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Movie Review: “Star Trek: Beyond”

Jul 252016
 By , July 25, 2016

Star Trek Beyond

“Star Trek: Beyond” – a film review by Gary Chew

I remember when Star Trek came to NBC TV’s prime time: the fall of 1968. Wow. I was totally hooked.

I love science fiction, but I’m more the Philip K. Dick kind of sci-fi freak. And Star Trek, this Gene Roddenberry creation, sort of circled around the loopy/heavier side of sci-fi, but did keep its act together. It was after all … American commercial network television. We don’t want to stir folks up too much.

Three years! Boom! Canceled. I was not feeling very “beamed up.” The series had drifted since the initial season made a good hit for NBC, but maybe not quite the numbers the Peacock honchos really wanted. And there was Star Trek’s interracial kissie face that probably startled a few of those larger TV antennae south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Star Trek BeyondCBS took to Lost in Space, demurring any Trekkie stuff coming out Tiffany TV. Dick disciple that I was and still am, I was Lost In Disinterest. Philip K’s overboard material was right in the pocket of a vector most appropriate, Captain.

I’ve never much watched subsequent Treks that came back to television and on the big screen. I’ve seen some, but could never even get near to warp speed with the product, after the first two seasons of this enduring franchise.

Perhaps I’m not the one who ought to write a brief comment on this new Beyond continuance. It’s not my place to suggest that you shouldn’t bother with this 2-hour, 3-D, IMAX blast. You might miss being really entertained. That it does.

The latter day cast is good. Zachary Quinto is Leonard Nimoy, er I mean Mr. Spock. Chris Pine surely must be making today’s William Shatner quiver. And the USS Enterprise never looked better in this new release, although there are some scenes that indicate the Enterprise can take a lickin’ and still keep tickin’, as John Cameron Swayze once barked about Timex watches.

Star Trek BeyondThe story hardly surfaces above the awesome, and so totally magnificent computer generated stuff that flies every which way, including yours … when you see Star Trek: Beyond. The comic relief lines, which come more often than needed, express a quiet lameness that I don’t feel good about mentioning.

If I had been younger when the franchise snagged more popularity after the first three seasons, I’d likely be singing this movie’s praises. And, to tell you the truth, I don’t sing such kudos for other stringing franchise blockbusters that overpopulate screens big and small with enervating regularity.

But I’d take my offspring to see this movie … in a nanosecond. Then I’d head for another viewing of “2001: A Space Odyssey.” I never get enough of that wonderful stuff. In fact, I recently saw this iconic Kubrick classic, thanks to Turner Classic Movies. Yea, Ted. Thanks for all you did.

The film’s closing credits read, “In memory of Leonard Nimoy,” then say, “For Anton.”

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Gary Chew was a classical music host, programmer and producer on Capital Public Radio’s KXPR 88.9FM, Sacramento for 18 years. He retired in January 2007. Read more about Gary's long and storied career here.

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