The anticipation. The ingredients. The patience. The timing. The moment. It's like one of those damn Turning Leaf wine commercials. However, unlike the time I made the mistake of actually trying a Turning Leaf Chardonnay, Nemesis did not leave me disappointed or enraged, and I certainly wasn't guzzling olive oil to repair my stripped palate and lacerated throat.
Like good Trek fans, we get there an hour early -- it's on Screen 13, how kick-ass is that? -- and we aren't the first people in the theatre. Of course I didn't really expect us to be the very first people in the theatre, but I sure as hell didn't predict that we'd be the second and third! Because of the ridiculous expense, we don't go to movies often, so I had this glorified idea of sailing past the Vulcan ears and Klingon breast plates, pointing at Mathra's Tubey hat, and saying, "I'm press." But where are the throngs of costumed fans who have camped out all night -- nay, all month -- waiting to be seated for the first show of the next even-numbered installment of Trek on the silver screen?
So much for drama.
As the opening credits begin, I hear the music and get teary. I don't know how that bodes for an objective and even-handed review.
In our retro-happy days, people revere Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan because it takes the aspects of Star Trek: The Original Series that people love and smushes them all into a movie: it is campy, allusion-heavy, and makes people wonder what kind of Sex Wax Ricardo Montalban used on his pecs. 1987 comes along in all its feathered and Aqua-Netted glory, and Star Trek: The Next Generation takes the franchise to an entirely new level. The episode storylines are far more complex, character-driven, and philosophical, and they make you think in a way Kirk and his alienette of the week rarely did. It is because of that success as a series that we as an audience have come to expect much more from the movies that feature the TNG cast. We expect Cpt. Picard to be the Picard of "Darmok," Data to be the Data of "The Most Toys," and Worf to be the Worf of "Redemption," and when we take those expectations into the darkened THX surround-sound theatre, we are most likely going to be sorely disappointed.