It’s Thanksgiving weekend and, frankly, I ain’t got a lot going on except football (Longhorns already won; time for the Texans to bump off Indy), shopping, and writing. Oh, and a little movie watching.
I convinced my wife to watch “Star Trek” on DVD. I saw it opening day back in May and have been anticipating seeing it again once it landed on DVD. In the Age of Complete Convenience For Everything You Might Remotely Want*, Blockbuster had loads of copies and I rented one. We saw it again tonight (Friday) and it led me to a statement and a question.
Reboots Are Not All Bad
I don’t know how many die-hard Trekkies lamented the events of the latest Star Trek movie. In one fell swoop, director J. J. Abrams wiped out all that we knew and created something new (nice rhyming, huh?). We had critics griping that there’s only one Kirk and Shatner is the one to play him. Ditto Spock, McCoy, and all the rest. It sure is loud, all that lamenting and wailing and gnashing of teeth.
I did not count myself among the lamenters. As I wrote on my blog, I consider Star Trek my favorite movie. After initially being ambivalent about the film based on the first trailer, I came around quite swiftly and ended up loving the film more than I expected. Yes, they changed a lot--everything?--but one thing survived: the spirit of Star Trek lives in the new movie and among the new cast.
The same thing will be said about the new Sherlock Holmes movie with Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law. Critics are already lambasting the film, the director, the action-adventure aspect of the film, and, of course, the casting of Downey. But, like the Star Trek film, I can tell that the spirit of the source material lives in the movie. Sure, Downey’s no Jeremy Brett (my choice for a definitive Holmes) but, then, neither was Michael Caine.
I think it’s okay that every generation updates certain classic characters and I can’t think of any character or situation that is so sacrosanct as to automatically preclude updating (or a reboot). Can you? And who here is really, Really looking forward to seeing the new Sherlock Holmes movie?
What Is It With Young Men?
Again, with the new Star Trek film, young James Kirk is a genius rebel who grew up without a father and uses self-destructive behavior to hide his anger and guilt. All of this happens, of course, until Someone Else talks to them and motivates them to rise and become the man they were born to be.
How many friggin times have we seen this? The list is virtually endless: Star Wars, Top Gun, Star Trek, Batman Begins, A Few Good Men, Good Will Hunting, etc. There are the older stories and myths most of which don’t come to mind because I’m just not that up-to-date with my Greek and Roman myths (but I know they are there).
Which leads me to the question I posed to my wife last night and I now throw out to you: Are there any stories like this with young women as the protagonist, the one who must rise up and become the woman she was born to be? None come to mind and I’m honestly wondering if there are any. I know there must be so, please, enlighten me.
*Age of Complete Convenience For Everything You Might Remotely Want -- My family and I drove around Houston on Thursday, visiting family, eating, and playing a Wii for the first time. Thirty years ago, when it came to Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day, there was *nothing* open. Period. If you didn’t get something by the eve before, you were out of luck until the day after said holiday.
Not anymore. I noticed Cracker Barrel was open. Kroger was open. Walgreens and CVS were open (do they ever close?). Other places whose names escape me were open. And don’t even get me started on this “Open at 4am” crap.
When, in the last thirty-odd years, did it become important that we, as a society, must not be put out and have to wait for something just because a store was closed?