J. Abrams, along with his series LOST, advocates teachings of old magicians. He is subliminally corrupting the masses and you must deny him as you would a blasphemer. I hope this message touches you and that you repent your sins immediately.

    Best Wishes.
    –Avti

  10. Avti, thanks for sharing your thoughts, but I find them a bit extreme. I have many sins to repent of, but I don’t believe that watching the Star Trek movie or LOST count as sins. On the point of science fiction being blasphemous, some of it is but I did not find anything of that nature in this movie. LOST, Abram’s television program, actually contains Christian and biblical themes on a regular basis.

  11. Mark Szewczak on

    Got to see this next weekend. Gotta! I was a total Star Trek geek when I was a kid and remember the first season and becoming totaly hooked. Thanks to all for the great chat here….I hear that the way that the original series was worked into this movie was masterful. Can’t wait!

  12. Avti Expistos on

    Lisa,

    I am aware that Mr. Abram’s work contains Christian themes and allusions. However, his themes are mostly centered around Gnosticism, something deemed highly heretical by us Catholics. His work also contains pagan themes and themes based on science attempting to disprove God’s existence. I warn you that you must be careful when enjoying his work (and especially when allowing an easily-persuaded child to view his work), and I would suggest dismissing it altogether. I pray for you and your family and hope that you are not led off the path of the righteous.

    Best Wishes.
    –Avti

  13. Mark Szewczak on

    Finally got to see Star Trek this weekend on a date afternoon with my wife and….well….I was a little disappointed. Not so much in the plot changes from the original series but perhaps the pacing of the movie…felt rushed. Special effecs were good and the humor was great but somehow I felt something was missing. Mybe without overanalyzing, I was “expecting” the beginning of “the” story and what I got was an alternate reality without a clue up front that it was alternate until the end. I understand the change allows for a whole new story thread and sequels. I suppose I will just need to see it a few more times before I work it all out…lol.

  14. For Avti-
    I’m just curious about your comment from May… Do you really think this kind of negative, self-righteous talk really helps build others up for Christ? Do you help lead people to Christ with this type of attitude? I hope this message touches you, no harshness intended.

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