05.12.2009

Star Trek… My thoughts

Howdy y’all!  Sorry I missed posting on Monday.  It’s another very busy week for me at work.  I’ll do my best to get some posts up this week, but please forgive me if I miss another day or two.

My thoughts on the new STAR TREK movie (and yes, there are SPOILERS):

HOLY CRAP, WHAT A GREAT MOVIE!!!!  That sums it up.  Thanks for reading and have a nice day!  … … … well, I guess I can go into a little more detail.

I flew to Dallas to spend some time with my brother and father; it was a sort of Guys/family weekend.  Thursday night we hung out, re-watched all the trailers, and talked about our anticipation for the film.  We were so excited for the film and had such high hopes based upon the trailers.  Because of our excitement, we all agreed there was no way the movie could live up to our expectations.  We were ready to be disappointed, simply because the previews made the film look so good.  On Friday at 7:30pm we saw the movie.  I’m very pleased to say the movie lived up to the hype!  I loved this movie!

Was the movie perfect?  No.  Was a great action/sci-fi film?  Yes.  Was it faithful to the spirit of Star Trek?  Yes.   Here are a few Pros/Cons about the film in my opinion.

PROS

  • The new cast was great: Chris Pines (Captain James T. Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Karl Urban (Dr. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy), Zoe Saldana (Nyota Uhura), Simon Pegg (Scotty), John Cho (Hikaru Sulu), and Anton Yelchin (Pavel Chekov).  I thought each of them did a really nice job with their roles.
  • Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy was quite possibly better than DeForest Kelley as Dr. McCoy. I’m sure that statement is sacrilege to some, but I thought Urban did a great job with this role.
  • Zachary Quinto as Spock was uncanny.  He did a great job channeling his inner Nimoy.
  • Zoe Saldana was not only hot, but was also a real character.  She did a great job creating Uhura.  I say “creating” because the original Uhura’s character never really developed on screen.
  • Chris Pines did not play Kirk like Shatner.  That was a smart move.  While much of the original Kirk’s spirit was the same, he did his own interpretation.  That will help him avoid comparisons with Shatner.
  • The opening scene with Jim Kirk’s birth and the death of George Kirk was powerful.  Great action combined with strong dramatic effect.
  • Bruce Greenwood as Captain Pike.  Greenwood is just cool.  You couldn’t help but like Captain Pike.
  • The special effects were freakin’ amazing! The subtle redesign of the Enterprise is sweet!
  • I enjoyed Eric Bana as Nero more than I expected.  I’m not typically a fan of Bana in movies, but he did a nice job with this role.  The character was not what I expected at all.  Nero was basically a blue-collar Romulan, who sometimes spoke very casually to his opponents.  It was very different and I think that is why it worked.
  • The romance between Spock and Uhura.  It totally caught me off-guard, but I like it.
  • The time travel subplot worked much better than I expected.  I thought that would be what killed the movie;  I was totally wrong.  It accomplished two goals: (1) it symbolized the original cast passing the baton to the new cast, and (2) by identifying this as an alternate timeline, the writers have freed themselves of any pressure from the die-hard continuity Trekkies.  Smart move.

CONS

  • The rapid promotions in the film were a little hard to swallow.  Third year cadet on the skids suddenly becomes Captain?  Uhura becomes the primary communications officer because she speaks a rare language?  Dr. McCoy becomes Chief Medical officer because he answered the phone at the right time?  Scotty becomes Chief Engineer because he … showed up? And after the emergency, they all got to keep their posts.  I had to keep reminding myself, suspension of disbelief.
  • The original Kirk was definitely a rebel.  However, he only broke the rules when he felt it was necessary.  This Kirk seems to want to break ALL the rules.  I think showing him following some basic rules would help engender some trust between the Captain and the crew.
  • Kirk finding Spock Prime’s cave on the ice moon.  A little hard to accept.
  • I’m still trying to figure out the Roddenberry-like moral of the story.  Star Trek was always a way for Gene Roddenberry to tackle moral issues facing modern society.  So far I’m only coming up with vague concepts, like “There is no predestination.  Your destiny is your own.  You can be anyone or anything you want to be.”

There you go.  My initial thoughts on Star Trek.  What did you think?

Also, enjoy this clip from Saturday Night Live.  A few Star Trek cast members made a brief appearance.

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14 Responses to “Star Trek… My thoughts”

  1. ScottC Says:

    “Kirk finding Spock Prime’s cave on the ice moon. A little hard to accept”

    Not only that, on the same moon they just happen to find Scotty. And Sulu taking the helmsman position after the original officer got sick.

    I wonder if more than coincidence is at play here.

    I’m not quite as bothered about Kirk becoming Captain. A good portion of the Academy class got wiped out so surviving the events probably gave Kirk a boost. And I’m sure Spock Prime has a word with Admiral Medea.

  2. rob! Says:

    I didn’t have a problem with Scotty being on the same moon as where Kirk landed…I got the impression that Kirk was exiled to that moon was because there was a Federation outpost there.

    And the reason Spock was there, too, was so he would be able to watch Vulcan’s destruction with his own eyes, which was part of Nero’s revenge.

  3. ScottC Says:

    It makes sense for a Starfleet officer to be there, but Scotty?

  4. Beaver Says:

    What a great movie! Yes there were little things that bothered me, but this Star Trek brought the franchise back from hibernation and set the stage for some great sequels. The best part is that right now, kids all over the world are pretending to be Kirk and Spock again! How long has it been since that happened?

  5. Justin Says:

    Hay Shagg, Im so glad you enjoyed the movie, because it was AMAZING!!!!!! I agree with almost every thing pro and con you had to say about the film. Zachary Quinto was an awesome Spock; I thought he was great, when he told the council to “live long and prosper” That was probably my favorite part of the movie. I don’t care how the crew got together but I never really thought about all the little things you just mentioned. Now thinking about it they all did kind of fall bass ackwards in to there respected positions, but I don’t care. I think the film was good enough to let it go. Last thing, Spock Prime really that’s what he’s being called :p What is he going to put on a sun suite and try to kill every one because they are evil and should not exists. You know what come to think of it that would not be a bad plot for the next one. LOL!!!!! One more thing, Hi Scott C.

  6. Erika Says:

    Loved it! Can’t wait to see it at the IMAX.

  7. Salmon Says:

    ScottC, what exactly is the problem with Scotty being on Trekhoth? I mean, he’s just the guy assigned to that base. He’s no one special yet. That’s how they meet Scotty. The end. Your complaint is like being upset Sulu is on the bridge. That’s how they meet those people. They don’t know they’re special yet.

    Here’s you: What, McCoy and Kirk were seated together on the shuttle?! No way! Uhura getting a drink in a bar? Nonsense!

    People have to meet somewhere, and those are logical meeting circumstances (Sulu’s is a little forced, but it’s not crazy).

  8. Salmon Says:

    Kudos to you, Shag, for a well-reasoned and reader-friendly review. Bullet points!

    I agree with you on almost everything, with the exception of the opening, which made me want to die. It was useless, unnecessary and cheaply made.

    Also, Bana could have been anybody.

    I reviewed it on the TUG site if you’re interested.
    http://www.theuniquegeek.com/2009/05/12/magic-trek

  9. BorgQueen Says:

    I agree that the movie was amazing and know that it will definitely spawn more. YAY! I also agree with most of your pros and cons and would like to add a couple:

    The shout-outs to the hardcore fans were very much appreciated. Olson the red-shirt (I knew he was done as soon as I saw him), Sulu with his fencing, McCoy’s “Dammit Jim I’m a Doctor not a Physicist,” “Admiral Archer’s prized beagle” and so on. You could tell they did their homework and knew what the fans wanted to see and paid homage to classic Trek. I have seen the movie 3x now and I get more and more ok with the alternate timeline thing each time. I also loved the “inside” view of the ship traveling at warp, very cool to see a different perspective. A couple of small gripes:

    1. The “frozen moon” was actually planet Delta Vega which is nowhere near Vulcan (so Spock would not have been able to watch its destruction) and actually at the very edge of our galaxy. DV was the planet that Kirk put Gary Mitchell on in “Where No Man Has Gone Before”

    2. When the Enterprise is being pulled into the black hole, you see it buckle and the view screen crack. Correct me if I am wrong but I thought viewscreens were made of transparent aluminum and therefore uncrackable?

    3. I could have done without Tyler Perry. I know he is a huge ST fan but everytime he was on screen all I could think was “Madea!” and I have even never seen any of those movies. It would have kicked so much more ass to have Scott Bakula or Jolene Blalock in old makeup. Maybe next movie?

    4. And finally, I think them trying to establish the reason that Kirk calls McCoy “Bones” because of what he says to him in the shuttle at the beginning was a fail. It was always assumed he calls him that because he is a doctor… the “all I got’s my bones” line was funny but that shouldn’t have been suggested as the reason behind the nickname.

    Minor nitpicks, sure, but isn’t that what we geeks love to do? =)

  10. Erika Says:

    BorgQueen, I contend that it would have been more awesome if Tyler Perry had been dressed AS Madea.

  11. insurance appointment setting Says:

    I thought the acting was brilliant, no weak links at all. but the time travel thing really didn;t do it for me, its a dead concept that wasw killed in the 90’s.

  12. Lore (the irredeemable brother) Says:

    YEah, yeah, yeah. But there’s still the unanswered burning question:
    who’s going to play Ricardo Montalban in the 1st sequel?

  13. Lore (the irredeemable brother) Says:

    Lore – that’s right – the first brother. Created in his father’s own image. The brother hell-bent on ruling the galaxy. The enlightened one. The more attractive one. The one they turn to when the script writing is a little shallow. The one they ask for when the Screen Actors Guild says they’ve exceeded their unique guest actor’s quota for the season. The guy they write in whenever Brent Spiner starts complaining about type-casting! The character they normally would’ve used Q for when the storyline called for the familiar omnipotent foe. The brother with the faster processing time and better sense of humor. The one Tasha Yar really wanted (and the geeks all moan as the space time continuum is violated because everyone knows Tasha was killed in season 1, and Lore didn’t appear until season 4. For crying out loud people, Denise Crosby wanted ME!). Lore, the one the next STNG movie will be about! (what? you think Spiner is signing up to be B-4?) That’s right. Lore, the irredeemable brother. The one who pops in, pops off and pops out. Lurking. Laughing. Ready to pounce as the good brother’s blogging foil, with a quick quip and a jaded sensibility. Blog away geeks, but know I’m within transporter range!

  14. Bonnie Says:

    Big thumbs up on this movie! The young Spock is too sexy though … I’m conflicted because I’m old enough to be his Mom!

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