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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

April 20, 2009 at 1:16 PM

“Star Trek” aims phasers at 25-and-under crowd

If you’re still in the first quarter-century of your life and feeling depressed, take heart: Paramount Pictures wants you. An interesting Variety article today confirmed that the studio is pulling out all the stops to appeal to the kind of young moviegoer who generally isn’t too interested in science fiction, particularly science fiction that was on TV back when their parents were kids. Paramount is apparently in a wee bit of a panic about this, seeing as a recent poll indicated that only 44 percent of under-25s intend to see “Star Trek” on its May 8 opening weekend (as opposed to 67 percent who intend to see “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”). Consequently, “Star Trek” ads have been booked on “American Idol” and the unintentionally hilarious-sounding show “Total Nonstop Action Wrestling” on Spike TV, though why somebody would want to get up from a cozy afternoon of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling to go to some damn movie is completely beyond me. (OK, I’ve never heard of TNAW, which is perhaps all the evidence any of you need to guess that I am, ahem, over 25. But I do think it sounds really, really funny. I am, right now, planning to pitch some TV channel with Total Nonstop Action Merchant-Ivory Movies, where at any hour day or night you could tune in and watch somebody have a subtle crisis of conscience and/or morality while wearing a fabulous hat.)
Um, where was I? Right, “Star Trek.” So, apparently there’s a hint of “bromance” between Kirk and Spock, just to appeal to the younger demographic, which I guess means they will hang out together like Paul Rudd and Jason Segal in “I Love You, Man” and talk about women. Really? And the studio has planned tie-ins with the TV shows “Lost” and “Heroes.” The other problem the studio is facing — the historic lack of overseas interest in “Star Trek” movies — is being tackled with a series of high-profile premieres and screenings around the world (Australia, Kuwait, Berlin, Paris) long before the film’s U.S. premiere in Los Angeles on April 30.
And in other “Star Trek” news: No doubt those of you fond of this franchise will be delighted to hear that I’m not going to review this movie, being as I’m still not sure what a phaser does exactly. Despite being, ahem, over 25, I’ve never seen the show and have only seen one of the movies — the one with the whales — and remain puzzled as to what all this boldly going is about, even though I did once go on the “Star Trek Experience” in Las Vegas (and emerged even more confused, not to mention hassled by a Ferengi). Freelance Times critic Jeff Shannon will do the honors; I hope to attend and will blog some thoughts on the film. “This is not your father’s Star Trek,” is the theme of a new series of TV ads. Noted.

Chris Pine as James T. Kirk; Zachary Quinto as Spock (Photo credit: Industrial Light & Magic; copyright 2009 Paramount Pictures Corporation.)

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