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Mark Altman’s Review Of ‘Star Trek’ April 28, 2009

by Mark A. Altman , Filed under: Review,Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

Two weeks ago TrekMovie presented the first official site review for the new Star Trek movie, but that was just the beginning. We will be presenting a number of reviews in total and today we have one from friend of the site and Free Enterprise writer/producer Mark Altman. [note review contains minor spoilers]



Beaming over Star Trek

By Mark A. Altman

When Star Trek opens on May 7th, Trek newbies should be energized and beaming with glee over this reboot of the venerable franchise…or, at least, that’s how those idiots will review it on the local news.  Conventional wisdom will say that J.J. Abrams Star Trek is a sprawling, epic thrill ride when they’re not simply co-opting Paramount marketing’s  tagline that “this isn’t your father’s Star Trek.” Well, the ironic thing is it sort of is your father’s Star Trek…and that’s not so bad. You see, Star Trek always was thrilling, sexy, groundbreaking and rousing, but after years of bland and boring contemporary Trek shows, people seemed to forget that. Kirk sleeping with a green Orion Slave Girl at Starfleet Academy would have fit right in with the original series and so would a lot of other things in the film (with the exception of some ham-handed comedy, including a silly Willie Wonka-esque scene with Simon Pegg’s Scotty). 

You see, the new Star Trek plays like a well-assembled, greatest hits album, retrofitting most of the elements that make Star Trek a great sci-fi franchise and giving them a spiffy, new re-mastered sheen. There’s a hearty helping of Star Trek II right down to a villain intent on revenge for the death of his wife – only this time he’s out for green blood instead of red, a scene straight out of “This Side of Paradise” in which Kirk and Spock go at it on the bridge, a little “Star Trek IV,” and even a dash of “Trek V” (a movie you would have liked a lot better if it had the caliber of this film’s visual effects).

To writers Kurtzman and Orci’s credit after the hundreds of hours of Trek, myriad books and comics, they still have a few neat twists on the conventional mythology, none moreso than those involving the perpetually underserviced Uhura (who remains underserviced no more in more ways than one). There’s also a refreshing dearth of technobabble, that annoying mumbo-science that cropped up in later Trek’s, although the scene in which the film’s macguffin is revealed is a little difficult to fathom (and seems like something out of Alias and not Trek).  At least, there weren’t any whales involved.

The movie is kinetically and adeptly directed by J.J. Abrams, whose MI:III was the best film in that franchise by far, warps into action with a magnificent teaser culminating in an operatic climax leading into the film’s title card. Most tech credits are equally outstanding. Costumes look great and pay homage to the original series, but it’s really composer Michael Giacchino’s score that shines the most. The only misstep is the inexplicable decision along the way (not Giacchino’s, from what I’m told) to drop Alexander Courage’s theme from the film’s title card. It’s like having a 007 film without using the Bond theme (which is even more the curious since it was Abrams who resurrected the classic Lalo Schifrin IMF team assembling cue from the TV series for his movie). I also would have liked had they retained the original design of the Enterprise (or something akin to ST: TMP, still the best, sleekest starship ever designed), but the new iteration is close enough to that aesthetic to be palatable.

The film looks far better than any Trek film since Star Trek: The Motion Picture (despite my reservations with the Enterprise’s engine room which looks like it’s powering the Titanic – or a brewery) although I hoped the movie would be a little more epic and galaxy-spanning. Not to mention, there’s really not an unforgettable action setpiece, although the fisticuffs on a Romulan mining platform comes the closest.  Numerous homages to the original show abound, small and large, ranging from a brief glimpse of a sign that reads Admiral Komack in the Federation Council Chambers to Kirk casually munching an apple during a pleasantly familiar moment. McCoy aphorisms abound and Karl Urban does a great job assuming the stethoscope (ok, hypo spray) of the late, great DeForest Kelley.  In fact, the cast is uniformly solid, particularly Bruce Greenwood as Pike (who figures prominently in one of the film’s best sequences – the barfight that leads to Kirk being recruited into Starfleet). My initial reservations about Zachary Quinto were ill-founded. He make s a very credible Spock although it’s Chris Pine who steals the show as Kirk perfectly capturing Shatner’s deft combination of heroism, humor and hubris. The only thing missing was a flying kick. Admittedly, I truly enjoyed seeing Leonard Nimoy on screen again as a Gandalf-ian Spock although his introduction does strain credulity and that’s the most I can say while remaining spoiler-free.

And for those who value continuity, don’t buy the spin – while the new timeline definitely can explain away some inconsistencies with the established mythology, it certainly doesn’t erase all of them so it’s up to you to either accept it…or not.  It’s hard to be a strict purist given the various inconsistencies of Trek’s first season though. There’s also an update on the old “we’re the only ship in the quadrant” chestnut which is even more credulity straining and puts a bunch of cadets into the action and the Federation off-screen somewhere in The Hunt for Red October apparently (you’ll get the reference when you see it, BTW), but as we say on earth, c’est la vie.

Is Star Trek a great movie? No. But it is a good one and a great set-up for a great Trek movie with the entire crew in place and now ready for a piece of the action. When the inevitable sequel is up and running, hopefully we can dispense with time travel, and instead embrace a little more philosophical subtext, metaphor, character development and a lot more going…boldly. And with the great wordsmith Damon Lindelof (who’s currently finishing off an amazing season of Lost) beaming onboard as a co-writer, I’m deeply optimistic that the best Trek film ever is yet to come.  With J.J. Abrams in the captain’s chair, the franchise finally has a capable steward at the helm – and hopefully it’s full thrusters ahead. Make it go.


Star Trek is new and yet back to where it started – right down to Orion babes
(Rachel Nichols as ‘Gaila’)
[NOTE: Image from Rittenhouse Star Trek movie card set]


P.S. If you haven’t already ordered it, run, don’t walk to your local DVD store today to pick up the Blu-Ray of Star Trek: Season One. It’s great and CBS/Paramount home video finally gets it right with easy-to-use navigation, discards the unwieldy packaging of previous versions and includes both versions of the series (original and extra crispy new visual effects) on the same disc and gorgeous transfers and lossless audio of such archival value that may very well be the last time you ever need to buy the series on disc.  May being the operative word.


Mark A. Altman is the writer/producer of the award winning film, Free Enterprise, and has been called “the world’s foremost Trekspert” by The Los Angeles Times. He has written and produced numerous films and TV shows and is founder of Geek Monthly magazine.



1. jdp13 - April 28, 2009

Always love to hear Mark’s reviews and thoughts as they often coincide with my own. The movie sounds about what I’m expecting, really good but not great. Looking forward to it and more to come.

I agree 100% about the new Enterprise. I still don’t love the new design. Nothing can compare to the ST:TMP refit Enterprise. Best ship ever. Period.

2. Admiral_BlackCat - April 28, 2009

Mr. Altman,
Very well worded and thought out review. I can tell you’re being honest with us fans. And that’s what I want from my reviews, honesty.

3. Joe - April 28, 2009

i’m ready for this movie!

4. Render - April 28, 2009

intersting, first time i have heard this reffered to goo not great

5. Brad - April 28, 2009

Yea, the whole “First” thing is pretty pathetic. If you ask me, I think those “First” people are only trying to make up for the many other difficiencies in their lives. So sad, isn’t it?

So Trek isn’t a great movie huh??

6. Gene - April 28, 2009

I would have to agree that the use of Alexander Courage’s theme was ill advised. It is way too dated and can’t be rebooted. I understand Superman Returns did it, but that should have been left out. Just using Michael Giacchino’s score was good enough. But great Review!!! Going to see it on IMAX in NC May 8th. Can’t Wait:-)

7. fatesoasis - April 28, 2009

Has any one else noticed that every positive review has a bunch of jabs at all the other versions of Trek. I would love to read a review by some one who loves the whole series like I do.

8. Nate - April 28, 2009

“It’s like having a 007 film without using the Bond theme”

Actually, Casino Royale didn’t use the theme until the closing credits, and it worked very well.

“or a brewery”

What was the novel where a young Scotty actually does set up a still in Engineering?

9. tHE tRUTH iS oUT tHERE - April 28, 2009


10. Greg Stamper - April 28, 2009

Many Thanks for the honest assessment.

11. Spock - April 28, 2009

They can always use the Fanfare piece of the Courage theme, like the Bond theme is used in the Bond films. It doesn’t have to be used everywhere.

12. Benavery - April 28, 2009

Yeah, I’m very pleased by the sheer number of positive reviews. I’m getting excited, and looking forward to what sounds like just a fun, big movie. Forget Trek, I’ve just been waiting for ANY movie that’s big and fun and (hopefully) a little uplifting.

I LOVED Dark Knight, but aside from the “movie within a movie” side story about the people on the boats (seriously, you can take that sequence right out of the movie and you’ve got an awesome short film) the darkness was almost too much.

If ST09 is as good as they say, I’ll be happy to go again and again …

13. Mot - April 28, 2009

I got a laugh at the comment that was made about the media in the first paragraph. Yeah, it will be funny and perhaps a little irritating with the Star Track and Dr Spock comments. Looking forward to finally see this movie in less than 2 weeks.

14. Shatner_Fan_Prime - April 28, 2009

#6 … “I would have to agree that the use of Alexander Courage’s theme was ill advised. It is way too dated and can’t be rebooted.”

What are you talking about? You totally misread what Mark said. When the theme finally does kick in, during the end credits, it’s one of the best parts of the movie.

15. Can't Wait for May 8th 2009 - April 28, 2009

10# totally agree. At the end of Casino Royal when the second the Bond theme kicked in, I was ready for another film.
The only thing that worries me right now that may hurt the box office of the movie is the whole swine flu that is going around. Even though the movie does not come out for another week and a half. Hopefully by then everything will be under control by then or sooner.

16. ucdom - April 28, 2009




17. wkiryn - April 28, 2009

“people seemed to forget that. Kirk sleeping with a green Orion Slave Girl at Starfleet Academy would have fit right in with the original series”


18. Jim Durdan - April 28, 2009

Once again, why are comments about the sound track being removed?

This is the 3rd message I’ve had removed. If I am breaking some rule it would be nice to be told what it is.

19. Shatner_Fan_Prime - April 28, 2009

#17 … “DEAD WRONG”

How so?

20. Jim Durdan - April 28, 2009

Sorry 16, our messages are being removed without being told why. This is nuts. I have been on tis site for years and I have never had anything removed, ever. Now everything I am putting up is being censored.

Sorry has a problem with those of us who have heard the sound track?

What my Amazon tracking # that show that I got it today????

21. ucdom - April 28, 2009

My comments got removed too Jim
Don’t know why

22. Anthony Pascale - April 28, 2009

note: I do not want to see any discussion of anything illegally leaked on the internet (no the film hasn’t leaked), but we do not condone illegal leaks, nor do we want to be hosting any discussions of said leaks, real or otherwise.

Also I have been asked if the above image really is Rachel Nichols…yes it is. She is credited as Gaila (and that character is Gaila) in the official Paramount credits, which I have a copy of. MTV wrongly credited that image as Diora Baird. Diora actually does not appear in the credits, however she may be one of the green women seen at the academy who have no lines

23. Jim Durdan - April 28, 2009

I suspect it’s because someone is afraid that we have obtained the soundtrack via illegal means.

Thats a pretty broad and ill advised conclusion.

24. Jim Durdan - April 28, 2009

Well I have my LEGAL copy. Want the Amazon tracking number?

25. Sean - April 28, 2009

#8: Fail.

Good read. This sounds like a very honest review. I still find it hard to believe that Trek’s BEST movie is YET TO COME, but it’s nice to hear such a positive outlook on Trek’s future (especially the writing). Now with this and the new MMO coming out “soon”, it will put Trek back in the front of people’s minds in both movies AND games. Good times!

26. Ralph F - April 28, 2009

#1: “I agree 100% about the new Enterprise. I still don’t love the new design. Nothing can compare to the ST:TMP refit Enterprise. Best ship ever. Period.”

Amen to that. TMP’s 1701 ranks as my all-time favorite ENTERPRISE, with Matt’s design (TOS) a micron-width second.

I’m hoping I’ll like this new design once I see it in action but, man, could they have picked a worse shot for our first glimpse?

27. Jim Durdan - April 28, 2009

#26. I was unsure about the design myself, but I recently bought the LEGALLY RELEASED PLAYMATES TOY. And I have to say it took me about 10 seconds to warm up to it. From the aft, it can be nothing but the Enterprise. THe port and side views take a moment to get use to.

What is interesting is that you can see how the Enterprise Refit could more ligically flow from this ship as opposed from the TOS ship. Their are little details here and there that are echoed in the Enterprise -Refit. I really have come to love this ship.

28. braxus - April 28, 2009

Sounds good so far. Shame I can’t make the 7 PM show on the 7th.

Anyway for the sequal I’d love to see a plot like the Squire of Gothos type of story. He would be great to bring back.

29. braxus - April 28, 2009

Oh and I hope they shoot the entire next movie in IMAX to begin with.

30. Mot - April 28, 2009

#17 #19 The episode “Wink of an Eye” is a good example of the question does Kirk sleep around. If you remember, the episode implied that Kirk and Deela slept together. So, I think that a younger less desiplined Kirk sleeping with an Orion Slave Girl is completely believable.

31. Shatner_Fan_Prime - April 28, 2009

#30 … Right on. I know it’s been “proven” that Kirk didn’t sleep around in TOS as much as people generally believe, yada yada yada, but I’ve still always thought of him as a fairly horny guy. :-) The younger Kirk would be even more so.

32. Cheve - April 28, 2009

I’m watching it in four hours!


33. sean - April 28, 2009

A Squire of Gothos story for the big screen?

What, you think Paramount needs more LARPy ren faire in their multi-million dollar tentpole franchises?

34. Cousin Itt - April 28, 2009

I recently found a box with all of my old issues of ‘Sci-Fi Universe.’ I’ve long found that his approach to Trek closely mirrored my own. Great to see what he thinks of the new movie.

35. Geoffers - April 28, 2009

Come on… Kirk was/is always a womaniser… it’s part of his character!

36. sean - April 28, 2009

“(a movie you would have liked a lot better if it had the caliber of this film’s visual effects). ”

Sorry Mark, my issue with TFF was NEVER about the special effects.

Otherwise, nice review! Sounds like Star Trek will be Batman Begins and we’ll hopefully get a Dark Knight in 2011.

37. Andrew C - April 28, 2009


I just read in the Variety review of the movie that Spock doesn’t travel back in time, Kirk travels forward in time.

Did I just miss that detail or is that a revelation?

38. mscottr - April 28, 2009

A very nice and thoughtful review. I do appreciate that you’ve taken care to be both balanced and objective in your analysis of the film — always the mark of a professional reviewer.

That said, I don’t know the last time I’ve been more excited for a film!

39. Tiberious100 - April 28, 2009

Hmmm…the only thing which is bothering me is the humor.
For me Star trek humor is about irony not slapstick.

40. MR FULL CIRCLE - April 28, 2009


41. Ryan O'Brien - April 28, 2009

That’s not Rachel Nichols, it’s Diona Baird.

42. Ryan - April 28, 2009

I’ve noticed that the people who review ST as fans are more likely to be objective, point out their dislikes and likes, and have a hard time saying that this is the best ST movie yet.

The tone seems somewhat different coming from a non-fan reviewer, because they review the movie on a standalone basis rather than a comparative one.

43. Mr. Fanboy - April 28, 2009

I sure do hope Michael Giacchino’s score delivers. I thought his Incredibles score was amazing & inspired, but was very let down by his effort for Speed Racer. And based on Mark’s review, I’m worried Trek will get similar treatment. Hiding Alexander Courage’s theme in the credits is exactly what I feared. I certainly don’t want him to just regurgitate the original TV themes, but this movie really calls out for a bold reinvention and expansion of the original themes.
But of course, the absolute worst thing that could happen would be for the score to fade into the background. At least, it sounds like it’s not the case here. You can forgive a lot of strange musical choices (ie: STiV) if they at least help drive the action and emotion in the story. By far the worst Trek score was Generations. I sat through the whole movie, and I swear I couldn’t even hear it is was mixed so poorly.
Sounds like, inspired or not, at least the score is noticeable and plays a significant part in the movie.

44. Mr. Fanboy - April 28, 2009

36. Agreed. Improved Special Effect could not save STV.

But you have to admit, the effects in STV are by far the worst in all the Trek films. They really did stand out as terrible, in a terribly written and conceived film.

45. Shatner_Fan_Prime - April 28, 2009

You guys be quiet about STV! I don’t want Closet to show up and say his favorite phrase!

46. Alex Aslanidis - April 28, 2009

Nice review honest and forward. Star Trek’s history touched everyone in different ways so what this film may or may not be lacking is truly a
Matter of opinion. A lot of opions of what people like and dislike and for me
Who has been a fan from day one, a good Star Trek will be a great one
For sure. It’s hard to do everything in a reboot and charactor development
Was mentioned. We know how these charactors develop so that’s not
Something that would be first on my list. Just the fact that some TLC
And atteintion was giving in the making of this films is leaps and bounds
For me.

47. TrekMadeMeWonder - April 28, 2009

NOT fare!

I say there should be a big Premiere day review article. And then we could all post out thoughts together.

Anyhow, i am shuire that will still happen.

Still limiting myself here for a another two weeks! Spoilers close to premiere day suck!

ps. Still hoping for Shatner’s appearance!

48. Dennis Bailey - April 28, 2009

“even a dash of “Trek V” (a movie you would have liked a lot better if it had the caliber of this film’s visual effects).”

No. Nothing that I disliked about Star Trek 5 had anything to do with the effects. I know, though, that this has become the standard line of apology for the film. LOL

49. Shat Hands - April 28, 2009

Orion Slave girl….OH MY!

50. Daoud - April 28, 2009

#37 Does that make any sense whatsoever? Link, please?

#45 What does God need with a starship?

STV would have been improved by special effects not made in someone’s mother’s basement in New Jersey, no doubt at all. But even with a Big Rock Creature it wouldn’t have salvaged the unsalvageable script mistakes. Hhey, you got it in Galaxy Quest after all: did you really need to see 1988 Shatner with his shirt torn rolling around with a rock monster until the Klingons showed up for a kiss and hug?

Altman’s review is interesting. I can’t wait to hear ALL of the background music as I won’t be surprised to find Giacchino’s put musical easter eggs from TOS all over the place. The use of the Chinese stringed instrument erhu is a direct salute to the use of string for Vulcan and Spock themes in TOS, for example.

Hopefully, Anthony and trekmovie can ‘score’ a longer interview with Giacchino after the movie’s out and he’s free to discuss it. Asking him the question about how he’d originally incorporated the Courage riff into the opening titles would have been superb. But as it is in the “samples appropriately released to the web” the End Title sequence is already my favorite Trek music since TMP. Incorporating the new Giacchino Enterprising Young Man orchestral with the Courage original as he does is seemless and marvelous.

51. Andrew C - April 28, 2009

I’m confused, I thought there were like 90 posts on here a minute ago.

Anyway, good review, provoked me to read some others, and I came across a potential SPOILER in one of the other ones and wanted to know if it was generally known that apparently Spock Prime doesn’t travel back in time, Kirk travels forward in time? This is what I read in the Variety review.

52. TOG - April 28, 2009

The Enterprise appearance:
Yikes this sounds like the “C” word – but this Enterprise was / is Pikes ship in a altered time line, perhaps it can still under go a transformation later; however, it’s very close to what I would had designed given the to do so – I like it!!!

53. sean - April 28, 2009


In retrospect yes, they were quite bad. But when I first saw it in the theatre, that wasn’t my focus at all. My retinas had already been burned to a crisp by Uhura’s fan dance.

54. D - April 28, 2009

The engine room looks like it’s powering a brewery…

Well…that explains why Scotty never wanted to leave his “Bairnes”

“Bairnes” the cold malt liquor beverage that makes you feel like Matter and Anti-matter are colliding…

55. weerd1 - April 28, 2009

Very thoughtful review Mark, and thank you for putting it in the long time fan perspective, and acknowledgeing some fans won’t be won over. I certainly hope to be, but am managing my expectations just in case.

I think ST:V is a great seed for a Trek story, completely derailed by the writer’s strike which allowed the Shatner script to go to screen nearly unchanged. I all but worship Shatner, but fact is he needs his Reeves-Stevenses to even out his writing, and someone should have done the continuity checks. As I recently saw in a review for the new film, continuity is not about fanboy obsession, it’s about story fidelity. Think about it, if ANY movie violates it’s internal continuity in the course of its two hour run, it is usually considered a poorly written film. Trek has 700 hours of what is in essence the same narrative. Continuity is important to the fidelity of that 700 hour story.

Oh, and “What does God need with a Starship?” is Kirk’s greatest line in any episode or movie. That moment alone is worth sitting through ST:V.

56. Ryan T. Riddle - April 28, 2009

This movie sounds like “Batman Begins,” where ya gotta get all the reintroduction business outta the way to get to “The Dark Knight.”

57. Dude - April 28, 2009

All you technobabble haters surely hate House M.D., too.

58. LostOnNCC1701 - April 28, 2009


Admiral Komack? Geez, I had to look that up on Mem. Alpha. If anyone else knows of any other easter eggs that won’t really spoil anything, please do tell. Like I heard a rumor that you briefly hear that a background character has the last name “Picard” (thus presuming it’s a ancestor of Jean-Luc), is that in the movie? And do they say anything about the names of other ships, because I’d have to think that’d be a easy way to pepper in some references (something along the lines of “That Romulan Ship destroyed half the fleet. The [i]Republic[/i], the [i]Cochrane[/i], the [i]Malcolm Reed[/i], and so many others, they are all gone. DEAD! What chance does one ship have?”)

59. CAPT CRUNCH - April 28, 2009

She’s hot! but green though…and you remember what Eddie Murphy said about green women…something must be wrong with …. still think a young Kirk would definately go after that!

I was unaware Nero’s wife was the reason…is that true or simply implying he is similar to Khan in that way?

60. Alex Aslanidis - April 28, 2009

Reviews are like spaghetti sauce, people like what they are used to.
It doesn’t mean that a new sauce might bad or “not great”
Just not what they expected or used to!

61. Chris Pike - April 28, 2009

This review seems strangely exactly as I expect my own reaction to be, with the same reservations about the humour, ship design and the brewery shot and lack of AC’s fanfare but also with all that an expectation to thoroughly enjoy the overall experience of the movie.
Hopefully the problems can easily be fixed for the follow-ups.

62. Dude - April 28, 2009

About STV, and this movie…

imagine this movie had REALLY crappy visual effects. You would hate it. Be honest, you wouldn’t like it if the VFX were bad. The fact that it has some really stunning effects sequences makes up for a lot of stuff.

Same goes for STV. The effects are bad. That takes you out of the experience every time. And that makes you appreciate the movie even less.

63. Someone - April 28, 2009

“Well, the ironic thing is it sort of is your father’s Star Trek…and that’s not so bad. You see, Star Trek always was thrilling, sexy, groundbreaking and rousing, but after years of bland and boring contemporary Trek shows, people seemed to forget that. Kirk sleeping with a green Orion Slave Girl at Starfleet Academy would have fit right in with the original series”

Yeah, that’s it. “Bland” and “boring” contemporary Trek shows simply made me forget how thrilling and sexy TOS was. How on earth did my brain ever accidentally replace that reality with these false memories of extremely slow story pacing, incredibly corny and unbelievable action/fight sequences, very little character development beyond a bad joke shared at the end of an episode, and highly caricatured and stereotyped personalities of the characters (including the Holy Trinity)?

64. Mr. Fanboy - April 28, 2009

59. Hot?! Not…

The Orion slave girls were supposed to be “wild” and able to drive a man crazy with desire. This girl looks like a bored co-ed who just happened to color her skin green. Even her “bikini” looks straight off the rack. I gotta say, she’s no true Orion. and doesn’t hold a candle to Susan Oliver or Yvonne Craig. They both portrayed the crazy-wild nature of Orions to perfection.

65. sean - April 28, 2009


Not to beat a dead horse, but the VFX in STV were never an issue for me. Sure, they weren’t quite right, but I sat thru 3 seasons of TOS. Believe me, I can handle bad VFX (my favorite moment in TSFS is Kirk kicking Kruge in the face, and that scene involves the worst stop-motion/claymation moment EVER.). The story absolutely stunk. The Star Wars prequels had great special effects, but they couldn’t save the shallow storylines.

A good story can make us forgive bad effects, but I don’t often find good special effects eliciting the same reaction (at least not in repeat viewings).

66. weerd1 - April 28, 2009

62- You know, not that I endorse video piracy, but I have been debating finding a way to watch the movie by the most low-tech means available, just like when I first started watching TOS on a 13″ B&W tv. Then, I wasn’t distracted from the story by bad special effects. I would like to see if this story holds up without GOOD special effects…

67. TOG - April 28, 2009

Reviews don’t carry much weight with me, I loved TNG but other than First Contact TNG movies were crap. Honestly I rather see Star Trek on the small screen on a weekly basis.

Unfortunately I think Berman & company killed any opportunity of that happening; they ran the franchise into the ground and Paramount allowed it; but finally someone at Paramount finally woke up and realized it to.

ST fan’s are the one’s responsible for keeping TREK alive, through fan made episodes, books and conventions. Perhaps one day the powers to be will actually make a movie or television show with substance, and grit for us not just pay homage with tidbits from the past. Imagine Voyager in the style of BSG reboot that would have been incredible, instead the fans got another cheesy re-carnation of Lost in space…

68. AJ - April 28, 2009


“Admiral Komack” references and such will make us older detail-oriented Trekkies feel great. If they’ve thrown in a “Queen to queen’s level three” and a “No Smoking” sign in the Transporter room, we’ll be ecstatic.

I bet that finding all the references will add an extra layer of fun for those of us who are inclined to retain minute details in their noggins.

69. Adam Cohen - April 28, 2009

Great review, Mark- I’ve always found myself agreeing with your take on Trek over the years.

And it’s encouraging to read something well-balanced that says “this is good, but not mind-blowing awesome.” I’m encouraged to see this film.

70. sean - April 28, 2009


It’s a publicity still. Wait till you’ve seen the movie to pass judgment on her ‘Orionness’.

71. Andrew C - April 28, 2009

Is it me, or things kind of clique-ish around here? I post things, some perhaps insightful, some merely observations or comments, and it’s like I don’t exist.

72. Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar - April 28, 2009

Great review!!!! My favorite reviewer on this site along with Antonio!!!

Now where the hell is Free Enterprise II?????

73. peg - April 28, 2009

ANY Trek is better than NO Trek… (Well, except for DS9)!!! I can’t wait!

74. Mr. Fanboy - April 28, 2009


Good point. I definitey hope that’s the case…

75. sean - April 28, 2009


Andrew, maybe we just don’t know the answer to your question (I know I don’t – trying to stay away from those kinds of spoilers). I’m sure it’s nothing personal.

76. Jtrekker - April 28, 2009

I can certainly understand where Mark comes from saying this is not a “great” movie. To be honest, I think that is understandable given all that has to be forced into 120 minutes to make this work. It sucks on a certain level that we can’t just jump in and go with it and leave out all the re-introduction stuff, but the truth is, there is an audience out there that is chomping at the bit for this movie but knows NOTHING about Star Trek.

A few months ago, I posted the Star Trek trailer that featured Leonard Nimoy at the end saying “Live Long and Propser” on YouTube. Anthony included the link in a TM post, and I have gotten thousands of hits and comments. The interesting thing is, about 70% of the comments ask questions that any semi-fan would know. But the truth is, the people asking these questions are viewers who watched an episode or two, liked the idea of Star Trek but never got into it. But, even so, they are really thrilled about a new Star Trek.

The point to me is, let’s go ahead and get these “on the fence” fans on board with the whole “who is Spock”, “where is Kirk from”, “why is McCoy called Bones” junk and then get to the real adventure. Remember, a large portion of this is “not for the fans”, which we’ve been told all along. But now, I’m beginning to believe the reason JJ and crew have said this all along is because this one is for the “non-fans” so we an get everybody on board. The build up is for the next one. And I think we better watch out because it’s gonna be awesome! Once Trek is cool again, it’s like any other franchise. We can pull out all the Trek-lore we want and people will go for it. They just need a point of reference.

77. Dennis Bailey - April 28, 2009

Most people who post here don’t get responded to most of the time – that’s not a conspiracy, it’s just the way the conversation goes.

78. Aggie Titan - April 28, 2009

I’m really starting to get tired of all the continuity ‘purists’ and the other so called ‘fans’ who have been made so unbending and ridiculous by their own nostalgia and twisted visions of what Start Trek is supposed to be that they’ve lost all sense of Star Trek’s true spirit.

Simply amazing to me that almost every mainstream movie critic is praising this as one of the greatest sci-fi epics of the last decade while all the rest of these rascally old bastards are continuously looking for things to quibble about. Get over it and leave the old Trek where it belongs…in the era of bad fashion trends, awkward dialogue and gimmicky plot devices…

79. Iowagirl - April 28, 2009

– …it’s Chris Pine who steals the show as Kirk perfectly capturing Shatner’s deft combination of heroism, humor and hubris. –

All roads lead to Shatnerville, even the detours…:D

80. Vincent Gregg - April 28, 2009

Well of all the reviews I have read, Mark’s is dead on. I have seen the film multiple times (don’t kill me, sorry) and agree with every single word of his review.

And to anyone who posted otherwise: Kirk would have slept with an Orion that looks like Rachel Nichols at the Academy (any man would!) and he has a funny reaction to something she says during that scene that is VERY Jim Kirk. That scene is great, don’t worry about it.

The opening of the film sets a great tone. Very emotional and wonderfully acted.

As for the Star Trek Theme not at the opening, don’t worry, sometimes you have to save the best for last and since it isn’t really the Star Trek we know until the end, the Courage theme is perfectly placed.

Look, Trek Fans, specifically TOS Trek Fans; you can pick a part any film at infinitum and this film definitely has elements traditionalists can pick a part. I have a few issues with the film myself but here is my point. If you love and cherish these characters and want to watch a fun, entertaining film that will ensure the adventures of the Kirk and Spock we know for years to come then this is the film for you. Bottom Line.

Pine is awesome as Kirk, believe it whether you want to or not. Quinto is solid as Spock. Urban is McCoy and is g*d damn brilliant. Bob and Alex have taken SUCH GOOD CARE of these characters, its just wonderful.

Like Mark said in the review, it really IS your fathers Star Trek, just with a young, fresh approach. Good Film, maybe even a very good film.

Trek is BACK!


81. Father Robert Lyons - April 28, 2009

I know that this may seem like an odd discussion, but I will be curious to see how the Swine Flu situation effects the premier. Indiana just got its first confirmed case of Swine Flu today, but on the news this morning they mentioned that in Mexico City, movie theaters were ordered closed by the government. Working in health care, I can tell you that there are smiliar plans that the governments at local, state, and federal levels have put together should a genuine pandemic manifest itself.

I’m not trying to be insensitive to the plight of those infected with Swine Flu, nor do I really want to attempt to give the impression that a movie (no matter how much we love the franchise) is more important than the health of the populus, but, should large sectors of this (or other nations) ‘shut down’ for a few weeks over such a concern, how would Hollywood handle things for their tentpole franchises?

I remember in the past seeing second releases for films that were really hyped (usually around Oscar time), but would a public health emergency, result in either a delayed release, a re-release with a degree of fanfare, or other plan of action on the part of the filmmakers?


82. Robert Saint John - April 28, 2009

#24 – I’m with you. I also got my soundtrack today via Amazon and was going to submit my review of it (it’s wonderful), but between the deletion going on here and folks telling me that I was making it up when I got “Countdown” a week early, I’m not going to bother. There’s obviously no interest. I’ll post my review of the score elsewhere.

83. Someone - April 28, 2009

“Get over it and leave the old Trek where it belongs…in the era of bad fashion trends, awkward dialogue and gimmicky plot devices…”

Hmm, gimmicky plot devices? You mean like, I dunno, say, a star going supernova in the distant future that destroys a man’s home planet only because he couldn’t get enough “red matter” to stop it in time, eventually causing that man to be hurtled back in time, where he creates a brand new alternate timeline that just happens to be highly conducive to storytelling of the sort that a 2009 audience will dribble over?

84. Valar1 - April 28, 2009


Yeah, just as you have deduced, everyone got an email a few days ago to ignore every comment you make. It’s brutal justice for the comments about the site owners receeding hairline, but that’s how we trekkies roll.

85. Vincent Gregg - April 28, 2009

76. Jtrekker –

Right On! My sentiment exactly!

Its nice to see the big picture, isn’t it!

86. Gary Seven - April 28, 2009

Speaking of “your fathers Star Trek”, if you live near Orlando or will be visiting in the next few weeks, the movie theater at Universal City Walk is showing Wrath of Khan on the big screen in preparation for the new movie release.
If you never experienced TWOK on the big screen or want to again, this is your chance!
I’m taking my two little ones this week so they can appreciate Mssrs. Shatner, Nimoy, Kelly et al in these iconic roles before seeing the “next generation” (if you will :-) play these parts.
I hope they will get the same feeling seeing TWOK on the big screen as I did in 1982 and not “forget” what came before as the ads dictate.

87. Selor - April 28, 2009

@81 I don’t think that it will have such an impact… Birdflu haven’t had any impact on anything and so does this flu won’t have any impact… it’s just panicking around…

88. LostOnNCC1701 - April 28, 2009

It would be bummer if Swine Flu ended up causing ST to become a gigantic bust. But if Swine Flu gets that bad, “Star Trek” or any other form of entertainment is going to be the least of our worries.

89. Anthony Pascale - April 28, 2009

Andrew C this is not a SPOILER article or discussion of SPOILERS, however if what you say is in the Variety review, that is not accurate

Also regarding the Courage title card thing, i agree with Mark that it would have been well suited there. However, if you have listened to the clips of the soundtrack we have linked to previously, you can hear a lot of Courage in the closing titles, which is a nice sequence

90. spiked canon - April 28, 2009

Anthony when did this become

91. sean - April 28, 2009

Swine Flu is just SARS/Avian Flu pt 2.

92. Christian S. - April 28, 2009

@Mr. Fanboy: Got the Trek Sountrack here and I think it’s a beauty! It has a very classical (60s Hollywood) feel to it at times. And I love the small nuances of former Trek themes here and there: Courage, Horner, and Goldsmith I could detect.

The classic TOS theme is only in the “End Credits” which are also quite fantastic imo! Lot of brass in there and i LOVE IT! :-D

93. Father Robert Lyons - April 28, 2009

87 and 88 – I definately agree that Star Trek will be the least of our worries if we have an honest to goodness pandemic. I hadn’t even thought of SARS when I posted the thought earlier, but I don’t recall much being cancelled in the wake of that.

Other than 9/11, I am trying to think of anything in my lifetime that really delayed a significant cultural event. All I can think of is the Loma Prieta quake that disrupted the World Series…


94. SHCone - April 28, 2009

You guys are forgetting that TOS was first produced in the 60’s. These days it’s not that racy or sexy or cutting edge, but at the time it was frickin’ crazy. It WAS sexy, it WAS violent, it WAS edgy. It was cutting edge in those ways.

95. SHCone - April 28, 2009

93 (and others)

Unless its like an alien invasion or the Black Plague kind of thing, I don’t think it’ll matter much. People dying in the streets might disrupt it. But when times are hard and things are bad, unless its at those levels, people usually want to be distracted. The Box office is doing incredible in this recession.

96. Jefferies Tuber - April 28, 2009

Does somebody have a wet diaper? It sounds like Mark enjoyed the movie, but can’t really summon the earnest joy to write a positive review. Or the opposite.

The music in the end credits thing makes perfect sense. You don’t really have a theme song before you start your adventure–unless you start on episode four.

I sense from Mark’s review some confirmation of an idea I have going in that this movie, no matter how great, will still be just a ‘Muppet Babies’ version of the story we fanatics really want.

Appropriately enough, the actual star trekking will begin with the second movie.

97. Closettrekker - April 28, 2009

#30—It is also *heavily* implied in “Bread And Circuses” (in which he sleeps with a female who is an “actual slave”).

I think that #17 has a selective memory.

98. Closettrekker - April 28, 2009

#45—Ah yes…..The Great Trek Turd Of ’89.

99. Shatner_Fan_Prime - April 28, 2009

#99 … Ok, now this thread is complete. Thank you.

100. Spock - April 28, 2009

I do agree, contemporary trek did become bland and boring.

101. Sci-Fi Bri - April 28, 2009

andrew C 37, 71,

i mostly just read this site and so i was expecting a reaction to your post. my guess is that a lot of people were chased away by the spoiler tag.

a quick survey of the posts that were made after yours reveals the mainstay trekkie chatter: ST5 sucks / ST5 is better than you thought and ENT refit is best ever / no TOS END all the way.

i don’t think its cliquey, just what we talk about.

what you mentioned is very interesting tho’… now what nemoy says about his character at the end of the movie makes sense.

lol, good perspective.

102. Captain Canon - April 28, 2009

“It’s hard to be a strict purist given the various inconsistencies of Trek’s first season though.”

Well said, Mark. Continuity was never the strongsuit of the first season, particularly the first half of it.

103. SpocksinnerConflict - April 28, 2009

So, its a “good” film not a “great” film because:

No main theme during the tittle card


The reviewer wishes they’d used the og Enterprise?
I think I’m gonna stop reading reviews from aspiring film makers.
“You know, if I were making this film…”,
We all don’t go to movies to see What we Would have done.

And I just straight up disagree. The reviewer pines for the next film, hoping for more philosophical subtext (check, in the way TWOK is about getting old, this one’s about truly becoming an empathizing human being ready to live life and not just observe it…to be engaged or not to be engaged by the world or universe around you ), metaphor (’s all about Spock and his genetic background. The stuff Spock is put through by Vulcan is something human beings still have to deal with), Character development (check…big time). Maybe if the reviewer had watched the film instead of quietly judged it, he would have caught those Trek ingredients on display for all to see.

104. Closettrekker (aka Captain Canon, Mr. Poopeyface) - April 28, 2009

#37, #71, #89—I read the same thing, and it certainly could have been interpreted that way in the article.

But I assumed that it was simply misleading, if not altogether incorrect.

105. Anthony Pascale - April 28, 2009

Again I remind people to not discuss spoilers that aren’t in the article…this is a ‘minor spoiler’ zone.

106. SB - April 28, 2009

Let’s not forget, by the way, that Mark isn’t an “aspiring” filmmaker. He doesn’t have to aspire; he’s made one.

107. jonboc - April 28, 2009

#101 “I do agree, contemporary trek did become bland and boring.”

Yep. That’s why this all seems so fresh and exciting. It’s a throwback to the true action/adventure origins of TOS. I love it!

108. Skeptic - April 28, 2009


I hope the “Picard” character isn’t a Starfleet officer. I think it’s in Nemesis that Picard (Jean-Luc, that is) mentions that he was the first in his family to leave the solar system. So if there is a Starfleet ancestor of Picard’s in this movie, he would have to be someone very afraid of open space. I might be wrong, but I doubt there are very many members of the US Navy, say, that never get to spend even a single minute on the open sea.

109. Toben - April 28, 2009

Biggest continuity problem: There were no Eugenics Wars in 1996, and there never was a Voyager 6. ;)

So is this stuff still valid? Is Star Trek a view at our possible future, or is it just fantasy? Latest in 2063, when there is nobody taking a spaceship to warp, making first contact with an alien species, Trek won’t be science fiction, only fantasy.

And since this is a TOS reboot, it could face these problems. Which is why I was happy with the 24th century and would have wanted to see that continuation, because it will not clash with our own history.

If they do a reboot of Space Seed, what happens to Khan’s backstory? The producers and writers insisted on this movie being still canon. But canon clashes with our own timeline.

110. SpocksinnerConflict - April 28, 2009

I really can’t stress the improvement on character development in this new film.

to compare it to Wrath of Khan, Sulu and Uhura are given more to do than just sit at their stations and say a funny line now and than.
The film is about these characters becoming who we know them to be. And the impressive bit is, its all doe while they’re crashing into stuff, and falling off stuff and getting fired at.
When ever a film can incorporate multiple character arcs while providing wiz-bang adventure, i’m impressed.
Hollywood usually messes that one up, as of late.

111. Closettrekker (aka Captain Canon, Mr. Poopeyface) - April 28, 2009

#109—-The timeline, to begin with, was fictional.

Canon is about continuity within that fictional timeline. The fact that it doesn’t exactly parallel post-1960’s history is of no matter to me, really. In fact, I would rather avoid any “Eugenics Wars”, or “World War III” if I can.

112. THX-1138 - April 28, 2009

That’s it!!

I’m going to start WW III and a Eugenics War just to maintain Star Trek’s continuity.

113. ShawnP - April 28, 2009

60. Alex Aslanidis

I concur!

114. Selor - April 28, 2009

@112 I’m with you! Everything to maintain OUR history has to be done, no matter what it costs! ;)

115. opcode - April 28, 2009

I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I was wondering…
Mark, after reading your review, when you say that the movie isn’t great, I couldn’t help but think of a Star Wars fan that says that A New Hope isn’t great because The Empire Strikes Back is where all the real fun is. I mean, after all ANH spends a lot of time introducing characters, while TESB go right to the action, has better character development, etc.
As someone who likes SW, I can agree that TESB is better, but IMHO ANH is also great. And if you check the numbers, ANH is still a far more popular movie than TESB. Just check the box-office for both movies. Then check the box-office for the Special Editions 10 years ago. ANH always did more money. I believe casual viewers simply like it more because it is a simpler movie, easier to follow than TESB.
Now, wouldn’t that be the case with the new ST (again, I didn’t see it, so I am just conjecturing here)? For us, old timers, maybe it isn’t as fun as it could be, because we already know all those characters, we don’t really need an introduction. But how about the mainstream crowd? The big question is: was ANH reduced to a good but not great movie because of TESB? Or both are great movies, and it is just that TESB happens to be even better?
Judging the new ST as a standalone movie, detached from all the series and movies, is the storytelling solid or just passable?

116. Daoud - April 28, 2009

#112 It looks like your swine flu pandemic is the start of the Eugenics War. Will a part-Mexican part-Sikh superman rise up to rule all of Latin America now? Perhaps! ;)

I just wish that Pocket Books had picked up my “Chicago Mobs of the Twenties” book back in 1990 for publication in ’92. :( Somehow Travis Mayweather got it though! ;)

117. Marian Ciobanu - April 28, 2009

– A correction : STAR TREK TMP it is not one of the greatest TREK movies..

118. weerd1 - April 28, 2009

117- I disagree. TMP is gorgeous and epic. It is admittedly a movie which takes its time telling its story, but the design work is top notch, and it has that delighfully 70s feel to it. I love that film. One of my favorites.

119. Toben - April 28, 2009

111 Which is why they should never do a Space Seed remake, because there you’ll have your Eugenics Wars reference.

120. New Horizon - April 28, 2009

117. Marian Ciobanu

That’s ‘YOUR’ opinion.

For me, it was a mature and ambitious entry in the series. None of the movies truly approached that level of maturity and sophistication again. It could have been a bit more light hearted to balance things out, but the directors edition smooths over a lot of the problems the movie had.

TMP and TWOK are my two favorite Trek movies…as they show how Trek can be a stunning, intellectually challenging Sci-Fi adventure and an Action Adventure too. They’re both fantastic movies, but for different reasons. A fine balance between TMP and TWOK would be ideal for me.

121. krikzil - April 28, 2009

“Pine is awesome as Kirk, believe it whether you want to or not. ….Urban is McCoy and is g*d damn brilliant.”

My lucky friends who saw the TX surprise premiere said much the same thing. Pine and Urban are very good and they really liked Greenwood as Pike. One had some serious issues with Spock, not so much Quinto’s performance (he’s the only thing she likes in HEROES for example) but the actual story arc.

122. opcode - April 28, 2009

#120: I completely agree. TMP and TWOK are, IMHO, the best two.

123. Toben - April 28, 2009

117, you’re right, it is THE greatest Trek movie.

124. weerd1 - April 28, 2009

See? I bet there are even ST:V fans out there. Or even… Nemesis (shudder).

We Trekkers are a diverse bunch taste wise. That’s why I am honestly not too concerned about the new film. Though it may not be my cup of raktajino, in a few years there will be a new interpretation and Trek will continue on, like any great mythology.

125. Alex Prewitt - April 28, 2009

Having Komack is a cool touch, but it would have been even better to have Admirals Komack and Westervliet! : )

126. Aaron R. - April 28, 2009

117 – I agree… TMP may be grandiose in scale but it is boresville in story!!! Even the remastered directors cut was uggg… Sure certain design elements were great but the look of a ship or alien or what not does not make a movie… I feel this is a generational divide though???

127. Pat Payne - April 28, 2009

@109: The RPG “Twilight: 2000″, published in 1984, ran into the same problem. It posited a general war between Nato, the Warsaw Pact and China starting in the year 1994, and that went limitedly nuclear by 1998. Given that the Warsaw Pact was dissolved in 1992 or thereabouts, this presented some problems for the designers. They tried a couple of times to rectify this. Try one was a fiasco — they said “OK, we’ll just have Germany invade Poland to start WW3.” (You can guess where THAT went. And the response was predictable.)
Try 2 was to set the whole kit and boodle in a alternate reality where the USSR never fell, and the game unfolds exactly as it did when the game was published in 1984. Nice Cold-War kitsch, but admittedly not everyone’s cup of tea.
Try 3, coming out soon, will attempt to update the war to a nuclear war between China and the US, IIRC. And set it in the year 2013, where the designers won’t have to worry about it for five years.
I think, if they’re going to do the Eugenics wars, they’ll probably try either approaches 2 or 3. I’m leaning towards 3, probably even finally folding it into World War 3 — the previous teams seem to have been playing a coy game with the events anyway.

128. Valar1 - April 28, 2009


“Will a part-Mexican part-Sikh superman rise up …”

Wow, first time on one of these boards I heard someone get Khan’s bloodlines correct, kudos.

129. Alex Aslanidis - April 28, 2009

Thanks shawnp

130. THX-1138 - April 28, 2009

I am looking forward to this movie, certainly. But I will probably think of it as “Other Trek”. Kind of like the mirror universe. The Trek I prefer still exists parallel to this movie but I can enjoy the stories being told in this universe until someone comes back to my preferred timeline. Maybe James Cawley wins the Powerball or something.

131. Closettrekker - April 28, 2009

TMP is second only to TWOK in my book.

2. TMP
3. TVH
4. TUC
6. FC
7. TFF and the rest of the TNG movies

132. weerd1 - April 28, 2009

126- ” I feel this is a generational divide though???”

Wait, is that an old man remark? Ouch- what did I ever do to you? I should hit you with my walker…


133. Closettrekker - April 28, 2009

#126—Actually, when I was a kid I had very little appreciation for TMP. It was years later that I sat down and watched it with a different perspective.

It is now one of my favorites. I probably watch it (the DE) a handful of times every year.

134. Shatner_Fan_Prime - April 28, 2009

Komak isn’t the only familar name in the movie. I got a big grin when one of the TOS characters who isn’t in the movie was called to offscreen.


135. Will_H - April 28, 2009

Its good to hear somebody that isnt just drooling over this movie like most of the big celebs that got to see it first. I feel I was right to not believe them when they made this out to be some sort of epic movie, but I’ll settle for good. Still have my ticket reserved after all.

136. Jim Durdan - April 28, 2009

I think we have to worry, at least a little, where we are going to be in 10 days with swine flu. Right now they are reporting the first deaths in California, and now their is the possibility for several hundred more cases in New York.

10 days is a long time for an event like this. It is not unheard of for major events to be cancelled due to the possibility of infectios transmission.

If by the middle of next week every one of the lower 48 has a reported case, then Trek will suffer.

137. New Horizon - April 28, 2009

126. Aaron R. – April 28, 2009

I don’t think it’s so much a generational divide as it is the developed attention spans of those watching it. That is partially a product of the media we’re subjected to today of course, but I know plenty of younger folks who can easily sit through a movie like TMP. I don’t find the movie boring at all, but I can also enjoy faster paced films. I don’t live my life fast and furiously, so TMP paced movie doesn’t trouble me at all….especially the directors cut.

138. Todd - April 28, 2009

I just would like to say that the main items I did not like about the film were the music and the persistently shaky camera. Looking fwd to seeing the film again next week in IMAX though.

139. CaptainRickover - April 28, 2009

At least a review, that is not all positive about the new movie. I think Mark’s review is very well balanced and very honest.

140. THX-1138 - April 28, 2009


Let’s just say that the swine flu scare does grow substantially before the premier of the Trek movie. Box office suffers and of course it is a major health crisis. And let’s for a moment presume that the health scare is solved and the flu virus is contained and we can get on with our lives.

I think Paramount would probably chalk up the financial hit the swine flu caused to unforseeable circumstances and go ahead with the franchise.

And of course if the swine flu devastates the planet, who cares about sequels?

141. I Am Morg Not Eymorg - April 28, 2009

126. Aaron R: ” I feel this is a generational divide though???”

You mean as in how many younger audiences who live in the post Star Wars/ MTV era are easily pleased and distracted by flashy, fast moving and bright things with very little substance?

Sure, works for me. ;)


142. Anthony Pascale - April 28, 2009

Andrew C and others please stop posting spoilers in this article comments section!

143. Closettrekker - April 28, 2009

#139—Anthony’s review wasn’t *all* positive either. In fact, most of the reviews have thrown in a bit of criticism. It is just that all of them seem to be overwhelmingly positive…even Mark’s review, unless “really good movie” is a bad thing!

I have heard criticisms of story, certain actors, the score, etc., but none of those criticisms seem to prevent critics from calling it “really good” to “great”.

But I am fairly certain that all of them were “honest”. I fail to see why they would not be so.

144. Planet Pandro - April 28, 2009


Absolutely correct. I think I must watch TMP more than I watch just about any of the other movies (even more than Khaaaaan). I hadn’t seen it (or hell, hadn’t watched any Trek) for years, then out came that D.E. and I jumped right back in! I think it certainly grows on you, and I appreciate it more now than I ever did while I was growing up. Out of any of the trek movies, I think it established a “fictional real-world feel” apart from our own. I think there’s a timeless design aesthetic (some of my favorite production design is that movie) I’m officially on the “TMP love” bandwagon! I sincerely hope I get the same enjoyment out of the upcoming film!

145. S. John Ross - April 28, 2009

“There’s also an update on the old “we’re the only ship in the quadrant” chestnut which is even more credulity straining […]”

But Orci said the movie wouldn’t “… rely on any crutches of science fiction.”

I guess, technically, rolling out the _wheelchairs_ of science fiction isn’t the same as using a mere crutch, though, so, fair play :)

146. McCoy - April 28, 2009

The changes to TOS visuals and lore have been confirmed in this review. This is enough information to validate my concerns.

Changes to this extreme were not necessary. Since it’s only a movie, I choose to express my dislike for the alterations to a 40-year old iconic TV series by not watching the film until June (if at all). It’s a small expression but apparently all I have. :o)

147. Christine - April 28, 2009

Nice review, Mr. Altman.

And we get to see some “This Side of Paradise” esque stuff? AWESOME! :D (As long as it doesn’t involve flowers that look like they were made of rubber!!!! giggles)

148. opcode - April 28, 2009

I must say that his review isn’t very clear to me. The reviewer goes into a lot of detail about production, continuity etc, and says very little about storytelling in the movie. I was expecting something more elaborated and less “fanboyish” from a movie writer/producer.
Anthony had a far more objective review…

149. DavidJ - April 28, 2009

I don’t really mind not having the original theme play over the opening titles.

The previous movies were WAY too corny and predictable in how they constantly shoehorned the theme in everywhere.

150. Jose Kuhn - April 28, 2009

As far as canon goes. Everything that happened in Star Trek: Enterprise is still canon. Everything else is wiped clean.

151. DavidJ - April 28, 2009


Well movies like Casino Royale and TDK had their flaws too, but most people still agree that they’re “great movies” overall.

I’m sure it’s the same kind of thing here.

152. Blowback - April 28, 2009

I have to say in all honesty there was never a question in my mind that Kirk was a womanizer… I am surprised to hear the suggestion that he was not…

153. The Governator - April 28, 2009

I for one am glad they didn’t use the Trek theme all that much throughout. To be perfectly honest, most people that I know consider it to be kind of corny. For many, just hearing that theme reminds them of why Star Trek is dorky. I have always liked it, but something new is welcome in my book. And besides, the end title sequence is full of it, so its all good in my book. Like they say, save the best for last, right?

Interesting review, and really the first person to only call it good instead of great. I disagree on many points but I respect the review and its nice to know another hardcore Trekkie is on board with this film.

Only 9 days to go, for the bulk of us anyway.

154. sean - April 28, 2009


I choose to view Enterprise as one of Riker’s holodeck fantasies. I feel perfectly justified in this, as it explains why Enterprise felt like TNG. ;)

155. ClassicTrek - April 28, 2009

bit of a downer with only about 10 days left.

ill make my own mind up.

Greg UK

156. Forrest - April 28, 2009

“I would have to agree that the use of Alexander Courage’s theme was ill advised. It is way too dated and can’t be rebooted.”

Two words: Mike Verta.

But putting it at the end of this picture is about as tasteful as ending ALIEN^3 with the Hamster Dance song.

157. Matt Wright - April 28, 2009

Thanks for the review Mark, makes me all the more anxious to see the new movie :)

158. wkiryn - April 28, 2009

The concept that an orion woman would even be a cadet at a TOS era acadamy is what is ridiculous. It’s only there because “orion slave girl” is an iconic trek image. Personally I don’t think Pine’s Kirk is technically a womanizer either at least from the previews (A failed attempt at Uhura and 1 slave girl isn’t really a womanizer – even though its surely the intent)

Similarly Kirk is very James Bond with the ladies is psuedo-iconic (it’s not really true of Kirk anywhere near the stereotype – even Bond didn’t get that way until his career had him in a position to die at any moment).

So “Transformers” it up and young Kirk sleeps with green women just like you THINK was your fathers trek even though it never was. Sorry only Harlan Ellison and maybe Captain Pike did that (and in Harlan’s case Susan Oliver wasn’t green)

Ironically it’s Picard that was the young womanizer, especially liking the handsome space cougars.

159. weerd1 - April 28, 2009

155- With the exception of a small riff while Spock is working to fix the warp drive, I think that’s exactly what they do in TMP with the Courage theme. Please someone correct me if I am wrong.

160. Toben - April 28, 2009

I can hardly believe that there are any SLAVES on Earth. Orion slave girls are sure illegal on THAT planet.

161. captain_neill - April 28, 2009

Oh def get TOS on Blu Ray it is fantastic. I wonder how long till Season 2 is released on blu ray.

I am looking forward to the film next week and by Thurs next week I will have made up my mind about the new film. I am really excited about the film, I feel great aboutthe attenetion StarTrek is geeting, a position I have always wanted it to be in.

The review seems fair

162. captain_neill - April 28, 2009

Not happy that Courage’s theme has been left till the end credits.

Please tell me the fan fare still plays in the score.

163. weerd1 - April 28, 2009

157- Carol Marcus, Ruth, Miramanee, Yeoman Rand, Doctor Helen Noel, Areel Shaw, Edith Keeler, Marlena Moreau (though that is another universe), Shahna, Kelinda, Deela, Rayna 7, Doctor Lester, Gillian Taylor, The ST:VI shapeshifter, whoever the heck Antonia was… and a whole lot of others in various episodes and books he at least flirted with. Maybe its just because he gets more than me, but I think this list is a good step toward a womanizer reputation.

And in this film we’ll see where the green chick rumors come from!

164. The Original Mark T. - April 28, 2009

I am pretty sure you are right Weerd1. I remember thinking as I sat in the theater watching TMP for the first time, “where is the THEME?” Back then, I did think it was a mistake to almost completely eliminate it from the movie. Of course, Goldsmith’s original theme grew on me, and now it is one of my all time favorite pieces. When TNG rolled around is about the time, in my opinion, when they nailed it with the mix of old and new.

As to the placement of Courage’s original theme in this new movie, I will have to disagree with Forrest. I agree with the previously stated comparisons to “Casino Royale” and their end credit use of the Bond theme. Throughout that film, Bond is becoming Bond. Only at the end does he fully assume the mantle of 007. So, it felt only proper at that point to use the theme. It has always sounded to me like this is the path being followed by the creators of this film.

However, if I may be permitted to blaspheme for a moment, I am not wild about the usage of the original Courage theme music in it’s entirety for the big screen. I listened to the clip of the end credits music and I have to say I winced when I heard the very faithful rendition of the theme. I don’t know if I would call it dated. I just know that, in my opinion, it screams “old tv show”. I did give a listen to Mike Verta’s take on the theme. While it is certainly more “theatrical” in scope, and very good, it still had a campy quality to it. I don’t know why it rubs me this way. After all, the Mission Impossible films use the Schifrin theme music almost note for note and that is great. Again, I think I might have gone with less Courage and more Giacchino original. He is a great composer and I am looking forward to hearing all the other music.

Blasphemy over…

165. Andrew C - April 28, 2009


This will be my last comment since I am apparently not welcome here, but before you delete this, let me just say, I was making a point COMPARING this review and its tone to the Variety review and it’s tone and apparent mistakes, not discussing spoilers for the sake of spoilers! I was not trying to change the subject or ruin anything for anyone. I thought it was a valid point. Apparently not! Jeez!

166. Vincent Gregg - April 28, 2009

148. opcode

When you make a movie called “Free Enterprise” and are inherently a fanboy, thats the exact and ideal kind of review you get. I’m sure Mark can post a more film maker perspective type review in the future. Hope he does. But I understood his point of view and appreciated it.

167. summoner2100 - April 28, 2009

I saw the movie a few weeks back on the NZ premier night. It was great, and i too was dubious before hand.

To anyone having doubts, all I can say is, (in the words of Shatner, or Kirk in UC, himself.), “People can be very frightened of change”.

168. The Governator - April 28, 2009

Well, looks like the powers that be found the youtube videos of the “End Titles” music. :(

169. Anthony Pascale - April 28, 2009

Andrew C
you are welcome here, but pasting spoilers from other reviews (especially spoilers that the review went out of his way to not put in the review) is simply not allowed…to do it over and over again doesn’t help either. I am trying really hard to keep spoilers in spoiler articles. Some people dont want to know or talk about those things. It is not up to you to decide when they should learn about those things, it is up to them. I do not want people afraid to go into comments sections to avoid spoilers. I am sorry…just trying to accommodate those who don’t want to be spoiled.

170. McCoy - April 28, 2009

Using the original (Courage) theme is a question of identity and continuity just like the sets and ship design. It should be no surprise then that the music does not show up when fans want it. There are so many other changes to morn.

If they have the gall to change the Enterprise, the most iconic starship in science fiction history, the theme music was destined to be placed under a rug.

171. Kev-1 - April 28, 2009

Good review but I think I’ll wait to see what the “rank and file” fans think of the movie. Most reviews on this so far have been kind of generalized, Imho. Few have analyzed how focusing on “cadets” (not senior officers) — should it be midshipmen?– has affected the Trek format for good or ill, compared the new and original casts, or weighed this movie against previous films. And does more sex, special effects and action create a new kind of Trek movie? Is the crew diverse? Is the Trek philosophy well represented? Time will tell.

172. Negotiator - April 28, 2009

I would like to see some “reviews” or recaps after the movie comes out that are not restrained by trying to stay spoiler free.

173. weerd1 - April 28, 2009

169- They’re changing Morn? Who allowed that? :)

174. John from Cincinnati - April 28, 2009

This is an honorable review, he wasn’t overly overjoyed and was honest about some things. I’m surprised this web site allowed this review. Many of us fans have been pointing out “things” but are quickly shut up by those that run this site. Not everyone has writing and producing credits on here and it seems those that don’t are simply dismissed as pooh bah while the “writers/producer” types make the same points but they’re points are accepted. As Spock would say “Fascinating”.

175. R.E.Moore - April 28, 2009

Mission Impossible the BEST of that franchise? NOT! Perhaps he saw another vesion than I did…

176. Jay - April 28, 2009

Kirk wasn’t a womanizer??? Are you kidding? Please go back and watch TOS.

Almost every TOS episode has Kirk making out with a woman he just met.

If you think Kirk being a womanizer is changing Star Trek, then you must not think there is a ship called Enterprise in Star Trek either. That is as much a part of Star Trek as anything.

I simply can’t believe someone would suggest that Kirk would never do such a thing. Wow.

Also, it’s interesting that the most negative or “so-so” reviews of this movie that I have read have come from Trek fans, while all the reviews by mainstream critics, and those that identify themselves as not-Trek-fans, have been overwhelmingly possitive.

Is that because Trek fans can’t get over seeing Star Trek updated and changed?

I’ve seen reviews that suggest that this isn’t only the best Star Trek movie ever, but one of the best science fiction films ever made. That’s amazing.

Maybe I’m a different kind of Trek fan. I’ve been wishing someone would make a Star Trek film with a real budget and top of the line effects, with a great story and acting. It seems the 10 or so reviews I’ve read all consistantly say the same things:

Acting: Brilliant
Writing: Great
Visuals: Ground-breaking, breath-taking
Sound editing, and score: Oscar worthy (seriously that’s what one review said)
Action: Non-stop thrill ride
Story: Suprisingly emotional, funny, and romantic

Overall, easily the best Trek film and a movie that should spawn “Trek Mania” similar to the mania that followed Batman Returns and Transformers. When is the last time that “everyone” had to have something Star Trek related to wear, or play with?? Did you ever imagine this movie would be that good, that it could make Star Trek so popular to be described as a “mania” again?

177. The Weary Professor - April 28, 2009


Thanks for working so hard to keep things spoiler-free. It must take a lot of time to read each and every comment on each news item. I appreciate your efforts (and I’m sure a lot of other readers do, too).

Would it be advisable for Andrew and anyone else who suspects they may be close to the not always clear line to simply post a possible spoiler warning at the beginning of their comment? It might make things easier all around and allow greater freedom of discourse. Just a thought.

All best,


178. wkiryn - April 28, 2009

In Response to 162. weerd1 – April 28, 2009

Carol Marcus, Ruth, Miramanee – Nearly married, should have married, did marry.

Yeoman Rand – workplace attraction
Doctor Helen Noel – hard to say what actually happened but the implanted false memory methinks is what you are remembering – which still likely ends up in the kissed category at most.

Areel Shaw, Edith Keeler, Rayna 7, Doctor Lester – Dated

Deela – One night stand

Shahna, Kelinda, Gillian Taylor, The ST:VI shapeshifter – Kissed

During the TOS run I’m fairly sure Miramanee, the Roman Slave Girl (Bread and Circuses), and Deela (Wink of an Eye) are the only three instances of Kirk going “all the way” in the series.

179. Henry Burt - April 28, 2009

Not posted before and after 174 before me maybe not a good place to start, but was at the UK premier and SO enjoyed it after my reservations. Mark’s review is spot on. Keep an open mind and enjoy, the franchise is alive again and I for one am looking forward to seeing this movie again (taking my son and friends to the IMAX week after next) and the next one….

180. sean - April 28, 2009


No, it’s left ’till the end credits for much the same reason Casino Royale left the Bond theme ’till the end. The music isn’t appropriate until the crew is assembled and begins their mission. If they wanted to sweep it under the rug, they wouldn’t include it in the first place.


The only reason Mark Altman is receiving ‘special’ treatment is because in contrast to yourself and most here, he’s actually seen the movie.

181. MC1 Doug - April 28, 2009

#108: “I might be wrong, but I doubt there are very many members of the US Navy, say, that never get to spend even a single minute on the open sea.”

You’d be surprised how many people in the Navy have not been to sea (I’m not one of them, thank God).

182. Oregon Trek Geek - April 28, 2009

From the beginning, I kept always thinking “they better have the classic opening fanfare at the opening” (like in TWOK)… That it is not there will be a disappointment.

183. Magic_Al - April 28, 2009

Whether it’s Bond, Mission Impossible, or Trek, pop music from the 1960s is going to sound like pop music from the 1960s, especially if the composer respects the original arrangements. The closing credits are the best place, since it allows the preceding score to go its own way unencumbered.

184. JJ_roddenberry - April 28, 2009

Star Trek 5 could’ve been great, effects or no. A holy war in space, all of the good character moments that SHOULD have been in Star Trek 6, and friction between the Big Three… personally I don’t care that ILM was too busy.

The end result is pretty woeful unfortunately, but if you read about the making of it then you’d understand why. I think it’s a real shame how it turned out.

185. JJ_roddenberry - April 28, 2009

“I’ve been wishing someone would make a Star Trek film with a real budget and top of the line effects, with a great story and acting.”

Haha, you’re acting like it’s never happened before… it’s not your fault though; it’s kind of hard to remember a time before Nemesis.


186. The Last Maquis - April 28, 2009

ARRHG!!! I hate this Guy!!! Run back crying to your Star Wars Loser, you’ll only ever have the Original Three Movies Buddy, cause Even This Sounds Better than the Prequels Combined!!!…..though I’m sure That isn’t hard to achieve.

187. Amasov - April 28, 2009

I see that Star Trek Online has now incorporated the events surrounding Romulus from the 24th century era of this films backstory:

188. MC1 Doug - April 28, 2009

#145: ““There’s also an update on the old “we’re the only ship in the quadrant” chestnut which is even more credulity straining […]”

I think Uhura once said “it’s a big universe.”

189. Gary Seven - April 28, 2009

#86 Gary Seven-
Hey, would you please refrain from using my name. I have been Gary Seven for a few years now. I do not live in Orlando and do not plan on moving there. There are many other names you can 347? Or Isis? Or anything else.

190. The Invader (In Color!) - April 28, 2009

The fact Altman didn’t say it was a GREAT movie is cause for concern, IMO…

191. MC1 Doug - April 28, 2009

#148: “I must say that his review isn’t very clear to me.”

Maybe he is being a good reviewer by NOT giving away all the goods before the store opens next week.

192. Boborci - April 28, 2009

My review of this review and Anthony’s review to come after the film’s release…;)

193. MC1 Doug - April 28, 2009

#176: “Kirk wasn’t a womanizer??? Are you kidding? Please go back and watch TOS. Almost every TOS episode has Kirk making out with a woman he just met.”

Even Dr. McCoy has commented on Kirk’s proclivities: example- STVI:TUC–“Jees, what is it with you and women???”

194. opcode - April 28, 2009

176 – Jay:
“Maybe I’m a different kind of Trek fan. I’ve been wishing someone would make a Star Trek film with a real budget and top of the line effects, with a great story and acting.”

Ditto. :)

195. TrekVSucky - April 28, 2009

Trek V was not ruined by poor special effects. Thats the Shatner excuse for why the film was universally panned. The storyline is plainly ridicoulous, the characters totally abandon themselves for long periods of the story (Spock siding with the mutineers, Scotty being a bumbling idiot) and the search for God is just stupid.

196. ShawnP - April 28, 2009

192. Boborci

That’s a lot of “reviews” in one sentence!

197. DJT - April 28, 2009

I’ve respected Mr. Altman’s review since the first time I picked up a Cinefantastique. They are dead-on and filled with insightful stuff I might have otherwise missed. Thank you, sir.

I also look forward to Bob Orci’s take on said reviews.

Got any more tickets for the um.. premiere, Bob?

198. TrekVSucky - April 28, 2009

My god. Just because the 60’s television show didn’t show doing the nasty with all the girls he kissed in the show, doesn’t imply he did the nasty? The guy was doing every girl in town. What is wrong with you?

Capt. Picard was the old fuddy-duddy who openly disdained sex.

199. Ashley - April 28, 2009

Hmm..I was liking this review until i heard too turn offs: the writer Loves the gawdaful Trek 5 and believes Mission Impossible 3 is the best of the series — John Woos is the worst of the 3 but MI:III is definitely in the shit pile too (felt like a tv episode from a tv writer)….now i dont know what to think. I am hoping Ebert’s review will be glowing

200. Derf - April 28, 2009

201. MC1 Doug - April 28, 2009

#188, 191, 193 : yikes, I am such a geek… Mr. Orci, I know you’re not going to let me down next week!

oh… live long and prosper…

202. shawn - April 28, 2009

you have to look at it like a first movie. And if it is good , good enough for me , if it seels , and i think it will, there will be another ( already signed)
like 56 said, you gotta have batman begins before the dark night, you had tmp before stwok! Im sure it’s better than any other trek , im a little affraid about the engineering design thought. Besides that , i love every clip i have seen and also the look and design of the film… Cant wait!

203. Konar - April 28, 2009

I think it’s laughable that anyone could possibly think that a “review” should be objective. Even if you’ve managed to reach literate adulthood without having explicitly learned that a review is INTENDED to be an individual’s OPINION and personal reaction to something, one might hope you would have figured it out from reading a couple. It’s like critcizing a blog for not being objective.

204. S. John Ross - April 28, 2009

#188 sez: “I think Uhura once said “it’s a big universe.””

Which means there’s enough room for both brilliant scriptwriters and lazy ones.

Here’s (still) hoping Star Trek got the first kind (the tested and successful kind … heck, the MOST tested and successful kind). One review can’t yet dampen my hopes.

205. Walley - April 28, 2009

Even some old school, dye in the wool classic Trekkies (me included) think Star Trek V would be well served by a Special Effects make over, and a little creative editing. For all it’s faults, Trek V (and Generations too) played more like an “episode” of Star Trek, not a Star Trek movie. If they can recreate the effects for 79 episodes, surely they can find time to put something together for Trek V.

As for the new movie…I’ll respect Anthony’s request and not reveal or comment on particulars that I’ve fortunately been exposed to early.

But, man…this is gonna be a “sure thing!”

206. wkiryn - April 28, 2009


TNG: Tapestry demonstrates what an actual womanizer is like. What’s wrong with me is too many clueless people enjoying the same shows I do.

I’d rather have a star trek with green belly dancers rather than green co-eds.

207. Sandmaker - April 28, 2009

#86 & #189
Will the real Gary Seven please stand up!
Do either of you really have claim to a message board name? I would think Robert Lansing would be the only one who could actually claim the name as his own!

208. jonboc - April 28, 2009

#183 “Whether it’s Bond, Mission Impossible, or Trek, pop music from the 1960s is going to sound like pop music from the 1960s”

I’d like some cheese and rye with that baloney.

209. John from Cincinnati - April 28, 2009

Please people. Star Trek V failed for one reason: Paramount Pictures. Paramount didn’t want to see Shatner succeed as a director. They had a pay dispute with him over Star Trek IV and the resolution was to give him the directors’ mantle for part V. So, going in, Paramount was already resentful of Shatner. As for the reasons why it failed:

1 – Paramount had a very small budget for part V, ironic in that part IV was the most successful Star Trek movie to date, yet the budget for part V was cut. As a result, the special effects company was hired because of it’s cheap cost.

2- Paramount failed to secure Sean Connery for the role of Sybok. Ironic, in that Connery was already working for Paramount and was up for Indiana Jones and Hunt for Red October. Once again, Paramount wanted to see Shatner fail so they didn’t “press” Connery to take the Sybok gig.

3 – Shatner’s story was re-written by Harve Bennett. Yes, the story seen on screen was not the story Shatner submitted to the studio. Shatner’s story was far superior. He discusses a little bit of his story on the DVD extras section. In a nutshell, a battle of heaven and hell, with angels and demons.

4 – Shatner’s final climax with a rock creature was cut because Paramount couldn’t get their act together and press in getting the rock creature created in time to shoot in the movie.

As you can see, none of these cases are Shatner’s fault and I do believe a Director’s cut with improved special effects will improve this movie. Nothing can make it a great movie without hiring Sean Connery and re-filming most of the movie to adhere to Shatner’s original vision.

Game. Set. Match.

210. Red-Shirted Monkey - April 28, 2009

“And for those who value continuity, don’t buy the spin – while the new timeline definitely can explain away some inconsistencies with the established mythology, it certainly doesn’t erase all of them so it’s up to you to either accept it…or not.”


211. Mr. Fanboy - April 28, 2009

92. Christian S.
@Mr. Fanboy: Got the Trek Sountrack here and I think it’s a beauty!

Well, yes. Actually, I’d already listened to the whole score also.
It’s very difficult to judge without hearing it mixed with the action and emotion of the movie though.

I must say my first reaction is that is sounds very western (as in a “cowboy genre to me). Especially “Enterprising young men” which I didn’t care for mid way through. And It’s hard to miss all the attempts to mimic James Horner’s TWOK score Khan Attacls within “Nero Sighted”. I most enjoyed the passion in “Nice to Meld You”, and also enjoyed the End Credits, though there’s way too much percussion (sounds a bit like the lounge-version of Alexander Courage’s theme). I’m not one who believes the TOS theme should have been used in it’s entirety, or as the opening credits theme, just a hint or significant undertone would be appropriate.

Overall, on first listen, I’d have to say I was disappointed, but I’m not going to listen to it again until I’m in my seat on the 7th. Hopefully it will improve based on the circumstances.

But I’d have to say that none of the score captivated me like Goldsmith’s TMP and Horner’s TWOK themes did from the first moment I first heard them.

212. MC1 Doug - April 28, 2009

#210: “Not.”

Why not see the movie first?

I sure don’t understand how some fans can say yuck based on a a few movie trailers and a number of interviews before the movie is even released.

213. Weerd1 - April 28, 2009

178- Do you think its possible we only saw Kirk kissing because it was on TV in the 1960s- do you expect penetra… wait that’s rude; did you expect coitus on screen? I think the intention on the part of the writers is pretty clear. Enough that plenty of novel or comic book writers (yes I know it’s not official canon) interpreted these things the same way and wrapped stories around them.

As several people have mentioned here, the idea Kirk wasn’t a “playa” is absurd. Why do you think Bones looks at him in ST:VI after he kisses the shapeshifter and says “What IS it with you?” He knows Jim’s got more moves than Kobe, and always has.

214. TBW - April 28, 2009

Konar…that might have been the best comment on the internet. Ever. Back to the topic at hand, while I am trying to temper my expectations for the film, I think it’s a good sign that the film has been well received to this point. Furthermore, I’m pretty well both amused an perplexed by the people who think that the reviewers who loved it WEREN’T offering an honest opinion.

215. darrksan - April 28, 2009

Mark Altman is a ————————.
I think some will know just what I mean (just watch trekkies 2) and others can just bite me. At this point I do not want the JJ lickers to say a damn thing. Guess what I have seen the new film and I don’t what the give it time bull or just shut up bull from the lickers.

216. Shatner_Fan_Prime - April 28, 2009

#215 “Guess what I have seen the new film and I don’t what the give it time bull or just shut up bull from the lickers.”

How lucid. To your planet, welcome!

217. Shatner_Fan_Prime - April 28, 2009

#195 Sucky … “Spock siding with the mutineers”

Hmm. Seen the films many times, don’t seem to recall that part. Can you provide the time on the DVD at which this occurs? Thanks!

218. MC1 Doug - April 28, 2009

Methinks this site will be a bit unbearable the day (and a few after) the movie is released… there are going to be a ton of the “I told you so’s” on both sides of the fence.

I just hope we all can agree now to be tactful and to keep our phasers set on stun.


219. MC1 Doug - April 28, 2009

#216: LOL ….. priceless reply of this thread.

(and I agree with you)

220. wkiryn - April 28, 2009

To 213. Weerd1

Technically McCoy is lamenting Kirks animal magnetism more than his actual moves.
To the general reading audience

Regardless I find the “Kirk sleeps with green women” idea silly not because sleeping with green women is a bad idea – but because it is apparently what, politely, “non-fans” think was going on all the time in TOS so of course it belongs in a prequel. Which is not true and Altman should know better.

And again Picard was a womanizer in his academy days, I doubt Pine’s Kirk is anything like that even nor was Shatners ever – Kirk prime has always been considered quite the opposite in his youth than he was considered to behave during TOS. Reading Spinoza etc.

Maybe this horndog Kirk – if that’s how he really is (and I doubt it) – is this movies’ way of pulling a Nemesis by having cadet Picard be bald to so the dummies in the audience know who it is.

221. MH - April 28, 2009

I don’t know what to think of this review. I do respect Mark’s candor, yet at times he comes across as a jaded Trek fan of old. Still it is nice to hear a slightly different take on the film. And having a die-hard TOS Trek fan make nitpicks is both nothing new and a sign that this film is even better than I originally thought.

But seriously, do we really need to hear yet another fan complain about the look of the new Enterprise? It reminds me of all the hoopla fanboys tried to stir up against Batman Begins when they didn’t like the look of the new Batmobile. “Wa-Wa-Wa I’d prefer the plasticy 1960s aesthetic of the Original Enterprise!” That really distracts from any review.


I’m in TOTAL agreement there. The true “I told you so” will depend on the box office figures more so than the pinnings of the totally stoked or the
eternally spiteful fans.

222. S. John Ross - April 29, 2009

#218: “I’m in TOTAL agreement there. The true “I told you so” will depend on the box office figures more so than the pinnings of the totally stoked or the
eternally spiteful fans.”

And, beyond that, the REAL stuff will come only in the long run, if this movie becomes the kind of movie that people pull out to watch again, year after year, show their friends who haven’t seen it, speak of it, write about it, compare later films to it in hopes (“if it’s only HALF as good as Trek 2009, this new film will be okay”) and so on. Or, on the other hand, if everyone just gets in a tizzy, watches at the theater, forgets it completely by autumn, buys the DVD on autopilot in the winter, and then lets it gather dust. Some movies make bank at the box office but still then evaporate from the public consciousness (just as, by contrast, some films go unnoticed at the box office but later achieve classic status when people realize what they missed). The real test of any film is (IMO) the extent to which affections for it endure.

223. Forrest - April 29, 2009

“Paramount had a very small budget for part V, ironic in that part IV was the most successful Star Trek movie to date, yet the budget for part V was cut.”

By way of and the inflation calculator, I find that 5 was the second-most-expensive:

1: 94M; 2: 27M; 3: 37M; 4:46M; 5:52M; 6:42M

You’ll note the value of carrying over sets and effects from the previous film.

224. Paul - April 29, 2009

This is what I was expecting: a reasonably decent film but not great Trek.

I have no problem with Kirk womanising as long as it is viewed as one of his flaws – similar to the way Bond is now being protrayed as emotionally damaged.

Orions make great under-used villains but Starfleet Cadets…? And lets not forget that Kirk wouldn’t exactly be in control of his… er… urges, so it may not be him doing the seducing. Shame though, Rachel Nichols would have made a very good Rand.

My biggest concern is the thought of Uhura being ‘serviced’ in more ways than one. She deserves more screen time but turning the one female character whose contribution wasn’t defined by her sex into a sex object seems like a step backwards and almost obsoletes the contributions of Rand and Chapel in that area. They need to reintroduce more of the recurring women and given them something to do outside lusting or mothering after the men. Rand made a great Girl Friday and pretty decent comic relief even if she’s just running around at Kirk’s elbow most of the time. Uhura’s role shouldn’t be reduced to make way for Rand but it’s wrong to only have a 1/6 ratio in a modern sci fi genre with pretensions of equality.

225. Grow Up and Take a Shat - April 29, 2009

195 – how else do you interpret his actions when Sybok arrives in the Enterprise? My precise wording should have been boarders not mutineers; From Trek V

Kirk is no match for the Vulcan’s superior strength
but he fights with everything he’s got. He manages to
knock the weapon from Sybok’s hand. It skitters
across the floor and stops at the feet of Spock who
has emerged from the shuttle.

Spock looks down at the weapon, then back to Kirk
whom Sybok is rendering helpless with one hand. With
his incredible strength, Sybok forces Kirk to the floor.

(in pain)
Spock… pick it up!

Spock obediently picks up the weapon like it was a
distastful object. Kirk collapses on the floor,
conscious but no longer able to fight. Sybok faces

Sybok, you must surrender.

(approaching Spock)
Spock, you can’t stun me with that
weapon and I’ve always been
stronger than you. I’m afraid
you’ll have to kill me.

Spock raises the weapon as Sybok advances.

Spock — shoot him!

But Spock can’t shoot. The emotional price is too great.
He lowers the weapon in shame and defeat. Sybok takes
it from him with a smile.

For a moment… I thought you might
actually do it.

226. Dr. Image - April 29, 2009

Thank you Mark, The Grand Voice of Reason, for an objective and insightful review.
I know you can always be counted on for putting things into no-spin prespective, as you did when FC came out.

#209- Also- STV point of interest- As I recall, ILM’s bid actually came out under Bran Ferren’s, yet Paramount opted for the latter anyhow.
Politics, anyone?

227. Selor - April 29, 2009

@226 There is no such thing as objectivity…

228. New Horizon - April 29, 2009

165. Andrew C – April 28, 2009

I think we can find and compare this review to other reviews if we need to. It’s not that hard. Don’t go getting all sulky because you posted spoilers.

229. Carlos Teran - April 29, 2009

To be honest, I we don’t have a great Trek movie since STVI, maybe STVII, so I think I’ll settle myself with a good, enjoyable movie that delivers fun, gets more fans and breathes some new life in the franchise. Maybe STXII will be better, maybe won’t. But it’s Star Trek, after all. Let’s enjoy it.

230. Chris Doohan - April 29, 2009

My review of this review and that review, that is being reviewed by Bob’s review, will be reviewed sometime next year….maybe.

231. Weerd1 - April 29, 2009

225- by that reckoning a conscientious objector is a traitor (argument for another time though). To me, and I am only thinking of how I define the phrase, to “side with” someone means to take up their cause. Spock does not, he instead refuses to act based on a personal relationship. Indeed, as I recall (because I have seen this silly little film WAY too many times) and as the dialogue you quote confirms, Spock’s only choice was to kill Sybok or let him go. He chooses the latter, but since Sybok still has to put him in the brig, it seems to me Spock does not “side with” the boarding party.

And to 220 and others- the only misconception the general public has about Kirk’s womanizing ways comes from Eddie Murphy’s “green chick” routine. We never saw him with a green girl. However, to use an analogy, just because Kirk never said “beam me up Scotty” doesn’t mean he never used the transporter. As others have cited, the “positively grim” Kirk Mitchell had to aim a little blonde lab tech at to get him to lighten up (and face facts- we don’t KNOW that’s Carol Marcus; could be a whole ‘nother conquest) seems to have really lightened up. He sure did have quite a few women from his past show up for being such a young man. Oh- and Dr. Noel? The conversation about him taking her back to her quarters takes place before any memory implant. I cite my original list (around 162 or 163), add it was 60’s prime time TV, so the fact they got away with insinuating he went all the way with THREE women is impressive. Sorry, there’s smoke AND fire on this one.

However, I am also curious to see what an Orion is doing at the Academy. That seems… strange. Without risking spoilers, do they say she’s Orion? Or is she just green? Vulcan with a tan? Or is Nero such a huge threat in the new timeline the Orion pirates/syndicate have joined the Federation?

232. opcode - April 29, 2009

211. Mr. Fanboy: “But I’d have to say that none of the score captivated me like Goldsmith’s TMP and Horner’s TWOK themes did from the first moment I first heard them.”

I am disappointed too. As someone who loved the soundtracks for The Incredibles and Speed Racer, I had great hopes for the new ST. As it is, I found the soundtrack bland and unimaginative… :(
And you know what, I think it could be JJ’s fault. I have found that some directors are more proficient in communicating the type of music they want. Nick Meyer was such a guy. He got two little known composers (James Horner and Cliff Eidelman) and extracted the most out of them (ST II and ST VI could be their best work ever respectively). And I remember reading an introduction Meyer wrote for a Star Wars CD set that really shows he understands soundtracks.

233. Weerd1 - April 29, 2009

232- Actually, the soundtrack is the one thing so far about this film I have accepted without reservation. Its brassiness is evocative of other movie soundtracks from the 60s, in particular Elmer Bernstein’s Magnificent Seven. The recurring motifs I heard were catchy, and then in the end tie in well with the original Courage theme, which was a joy to hear in modern orchestration. The opening cut titled “Star Trek” sounded trek-like to me, enough I was seeing title cards from the other series (well, not Enterprise) in my head.

I don’t like the new Enterprise, I don’t like the time travel element, and until I see it I am withholding judgment on the movie, but I whole heartedly enjoyed the soundtrack. Matter of opinion though.

234. Dr. Image - April 29, 2009

#227 Selor- Oh come on.

Re- The Score: I expected something more dynamic from Giacchino, especially given his past work. Did Paramount tell him to pull it back?? (But why?) Maybe, given past Trek scores, especially in view of how Goldsmith’s became so cookie-cutter.

235. Closettrekker - April 29, 2009

#215—“Mark Altman is a ————————.
I think some will know just what I mean (just watch trekkies 2) and others can just bite me. At this point I do not want the JJ lickers to say a damn thing. Guess what I have seen the new film and I don’t what the give it time bull or just shut up bull from the lickers.”

That has to be the most incoherent post I have ever seen on this site.

What the heck is “Trekkies 2″? And what on Earth is a “JJ licker”?

I don’t believe that you’ve seen the film. Someone as unintelligent as you couldn’t possibly have a job or afford to buy a ticket.

236. Dennis Bailey - April 29, 2009

#235:”That has to be the most incoherent post I have ever seen on this site.”

The competition for that one is stiff, too. LOL

237. DENGARX - April 29, 2009

Ok……..first off, Mark….I think you mean, “Make it so”. Thrusters??? I have to say…..this article was HORRIBLY written. There are lines, phrases or whatever Mr. Altman calls them that make no sense. And what……was “credulity” the “Word Of The Day” on that little calendar of yours? Take the following excerpt, for example. Just bad writing.

“There’s also an update on the old “we’re the only ship in the quadrant” chestnut which is even more credulity straining and puts a bunch of cadets into the action and the Federation off-screen somewhere in The Hunt for Red October apparently (you’ll get the reference when you see it, BTW), but as we say on earth, c’est la vie.”

238. rangerone314 - April 29, 2009

Star Trek II is one of my 2 favorite Trek movies. I’m rather split.

I DID see a version once on TV that had a scene in the engine room where Scotty’s nephew talks to Kirk about the Enterprise after Kirk basically insults the ship. It also had a scene where when Kirk is going to go into the Nebula and Saavik asks Spock what happens if Khan fails to follow them into the Nebula and Spock says “when this is over, remind me when this is over to tell you about the human ego” or some such…

THAT version did have the perfect balance of humor and darkness and action… a few light moments like that…

239. Jorg Sacul - April 29, 2009

Swine Flu will not stop me from seeing this. I am neither an infant or elderly. My health is pretty damn good. 38,000 people die every year in the US because of Influenza. This is all hype to distract us from the financial crisis.

There WILL be Trek in the theatre next week, or there’ll be hell to pay.

240. TBW - April 29, 2009

234? Oh come on? What’s wrong with what he said? Everyone has biases…

241. rangerone314 - April 29, 2009

229. Carlos Teran
To be honest, I we don’t have a great Trek movie since STVI, maybe STVII

What…the..heck? What was “Star Trek: First Contact”, chopped liver?

242. Shatner_Fan_Prime - April 29, 2009

#235 … “Someone as unintelligent as you couldn’t possibly have a job or afford to buy a ticket.”

Ouch! Your phaser is definitely set to kill today, buddy. :-)

243. TBW - April 29, 2009

From 241…

229. Carlos Teran
To be honest, I we don’t have a great Trek movie since STVI, maybe STVII

What…the..heck? What was “Star Trek: First Contact”, chopped liver?

Also, I’d like to add that I think you’d be giving Generations waaaay too much love.

244. Closettrekker - April 29, 2009

#243—“What…the..heck? What was “Star Trek: First Contact”, chopped liver?”

Better than STV and any other TNG-era movie, but (IMO) that’s about it.

“Also, I’d like to add that I think you’d be giving Generations waaaay too much love.”


245. Closettrekker - April 29, 2009

IMO, there have only been three really great Star Trek movies:


TSFS, TUC, and FC are decent, and the rest are beyond what is ever rewatchable to me.

TSFS isn’t really a standalone type film to me, but I can easily sit down and watch the entire TWOK-TSFS-TVH story arc in an afternoon.

TUC was a respectable comeback from the TFF debacle, but I don’t often catch myself in the mood for it. Still, it was a nice sendoff for the original cast (as a complete ensemble, anyway).

I like FC a whole lot better than I ever liked the TNG series, but I still wince at Cochrane’s “oobie-doobie dance”, and cringe as Picard leads the Borg into his Dixon Hill holodeck fantasy…

I’m really looking to place ST09 in the top-tier. I hope it fits.

246. TBW - April 29, 2009

Closettrekker, that was actually a quote from the previous guy, but I happen to agree with him, so I’ll ask…what did First Contact lack that was present in, say, TSFS? (which I like, btw…my favorite of the original cast films.)

247. sean - April 29, 2009


John, there’s a kernel of truth to what you’re laying out, but it’s also incredibly one-sided.

1)The VFX in Trek V never bothered me. Never. I saw it in the theatre, and not once did I find myself irritated by bad special effects. I did, however, find myself bothered by characters acting out of character, ridiculously implausible plot points and The Search For God. Now, upon repeat viewings the bad VFX clearly stand out. But I do not believe better effects could save a crummy story. The film would need to be completely redone.

2)Connery was more money than they wanted to pay, plain and simple. A-list movie actors cost a lot more than B-list TV actors. Of course, he was also shooting nearly 4 other projects at or around the same time, so that might have had a little something to do with it all. They also wanted Max Von Sydow, but apparently even he knew a stinker when he saw one (and awesome as he is, he’s been in plenty of stinkers so he knows ’em when he sees ’em).

3)Shatner’s original story wasn’t ‘far superior’, it was ‘equally preposterous’. The Heaven/Hell concept was flawed from the get go, and someone should have spoken up about it earlier in the process. If I were Paramount, I wouldn’t have picked up the tab on depicting Dante’s Inferno at the center of the galaxy, either.

4)Ahhh yes, the magical rock monsters that would have somehow made the movie great and overcome its inherent crapitude.

Look, admittedly Paramount screwed up on Trek V. No question. But Shatner was also an unseasoned screenwriter as well as a novice feature film director. Can we not admit that maybe, just maybe he wasn’t the best man for the job and shares a wee bit of blame?

248. TBW - April 29, 2009

Sorry, I posted before I read what you wrote…*dodges phaser blasts*

249. Closettrekker - April 29, 2009

#246—I actually place it in the same category (“decent”) as I do TSFS.

The only thing which distinguishes their respective values in my mind is the fact that one features my favorite characters, while the other features characters from a series in which I never really became invested. I just don’t care about the characters in the same way that I care about Kirk, Spock, and McCoy.

It probably isn’t fair to say that FC isn’t as good of a film as TSFS, but I never said that to begin with.

I *do*, however, contend that TMP, TWOK, and TVH are better films—but that’s just my not-so-humble opinion too.

250. Closettrekker - April 29, 2009

#250—-No problem. I try to keep my phaser on stun anyway….


251. Closettrekker - April 29, 2009

#247—-“Ahhh yes, the magical rock monsters that would have somehow made the movie great and overcome its inherent crapitude. ”


“Inherent crapitude”…I like that.

“Shatner was also an unseasoned screenwriter as well as a novice feature film director. Can we not admit that maybe, just maybe he wasn’t the best man for the job and shares a wee bit of blame?”

Some of us can.

He just wasn’t as good as a director as his fellow Trek co-star, Leonard Nimoy. Shatner’s “Great Trek Turd Of ’89” would not have been saved by better special effects. It would simply have been a more expensive turd.

Bill is good at many things. It’s just that co-writing and directing a feature film isn’t one of them. And IMO, testing out those skills resulted in the lone pimple on the butt of an otherwise pretty good B-level feature film series (the original Star Trek movies).

252. Shatner_Fan_Prime - April 29, 2009

#251 “lone pimple on the butt of an otherwise pretty good B-level feature film series”

Closet, are you saying someone needed to smear Oxy on Star Trek’s ass?

253. Closettrekker - April 29, 2009

#252—-Or just hire someone to pop that sucker right now!

254. Thomas Jensen - April 29, 2009

I’m of the same opinion as Mr. Altman that the ship might have been something different. But my choice would have been the original design with some additional detailing, with the interior being as different as they might have seen fit.

But the engine room without some of the technical conventions we’ve known? That seems pretty low tech.

I’m looking forward to seeing the movie in IMAX.

255. TrekMadeMeWonder - April 29, 2009

105. Anthony Pascale

Thanks Anthony!

A real concern of mine is knowing too much before going in.
Can’t wait to see it all!

256. AJ - April 29, 2009

STV is simply a piece of garbage. I’d bet all the “humor” was thrown in during the re-writes, as well as the overly touchy-feely Kirk/Spock/McCoy moments.

Shatner directing Kirk is the ultimate masturbatory moment for him. “I’ll die alone.”, Kirk’s inability to be suckered in by Sybok’s hypnosis, everyone riding horses. Awful.

Shatner obviously doesn’t know much about Kirk’s character or Starfleet regulations. Kirk would have done absolutely anything to prevent Sybok from reaching Enterprise. He would have blown up the shuttle, or sent a coded message to gas the shuttlebay, or at least have an armed security team await the landing party’s return. Instead, Spock disobeys a direct order from Kirk (SHOOT HIM! *ugh*), and the ship is taken over in minutes. This is the Spock who would have allowed Sarek to die in “Journey to Babel” to fulfil his obligations on the Bridge.

How about the Scotty/Uhura romance? To those that say STV’s strength is its portrayal of the main characters, I say “Double dumb-ass on you!”

Funny enough, if there is a bright spot, it’s Laurence Luckenbill. He has an an LSD Dennis Hoppery crazed gleam in his eyes that makes the character seem totally nuts, but sincere, which is the point.

I have returned to this film many times to re-evaluate it. The SFX indeed stink, and I recall my opening-day experience, watching Kirk fall from El Capitan, and Spock doing his vertical 180 to rescue him. Kirk’s fall and Spock’s rescue looked so bad, I cringed in my seat. That scene is still tough to sit through.

Star Trek XI is bringing Trek far away from that pass/fail line where it’s hovered wobbly these past 20 years. I wish it great success.

257. Shatner_Fan_Prime - April 29, 2009

#255 “Shatner directing Kirk is the ultimate masturbatory moment for him.”

So are you saying Bill was Kirking off???

(Harry Ballz, wherever you may be, that one was for you.)

258. Closettrekker - April 29, 2009

#255—“Spock disobeys a direct order from Kirk (SHOOT HIM! *ugh*), and the ship is taken over in minutes. This is the Spock who would have allowed Sarek to die in “Journey to Babel” to fulfil his obligations on the Bridge.”

Nice shot, AJ. My sentiments exactly.

#256—“So are you saying Bill was Kirking off???”


259. AJ - April 29, 2009

256: “Kirking off..” LOL!

260. wkiryn - April 29, 2009

In Spock’s defense – he had a very poor relationship with his father. Sybok likely was a good older brother to him whatever time they spent together. Sybok could have provided a very interesting look into Spock’s psyche another example of ST:V could have been so much better with very small changes. A half-brother even more estranged from their father embracing emotion rejecting logic. For Spock it was another choose what world he identifies with – and Vulcan never did much for him yet he keeps choosing it.

Ah well, one would have thought at some point Spock would realize it’s his Vulcan half that causes intense emotions but he never does.

261. sean - April 29, 2009


‘How about the Scotty/Uhura romance? To those that say STV’s strength is its portrayal of the main characters, I say “Double dumb-ass on you!”’

Haha, perfectly stated!

262. Mike The Cat Hater - April 29, 2009


Have you ever seen Star Trek??? Of course Kirk bedding an orion slave girl fits in woth the original series!! Kirk was always a bit of a womaniser…….so much so that homage was paid to it in the nextgeneration with Will Rikers character!!!

Go back and watch the original series again idiot, Mark altman was bang on the money!!

263. Closettrekker - April 29, 2009

“In Spock’s defense – he had a very poor relationship with his father. Sybok likely was a good older brother to him whatever time they spent together. Sybok could have provided a very interesting look into Spock’s psyche another example of ST:V could have been so much better with very small changes. A half-brother even more estranged from their father embracing emotion rejecting logic.”

Which goes back, IMO, to the root of the problem—which is the concept of “Sybok” being a character in Trek mythology to begin with. Yet another of Sarek’s sons struggling with emotion versus logic was a mistake to me, and one which somewhat dilutes the impact of Spock’s inner conflict—which is at the core of his character. Suddenly, this is not so out-of-the-ordinary in Sarek’s house.

The notion that Sarek fathered this child by way of a “Vulcan Princess” is even more puzzling. WTF?

But beyond that, contending that Spock would allow his father to die rather than turn over command to Mr. Scott while the ship was subject to *possible* attack, but refuse to shoot his half-brother who is attempting to commandeer the Enterprise is absurd.

He could have simply wounded Sybok and prevented them all from being humiliated by the Apple Dumpling Gang.

And, to top it all off, Kirk and company never actually wrest control from the hijackers—-but instead—-only regain control of the Enterprise at the convenience of their captors. The story isn’t served at all by this. It just sucks. The whole thing is poorly conceived.

1) The Enterprise is a lemon;
2) Three Captains and four Commanders are all assigned to the same ship in what amounts to a gross misallocation of valuable personnel resources on the part of Starfleet Command;
3) James Kirk (like Shatner—go figure) is suddenly an accomplished equestrian;
4) The Romulan Ambassador (poorly directed, by the way) is so frightened that she seeks comfort (literally) in the arms of her Federation counterpart;
5) Klingon warriors suprisingly are willing to bow their heads and shamefully apologize;
6) Uhura’s notorious “fandance”;
7) The helmsman and former navigator of Starfleet’s most storied starship are “lost in the woods”;
8) Scotty and Uhura flirting like middle-school kids and making asses of themselves in the process;
9) And who can forget “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” (I wish I could, but like many Star Trek fans, I’m still suffering from PTDS)?

I’ll just stop there, but add those things to what was discussed above (none of which has anything to do with “special effects”), and what do you get?

“The Great Trek Turd Of ’89″…

264. TrekVRuined My Life - April 29, 2009

#231 – “Spock does not, he instead refuses to act based on a personal relationship. ” Give me a break. I am sorry. Spock from the series would have never done that – it was always duty first, personal second. Furthermore, even if you want to go the movies – the “needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” Spock died for that logic, but now in Trek V – he is willing to place his personal relationship with his half-brother ahead of the safety of the crew and the ORDERS OF HIS CAPTAIN.

This movie made no sense. For everybody ooh and ahhing over the “character moment” that McCoy has during the death of his father, the simple fact is that the other characters were totally disrespected in Star Trek V, and I have no doubt that Shatner wrote it like that so he could come off as the white knight.

Finally, the whole “you can’t stun me, you have to kill me” line is ridicolous. Are you telling me that a Vulcan could not be stunned? Its a false choice, that leads to a false decision by Spock

265. weerd1 - April 29, 2009

264- not that I am defending the film, but it was a projectile weapon; therefore it could not be set for stun.

266. Closettrekker - April 29, 2009

#264—Kelley’s performance is superb as usual, but it is far more a testament to him that he can manage to pull off a dramatic gem of a scene that’s surrounded by utter crap than it is any saving grace for the film.

“I have no doubt that Shatner wrote it like that so he could come off as the white knight.”

Except that he doesn’t. His ship, in the end, is *given* back to him by the person who hijacked it in the first place. Kirk doesn’t win. Sybok does.

” Are you telling me that a Vulcan could not be stunned? Its a false choice, that leads to a false decision by Spock.”

In fairness, the homemade weapon likely doesn’t have a “stun” setting, but Spock could still have merely wounded Sybok. Shooting him doesn’t have to mean killing him.

Oh to be rid of STV…The horror….The horror…The horror….The horror…

267. Shatner_Fan_Prime - April 29, 2009

Oh, come on, Closet, you know your STV rant is one of your most popular syndicated articles. It’s appeared here on this site at least 100 times before.

Hey, did you guys know that at one point the plot for V involved the crew finding the Fountain of Youth? It’s true. Harve Bennett even sarcastically stated, ‘I’m sure Shatner thought he could play the 17 year old version of Kirk.’ LOL.

268. Closettrekker - April 29, 2009

#267—“Oh, come on, Closet, you know your STV rant is one of your most popular syndicated articles. It’s appeared here on this site at least 100 times before.”

Where the hell are my residual checks?

I didn’t start it….Just when I thought I was out—–they pull me back in!

269. wkiryn - April 29, 2009

“2) Three Captains and four Commanders are all assigned to the same ship in what amounts to a gross misallocation of valuable personnel resources on the part of Starfleet Command;

The notion that Sarek fathered this child by way of a “Vulcan Princess” is even more puzzling. WTF?”

Sarek being betrothed to a princess makes perfect sense and was eleborated on nicely by the novel Sarek.

My understanding is that aircarft carriers do have more than one captain – I suppose for each shift. Presumably the commanders would have gone off to better careers – But Spock and Scott are exactly where they should be.

270. Shatner_Fan_Prime - April 29, 2009

It’s tough to make it out clearly, Closet, but I think I spotted a young Sybok being disintegrated by Nero’s drill in the movie. So you’re good there.

271. darrksan - April 29, 2009

235. Closettrekker –
Yes, I saw it.

Closettrekker, after months and months of reading your bull….
all I have to say is “go to hell”. You have spend all your time attacking people who are not bending over for JJ’s bull and all for what?
Your God, J.J. Abrams has not came to give you Jack-A#%.
You are now crying that you don’t believe that somebody who hates JJ has see this film before.

272. Red Shirt Army - April 29, 2009


I agree with some of your analysis of Closettrekkers posts and I am non bending over for JJ, nor am I a “JJ Licker”.

I do think however that you should re-read your post #215. It is quite confusing and incoherent. I think you may have been typing hastily in your extremely angry state.

Maybe you could translate it and repost it so we can all understand what you were trying to say.

One thing that you haven’t said, did you like the movie?

273. sean - April 29, 2009


You have to realize no one can understand what you’re saying.

274. Jorg Sacul - April 29, 2009

The scene with McCoy and his father was worth sitting through the rest of the film. However, seriously, I still want to know what was the demon Kirk wouldn’t let Sybok confront…?

275. Closettrekker - April 30, 2009

#269—“My understanding is that aircarft carriers do have more than one captain – I suppose for each shift.”

Having only served on amphibious assault ships, I cannot confirm or deny that, but I’m not aware of that practice.

“Sarek being betrothed to a princess makes perfect sense and was eleborated on nicely by the novel Sarek.”

I’ve never heard of Vulcan royalty.

276. Closettrekker - April 30, 2009

#271—-All I can do is laugh at that.

How are any of us supposed to make sense of this:

“I think some will know just what I mean (just watch trekkies 2) and others can just bite me. At this point I do not want the JJ lickers to say a damn thing. Guess what I have seen the new film and I don’t what the give it time bull or just shut up bull from the lickers.”


“all I have to say is “go to hell”. You have spend all your time attacking people who are not bending over for JJ’s bull and all for what?
Your God, J.J. Abrams has not came to give you Jack-A#%.”

Perhaps you have a learning disability (in which case, I apologize), or maybe English is not your first language.

But I can tell you this. I’ve never heard of anything called “Trekkies 2″, nor have I ever met a “JJ licker” (whatever that is supposed to be). And I am quite sure that I have never “bent over” for anyone, much less some “bull” that might belong to JJ Abrams. I also do not spend all my time (assuming that might be what you meant) attacking anyone. I like to talk about Star Trek. That’s about it for what I do here…just like everyone else (aside from you, perhaps, since your objective is obviously to troll, as opposed to offering any intelligent thought).

I don’t know how you can get any of that incoherent nonsense out of anything I’ve ever posted to this site.

And no—I do not believe that you have seen the film. Trolls have no credibility with me.

277. AJ - April 30, 2009

Sounds more like “JJ Liquor” to me. As in liquored-up before posting.

278. gary makin - April 30, 2009

Isn’t Altman going to do a “50 Reasons to Hate Star Trek” article, like he did with the acclaimed First Contact in Sci-Fi Universe magazine in the ’90s? Mark is the godfather of know-it-all fans, after all.

279. weerd1 - April 30, 2009

276- I think he is referring to “Trekkies 2″ the sequel to Denise Crosby’s pseudo-documentary “Trekkies.” I’ve only seen the film once, but I seem to remember Mark Altman appearing there, and a more measured view of Trek fans since the first one was pretty harsh. Interestingly, one of the Trekkies shown in both films is Gabriel Koerner who went on later of course to do design work on BSG and and design the Enterprise everyone thought was the JJPrise (and some think still SHOULD be).

280. rangerone314 - April 30, 2009

An aircraft carrier can have a ship CO who is captain (O-6) rank, an XO who is also captain rank, commander of the airwing (CAG) who is captain rank, as well as deputy CAG who is also a captain rank. So a modern carrier can easily have captains.

Doctors being officers, head of a medical division on carrier can also be a captain.

281. sean - April 30, 2009


I’d forgotten all about JJ Liquor. You can find it right between the Boone’s Farm and the Sparks.

282. Closettrekker - April 30, 2009

#280—-I’ll take your word for it. The only carriers I have served on (as a Marine officer) were smaller amphibious assault ships (Gator Navy) that only accomodate helicopters and VSTOL craft such as AV-8’s (Harriers). On those such ships, like the USS Guam, for instance, there is only one Captain (O-6). The XO is a Commander, etc.

The only other O-6 aboard was a Marine Colonel, in command of a MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit)—who is outside of the vessel’s chain of command.

The larger point is that the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 has a Captain in command, an XO who is a Commander, a Chief Engineer and Chief Medical Officer who are LT. Cmdr.’s, and junior officers at the helm, communications, and navigation posts.

However, the NCC-1701A has 3 captains and 4 commanders in those positions….it doesn’t compute.

283. weerd1 - April 30, 2009

282- Well, I think it depends on how military we accept Starfleet to be. Realizing you’re not much of a TNG guy, keep in mind Picard commanded the Stargazer for 22 years BEFORE he took command of the 1701D. My personal pet theory goes back to Kirk’s demotion in ST:IV. Rather than follow your typical military promotion system, the Federation council specifically decides to leave that crew on that ship, and leave Kirk a Captain because of their abilities. Later on, we continually see Captains who have been there for a while, and Admirals who shouldn’t be anywhere near a center seat- placement according to their ability. The prime example of this of course is Janeway who upon her return from the Delta Quadrant is IMMEDIATELY promoted before she loses another damn starship.

284. Closettrekker - April 30, 2009

#283—It’s true that Starfleet policy can be depicted as completely different than that of a modern military. That’s a given. I just think that it is rather unreasonable for such senior officers to be concentrated on one ship, basically serving in the same positions they held as junior officers.

More realistically (getting past a demoted Kirk receiving a starship command), Captain Kirk should have been assigned younger personnel to fill those spots under his command (IMO) and those senior officers should probably have, for the most part, moved on.

I have no issue with a man retaining the same rank for a long time. There are officers in the Marine Corps who never get beyond Lt. Colonel, and stay at that grade for a long time, and still others who get past that mark and remain Colonels.

Just as there are only so many spots for Flag Officers in our military, I would imagine that the same would be true for Starfleet. How many Admirals can you have? Given the extended lifespans in the 23rd-24th Centuries, some people would probably remain captains (or commanders, for that matter) for decades. That’s not an issue at all to me.

But beyond all of that, the whole misallocation of personnel thing was but one point in a long list of gripes I have about STV. If it were the only thing, or even one of very few things, it wouldn’t be much of a big deal to me at all. But compounding that with everything else I find to be wrong with the story— I just can’t stand it.

285. weerd1 - April 30, 2009

Well, at least Sulu went off to command. I wonder if they ever let Chekov do anything else after Reliant….?

286. wkiryn - April 30, 2009

I think in some expanded universe book Chekov went over to excelsior and eventually head of starfleet security (maybe in that vulcan series that was out a few years ago)

rangerone314 thank you for your expertise.

287. Eli - May 1, 2009

I’m liking what Im hearing. And apparently, a Budweiser brewery WAS the stand-in for engineering, so Mark is very astute about that observation. Hopefully in JJ’s Star Trek II we’ll get a warp core built from scratch…

288. Gavin Lively - May 8, 2009

There were definitely some storyline and technical inconsistencies in the story…What happened to Captain Robert April being the first captain to be the one on the maiden voyage of Enterprise and NOT Captain Pike?

What about the Arrow head emblem….Purists will note that the arrowhead starfleet emblem was not stadardized as the emblem that all starrfleet wore untill after Enterprises origional 5 year mission…If you view TOS you will notices that crew from diferent ships had different emblem badges…This was an obvious technical flub that will certainly bother the Star Trek purist.

289. Star Trek film review: Buttery, flaky, and a little cheesy. | Art & Entertainment | Ron S. Doyle - Professional Freelance Writer - May 9, 2009

[…] this film in a thin layer of cheese. I won’t give away the details, but let’s just say when Mark Altman’s review included the terms “ham-handed” and “Wonka-esque&#…, he was mostly on the […]

290. Bloons - May 11, 2009

Altman always has to bash the post-TOS shows,

to paraphrase:

I would never live in the 23rd century……

291. Charlie - May 14, 2009

I grew up with TOS. I’ve stuck with every movie and series, even Enterprise when they flew Gene’s dream into the ground with so much time travel it made me sick. I’ve always felt that Star Trek was true, it just hasn’t happened yet. Guess I’ll have to give up on that future and plan for a new one based on time travel rather than space travel.

292. Doctor Mobius - May 19, 2009

I just plain dug this movie, especially the inside jokes and “cheesy” humor. The main reason those Trekkie only jokes worked so well, is there was no pregnant pause while someone winked at the camera. The jokes were for us long time fans alone.

But let’s face it, Trek has never been perfect. We fans place it far up on a pedestal that’s far higher than the series has ever risen technically. We tend to forget that this was a show that originally did poorly and was canceled mid season. The reason it is so good, and means so much to is isn’t production values, consistent technology and ship sizes, or high drama. It’s because Trek has told some wonderfully memorable stories.

In the long run, this latest film will go down with the truly greatest of Trek moments because of how much fun people had watching it. We won’t care that the brewery seemed out of place in engineering, or that the warp nacelles weren’t quite right. Watching it again, I can point out just as many problems with the holiest of holys; The Wrath of Kahn.

Star Trek has set itself among the great stories of history. Robin Hood, Romeo and Juliette, Batman, James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, King Arthur, Exodus… All these tales are retold again and again, and each time with new perspectives, and contemporary ideals and ideas. Star Trek is beginning to take it’s place among the true classics.

This movie worked, and worked well. If you let nitpicking the details ruin this movie for you, then I truly feel sorry for you, because you missed out on a really good time with the rest of us. Oh we saw the flaws, and acknowledged them, but we were too busy enjoying ourselves to really care.

– DM

293. Tony - March 2, 2010

Uhh, Mark,
Those of us with good taste would’ve liked Trek V a lot more, if it had a better story, not if it had better SFX, and, as much as you are in denial about this, theat lack of a good story in the film is the fault of your god Shatner. is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.