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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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Not out on DVD yet, but why wait? There really hasn't been a big screen Trek movie since The Wrath of Khan. Many may disagree with me on that, but if they search their Trek loving hearts, deep down most will have to admit the rest of the movies were pretty much just good quality TV series level of entertainment. Not this one though... Move over Obi Wan... This ain't you're father's Star Trek!

J.J. Abrams took some liberties and even broke a few Trek 'rules', but it all works. There are some really good nods to the original series and even the actors that played the roles before this new cast stepped in to fill some pretty big shoes. The problem with a franchise reboot or prequel is that we already know the outcome. All the characters survive. They have to, because we know about their other adventures. Abrams put a bit of a twist on things though. Although he deftly crafted a story that assembled the Enterprise crew together, it wasn't how they 'originally' met, and that's why this works.
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This is my second viewing of Star Trek at the theater. The first time I went with my brother, this time my wife actually wanted to see it so I took her tonight. She is a 'mild' Trek fan at best, and basically tolerates it because she knows I like it. It didn't take long before she dropped the take it or leave it attitude and really got into this movie.

What really impressed me was I was actually trying to figure out how Abrams was going to 'fix' certain things that start off oh so wrong. During my first viewing my fear was that he wasn't going to and that this new Trek would end up a sell out and Star Trek in name only. Trust me, even the most hard core fan will accept this entry, but more important is that it is simply a great sci-fi/action flick too.

There is even some touches of politics in the story, as well as prejudices- surprisingly from the Vulcan Academy itself! Also look for the infamous 'Red Shirt' scene.

If there is one thing to complain about, in my opinion it would be the engineering spaces. Granted I am very familiar with the engine rooms on real naval warships, and they can be a maze of pipes and valves and in general a very low tech looking environment. Thing is though, we're talking about the 23rd Century and I like the old Trek engineering levels better. These look like they ran out of set budget so they filmed in a manufacturing plant somewhere.

Abrams is also known for his fast pace and faster cuts too. Even though we do get to see the Enterprise bridge in quite a few scenes, I honestly couldn't describe the layout to anyone and it was quite different than in any other Trek show or movie.

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The cast was well thought out and Trek has the unique ability of capturing lightning in a bottle more often than any other franchise out there. Many, including Roddenberry doubted if they could get the same chemistry between the main characters in Star Trek The Next Generation as they had in the original series. The franchise did have some major misfires with some of its other spin off series, but... Roddenberry always said the true star of the show was the Enterprise itself and the crew was secondary.

All the banter we have come to love is there, and we even get some back story on some characters too. Karl Urban absolutely nails McCoy. He looks like DeForest Kelly, and even sounds like him. Pine's Kirk though isn't quite the same but all the elements are there- He's confident and even arrogant, he has an eye for the pretty ladies... but most important is his drive and tenacity to win at all costs. Kirk coyly said in Wrath of Khan that he doesn't believe in a no win scenario... Pine's Kirk proves it and then some.

Simon Pegg as Scotty- I never remembered James Doohan as the 'plucky comedic relief' in the original series, but Pegg pulls it off. He's witty, funny, and charming all at the same time.

Quinto's Spock is almost uncanny. Certain shots he is a dead ringer for Nimoy in the original series. Quinto does a fantastic job of bringing the complex turmoil buried deep within Spock. Nimoy does reprise his role in an extended 'cameo' but his part was mainly an homage to the original show and it very easily could have been omitted.

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Nero is played by Eric Bana and he has less screen time than he deserves. Bana chewed scenery every bit as well as Ricardo Montalban did as Khan, he just didn't get as much screen time to truly make him an interesting foe.

One thing that was really odd about these 'villains' was the way they introduce themselves. After an unprovoked barrage of missiles, they open hailing frequencies and say 'Hello'. It just sounded really strange hearing a Romulin say hello that casually, especially considering the situation. I'd love to hear Abrams reason, I'm sure he had one.


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Captain Pike was played by Bruce Greenwood. This was another bullseye. Greenwood made Pike a natural leader and added tons of respectability to the cast. Greenwood may not be known by many though. Most people will probably be sitting there thinking 'Who is he? I know I saw him somewhere!' He's been doing TV for ages, but most probably recognize him as the President in National Treasure: Book of Secrets.

Sarek, Spock's father was a bit of a surprise to me. Sarek is played by Ben Cross who usually plays the bad guy or heavy. I remember him the best as Prince Malagant in the Richard Gere/Sean Connery version of King Arthur's tale in First Knight. Cross impressed me very much because he went from being so evil in that flick to stoic and dignified as Sarek.

All in all it was an excellent cast they assembled. Even John Cho, better known to many as Harold from the Harold and Kumar flicks, slipped comfortably into his new role as Sulu.

It goes without saying that the special effects were top notch. Many of the other Trek outings, especially the Next Generation movies skimped on new FX and even recycled FX scenes from the TV series... and it showed. Abrams didn't cut any corners and it's obvious he was given a huge budget to work with. My guess is now that Star Wars is officially done, Paramount finally woke up and realized they had something that could appeal to more than just the hard core fans, but they'd have to pony up some money to do it right and grab the attention of non-Trek fanboys.

When this comes to DVD it hopefully will be nothing short of spectacular, but Paramount isn't exactly known to do the best transfers to disc. I have the new Bluray sets of the movies and season 1 of the original series and will be doing a review on those. As long as Paramount keeps that level of quality when they release this, it is going to be a mind blower in anyone's home theater.

It's non stop action and adrenaline.
I give it :5stars: across the board!

 

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Re: Star Trek 2009

Great review. Great movie.

I am an old school Star Trek fan who agrees with your view of the movies after Khan. This was a winner. The casting and performances were great. I differ with you on the sets. The original series sets were simplistic, as the budgets were limited and it was a popular view of the future of technology to make it sleek. Our view of the future is more complex, and the maze of technology gave a more interesting backdrop for the movie.
 

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Re: Star Trek 2009

Agree... excellent review... :T

I was among the William Shatner generation of Star Trek. I really have not been interested in it since, but this one seems different from what I can tell and I believe your review confirms this for me. I anxiously await the BD release for an addition to our library.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: Star Trek 2009

I'm not sure what it was about the engineering rooms, the pipes and valves did give more of a visual 'texture' but for some reason it didn't seem right to me is all. I guess it reminded me of steam turbines not warp engines. Still that is a very minor complaint.

It's hard to really discuss the story line. I don't want to ruin any of the surprises and twists.
 

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Re: Star Trek 2009

This is one that's definitely going on the list..

Having been a StarTrek fan since James T Kirk first arrived on the TV screen, and having seen every episode and series plus all the movies, this sounds like it will be an excellent addition to my collection..:T
 

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Re: Star Trek 2009

Ugg...I can't lie. I hated it.

Of course I'm that guy who has all the comics, read all the books, collected all the movies on VHS, DVD and am about to do it over on Blu Ray. Yeah...I'm a 38 year-old Trekker who grew up with the old cast and have grand illusions that Star Trek is supposed to have a meaning in their stories.

Let me back up here. I wasn't opposed to a reboot of Trek after I saw and loved how well Battlestar Galactica was remade. So I did have some lofty expectations going in. In fact I liked how George Kirk was shown to have died. I didn't mind that it deviated from lore at all. I even could used to the new Kirk and Spock and how they have changed when the timeline from the beginning was altered.

What killed it for me was how Shaun of the Dead or should I say Scotty of the Dumb was portrayed. ...even Chekov was botched. He shouldn't even been on the Enterprise let alone be in Starfleet Academy. Timeline change or not. They blew some of the chronogical progressions that can't be altered. Guess it shouldn't matter as Chekov was turned into a clown like Scotty was.

Plot was pretty basic but it had zero meaning to it. I thought the ramped up Enterprise was pretty cool but I agree the Engineering Section looked pretty bad. The Bridge I hated. I mean come on! If the Bridge can be that high tech and sterile...how can the engine room look like it was from a WWII destroyer?

I better stop here because I know I'm just a bitter old fan. I had hoped the new Trek would be more than special effects and comedy relief and have a soul to it.

Nowhere to go but up for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: Star Trek 2009

Paints I may have you beat as far as a Trek geek! ;)

Had them on VHS and Laser disc, DVD, now on BD... PLUS down in my basement is a 6'x8' by 6' high section of boxes of nothing but Playmates Star Trek ships and figures. I have every ship they made (dupes of just about all of them too) just about every action figure they made... a Spock bust liquor container... binders and binders of I think every Trek trading card ever made including a couple 24kt gold captain cards... boxes of every Star Log book and Trek novels...

So needless to say I have a huge Trekker collection!

The movie isn't perfect and there are plenty of holes. For instance according to Trek lore only the saucer was built on earth and flown to a space dock to be mated to the engineering hull and nacelles. Also the saucer was built in San Fran, not in Iowa, same as that's where the academy is at, not in Iowa...

I didn't like how they all were in the academy at the same time, they are different ages and that part didn't set well with me, but the timeline shift was supposed to be the reason for that.

Also and possibly because of the timeline shift... originally there were 14 Constitution class star ships commissioned and sent out on five year missions. Only the Enterprise returned intact. That's when Starfleet decided the Enterprise would be the flagship.

I did like Pegg though, but agree he was a bit too 'quirky'. Chekov though... whew. I didn't think it was possible to be more annoying and unlikeable than Wesley Crusher, but he succeeded. They would have been better off bringing his character in for the second movie, or... introduced him as a new crew member towards the end.

But the worse complaint I have (bothers me more than the engine room of the Enterprise being filmed in a Budweiser factory in Van Nuys, California) is the flippant attitude Kirk had during the Kobayashi Maru test. He was just way too smug and Abram's 'solution' was pretty lame and lacked any imagination.

We'll have to wait and see if they settle the characters into their roles better in the next movie, although I don't know why the older Spock doesn't just travel back in time (or forward I guess, no back in time... ;)) and just prevent all the events from happening in the first place! I mean after all that wouldn't be violating the Prime Directive if he changes things back to the way they were originally supposed to be, right?!

All in all though, they could have done worse by the franchise and at least it has a new lease on life now. Let's just hope they don't decide to remake Wrath of Khan... or do anything with Harry Mudd in it!

And oh... does this mean that STNG never happened? Although that really doesn't matter because they all die in Generation anyway and everything after that is just what Piccard is creating as his 'reality' while stuck in the Nexus... Yepper totally geeking out here! :bigsmile:
 

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Re: Star Trek 2009

You got me beat on the Laser Disc!

On the collection and toy front...haft to call it a draw. I wasn't prepared to show my full on geekness with the collections. The saddest time of the year for me is Christmas as the wife won't let me unleash all my Hallmark Star Trek Ornaments on the tree (yep..I have every one starting from when the original Enterprise was released).

Heh...I need my own tree. Does "Shuttlecraft to Enterprise" ring any bells?

I 100% agree the Kobayashi Muru scene was horrible as well. The whole apple munching and flippant attitude sucked as did seeing Spock teaching at Starfleet Academy along with all the other bridge members being there.

I bet you sat watching the movie just ticking off in your head everything that was wrong/didn't jive/or just plain stupid.

Boy, this is probably the only topic I have ever been negative on here at the Shack. I could go on (and on and on and on) over the movie. But I'll stop.

Real quick. Was there anything you liked about the reboot? I still prefer the adventures George Kirk had with Captain April in the book form (with Jim reading the letters as the backstory) over the movie version. But I really didn't mind that deviation. I even liked how Spock left the Vulcan Science Academy. After that though....it was a wash.

Blowing up Vulcan was pretty extreme too.

I should stop. Even though I have a hard time calling it Star Trek. I guess with it grossing 209 Million at the box office. I'm in the minority on this (farce) movie.

Know whats funny, though? Here is how I would rank the Star Trek movies. Wrath of Khan, Voyage home, Undiscovered Country, Search for Spock, The motion picture, Star Farce and last....Shatner's steaming pile of poo, Final Frontier.
 

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Re: Star Trek 2009

Oh yeah....when the devil (JJ Abrams) reboots The Next Generation. I bet he gives Jean-Luc a full head of hair.
 

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Re: Star Trek 2009

I have not seen (nor have I any intention of seeing) this film, but I wanted to address some of the comments I have read here and on other boards from the perspective of one diehard Trekkie (me). And yes, I know that I am probably the only person on the planet who prefers "Trekkie" to "Trekker."

Short version: This film, while it may be a good movie, is sacrilege to the Classic Trek faithful.

Long version: OK, let me explain myself in a little more depth. I have been a Trekkie since the early 70's (I missed the original run by a few months – I am 41 years old), to the point of knowing by heart every line from the original series (including the inflection of the actor's delivery). So, let me address my grievances point by point:

First, the whole "Romulan comes back in time to change the timeline" thing is a thinly veiled way of allowing Abrams to mess with established events and characters and do whatever he pleases. In any reboot, this is simply a way to "contemporize" the story to appeal to the current generation, but more often than not this results in a watering down (or outright obliteration of) what made the original what it was. It has been compared to the reboot of Battlestar Galactica, and how "well" that worked out. I respectfully disagree. In the case of Battlestar Galactica, Ron Moore retooled the basic premise to appeal to a generation that wanted gritty reality over the family escapism of the original. He missed the point that the cheesy family-friendly atmosphere of the original was the point. His retooling of characters such as Col. Tigh to be a drunk is a prime example. And then there is Ron Moore's laughable justification of using profanity. His claim that the made-up word "frak" and its profane counterpart in our society refer to the same thing, but since one is allowed on TV and the other is not, people really object to the sound of the word rather than its meaning. I am not saying that it is not a good drama series (I have never seen it beyond the pilot), but it is not a good Battlestar Galactica series.

Second, the relative ages of the characters are all wrong. Unless the Romulan went back to before any of the crew were born and changed things such that their birthdates were altered as well (and even then, the odds that they would each follow the same paths are astronomical – pun intended). Then there is the fact that Chekov didn't even come into the picture until well after the five year mission had begun.

Third, technological continuity was thrown completely to the wind. Why is it that the bridge looks more like a Mac superstore than something that was built before the original series? At least with the Star Wars prequel trilogy, it could be rationalized by saying "In the prequels, the galaxy was in a more civilized age. After the clone wars, the galaxy was in disarray and ruin." Here, Abrams is obviously saying "I don't care about the established lore and fitting in with it. I'm gonna do it because I can." There are some things you can acceptably change in a reboot, and then there are directors sufficiently arrogant to mess with icons that should not be touched: The origin of Superman, the fact that Han shoots first (actually, he didn't: Greedo never got off a shot, so Han was the only one to shoot), and the look and design of the Enterprise.

Fourth, why introduce profanity (it has never been a part of the Trek universe, and they even poked fun of the fact in Star Trek IV)? They did it for the same reason why profanity seems to permeate every other film out there: because "nobody pays any attention to you unless you swear every other word" (James Kirk, Star Trek IV). So much for the family friendliness inherent in Star Trek, huh? It seems that so many directors cannot seem to get their ideas across without peppering the dialog with "colorful metaphors." Granted, compared to anything by Martin Scorsese or Quintin Tarentino (two directors who need to get a different job IMO – but I digress) the cursing in Abram's Trek is minor, but why put it in there in the first place?

Fifth, changing some characters to willful jokes (like Montgomery Scott), just for comic relief. Or Spock having a sexual relationship with Uhura. Now I can understand why so many of the "Lord of the Rings" faithful (the books) reject Peter Jackson's interpretation of Gimli and Legolas (mostly Gimli). I have never read the books, so I did not have a problem with it, but for those who came to know the characters as serious warriors I can see the problem. When a character's persona is changed to the point that it is no longer faithful to who the character has come to be known as, it is no longer the character but a cheap facsimile.

Finally, what made Star Trek so great in the first place is the political and social allegory, which has been missing from all Trek incarnations post-TNG. This film seems to push the action and special effects above the human story, again to appeal to the adolescent mind of today with the attention span of a peach. As an example of Trek done right, one needs to look no further than "The Wrath of Kahn", and "The Undiscovered Country." Both films were extremely entertaining, had great action sequences, and social messages appropriate to Star Trek.

OK, it felt good to vent. Now I'm gonna go watch some real Trek on Blu-ray…
 

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Re: Star Trek 2009

Gee, I'm glad I'm just a regular guy who has always loved Star Trek series and movies without using a microscope. :huh:

I thought the recent film was great. Lots of action and fairly well acted. Good fun.

brucek
 

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Re: Star Trek 2009

Derek, I agree with everything you said above, Well said although maybe just a bit too harsh. I'm 40 and also missed the first run of Star trek however watched every episode many times in reruns. I enjoyed may of the movies and spin off TV series and although the last series "Enterprise" started off poor they canceled the series just as it was getting interesting.
I do think that today's movie goer between the age of 10 and 25 have lost touch with the way movies should be written in that there is so much action and little to no real plot. So many movies these days have huge holes in the plot that even my wife picks them out many times and she is not a big science fiction/action movie fan.
But that said This movie has alot going for it as well in that it is very entertaining and as long as you dont look into it too deep you will walk out with a smile on your face.
 

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Re: Star Trek 2009

Gee, I'm glad I'm just a regular guy who has always loved Star Trek series and movies without using a microscope. :huh:

I thought the recent film was great. Lots of action and fairly well acted. Good fun.

brucek
Bruce, you are one of are the normal people. Then there are those of us whose OCD extends from HT to Trek (to be more accurate in my case, I was an OCD Trekkie long before I got into HT)...:D :D
 

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Re: Star Trek 2009

Derek, I agree with everything you said above, Well said although maybe just a bit too harsh. I'm 40 and also missed the first run of Star trek however watched every episode many times in reruns. I enjoyed may of the movies and spin off TV series and although the last series "Enterprise" started off poor they canceled the series just as it was getting interesting.
I do think that today's movie goer between the age of 10 and 25 have lost touch with the way movies should be written in that there is so much action and little to no real plot. So many movies these days have huge holes in the plot that even my wife picks them out many times and she is not a big science fiction/action movie fan.
But that said This movie has alot going for it as well in that it is very entertaining and as long as you dont look into it too deep you will walk out with a smile on your face.
Yea, I'm currently getting the brunt of the same good-natured ribbing at work (since I am Mr. Trek around here :nerd:). I finally had to agree to give the film a shot with an open mind. I have no doubt that it will be a lot of fun, "but it's scarring my precious Star Trek" (over-exaggerated weeping and cry-baby face)...:crying: :bigsmile:
 

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Re: Star Trek 2009

I read they were planning another Star Trek movie when the advance screenings were coming back positive.

I think with the movie already over 200 Mil in the US. Another movie labeled Star Trek is a certainity.
 

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Re: Star Trek 2009

My understanding is that they want to re do all the movies but from a different perspective. Not sure how that will fly with us original Star trek fans but who knows.
 

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Re: Star Trek 2009

Good review. Thoughtful and appreciative of what making movies is all about. While I appreciate that there are folks who have a view of what the Star Trek lore means to them, I don't believe that movies that approach well known material should be constrained by singular views of plot, characters or developments. For that matter, set design comes under that same heading, for me.

While my overall experience while watching the movie was clearly positive, one of the aspects of the film that stood out to me was the realistic treatment of the spaceport from which the young officers left Earth. It didn't look like someone's imaginary image of what such a setting might look like at some point into the future, it looked like a practical location for the purpose of gathering passengers and taking off. That made sense to me in much the same way that the innards of the Enterprise made sense to me.

Previous depictions of the ship (as opposed to the bridge) always left me flat. I wondered if the walls were plywood or sheet rock. The industrial appearance made sense to me.

What impressed most of all however, was the respect that the cast carried into the project. Not simply respect for the story, characters, previous actors or all the myriad of other factors which having been carried off poorly might have alienated many people; but respect for the audience, too.

Far to many young actors have made way too many movies in recent years where it was readily apparent that they were there to hit their marks, walk through their lines and increase their exposure, often at the expense of the film and story line and also at the expense of those of us who choose to part with our hard earned money to go see a film from time to time.

I was almost to the point of writing off all new releases as more suitable for my own theater since poor performances at home offer quick and easy recovery at much less cost than the $30 it takes to see a film in a theater nowadays.
 

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Re: Star Trek 2009

Count me among the folks who enjoy Star Trek without trying to analyze it too much. I believe a single piece of fiction should be reviewed/judged/viewed on its own merit and not as part of a whole. If Star Trek were a World War II documentary I think it’d be useful to pick nits about continuity and accuracy.

That said – I really enjoyed the movie much more than I thought I would. It turned out to be a thrilling action film with space-opera elements.

But there were problems for me, mainly esthetics. I really don’t like how movies and TV shows nowadays (meaning from about the late 90s to present) gives everything this ultra-polished sheen – especially the characters.

Everybody is way too young and good-looking in the new Star Trek. I don’t buy supermodels as ‘real’ people. We may admire perfection but we love flaws. Nimoy in the 60 was a brilliant choice – he looked unusual and it fit the character like a glove. Zachary Quinto as Spock turns the character into a pretty-boy and loses his distinct charm.

I have loved Star Trek all my life. I have talked of Spock and Kirk’s relationship as a classic analogy relating to some of my own good friends. Although I was slow to adopt Next Gen I grew to love it too and look back fondly on the characters. I feel as close to those two crews as friends – I even feel I’ve learned a few lessons about character, leadership and life from the shows.

As much as I enjoyed the thrill ride of this movie - I don’t believe I’ll ever look upon the ST reboot as fondly as I have Star Treks past.
 
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