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Star Trek. When someone speaks this name, various images, ideas,
characters and phrases come to mind. I know they certainly do with me.
Characters such as Kirk, Spock, Picard, Data, Janeway, Seven of Nine;
ideas like the prime directive; phrases like "Live long and Prosper",
"Good God Jim, I'm a doctor not a
.". I wouldn't consider myself a
"Trekkie", but I do have a deep affection for this series and world.
To my great delight, I was fortunate enough to see an advanced screening last night of JJ Abrams re-imaging of "Star Trek". I must admit that I was skeptical at first about taking such iconic characters and recasting them, even in younger iterations, because most people think of the characters of Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu and Chekov with the actors that originally portrayed them. These portrayals are engrained in the pop culture consciousness of the world and hence my skepticism arose. Fortunately, my doubts were unnecessary.
This is not your father's "Star Trek". From the moment the movie begins, so does the action and it never lets up. However, this movie has more than just incredible and intense action, it also pays homage to the series of old. Sure, they wanted to bring us a Trek for the 21st century, but they also realized that they needed to respect the source material and fans of a series that has been around more than 40 years. However, you don't need to know much about Star Trek to enjoy this movie. Each character has been given a background and history that lets you know a little something about each one. There's a lot to be told in an origin movie and it is handled deftly by both the writers and the director.
But, what really made the movies for me were the actors chosen to play these roles, especially Chris Pine as Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock and Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy, aka "Bones". This movie would not have worked if the casting of these three characters had not been spot on. Both Mr. Quinto and Urban uncannily channel their predecessors, Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley. They took on some of their inflections, mannerisms and expressions to really give you a sense that they are just younger versions of the originals. Chris Pine, however, takes on the most memorable role in Trek history and makes it his own. This Kirk is not only the womanizer, lover, and captain that you already know, but as portrayed by Mr. Pine also has a swagger, bravado, intelligence, and is a complete adrenaline junkie. We could not have asked for a better Kirk in this movie.
They have laid a solid foundation for a new series, with new life, perfect cast and a director with a true vision. If the first movie can be this good, my expectations for further adventures have risen exponentially.
This is my first review for our website and as such might not be very good since I have no experience at writing reviews. I intentionally didn't reveal any plot points so as to not spoil anything for whoever may read this. I may in the future reveal areas that may have spoilers but mark these sections so you can skip over them. I'll be seeing Wolverine tomorrow and hope to have a review up by tomorrow night. Until we meet again, "Live long and Prosper!"
There was no way that this reboot was going to avoid all references to
either the original series of Star Trek or the other spin-off series -
anyone going in to see this film had to accept that as a given. But any
cheesy bits (of which there were relatively few) are blown away by the
sheer beauty and bravado of this film.
I was a fairly big Trekkie in my youth, but in the last 10 years only really kept up with it by watching a few new episodes here and there and seeing the big screen outings (OK, I admit that I have all 10 films on special edition DVD - £47 was a bargain!) - but Abrams' vision here has me thinking the new franchise will be even better than what has come before.
What made this film special for me was not the story (remarkably good, bearing in mind that, like the first film in any new franchise, it's backbone was character development). What made this film for me was the....photography? Can you even call CGI photography? Well, either way, this film was a visual feast. The way that scale was conveyed was breath-taking. I'm not sure whether I read this somewhere or if I can take credit for it myself, but the difference came in the way that Abrams shoved aside the traditional Star Trek view of Enterprise as a lumbering naval ship and took a more Star Wars-esquire dogfight approach. This has set a high standard for a new era of Star Trek that I hope will spawn at least a couple more films.
It's not that I wasn't impressed with the character development, the acting, the script or the story - it's just that this film looked so gorgeous that I haven't been able to think of anything else since I saw it last night! But sufficed to say, this was overall an excellent feature. It might not quite deserve a 100% rating, but it's worth more than 90% in my eyes - so, by rounding up, it gets 10/10 from me! Final warning: see this film in the cinema. Do not wait for it to come out on DVD. It. Will. Not. Do. It. Justice.
JJ, you've won a fan!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Last night I was lucky enough to be one of the few to attend the world
premiere of J.J. Abram's "Star Trek" at the Sydney Opera House. This
red carpet event was every bit as surreal and magical as the film
The film in many ways matched the venue unreal. You have doubtless heard or seen other reviews (as I have) and they probably say the same thing: this is (in every sense of the phrase) a second take on the Star Trek universe, from the beginning.
From the opening sequence, JJ Abrams asserts his authority in a plot twist which will shake the very fabric of the Star Trek universe. In a sudden (plot) twist, the very nature of the film becomes clear: this is a new Star Trek.
However, the opening sequence delivers more than just this "statement" - it also gives us a taste of what is to come: action, drama, solid performances and an outstanding introduction to a new era.
Little by little we are introduced to the main characters, starting with Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Uhura as we briefly navigate their early lives including events at Starfleet Academy before hitting a plot crescendo which brings all the cast together and to the starship Enterprise, NCC 1701!
This is a movie strong on character development, and each of the actors deliver brilliant performances nothing less would be appropriate given the shoes each has to fill.
The movie moves along at an agreeable pace, never slow enough to be tedious, nor too frenetic so as to be judged another "run 'n' gun" style sci-fi action flick.
This is a movie with cutting edge special effects, but they serve more to frame the storyline and characters rather than to be the show entirely.
Star Trek has always been tied to models and great visuals, so this is something which we've come to expect from this groundbreaking franchise.
Since I do not intend to introduce spoilers in this review, I can only really say that the crew of the USS Enterprise is brought full circle to face the film's dark enemy, a Romulan by the name of Nero who is portrayed by Australia's own Eric Bana (who is not given nearly enough screen time in my humble opinion).
By now you've probably heard that the movie also features Leonard Nimoy reprising his role as Mr (please, not Doctor) Spock. This is indeed true, however you may be surprised to learn that this is no token cameo role.
Leonard Nimoy's Spock plays a pivotal role in the film, and in a way bridges the franchise from the original series to the new film version. He also has delivery of my most favorite line in the film..
Each actor holds their own with the roles we know so well. It would be unfair to single out any specific actor.. but I have to say that Simon Pegg and Zachary Quinto are simply outstanding amongst a group of very talented actors in a movie which is (perhaps a little surprisingly) carried by strong character development.
In summary, this film is likely to appeal to a wide audience including die hard Trekkies and those new to the Star Trek universe. This is a must see film, even if you can't tell the difference between a Tribble and a Tholian!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Darth Vader, err, Darth Maul - umm, I mean Nero - has this huge,
gigantic awesome Death Star - err, I mean Mining Ship, that can destroy
entire planets. So Nero blows up Alderaan - umm, I mean Vulcan, killing
Princess Leia's father - I mean, Spock's mother. And then the Death
Star homes in on the Rebel Base - Umm, I mean the mining ship homes in
on Starfleet headquarters, and only Luke Skywalker can stop it by
ignoring orders and turning off his targeting computer and trusting the
Force - no, I mean only Jim Kirk can stop it by ignoring Starfleet's
orders and trusting his instincts. It's a good thing Old Ben Kenobi was
there to give Kirk that fatherly advice earlier - no, wait, that was
And then they had a big old celebration, and Luke and Han got medals - err, I mean, Jim Kirk got a medal and was made captain.
This movie was terrible.
The sad thing, I was actually loving it, totally suckered in, emotionally caught up in the film, and then it just got really stupid.
The movie totally lost me when Spock threw Jim Kirk off of his ship and made him go down to the Ice Planet of Hoth. Why would Spock do that? Why would ANY Starfleet officer abandon one of their own on a frozen planet full of deadly Wampas during the middle of an interstellar war - err, interstellar terrorist event?
Spock should have been court-martialed for that. No commanding officer in any military organization would ever do that, anywhere, any time, for any reason.
Luckily, the evil tattoo-faced bad guy, Darth Maul - umm, Nero, did THE EXACT SAME THING to his sworn enemy, Old Spock, who showed up just in time to save Kirk, which was really lucky, because Kirk didn't have his lightsaber handy to cut off the snow-monster's arm.
So Spock and Nero are morally equivalent with each other, both banishing their enemies to a frozen wasteland. How symmetrical.
Thankfully, this happens to be the exact same planet that Montegomery "Scotty" Scot was also unfairly banished to! What a lucky coincidence!
Old Spock knew Kirk and Scotty in the future! And in the future, Scotty figured out a way to magically beam onto a ship moving faster than the speed of light half a galaxy away! And Old Spock remembers how he did it! Yay! Magic!
Now, smart people would have used this trick to beam the bad guys off of their own ship, and into the vacuum of space, where they would have died, and Earth would have been saved.
This movie is not about smart people.
The villain is a coal miner from the future. He hates Spock because Spock tried to save his homeworld from destruction. So it's Spock's fault? Why? Because Spock got there too late - did Spock stop off for some fast food or something? Why is it Spock's fault?
I mean, if I my planet were destroyed, and I got sucked a hundred years into the past, I would warn my planet, so they could start evacuating. I would use my enormous mining ship to start ferrying off the billions of refugees to a nice safe planet, not go around the galaxy destroying all of the most habitable worlds.
It's not just Nero who is mentally challenged, though. Old Spock needs only a few drops of "Red Matter" to turn a supernova into a black hole - but he's got like fifty gallons of it on board his ship. Why? Is that smart? Is that safe? What if a bunch of terrorists were able to get hold of all that Red Matter by capturing your puny little vessel? Duh! I think Old Spock is a bit senile.
Let's face it. Most of the Star Trek movies have sucked. And sadly, so does this one.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sirs: I so much wanted to like, no, love this movie.
Instead, without giving away too many spoilers (there are a few here), it was simply awful. What Paramount delivered was an ADHD addled mess; one that completely destroys the source material from which it came. I understand that for the uninitiated, they (Abram's and company) can do what they like; and they have done so, I believe, for the sole purpose to be able to 'dumbly go where no worse hack writers have gone before' and henceforth dish out more tripe in the name of Star Trek while absolutely violating over 40 years of franchise history. You can laugh at that, and tell me to get a life, but if you are going to put the name of 'Star Trek' on a film, you need to do damn well better, and stay light years truer, than this crap. 'Superman Returns' certainly accomplished that.
I never thought I'd say this, but the Sci-Fi channel's ill advised 'Battlestar Galactica' was far more honest to its source material than Abram's 'Star Trek'. What he did was to truly steal a known identity, and then produce a bird cage liner that has almost nothing in common with that identity past the title, and the names of the characters.
Unfortunately, this 56 year old Trekker was all too easily able to follow the entire non-plot and action. The dialog overlap was 100% techno-babble predictable. A Power-Ranger's bred child could follow this simplistic 'must fight bad man' drivel.
The story was lame, and I believe that Orci and Kurtzman's claims to be fans of the show are outright lies; meant only as a weak attempt to deflect the flood of criticism they so richly deserve. They followed the beaten down, grossly overused, time travel path that Brannon Braga used to eventually kill the TV franchise.
Romulans??? In THIS time line so readily recognized by the Federation? A Chekov that was even sillier sounding than the original? And if one were to 'allow' the events of this misbegotten movie to be accepted, it would quite literally wipe out ALL of the subsequent 'known' Star Trek events, with the exception of the Enterprise series.
RED matter??? Oh my God, I can see them sitting around a table saying, "Well, we can't use anti-matter, they'd never believe that one, and maybe even Dark Matter would be laughed at today, if we tried to use it as we intend... I'VE GOT IT! We'll call it RED MATTER! No one's EVER used that one! So we can carry a big blob of it around, extract a drop with a HYPODERMIC NEEDLE, and STILL use it to cause a Singularity and a subsequent Black Hole! Yeah, THAT'S plausible, without us ever having to explain anything! Brilliant!" I suspect that the only Star Trek these geniuses ever watched was the much maligned 'Alternative Factor' episode. This 'plot device' (this was so bad, even Clarke's Third Law can not provide cover for it) is totally unbelievable, even when compared to a warp driven star ship. This is the kind of science fiction that a sixth grader writes. Come to think of it, I am probably insulting the intelligence of sixth graders everywhere. Watch for Blue Matter to follow in the next installment.
Speaking of which, this is not an 'alternative timeline' to free them from Canon, this is just an excuse to be able to avoid any accountability to 40 plus years of established 'Star Trek'. This is lazy, sloppy, and weak writing all rolled into one colossal middle finger brazenly extended to Star Trek fandom.
The ONLY thing worthy about this movie was the exterior of the Enterprise itself. It was truly beautiful; and the only piece here that stayed loyal to the original.
The rest is absolute zero worthless.
Sincerely, Dennis Carlson
Oh yeah, addendum: The biggest, worst, possibly most overlooked hole in this entirely stupid movie is the fact that if Nero DID somehow find himself back in time, after the destruction of his wife and home world, why didn't he simply use the opportunity to WARN the Romulan Empire, and the Federation, of what was going to happen, instead of going Postal? This is why Time Travel episodes suck, (Read same fault with Generations). Period. If I could have given this movie a Zero, I would have.
Last Add On, Promise:
1: For all of you who told us few naysayers to 'Get A Life', congratulations on your originality.
2: Yes, we know its just Fiction, and that our DVD's of the movies and series have not disappeared, but at least SOME of us yearn for at least a LITTLE continuity; something which this movie nearly completely destroys. This movie pulls a 'Dallas' 'It Was All A Dream' scam, and sorry, but some of us just don't buy it. Cheap, bad, writing. I'm pretty sure I'd laugh my butt off at the howls of protest from you JJ lovers, if the next movie restored the Star Trek time line as it should be, and rendered THIS travesty to the scrap heap where it belongs. You would scream at the repudiation of ONE movie, how do you think many of us feel about the refutation of nearly 40 YEARS of events, no matter how fictional?
3: And finally, to all of you who say that such extreme measures HAD to be done to revive the franchise, you are completely ignoring the fact that after the mediocre disappointment of 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture', that all it took to revive the franchise then, was to bring in a REAL Writer and Director, Nicholas Meyer, who crafted a superior movie WITHOUT (yes, I know about Chekov-Khan) trashing basic Trek 'history'.
So I managed to go to the world premiere at the Sydney opera house last night. While I will not ruin the film before its release by delivering a shot by shot review here I will say that JJ Abrams is quite possibly the smartest film maker on the planet. Managing to poke fun at some of the sillier aspects of the original series/movies while still being completely respectful, action scenes that easily rival anything in Transformers, and space battles that are breathtaking. Now let me just say that while I do consider myself a big fan of Trek in all its forms, i don't have a uniform hanging in my wardrobe and I cant speak Klingon, but having said that I will say the movie is F###ING AMAZING...!!! Honestly, incredible film, do yourself a favour and see it as soon as it comes out. thanks, the end.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was actually glad to see some of the negative reactions here, because
I thought I might be alone in my dislike for this movie.
Everyone around me at the premier seemed to be cheering. But I just felt a little sick inside.
As one reviewer said, Trek was at its best when it expected an audience to think. Not to just switch off their brains and enjoy the pretty explosions. This isn't "Independence Day", for crying out loud.
There are dozens of problems with the movie, but the biggest one is the script. I'll say this for the actors. They all tried very hard, and they really put a lot of effort into it. Good on them.
But the script and the story are just ... awful. Dumb. With plot holes so large I could fly a ship through them.
There's problems with the sense of scale. The writers don't seem to realise how big space is. Travelling at warp speeds, and being able to stop on a proverbial dime. Shooting a capsule down to a planet, and randomly finding the one person within walking distance of its landing spot.
And scenes like monster1 chasing our hero, only to see it chomped by larger monster2, means that you think ripping off George Lucas's "Phantom Menace" is probably a good idea.
For those who *really* like their Trek, (and by that, I mean the sort of people who know what's involved in ship to ship warp-transports, and what the maximum range of a transporter is in the 24th century) there'll be even more to drive you nuts. If you were the sort of person who watched Generations and said "Just dump the warp core! WTF?" you'll probably have more problems than I can mention here.
Finally, this movie is the ultimate reset button. (Something I never liked in the series, where it was usually used in Voyager). If you like your comics, you might know what I mean when I say, this is Star Treks "Brand New Day".
Personally, I think this is the last Trek movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm not going to hit this from a scientific perspective. That would be
too easy and would just invite others to castigate me for not
"suspending disbelief" during a fun summer sci-fi. No, this movie sucks
on a very base level. The first, and most disturbing part of the movie
is the villain, Nero, who I think is the worst villain Hollywood has
given us, and Hollywood once gave us Arnold as Ice Man. Nero is awful
because his motivation makes no sense whatsoever.
As the story goes, Nero is furious at Spock, and by extension his whole race of Vulcans, because Spock did not get to Romulus' star in time to save it from super nova, which destroyed his planet and all those he loved and cared for. In the process both he and Spock are sucked into a black hole and spit out the other side well in the past, except at different times, Nero 25 years before Spock. In waiting 25 years for Spock to come through the black hole as he had, Nero and his crew seethe with rage and plot their revenge against Spock and his evil race of Vulcans.
But why? Did Spock create the super nova? No. That was explained as a natural disaster. Did Spock try to save his planet? Yes. In fact, he had every reason to believe that he was going to die in the process. After failing to stave off the super nova, he was sucked into a black hole, which is assumed to destroy anything entering it (after all, black holes literally crush atoms to the point of not existing). Personally I think that makes Spock a hero to the Romulans! Having a vendetta against Spock and the Vulcans would be like tracking down and killing the family of a fire fighter who died in your house while he tried to save your wife and kids. That makes no sense. None. Last, Nero is now in the past, no? Why doesn't he just go about saving his planet from destruction? He's got the "red matter" to do it.
The other thing that ticked me off was the silly string of "accidents" that put a gang of 22 year-olds in command of the Federation's flagship. Do they not have even a single 40 year-old who has actually been in space before? It's even worse than that if you think about it. Before the ship takes off Kirk is about to be booted out of Starfleetbut now he's put in charge?
I'm willing to suspend disbelief in sci-fi movie, but there's a difference between suspending disbelief and watching a movie like I'm a 3-year old. 3 stars out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Not content to rest on his laurels in boring the world into a black
hole with LOST, or writing some of the worst ever episodes of Felicity,
J.J. Abrams set busily to his task of eviscerating Star Trek in a
derivative, boring, 2 hours and 6 minutes of sadistic torture. With new
credits ripped straight from Third Rock From The Sun and Simon Pegg
sequences that seem to be taken from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
and Romulans who appear to have been extras from The Matrix. Do the
makers of this film trust any of their OWN ideas!? Do they have any!?
And the staple hopeful tone Star Trek is gone. Replaced by a war slash
comedy tone that I would expect only to find in Red Dwarf or Starship
Troopers. There are just enough seconds of great action in this film to
fit into a great trailer. Yes that's right. That stuff you saw in the
trailer? That's it, that's all of it, no more than that. There are just
enough seconds truly funny comedy to fit into a comedy trailer.
Surprise surprise! For the rest of it, we get people sitting around
talking about nothing. Except they are in space... which is, you know,
actually nothing. Unlike the New York of Seinfeld, which is, y'know,
something. Oh, and did I mention that every character in TNG, DS9 and
Voyager and Enterprise is dead? Oh, not dead. NEVER BORN! That's right,
Picard and Data, will never exist. Never born. Because the timeline has
been re-arranged. Re-arranged by who you ask? A small mining ship. A
small mining ship with no time-sheilding has evaded the time-shielded
time-police and killed Kirk's dad and destroyed the whole planet of
Vulcan. Ri-ight. WTF? W T F!? How did they do away with the time
police? Aren't a lot of the time-shielded time police FROM the planet
Vulcan, that has just been destroyed by illegal unscheduled time travel
of a tiny mining ship? If some kind of deity like Q has disabled the
whole of the time police, why is it for such a small reason as
destroying one tiny planet. Couldn't the deity destroy the planet with
a flick of his finger? Oh wait, it's, you guessed it, Stargate! And why
don't we see these juicy Q-type-bady-talks-to-bad-guys sequences?? Who
Star Trek is supposed to be hopeful and inspire individuals to do good in the world. This is a war movie to inspire people to pick up a gun and do who knows what.
Star Trek Zero (official working title) gets a big ZERO from me. Awful, abysmal. One star because they don't allow lower.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Star Trek is not about the past but rather about the future. This new
movie is not the Star Trek that we know and have loved for more than 40
years, is in fact a poor excuse to gain market and to reboot (erase)
the series completely. The end result: what will happen with all the
Star Trek after TOS? Is already known that this movie connects the Star
Trek Countdown comics in order to create an alternative reality since
Nero and Spock travel through time but not to our Star Trek time-line,
but another alternative reality (SPOILER). Nero's effect on that
time-line by killing Kirk's father does affect the alternative reality
in this new Star Trek. In addition Spock's interference changes
completely the time-line for this parallel (in such way) universe. So,
what we are seeing is not our Star Trek but rather a new version of it.
Not the best solution since there was a lot of great ideas after
Nemesis. This is by far the Lucas Syndrome, "if you are out of ideas,
then create a prequel."
(SPOILER) Romulus, Remus and a large part of the Romulan Empire get destroyed in the very late 24th century (see Star Trek Online and Star Trek Countdown) and the result is Nero and Spock arriving at this universe. The time-line here is completely different from our Star Trek, so what we know is no longer canon, since this is like a goodbye to our beloved Star Trek. In its place, what we get? Huge explosions, short skirts, sex, and a movie lacking of morality. Star Trek is not about that, is about a message, is about going forward and explore strange new worlds.
I'm afraid that this movie will eventually erase what we know about Star Trek and the effort of all the productions, writers, casts and all the people related to previous Trek series. I hope fans will realize that shiny explosions and short skirts is not everything... BRING OUR STAR TREK BACK!!! BRING TNG, DS9 and VOY BACK!!!
"Resistance is Futile."
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