To say the least this isn't the Star Trek you grew up. J.J. Abrams had redesigned the series from the bottom up. Characters are familiar to us, but at the same time have new dimensions to them. For many fans I don't believe this will be an issue. For others it might feel as if their beloved crew has been cheapened by making them all-too human. I personally liked the way Abrams handled the crew.
Kirk is the man-whore he's always been, but now he's not so well chiseled. He has serious faults, and isn't afraid to overcome them simply by beating on anyone who happens to notice them. Spock is an emotional wreck; a man ripped apart by two conflicting worlds of thought. Bones is essentially his old self; delivering the well timed "I'm a doctor..." line that we'd all expect. Where this movie really excels though is how it handles the 'other' crew members who never really had a chance to shine in the old series. Suddenly Chekov, Uhura, Scotty, and Sulu aren't just guys who get to live on away missions. They have a role to play. They have serious input on the situation. They aren't just there anymore.
More than likely the greatest character change comes in the Enterprise. This is a sleek ship that makes no attempt to mimic it's 60's art-deco parent. The Enterprise honestly looks like a futuristic ship; with a bridge straight out of an Apple store. On the other hand the underbelly of the poo poo is far from neat and tidy. The engineering department is a mess of tubes, hoses, and things that need to be leapt around in an emergancy. It all makes the ship feel so drat real compared to any of the versions we've seen on TV.
All I'll say of the plot is that it works! It works because they actually take the time to stop and explain that it works. It works because it's well written, well acted, and all around good.
All in all 5 out of 5, and easily the best Star Trek movie next to First Contact.
P.S. Woot! No Pike in a box!
|# ? May 8, 2009 04:49|
|# ? May 25, 2013 13:22|
I'll preface my review by saying I'm a huge Star Trek fan of everything that's been done series wise and movie wise including Enterprise, but not including DS9 which I will never consider "Star Trek" but rather a spin off series akin to Caprica. I like to mention this because it seems to really confuse Trek fans.
I went into this movie expecting it to be great, and not only was it great, it was arguably the best Trek experience I've had in my life. Yes, it's a series reboot, but it fits in nicely with Trek lore and is believable - and that's important. What this movie does that was so desperately needed was a real fleshing out of the background of Star Trek. You'll see Earth, young Kirk, Starfleet Academy, Shipyards, Enterprise engineering showing that despite a sleek exterior, it's a massive hunk of cables, tubing, conduits, and mechanical guts. I really liked the "grit" that is present, it takes some of the shine off what the series has always been and brings it down a few notches to a more realistic level. Starfleet really is a military operation and not just a bunch of pretty boys running around in bright costumes.
The casting was exceptional, and I can't think of a single nitpick on any of the characters other than the lack of screen time for certain ones, namely Scotty. Chris Pine does an amazing job of reprising Kirk without actually mimicing Kirk. Pine captured the essence of Kirk and that is what stands out and will carry some of the TOS era viewers through the movie. The cast simply looks like they're having a good time, and brings out the traditional qualities of the Trek characters while also making them feel new and refreshing at the same time.
There are some plot elements that don't make perfect sense the first time through, but they are far, far less problematic than some of the major plot holes we've seen in Trek movies to date. This movie relies on the characters to tell a story rather than a plot, which is what makes minor plot improbabilities able to be overlooked.
If I had to critique something, I do wish the film took a moment to "slow down" at some point for some more character development. Even the opening origins scenes were rushed I thought, or at times skipped altogether such as the 3 years later from the start of the Academy . Because the movie is so fast paced, you'll never notice the running time, you'll never check the clock waiting for a certain scene to end, there is no slow part of the movie you'll hate reaching when watching it again.
Everything about this movie blew me away, and I still haven't come down off my high from watching it earlier this evening. Simply one of the best movies I've ever seen and can't wait for the sequels.
|# ? May 8, 2009 05:38|
I am a big fan of everything Trek right up to the rolling credits of First Contact. After that I just watched for the explosions. I was excited about this movie.
I went into this movie with expectations so high that I thought it would suck to me no matter how good it ended up being. But Star Trek completely blew away what I was expecting and delivered a movie that is absolutely totally awesome!
The casting was near perfect, they brought to life the old characters in such a way that you already felt attached to them as though you had watched seasons of their adventures, while still being different and fresh. Each of them has their funny moments too, but not overboard with the humor at all.
The special effects are truly spectacular. From the moment the first starfleet ship passes by the screen I had the hardest boner. The battle scenes are gritty and unpredictable and a sense of danger is present that has been lacking in Star Trek for...well decades. The viewscreen window cracking!
And Uhura is drat hot! I mean WOW! She'll get into your head.
Awesome movie, totally surprised how much I loved it. I'm seeing it again tomorrow.
Go see it.
|# ? May 8, 2009 07:16|
5/5 for a good solid summer movie
|# ? May 8, 2009 14:52|
I was super, all kinds of pumped for this movie, and I was not disappointed. My mind was not blown, but I still had a great time.
One thing, reading the reviews posted so far that jumped out at me was the mention of the pacing. That was one part of this movie that was perfect. I often feel that movies (even "action" films) these days can be so poorly paced; no matter how much action there is you still get bored in the middle. Regardless, this film was well paced and never boring. It was even *gasp* a bit suspenseful at times.
I think the "reimagining" of the Star Trek universe mostly turned out okay. Since most of the technology in the old Star Trek was meant to look high tech in the 60s...it would look a bit silly today. I think the Enterprise bridge was a bit too Apple, but it really didn't detract from the film. I did like the new Enterprise exterior, with more moving parts. Also, the new warp effect was pretty sweet; how the ship sort of jumps forward with a boom...very dramatic.
As has been said, the casting was pretty much the best part. Every actor really tried hard to nail down the feel of the character. I was most impressed by Karl Urban, a New Zealander, pulling off McCoy's Angry Southerner. I was kind of sad that they didn't give more time to characters like Sulu...but honestly they already spent a good part of the movie developing the major characters, any more would really slow the pace.
I'm also breaking my policy of time travel never working in Star Trek...it served its purpose in this movie just fine. Despite the presence of time travel, the plot was fairly simple and wasn't too difficult to follow. All in all this is really a fantastic movie, and is in many ways what Star Trek needs. Star Trek movies have been pretty terrible for a bit, and this is just a fantastic reinventing. 5 out of 5 for certain.
Also I have one (rhetorical) question...If Nero's ship was just a mining vessel, why is the interior so dangerous to navigate? You'd think they'd put in a safety railing or two.
I just glanced at Roger Ebert's review, and it seems the lack of good science kind of irked him. Wikipedia picked a good quote of his: "The Gene Roddenberry years, when stories might play with questions of science, ideals or philosophy, have been replaced by stories reduced to loud and colorful action." To be honest, when did we last have a Star Trek film that was like that? It's been far too long, and if dumbing it down a bit is what it takes to reboot the franchise, I'm not going to lose any sleep.
This movie also could have gone without the Beastie Boys and the Nokia product placement. That was a bit irritating.
Capn Jobe fucked around with this message at May 8, 2009 around 18:07
|# ? May 8, 2009 17:46|
As someone who had never seen a single episode of the Star Trek TV show or one of the movies, I loved this film. It was a solid action movie all the way through and had a pretty decent plot. I thought all of the actors did great in their respective roles and will probably see this movie again in theaters at some point. I went to see it with a mixed group of friends who love Star Trek and others like me who knew nothing about it, and every one of them agreed that this was a well done movie.
|# ? May 8, 2009 19:52|
As a long time watcher and fan of Star Trek I went into my showing excited and with high hopes and I have to say I was not let down in the least. The cast was solid and not once did I picture any of them in previous roles they have been in, I saw only the character they were playing. Spock was a big surprise for me, not only did I believe I was watching a young Spock but I also got very wrapped into the emotional conflict that he was conveying so well. Kirk was on the money, he didn't pull too much off of William Shatner but what he pulled from the character worked, everything from his womanizing (GREEN ALIEN SEX!) to his attitude about protocol, nothing was too overdone, everything was just right. The guy who played Bones was probably my favorite, straight down to his well placed "i'm a doctor", it is definitely a have to see performance. Ohura, Chekov, Scotty and Sulu were amazing as well but, if I continue on every character this review will never end.
The plot didn't feel padded or stretched out, you never got the feeling that they were just going for fan service, everything fit. I would rate this in my top 3 trek films of all time and maybe even my first but we will see how I feel as the adrenaline dies down. Trek fans, you will not be disappointed in the least, non Trek fans you will like the movie for its acting, humor and action.
Oh, and the Nokia/Beastie Boys poo poo is for 10 seconds at the beginning and doesn't distract from anything.
|# ? May 8, 2009 23:41|
A brilliant new take ont he series. Poignant in its introduction of new material given the old history and also action packed and fruitful with the series' potential.
they used "LOGIC LOL RATIONAL LOL" a bit too much in my uncultured opinion Other than that, 4.8/5
|# ? May 9, 2009 04:20|
I just got back from this, and I'll probably go see it again tomorrow. This movie isn't perfect, but it's one of the best four Star Trek movies I've seen (I didn't see anything after First Contact, but I've been told I'm not missing much). I'd put it right behind II and VI.
My biggest complaints in this movie were young Spock's voice (every time he talked I was reminded that it wasn't Nimoy) and the way they had to explicitly state the implications time travel has on future events parallel reality!!!. The voice thing is just something I'll have to get over. The exposition, well, at least I won't have to explain it to family members after they see it.
The action scenes weren't out of place enough to detract me from the movie, even if they had too much going on for my tastes.
I don't think I can list all of the things this movie gets right. The Romulan ship reminds me strongly of Next Generation era crazy poo poo, which it should. The characters all work really well, and Kirk's character is very believable. It's not the same Kirk that Shatner played, and he just fits in very well with everything else in this movie. I think that's what stuck out the most as being particularly well done. The plot was as believable as anything else in the Star Trek world, and it's carried out well.
I hope the next few movies in this series are as well done as this one.
5/5 for meeting or exceeding every expectation I had.
|# ? May 9, 2009 05:28|
They might as well call it Star Trek 90210 for the amount of realism Abrams brings to the human relationships in the film. The film seemed more like a massive fan service than a serious take on the source material. Even worse, the movie is boring to a fault. I don't know how Abrams managed to make a 90-minute movie seem like 120 minutes, but he did.
Do not waste your time unless you're a huge Abrams fan. I made the mistake of watching both this and Cloverfield. I'll never make the mistake of watching a film with his name attached again. I guess the ship to ship battles were cool, though.
Rabid Koala fucked around with this message at May 9, 2009 around 13:52
|# ? May 9, 2009 08:51|
J.J. Abrams. Everyone is pumped about that name, usually because of a little TV show called Lost. Unfortunately, rather than a cinema/TV auteur, it's starting to become clear he's just your average Hollywood hack who fits almost perfectly in a gap between M. Night Shyamalan and Micheal Bay.
I wanted to like the new Star Trek. I'm not a real fan of the series, but I think TNG is almost always entertaining. The original is what it is, over the top, slightly sexist, and full of moralizing. Surely they could do something with the reboot to pull it out of those mostly questionable credentials? Nope. To the contrary they put a spotlight on the negative parts. Kirk isn't just a Captain who thinks on his feet, he's a suicidal daredevil and a tit grabber. Spock isn't just a bookish and unemotional Vulcan, he's an authoritative jerk who you have to wonder how he works with anyone. It goes on and on... they took characters who were warm and fuzzy and made them into bigger assholes... but not complicated enough assholes that you really care.
The only thing that's particularly good is the look of the cast. They do (most of them) somewhat resemble younger versions of the original Star Trek. Neat! That's about the depth of this movie's achievements... casting.
I don't even want to get into the story. There's so much that felt brain damaged that it's probably a health hazard to reminisce about. You learn one shocking secret about Starfleet though: brand new ships that look like they have a 100,000+ people on them are the property of anybody who feels like it. That's right there's apparently no chain of experience or promotion in this alternate reality. Captain rank is attained rather by sitting in that chair on the bridge, and dirty tricks. I could go on about other gaffes in the plot like this, but it's pointless. People will see this movie because of the hype.
|# ? May 9, 2009 13:58|
I'm a bit of a Star Trek nerd myself, though not enough to be called a Trekkie. This movie was not by any means an intelligent type of Star Trek movie, and I'll admit that the story changes confused me a bit at first and parts of the plot downright dumb at parts. In fact, the first 30 minutes of the movie were just so-so for me, but after that, it got really, really fun, and the story changes made sense too; and given that it is impossible to have a Star Trek Movie with all of the original actors, the changes made sense from a production standpoint as well.
This movie probably would make Gene Roddenberry very, very, furious, but his direct involvement in Star Trek movies has never went well anyway, so go Abrams!
It might not be what a "Star Trek movie" is supposed to be, but it's definitely what a "movie" is supposed to be.
I give this movie 5/5
|# ? May 9, 2009 18:48|
I've never seen seen an episode of Star Trek, nor have I seen any of the previous movies. The only knowledge I had of the series going into this movie was names (Spock, Kirk, USS Enterprise, etc.)
That said, I enjoyed the hell out of this movie. It was well paced, and having no knowledge of anything I was able to follow it pretty well. I could tell there was some stuff thrown in there for fans who follow Star Trek quite closely, but it was done well and seemed to fit right into the story (i.e. I didn't find myself saying "what the hell was that about").
The acting was very good, it had an intriguing plot, and the action scenes were excellent. First summer movie I've seen this year and I hope all of them are this entertaining.
|# ? May 9, 2009 19:35|
I went in very open to Star Trek, as the SW prequels made me feel embarrassed for ever making fun of Trek fans. I really wanted to find a movie that didn't pander like the prequels did.
Unfortunately, despite a pretty strong first half, this movie does descend into the realm of cookie-cutter. By the second hour, I felt like I was watching every other 6/10 modern blockbuster, with the sole difference being the license.
All the typical scenes are in there to appease the bovine masses. The crew spout their catchphrases, Kirk philanders wildly and gets into chaotic, Bourne-style combat, people with funny accents say witty things, hot young women shed their clothing, etc..
Now, the good news is that Star Trek is indeed miles above the SW prequels when it comes to visual coherence, humor, and generally aiming higher than the LCD. There were indeed badass moments, ones that I could talk about afterwards without feeling ashamed.
Let's face it - Spock tears poo poo up (and not just in battle). He's in stark contrast to the new, worthless Kirk who gets pummeled endlessly, yet saves the day by making impulsive choices. Less Kirk, more Spock.
Effects yet again suffer from being both overdone and underdone in parts. The Romulan ship is very Bay Transformers-esque, and will look like a vague blob on standard televisions. It's like Hollywood has forgotten that most basic principle of art: sometimes less is more. Just take a step back from your CG app and think about how the shapes you're creating will read on a variety of screens, OK people? Some effects looked straight-up videogame (albeit high-end), ie the ship battles and the ice planet creatures.
gently caress Simon Pegg. I know he needs to make a living like everyone (and I really liked his British projects), but he does not work for me at all in this film. Seen MI:3? He does the same poo poo, and it seems like they constantly cut to him looking like a chipmunk and making a high-larious comment.
Oh, and there's some plot involving time travel that is shoved in there between the effects showcases and comedy relief.
Thoroughly tired example of modern, HUGE moviemaking. I was numb to the videogame visuals within minutes, and lost interest in movie itself by the second hour. It also has several endings, ROTK-style.
Dull, but better than Lucas and Bay.
PS - What a fantastic paycheck for the actors. I know Hollywood likes to wax on about how difficult acting is, but stars in modern blockusters hardly have to do anything these days. Spock's actor basically had to walk around a bit and then sit in a chair and furrow his brow so he could be composited into all the CG shots. Simon Pegg must be having a laugh now that he's been accepted into the Hollywood paycheck machine.
the_psychologist fucked around with this message at May 25, 2009 around 16:50
|# ? May 9, 2009 19:52|
Star Trek is a good action movie. Tightly paced, well-cast, lots of expensive CG, and it also retains its sense of humor.
The appeal is very unlike the appeal for Trek though, if you're looking for deep intellectual stimulation, appreciation for human ingenuity, or just a good sci-fi in general, you're looking in the wrong place - it's not insultingly dumb, but the audience isn't compelled to think about moral quandaries.
Stuff I liked:
-The movie's manic pacing
-Very true to the Star Trek universe
Stuff I didn't like:
-Overuse of lens flare and CG effects
-Very pretty, not much substance.
4/5 - More likely than not you will be entertained.
|# ? May 9, 2009 20:36|
A wonderful movie and a worthy successor of the Star Trek franchise. There are some criticisms one could make but I think most of them stem from a sense of false nostalgia, or the idea that Trek was really really good for most of its run, when in fact B&B saw to it that the majority of the tv shows produced were total garbage. That being said, this movie is leaps and bounds ahead of anything Star Trek related that has been released in the past 11 years. It also conveniently makes most of that non-canon.
|# ? May 9, 2009 23:46|
Long time trek fan, seen all the shows and movies.
Characters! I think they did some great casting for this movie and bring Nemoy back as part of it was a nice touch - kinda like handing off the reins.
CG - very well done, looked awesome. Would have liked a few more wide-angle shots during the action sequences to see what was going on...but that's more an Abrams thing I guess, lots of close-in jerky shots to convey the frazzle during battle. The shots of the Enterprise was amazing especially, when the Enterprise warps in, guns blazing, to shoot down those missiles.
Lines/Gags - they incorporated a lot of the old lines and gags into the movie that were a great throwback to the old shows (red shirts, scotty/McCoy, etc).
Nero - I wasn't a fan of this bad guy. His whole reason for destroying the Federation was that they didn't stop a natural disaster in time from destroying Romulus? Even if he changed things in the past, the supernova is still going to happen...doesn't make a lot of sense
Timeline - The whole alternative timeline thing being used to reboot the series I can understand, but it's basically making a totally different franchise in many ways and I don't know if they are planning to leave this as a one-off movie or looking to spin it off into a TV series? I'd watch it anyway, but it keeps me thinking that this isn't going to be the Trek that I know.
Transporter - The whole transporter plot device in this movie was kind of lame. Transporters from an even earlier time were capable of grabbing people pretty easily, it seems like they could have come up with a better idea for the death of Spock's mother.
Overall, I'd say that just about anyone is going to enjoy the movie whether they like Trek or not...but I'm wondering where they are going to go with it.
|# ? May 9, 2009 23:52|
It's a fun romp through space (as long as you don't try to ponder over the plot too long). Also, I like the Enterprise cast they have assembled and the synergy is definitely there.
My major beef with the plot was the major use of the "future" Spock and the mind-fuckery that ensued with all this time travel business. I dig Leonard Nemoy, but the cheese factor was warp level 10 with the excessive part he played in this movie.
Now if only the Star Wars prequels had been as decently handled as this movie...
|# ? May 10, 2009 05:58|
I was a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation when I was young but haven't really watched anything Star Trek related since then so I was fairly indifferent to everything going into it. I really enjoyed everything about the movie - it was fast paced with lots of action, the characters were well developed and believable, and the plot was interesting all the way to the end.
I was particularly impressed with how the actors were true to the originals without copying them. I can't really think of any downsides besides wishing the movie could be longer so it could slow down and show more details about the relationships between all the characters and give more screen time to the very enjoyable John Cho and Simon Pegg.
Overall Star Trek was a great movie that I would (and have) watch again and everyone that I know that's seen it seems to feel the same way, even my parents. I'd recommend it to anyone as long as they were interested in seeing a scifi action movie. Easily one of the most enjoyable movies I've ever seen.
|# ? May 10, 2009 06:50|
Ignore the whiny fanboys, this movie is the smartest thing they've done with the franchise since Star Trek: The Next Generation and it's a drat fun movie to watch. I'm a trekkie, and this movie pretty much awed me.
Porkness fucked around with this message at May 11, 2009 around 01:25
|# ? May 11, 2009 00:07|
I went into this movie with low expectations because the cast looked so dissimilar and "enterprise isn't being put together in space like every other vessel? WTF is this poo poo".
My expectations weren't blown away, but I wasn't let down. All in all, it's a typical Star Trek show. Nothing here was out of the ordinary, and nothing seemed out of place to me. Other than the characters and stuff that was obviously different.
Things I liked about the movie:
- Their acting is believeable to long standing fans of the series such as myself. Kirk is a womanizer, always has been, he's always been brash and headstrong and frequently says "gently caress ORDERS" because he's motherfucking JAMES T. KIRK and does whatever the gently caress he feels like. Spock is spock, albeit brasher and slightly more violent but you can attribute this to him being younger and his mother dying. When I first heard M'coy speak, in the first 5 seconds, I knew I'd like him. M'coy is probably the hardest to pull off, but the most loved in the series, and he pulled it off perfectly. Scotty as well! Checov? Not so much, he always seemed a bit asian to me for some reason. Sulu? I guess, I liked the nod to his swashbuckling episode in one episode, as to things as the Uhuru/Spock romance like in Mirror/Mirror. (sort of)
- CGI was awesome.
- Sound was awesome.
- The design of the ships wasn't too new and accurately portrayed older vehicles without trying to make things look "futuristic". In fact the shuttles looked like junkers compared to the original, so it was easy to think "hey that works, they're older".
- "god dammit Jim I'm a doctor not a ______"
- The rest of the snyde comments and nicknames from the original.
Things I didn't like about the movie:
- Nero. I don't like his actor, or his little whiny "my planet got blown up boo hoo" No one likes loving romulans.
- The enemy ship was over designed. It was made to look big, dangerous, and forboding but then they reveal it to be a mining vessel? Not buying it, someone hosed up there.
- The movie is long. Very long, but the pacing is so fast you won't look at your watch. However, not much airtime is spent on character development.
- Nothing was too out of the ordinary, from the time travel to the self sacrifice to the battles.
It was like a bunch of fans of the original took what they liked best and made a original/Mirror Mirror episode (which fans love because it makes it so easy to make an episode and say "well it isnt cannon because its an alternate reality so it doesnt REALLY happen" which makes the rest of the movie believable without saying "well Vulcan isn't destroyed in TNG!!")
That being said, 3/5.
Hung Yuri fucked around with this message at May 11, 2009 around 04:37
|# ? May 11, 2009 04:34|
First of all I wanna say a few things:
1. I could care less about Abrams. He does well with the movies he has and Lost, but I am not seeing movies because his name is on it. It wasn't even a first thought for reasons to go and see the movie. If you went and saw it because JJ made this you are a trendy moron.
2. I was a fan of Star Trek OS when I was a kid, but as I got older it wore down. Especially when TNG came out and I forgot all about the OS and TBG was the new thing.
With that said this movie was loving awesome. To you and me that like Siskel giving this movie a thumbs up from the grave. While my generation replaced Kirk with Picard, this movie does the same in a reverse kind of way. Picard will always be #1 though.
I enjoyed this movie because it wasn't campy like the original series and the bridge of the enterprise was just as I remembered it from the original movies. The movie took nothing away from the OS or TNG or DP9 or Enterprise for that matter. Creating an entirely new plot and alternate explanation made me feel they kept the original time line in tact.
I found the numerous fan service shout outs were great even though I find that stuff mostly annoying. I think I am the only one who laughed when Nero started shouting. I half heard him shouting KAAAAAAAAAHN KAAAAAAAAHN in my head
I did feel they went for a more Star Wars feel rather than Star Trek which was alright by me.
I do remember the one thing that annoyed me is that Nemesis had a very similiar looking bad guy and it may have been a poor choice to make Romulans the bad guys once again since the OS really didn't talk much about them.
gently caress it, that's all I got for you, just go see it. The movie was great and fans will love it.
|# ? May 11, 2009 05:53|
I saw this a second time just to verify my opinion on it. Did the same thing with Dark Knight. A lot of great stuff, but also a lot of things that get in the way of this being considered a quality movie. Good fun, but too much crap.
-The eyes of the alien nurse in the beginning killed me the first time around, but were less intrusive on a second viewing.
-The monsters on the iceberg reminded me of the fish in Episode I, and brought with it the same stupidity of every "Oh no I'm being chased but will never be caught" moment in every idiotic action flick. And you can throw the final moment of "suspense" into that category as well.
-Nimoy reminds me of seeing Ted Neeley in JC Superstar a couple years ago. It takes away as much as it brings, just due to it being beyond its time.
-The over explanation for people who don't want to think, or simply can't, was even more annoying the second time around.
-Nero was not a quality villain.
-Several of the music queues left me cringing, though overall it has many great moments, such as the reveal of enterprise.
This takes a great franchise with a lovely reinvention, and then piles on mainstream garbage. Sex, drugs, and over the top violence simply dumb this movie down to a frat guy mentality. Maybe if we can evolve our culture, industry will stop producing poison out of necessity.
|# ? May 11, 2009 09:11|
**** SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW ****
In short: slightly disappointed. Good film, with much potential
providing they ditch the awful hacks (Orci/Kurtzman) who wrote the
Here starts a nerdy deconstruction. Bear with me
I'm a long standing Trek fan but not a Trekkie/Trekker (I'd never visit
a convention). TNG/DS9 was the peak of ST in my mind. The original
films I held in high regard (until the last two). I also thought TOS
were decent too, Voyager/ENT were bad, however. My boss, who was a big
fan, convinced me the new film was amazing. So last night I went with
my bro, and a mate.
1. Good introductions to all the characters. 2. Decent villain -
Chopper aka Bana 3. Fast-ish pacing, but not up to The Dark Knight's
level. 4. Good jokes. Much more than an average ST film. 5. Above
average fight sequences. 6. The potential to go somewhere with future
sequels, this only scraped the surface.
1. Spock, both old and new were great, nay, amazing. Quinto and Nimoy
stole the show. 2. Scotty aka Pegg. Stood out like a saw thumb, but
nailed all his lines. Perfect new Scotty. Spaced in Star Trek, who'da
though it? 3. Sulu and Uhura were both good, and hot - in that order.
4. Pike (Greenwood) was a good Captain. Hope he turns up again in the
sequels. 5. McCoy. Urban ripped off Kelly's performance to an adequate
level. Amusing, but not amazing.
6. Kirk. Ugh. I couldn't suspend disbelief that Pine was Kirk. Yeah he
fought, acted with bravado and arrogance, was courageous. But against
Older Spock, the quality of acting between the two was discernible.
Nowhere near as good as Quinto. 7. Chekov. Yelchin was a comedic foil
with his V's pronounced as W's. Oh, ho ho ho, how I did not laugh.
Cheap jokes. For some reason he was as good as Scotty using the
transporter, why? 8. Spock's mother. Ryder? Seriously, what the? She's
only nine years old than Quinto, and it showed - the make up alone was
1. Plot holes you can fly a ship through. Due to the pacing, this isn't
such a big issue. But you know the script writers behind Transformers
were writing it, because the "logic" was loose, in the loosest sense
(and as a computer programmer this bugs me, more than the dirge from a
bad Voyager EP).
2. It felt like Star Trek: The Younger Years. Everyone was far too
fresh faced. People were promoted far to quickly and without good
reason. The were playing off the previous films/alternative universe
theory to get around this, but it didn't make sense.
3. Didn't leave me feeling awestruck. Definitely should not be in the
IMDb top 100, where it currently resides.
4. Shaky cam/lense flare. Ditch them, the normal rig mounted cam shots
were a cut above the hand-held sequences.
Abrams could really make something with the sequels, but a new script
writer who can balance the action with logic and reason would be
essential. Orci/Kurtzman who I keep mentioning are only good at writing
Sunday matinée scripts, with cute dialog and cheap jokes. They need to
be kicked to the kirb ASAP. They wont, because the sales figures from
this and Transformers will keep their sorry arses in a job.
All in all, a decent film. Not amazing, but with much potential.
Jamsta fucked around with this message at May 14, 2009 around 09:56
|# ? May 14, 2009 09:53|
Non-specific spoilers ahoy
5'd this one.
I've been a Star Trek fan since TNG, followed all the series religiously 'til Voyager where I began to really lose interest. Yadda yadda, establishing credibility, whatever. I don't have any costumes and conventions weird me out but I do have the DVD box set with all of the movies and my wife and I watch them more than once a year.
Though my initial reaction on hearing there would be a new Star Trek movie last year was "last gasp of a dying franchise," after seeing it I'm happy to report that I was completely wrong and I could not have been more excited by the movie. Gene R. was a true retconner, so retconning the entire canon was a perfectly legitimate move in my view, a gamble which could have sucked but which instead really worked thanks to the chemistry of the cast and the chance to explore everything anew. I can't tell you how awesome it is to know that with this movie's incredible financial success my generation will have its own Star Trek, appropriate for our time. It proves that America was not sick of Star Trek, but rather sick of what Star Trek had turned into.
I went into the movie prepared for disappointment but came out wide-eyed and happy as hell. I absolutely can't wait to see where it goes from here. I'm already salivating for the next movie in the series, I'm sick of having to go back thirty years to see good Star Trek movies. They did everything I wanted them to; the biggest failing of many of the Star Trek movies before was that they're more like long episodes with a bigger budget and hence better production values. Those elements of cinema that make it a special medium have not until now been appropriately realized in the franchise. The actors to a one did a great job, even some that I was concerned about going in. I understand that some long-time Star Trek fans who got their start with the original series are going to feel slighted and that this movie isn't satisfying to them, but I have to say that's because it's not their movie - this is the real Star Trek: The Next Generation; call it a reboot if you want, but to me it's an exciting opportunity to meet all of the classic characters for the first time moving forward rather than looking back.
Agreed fucked around with this message at May 14, 2009 around 16:54
|# ? May 14, 2009 16:42|
I just got back from seeing this the second time around. As someone who followed the older series (TNG, DS9, Voyager) I knew the potential for interesting sci-fi elements was immense and I was not disappointed! This isn't just a good Star Trek movie, though, it's a drat good movie period. The sense of scale and space conflict made me feel like I was watching Star Wars for the first time. With the fresh writing and production style I felt this movie blew away all the stereotypes about the franchise being slow and pedantic which the television series' were known for. The cast was extremely well chosen. Almost all the actors act and look like the roles of the original characters, uncanny seeing Zachary Quinto as young Spock.
The action and shaky cam were my only real nitpicks, but these were minimally annoying and seldom used in contrast with the rest of the film's photography. And plus, it helped add a little grit to the otherwise clean cut combat from previous installments.
|# ? May 14, 2009 23:18|
1/5 pretty terrible
This movie has some of the worst acting I have ever seen. (Kirk during the Kobayashi Maru, Spock+Uhura)
Everything Kirk says could basically have been replaced with "I'M IN YOUR FACE!!!"
Scotty has a loving EWOK.
The plot is basically an elaborate excuse to almost literally "RESET" the entire Star Trek universe. Cool it with the time travel, Mr. Abrams, it loving sucks.
Nothing wrong with rebooting Star Trek, but you just made it even cheesier than the original. On top of that, the plot you used to reboot the franchise is almost identical to the two previous time travel plots on Star Trek. Way to fail before you even started.
I saw some people say the characters had more depth now. I don't see that at all. They just repeated a lot of stuff that had been explored in the first 6 movies, and they were a lot less subtle about it.
It was just a really bad movie, Star Trek or not.
unleash the unicorn fucked around with this message at May 16, 2009 around 18:32
|# ? May 16, 2009 18:25|
This is very decent for a big-budget summer popcorn movie. It looks great, sounds great, it's very well cast, well paced and has a good humor.
It's just distincly not what made the original TV series a success, despite its laughable effects and a minute fraction of a budget. Instead of ethical dilemmas, characters and mysteries, there's too much unnecessary brutality. Goes with the times I guess. It is a pretty good movie, just not necessarily what set Star Trek apart from regular space Sci-Fi.
Zachary Quinto is a terrific find as Spock and I wish him good luck and success in the future.
|# ? May 17, 2009 23:23|
Spoilers but mostly marked. This movie made me sperg out pretty hard, in the way where it had a lot of potential but ended up having a lot of issues that dragged it down.
You know all those movies where kids or teenagers are put into laughably serious positions of authority in an attempt to buy favor among audiences of the same age? Think Spy Kids and similar G-PG ilk, as well as some other movies like Transformers that are "summer blockbuster" enough that sometimes it's possible to overlook. Star Trek unfortunately makes extensive use of this cliche, and it's done in the most unlikeable way possible. Despite a plot that was certainly more complex than most of the newer Star Trek films (if spread somewhat thin: the duality of the Borg takeover of Enterprise and the Cochrane flight back on Earth in First Contact was what made the film feel so solid), the film made an easily avoidable mistake.
Everyone in this movie acts like a 17-year-old, and not in the believable "impulsive youth" sense. The bridge ends up like a high school student council, with command of an entire starship (one that is implied to not only be the flagship of the entire Federation but one of the most advanced ships ever built) being thrown around based on petty rules-lawyering. The captain's chair is never seen as anything more than being the king of the treehouse, which of course means you have full privilege to throw those
The red matter deux-ex-machina was discussed a lot, but making trolling the poo poo out of the captain of the vessel the hinge of the plot's turnabout was unbelievably juvenile, even if it made sense within context of recent events in the film. The confusion with regard to rank vs. responsibilities was also pretty insane with how much bridge shuffling was going on (no, Abrams, if Kirk beams down to Bumfuck Planet #39 in TOS or Picard goes to beat the crap out of Shinzon in Nemesis, that does not mean Spock or Riker are promoted to Captain ). It's believable that a ship full of cadets is somewhat problematic as far as maturity goes, but filling the bridge with cadets in the first place was like something out of a Disney movie.
Some people said the pacing was good: I totally disagree. What seemed like the first third of the movie was devoted to cheap, cliche character setups. And nearly all of them are that way: Kirk's backstory being the most obvious example (and then loving Robocop comes out of nowhere), which is summarily diluted further with the funny but ultimately disappointing Kobayashi Maru scene. Spock's conflict of emotion wasn't convincing for me, nor was his relationship with anyone else or for that matter any character's interaction with anyone, save for Bones, Uhura, and maybe Scotty. Then you had the Phantom Menace-esque Escape From Poorly Animated Monster Who We Know Poses No Threat To Protagonist section, and then the 'let's go play on the catwalks without handrails and dramatically hang from a cliff for five seconds for the hundredth time' section, each given very little screentime and in the case of the second and third acts, cheapening Nero to a cookie cutter villain of the week.
That's not even to delve into the stupid fanboy stuff, like the Kelvin having some real phasers but the Enterprise solely relying on Star Wars blaster bolts. The same thing happens but is miniaturized in the movie's only real gunfight, which ends up looking like the Death Star jailbreak meeting Abrams' traditional unnecessarily close, shaky "what the gently caress is going on" camerawork.
The film was one of those 6/10 movies. It was essentially on par with Transformers. I enjoyed it, but it didn't feel like Star Trek except in the ending credits. 3/5.
|# ? May 18, 2009 10:32|
So I watched the new Star Trek, and it's given me a lot to think about. Now, I'll be honest and admit I have watched every series of Star Trek, seen every movie. I've been to conventions. You could say I'm a pretty big Trekkie. So while I read very positive reviews of the new movie, I knew I would be approaching it from a very different perspective. I suspected I would like it somewhat less than these critics, but I wanted to like it nonetheless. Star Trek as a franchise has been in bad hands recently, after two dreadful series (Voyager and Enterprise), two dreadful next-generation movies (Insurrection and especially Nemesis), I welcomed new ideas. A reboot makes a lot of sense right now. The main canon was shot to hell, so it's time for some spring cleaning.
I think most trekkies agree on that note. And before you think we're a bunch of stodgy 'Trek in Name Only' punks that would reject any attempt to change the franchise on a fundamental level, let me disagree. Trek fans have been overwhelmingly supportive of the film, and overwhelmingly receptive to it. Perhaps there's something in the mentality of liking Star Trek that makes people open-minded about those sorts of things...
I didn't find much wrong with the plot of the film. It's actually pretty solid. Spock lied, Romulans died. So they exact revenge by destroying Spock's homeworld (Vulcan) and killing the vast majority of his people off. Heavy stuff. This creates an alternate timeline, which is Abrams's way of saying "things that happen in my movie don't affect the established canon, which I won't touch. This is my own universe and whatever happens here will be very different." Smart choice. The tone of this film is meant to be darker than the Star Trek we know. That's completely fine. I'm a sucker for space battles; the shows and films were always too sparse with those.
I am a bit undecided about this reimaging though, for aesthetic reasons. Maybe this is a small thing, but for me it matters a lot. Am I the only person that thinks the new enterprise looks like rear end? Look at those nacelles. Those really bother me. Part of what draws people to the show is that the ships have their own character. They have that 'look' that's unmistakable. And somehow this new ship is missing the proportions, missing the dimensions that I like. The inside is complete garbage; engineering has become some kind of brewery, and the bridge looks like the set of Galaxy Quest. It reminds me of the hilariously plagiaristic move "Space Mutiny", taking the footage of Battlestar Galactica and filming a factory for the interior shots as a money-saving measure. I certainly think some things about the old sets could have been changed, but this was the wrong direction to go. It's a step back in every way.
In addition, and this is more of a critique of modern cinematic practices than this particular film: the cameras angles are bad. Whenever they show a character, it's always a close-up. Their face is half the screen. And the camera is always turbulent--bouncing back and forth from face to face, shaking as they run through the hallways, shaking in space. Lens flare is everywhere. I can't stand this. They need to give the characters some space. Zoom out and show Kirk standing on the drat bridge for once. Zoom out and show the space around them when they're talking. I don't want to see Zachary Quinto's goddamn unibrow follicles whenever I see him speak. These modern conventions worked well for Cloverfield, because they made sense in context. Star Trek is not filmed by amateurs. You're not there with the characters. It's supposed to be presented in 3rd person, and everything had a certain grace to it.
In addition there were some minor writing... irritations I guess you could call them. Why are they putting an entirely inexperienced crew on the Enterprise? Other than Pike, Where are the veterans? Usually crews are a mixture. You don't stock your best ship with people who can't run it. I think this is a cheap measure to get all the minor characters some camera time. It was unnecessary. Uhura, Sulu, Chekov... all superfluous. Scotty was hilarious so I'll cut him a break. It would make more sense to have the central characters (Kirk, Spock, McCoy) meet up on the Enterprise in this film, and have them encounter the rest of the crew we know gradually over several movies (or a show if there were one). The other problem is with the science. Getting sucked into a black hole does not transport you to alternate dimensions. It kills you. They should have written a better time travel mechanism; that's all I ask. One last nitpick: earth's defense network. Why do the Romulans need the codes for it? The point is that their ship is much more advanced, and they can destroy anything in their path and do whatever they want. They didn't NEED the access codes. They could just brute-force their way through. That would have looked better, and made the fact that they came from the future more relevant to the plot.
There are some good choices though. We see more of 23rd century Earth than in all the shows and movies combined, and it looks awesome. Giant ship factories and grand-canyon sized quarries litter Kirk's home state of Iowa. You get a real sense of the technological prowess of humanity: the vast scale of industry that creates their moneyless, post-scarcity economy. We also see Vulcan society, and it truly is alien. Students training through computers in a giant 'farm' of isolated chambers. The sort of dehumanizing, emotionless facility you would expect, but we never were exposed to before. In addition, the ships have an array of weapons that actually makes sense for their size. Instead of two dinky little phaser terminals, the ship actually looks like a warship, with pop-up phasers all over the drat place. Thank god.
I haven't made up my mind yet. I want to like this film, but I'm too conflicted over it. If you're going to do a reboot, the point is partly to make things look better, and yet they don't. I appreciate that someone is trying to reboot the franchise, but this movie gives me the feeling that there are more qualified people for the job. I would take a Ronald D. Moore reimaging of Star Trek any day over this. Heck the man already wrote a lot of Star Trek (and his contributions were some of the best to the franchise).
I kinda get the feeling the overwhelming positive reviews are the result of lowered expectations. Nemesis was godawful. After watching that, anything would look good. So in context I think there is some inflation occurring.
Actually looking back. There are so many things that could have been done better. So many things I would have done differently, so many missed opportunities, I'm inclined to mark it down to 2/5. Compared to other reboots like Batman Begins, Battlestar Galactica, that handle the source material much more creatively, this is a bunch of fluff.
Mental-Rectangle fucked around with this message at May 20, 2009 around 17:45
|# ? May 20, 2009 17:28|
I loved it, though I did have one really gay nitpicky complaint.
Even by the show's internal logical framework of physics, in addition to real world physics, using a mining laser to drill to the core of planets in order to launch the red matter into them to create a black hole is an unnecessary fireworks display. Spock's original plan to eliminate the threat of the supernova was to launch red matter into the shock wave, creating a singularity and stopping the supernova. His plan was not to launch it into the core. Hence, just firing red matter at the surface of a planet, or even just into the atmosphere is sufficient to destroy the planet in question.
In addition, the concept that a supernova shockwave could suddenly and without warning reach Romulus and destroy it is plainly ridiculous. Unless Romulus is in a binary star system and one of the stars in that system is the one that went supernova, everyone would have plenty of time for the destructive wavefront of the supernova to reach the Romulus system, because the nearest star would be at least several and probably dozens of light years away.
I know that I'm complaining about science in Star Trek, an enterprise forever guaranteed to produce frustration, but come on, it's like they didn't even think things through.
|# ? May 21, 2009 23:50|
This is a tough one. I loved it. I had so much fun. I'm not a Trek fan, but it's the best Trek film I've seen. I love the way the characters were portrayed except for Kirk. Just a tad too hammy for me, but I mean it's loving Kirk so that's ok. Good story, nice base, solid acting and loving Eric Bana is a badass. All decent, but ultimately there's not that much there. So while fun, it's not going to reinvent cinema.
A very fun 3.5/5
|# ? Jun 1, 2009 03:57|
Going into this movie, I had extremely good feelings about it from the moment it started. The attack on the Kelvin is arguably one of the more impressive scenes in Trek history. Everything about that entire sequence, I loving love. Then of course, came the Nokia ads and the Beastie Boys and I started to worry. Fortunately, the film cut that crap out and got better.
The only nitpicks I really had with the film are things that I thought were a good idea, but could have been done better. I LOVED Pike, but thought he needed more screentime. I liked the industrial engine room look, but felt that it looked WAY too expansive for a cramped starship. I liked (surprisingly) the look of the Enterprise interiors, including the Bridge, but I hated the exterior (it's not that I hate that it looks different from the old series, it's that I hate that it looks stupid).
And of course, I'll chime in with saying "cut it the gently caress out with all the goddamn lens flares," but I think even Abrahms knows this as he admitted that he overdid it with them in an interview.
Not as bad as I was fearing, not as good as I had hoped.
|# ? Jun 2, 2009 11:24|
-The opening sequence is EXTREMELY well done
-Very good action scenes and special effects
-The characters are well done and their interactions are often great fun
-Very well paced; didn't drag in spite of fairly long running time
-Even by the low standards of space adventure movies the plot is dumb, full of holes and depends heavily on lazy as hell coincidences
-The villain is extremely weak and under-developed and a boring recycling of Khan Khan came from Kirk's past to get revenge for his wife's death following a planetary disaster and stuck brain-control bugs in people's ears; Nero came from the future to get revenge on Spock for his wife's death following a planetary disaster and stuck brain-control bugs in people's mouths
-Gimmicky camera work, lots of shaking and lens flares OUT THE rear end (and I *like* lens flares in my movies)
-If you liked how old Trek movies and TV shows tried to be "about something" you will be disappointed in this movie
Overall: This is the best kind of "dumb fun" movie. Yes, a lot of it is stupid if you think about it. But it's so much genuine fun that it's hard to actually give a poo poo about the dumb aspects of it. 4/5.
|# ? Jun 2, 2009 12:08|
I must be getting old and crotchety because going into this film, I was hoping that I'd be able to enjoy myself (for the most part). Unfortunately, after seeing this flick I left the theater with the feeling that I'd seen something that wasn't really meant for me, but for an audience that was younger and less jaded than myself.
I'm not sure this was a terrible movie. It just had so many uninteresting distractions in it that it was obvious that this movie was put together without a lot of thoughtful direction. I kept thinking about how all the action and fight sequences really didn't add all that much to the film. Especially the foley work. It was all just a little too slick.
James Kirk has morphed into more of a loose cannon in this film. Originally, he was a "Rebel" - but a thoughtful one that usually maintained his cool without resorting to being a dick. This new direction for Kirk is just too immature for me. He likes hitting on unavailable girls, getting into bar fights, and for the most part, acting like a cocky prick. Not exactly captain material, if you ask me.
The whole subplot with Spock was just a little too nicely packaged as well. I didn't connect at all with the character - perhaps that's because I just felt like his dialogue didn't convey enough of a mastery of information, like the genius he is supposed to be. I think that may have been because he too, was portrayed as a bit rebellious instead of a thoughtful individualist.
The entire rest of the crew seemed to me to be mostly forgettable - except perhaps Bones. I actually enjoyed his character, because he was the only one who actually had a bit of maturity.
Do I think this is a "solid summer action flick"? Not exactly. Did I like the CGI? I guess. Did this feel like an obvious attempt at "star-wars-izing" star trek? Yeah. It was just too much action, and not enough cool poo poo, and definitely not enough of a meaty script to take it to another level. It was just an overproduced TV special.
2.5/5 for delivering some creative ideas but failing to truly capitalize on them.
|# ? Jun 16, 2009 04:06|
Went in with no expectations. Things began to get good as soon as I heard pretty much all of the classic TOS sound effects. It is made quite clear from the begining that there would be plenty of shakey-cam to withstand but surprisingly, it works in some of the later action scenes. The soundtrack starts kind of iffy and as the movie progresses and more characters are introduced it prepares you for a really good depiction of TOS's intro score, which I thought was more theatrical and generally better than the later Next Generation scores.
General CGI is top-notch but not mind blowing. Fortunately some action scenes take place in unusual places (Vulcan, trans-orbital drop from space) so we are not stuck yet again with "dark hangar battle #17".
Characters are portrayed differently than in the original series. Kirk is now a hybrid "Han Solo-Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting couldn't care less-type", Spock is very much conected with his emotions and Zach Quinto puts a pretty dry and serious performance. It is quite cool how we get to see a glimpse of how both of them came to be, from when they were kids.
Scotty's accent has been changed, some will hate it, I didn't care much. Chekov and Sulu are pretty spot-on, while Uhura comes off as a bit teasing-cheerleaderish. I think Karl Urban makes a decent Dr. McCoy if anything he's got the hardass-realistic/practical emotion basics. All 3 main good guys work well.
Eric Bana stars as the hyper-forgettable Romulan villain out for revenge against Original Timeline Spock (yes Nimoy is here). Even his simple Romulan mining vessel is a tangled mess of black spikes, which I though was disappointing.
I was surprised to find out that rather than a reset, this movie begins anew an alternate-reality plot which I hope the producers further pursue.
Summed up I give it 4/5. This movie has a bit of everything for everyone, including your girlfriend or folks that don't watch sci-fi space opera stuff. Because of the large amount of things this movie re-introduces, there really is a lot to nitpick about, so I don't think hard conservative trekkies will like it, but that's to be expected.
I think the most clear point I can give from a non-trekkie view is, just as how The Phantom Menace completely ruined and started a downward spiral into mediocrity for Star Wars, this J.J. Abrams version of Star Trek has quite possibly begun a refreshing and interesting "tornado of new". The cast is young and energetic, the production values are there, and with a better story or less permeable plot, something really good might come up.
|# ? Jul 6, 2009 04:54|
Star Trek (2009)
Directed by J.J. Abrams
Written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, based upon the television series "Star Trek" (1966) created by Gene Roddenberry
Starring Chris Pine as James T. Kirk
Zachary Quinto as Spock
Leonard Nimoy as Spock Prime
For over forty years, fans from all over the world have taken to heart the universe initially created by Gene Roddenberry in 1966. Within that forty year span, there were very few years when a majority of the world did not know the names of Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, or Dr. "Bones" McCoy. In the '60s and '70s, people gathered in front of their televisions to witness the adventures of the intrepid crew of the USS Enterprise, boldly going where no man had gone before, in the name of peace and exploration.
While the popularity of such a franchise may have dwindled in recent years with the less-than-stellar series of "Star Trek Voyager" (1995) and "Star Trek Enterprise" (2001) as well as the feature films of Star Trek: Insurrection (1999) and Star Trek: Nemesis (2002), fans nonetheless eagerly awaited the return of the values and ideals that initially attracted millions to the stories of the Enterprise.
This new Star Trek film may not exactly what they were waiting for. But do not take this as a negative criticism. This film is an attempt to somewhat paradoxically update the series yet return to its roots. We return to a time when the galaxy was vastly unexplored, and starship life wasn't filled with personal fantasies in a holodeck or like living in a hotel lobby in space (a little more akin to an Apple store, but I digress).
The film opens to a time even before Jim Kirk. Instead of being born in Iowa, on a farm, he is born while he flees from a mysterious Romulan ship with weaponry unimaginable. The film starts with him being born in an emergency situation, takes a brief pause to show us the hell-raising daredevil he has become, and continues to his life slightly before taking command of the USS Enterprise. The film doesn't stop in continuing its plot. As well it shouldn't stop. It has to introduce us to James Tiberius Kirk (Chris Pine), and to the entire crew that we know: Spock (Zachary Quinto), Dr. "Bones" McCoy (Karl Urban), Lt. Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Sulu (John Cho) and Chekov (Anton Yelchin). We follow Kirk throughout the entire story, where he struggles to take destiny in his own hands, forging a long-serving friendship with an initially reluctant Spock and saving the Federation from a destructive force in the hands of a Romulan captain, Nero (Eric Bana), and his futuristic ship hell-bent on revenge against what Spock (Leonard Nimoy, referred to as 'Spock Prime' in the credits) and the Federation in the future will do (or failed to do) to his home planet.
The acting is top-notch amongst the crew: Pine encompasses all the hot-shotedness of the original Kirk yet still maintaining his own cleverness, Quinto is eerily familiar as a younger Spock that when we compare the two, we can't help but wonder if this film was made purely to show the similarity. Karl Urban as the surly, technophobic Bones McCoy who brings good ol' southern demeanor into the cold regions of space and Simon Pegg embodying Scotty's engineering brilliance with a Scottish accent embellished enough for effect. I don't want to leave out the rest, but I want to keep things brief.
The story doesn't stop. This entry in the Star Trek franchise is unique (save for the original Star Trek The Motion Picture) in that it spans over two hours in length. It uses every minute it has to throw at us as much as it can: from personal growth to interpersonal relationships to snazzy CG space battles that merely tantalize without going overboard.
A note about the CGI: J.J. Abrams said he was a Star Wars fan. It looks as if he's learned from the CGI-laden space battles in those films and shown that sometimes, less is more. Indeed, it throws us into break-neck starship speeds, with phasers flying everywhere, yet with hints of what Star Trek is best known for: naval battles in space.
The film however is lacking in one very important aspect. "Star Trek" was never purely about adventures in space. It was using the space opera as a back-drop in order to tell stories that reflect the current world. While some of the stories may have been blunt (Frank Gorshin in half-black/half-white make-up chasing a guy who's in half-white/half-black make-up), "Star Trek" always inspired people to be better than they were: forsaking evils that were not just fantastical or simple, but cultural or personal. There are hints of it here, when Spock has to make peace with being of two worlds, as well as facing the destiny of being Kirk, but the film side-tracks this as it shows the daring escapes, sultry romances (including, yes, a green-skinned Orion), and both personal and naval-in-space battles.
I still recommend this film on the basis that if you're a newcomer, you don't have to worry about knowing the characters, because the franchise has had forty years to figure out what the characters are, even if the characters yet don't know. And if you're a long-time Trekkie, well, you can still greatly enjoy the characters without worrying what kind of consequences this will have or how inconsistent the actions are.
The film successfully returns to its basic form in a way that allows even the most hesitant newcomer to ignore the shabby '60s effects and retro decor. Unfortunately, it hasn't gotten over Star Trek's apparent need to over-explain almost any piece of technology. How many of us know how a car works, or routinely use metaphors to explain how it works?
But it did get over the over-use of the Enterprise being "the only ship in the...". This time, the Enterprise isn't the only ship in the quadrant. But it does carry the only James T. Kirk in the universe. Well, in this universe, at least.
Final Rating: 4/5.
mojo1701a fucked around with this message at Jul 16, 2009 around 01:29
|# ? Jul 16, 2009 01:26|
This might degenerate into a bit of a critique of modern action movies, but I'll try to keep that to a minimum. Also, before I get started, let me point out a few things so you can better understand my approach to this movie.
1) I know Trek: I'm probably the most well informed trekkie among all of my friends, which is to say, I've seen about 90% of all filmed material out there as well as a substantive amount of non-canonical material like video games and comics. That said, I'm not really interested in theory crafting and don't get upset about dumb technical stuff.
2) Modern action movies are bad: I just feel that the ever increasing dependence on special effects and non-stop action has diluted plot and characterization, leaving us with an increasingly poor subtext to build on.
3) I'm no film snob: I wouldn't call myself a film buff, snob or technocrat. So I don't come at movies from a perspective of lighting, pacing, set design, etc. I just try to judge a movie based on an overall feeling.
I wasn't particularly impressed with Star Trek (2009). Out of all of my friends, I disliked it the most, and often had to fight off the "snob" or "elitist" label. Perhaps I do deserve it, but anyway… I felt the movie was more action than needed. This only helped take screen time from what I would have liked to see the most: more story and more meaningful dialogue.
First, the story was a bit shallow. A Romulan goes back in time seeking revenge and hopes to alter history for his people's benefit. This was detailed in the prequel comic Countdown, which despite suffering from a bit of "hey lets insert this character :nudge nudge:" was an entertaining piece of material from the original timeline. If you haven't read this comic, expect to feel a bit lost. The movie itself suffers from one big massive plot twist after another, all the while testing your sense of disbelief. There were several instances of action that added nothing to the plot (Kirk being chased by a giant ice insect) where a more substantive series of discussions could have taken place.
That leads us to the dialogue, which, while fitting superficially with the classic character's personalities, ends up making them seem very shallow. Changes to Kirk' personality, while intentional, only further expanded the chasm of familiarity.
I definitely think that a Star Trek movie should be Star Trek first and foremost (discussions about legitimate issues, whether they have current relevancy or not isn't important), with action elements coming a distant second. Nemesis didn't seem to understand this, but even with Nemesis, there was a few very good discussions between Picard and Data about what it means to be a unique person, nature verses nurture, and so on.
I don't want to trash the film too much. I did enjoy it enough to see it and will no doubt see it again sooner or later, but these sticking points are significant to me. If I could vote 2.5 / 5 I would, but since I do believe I got my money's worth, I'll go with 3/5.
|# ? Aug 7, 2009 16:07|
|# ? May 25, 2013 13:22|
I will always hate trailers. In this case, one line was taken completely out of context: "The question is, which path will you take?" Such punchlines are PUNCHED into every drat trailer there is. I did not want to watch Star Trek because of this - however, I did watch Star Trek, and it shone like literally thousands of lens flares. Yes, this movie is packed by shiny lights, which will turn some off. I could not help but stare in awe at the wonderful visuals this movie has. Star Trek is a beautiful movie. It is Star Trek with stunts. The main character is a bit uppity, but all around the character is fun - kinda reminded me of John Crichton from Farscape, and that's a good thing.
This may not be Star Trek with pyramid head Shakespeare bald hairless lovely Patrick Stewart, but it's still Star Trek - on its own, this movie is a blast.
I hated the time travel plot device. Every movie with time travel taking itself seriously is bound to go down with a less than possible rating from me.
Everything else was great - sincerely, clearly not a horse.
|# ? Jan 2, 2011 01:53|