So, on Thursday, April 25th, this happened.
Meant to write about it earlier, but I’ve just been busy with a lot of stuff (including a project – not Valocea this time… I’ll get into all of that in another post sometime soon.)
Anyway, a group of us went, and it was a blast. Nostalgia all over the place, and also a genuinely good story even after all this time. Some rough spots, sure; there was laughter during many of Wesley’s lines, including ones that obviously weren’t meant to be funny, simply because of how over-the-top some of his lines were (i.e. “The saucer section’s a sitting duck!!!”), which was one of several recurring problems for the Wesley character (though it’s at its worst in the first season, and is comparatively toned down in the third, but is still present in lines like the above). But for the most part, the whole thing holds up remarkably well. And seeing some of those shots on the big screen and with restored effects (such as the Ent-D in the nebula, the battle scenes, the ship graveyard, and of course the big explosion) was just amazing. The music, too, which has always been among Trek’s best, sounded great in this setting.
I saw someone over at the Trek BBS make the joke that it was “the best TNG movie ever!” The TNG movies as a whole get a lot of flak in the Trek fandom – and when it comes to the latter two, I can’t disagree, since they really were pretty bad (though not as bad as the very worst Trek movie of them all – Star Trek V: The Final Frontier – if you ask me). But, while I’ve always liked Generations despite it’s fistful of flaws, and First Contact is genuinely one of the better Trek movies overall, I kind of agree with the “joke.” In fact, I’d take it further: BoBW is honestly a better story than ANY Star Trek movie, from The Motion Picture to the 2009 Abrams reboot film. When it comes to writing, pacing, and just the overall quality of the narrative from beginning to end, it outdoes em all. TNG is still my favorite Trek series alongside DS9, and there are actually a number of episodes from both series that I would say are better than any of the movies, but this is definitely one of the best, and of course, one of the few Star Trek episodes that have ever been shown on the big screen.
Of course, it’s still not technically a “movie”, just a two-part episode. So I’ll call it “the best Trek visual production (that has been shown in a theater) ever”.
Loved the blooper reel. The crowd was in stitches throughout most of it, but possibly the biggest laugh of the entire night came from Michael Dorn flubbing the line “I never played with toys” as “I never played with boys”. I especially loved how Stewart and Spiner start cracking up, and then just kind of back off the platform like “NOPE, not touching that one”, while Dorn – who usually loses it and starts laughing when he flubs a line – just stands there with a very Worf like grimace on his face. That particular flub can be seen at the end of the video here; this little 1-minute reel that HuffPost put up is only a small portion of the total blooper reel that ran at the event (and as far as I know, the full reel will also be on the season 3 blu-ray set, which everyone should TOTALLY buy!).
The behind-the-scenes stuff that was played before the episode was cool, but setting it after the ep itself would have been better, since it showed many of the key scenes that we were about to watch. Yes, we’ve all seen the ep plenty of times, but not with restored visuals and on the big screen; most of the “big” scenes were shown in pieces during the segment, sort of spoiling it before the episode themselves came on. But it wasn’t a huge deal. They probably wanted to make sure people saw all that, since it was basically an extended ad for the blu-ray sets, and figured some people would just leave after the episode itself if that ran first, heh.
Still, overall it was a great experience. Haven’t had this much fun watching something – anything – in a theater since “The Avengers”.