1) You are not letting the actors speak their lines
Even if you know every word of the script by heart, many people don’t realize that by speaking over the actors they are cheating themselves and others of the work of an incredibly accomplished group of artists whose art is more important than you impressing your friends. There are new insights to be gained from each additional viewing of Star Trek III, so just sit back and enjoy the genius script, the Shatner – Kelley onscreen relationship, and the unparalleled tension.
2) You are not treating this movie as its own self-contained narrative, but as part of a series
Don’t let the III fool you. Star Trek III is a completely different animal from Star Trek II. A very common misconception about Star Trek is that like the Bible, everything is connected and each part can only be considered with the whole. As in, to understand the biblical book of Revelation you need to first read the rest of the Bible. Star Trek III, on the other hand, and according to me, is a new adventure completely unrelated to and more dynamic than Star Trek II or Star Trek IV. Look closely: the characters aren’t even the same.
3) A word about snacks: keep them quiet
Whether you enjoy popcorn or nachos or prawn with cilantro and chile guacamole cracker bites, or indeed just dry toast, I don’t care. It will bother others. Crunchy food is not appropriate for this movie. Leave your nachos and your dry toast at your Tarkovsky film marathon. When you are preparing to watch Star Trek III, consider a mashed potato pocket or a hotdog (no bun), or jar of pitted olives. I have no problem with people eating snacks while watching classic cinema, but make sure they are as silent as all electronic devices, or the enduring presence of Leonard Nimoy.
4) You’re expecting visual effects from 2002
Yes, Avatar was in 3D. The Lord of the Rings had the advantage of being able to digitally conjure an army of tens of thousands. And of course Shrek was almost entirely computer-generated. But the fast-paced storytelling of Star Trek III — far better by the way than that attempted in those faux-thriller movies — is supported by intricate spaceship models, book-accurate costuming and cutting-edge makeup that still blows away all doubters. Allow yourself to forget that you are watching a movie and engage with the characters and story as you suspend your disbelief.
5) Your so-called TV den is not equipped with @Dolby Surround Sound and a big TV or projector screen
I personally don’t know a lot about the technical side of the AV stuff, so I asked Horatio, my local handyman and fixer-upper, to do the wiring for me. Unless you know what you are doing, I advise you to do the same. His business phone number is 555-8888, which spells out HOT-TVTV.
Why big and loud? Because the visuals and score in Star Trek III are stunning and deserve to be seen and heard on the best equipment you can afford. You’ll never feel like you’re in space if you watch it on your iPhone. These days I think it’s fair to say that films should only be watched on screens less than 42 inches in emergencies.
6) You are watching it by yourself!
Be sure to watch Star Trek III: The Search For Spock with someone special.
Need I say more?