Tuesday, September 15, 2009


This has been a summer of Star Trek, or in other words, a summer of self-improvement.

Thanks to a discount dollar movie theater, situated near my home in Trolley Square, I’ve been fortunate enough to see Star Trek ten times for the cost of one evening show at a regular movie theater. Yes. Ten. And without the dollar theater in Sugarhouse, this feat would not have been possible, and my summer would not have been as prolific. I will now explain.

There is no perfect movie, and there never will be. But Star Trek, for me, is about as close as it gets. From story, to casting, to special effects, to script, to score, to pacing, humor and profundity, folks…this movie simply wins it. People who are lifelong fans of the television show were happy; kids who had only heard of the show were just as happy. Very few moviemakers have been successful in achieving this, and for that it deserves genuine accolade, sci-fi fan or no. But I’m not writing a movie review here. After watching this movie so many times I not only enjoy it, but I’m also comforted by it. I relax into this story like I’m in the company of an old friend, and allow my mind to be overtaken entirely into this world of star dates and federation planets. The house lights dim, closing me out from my unfinished life and life-related worries, as the widescreen unfolds and fills the dark with giant moving images and echoes of a new realm. Here, the stakes are higher, the evil more obvious, the outcome is victoriously sweet, and all woes are resolved in just over two hours.

During one of the ten viewings, I found myself casting the main characters with people in my own life. It was a brilliant exercise, I recommend doing it! I got to ponder a bit about why so-and-so would DEFINITELY play Spock, why other so-and-so DEFINITELY would portray Captain Kirk, and OF COURSE so-and-so had to play Engineer Olson (Olson - the overzealous British guy who jettisons down with Kirk and Sulu to disarm the Romulan drill, only he pulls his chute dare-devilishly too late and eats it in open flames). It gave me insight as I mentally placed my friends in their galactic alter egos, helping me understand them better.

Another time, while watching a poignant scene between Spock and Uhura, I made some headway into understanding better what is needed to make love last. I know, right? Go figure. Sometimes when characteristics are exaggerated, we’re able to see the solution more quickly.

Yet another time, while watching my 20 year-old roommate text throughout the entire film, which hurt me more than she will ever know, I thought about where I lack patience with others and what I can do to be more aware of it. I learned to not take another’s disinterest in something I love so personally. Granted, this was not a lesson taken from the movie itself, but had I not been watching the movie, watching THIS movie, this lesson would not have been learned.

Other times, I’d wake up on a Saturday morning feeling lonely. So I’d do a few important chores, then as a treat, I’d go online and find a good time to head down for a dose of happy from Dr. Star Trek. Always worked like a charm. I walked out afterward feeling lighter.

I realize some may call me pathetic for placing this much importance on a movie. It’s just a movie. Well, of course it’s just a movie. And I’m willing to believe it really is pathetic to see anything that many times. But at the end of the day, if I walk out feeling better, learning new things, and it only cost me a buck, I really don’t care what they say about it. These are the reasons why we tell stories. This is what good stories are supposed to give us. And I still have the good sense not to wear my Star Fleet insignia with flashing lights anywhere but in my own bedroom, thank you very much.

P.S. I have plans to see it again this Saturday with a friend.  I can't wait.


Nat Attack said...

I LOVE these kinds of things; both in myself but especially in my friends. Believe me missy, if I were anywhere near that theater, I'd be attending with you!! XOXO.

Mary said...

Oh Natty, how I would love that. :-)

stacer said...

First: you have great taste. I've only seen it once in the theater (I paid full price, so it evens out, I guess), but I plan to buy it on DVD--and I do this exact same thing with my favorite movies on DVD. If I'm feeling down about dating, I watch Persuasion, because hey, if Anne Elliot can wait 8 1/2 years for one man who she'd already turned down, I can last this many years without anyone even asking me out, right?

It's not dumb. It's like old friends comforting you, without the discomfort of that friend dismissing your fears and worries as irrelevant.

Newt said...

"These are the reasons why we tell stories."

So true.

Harold said...

great post. ummm. i saw ever after in the theatre 18 times. 4 at full price, the rest in the dollar theatre. you're not the only one. So true about the stories.