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Jeff Bond’s Review of ‘Star Trek’ May 5, 2009

by Jeff Bond , Filed under: Review,Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

Today we present our third review of JJ Abrams’ new Star Trek film. This time Geek Monthly Magazine editor-in-chief (and regular TOS-R reviewer for TrekMovie.com) Jeff Bond, shares his thoughts the eleventh Trek feature film.
[contains some spoilers]

 

 

Star Trek
Review by Jeff Bond

J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie has probably been the most anticipated, as well as the most hated and feared (prior to actually being seen) Star Trek movie since 1982’s The Wrath of Khan. In ’82 Nicholas Meyer dared to kill Spock and he was on the receiving end of some pretty juicy death threats for having the temerity to do so. Now Abrams has dared to do something even more threatening to Star Trek fundamentalists: recast and re-imagine Spock, and the rest of the crew of the original U.S.S. Enterprise, and show us how they wound up as the finest crew in Starfleet.

It’s heresy to replace William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, the late DeForest Kelley and the rest of the original series’ legendary cast and replace them with younger actors—it’s what Trek fans have feared and fought against since Harve Bennett’s idea for a Starfleet Academy film was first floated—90210 in space. And after years of moribund Star Trek movies and series, trekkers seemed even more outraged at the idea that Abrams and other behind-the-camera talents who hadn’t spent the past few decades toiling in the Star Trek military industrial complex at Paramount would now get the chance to reconstruct the franchise from top to bottom. Never have so many been so afraid to boldly go.


1991′s Star Trek VI — the last TOS movie
(that was almost a TOS recast at the Academy movie)

So it’s with a certain satisfaction, and the realization that so many people I know will think me crazy or a traitor to the cause, that I say that J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek for the most part works fantastically well. And the key is the impossible task of starting from ground zero with these iconic characters and daring to recast and revive them while acknowledging—but not enslaving them to—the franchise’s beloved “canon.” We all know how this pitch began—the idea of a time traveler changing the past of James T. Kirk, in effect creating a new character, one who might, or might not, have the original Kirk’s destiny. It’s clear there was something about Shatner’s Kirk, the very human but sometimes high-flown soldier-philosopher, which the filmmakers either couldn’t relate to or felt no longer spoke to modern audiences. Chris Pine plays a rudderless Kirk almost goaded into joining Starfleet by would-be mentor Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood)—Pine’s Kirk looks a bit like a male model and sounds a little like Christian Slater, and he’s introduced crudely pitching a young Uhura (Zoe Saldana) in an Iowa bar (in this Star Trek everything—from Kirk to Starfleet recruiting to the Enterprise itself—revolves around Iowa). It’s Kirk a la Top Gun (right down to the motorcycle), but Pine makes it work. You might not always believe how his Kirk rises through the ranks, but you do believe there’s a potential Captain Kirk underneath all the hubris.


Pine’s new Kirk works

Nevertheless had the rest of the Trek characters been as radically overhauled as Kirk, this new Trek might have worked for newbies but it would be unrecognizable to fans. They key to the original series’ popularity was always the buddy team of Kirk and Spock and their interaction—and indeed the mysterious appeal of the Spock character itself. With Leonard Nimoy playing the older Spock as part of the plot’s time travel dynamic, and initial clips of actor Zachary Quinto in action as the new, young Spock, a potential disaster seemed to loom. Quinto’s physicality fits the role to a T but Nimoy’s resonant baritone voice and impeccable diction and inflection were such a crucial part of the character that it seemed like Quinto might get blown off the screen by his older counterpart.

Not so. Quinto actually anchors the film and keeps an adventure that might easily have become pandering and silly rooted firmly in the kind of fascinating character drama that marked the best of the original series. This is a Spock who may also have chosen a slightly different path than the one we saw in the original series—or we may be seeing an ingenious reflection of the unformed Spock Nimoy himself played in the show’s first two pilot episodes—a character that seemed quite emotional even as he belittled human feelings. The plot makes ingenious and powerful use of Spock’s back story (to the point that D.C. Fontana almost deserves a story credit)—his upbringing as a Vulcan boy bullied and rejected by his peers, his biracial parents, his rejection of the Vulcan Science Academy in favor of Starfleet (a decision that seems to turn on a final, low grade insult from a Vulcan superior), and his ties to the planet Vulcan itself. But as with the character of Kirk, the screenwriters uses these familiar elements to chart a bold new course for Spock. Of any aspect of the film this is the most resounding vindication of Gene Roddenberry’s original vision—because these characters still work and still hold their mystique after almost half a century.


Quinto’s Spock fits Trek history

The original show’s supporting characters were always a mix of stereotypical ‘types’ given life by a talented cast. Leonard “Bones” McCoy quickly proved himself equal to Kirk and Spock due to DeForest Kelley’s enormously likeable, half testy, half easygoing persona. It’s no surprise that Karl Urban nails McCoy—Leonard Nimoy just recently said he cried when he watched Urban’s work in the role. It’s an imitation in a way, but with an element of relaxed realism that brings Kelley’s distinctive mannerisms into a contemporary style. McCoy’s introduction scene in a Starfleet shuttle is perfect, laying down all the beats of the character in a few well-chosen words. The downside is that it’s Urban’s best scene—McCoy is in there pitching throughout the movie, often seeming to reprise every trademark line the Doctor ever uttered in the series—but he doesn’t get the kind of intimate, key scene with Kirk where he can truly function as the film’s conscience. More of him next time! The real surprise is Zoe Saldana’s Uhura, who pulls off the magic trick of not only working perfectly in the role, but of actually deepening your appreciation for the original character, and Nichelle Nichols’ performance. This Uhura plays a pivotal dramatic scene that establishes her as far more integral to this new Star Trek than her original counterpart, yet it shows you how indispensable this officer—and woman—is onboard the Enterprise.

John Cho’s Sulu figures more in action than dramatically—he’s a reserved Sulu and maybe the only other character on the ship besides Spock who never cracks a smile. Anton Yelchin is a surprisingly affecting Chekov although probably a love-him-or-hate-him choice—this is a 17-year old Chekov and I found his accent more convincing, if no less cartoonishly funny, than Walter Koenig’s. Simon Pegg’s Scotty is the biggest adjustment—he’s much more Pegg than James Doohan, and you won’t believe what a miracle worker this Scotty turns out to be. But Pegg can shout “I’m givin’ her all I can, Captain!” with the best of them.


The rest of the cast are more than just ‘aye aye Captain’

Star Trek’s new cast is so good and watching them team up and work together so much fun that the film’s problems mostly sail under the sensors. The one unfortunate artifact from the success of 1982’s The Wrath of Khan is the need to have a madman out for vengeance in every other Star Trek movie. This was never an important trope in the original series except in dopey episodes like “The Alternative Factor,” or disguised by mystery in stories like “The Conscience of the King.” Eric Bana’s Nero is an offbeat, deceptively low-key villain—he’s a Romulan everyman tasked with the job of wreaking vengeance for his race and he sometimes seems barely up to the job, although he does manage some early creepy moments. His space vessel is far scarier than he is—it’s like a marauding, malevolent V’ger commandeered by Romulan gang bangers, and Abrams uses its tentacled vastness to choreograph some eye-popping space battles as well as an extended imbroglio over Vulcan that’s probably the most successfully sustained dramatic action sequence in the film series since Kirk battled Khan in the Mutara Nebula. Nero is hunting down Spock for some barely registered sin of omission, and there’s a nice irony in the fact that alters the past of James Kirk—and in doing so seals his own doom—while on the hunt for Spock.

Nitpickers will have a field day with some of the movie’s science, tech and logic issues. Questions such as ‘Is Delta Vega a moon or a planet’ and ‘is there anything a transporter can’t do’ will be clogging message boards for the next few years, and fans already resistant to the reboot may also wince at the amount of coincidence that drives the plot. You can make a strong case that this is intentional—that it’s the universe attempting to right itself and undo the damage Nero has done to the time stream. There’s a fascinating bridge scene with Spock theorizing about the effect of Nero’s actions on destiny itself, but just a little more lip service to the idea would help make Kirk’s rise from lowly (but promising) cadet to starship captain easier to swallow.


Star Trek pumps up the action

While many superhero films (and I’m convinced the currently popular superhero genre was an inspiration for the new Trek) make the mistake of focusing too much on their villains, Star Trek’s Nero is clearly a device to propel the plot and turn Trek’s universe upside down. And for those hardened dead-enders holding out the hope that the magic Star Trek Reset Button will erase this movie’s profound changes to canon, well—spoiler alert!—you’re out of luck. You’ll have to get used to Star Trek’s new canvas, but the changes made aren’t arbitrary ones—they deepen the characters, making them not only instantly relatable to Trek neophytes but, in my opinion, that much more fascinating if you’ve been absorbing the series from the beginning. The reboot removes the biggest curse of “prequilitis”—the total lack of suspense derived from knowing how history unfolds in these TV and movie franchises. That safety net is gone now and future Treks can use the familiarity and baggage of a whole universe of familiar characters but tell new and unpredictable stories about them. As for the aesthetic changes, they’re hit and miss but for the most part everything works. For everyone complaining about the Enterprise, take another look—the proportions and details are far closer to the look of the original ship than we had any right to expect. This easily could have been some unrecognizable blob of a ship but it is very much the classic icon it always was and I’m perfectly happy to have a toy of this vessel on my desk. The visual effects are stupendous  and Michael Giacchino’s score, much like Abrams’ direction, works from the inside out—providing character and emotion first and space spectacle at the margins. Giacchino’s theme for Kirk (the one heard on the movie’s website) is fascinatingly internal, suggesting the character’s lost quality with its first five notes before the melody hardens into a feeling of resolve and duty that lends the theme its ‘superhero’ quality and suggests the journey Kirk has ahead of him. Even better is Giacchino’s theme for Spock, often played by an erhu—a Chinese violin—that gives the theme an ethereal, foreign quality in some scenes while more conventional orchestration suggests the warmth and even sadness hidden beneath the Vulcan’s stoic exterior.


Star Trek’s Effects are stupendous

I’m old enough to remember the thrill of rushing out to see Star Trek – The Motion Picture in 1979 after years of anticipation—and coming away from it crushingly disappointed. Since then Star Trek films have been hit and miss, but even as I’ve enjoyed some of them there’s an acknowledgment that I have never gotten what I’ve wanted from these movies—because what I’ve wanted is to re-experience the thrill I got out of watching the wonderful character moments in episodes like “Journey to Babel” and “Amok Time”—while seeing the Trek characters in a MOVIE with the kind of scope, action and drama I was used to seeing from the post-Star Wars era. And as heretical as it is to say this, that was never possible while watching the original cast do their Trek movies. As much as I loved those people, as good as they still were at what they did, it required a frustrating act of faith to watch old men and women trying their best to fit into the uniforms and chairs they inhabited decades earlier. The movie series had to jump through hoops to keep poor Sulu sitting at the helm as an old man while Spock—a Vulcan with a lifespan of hundreds of years—looked 20 years older than everyone around him, his father included. Gallivanting around the universe is a game for the young, and what I wanted was to see those heroes again in their prime. That’s what struck me when I was watching this movie—that I was finally seeing what I wanted a Star Trek movie to be. This is the most emotionally involving Star Trek film in at least twenty years, and the first in an equally long time to leave you breathlessly anticipating the next chapter. I can’t wait to see where these characters boldly go, and I can only hope Abrams returns to direct. His work here is a quantum leap above his filmmaking in Mission Impossible III and shows him capable of handling epic scope, high-octane action, and humor all while pulling very strong performances out of his cast.  Best of all, Abrams, Kurtzman and Orci leave these characters with enormous room to grow, conflict, change and learn—unlike the self-satisfied, dully perfect Starfleet bores who’ve inhabited the franchise since Voyager and Enterprise.  If that negates my opinion for fans who enjoyed those shows, so be it. Star Trek has been comfort food for too long and to paraphrase Simon Pegg’s Scotty regarding the new movie: “this is exciting.” David Gerrold said this scoldingly after his review of Star Trek – The Motion Picture, but I’ll repeat it here with nothing but enthusiasm for this Trek: let the human adventure begin.


Let the human adventure begin

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Comments

1. Enterprise - May 5, 2009

Nice work! One more day!

2. Bob Dalicandro - May 5, 2009

THIS FILM OWNS!!!

3. Melanie - May 5, 2009

I’m Canadian and havent seen a film in threaters since Titanic..yes, since 1997….Most of the crap-o-rama films have all come from uhmmm…downloads…but with this new Star Trek coming out shortly i cant help but break my long “winning” streak and actually go see it in a theatre…how much are films now…$6 a pop…oh wait, i hear $14 (!) are you friggin’ kidding me?!?111 But hey, the film looks good and the reviews are virtually consistently positive so YEA it has my $14

Melanie

4. Darkwing - May 5, 2009

only a couple days left, I am so excited, and I am surprised at all of these stellar reviews

5. Dr. Image - May 5, 2009

Cinco!
Haven’t looked forward to a Trekmovie (heh) this much since TMP!!

6. Enterprise - May 5, 2009

I’m watching TNP tonight, and TWOK tomorrow!

7. Leonel - May 5, 2009

Awesome review. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually do appreciate that there will be no magic “reset button” at the end of this one.

One thing is certain.. those clear data displays will forever be a reminder that today’s reimagined Trek is taking place in an alternate, parallel Trek universe! That in itself is a nod to the alternate Enterprise’s we saw in TNG. Now here’s a thought.. maybe this reimagined universe will take us to what we saw in Yesterday’s Enterprise, hmm..? ;-)

8. Andy - May 5, 2009

I just saw the movie at a screening in Times Square. I am an avid trekkie. I must say I am still pondering it over. My first reaction was “good enough”. If this is what it takes for me to be able to watch “new” Trek, then so be it. I can live with this. I have accepted the new time line and what more can I do? The next one is set up to be pretty friggin sweet.

9. The Governator - May 5, 2009

Not a bad review at all. Well done Mr. Bond. I am very glad you enjoyed the film, although I can’t say I’m surprised. Although I haven’t seen the movie yet, there seems to be something about it that is just likable. I can’t wait to experience the film for myself. T-2 days!!!!!!!!!!!!! (3 for me as I have to wait till Friday)

10. TK [Shuda] - May 5, 2009

(sings) Im sooo excited and I just can’t hide it!

11. sebimeyer - May 5, 2009

To be fair: on MI3 JJ had Tom Cruise breathing down his neck. That cannot be fun, and harldly a help when you try to direct a movie.

12. megaomegatron - May 5, 2009

i need to be sedated for the next 47.25 hours. tick tock..

13. Harry Ballz - May 5, 2009

Jeff,

nicely written review! Very comprehensive and thought-provoking! Thanks!

14. mscottr - May 5, 2009

Great review, Jeff!

Can’t wait!

15. Konar - May 5, 2009

Just watched the old 25th anniversary special on biography — and boy, did that really help to make all these reveiws hit home… I can’t believe how bad the clips looked — especially the effects.

16. cugel the clever - May 5, 2009

I’m on the east coast of Canada and eagerly awaiting Friday to see this movie. I’ve been a trek fan since high school in the 60′s and from what I can see, Abrams and crew have done a fantastic job. I totally accept the casting, the timeline changes, and the set/tech changes.

My only quibble which I don’t see much discussed concerns events in the prequel graphic novel ……………..

How is it that Nero’s Romulan/Borg ship is so powerful that it can trash an entire Klingon fleet in the 24th century, overpower the Enterprise E; and yet be ultimately defeated by a 23rd century starship? It just doesn’t make any sense and I hope that the movie comes up with a plausible explanation.

Any explanation from those of you who’ve seen the film? If you don’t want to give awaty any spoilers, please at least reassure me that there’s a decent explanation?

17. Derf - May 5, 2009

The only problem now is the movie has to live up to this review. Not that I think it’s pandering, far from it. It was simply a moving read, especially when you spoke about the music.

I wished all reviews were as thoughtful in both their praises and criticisms, thank you.

18. Closettrekker - May 5, 2009

I share many of Jeff’s sentiments about where the film franchise has been, and where it should be.

Thanks for the review, Jeff.

It’s almost time to start counting the hours.

19. boomer13 - May 5, 2009

It is still 100% at Rotten Tomatoes, with 32 reviews WOW

20. RD - May 5, 2009

Also worth listening to is Jeff Bond’s participation in the Film Score Monthly Podcast panel discussion at iTunes: “Pod Trek”

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?i=54001725&id=92147842

This is a fantastic overview of all of the Star Trek Scores from TOS through the current film. Well worth a listen!

21. Mr. AtoZ - May 5, 2009

I’m all warm and fuzzy inside

22. Closettrekker - May 5, 2009

#21—-You should see a doctor about that right away!

:)

23. Brad - May 5, 2009

11 – It’s almost too bad they didn’t cast Tom Cruise as Captain Kirk… (kidding)

24. Charles H. Root, III - May 5, 2009

SPOILER ALERT:

Spock kills Dumbledore.
Nero is Kirk’s father.

25. Jorg Sacul - May 5, 2009

I’ve seen it twice… and found the tribble! Very subtle!!

26. Closettrekker - May 5, 2009

#25—You fiend!

I barely missed opportunities three days in a row to win tickets for an exclusive screening on May 2nd (failure to be the 5th caller on ESPN radio).

I’m still waiting for my first screening.

27. C.S. Lewis - May 5, 2009

“It’s clear there was something about Shatner’s Kirk, the very human but sometimes high-flown soldier-philosopher, which the filmmakers either couldn’t relate to or felt no longer spoke to modern audiences.”

This is a sad truth. Something very special has been lost and its not for the better.

Sincerely,
C.S. Lewis

28. SChaos1701 - May 5, 2009

I love it how all the haters aren’t talking anymore except one. After friday even they will keep their mouth shut.

29. Boborci - May 5, 2009

Great read.

30. The Original Spock's Brain - May 5, 2009

Stupendously written review! Thanks Jeff!

31. Boborci - May 5, 2009

27

Kirk is younger than we’ve ever seen him. Do we expect him to be fully formed in a prequel?

32. Closettrekker - May 5, 2009

“…I was finally seeing what I wanted a Star Trek movie to be. This is the most emotionally involving Star Trek film in at least twenty years, and the first in an equally long time to leave you breathlessly anticipating the next chapter. I can’t wait to see where these characters boldly go…”

Fantastic!

33. Go Spock! - May 5, 2009

Wow!

34. S. John Ross - May 5, 2009

Groovy review. More and more reason to look forward to the performances and the popcorn elements.

Sadly, I think this is the fifth or sixth review I’ve read now that suggests that McCoy is marginalized in this film, alas. I mean, sure, he’s been marginalized in all the other movies, too, but I still hold out hopes that one day we’ll get a film where the Trinity is given the full strength we often see in the original series, in several of the novels, etc.

In the meantime, here’s hoping THIS movie rocks :)

35. The Original Spock's Brain - May 5, 2009

On Friday, May 8, 2009, a group of us (fans and newbies) is going to see the it at the Edwards Marq*e IMAX, 7620 Katy Freeway, HOUSTON, TX (the 9:55 p.m. show on IMAX). You’re welcome to joins us.

I’ll have “Trekmovie: Houston Chapter” sign or something to help you find our group. You can contact me through my website.

36. DavidJ - May 5, 2009

Speaking of MI3, I recently watched it again, and it works even BETTER than I remembered. Now that it’s gotten some distance from Alias, and can be judged on it’s own terms, it’s actually a damn good, kickass action movie.

37. Closettrekker - May 5, 2009

#31—-There wouldn’t be much to that kind of story. Something Abrams said last night on Charlie Rose sheds light on how your script seems to have affected him.

“I knew he was Captain Kirk, but I never knew why I should care about Captain Kirk.”

I agree with Abrams that people (particularly in modern audiences) need a way in. They need to be given a reason to become emotionally invested in the characters.

38. The Original Spock's Brain - May 5, 2009

Roberto Orci, thank you, thank JJ, thank Alex, in advance! Viva Mexico!

39. Closettrekker - May 5, 2009

#34—-Agreed. McCoy should be there to do more than deliver one-liners. He is the conscience of the Big 3.

40. Red Shirt - May 5, 2009

Howdy again, Roberto Orci, from your fellow UT alumnus….

So, do you listen to music when you write? If so, is it film scores or something entirely unrelated to cinema?

Did you sit in the edit suites much during the rough cuts/fine cuts? Any idea what temp tracks they might have used until Michael’s score was ready?

Look forward to seeing your movie very soon!

Red Shirt
Fort Worth

41. kmart - May 5, 2009

28 you’re a choice one.
suppress dissenting views, or hound them till they go away. Yeah, you folks are representing IDIC w/ the best of them. Of course IDIC is probably not part of this universe either.

This thing looks and sounds awful. Just the built in Iowa is enough megastupid to keep me from paying for it.

42. DavidJ - May 5, 2009

27

I really doubt the “soldier-philospher” Kirk started out that way from the beginning. He had to be shaped into that gradually.

And in any case that’s a side of him we only saw rarely on the series, and mostly in the early episodes before Shatner brought a much more light-hearted quality to the role.

43. Telly - May 5, 2009

As I type this, the credits roll up on “The Cage”, the final chapter of my 17 day marathon of all 80 episodes, and all I can say is this: what a long, strange trip it’s been.

I considered, for a milisecond, saying, “It’s been a long road, getting from there to here”, but despite the sour opinion of the theme song and the series, it’s a very true statement.

44. DavidJ - May 5, 2009

It’s that light-hearted, Trouble with Tribbles/A Piece of the Action-Kirk I’ve always loved the most– and I suspect the general public identifies the most with too.

The tortured and weary Balance of Terror-Kirk, probably a lot less so.

45. Jim Nightshade - May 5, 2009

Thanks for the best review I have read yet Jeff,for what really matters for us trek fans–youve laid it all on the table-and explained exactly and bravely why we have so many mixed feelings-JJ, Orci and crew have done what needed to be done-in passing the torch yet keeping the best characters at the same time,showing respect & love for what went before without being trapped or beholden to it–This is Trek Prime again!Jeff your review made me realize it is now closer to Roddenberrys original version and vision than it has been for decades-I cant wait to see this epic!

46. Gray - May 5, 2009

Be careful what you say. 3 years ago I browsed the net looking to see what was happening in ST world. There wasn’t much, in fact it was all very stale and gloom & doom after the pitiful flop of ST-10 Universal Studios had lost confidence from what I read and weren’t in any hurry to authorise another movie. I was astonished.
I found a link to a ST site not knowing who it really was and began reminding this person that we were now at a technology where anything was possible and only limited by our own imagination. I brought to their attention that there were a lot of things to take into consideration when considering a new ST movie such as, some of the original actors were either too old or dead, the current generation had no idea what ST was about. It was then I suggested turning back the clock and starting right at the beginning (quite literally). A fresh new cast and story line which would bring everything back to sense again for all ages.
this idea was met with great appretiation and many thanks. Not another word was uttered then 18 months later it was announced in a press release that a new ST movie had been given the go ahead informing that it was going back to the beginning.
I emailed this person again and simply asked for some acknowledgement (not in the way of money), just a formal thank you. I got nothing, not a word.
I had no idea of the magnitude of what I’d done when I had given this person the ideas which possibly could have saved the ST movie industry.
This is NOT a fabrication and I am dissapointed in myself for thinking there was integrity and honor even when I was being sincere to the point where I clearly wasn’t interested in money, just a credit.
This person knows who they are and I hope this statement reaches them in the hope it will poke their conscience.

47. Sogh Ho'neH jorDe' taI-VamPyr - May 5, 2009

One Klingon is still worth 5 Romulans.

48. The Original Spock's Brain - May 5, 2009

JJ so totally gets Trek in that Charlie Rose interview. I was very impressed.

49. Closettrekker - May 5, 2009

#46—I thought you said your idea was met “with great appreciation and many thanks”.

And there were plenty of us who had the same idea twenty years ago (including Harve Bennett)!

It’s not really a new concept. It is only just now being realized.

50. Jeffrey S. Nelson - May 5, 2009

I’d be happier if they’d given Simon Pegg a toupee with bangs like Doohan’s…and if they’d parted Karl Urban’s hair on the same side as Deforest Kelley’s. Still think Gary Sinese would have made a great McCoy.
Iconic Enterprise is a better design in its earlier incarnations.
And as I’ve said, Chris Pine could have done some Shatnerisms without destroying his credibility as Kirk.
Glad they kept the original uniform colors, though…

51. Jim Nightshade - May 5, 2009

and much thanx to the prime Orci, & Alex & JJ et al for daring to reimagine and yet be faithful to the iconic legends we all love!

52. Closettrekker - May 5, 2009

#41—-”megastupid”? lol.

“Of course IDIC is probably not part of this universe either. ”

Actually, I understand it sold alot of trinkets. If I’m not mistaken, so did “KMart” (back in its heyday)!

53. OneBuckFilms - May 5, 2009

Boborci,

Saw the movie at the Hollywood premiere.

Great job guys !!!

54. Telly1138 - May 5, 2009

50

The second Pine went from playing Kirk to playing Shatner would have turned it from a film that people are actually raving about to a film they’d be ranting and raving about.

55. Gray - May 5, 2009

#49
The point was my astonishment was that production were scratching their heads about new ideas. Yes I agree, it was as plain as the nose on our faces that the answer was obvious. I simply stepped forward and voiced it. Sometimes we cannot see the forrest for all the trees.
Ultimately I am not overly bothered by it all and am sincerely glad it has all happened. For all involved in making this happen, congratulations and well done. I have seen the movie through welled eyes of overwhelment.
Thank you again for the ‘heads-up’. -Gray

56. LoyalStarTrekFan - May 5, 2009

Excellent review and well thought out Mr. Bond. Your review has only further increased my excitement for this film.

As a “franchise fan” (yes, the TNG era is my favorite era but I love the whole franchise) I look forward to a new chapter to the best franchise ever created.

57. Chain of Command - May 5, 2009

Is it Thursday yet?

58. S. John Ross - May 5, 2009

#52: Yep. The minute Uhura orders her Bud Classics and shot of Jack, the audience can sigh and know that, truly, the spirit of IDIC … the _real_ spirit of IDIC … is represented in this film :)

59. LoyalStarTrekFan - May 5, 2009

28, perhaps you shouldn’t attack people. Not everyone is going to like the new film. There is nothing wrong with that, people have different tastes. Further, people have the right to express those views in a free and open society without fear of being attacked. Remember, IDIC: Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combination’s. In short, your viewpoint is no more or less important than someone else’s. Your opinion should be respected and so should everyone else’s.

60. Johnny - May 5, 2009

I don’t accept the new timeline, and remain extremely disappointed. I won’t see this movie.

61. Buzz Cagney - May 5, 2009

Interesting review.
Well, I’ve got my tickets for tomorrow and I am really juiced for it. I’ve accepted there is gona be some changes to the Trek that I grew up with but as those actors are no longer able then this is the next best thing.
I never imagined that I would see Kirk and Spock etc on screen again and, after 20 years of fairly lame Treks, I’m soooo ready for it.
I’m really hoping that the writing team have proven my doubts about them to be unfounded and that they have played a blinder.

62. Robert Saint John - May 5, 2009

#46 Gray, if you sent your ideas for the future of Star Trek to the folks at Universal Studios, I’m not surprised you didn’t get credit on this film. Just sayin’

63. Devon - May 5, 2009

#41 – Kmart, your name suits you, because no one is taking you seriously….

64. Spock's Uncle - May 5, 2009

I was prepared to give up on the future of our beloved franchise, and the bold, optimistic future of mankind it represents… then Uhura ordered Jack Daniels, and THAT gave me confidence to know that mankind’s best days are still ahead, and the human adventure IS just beginning (with a mild hangover).

I cannot wait, this film will chart a new course, and in some ways right many wrongs done to Trek over the years. Paying homage to the “Prime” Timeline, while building a new and unpredictable timeline with a cadre of trusted characters was truly the only way to get Trek out from under the weight of it’s own inertia. Let’s just hope there’s no more talk of “Trans-Warp Drive”… phooey on that.

Beam me aboard this new Trek immediately!

65. Kain Tansey - May 5, 2009

released tomorrow in australia.. woo hoo

66. spockatatic - May 5, 2009

one day trekkies will rule they world.
(and that same day pigs will fly)
((well, guess what. Swine flu!!))

67. Pat Payne - May 5, 2009

20- 20- 26 hours to goooOOOOoooo…. I wanna be nerve pinched!

68. The Last Maquis - May 5, 2009

I’ll go in with an open mind, but if it is Good, and I like it. I will not be like these A$S kissers over Here all “Oh it’s THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER, man!! it totally Pwns!!”

69. AJ - May 5, 2009

46/55:

Gray: The idea existed long before “Nemesis.” Any ideas you may have that your web inquiries in some way influenced this film are naive at best.

70. Matt Wright - May 5, 2009

Thanks for the (sometimes blunt, but true) review Jeff :-)

71. Darrksan - May 5, 2009

Oh Look, another butt kissing review from someone who works for JJ… I mean Trekmovie.com

72. RMBurnett - May 5, 2009

Gray,

Don’t be absurd.

Of course you never heard a word. As you said, you were talking to someone from UNIVERSAL studios!

73. The Governator - May 5, 2009

71. Darrksan

What’s your problem?

Is there something wrong with liking the film?

74. robbysteve64 - May 5, 2009

great review 1 and a half day left cant wait oh and gray didnt know that universal studios did star trek last time i checked it was paramount get your facts straight and to answer how a 23rd century ship could possible destroy a 24th century ship its because with jim kirk at the helm there chances on the mission just doubled with success (little paraphrase of tmp)

75. TrekTwenty - May 5, 2009

@41
Rookie mistake =(

Never pull the IDIC card if you plan on blatantly and intolerantly dismissing something without giving it a fair chance. In the same post, no less.

76. darrksan - May 5, 2009

J.J. Abrams: Give me $10.00 for the $tar Trek movie.
J.J. Lovers on this site: Here you go, Thank you, JJ! I Love you, JJ! can I’ll bend over and you can do things to my #*%, JJ….or I can Lick yours.

77. darrksan - May 5, 2009

73. The Governator – May 5, 2009

71. Darrksan

What’s your problem?

Is there something wrong with liking the film?
——————
Governator , did JJ tell you to write that?
You have licking his butt for a year now.
Is your mouth brown by now?

78. Valar1 - May 5, 2009

46

Well, if that certain someone won’t thank you, then he/she didn’t deserve your ideas. You need to join a social group where your ideas are appreciated and acknowledged. I suggest contacting your church, or joining a dance class, or a book club. Also, invest in some new clothes and maybe a gym membership. Finally, try some hot cocoa for a pick me up every now and then.

79. Anthony Pascale - May 5, 2009

darrksan
final warning for trolling…Feel free to have your opinion about a film you havent seen, but dont go attacking people who dont agree with you, especially those who have actually seen it.

you want to write a review of the film, feel free on the fan review page

80. pock speared - May 5, 2009

c.s. lewis: mediocre pathos.
darrksan? are you like, a person? your prolapse is showing, fool.

81. Tarrax - May 5, 2009

71. Darrksan – I suppose all 32 reviewers on RT work for JJ too? On yer bike pal!

82. TrekYou - May 5, 2009

all ive ever wanted in a trek movie is spock and space battles. thats all that matters. slight over-exaggeration? er, sure.. point being, every single ‘hardcore’ (ultra-orthodox?) trek fan needs to realize one thing: star trek is first and foremost a vehicle for making sweet sweet hollywood dollars. its fiction.. not real. its fiction.. meant to entertain, to be enjoyed. does it inspire? absolutely, there’s no doubt. i just dont see how a modern adaptation of a fictional universe can cause someone so much pain and angst over whether or not to see it. cant deal with badass looking nacelles? alternate timelines keeping you up at night? then i just dont see how you can call yourself a true trek fan. for me and my wild imagination, this movie is how i always envisioned star trek in my head. im just glad there was finally the budget (and competence) to execute it. at the very least you have to ask one question: would gene roddenberry be proud? hell yes.

83. The Governator - May 5, 2009

Thank you Anthony!

darrksan:

“Governator , did JJ tell you to write that?
You have licking his butt for a year now.
Is your mouth brown by now?”

No. It was just a simple question. You still haven’t answered it.

84. S. John Ross - May 5, 2009

#82: “all ive ever wanted in a trek movie is spock and space battles.”

All I’ve ever wanted is Spock, McCoy, and their jock sidekick, the other guy.

Plus humanistic optimism, exploring, short skirts and go-go boots.

[thinks]

Yeah, that’s really about all :)

85. AJ - May 6, 2009

77:

darrksan,:

Why can’t you wake up and smell the coffee?

There’s been no sign in your posts this past year that you even like Star Trek.

80: That was absolutely, wonderfully disgusting.

86. captain_neill - May 6, 2009

Is it me or would it be wrong to prefer a movie with this cast over the proper original cast?

I have stated that this movie will be up there among the best but it is hard to beat The Wrath of Khan, First Contact and Undiscovered Country as

87. TrekYou - May 6, 2009

who’s nacelles do i have to warp to get a message board around here?

88. Jim Smith - May 6, 2009

Weirdly, while I agree with the general thrust of this review – i.e that the movie is really good, I disagree with most of the individual points made in it. Interesting times.

89. Iowagirl - May 6, 2009

Thanks, Jeff.

Obviously, this is not Kirk shaping into the Kirk we know – Kirk’s known past (Farragut, Tarsus IV, etc.) would have led to the Kirk being part of pop culture for more than 40 years now. Kirk’s past has been altered which inevitably leads to Kirk’s personality being altered. This film may be fun, and the actors may be doing a good job, but the fact that Abrams & Co. felt the need to alter Kirk to this extent demonstrates it for me beyond any doubt that they’ve headed where I don’t want to follow.

90. Xander - May 6, 2009

17 and a half hours to go, 17 and a half hours to go, Happy Dance, Happy Dance. Only 17 Hours and 15 minutes to be exact. I’m going to the 12.30 pm May 7 screening in Wellington, YAY. That’s New Zealand time by the way, which makes it 8.30 pm May 6 for the US (Eastern Day Light Time).

91. captain_neill - May 6, 2009

fans are all different levels.

Some are concerned by the changes, some wil watch anything with the name Trek and still love it, some will go and see it despite concerns over the changes, some will boycott it out of protest. No matter what we are all Trek fans.

The elitist attitude annoys me as it seems to imply that you are either with JJ Abrams vision or your not and by not fully embracing JJ’s changes that you are not a true Star Trek fan.

Some fans don’t like all the spin offs, some prefer TNG, some only watch TOS while others love DS9 the best.

What I am saying fans like different aspects and JJ making these drastic changes can seem scary.

I for one am one who was concerned about many changes, but thanks to the alternative timeline I can enjoy this film and feel comfortable that the last 43 years of Trek is still in existance. I also hope he has the characters right.

I will know my feelings tomorrow when I see it.

92. thorsten - May 6, 2009

Early German reviews, were the movie starts tonight in special 8PM screenings, and then tomorrow full scale, in Spiegel and Frankfurter Allgemeine are very positive. The reviewers ususally have trouble with the multiverse angle, and Uhuras first name.

93. captain_neill - May 6, 2009

89

I agree with you.

The alternative timeline allows me to view this as a separate entity so that original timeline of Kirk on Tarsus IV and Farragut will still exist.

This movie will be fun but I am still annoyed about this cade to captain thing, it seems such a contrivance.

94. MH - May 6, 2009

I just saw this movie. The best review I’ve read on this site that sums up my feelings towards it was written by Mark Altman-even though I think he comes across as a bit of an a$$ at times.

I do NOT agree with him on the new Enterprise. It looks GORGEOUS on the big screen. In fact, none of my gripes with the film have anything to do with the designs.

Despite what many have said, McCoy is minimalized here and Uhura’s role is more prominent. As is her relationship with Mr. Spock.

I could attempt to spoil a number of things for you that previous reviewer had failed to mention, but I’ll let you see this movie unencumbered.

95. ENGON - May 6, 2009

Well, for those who won’t be seeing this film, take heart.

After all, JJ Abrams has had a “mystery box” that he hasn’t opened for 20 years and that he vows that he never WILL open.

According to JJ, “It represents infinite possibility; it represents hope; it represents potential… mystery is the catalyst for imagination… maybe there are times where mystery is more important than knowledge.”

So, don’t “stay home and be angry,” as JJ humbly suggests. Stay home (or go see some other enjoyable movie) and let this “Star Trek” film be your “mystery box.” Your imagination will be catalyzed. [Catalysis may vary.]

On the other hand, “opening” this “mystery box” by seeing the film would collapse the movie’s quantum wave function, thus splitting the universe into two distinct paths. Do you really want to be responsible for that?

96. TrekYou - May 6, 2009

91: i just dont understand. by no means am i saying your opinion is wrong.. but how could anything take the past incarnations out of existence? i mean, they exist.. we’ve all seen them. tens of thousands of dvds and vhs tapes, etc.. i cant imagine a crusade to destroy all past episodes and films. i cant see how the newest 2 hrs (and 6 minutes) would have any effect on anything that came before it.

what about the uniform change between TMP and TWOK.. did that rock people’s worlds? to me all of these types of differences arent significant. i guess ive only read rants about whats wrong, and never WHY it is. im just curious what the actual repercussions are. anyone got an answer?

97. sans_shatner_1701 - May 6, 2009

I saw it. It’s just OK. Nice effects. Cool set up with Spock and Kirk being a bit more competitive in more than 1 way.

This new movie series is set up nicely, but I have a feeling it can go bad really fast if not done right. Time will tell. Most people will not be disappointed. Those who are were likely never going to go for this re-boot.

I hope the next film does a bit more character study of the crew – it will be really cool.

98. Jim Nightshade - May 6, 2009

#89-Iowagirl, can u pleaz tell us in more detail why you think that Kirks personality is too altered for you and heading where u dont wanna go? I think more than one interview ive read says it basically is the same Kirk, just more unformed and still learning-but basically still getting there—

99. Jim Smith - May 6, 2009

@ 89 as a MASSIVE Kirk fan my whole life I didn’t feel, not for one second, that this wasn’t the Jim Kirk I’ve loved since I was a little boy. Seriously. From his first scene it’s just ”That’s the guy; younger and angrier but it’s the exact same guy”. I hope there’s a similar wonderful surprise waiting for a lot of other Kirk fans this week.

100. Gary Seven of Nine - May 6, 2009

captain_neill and Iowagirl:

I have always respected your opinions and tone on the board, so please trust me when I say that the Prime timeline isn’t gone. If anything, just look at this film as you would a film set in the Mirror Universe. Also, I don’t necessarily think that McCoy is marginalized in this film. It seems that a lot of people seem to think that Karl Urban is aping DeForest Kelley. He’s not. As a matter of fact, McCoy DOES get into it with Spock.

101. James - May 6, 2009

Security must be really tight with this one. Only a couple of days and still haven’t seen any downloadable bootlegs yet. Probably a first in the industry.

102. Gary Seven of Nine - May 6, 2009

Cugel –

I’m not posting spoilers, but the explanation is *very* reasonable and it also happens to reinforce the notion that Kirk and Spock are resourceful, intelligent and tough in *any* universe.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

16. cugel the clever – May 5, 2009

I’m on the east coast of Canada and eagerly awaiting Friday to see this movie. I’ve been a trek fan since high school in the 60’s and from what I can see, Abrams and crew have done a fantastic job. I totally accept the casting, the timeline changes, and the set/tech changes.

My only quibble which I don’t see much discussed concerns events in the prequel graphic novel ……………..

How is it that Nero’s Romulan/Borg ship is so powerful that it can trash an entire Klingon fleet in the 24th century, overpower the Enterprise E; and yet be ultimately defeated by a 23rd century starship? It just doesn’t make any sense and I hope that the movie comes up with a plausible explanation.

Any explanation from those of you who’ve seen the film? If you don’t want to give awaty any spoilers, please at least reassure me that there’s a decent explanation?

103. Penhall99 - May 6, 2009

I dont understand why people get so angry at dismissive at those who are upset about the the whole “re-boot” thing.

Look, I’ve come to terms with it, but at the same time, this whole new “alternate timeline” version of TOS pretty much wipes everything away that came before it. None of TOS and the the movies and TNG and everything else matters to the new movies now, because they never happened. Its starting over.

The whole idea of that is kinda upsetting and sad to some people, so I understand the frustration.

Someone points out their frustration and they are jumped all over by people on this site. Even the person that posted a mixed review was ridiculed for “not getting it” by many people here. Its crazy.

104. trekker77 - May 6, 2009

Will there still be trekkers in the 23rd Century?

105. MC1 Doug - May 6, 2009

#79: Anthony, pardon me for getting a little too personal here , but your kind offer for Darrksan is probably all for naught.

I don’t think he’d be able to string enough sentences together before having a hemorage fry his brain. I mean, how many times can you say JJ-licker without any of us bursting into uncontrollable laughter?

I just don’t get all the naysaying going on here before the movie has even screened yet (and no, Darrksan I haven’t seen the film yet, but unlike you I have an open mind about the possibilities this film presents for the future of yours, mine and millions of other fans’ favorite franchise).

106. Jim Smith - May 6, 2009

@103 It doesn’t wipe them away though. They’re still there, on shiny disc, in reruns and to the side in their own reality (which is, given what they’ve labeled the Nimoy action figure clearly the ‘prime’ reality). As a comics fan it’s like Earth 1 and Earth 2. They both exist and you could (and can) tell new stories in both realities, both are ongoing.

I do wonder how Memory Alpha will cope though. Some new bits of rubric needed!

107. MC1 Doug - May 6, 2009

#92: uh Thorsten, Uhura has a first name? finally?

don’t tell me what it is!!!!! that is one spoiler too many.

LOL!!!

108. SChaos1701 - May 6, 2009

I think the whole alternate timeline thing is just something to shut the hardcore “fans” up.

109. Anthony Pascale - May 6, 2009

as noted at the bottom of jeff’s review, reader reviews can be posted here:
http://trekmovie.com/fan-reviews-star-trek-film/

110. st-midway - May 6, 2009

I´m gonna see the movie today, just 9 hours to go! I can´t wait anymore!

111. S. John Ross - May 6, 2009

#96 wonders “what about the uniform change between TMP and TWOK.. did that rock people’s worlds?”

It sure rocked mine. I was like “HECK yeah, they filmed THIS one in COLOR! Woo-hooo!”

112. TrekYou - May 6, 2009

103: youre right, they havent happened.. because this movie is set BEFORE them.

being the fictional universe it is, cant we just say that the universe will course correct itself and somehow kirk will gain the exact same attriubutes we all know and love through similar experiences? perhaps the big wigs at starfleet will *somehow* (remembering all of this as fiction) send kirk on all the same exact missions he would have otherwise been on? maybe, just maybe.. the events of this movie contain a super high concentration of ‘life experience’ that all our beloved characters otherwise would have taken years to get? with an end result being the same? these are just off the top of my head.. maybe people need to use more of their imagination

is it hard for people to make up off screen reasoning for why this movie isnt going to collapse the star trek universe, as we KNEW it, in on itself? or is trek a religion for some and this is a reality they cant reconcile with?

a head scratcher for the ages!

113. thorsten - May 6, 2009

@107…

Doug, the guy who wrote the review in the FAZ here…
http://tinyurl.com/dxgamz
called her Nichelle Uhura… and the movie was number 9, hehe.
I told him better ;))

114. Penhall99 - May 6, 2009

112:

But they are gonna continue to make more movies with this cast and in this timeline for decades to come. If this movie was a one-shot deal, then it may be possible to include the 40 years of Trek that came before this new movie. But it isnt. THIS is gonna be Trek now. This timeline, with these versions of the characters.

Like I said, I’ve accepted this and come to terms with it.

I’m not sure why you felt the need to be so condescending in your post, but I was merely saying that I understand those that are upset about the whole re-boot thing.

115. MC1 Doug - May 6, 2009

gee, if since the timeline is altered, this also means some of the original stories could be retold…

Now maybe Harlan Ellison can retell ‘The City on the Edge of Forever’ the way he wants to… that is if he doesn’t sue someone

KIDDING (ducking behind the couch knowing I am touching on a sore subject with some people)…and I really DO love Harlan’s work.

Quoting Bugs Bunny, “ain’t I a stinker?”

116. thorsten - May 6, 2009

With the countdown down to a single day, I can’t wait for
Star Trek 12: Jane Eyre in Space,
by Rebecca Keegan and Emily Poenisch…

117. TrekYou - May 6, 2009

114: sorry if it sounded that way, but i really have these questions. i honestly dont understand that particular point of view. i understand what youre saying about the continuation of this timeline, valid point. i mean, there are some good changes.. none of us knew uhura wore such hot underwear. or, wore underwear on a hot body. im not sure what else could be said, but hopefully in a few days we can all just focus on the badass space battles? eat it, star wars.

118. TrekYou - May 6, 2009

i’d like to think everyone could agree that without some sense of ‘re-imagination’ we would have been left with nothing at all. change was necessary, or else we would be left with the soft sound of star trek crickets.

119. Chris Fawkes - May 6, 2009

Good stuff.

I think the problem with the later shows was that they wrote many of the characters in the likeness of the geeky fans.

They had to in a sense as it glued those types to the shows as they could relate.

Even the countdown series of comics spock was written to say what every die hard dork fan would gush given the opportunity. Re Data turning up in the enterprise”Not just any ship, and not just any captain” Data who he had only met once he says something he probably would have only said about Kirk. Re Jordy “You have outdone even your legendary reputation”. I didn’t read the picard comic but i wouldn’t mind betting there was some similar line of dialogue.

Of course the countdown comics were to win over those fans so who can complain but worth observing. Lets hope that type of character development and writing are over.

120. matt_uk - May 6, 2009

going to see the movie in 12hrs 54 mins gmt. can’t wait.

What gets me is the trekkies who complain about everything, from bashing berman, braga now JJ Abrams and his team and even Fred whats his name. What do u guys want. Honestly

121. Commodore Kor'Tar - May 6, 2009

Just a little more time before we all get to see the film! Hurry up time, pass on !! Pass on!!!

122. ucdom - May 6, 2009

#120

Where are you seeing it?

I’m all ticketed up for the 11:45am showing at the Empire Leicester Sq.!!

You know, the last time I was there, for my eighteenth birthday, a smidge under 20 years ago, was for the 12 hour Trekathon of ST I to IV, followed by the new (at the time) release of V. How disappointed was I? And on my birthday too :-(

123. matt_uk - May 6, 2009

122: i’m seeing it at the IMAX at the National Media Museum Bradford

124. ucdom - May 6, 2009

#123

Enjoy! I’ll probably check it out in IMAX next week, if my head doesn’t explode between now and tomorrow morning

125. matt_uk - May 6, 2009

123: I know what u mean. i can’t bear to wait no more. must check and see what time the doors open. want to get the best seats

126. ENGON - May 6, 2009

So, is there any reason to believe that this movie is not the REAL timeline and that the characters we’ve spent the last 42 years watching are the ones who live in the ALTERNATE time line?

Holy crud! That would mean that all those old shows and movies are just FULL of canon violations!

127. thorsten - May 6, 2009

@126…

The answer to that must be hidden in Daniel Faradays journal…

128. Dom - May 6, 2009

46 Gray: They’ve been talking about going back to Kirk, Spock and McCoy for years longer than this film’s been around. The fan press has been quoting pundits on a return of the original cast since before Nemesis and Joe Straczynski and Bryce Zabel prepared a document on a possible series revival years ago. After experimenting with ‘Children of . . .’ and ‘Parents of . . .’ concepts for years, a return to the original characters was nothing short of inevitable.

91. captain_neill: What I am saying fans like different aspects and JJ making these drastic changes can seem scary.’

‘Scary’ is when someone pulls a knife on you on during night out or when you visit a terminally ill loved one in hospital. It’s a TV show/movie franchise. If people feel fear about the new Star Trek, they need to get out and live a bit more.

Thanks for the review Jeff. Your opinions about the state of the franchise pretty much match mine!

129. JB - May 6, 2009

11: Abrams would have to be pretty short to have Cruise breathing down his neck :)

130. Craig - May 6, 2009

Sick of this gushing crap. Fire up the reset button! Abrams is a hack and a bad one! Without care this movie must FAIL, do not see it even for morbid curiousity, we cannot let Star Trek be violated in this way. Boycotting it is the only way to minimise the scars!

131. Xander - May 6, 2009

Now down to exactly 12 hours till I see the movie, YAY

132. Randy H. - May 6, 2009

#130: Huh? The movie will almost certainly not fail financially. And I guarantee that if EVERYONE who has ever visited this site fails to go to the movie, it wouldn’t even make a dent in the gross receipts. What is done with the franchise after this film is up in the air . . . but it always has been that way with each episode of each series.

The only question is whether those people who view Trek as their own personal property will embrace the film. From the reviews so far, it appears the general answer is “yes”. Why isn’t that a good thing? (Um, that’s a rhetorical question, not requiring an answer, by the way.)

And I must say, if you are serious about hating something you haven’t seen you will likely miss out on multiple wonderful experiences in life.

133. Rusbeh - May 6, 2009

In T-7 hours i will be watching the movie in a preview screening in Frankfurt…..I am unbelievably excited.
It surely will be an emotional overkill for me.
The reviews i read so far proved to be very motivating for me if there is an augmentation of thrilled to the bone!!!!
In this spirit, set the course for earth, maximum warp.
T-7 hours ladies,….T-7 hours lalalaaaaaa

134. Raphael Salgado - May 6, 2009

Ok, less than a day and a half to go. Bob Orci and anyone else who has seen the movie with their non-Trekkie wife or girlfriend: do I need to give my significant other a primer in Star Trek, or should we just walk in and sit down for the movie?

Need I explain anything at all before we get our bucket of popcorn and head for out seats?

135. TonyD - May 6, 2009

#130 – Did you at least see the movie before being becoming so dismissive and hostile? I’ve got news for ya pal, Rick Berman & Co. raped, pillaged, violated and put a stake right thru Trek’s heart long before Abrams and his team got anywhere near it. They took a great show and reduced it to a boring, self-indulgent, politically correct snoozefest where every other conflict was resolved by reversing the polarity of the tachyon flow into the intermix chamber or some other similarly inane technobabble. They killed Kirk, blew up the 1701-D, killed Data, put a borderline bigot in charge of the NX-01, turned the mirror universe from Mirror Mirror on its head, deconstructed Worf’s entire family, made Picard wear a silly headdress, turned Voyager & Enterprise into a couple T&A shows, and hired pro wrestlers as guest stars to try to bring in new fans. And that’s just off the top of my head. Talk about hacks.

And what’s this “we” nonsense? You don’t speak for me. I haven’t seen the new movie yet and I know there will be elements of it that I won’t like, but I WILL at least go watch it and give it a chance and be prepared to accept it on its own merits. If I like it, great. If it stinks, it stinks; I’ll still have the original series and movies on BluRay.

So in the words of an actor most folks around here seem to like: get a life, it’s just a TV show damn it, it’s just a TV show.

136. thorsten - May 6, 2009

@134…

No, Raphael, you can sit back and enjoy the ride…

137. P Technobabble - May 6, 2009

130. Craig…

I hate to tell you this, but you are clearly in the minority… The majority of reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, by professional film critics and those who have actually seen the movie. This film is not going to be boycotted, so you can just forget that call….

There has been no violation. This is Star Trek, using Star Trek-ian devices we’ve all seen before, to create a new canvas. I was watching TWOK last night and noticed quite a difference between TOS uniforms, TMP uniforms and film uniforms. Big difference between TOS Enterprose and TMP Enterprise. Spock was killed off in TWOK. Star Trek, using Star Trek-ian devices, brought him back. The Enterprise was destroyed in TSFS, and brought back as NCC-1701-A. Kirk was given a son by Carol Marcus, who never got a single mention throughout TOS. Big deal about those things, huh??? I, for one, am sick of all the nit-picking…

Also, I think it is rude and uncalled for to be resorting to name-calling. JJ Abrams is a terrific film-maker. If you aren’t a fan of his work, stay home and be angry… Or, better yet, go make your own damned movie and see what sort of reviews you can get.

I am enjoying all the gushing response, because I’m happy to see Star Trek in the public eye and consciousness again. I’m sick of all the badgering by people who are just sour pusses, or simply want to cause trouble. This movie is not going to fail, and haven’t we already been told Paramount gave a green light for a sequel? I guess you (and others like you), Craig, are plum out of luck……..

138. P Technobabble - May 6, 2009

135. TonyD

THANK YOU!

139. P Technobabble - May 6, 2009

… although greater restraint should be used when referring to others with derogatory name-calling…

140. captain_neill - May 6, 2009

128

I am not scared of the changes, I will probably end up liking the new look at the end.

I was only commenting that there are diff levels of fans and I was commenting on the elitiest comment of saying a person is not a true Star Trek fan by not blindly loving everything JJ Abrams is doing.

Now I can accept the new designs but I will always prefer the originals, because they are iconic.

I cannot wait for this film tomorrow night. It will be great

It is sad to boycott this film, as it seems the characters will be right.

141. John Sullivan - May 6, 2009

I won’t boycott the film, but I am certainly somewhat resentful that we the fans aren’t “boldly going where no Star Trek has gone before,” because obviously this is an uninventive creation of existing characters. You can change the timeline all you want, but to some extent unless living in the Apocalpyse Kirk would still have at the core of his being the “human but sometimes high-flown soldier-philosopher.” Personally, that’s why we liked Kirk so much, and why we had so many problems with Star Trek 5 when in short he appears as aimless and hopeless as he apparently does in this film. So far as Dorothy Fontana deserving credits, early on I heard that Wynona Rider stole the show as Amanda Grayson (Nimoy agrees), and there does appear to be a re-telling of her “Yesteryear” 1973 episode. Should be easy work for Alan Dean Foster to just copy and paste that into this novelization, since he also did quite well with “Star Trek: Log One.”

I am not boycotting it, and I really do hope to enjoy it. I’ll show up at the theatre sometime this weekend, and I hope that a good film shows up, too. The theory that something was great just because Star Trek is on the label was thrown out, despite all the hype and toys, when Nemesis came out a few years back. And so far, this Nero seems to be nothing more than a rewrite of that child-emperor featured in that film.

142. Duncan MacLeod - May 6, 2009

Rotten Tomatoes is up to 36 Reviews, still 100% (WHEN WILL IT END!!) Wolverine by comparison by the time it was up to 15 reviews, was in the mid 40s

143. thorsten - May 6, 2009

@141…

John, Nero is nothing at all like that child-emperor.
He is just a traumatised guy who wants his old life back,
but he can’t get it. So he tries to punish the people he believes
responsible. He is a tragic figure.

144. Denise de Arman - May 6, 2009

We get to hear Scotty saying “I’m givin’ her all I can, Captain!”. WOO HOO!!!

145. Denise de Arman - May 6, 2009

Hello Thorsten, my darling. Had any marzipan pies recently?

146. Duncan MacLeod - May 6, 2009

50. Jeffrey S. Nelson

It bothered you that Karl Urban’s HAIR WAS PARTED ON THE WRONG SIDE? I hope that was sarcasm… cuz that is just going too far. I part my hair differently on different days… its not supp… oh i give up.

147. Toben - May 6, 2009

And Karl Urban says every trademark line of McCoy like he’s running through a checklist. WOO HOO!!!

148. CmdrR - May 6, 2009

Two days!
I can’ t believe I can actually say that.

Also hoping it STAYS in theatres for many weeks, so I can breath between viewings. I used to rush to see Trek a second time on the big screen, but Nemesis killed that habit dead dead DEAD.

149. Andy Patterson - May 6, 2009

“It’s clear there was something about Shatner’s Kirk, the very human but sometimes high-flown soldier-philosopher, which the filmmakers either couldn’t relate to or felt no longer spoke to modern audiences.”

And that to me is a shame. That to me is the biggest shame. And to all my friends who say I’m a naysayer…I’ll probably enjoy the film but that’s one problem I have with it. How can you not get Kirk/Shatner,..JJ?

150. Jason P Hunt - SciFi4Me - May 6, 2009

Well, having seen it once (and reviewed it for my site), I can say this:

Is it a good movie? Yes.
Is it a great movie? No.
Special effects are off the charts. If TWOK had been able to do this, it would have been even more epic than it is.

The cast does a good job in their respective roles, although I’m still not sold on Pine as Kirk. I saw too much James Dean, and I just cannot buy the field promotion from cadet to captain.

The trouble I have with myself is that I want to like the movie. It has so many good things going for it. But there are pieces that ruin it for me. Not so much the alternate timeline, but certain places the writers go in the story just don’t sit well with me, as a fan, and as a writer. But those are creative choices, and we have to accept them.

As far as the “reset button” – we’ve seen it pressed with this movie. The alternate timeline is a cheat. It’s basically using canon to erase canon and press the reset button so they could tell brand new stories without having to worry about canonistas. I get that. I don’t like it, but I get it.

Abrams & Co. just reprogrammed the simulator. Will they rescue the ship that is “Star Trek”? We’ll see.

151. Charles H. Root, III - May 6, 2009

@146. Duncan MacLeod-

I hate to say it, but it kinda bothered me too. I can accept it, however, because it’s an alternate timeline.

Kirk moving up the ranks like he does, well that’s not so believable…It’s lost in the fringe between sloppy and lazy writing.

152. Kirk's girdle - May 6, 2009

Gary Sinise would have made an excellent McCoy, but the man is in his 50s, which limits his shelf life. The oldest ones in the current cast are Urban, Pegg, and Cho – all in their late 30s.

I’m seeing it tonight in IMAX. I too just missed tickets to the 5/2 screening.

153. falcon - May 6, 2009

I have not yet seen the movie (waiting until Saturday when the crowds will [hopefully] die down a bit – incurable optimist that I am), but my take on it, plus the reviews that I have read, point to the writers and crew having a vast understanding of not only the on-screen “canon” that has gone on before, but also the thousands of pages of non-canon novelizations that all treat the characters of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy the same way.

First, Kirk. In the series, movies, and books, he’s portrayed as a “break the rules, but know when to break them” character, rebellious as a teen, got in trouble at the Academy (remember Finnegan, anyone?), and someone for whom failure is not an option. How does this new movie change any of that? Perhaps it gives him a more directionless beginning, but the elements are all there.

Next, Spock. Born of two worlds, child of none, chooses Starfleet over the Vulcan Science Academy (to the chagrin of his father) – at constant war with his emotions, and serving amongst illogical, emotional humans doesn’t help any. How does this new movie change any of that? It’s still the same Spock character, just portrayed by a different actor.

Finally, McCoy. Although I am dismayed at the reviews that state he’s marginalized in this film, from the clip I saw he’s still the same irascible country doctor who truly fears space and the unknown, yet dives right in with both feet. (Why else would he be aboard the shuttle?) I would like to see him become the “conscience” part of the Kirk/Spock/McCoy triumvirate in the future.

The time given to the other characters, notably Uhura, is our chance to see how they developed and became the characters they did (maybe, in a future movie, Sulu gets to command a ship?). Not real jazzed about the reported Spock/Uhura relationship, but remembering some of the early episodes (“Vulcan has no moon.” “I’m not surprised, Mr. Spock.”) leads me to believe this can be more of a pleasant surprise than I’m anticipating.

So, even though I have not seen the movie yet, I am anticipating at least a pleasant experience, and perhaps I will be as excited about Trek’s future as others. I truly hope so. But at the end of the day, it’s only a movie, and must be put in its proper perspective.

154. Duncan MacLeod - May 6, 2009

150. Jason P Hunt – SciFi4Mec.

I know this is not Canon, but in the Starfleet Academy Game, everyone basically was given a pretty high rank being in Command School. The ones that come out of the Academy as Ensigns, are the “C” students so to speak… Chekov is explainable as he is a young-in and not quite old enough to be a bigger officer (apparently Harry Kim suffered from some horrible performance reviews and never got promoted after whizbanging it through the academy)

155. Duncan MacLeod - May 6, 2009

“C” students and scientists/navigators who arent interested or didnt attend command school. I know im all over the place…. Can anyone confirm how officer school in the Navy works? Does everyone come out of Annapolis an Ensign?

156. Iso - May 6, 2009

@ 155:

Yep, everyone who graduates from the Naval Academy comes out as an Ensign.

157. Daoud - May 6, 2009

Perhaps Urban’s hair being parted opposite from Kelley’s is a sign this is… some sort of MIRROR universe ;) The mirror part, eh? j/k

#152 I think Gary Sinise can still make an excellent McCoy, but either a McCoy older brother, or David McCoy, father of Leonard McCoy. I hope we get to revisit that incomplete sequence from Star Trek V, and a bit about Leonard’s ex and Joanna in the sequel or trequel (boborci willing, of course!) Yeah, so if like only his older brother were an associate of Roger Korby, and his fiance Christine Chapel comes on board to search… anyway… How about a Lovecraftian sequel, with the Old Ones of Exo III involved… (and perhaps tying in the androids of I, Mudd, etc.)

#153 Great analysis! I would argue that we don’t see all of Kirk’s backstory in this movie. I think there’s a chance that Kirk was on Tarsus still, and that even he spent some years as an *enlisted* person in Starfleet, or the Merchant Service. Maybe he was on the Farragut after the merchant ship he served on was destroyed by the creature and Garrovick took him under wing. Maybe he shuttled over to the Republic then to get home, and was bunked with Finney, a friend of his family, and thus also observed Finney’s error, but as a visitor. There area always possibilities.

#something. What’s wrong with everything around Iowa? Got a problem with the state? It’s got an excellent university probably still, just up the road from Riverside. I can see the logic of building the structure somewhere. Why not near a university? Universities run the space probes, and research labs all over the country. No reason for that model to change.

To all of the whiners… just imagine the world ended the year Nemesis came out. You have so much much more original Trek available to you…

than those of us who lived through the early 1970′s. We had TAS yes for all of less than 11 hours total. We had “Mission to Horatius”, and the Blish novelizations. We had Franz Joseph. We made a lot out of little. And the fanzines created things like Kraith, and countless other stories. Kraith is an alternate universe of Star Trek, too, doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed.

Do you ever watch a Shakespearean play? The productions aren’t the same as when they were at the Globe. Heck, they changed things from night to night! Did you watch Christopher Reeve as Superman? Or is no man but George okay for you? Was Buck Rogers eliminated because Gil Gerard was in the role? (Imagine a world without Erin Grey in that white outfit! Yikes!)

What we’re getting is a heck of a lot better than what Harve Bennett was pushing in the late 1990′s with Starfleet Academy. McCoy as a guitar playin’, grass chewin’, hat wearin’ cowboy? Kirk as a surfer dude? Spock as a prissy wuss?

And frankly, I remember 1970, with Gene Roddenberry saying he hoped he could tell the tale of how the Enterprise crew came to be. Gene’s the one who first had the idea of a prelude, a Phase One. It was the passing of time where he knew then he could only go forward, hence Phase Two.

I don’t get all the whining. I really don’t.

158. freddy - May 6, 2009

Hi Everybody,
Now, anyone who boycotts this movie is a closet star wars george lucas loving mo-fo ! Why would any true Star Trek fan not see this film, because not same cardboard sets, lame uniforms, crappy special effects?! Please, the same people who will “boycott” will be the first on in line cry through out the whole movie b*tching about everything that is wrong and not canon. For once Trek is being RESPECTED by the studio giving it full promotion and the only thing some “fans” can do is b*tch about this and b*tch about that – SHUT THE HELL UP. Get out of your parents basement and go see the damn movie.
Got tix for IMAX – Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy……

159. Rastaman - May 6, 2009

Nice review! Although one thing I will say is that I rather enjoyed the aging of the original crew throughout the original movie series, and never thought it was too much of a stretch. I thought it said something about the future that men and women were not so inhibited by their aging bodies in the future. There was also nothing more REAL about the characters in the first six films then watching them grow older, a crew so dedicated to each other and to their beloved flagship that they would never leave. They had to practically be forced into retirement. It would have been a travesty had they recast the roles for Star Trek VI.

Hopefully, we’ll be lucky enough to see some of these fine actors reprising their roles when their sixty years old as well. Bring on Star Trek XXX! (and by XXX I am referring to “thirty” not the soon-to-be-released Hustler special).

;-)

160. Steve Wade - May 6, 2009

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

161. Commander K - May 6, 2009

Star Trek still at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes after THIRTY SEVEN reviews.
Has well surpassed Dark Knight, which received a rotten review after 20.

How long can it hold out for though?!

162. barrydancer - May 6, 2009

I’m a bit confused by this review. Are we getting an alternate timeline, as in a whole different universe and the “prime” timeline still exists concurrently and is going forward as well, just in some ether where all those timelines live? Or is Nero pressing the reset on the “prime” timeline, turning it into an alternate, or making it different than before and potentially negating everyting we assumed happened from then on out?

I had assumed it was the former, but the review makes me think it was the latter. And that would make me sad. Like, “Everything you loved got us to this place. But now we can ignore it forever.”

Friday’s coming, and I’m still up in the air versus theatre or wait for it on Netflix.

163. Commander K - May 6, 2009

#162 alternate timeline. Prime isn’t touched.

164. Mugz - May 6, 2009

Man I can’t wait to see this now – too many good reviews for it to – at least – not be a damned good yarn. been a while since a genuinely FUN film came out – remember FUN Batman?….

Just hope for the sequal they DON’T feature Khan as has been hinted at in a couple interviews with Kurtz/Orci recently. Respectfully, do something NEW…

How many films/TV episodes actually explored strange new worlds and new civilisations? Lets do THAT. Something new and unseen which will REALLY make people know Trek is back.

Please no more political/revenge/battle movies – lets do sci-fi and exploration ;)

Live long and Prosper folks

- Mugz

165. Capt Mike of the Terran Empire - May 6, 2009

Trek Minus 1 day and 9hours and 15 minutes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

166. TonyD - May 6, 2009

#162 – My understanding is that the Prime timeline and everything contained therein still exists and will always exist. Everything you see in this movie (and any potential sequels stemming from it) is occuring in an alternate timeline/universe/reality (whatever term best suits you) and in no way impacts what occurs in the Prime timeline. They are divergent and totally separate and independent of one another. At least, that’s what I’ve gotten out of it.

As to your indecision about seeing it or not, here’s my two cents: seeing the Enterprise soar thru space on Netflix will never equal seeing it on the big screen. If nothing else, the movie deserves a look just to see what they do with the hardware of the 23rd Century and that is best viewed at the cinema on a giant screen with booming surround sound.

167. Commander K - May 6, 2009

#166 I agree. As sad as it may sound I felt the most emotional moment in this movie was probably not the Nimoy scene, but when we first see the enteprise..it definetly got me, and the ppl around me!

There is an additional prime/alternate twist in this movie which still confuddled me a bit at the end of the film, but i’ll let you guys work that out .

168. wkiryn - May 6, 2009

“recast and re-imagine Spock, and the rest of the crew of the original U.S.S. Enterprise, and show us how they wound up as the finest crew in Starfleet.”

Except of course it’s an alternate universe that has nothing to do with how the original crew was the finest. It’s really hard to take these reviews seriously when the first paragraph is so completely wrong – Well I’m off to watch New Voyages as I don’t have a problem with the crew being recast either. It’s the insultingly dumb script this movie has I have a problem with.

169. Closettrekker - May 6, 2009

#130—”Sick of this gushing crap. Fire up the reset button! Abrams is a hack and a bad one! Without care this movie must FAIL, do not see it even for morbid curiousity, we cannot let Star Trek be violated in this way. Boycotting it is the only way to minimise the scars!”

Lmao.

Funniest post so far!

170. Closettrekker - May 6, 2009

#166—”My understanding is that the Prime timeline and everything contained therein still exists and will always exist. Everything you see in this movie (and any potential sequels stemming from it) is occuring in an alternate timeline/universe/reality (whatever term best suits you) and in no way impacts what occurs in the Prime timeline. They are divergent and totally separate and independent of one another. ”

I’m a little less moved by the MWI of QM talked about behind the scenes.

It is my understanding that this is not addressed in the film. Instead, it seems that we get some commentary on the possibility of the Universe course-correcting itself by assembling people where they are supposed to be. It will likely be viewed by audiences in the same manner in which traditional interpretations of time travel in science fiction often dictate—-that altering the past results in altering the future/present.

Otherwise, the drama in Spock Prime’s objectives is drained like air from a balloon. Is it not?

171. Shatner_Fan_Prime - May 6, 2009

Closettrekker is LAUGHING at the inferior intellect…

172. Duncan MacLeod - May 6, 2009

161. Commander K – May 6, 2009
Star Trek still at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes after THIRTY SEVEN reviews.
Has well surpassed Dark Knight, which received a rotten review after 20.

How long can it hold out for though?!

Up to THIRTY NINE as of this post.

173. S. John Ross - May 6, 2009

#161 sez “Has well surpassed Dark Knight, which received a rotten review after 20. How long can it hold out for though?!”

Well, to surpass the Dark Knight it’ll need a much higher average score, though :) Dark Knight holds at 85% average (even factoring in the “Rottens”), while Star Trek’s still at 79% (without a single “Rotten” to drag the average down) … so while the 100% Tomatometer rating is kickass and notable, Star Trek is still no Dark Knight, in RT terms.

Still very, very impressive, though, 39 reviews as of this posting … But in the next 48 hours we’ll see that jump to more than 200 reviews, and then the ride begins and hopefully she can hang on to a coveted spot in the 90-99% range …

174. ElwoodJD - May 6, 2009

Just an addendum to the shock and admiration over the film’s 100% on rotten tomatoes: I never really found their “review system” helpful because as I understand it you can either only say “fresh” or “rotten” and thus even mediocre->good film can usually flit by with a high score because more people than not enjoyed it even if it wasn’t “great.”

If you want a true testament to this new film, check out metacritic (http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/startrek2009); they take overall scores and aggregate them (so its more than a yay or nay, it averages the overall score out of /100 and also weights the review sources based on their credibility (slightly subjective). With 8 reviews posted from sources such as the Boston Globe, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, etc, the film is holding an average of 94/100!!!!

For comparison sake, here are the metacritic average scores for some other films:

Dark Knight: 82
Schindler’s List: 93
Goodfellas: 89
American Beauty: 86

It’s not easy to get solid scores on metacritic due to the vast pooling of reviews and the larger base score to averaging.

Also, Star Trek 09 is sitting at #8 in the metacritic all-time database (all movies indexed by metacritic ever). So, its not as good as Godfather II, or Dr. Strangelove, but its sitting pretty solid.

175. earthclanbootstrap - May 6, 2009

Okay, I just have to pitch in my two cents on this whole gushers vs. haters felgercarb.
It’s just the way the internet is.
I find blind adherence to the exteremes to be quite pathetic really, but it’s part and parcel of typing on the interwebs.
There are people who just want to hate this thing soooo much that NOTHING would make them happy, and some of them have said some really despicable things. Quite frankly, the less said about them the better. They are trolls and deserve nothing but to be ignored. Conversely, there are some folks here who are so blindly wed to the idea that this is the most brilliant Trek ever that they refuse to acknowledge that there look to be not only some canon things that Trek fans might take issue with, but apparently some pretty glaring flaws involving basic plotting and storytelling. And they have usually been nothing but derisive and dismissive towards those that dare to raise any questions.

And of course there are those who are somewhere in the middle, and they are for the most part fairly polite.

I’m guessing that there are aspects of this that I will enjoy, and I know that there are aspects that I take issue with. The only question is whether I consider it worth more attention after I’ve paid once to see it. I guess I’ll know after tomorrow, but in the meantime I really have to shake my head in pity at the folks on both sides of the argument who can’t be bothered to show a little respect and consideration to those people they don’t agree with. In your heart of hearts you know who you are and you are frakking pathetic!

But I still think that ugly ship being built in Iowa is idiotic! ;-)

176. C.S. Lewis - May 6, 2009

Bob,

I admit the dramatic potential is much greater with a petty hoodlum character (NuKirk) than with Dudley Do-right (Kirk). You’ve got much more dynamic range, a greater delta from start to finish, and the potential for many fascinating or even implausible twists and turns.

And it’s true, some of the more sophisticated ideas developed through the Kirk character, for example the “I will not kill today” speech, did ring of lessons learned from bitter experience rather than springing from the immaculate conception.

Having said all that, don’t you think the “drunken, ‘misunderestimated’ bum with a heart of gold makes good” story has been done to death?

The timeless heroes, real or fictional (Jesus, Arthur, Washington, etc.) aren’t themselves transformed so much as they transform others. As a writer, not to mention as a man, wouldn’t you rather explore those lives which are obviously the rarer?

Sincerely,
C.S. Lewis

31. Boborci – May 5, 2009

27

Kirk is younger than we’ve ever seen him. Do we expect him to be fully formed in a prequel?

177. Iowagirl - May 6, 2009

#98, 99
Abrams & Co. have deliberately decided to alter Kirk’s backstory by ignoring the details we were given on TOS. There are few but subtle references to Kirk’s past, namely the events on Tarsus IV and the Farragut’s fate. Those events were crucial for the boy and the young man Kirk becoming the Captain we know and relate with. If you just ignore those events, if you decide not to make them part of the protagonists’ past, you alter the character’s shape, his development, his perception of life. That’s how I understand it.

#100
Thanks, Gary – I’ve always appreciated your statements, too. I don’t think the Primeline is gone, either – we definitely agree on that. How could one film possibly override a 40# year Primeline? :) Regarding the film and the characters as some sort of mirror universe is fine with me – only that I’m not much interested in watching it.

178. Todd - May 6, 2009

David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz (from Australia’s At the Movies programme) reviewed it tonight – 4/5 stars from each – that is a huge endorsement. Especially David, anything over 3 stars for a movie like this, means he was really impressed.

If this movie fails at the BO, it won’t be because of critical panning that’s for sure..

This is exciting!

179. Raphael Salgado - May 6, 2009

I think #160 sums up this whole site and everyone in it. My sentiments exactly! ;)

180. thorsten - May 6, 2009

@170…

There is a component in the movie that usually not happens in time travel stories, CT. This makes it obvious that we have entered a new timeline, without a return ticket. You’ll like it.

181. JJ_roddenberry - May 6, 2009

” For everyone complaining about the Enterprise, take another look—the proportions and details are far closer to the look of the original ship than we had any right to expect. This easily could have been some unrecognizable blob of a ship but it is very much the classic icon it always was and I’m perfectly happy to have a toy of this vessel on my desk. ”

Baaaaarf….

I’m liking a lot of what I’m hearing about the movie, can’t wait to see it tomorrow, but the ship sucks. It’s not just a few bad pics here… it’s now very easy to get a look from any angle now, and she sucks. I hope they blow it up in Star Trek 3.

182. LordCheeseCakeBreath - May 6, 2009

Will anyone tell us what the barcode scanners do?

183. Shatner_Fan_Prime - May 6, 2009

#182 … They’re used to scan the wrists of female officers, so everyone can tell what rank they are.

184. S. John Ross - May 6, 2009

#174: RT also does an aggregate/average score, they just print it very tiny compared to the huge simplified Tomatometer rating.

Star Trek sits currently at 80% (8.0/10) having been nudging slightly upward every day (it was 7.9/10 yesterday, 7.8/10 the day before that), with 42 reviews considered.

The fact that the aggregate is trending slightly _upward_ as the number of reviews increase (instead of sliding more towards the middle) is pretty groovy.

I agree that the Tomatometer itself is of questionable value, for exactly the reason you cite (a movie that everyone agrees is “pretty okay, I guess” would still get 100%), but RT does also post the percentile average … they just never draw much attention to it.

185. Val Jean - May 6, 2009

woo just finished reading COUNTDOWN on my pc through Comical, all ready to watch the movie in 15 hours!!!

186. Cheka - May 6, 2009

The part about Karl Urban’s performance bring a tear to Leonard Nimoy’s eyes really struck me.

Urban’s line in the second cinematic trailer for the film (“We’ve got no captain and no first officer to replace him”) never sat right with me, as it sounded to me simply like a hollow DeForrest Kelley impression. Granted, that was just after hearing him speak one line, so it was a premature judgement.

A lot of people are making premature judgements about this film: what it will do to canon; whether or not Pine-Kirk’s rise through the ranks can be believable; whether or not the new Enterprise is worthy of praise or criticism; what impact Spock and Uhura’s relationship will have, etc etc.

But the main thrust of this review struck a chord with me. It’s all about seeing how these characters got to where they did. The whole “different timeline” thing may seem hokey, but it allows a scope to explore these characters that we could never have been afforded on either TOS or the original films, because the characters were already at a certain point in their lives. I do wonder if Abrams and co. are intentionally referencing the more emotional, less restrained Spock of “The Cage”.

The point made that this film brings the TOS crew on to the big screen in a way that the other films never could is a good point. The status quo that existed throughout all of those films – maintained to the point where a deceased crew member came back to life, and a destroyed ship was replaced with an identical copy – will not figure in these films. While the original films were brilliant, and always will be, the scope for drama, excitement, intrigue and above all, storytelling, is grander than it ever has been before.

May the human adventure begin indeed.

187. ElwoodJD - May 6, 2009

@184

Thanks, you are right its pretty small I never even noticed it before :)

It’ll be interesting to see what happens when more reviews are posted to metacritic (hoping it remains about 85). Who/How do they decide which reviews to put onto rottentomato? do you have to be a published reviewer, or can every joe blogger get his opinion tossed into the mix? I know metacritic sticks to published sources and prominent online organizations, and as mentioned before, weights them based on MC opinion of their reviewing ability.

188. ElwoodJD - May 6, 2009

@185

Is there a place online to purchase .cbr PC format comics? I’ve used comical before to take some comics on the go that I had purchased in print and then downloaded to have a digital backup copy to take on the go. I don’t think that it should be illegal to download a copy of a .cbr for a comic you purchased, but I am sure that the industry disagrees (plus the brief time I am downloading I am also likely providing it to others who are less principled than I am).

I’ve been dying to find a place to buy .cbr files for comics I don’t necessarily want to have print versions of but haven;t seen any reputable online retailers with them?

189. EvilSean - May 6, 2009

Can’t wait, can’t wait. I’ve just got my tickets for the midnight show here in Dublin, and I can’t wait!!! Gotta be there early to grab a good seat.

Excellent review, and not as spoilerific as I had thought, thankfully.

Tomorrow, I will be reading Trekmovie.com as a person who has seen the movie!!!

This is going to be great.

190. P Technobabble - May 6, 2009

176. C S Lewis…
If I may interject, I strongly disagree with your assertion that great heroes are not so much transformed as they transform others. Everything I have ever read about storytelling, writing and literature clearly indicates that the protagonist MUST change over the course of the story. He/she starts out in one circumstance, and, when it’s over, is in a new circumstance, having learned something about him/herself, about life, about something. Consider TWOK. Kirk begins as a bored, frustrated man, stuck behind a desk, feeling old and worn out. The adventure he must endure, as well as the death of his friend, leaves him feeling young by the film’s end. Consider Star Wars: A New Hope. Luke begins as a young, naive, frustrated young man, and his adventure leaves him transcending his self-doubts and self-loathing to become the Jedi we know he was meant to be. Surely, you must be familiar with the works of Joseph Campbell… These are just examples (I could find many, many more) of how every successful story plays out, how the protagonist arcs. If the hero transforms others along the way, fine. The hero is not always capable of having an effect on others since other characters must also have motives and intentions…
I would never try to speak for Mr. Orci. It would be “arrogant presumption” to put words in his mouth. But, with all due respect, I disagree strongly enough to comment.

191. S. John Ross - May 6, 2009

#187: You have to be a published reviewer to be counted, but they draw from a wide range of publications, both paper and online (including some of my favorites from the Austin Chronicle). There’s also a tab to single out high-profile “Top Critics,” just above the Tomatameter bar, etc.

And speaking of the Austin Chronicle, Marc Savlov just gave it 4/5 stars, so I think I can officially state that I _am_ seeing the movie on the big screen, possibly even on opening weekend (though probably not Friday night … I hate long seating lines) … I don’t always agree with Savlov on every kind of film, but his geek-movie tastes have always seemed eerily matched to my own (plus, I know he likes Trek but isn’t a die-hard fan, which helps me take his review more seriously).

192. sean - May 6, 2009

#177

But Iowagirl, every Trek writer thereafter ignored those events! They are never mentioned or referenced again, and essentially treated as inconsequential.

193. Closettrekker - May 6, 2009

#176—-”The timeless heroes, real or fictional (Jesus, Arthur, Washington, etc.) aren’t themselves transformed so much as they transform others.”

Is Hercules not a timeless hero? The two are not mutually exclusive. I fail to see the drawback to the hero first being depicted as himself being transformed—-before he begins to realize his potential (part of which is the ability to transform others).

There is nothing at all wrong about giving new audiences reason to cheer for this guy—–reason to become emotionally invested in what happens to him. For that matter, it gives the more traditional fans a way in as well—-since he is technically not the same man we are introduced to in “The Man Trap”.

It seems to have played out well for those fortunate enough to have screened the film already pretty much universally.

194. AJ - May 6, 2009

177: Iowagirl

Kirk’s ‘backstory’ was random bits thrown into episodes for dramatic impact. Kirk’s life never got the full treatment the way Spock’s did from DC Fontana.

I, for one, am happy to see someone finally attempt it.

195. Gary Seven of Nine - May 6, 2009

I agree; There was something utterly human about the reveal of the E, in contrast to the “lighting-up the E in space dock” reveal in TMP. Another great shot is where the E rises-up to kick some ass.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

167. Commander K – May 6, 2009

#166 I agree. As sad as it may sound I felt the most emotional moment in this movie was probably not the Nimoy scene, but when we first see the enteprise..it definetly got me, and the ppl around me!

There is an additional prime/alternate twist in this movie which still confuddled me a bit at the end of the film, but i’ll let you guys work that out .

196. JimJ - May 6, 2009

Armond White just kicked it’s butt with his review. You can always count on him to screw up the trend!

197. Ryan - May 6, 2009

#196 – Read his review. It seems he’s quite the contrarian (likeing Starship Troopers, Confessions of a Shopaholic and not likeing Iron Man and TDK). Many RT posters were betting he would be the first one to give it a negative review.

198. Iowagirl - May 6, 2009

#192
Sean, I think that was due to the fact that no Trek writer thereafter was up to making a TOS prequel…;-)

As regards TOS itself, the events are not inconsequential at all. Kirk’s behavior, his course of action and his reactions in Obsession and The Conscience of the King are a corollary of the events mentioned. And I think, his overall ethical consciousness, his loyalty, his self-doubt, and his sense of guilt could only be developed to the extend shown on TOS due to the events that happened in his youth. Granted, this is not mentioned explicitly, but there’s definitely a link between Kirk’s past and his attitude and actions as Captain.

#194
- Kirk’s ‘backstory’ was random bits thrown into episodes for dramatic impact. -

AJ, I agree that it’s a pity Kirk’s backstory never got the full treatment, but nonetheless the random bits brought about exactly what they were supposed to: have a dramatic impact. Too much an impact to alter it down to Abrams’ whim, imo.

199. C.S. Lewis - May 6, 2009

190. P Technobabble – May 6, 2009

176. C S Lewis…
If I may interject, I strongly disagree with your assertion that great heroes are not so much transformed as they transform others.

Dear Technobabble,

Thank you for your comment. It is a good observation and I think Campbell brought a lot to the concept of archetypes and heroic myth, but he is only one researcher after all, and many heroes wouldn’t recognize his definition.

There is also the question of “change” versus “rising to the occasion”. Going from drunkard to clean, sober and responsible is quite the change, deep profound change at that. It is also implausible and perhaps that is the reason for the fascination with such a success story.

But heroes do not change so much as they persevere, a point you made with some very good examples. I believe there is a great distinction between the two. For example, Jesus did not change at Gethsemane – he saw the job through when lesser men would have fled. Washington did not change at Valley Forge, he saw it through when lesser men would have quit and swore loyalty to George. Arthur did not change when confronted by Lancelot’s and Guenevere’s betrayal, he redoubled his courage and fought to the death (or near death, I suppose).

For a change to occur, we need to see an abandonment of the old self, perhaps like the story of Saul on the road to Damascus. Of course, Paul is not considered the great hero, although he is widely admired for taking such a courageous stand in the face of his wretched past. Similarly, and this is somethign of a stretch I know, but Benedict Arnold’s profound change wasn’t seen as good by either side of history. The Americans saw him as traitor; the English felt him dishonorable having betrayed his own.

I will see the movie in Imax Friday morning, unless work interrupts and then I’ll catch it over the weekend. Bob Orci personally guaranteed my ticket expenses + popcorn if it turns out a dud. So I’ll let you know what I think of his take on “Kirk the Wiser for His Foolishness” very soon!

Sincerely,
C.S. Lewis

200. AJ - May 6, 2009

Quite funny cartoon in New York’s “The Village Voice.”

http://www.villagevoice.com/slideshow/view/8433105

201. Closettrekker - May 6, 2009

#194—-”Kirk’s ‘backstory’ was random bits thrown into episodes for dramatic impact. Kirk’s life never got the full treatment the way Spock’s did from DC Fontana.

I, for one, am happy to see someone finally attempt it.”

Agreed. Kirk’s backstory wasn’t really worth much to his character development, IMO.

Kirk acts no differently after the episode “Obsession” than he does before it. The events which unfolded aboard the USS Farragut and their impact upon him are things which are only mentioned in that episode to make the encounter with the creature more dramatic. The feelings which we are then supposed to believe have been with him all along are resolved within the same episode. The Farragut story is worth nothing without its ultimate resolution in “Obsession”. Kirk goes on about his business the following week in the very same manner in which he did before.

The little tidbits of backstory for Kirk were only intended to make the story being told (within a single episode) at the time more interesting—never really to form a coherent backstory. It has been the fans and writers of non-canon books who have chosen to piece together those tidbits for that purpose.

In contrast, Fontana’s treatment of Spock’s backstory is very much intentional and his character development is far more fleshed out as a result in stories like “Journey To Babel” and “Yesteryear”.

202. Hawaiowa - May 6, 2009

Watched two tidbits, one on FLIX channel where they said skip it to Wolfie, the Bionice film and other…then waxed enthusiastically about Trek with another one of those “best prequel ever” praises (one of the reviewers is the young dude who calls movies for TCM). The second was from venerable CNN who did a weekend review for the Wolverine premiere…that was mostly about Star Trek and how extraordinary and “magnificient” it is. I had to do a ROFL when I realized that Trek had trumped Wolvie on its own premiere special.

I just hope the slows and vegetables will take heed and overlook the geek stigma and see this movie (even though many of them are Vin Diesel fanboys..er…bolohead geeks who cant seem to extract ‘hero’ from ‘antihero’). It could easily get $100M during the weekend, and that would be a good thing for a tentpole movie.

Trek long and prosper!

203. Ensign Ruiter - May 6, 2009

first

204. Closettrekker - May 6, 2009

#202—-Not that I would necessarily be shocked, but I’m still thinking there are yet enough unbroken preconceived notions about Star Trek in the mainstream that $100mil may be a bit high for a realistic prediction.

205. Ensign Ruiter - May 6, 2009

uh…oops

206. C.S. Lewis - May 6, 2009

193. Closettrekker – May 6, 2009

Is Hercules not a timeless hero?

Hello Closettrekker,

First I want to tell you that I am a big fan of yours on this site. Thanks for taking time to read my post. I wish I had more time to reply properly, but I’m on a late lunch break.

Certainly, Hercules is one of the original heroes, descended of Zeus and caught up in all the intrigues of the gods. Even so, wasn’t he gain renowned for his deeds and courage, which he did his whole life? Forgive me but I am rusty on Hercules, not having read Roman/Greek legends since my undergraduate days. I do think he was mentioned in the Odyssey, but that too was a long time ago for me.

I think the main thing Kirk and Hercules have in common is saving the world. And yes, I’m in favor of us all enjoying the tales of such men.

Sincerely,
C.S. Lewis

207. Five Star Trek Movie Reviews To Get You Ready for Lift Off | FilmChik - May 6, 2009

[...] 1.  Jeff Bond’s Review of ‘Star Trek‘ | TrekMovie.com [...]

208. Closettrekker - May 6, 2009

#206—I thank you for the compliment.

The reason I mention Hercules is that, despite his Olympic ancestory, by no means does he begin as a hero. In fact, he brutally murders his own wife and children. He is remembered for his (12?) heroic deeds of redemption (and in childrens’ versions of the classic Greek myth, the fact that he needs “redemption” in the first place is left out for obvious reasons), but where he begins as a character is nowhere near his ultimate destination.

Without taking the time to research it, this is the earliest example I can recall of a hero who first transforms himself before actually becoming heroic. Without the journey from dishonor to redemption, Hercules is a very stagnant character…and quite frankly, he would be boring.

209. marbpl - May 6, 2009

Another cartoon:
http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/05/06/bramhall.jpg

210. Alicia Norman - May 6, 2009

My hubby and I are AVID Trekkies (plan on watching the ST-NG marathon on Sci i channel this week–even cleared our schedule’s)–as a screenplay writer, I know how Hollywood tries to “script doctor” movies to death and franchise them. I too haven’t paid to see a film since LOTR but I do plan to see it in the theater come hell or high water–I just pray that the changes aren’t so grand that I do not recognize the folks I have come to love…

211. wkiryn - May 6, 2009

31. Boborci – May 5, 2009
Kirk is younger than we’ve ever seen him. Do we expect him to be fully formed in a prequel?
———————————————

Um you guys made him go straight to Captain – so you must think the audience is so stupid to not grasp an unformed character of Kirk with anything but Captain in front of his name.

212. Alicia Norman - May 6, 2009

wkiryn excellent point! I am a far cry from the girl I was at 18-25 than I was at 30 and now–even older *ahem* but still transitioning. The one thing I loved about the Star Trek series and later spin offs were that the characters had depth and were well fleshed out — they learned and grew–why would Kirk be any different and if he were–how could we identify with him?

Many of the folks we regard as heroes we probably would have barely tolerated in their adolescence…

213. Chris Basken - May 6, 2009

I’m just curious. Has anyone seen it yet and hated it? The worst I’ve seen so far is “it’s really good, but could have been better.”

Rottentomatoes.com is giving it a 100% fresh rating. Is that even possible?

214. Alicia Norman - May 6, 2009

Penhall99 also makes a great point about trekkie intolerance. One of the reason I hated and stopped going to conventions was how close minded and downright belligerent some of the fans were. It was as if you had to adhere to rigid ideals to be a real fan. I even heard folks nearly start a fist fight over which spin off was better Enterprise or TNG…

I was stunned–no wonder we get ridiculed.

I am a big fan but I would never suppress or belittle someone elses ideals thoughts should we fail to see eye to eye — we’re on the same side here.

Voltaire once stated “I do not agree with what you say but I will fight to the death your right to say it.”

I live by this philosophy and feel the world would be so much better if we learned to adopt this attitude and I dunno–mature a bit.

The world is filled with different perceptions, musings, philosophies and thoughts–not just our own. We do not have to agree, but we can civilly disagree and allow alternative views the ability to breathe.

215. TrekYou - May 6, 2009

for those of you with severe issues concerning the new movie, think about it this way:

star trek is dead. long live star trek!

..or pout, but the rest of us are going to go enjoy a movie.. with spock.. and space battles. how could anyone be unhappy?

216. Alicia Norman - May 6, 2009

Chris–I went to Rotten Tomatoes–it is down to 96%…but that is still good…

I can’t wait–seeing the film is going to be my Mother’s Day gift…YAY

217. P Technobabble - May 6, 2009

I think it is also important to remember that the demands and limitations of episodic television are quite different than those of a feature film. Kirk RARELY changed at all during the series… maybe he did in “City.” To some extent, he also had to remain the same Kirk in the films because we always knew he’d be back for the next film. It is quite hard to work with on-going characters. But THIS film allows the opportunity to start from square one, and we don’t really know much about the young Kirk. I, for one, find it refreshing to see an unfamiliar Kirk who becomes the Kirk we came to know…

218. Alicia Norman - May 6, 2009

P Technobabble — Me too–u have no idea how excited I am about this I am!

219. ENGON - May 6, 2009

Heroes and villains are not the same things as protagonists and antagonists. Antagonists cause the protagonist to change. On a weekly TV show, such as TOS, it isn’t generally feasible for the hero to always be the protagonist. You can’t have Kirk coming to some fundamental realization each week and changing his character continuously – but he often serves as the antagonist, provoking change in others.

Take “Plato’s Stepchildren.” The hero is Kirk and the villain is Parmen, but the protagonist is Alexander and the antagonist is Kirk. Kirk brings about change in Alexander’s desire for revenge by providing an example of another way of thinking and with his simple line of, “Do you want to be like him?” That brings about the dramatic climax of the story at which point Alexander throws away his knife.

220. ENGON - May 6, 2009

In contrast, Kirk IS the protagonist and DOES change in an episode like “Arena,” when he decides not to kill the Gorn Captain (despite having chased him across space for that very purpose). The Metrons are the antagonists, having created the circumstances that afford Kirk the opportunity to “get to know” his enemy. Kirk is the hero; the Gorn Captain is the (misunderstood) villain.

221. podo944 - May 6, 2009

I was one of the lucky ones who saw the movie last week at the Hollywood premier!

I have to say it… I’m sorry…

THIS ONE GOES TO 11 !!

;-)

222. Closettrekker - May 6, 2009

Roger Ebert’s review wasn’t very kind today, but throughout the whole thing—-he’s not so much ripping ST09, but Star Trek in general. It is obvious that he doesn’t think much of the concept in the first place.

On the one hand, though—he calls it great fun….but that doesn’t prevent his review from being “rotten” (he actually gave it 2.5 stars, so that’s a bit puzzling).

223. LoyalStarTrekFan - May 6, 2009

Why do you find it necessary to attack people 135, and others (you know who you are). Too many people are attacking other people here on this forum. I’ve seen it dozens of times on almost any topic. We’re more divided than the nation when it comes to politics. You know, if you’re a Democrat you can’t possibly agree with a Republican and vice versa. So, is that what we Trekkies have become, bitter, angry people who can’t agree on whether or not rain is wet? It started with Enterprise, people either loved or hated the show and those who hated the show called people who liked the show “gushers” and would attack them for liking ENT, and guess what, people who loved the show called people who disliked the show “bashers” and would attack them. Now it continues with the new film, people who have concerns about the film are called “haters” and are attacked, and those who like the new film are called “brownnosers” and are attacked. ENOUGH!! This is becoming outrageous. I selected my screenname LOYALSTARTREKFAN as a message. I’m loyal to STAR TREK in all forms and I love the entire franchise, every series, every movie. Yes some are better than others and there have been some episodes and concepts I didn’t like but the good has always outweighed the negative, by far. So, I’m only going to say this once more, let’s all get along. We all share one thing in common, we love Star Trek. This should bring us together, not drive us apart. It’s time we all be “Loyal Star Trek Fans” and get along!

224. LoyalStarTrekFan - May 6, 2009

222, well, you can’t win over everyone. I’m sure some people who have never liked Star Trek, or actively hated it, may not go see the film because they also don’t like the whole concept. Hopefully, they’ll be in the minority.

225. Chris Basken - May 6, 2009

222: “Roger Ebert’s review wasn’t very kind today, but throughout the whole thing—-he’s not so much ripping ST09, but Star Trek in general. It is obvious that he doesn’t think much of the concept in the first place.”

Ebert really hasn’t been relevant for a while now. I have yet to see Trek, but I find it interesting that the new Star Wars movies were guilty of the same kind of non-science (and really, much more so than I get based on Ebert’s descriptions in this review), yet he gave them 4 stars. Mind you, these are movies with Jar-Jar Binks were talking about.

Still, it’s a pretty sour review. I’m taking that as a good sign.

226. David P - May 6, 2009

KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN

227. TDLter - May 6, 2009

I have a question: Doesn’t anyone see this as bad storytelling? Going back and re-inventing someone else’s characters seems lazy and unimaginative. To me, Star Trek is about going forward and exploring new ideas, not going back a rehashing a franchise to make it more popular. I am going to see the film, that way my opinion can have credibility rather then just being taken as movie bashing.

228. Unbel1ever - May 6, 2009

Here are my thoughts on the movie. It’s been one hour, since the end of the movie, so many of these thoughts are still quite fresh. I will definitely see it again next week.

Well, here it goes:

****May contain spoilers. You have been warned !*****

The first few minutes of Star Trek were probably the best ever done in any Star Trek production. The energy, the effects, the emotions. Everything made me think: Wow, they’ve really done it ! Then the title came up. It felt like a break and bit cheesy with those letters flying in. Also the score didn’t quite fit at that moment, which made a guy two seats to my right say “What’s up with that music ?”. I liked the introduction of young Kirk, but I feel that part could have been cut. The introduction of young Spock made the whole room laugh, since in my opinion the scene didn’t convey the conflict in Spock and just looks like small kids in costumes. Also the “school” set didn’t really feel Vulcan. I feel the real introduction takes place, when we first see Quinto and Pine as their respective characters. That should have been the first thing we see of them, since both scenes work really well – except for Pike saying the Federation is an armada. The rejection of his place in the science academy was brilliant. Quinto nailed that scene. After that, the first Trekkie goosebump moment – the shot of the E from the trailer with Kirk on his bike. The whole sequence works exceptionally well, especially with the shuttle flying over the E complete with stunning visuals and Karl Urban, who from the get go gets McCoy completely right in every single detail. I was disappointed by the Kobayashi Maru scene. The one in this movie straightout mocks the concept of it. The shots of the screen make it look like a video game with the Klingon “warbirds” (aka battlecruisers). It’s obviously intentional, but I just don’t like it. In contrast to the sillyness of test, Kirk looks really serious in his following hearing. I liked Kirk and Spock here, but I find myself thinking: if Kirk takes this suddenly so seriously, why wasn’t he more serious during the test ? Well, he’s saved by the bell. Goosebump moment no. 2 – the E in space. Despite my previous doubts, the starship designs work in motion – even though the nacelles are still ugly. The scene when Kirk realises, that they’re going into a trap and tries to warn the crew could have been much better, if not for this stupid bit of slapstick with the swollen hands and tongue. This is one of the flaws of the movie, I made out. Many good, exciting scenes are ruined by slapstick. You don’t really feel attached to the struggle in those scenes, since it feels they’re only messing around anyway. Like Chekov racing to the transporter room to save Kirk and Sulu…. like a chimp. I also thought, that the reaction to Vulcan’s destruction was greatly lacking emotion. I mean, this is 911 a billion times worse. An important core world of the Federation wiped out and Uhura is “sorry” ? It feels like Spock is the only one bothered by it on the ship. A quick look at the villain. Bana’s brilliance as Nero makes me wonder, how that movie had turned out, if it had a less sillyness and more of him. He had the potential to replace Khan as the number one ST movie villain, but they wouldn’t let him. The most impressive moments in this movie in my opinion are the ones with Leonard Nimoy. It’s humbling to see him play Spock once more. I can’t imagine, how it must have been to see it happen in reality. Scotty didn’t work for me at all. I love Simon Pegg, but it didn’t feel like Scotty. I was wondering when we would see at least one Scotty moment and when it finally came it felt empty and forced. In my opinion, the whole end of the Narada should have been handled differently. Take the same scene, leave the black hole out and it works, so much better. The Narada would be severly damaged, but still a threat, which would justify Kirk blasting it to pieces, whereas blasting at a ship, that can’t escape a black hole is just pointless and we would have been spared the forced warp core ejection business.

Still, these are things I can live with. Things that make Star Trek a good movie and a good rebirth of the franchise, but not a great one – at least to me. There’s much to enjoy: All the references. Many scenes taken right out of previous movies. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura and Sulu, who really work as characters. And the thought, that this is still an infant movie in matters of character development and we have all the pieces in place for an adult one next time.

Sorry, it’s a bit of a messy read, but it’s still such a blur :)

229. Ryan - May 6, 2009

Did Roger Ebert EVER like Star Trek? I don’t think I’ve heard him say anything good about it.

230. sean - May 6, 2009

#196

Armond White simply enjoys stirring the pot. That, or he has the worst taste in movies I’ve ever seen. Just look through some of his previous movie reviews, and you’ll see the man’s opinion isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

#222

If I recall, he’s never been kind to Star Trek. Don’t know why.

231. sean - May 6, 2009

#225

He also thought Watchmen was brilliant, an opinion I definitely do not share.

232. Capt Krunch - May 6, 2009

24 hours mark…The Human Adventure has begun….Again!!!!!

233. Chris Basken - May 6, 2009

#231,

He also touted the “genius” of the newest Indiana Jones flick, if that’s any indication of his taste.

Hey, we all have our likes and dislikes, but I don’t know anyone who didn’t think Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was unnecessary and tedious.

234. sean - May 6, 2009

#233

True. And hey, maybe those that did like KOTCS or Watchmen won’t like Star Trek. After all, that’s why we listen to movie reviewers in the first place, right? To find someone that reasonably matches our own tastes to predict our possibly enjoyment of a movie? Ebert might be an accurate predictor for some. And those that thought Minority Report or Mission To Mars were genius pieces of cinema might value Armond White’s opinion – though let’s hope there aren’t TOO many of them ;)

235. Todd - May 6, 2009

#229 – Ebert liked First Contact, and most of the even numbered movies preceding it. He’s given low ratings for every movie since. As someone has said, I think he’s over the whole concept now.

236. McCoy - May 6, 2009

Still, Ebert’s review is valid. Apparently, the film did not work on a level that he was hoping for. There are some people that want more for Trek than just the action. If I had a list of things to fix from past Trek films, adding more action was not one of them.

I hope many of you who watch the film are able to look past the special effects and quick cuts to come to a accurate view of the story and changes to what we knew as Trek.

237. sean - May 6, 2009

#236

It’s up to the individual to decide if the criticism is valid. I’ve read numerous other reviews that praise its ability to balance action and character-driven drama.

And what exactly would be an ‘accurate view’ of this film?

238. S. John Ross - May 6, 2009

I found the Ebert review to be very considerate and clear … he praised the film on many points, expressed disappointment on others and gave clear reasons in every case for why he responded as he did. That makes it very rare among film reviews I can read online, and more valuable than 90% of them, since it doesn’t matter if I suspect I’ll agree or disagree … Ebert’s review gives me a clear perspective on his viewpoint and I can then judge it on my own, in my own context. Most reviews aren’t nearly as useful on those grounds.

#236 sez: “Still, Ebert’s review is valid. Apparently, the film did not work on a level that he was hoping for. There are some people that want more for Trek than just the action. If I had a list of things to fix from past Trek films, adding more action was not one of them.”

Yeah. For my own part: TOS is still the only Star Trek that feels _whole_ to me … Star Trek had action, comedy, sexiness, AND intelligent questions, high ideals and humanism.

The spinoffs (TNG onward) and most of the films seemed to do its level best to keep all the high-ideals and serious-questions parts but pay only faint lip-service to the sexy-action-fun parts (and when the films attempted fun, it was often awkward).

If the reviews speak true (and I don’t know, yet, if they do) this new version seems like a pendulum-swing to the other side, keeping all the things that the spinoffs discarded but paying faint lip-service to the things that the spinoffs kept.

Somewhere in the middle, there is Star Trek.

IMO, of course. And maybe the reviews are misleading. Dunno yet.

239. Chris Basken - May 6, 2009

236: “Still, Ebert’s review is valid.”

I guess what I’m saying is that probably for the past decade, my personal tastes have worked opposite of Ebert’s reviews. This isn’t without exception, of course, but what he looks for in action/adventure or sci-fi doesn’t seem to be what I look for. That’s why I said his thumbs-downish review gives me hope that I’ll like it.

240. Jason P Hunt - SciFi4Me - May 6, 2009

Anthony, are you removing my posts for some reason? Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had at least two disappear.

241. McCoy - May 6, 2009

Ebert didn’t like Wolverine—and I thought the film was fine. I don’t expect Ebert to match my tastes completely, but he at least represents a non-hyped, point of view with a “professional” opinion with years of reviews behind him. He did enjoy Iron Man—and did not like Speed Racer.

Here’s one quote from Ebert that resonates:

“The Gene Roddenberry years, when stories might play with questions of science, ideals or philosophy, have been replaced by stories reduced to loud and colorful action.”

So hearing this from a professional movie film critic (didn’t really matter which one it was) confirms what I was worried about and helps me to guess at what my thoughts would be watching the reboot.

242. pock speared - May 6, 2009

ever since ebert slammed ‘blue velvet’, claiming he’d written a better film (beyond the valley of the dolls- which is a damn good film, but but no credit to ebert), i have ignored his gross ass. but the point is, if ebert hates it, it probably rocks.

actually, that’s true of other critics around here as well.

243. sean - May 6, 2009

#241

“at least represents a non-hyped, point of view with a “professional” opinion with years of reviews behind him.”

And the 72 other positive reviews came from novice hacks paid by Paramount Pictures to love it? Good thing for Roger he’s immune to that deadly hype flu going around ;)

244. pock speared - May 6, 2009

#228
thanks for the review. it made no sense, but i think you kinda liked it but maybe didn’t a little but… look! a bunny!

245. Dom - May 7, 2009

Ebert’s review seems perfectly balanced. Let’s face it: this film is ‘narrative housekeeping’, setting up new versions of the characters and establishing that anything can now happen.

I’m still looking forward to seeing it (in about three hours) and am really looking forward to the sequels where the new team is established and, hopefully, on their five-year mission!

Just because a review is bonkers in favour of a film we (may) like, doesn’t mean its writer (who has seen it) doesn’t have some good points!

246. Unbel1ever - May 7, 2009

#244

Hehe, no problem. I’ll go and see it again and then write a proper review. This was just a collection of my impressions right afterwards.

247. Bloons - May 7, 2009

My review, obviously there are SPOILERS:

Star Trek – no subtitle, no number, and a new beginning for a film and television series long gone out of fashion. Yet an appropriate subtitle would be Star Trek: The Ride, for this slam-bang summer actioner is a breathless thrill, although with little to say about science, morality or any of the familiar subjects Trek is sometimes admired for.

For all the hype surrounding a bold new direction, Trek XI feels surprisingly familiar. Almost straight away we are given backstory about how this film ties into the others, and the villains (the Romulans) are the same enemies seen in the last Trek movie, Star Trek: Nemesis.

The real changes appear to be in the camerawork, with direction dizzyingly fast and disorienting, portraying the internal mayhem of a starship under attack more effectively than any previous Trek film. To be fair to the other films, they haven’t had the same amount of money thrown at them, and while visually impressive, the use of re-dressed industrial locations to represent the bowels of various ships is a misfire. The steel and concrete of these ‘real-world’ sets instantly drags the viewer out of a futuristic-looking world and into a rather cheap-looking one.

The film is also noticeably more violent than any previous Trek film, and, sadly for a future without money, product placement creeps into Trek for the first time in its history.

CANON SECTION: (Don’t care about the shenanigans of canon/fanon/whatevernon? Skip this bit)
On the sticky subject of canon, fanon or whatever you want to call it, Trek XI is an odd fish. It does spend quite a lot of time explaining that Nimoy Spock had changed the timeline, but contrary to what many optimistic fans believed, it seems as if Trek XI is set in an altered version of the original Trek timeline, not an alternate timeline running ‘alongside’. In other words, Nero going back in time has altered the original Trek universe, so yes, you could consider the whole of Star Trek now ‘wiped’ – I can’t recall any explanation of parallel universes existing alongside the original, and to be fair this sort of thing would probably alienate the casual audience – simply saying ‘Spock’s come back from the future and altered everything here’ is a familiar concept for many moviegoers. This new universe replaces the old, for better or worse.

If we assume that Nero goes back in time to meet the Kelvin, what is J T Kirk doing being born on the Kelvin? Go to the official Star Trek website and it proudly proclaims he was born in Riverside Iowa. Will Riverside be taking down its proud ‘future birthplace of James Kirk’ signs, now?

Fan fears over the bizarre promotion system of the new Enterprise are also founded. Due to a serious of extremely convenient meetings and incidents (even Nimoy Spock seems surprised at the absurdity of one meeting) a cadet takes over the command of a ship filled with presumably hundreds of better qualified candidates. Perhaps Pike’s whim of a field promotion is explained in a scene that ended up on the cutting room floor, but in the rush to get to the next action-set piece it’s just another plot point that doesn’t really make sense but, look..! here’s a monster chasing Kirk down a ski slope!
CANON BIT OVER

One criticism of the Trek series that were set in the 24th century is that they were too soapy, too interested in the minutiae of the character’s lives and not as interested in ‘big ideas’ like the Original Series. In this regard Trek XI has more in common with Picard and co. as Kirk fails to lecture any aliens about the importance of freedom and democracy, but does spend time emoting about his dead father. Spock’s romance with Uhura is given no background or explanation and seems an instant-mix attempt to connect the audience to Spock and show him as more than the cold, unfeeling logic monster. Yet other characters are given short shrift in the internal motivation stakes. Scotty is used as a comic foil, and Pegg’s ‘Scottish’ accent is occasionally distracting as is the ‘Wussian’. Sulu has almost nothing to do character-wise, so no change there then.

What did stick in my craw was the ‘execution’ of Nero. So the dastardly Romulan refused help, fair enough, but why the phaser him into oblivion? Wasn’t being sucked into a black hole enough? Spock’s lack of mercy for Nero at this point was also troubling. Nero may have been willing to fight to the end, but what about his crew? I thought Kirk didn’t believe in the no-win? Well a real win would have been a rescue.

Fundamentally the film is exciting, and that is probably the ‘Prime Directive’ of this reboot. Will it convert a new generation of Trekkies? Maybe, but what will they watch because of this new interest? Any of the old TV series will be lacking the bells and whistles of the new film and seem hopelessly dull in comparison – if taken at surface value. While a successful Trek film is to be celebrated, Trek is at its best on the small screen, where it can explore issues in more depth. There just isn’t any depth to the new Trek, it is indeed style over substance.

While there is nothing wrong with a stylish, fluffy Trek being at the cinema while a thoughtful Trek runs alongside it on TV, in this new ‘timeline’ there is only one Trek, and it is a big confection of light and sound, signifying little.

So yes, I enjoyed Trek XI, but for me, Trek is really about TV and how this massive film will translate into a decent TV series is unknown.

Best Trek film ever? No. For me that honour still goes to ‘Moby Dick in Space’: Star Trek First Contact.

248. Unbel1ever - May 7, 2009

#247

100% agree

249. Mark - May 7, 2009

I don’t care how many people who have actually seen it say it is good! I haven’t seen it but C.S. Lewis and KNOW it is bad!

250. McCoy - May 7, 2009

247

Thanks for a fair review!

251. McCoy - May 7, 2009

243 sean.

I think many other reviewers have lower expectations for Trek. After all, this Trek was purposely modified for a different generation.

252. Brady - May 7, 2009

i couldnt give a crap about the naysyers. I saw this movie a few hours ago. I love it. I have always loved everything trek. Star Trek owes you nothing. It is not your idea, it is not your story to tell. I think it is brilliantly executed and made me very excited about trek again. Too many years in between with no movies has been too long.

Long live Trek, bring on the next one.

253. Closettrekker - May 7, 2009

#251—-”I think many other reviewers have lower expectations for Trek. ”

I think that goes without saying. Even I, a lifelong Trek fan, am only willing to say that there have been 3 wonderful ST films (each in its own way), and 7 others which range from okay to poor.

My own opinion is that there hasn’t been a “wonderful” Trek film since 1986, and we have been subjected to mediocrity (and a couple of really bad ones) ever since. It makes sense that there would be low expectations across the board for critics…Roger Ebert included.

254. McCoy - May 7, 2009

253.

I actually agree…is this a first for us?

I’ve mentioned before that no one could really create anything that could top some of my favorite episodes anyway: City on the Edge of Forever; Balance of Terror; The Inner Light; All Good Things. All the TOS cast films have have had one problem or another. I HATED that Spock died in ROK. I did enjoy 3 and 4…but Spock was either missing and/or not the same. Uh, thanks Leonard. The mix was altered. By the time 5 and 6 showed up, the cast was a bit old for the same formula (Starship planet hopping).

255. Party spolier - May 7, 2009

#247-
You had me all the way..until you brought in First Contact.

Great review and yes, Style over substance.

First Contact is actually a lot like this film, illogical prevails! If the Borg could time travel to begin with…why the big battle at earth…again. Why not go back in time as a cube ship and destroy the planet?

otherwise your right on, way to go.

256. McCoy - May 7, 2009

LOL, yes, I meant WOK not ROK. Sometimes I hate my lack of interest in spelling.

257. Closettrekker - May 7, 2009

#254—Earth shattering….I know.

Television Trek and Film Trek are just two entirely different animals to me. “planet/commentary of the week” just doesn’t suit feature film Trek.

This doesn’t mean that the movies will never have anything to say. Some of them have (like TMP and TVH, for example), and I dare say that some of them likely will again. But not all of them have, and not all of them will—–just as some of the episodes of TOS had something to say, and some of them didn’t.

I agree with Ebert on one thing in particular. This film (ST09) is about re-introducing the characters. It appears that it has been successful in doing that.

I’m not thrilled at what I know of Kirk’s ascension to command, but a whole lot of contrivance didn’t kill TWOK for me, and nothing I have heard of these extremely convenient occurances riddled in the plot leads me to believe that it will be any worse than that.

Nor am I particularly enamoured with the bounds of my ability to suspend disbelief with regard to Trek science, but I can hardly imagine that it will be any worse than “slingshotting around the Sun”.

258. RD - May 7, 2009

#247 – That review sounds about right on. Fair, balanced, even handed. Take the good with the bad. God job (and kudos for separating the fimmaking form the Trek stuff).

On the subject of sequels, which are already being clamored for, it occurs to me for all the hoopla made of Abrams unburdening himself of the trappings of canon, he seems to be painting himself into a corner with the mythos he has created for this universe. He’s thrown out what didn’t work for him about the original series, but in adopting things that work better for him, he’s leaving little room for the franchise to grow. In other words, Abrams may have blown the lid off of what he can do for Star Trek, as if he signed up for one film and that’s it. Is Abrams the new Gene Roddenberry, or Rick Berman? More importantly DOES HE WANT TO BE? My observations is probably not. He strikes me as someone who gets bored easily which is why his fingers are in a dozen projects at once and why he is no longer hands on with his TV projects. In any event, how do you TOP this spectacle with a traditional installment story? I mean, for God’s sake, he’s destroyed a major planet and brought a race to the edge of extinction in his first film, while threatening to do the same to Earth – how much bigger can the stakes be? In most respects that is what in part doomed the Trek film franchise – how do you top a film like TWOK, or FC, or ST09? The follow-ups by comparison are likely to always fall short. Perhpas Abrams will be saddled with the “even-numbered” curse. Or perhaps Paramount will throw $200 million at him for the next one raising the stakes even higher to guarantee success.

So then what? Abrams has set up a bunch of NEW canon which has to be followed. But what if he doesn’t want to? What if he can’t? What if he’s invented something that made the first movie exciting, but only bogs down the sequels? The whole warp transporter technology comes to mind. Now that this technology exists, who needs ships anymore when you can beam around the galaxy like Gary 7? I mention this one in particular because Roddenberry and co. knew the dangers of using the transporter when they invented it, and over 40 years of stories, their fears were increasingly realized as the transported became used as the scapegoat to get out of dangerous situations, or increasingly implausible reasons were devised for why it couldn’t rescue our hero. In the face of such overwhelming evidence, has Abrams painted himself into a corner or will Abrams just ditch that bit of his own canon too? Perhaps every film will reset the Trek universe, or at least conveniently forget the new canon, as long as he’s at the helm.

Whatever the case, Trek is back, it’s an exciting fun ride and more people than ever will be drawn into it’s web of influence. It is definitely not “your father’s Trek” for better or worse, but it is Trek whether one accepts the changes or not.

259. Closettrekker - May 7, 2009

That should read, “Nor am I particularly enamoured with the bounds of my ability to suspend disbelief with regard to Trek science being stretched…”

Sorry.

260. Closettrekker - May 7, 2009

#258—I think that Lindelof, Orci, and Kurtzman will likely be the ones acting as caretakers of canon in the near future…not Abrams.

But you’re right about Abrams being likely to only produce the next (or next two) installments, rather than direct. He may even have little or no involvement at all in subsequent Trek films. As you say, Abrams likes to get things started (like the first two seasons of Alias and the first season of Lost), and then move on to a new challenge.

My three favorite Star Trek films had three completely different directors—Wise (TMP), Meyer (TWOK), and Nimoy (TVH) and their films couldn’t have been more different in tone and style—so I don’t believe that this is automatically a problem.

261. T'Cal - May 7, 2009

I’ve seen it already by means of a radio promotion. In fact I won tickets from one station for a screening on Monday and went to see that with my older son, and I won two more tickets to a screening last night from a second radio station and my wife and younger son went.

Without revealing any spoilers, it was a blast. We all thoroughly enjoyed it. The story has a whole ot two that deleted scenes might or might not fill but the casting, writing, acting, directing and special FX were great all around. The humor was among the most genuine and successful in a Trek film; it’s right up there with that of TVH, never feeling forced or campy. The music had some highs and some lows. The “bad-guy dramatic music” was a little too much, but I love the theme. Over all, I’d give this film a solid 3 out of 4 stars; very good but not quite perfect.

As a huge fan of the recent Batman franchise, I see this as similar in that the first film handles the task of introducing the main characters while having a very good story that sets things up for an outstanding sequel. I hungrily await STXII!

262. Bloons - May 7, 2009

@245

First Contact is indeed flawed, and is a bit ‘Trek does Aliens’ – but for me Patrick Stewart smashing that cabinet of model ships as he gives vent to the pain the Borg have caused him, is for me, one of the greatest moments in Trek ever.

One thing I was going to add in my review is that I have observed that TOS fans *tend* to be a bit more forgiving of this film while Next-Gen fans *tend* to be a bit more sceptical, possibly because the film’s existence is almost a confirmation that the TNG series somehow failed in the end. As someone else mentioned, the 24th century was perhaps less ‘fun’ than the 23rd but kept the more cerebral elements, while this film arguably keeps the fun but jettisons the brains.

There are a lot of Trekkers out there who, for them, TOS is Trek and that’s fair enough and I’m pleased that they were so excited about this film. I did enjoy Trek XI but personally it didn’t blow me away or affect me emotionally in the way First Contact did. But then I care more about Picard than Kirk so I’m biased! The film is fun but forgettable, sadly.

Whatever happens about the sequels: can we please have something other than a baddie out for revenge please??? Let’s see a tripped-out Trek full of weirdness, maybe.

263. Bloons - May 7, 2009

Sorry, above post was vaguely aimed at #255

264. RD - May 7, 2009

#260 – considering Lindelof is running LOST at the moment and comes from the horribly cheesy and exploitative MTV “Undressed” series, and Kurtzman and Orci have given us Alias, Hurcules and Zena Warrior Princess, I’m not entirely sure I am any happier that the franchise will be left in their hands either. Abrams departure would only be encouraged as a new director can always improve upon the old. However, as the Berman years have shown us, writers and producers can run a train off its rails.

Frankly, I would tend to credit Abrams with everything that is making this new film successful as much as I would credit him for everything I feel doesn’t work. Regardless, the mess of the old franchise canon only starts over for a new generation of fans (and let’s face it, that’s what’s happening here, the old fans are just along for the ride in much the same way I was along for the ride with TNG and a whole new generation embraced it as the “authentic” Trek) and will eventually bog this reboot down with similar details (this is what fanatics do). It is therefore prudent for any good writer to be conservative when introducing an in-universe device which acts as a pivotal plot device. I’m not sure they have been here.

Either way, they have a dilemma. This movie is officially budgeted at 150 million, and the actual budget is likely more. The advertising budget from what I have seen must be almost half the official budget. That puts this movie well into the 250 million category, not including interest. That’s a lot of dough to recoup before the first profit is paid. And a lot of pressure for the sequel. How does one top this one without spending more money? By his own admission, JJ didn’t even have enough money to build a proper engineering set, arguably one of the most important in the franchise.

That said, this then is what is being dumped into the laps of Lindelof, Orci and Kurtzman, along with some already questionable story plot device decisions. This is in addition to the already burdensome duty of protecting the legacy of the original. Those are some big shoes to fill for some guys who gave us teen dramas and neolithic fantasy shows. And have you seen the stuff these guys have in development, not to mention another season of LOST and likely FRINGE? Berman had a full time job with TREK and look what happened. How are these guys gonna do it AND top this films box-office? Even Star Wars couldn’t do that.

Well, here’s hoping! Either way, there will most likely be at least three before they bring in a new version of Harve Bennett and reboot it again.

265. Closettrekker - May 7, 2009

#264—-I happen to find Lost and Fringe (to different degrees) entertaining.

You seem to brand these guys as the sum of what they have able to get paid to write in their young careers.

You know, there wasn’t alot of impressive material on the resumes of Harve Bennett and Nick Meyer when they came aboard. Made for tv movies and mini-series?

266. sean - May 7, 2009

#264

“By his own admission, JJ didn’t even have enough money to build a proper engineering set”

I think this had more to do with JJ’s background in television and his desire to stay on budget (much like Harve Bennett). And it seems most involved think the use of industrial locations played into his idea of making ST more ‘real’ quite nicely.

Honestly though, aren’t you over thinking this just a bit? Let them worry about budgets and schedules. It seems as though you’ve decided they’ll fail before they even try.

267. Unbel1ever - May 7, 2009

I’ve just seen the movie for a second time. This time I took more time to look at the details than in my first showing. I also believe, that I have gained an emotional distance big enough to write a fair review.

****** There may again be spoilers. Ye be warned ******

Abrams set out to create a new kind of Star Trek, that was supposed to be more accessible to the mainstream than the previous incarnations and provide the franchise with a much need breath of life. Young, fresh, energetic and exciting. “Star Trek” has achieved this goal without a doubt. It is a new take on characters created 40 years ago, updating and grounding them in the process.

story:
“Star Trek” is a movie about the original characters, their chemistry and the way they got together. The story reflects this circumstance. From the beginning, the focus is on the characters. They are common people with initally common problems, who happen to live in the future and use starships for travelling. The struggle against Nero makes them join forces and become something more than ordinary, something special. This is probably one of the main messages of the movie, which is emphasized by old Spock practically telling this to the audience, while explaining his motives to remain on Delta Vega to Kirk. Whereas the character development is certainly one of the strong spots, the story also has several flaws. There are plot holes and logical errors, which are common to movies of this kind and can be overlooked by a forgiving audience. However, the main concern in my opinion is the villain. Nero’s motive does not become clear until very late in the movie, unless one has read the prequel comic. It being plain and simple revenge, does not fulfill the hopes of many, that Nero would be a complex multi-layered character. The reason for this is also apparent throughout the movie: It tries to tell too much in too little time. The deaths, dismissals or replacements of characters in supporting roles in order to advance the main crew in rank and position does seem far too convenient. The story spread out over two or three movies might have been more consistent and epic. Despite Abrams’ intentions the scale of the movie does not seem any larger than that of its predecessors. In fact, the lack of introduction to the Federation and its many cultures makes it appear smaller and earth centered. Starfleet apparently only consists of a few dozen ships, since the whole fleet can be engaged in one operation, in one system. It is also disturbing, how little attention is paid to the billions of deaths on Vulcan and the significance and impact this has.
Overall the story presents a mixed picture. On the one hand it provides for great character moments, on the other hand it fails to convey the big picture and the villain remains one dimensional.

characters:
Since the story is about the characters, it was clear that, they’re the most crucial point of this movie. One bad casting decision among the main cast, would have made the movie a faillure. As it is, there is no total loss.
In fact the “big three” are exceptionally well portrayed and Uhura can be considered an improvement over the original.

Pine’s Kirk is very different from the one played by Shatner. He had to be, since his background is completely different. Different doesn’t mean bad in this case. Pine manages to play the young rebel and the Starfleet captain equally well and several times lets Shatner’s Kirk shine through.

Quinto as Spock certainly had the most difficult task, since his performance would have to measure up the one of the original Nimoy Spock in the same movie. Even though many doubted his ability to do so in the beginning, Quinto does a great job portraying the Vulcan/human-hybrid and especially his inner conflict and the cool consideration the original is so famous for.

Undoubtedly Urban’s McCoy is the closest to the original character. He shows all the typical mannerisms and is immediately recognizable. It will be interesting to see, how the triumvirate will go on in future movies.

Uhura is the secret star of the movie. Saldana gives the character a new perspective and attitude that fits well and provides a loud female counterpart in a cast of mostly men.

Sulu and Chekov are portrayed very solid. They are what you would expect, but not much more. Hopefully Chekov’s accent will get phased out, once he grows up.

Simon Pegg’s Scotty is a pure comic relief character.He lacks the genuine engineering spirit the original Scott radiated. While he is fun to watch, the performance leaves one somewhat unsatisfied.

Nero is a missed chance. The character had so much more potential. Bana’s portrayal is flawless an convincing, however the characters lacks depth. A picture of his dead wife is not enough to convince an audience that this is his sole motivation to commit multiple genocides. Had Nero been given a similar treatment as the main cast, this movie could have been outstanding instead of just good.

There is not much to say about Nimoy’s Spock. Trekkies know how good he is and the rest will begin to suspect.

design:
The production design of this movie is probably one of the things, that has been discussed the most before the release of the movie. There are several highlights, but also several downfalls. First of all, the designs of the Federation starships work altogether. The E may look odd from some angles, but it is without a doubt the federation flagship. Earth feels a lot more connected to the present, than we have seen it in previous movies, while the designs for Vulcan represent the style created for this world in the forty years previous to this movie. The uniforms are outstanding. What didn’t quite work for me are the phasers. They look more like toys than powerful weapons and it takes out a lot of the excitement of the gunfight onboard Narada, when the audience starts laughing at them.
The engineering sections of the starships have to be deemed a complete failure. They do not fit in the otherwise futuristic look of the movie. The huge tanks seen, when Kirks tries to get to Uhura at her station are out of place and ruin the otherwise fitting look of the scene.
The entrance corridor to the Federation outpost on Delta Vega could come right out of The Matrix, but certainly not Star Trek.
Nero’s ship, the Narada is a prime example of style over substance. Nothing aboard this ship makes sense. Platforms and bridges over huge canyons – without rails. It looks more like a giant squid, than a starship. While the design looks threatening, it fails to convince. The same effect could have been achieved with a more conventional approach like the Borg sphere out of Voyager’s Endgame.

effects:
The effects are the best done for any Star Trek production to date. The starships look alive and breathtaking, the planets convincing. ILM once again has done a great job. However, the lense flares are blinding at times and could have been tuned down a bit.

soundtrack:
The soundtrack is very solid and works for the most part. It is not of the same quality as those before composed by the likes of Goldsmith etc..
I can’t see it ever being played in a concert hall alongside those of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings or the previous Trek films, but it does its job.

If I was a normal reviewer, I would probably stop around here somewhere, but I am also a Trekkie, so:

Star Trek lore:
It was clear from the beginning, that this was going to be a complete reboot of the franchise and that is the way I have treated it. Still, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed. The awe before the great adventure that is space is gone in this movie. As well as the optimistic and peace loving attitude of mankind. Peace is not a theme of this movie. Death and destruction reign throughout. Kirk’s olive branch extended to Nero in the end feels forced and results in an unneccessary weapon spree on an already dying vessel. The most devastating line in the movie is Spock’s “not this time”, which signifies one thing: Peace is dead. Long live the evil mirror universe ! Well, the mirror universe can be fun, but it’s not why I fell in love with Star Trek. Hopefully the next movie will remedy some of this.

In general I loved the fact, that they “stole” so many scenes from the previous movies.

For example:

Star Trek I: Kirk’s shuttle ride to the Enterprise
Star Trek II: Kobayashi Maru
Star Trek IV: Scotty gets a formula from the future this time
Star Trek V: Kirk and Spock around a camp fire.
This time Kirk bumps his head.
Star Trek VIII: The Enterprise joining a battle out of nowhere and saving the day
Star Trek IX: Warpcore ejection

For the next movie, I wish they would also pay a little more attention to detail. I mean, Scotty’s transwarp beaming essentially just made a starships a bit useless, didn’t it ? They’re now nothing more than they are in Stargate. I pay attention to detail, so I don’t like to see those sacrificed in the name of a minor story point.

In general:
I like this movie. It was good – not great, but I look forward to seeing more.

268. Belaoxmyx - May 7, 2009

Just saw it. I was scared that this could go wrong. It exceeded my expectations by far. This movie is an utterly and complete disaster in every way. Sorry guys. Watch Galaxy Quest instead. It’s a great movie.

269. McCoy - May 7, 2009

267.

Wow..

So your review pretty much confirmed all my fears. I don’t really see hoe you get to the “I like this movie” after all that, but maybe that’s just my context.

“The awe before the great adventure that is space is gone in this movie. As well as the optimistic and peace loving attitude of mankind. Peace is not a theme of this movie. Death and destruction reign throughout.”

“For the next movie, I wish they would also pay a little more attention to detail”

We were hoping the film’s creators understood ‘Star Trek’ before this film was released. Wasn’t Orci supposed to make sure all was well? It seems strange and unlikely they will change the things you mentioned above unless they get the message. Where do they get the message? The only card I have to play is to stay away from the theater. Space action and destruction is just not important enough for me to pay $7.00.

270. Unbel1ever - May 7, 2009

#269

Well, you should at least go and see it once. The reason, why I still like this movie are the characters. Star Trek has always been about them. I can live with a bit less optimism. You also have to keep in mind, that this is an exposition movie. The last two scenes make up for much that has gone wrong before and at least stir a bit of hope for a more faithful approach in next one.

271. Bloons - May 7, 2009

To those saying the ‘prime’ universe survives and the Abramsverse runs parallel, you are wrong. There is only one universe here. Trek future has been wiped clean by Spock’s actions, but hey, maybe that means Enterprise never happened either (although that was in the, erm, past) so everybody’s happy, right? Right?

Damn you Spock! You destroyed the Star Trrek Universe!

I have had… enough… of you !!!!!

272. Unbel1ever - May 7, 2009

#271

Hi Nero :)

273. Bailey Simpson - May 7, 2009

247.

I agree on Nero. He destroyed a planet, attacked a federation ship,attempted to destroy Earth, wiped out almost all of the Vulcan race, and killed Kirk’s Dad.
Under realistic circumstances he and his crew should have been rescued, put on trial for his actions and imprisoned for the rest of their lives.

274. Unbel1ever - May 7, 2009

#273

Erm, realism ? Care to rephrase that ?

I am not saying, that I can’t live with Nero being blown to oblivion, but I don’t like the tone of the scene. If Kirk was honest about his offer, the next thing he should have done after Nero rejected it, would have been to say something like “Well, that’s your choice. Let’s get out of here”. That’s just my opinion.
The other possible solution would have been, to leave the black hole out and leave the Narada some sort of threat potential after being crippled by the collision. Then we would have had some kind of TWOK scenario, when Khan was on the devastated Reliant and still defied Kirk. The ensuing fight would have been exciting,would have made sense and kept the right tone.

275. Gary Seven of Nine - May 7, 2009

The prime universe still exists because Spock remains the same at the end of the movie. If the prime universe is on the same time line as the film, then Prime Spock would remember the events of the film.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

271. Bloons – May 7, 2009

To those saying the ‘prime’ universe survives and the Abramsverse runs parallel, you are wrong. There is only one universe here. Trek future has been wiped clean by Spock’s actions, but hey, maybe that means Enterprise never happened either (although that was in the, erm, past) so everybody’s happy, right? Right?

Damn you Spock! You destroyed the Star Trrek Universe!

I have had… enough… of you !!!!!

276. Trekster_gamer - May 7, 2009

May7th 2009

The Day the Star Trek Died

A long long time ago
In a galaxy not so far away
we used watch and love Star Trek

but now they’ve really screwed it up,
they have taken all we loved so much
and literally erased its life away

I know if I had my chance
I would shoot JJ in the pants
he has made a real bad
I hope that he gets really sick

He took Star Trek and made it crap
I would love to kick him in his sack
and maybe I would feel better the next day.

And we were singing, bye bye mister Spock and kirk guy
I will miss the real Star Trek and I am sure I will cry

Good ol boy watched Star Trek all time,
Star Trek has no future and I think it’s a crime

277. David Roberts - May 7, 2009

Just saw it, I wrote Gene Rodenberry a letter when the first series was cancelled I was like 8 years old. I actually got an answer (damn i wish my grandmother would have realized what that letter would be worth in the future before she tossed it ) . I have been a Star Trek fan for 4 decades and I have never had as much anticipation to see a movie as I have this one. The only thing that was out of place to me was the underlying thing with Spock and Uhura. But Zoe’s Uhura was spot on as I would have imagined her. Carl Urban was a huge surprise !!! WOW !! All in all I am just giddy about the whole damed thing and looking for to see where they boldly go next, I can’t wait !!!

278. Roderick - May 7, 2009

Question for all of you. How do we reconcile the death of Spock’s mother Amanda in the context of “Journey to Babel” and ST IV? Also, the destruction of the Vulcan planet to “Amok TIme,” ST IV, etc?

279. Trekster_gamer - May 7, 2009

That’s the thing. They imply a different time-line. It is like the original 40+ years of Star Trek didn’t happen and frackin JJ wants to re-imagine it in his own way. With Star Trek there is such a rich and diverse history that is out there and they have to write this crap. I am going to chalk this movie up to same as I do any other lame movie, forget it and move on.

280. McCoy - May 8, 2009

So Vulcan is destroyed and Spock’s mother dies (in addition to all the other changes). Really people. This stuff was developed from scratch. Was it really worth it? Was the rollercoaster ride that this film is really worth it?

281. The King Man - May 8, 2009

I also agree with 275, it is an alternate universe that is parallel to the prime universe, as well as an infinite number of other alternate universes which have always existed. There are many episodes that show the existence and often brief connections between the alternate universe and prime universe. See TNG “Parallels”, ST “Mirror, Mirror” (duh), and a whole bunch of DS9, VOY, and almost all of enterprise…

282. McCoy - May 8, 2009

It’s a fine line the movie makers have tried to walk: if they say it’s parallel in the film, there’s no reason to worry about the characters. They have to pretend it’s prime to increase the stakes (like Back to the future).

Spock’s memories wouldn’t need to change whether it’s parallel or an eraser of prime. If the reviewers say there’s no mention on parallel universe in the film and everyone in the film feels like they have to get back to something more important (or that something was lost) the the implied idea is that this is the “wrong” set of events—or that a “truer” set existed somewhere else.

There really is so much BS coming out of the filmmakers it’s sickning (especially JJ). For those of you that don’t have intuitive BS detectors….I feel for you. But you are being lead down a path to buy a ticket and accept JJ vision. Obviously the Paramount execs did have any BS detectors.

Trek has been changed on so many levels and it did not have to be this way. There was plenty of character motivation and potential for romantic story arcs in the original history of the characters. If they wanted the audience to better identify with the characters and locations, the entire first movie could have been set on Earth, in the academy.

283. McCoy - May 8, 2009

oops… meant to say the Execs did NOT have BS detectors.

284. sean - May 8, 2009

#282

You’ve decided not to spend your $7 (and face it – you *really* decided it a long time ago, you made that clear), but you aren’t content with that. Now you have to educate everyone who did enjoy the movie, and convince them of how they’ve somehow been blinded and fooled. Do you not see how insulting that is? ‘Oh you’ve all been duped by JJ, but thankfully *I* haven’t!’.

Is there ANY way for you to express your opinion without branding everyone who liked the movie as a blind fool?

285. RD - May 8, 2009

#273. I think that’s right. Upon reading this exchange I recall Kirk’s monologue about how “we decide not to kill … today”. I think it’s fair to say that Kirk did not always feel that way. He had to learn it somewhere in order to “preach” it. Since this is an origin story, it only makes sense that Kirk (and Spock) will exhibit behaviors inconsistent with the established characters, which are the only ones we’ve ever known.

Kirk and Spock exacting revenge on Nero is the least of my problems with this film.

Most of the other film making decisions are the things that disappoint me about this film, most of which Unbel1ever touched on in his fair and balanced review. As a Trek fan, I will only go so far as to say, JJ changed some things that simply didn’t need to be changed, and seemingly did so for change sake alone. But I can live with those, where they don’t interfere with the actual filmmaking. Where he and the writer’s chose to change things that affect the storytelling that is where I begin to have trouble with these guys and their reboot.

286. McCoy - May 8, 2009

284. “Is there ANY way for you to express your opinion without branding everyone who liked the movie as a blind fool?”

I think anyone who thinks it had to be this way is a “blind fool” (your words). I think there’s two levels to this film. 1) do you like it and 2) was it really good Trek? Sounds like many are coming away having enjoyed the film…but also based on the reviews, it doesn’t sound like good Trek.

Once everyone gets past the the beauty of the effects, was it good Trek?

287. vorta23492392932939230 - May 8, 2009

278 — we don’t! That’s the whole point of this being an alternate time line.

Every episode of Star Trek you ever saw never happened yet. And won’t happen this way. So either its great and we have a totally new storyline to explore, or its a cheap needless re-set of elements that didn’t have to be re-set to make a new franchise (guess which I think).

Anyway, I love the Myriad Universes books just because they all posit a ‘what could have been’ storyline, but somehow asking me now to accept one of those terrible tragedies (Vulcan) as what’s “real” now seems like a bummer.

288. sean - May 8, 2009

#286

It didn’t have to be any way, other than the way the person eventually put in charge decided it had to be. Much like EVERY other production of Star Trek ever made. There’s no difference here, other than you don’t personally like it. And that’s okay. You’re free to do so.

I hate TFF. I think it’s the anti-Trek, full of embarrassing moments and dialog that makes me cringe. I never choose to watch it of my own volition. Yet, whenever I do a Trek marathon with a friend of mine, we watch it because she loves it. I never complain, I keep snide remarks to myself, and what’s most important, I don’t think she’s somehow been duped or blinded just because she likes it.

289. McCoy - May 8, 2009

I dislike TFF for the embarrassing moments too…but it’s still a Trek story (and not just because of the original cast). The screenplay and direction were not up to par but the story was good Trek. Our characters were a bit old to be running with that story.

IMHO, as always, it takes more than the same character names to make good Trek and to make something recognizable as Trek.

The eye candy of the new film will in fact distract many from caring about what’s really missing.

290. vorta23492392932939230 - May 8, 2009

as I posted in the review section:

I just don’t know if I like the idea of a world in which Vulcan is gone and Vulcans are an endangered species… seems like it wasn’t neccesary to tell this story, or to re-boot the franchise… that felt like losing an old friend and didn’t make me too happy…

I also put the death of Kirk Sr. in this boat, even though that opening scene was absolutely incredible and moving…

I mean., I would accept an alternate time line, absolutely. But did they have to destroy Vulcan and give Kirk this fatherless upbringing which so significantly changes the playing field for these characters to do this? Now not only is Spock a half-human half Vulcan, but he’s one of the few remaining of his species. Now somehow Kirk skips Lieutenant and Commander to become Captain thanks to his (obvious) bravery and ingenuity here… Seems like a huge change to make in the characters just to wipe the slate clean for new stories. THAT is my main gripe about this film.

Otherwise – it was incredibly gripping. But a few references to “Admiral Archer’s Beagle” or “Cardassian” drinks, or “I have been and always shall be your friend” is not what I’d call useful respect being paid to what came before. The changes that were made didn’t really improve as far as I can see on what we already had, and that’s what I was hoping any digressions from ‘canon’ (which I never thought couldn’t be changed if done well) would do.

291. RD - May 8, 2009

#266 – no I don’t think they’ll fail. Trek is TOO big for them to kill it. I mean if ST V and Insurrection didn’t kill it … What I do think is that it will be a huge challenge to make it as successful as the first one without alienating the “general-audience” aspect that this one seems to be proving. What I am saying is that the more they make, the more they have to adhere to their own canon which based on the somewhat confusing story they’ve written has already committed them to some significant whoppers, like cross-galaxy, warp speed beaming. And, if they follow the same model that is making this one so successful with general audiences, you really have to top yourself. At $150+ million they are in James Bond territory. After a huge thrill ride, the audience expects another one for the next installment and it is not always possible to capture lightning like that regardless of how much money you throw at it. The biggest criticism I’m seeing across the board is that this film has too much action and not enough character development. Yet if you slow the film down, will you lose some of the people it attracted initially?

My main reservation stems from the fact that I am not a huge Orci/Kurtzman/Lindelof fan. Yes I enjoy their work in general. I liked Alias, the concept mostly – not where they took it. I like LOST, but there is a lot of cliched dialogue and plot developments within the larger story (which has sucked me in). And like Alias, I do fear for the end of LOST will be equally as big a let down. Their earlier work is likewise filled with cliched dialogue and overused setups, including MI:III which was arguably the best of the three, but not from a story/script perspective – so many plot holes and boring scenes that were only saved by Abrams’ directorial style. Coincidentally that film had a weak villain too, another criticism from those who love new Trek.

So we’ll see what they do, but I do think they will not be able to be as financially successful with a sequel as they have been with this one – since few franchises ever have been. It’s not me, it’s the odds. What I am actually more curious to see is whether they will address the main criticism this film has gotten which is: this is a nice setup, bring on the sequel. Will the sequel address the fans and be more traditional Star Trek? Or will it try to walk the same line this one does and appeal to a mass audience? I feel like that is the biggest obstacle to overcome, because the decision runs the risk of losing one segment of your audience or the other.

Either way, bring it on!

292. The King Man - May 8, 2009

I have been a star trek fan for most of my life. I grew up experiencing both TNG and original series at the same time and have been a fan ever since and proudly consider myself a trekkie.

I just saw the movie and thought it was great. but I’m not here to rant on my feelings of the movie, only to address trekkies out there who are displeased with the movie. Ill promise to put my Vulcan ears on and be as logical and unemotional as I can be…

What a bunch of pansies you are!
I see a lot of arguing about continuity. Are we really arguing about this now? We are trekkies, we have lived with dis-continuity within the star trek universe for years. So Vulcan is destroyed and Kirk wasn’t born in his original place. Boo-hoo. We have lived with worse dis-continuity over the years what I saw tonight wasn’t that far off. Besides, the prime universe still exists, but we are probably never going see it again.
Star trek was dead after the series: Enterprise as far as we knew. Story lines were becoming dull and repetitive. We should all be glad that it came back. Guess what, the star trek that you know is dead. This should not be a shock to anyone.
Besides that, the fan base became dismantled and separated into different factions after every new series. However you want to argue the reasons for this does not matter, what matters is the acknowledgment that it happened.
Trekkies are hard to please, and J.J Abrams knew this. He gave himself a great challenge to re-create Star Trek with a crippled fan base, dead ratings, with social-cultural negatives (aka “star trek is for dorks that live in their moms basement’) that can make selling this new film hard.
The world is always changing as is our culture, and so star trek also has to change with us. If our culture dictates that we need more sexual content, comedy and action, then we have to feed it what it wants. Movies and television cannot succeed if it does not change to the times. This isn’t the 1960’s anymore; it’s time to come out of your safety bubble.
Speaking of this safety bubble, why is there so many trekkies out there that feel that it has to be “This way” or in other words “their way”? This is the kind of logic that hurt the series for so long. I argue that this logic is what stopped the growing of the fan base. The series and movies were only serving to smaller and smaller audiences over the years while neglecting non trekkies. This is a horrible business move.
Many Trekkies out here are gonna get a rude awakening with this movie, But needed. We still have the same characters we love with a similar plot (more or less) with a whole new universe. In retrospect, not much has changed. If this isn’t getting though to your ridged foreheads, Let me break this down another way…
Space: the final frontier. (yup it’s still pretty spacy out there in space)
These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. (well what do you know, it’s still on the enterprise. Be glad)
Its ongoing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life-forms and new civilizations (check and double check, minus Vulcan)
To boldly go where no one has gone before. (Love it or hate it, j.j has boldly gone there).
Trekkies, it’s time to get out of this optimistic world. The World we have been living in has been a world of repetition, safety, and security. For many of us, we have been living in a world where we know the outcome, or the end of the book. Or for some of us, we have read the book so many times that when someone tells us differently of the story, we argue. We have to predict everything we see or rationalize everything, and when something becomes unpredictable for some, we hate the outcome.
I’m going to be frank here, I’m really glad to see this new star trek. Not able to predict what happens in a story is an exciting experience. Now there’s a whole new universe to explore. We still know that there’s Klingon’s out there and everything else that existed in the prime universe. Heck, I would even argue that the movie didn’t hurt the discontinuity of the prime universe since it’s an alternate universe anyways. How can anyone argue for discontinuity on a universe we have never explored before?
I guess what I’m trying to say is that the more things change, the more things stay the same. For the new Trekkies out there, watches the movie, you’ll love it. For some of the old Trekkies out there, I know some of you find discomfort in the new movie, but it’s here to stay, at least for a while. This movie was pretty monumental for many reasons (heck, many argue that this is the greatest prequel movie ever, and I would have to agree), perhaps the most monumental thing about ST09 is going to be the creation of new trekkies with its own cult culture in comparison to the old star trek culture. If you hated the movie then the star trek you know is dead. but I think for the majority of trekkies out there, both new and old, are going to be pleasantly surprised with the new movie.
Live long and prosper bitches

293. RD - May 8, 2009

I am personally hoping for a war with the Klingons. Now that there’s a power vacuum because the Vulcans are no longer a force to help defend the Federation’s interests, that would be the first thing I would do if I were the Klingons. A HUGE down-and-dirty war, full of space battles like “Return of the Jedi” with small inter-ship space fighters too! Something that would bring both Earth and the Klingons to their knees.

I would say the Romulans, but that’d be kind of repetitive considering the first film was about them. Then again so was Star Wars. And the Romulans would not be happy about the loss of their Vulcan cousins, particularly when that means Earth will be running the Federation. They could make a grab for power too. Heck, all three could fight one huge war together!

You’re right, this is not your father’s Star Trek it’s much more violent and exciting!

YO ANTHONY, you need to start a sequel speculation thread so we can all get silly with possible plot possibilities in this brave new alternate universe!!

294. tom - May 8, 2009

just saw the new movie tonight.
It was the st movie I’ve been waiting for my whole life.
absolutely amazing!
I don’t really have a single complaint.
god bless JJ abrams is all I have to say.
ST had become as moldy as stale bread.
that’s just a fact.
the previous regimes couldn’t make an exciting movie if they tried 100 times.
they had their day in the sun, and frankly they failed pretty miserably in my opinion.
Trek movie after trek movie I went too, and every single one was a huge letdown except for 2 and 4.
other than those, they pretty much were extremely lacking in the kind of movie I thought a st movie should be.
well those days are over.
THIS ST movie “should” be embraced as firmly as possible by every Trekker, Trekkie, Trekkia,, Trekkoo, etc. etc.

295. sean - May 8, 2009

#289

The story is the main problem with TFF, so I’m not sure where you’re coming from. The whole god idea was flawed from the get go. No one should have let that get passed the ‘what if’ stage. That the special effects were hit and miss and the characters were reduced to sight gags & fart jokes merely rubbed salt in the existing wound.

“The eye candy of the new film will in fact distract many from caring about what’s really missing.”

You have no idea if that’s true, or indeed if anything is missing because you won’t allow yourself to experience it firsthand.

296. Michael F. - May 9, 2009

Jeff, I am in near-complete agreement with you on your views of the new movie, which I watched last night. But, I felt Chris Pine was the weakest member of the new cast. His scratchy, even whiney, voice was his worst quality. I just didn’t buy him as a leader. The film rushed by so fast you couldn’t see the flaws as you watched it. (POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD) I am still totally confused as to Nero’s motivations – why does he want to kill Spock Prime and destroy the Federation? Why does Nero engage the Kelvin the instant his ship comes out of the black hole (didn’t they JUST enter it from the future right after Romulus is destroyed?). Why the “25 year” wait for Spock Prime to exit the black hole (other than this allowed Nero to fester for a few decades)? The movie was indeed fun, but how about we give the Romulans and the Klingons a rest and – here’s a thought – BOLDLY GO SOMEWHERE NEW!

297. Birdy23 - May 9, 2009

Well i thought it was great….I loved star trek as a kid and i thought the cast played great homage to the original.
Picture and sound simply superb and great fx.
Kirk was brilliant and pulled it off perfectly however i would have liked him to have got a couple more big punches in during the fisty cuff scenes.
Cant wait for the next installment. IMHO

298. McCoy - May 9, 2009

When I read reviews that say “I loved the film but it did have plot problems and I hated the production design” the only conclusion I can come to is that the reviewer expects something different from a film than I. Even if you take away all the Trek problems I have with this film, I can still say that I would walk out of the theater not liking it—mostly because of all the plot holes. The biggest being the fact that…**SPOILER**….Nero kills Kirk’s dad and then disappears for 25 years while Kirk grows up. If he is so mad….he would have continued his rampage to Earth right after the Kelvin attack—or we’re asked to believe Nero was still enraged 25 years later. How can you write this stuff? Plot problems would have been one of the things I would have wanted fixed from past Treks.

In terms of adding Trek lore “to please the fans”, if having Delta Vega now be a moon of Vulcan (instead of the distant post from TOS) is the way they twist and distort things just to make “past” fans happy, then I’m thankful to not have paid for it.

Finally, the mere fact that they have changed one of the most iconic science fiction ships of all time is enough reason to stay home (IMHO).

299. Star Trek Masterpost (Reviews, Pics) « Ryo’s Blog - May 9, 2009

[...] Jeff Bond: So it’s with a certain satisfaction, and the realization that so many people I know will think me crazy or a traitor to the cause, that I say that J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek for the most part works fantastically well. And the key is the impossible task of starting from ground zero with these iconic characters and daring to recast and revive them while acknowledging—but not enslaving them to—the franchise’s beloved “canon.” We all know how this pitch began—the idea of a time traveler changing the past of James T. Kirk, in effect creating a new character, one who might, or might not, have the original Kirk’s destiny. It’s clear there was something about Shatner’s Kirk, the very human but sometimes high-flown soldier-philosopher, which the filmmakers either couldn’t relate to or felt no longer spoke to modern audiences. Chris Pine plays a rudderless Kirk almost goaded into joining Starfleet by would-be mentor Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood)—Pine’s Kirk looks a bit like a male model and sounds a little like Christian Slater, and he’s introduced crudely pitching a young Uhura (Zoe Saldana) in an Iowa bar (in this Star Trek everything—from Kirk to Starfleet recruiting to the Enterprise itself—revolves around Iowa). It’s Kirk a la Top Gun (right down to the motorcycle), but Pine makes it work. You might not always believe how his Kirk rises through the ranks, but you do believe there’s a potential Captain Kirk underneath all the hubris. [...]

300. Michael Tadano - May 9, 2009

I saw the movie today. I am old enough to have watched to original pilots on TV back in the 60′s. I will admit that I never really understood why the show was so popular after it was cancelled but I have always watched it and all of the spin-offs and I’ve even managed to see all of the movies. My favorite Star Trek effort of all was Deep Space 9. It was well-written and had great characters.

With all that said, it’s obvious that I am not a hard-core “Trekkie” but I have a high level of appreciation for what Star Trek has meant to a lot of people for all these years. I agree with the review that most of the movies were somewhat disappointing. Not necessarily “bad” movies but there was no way for them to live up to their expectations.

This movie was a good movie but not the best one I have ever seen. I am going to have to get used to the concept that everything is “different” now and you can never be sure what’s going to happen because their futures are now “erased”… you can no longer say “He CAN’T die because he has to still be here in 20 years. We (they) are now living in one of those “alternate timelines” that were never really allowed to happen before. So in a way the 21st century version of Star Trek IS going where none of the other series or movies have gone before. Maybe it’s because Gene Roddenberry, his wife, and a lot of the people associated with the “classic” universe of Star Trek are either dead or don’t really care anymore. Maybe it’s because a clever team found a unique way to tap into a successful franchise so that they could keep the concept but get rid of those pesky details called “continuity”. Or maybe everything old is new again with enough computer generated graphics and special effects. Who knows?

I can see why the “hard core” Star Trek fans will absolutely hate this movie but I also believe most of them will eventually buy the DVD.

301. mark - May 9, 2009

Star Trek: Reboot.

Wow.

I say again: Wow:

I have to admit that there wasn’t a better way they could have done it.
Star Trek is a painting…a very good painting – but, the original has been copied multiple times…and while it has been improved some on subsequent copies (and destroyed in others) – overall, the story being told has, well, been set.
Let’s be realistic, here: Star Trek became what it became because of the actors (and stories) that were selected…nearly five decades ago. Shatner, Nimoy, Kelly, et. al…and then fleshed out further during the last 50 years.
10 movies later, 4 (and a half – we don’t treat Enterprise as a real series because of what they did to it) TV series, and hundreds of books later…you now have a codified, and darned near unbreakable universe.

So – let’s be honest: The creativity that you can experience with an already painted canvas is limiting. A prequel to help establish how Kirk and everyone joined starfleet? We’ve already seen the finished painting – that’s like showing someone the pencil sketch the was the inspiration for the painting. Worse – you can’t start over and recreate the same painting…but, with different colors…which is effectively what they’d do if they just did a “Starfleet Academy” movie with new characters – the end is still the same – there’d be anarchy and mutiny. You cannot take the existing people and REPLACE them! No Shatner? No Takei? No Doohan? While they’re all old…no one could see replacing them…

What’s a painter to do?

Start over. Get a new canvas. But, you’ve got to have the plot requirement to do so.

Alot of people won’t be happy with “Star Trek: Reboot”. I for one, however, believe it is the most brilliant move they could have made. It gives the painter a new set of canvasses to play with – without the limitations of the current Star Trek Universe and the way it has been codified through all the media during the last five or so decades.

At last – they’ve figured out a way to start over…and be able to explain the subtle nuances and differences that just…aren’t…the…same with the original that were inevitable when dealing with a new set of actors.

Spoiler alert: They’re not the same. Take a big blob of red-matter, add to it a couple of singularities, your typical everyman romulan archvillain, two Spocks, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a movie, with a great (YOUNG) cast with almost spot-on reduxes of the tried and true that we like, incredible special effects, and, at last, a way to start over with a new painting…new paint, new canvas.

To quote a very wise man: “There are always possibilities…”…

302. Ian - May 10, 2009

I have been a Star Trek fan since I was 5 years old and I loved the original series. The later series such as TNG DS9 seemed at bit sterile to me.

I saw the new film lst night and I really enjoyed it. I really like the look of the new Enterprise. The storyline was bit far fetched but nessesary breath life into the franchise. All the actors were good apart from Simon Pegg’s dodgey Scottish accent. I loved the whole atmosphere of the film. Personaly I JJ Abrams had dopne for Star Trek what Ronald Moore did for Battlestar Galactica, breath life into the franchise

303. Christopher Hyland - May 10, 2009

Star Trek has been a favorite of mine since I was a little kid. I enjoyed the original series the most and have always felt “Wrath of Khan” was the best of the movies. So I guess that qualifies me as a Trekker/Trekkie whatever… Just like everyone else I’d grown bored with the Trek franchise and the predictability of the movies. It seemed as though the writers were so worried about offending folks they wouldn’t take any chances with the characters. Things grew stale.

After watching the Abrams movie I can say I was pleasantly surprised. There was a lot to like. For starters the movie looks great! The space effects were incredible. The Enterprise is still as cool to look at as ever and the story is probably the best since “Khan” or “First Contact”. It had a fresh look with a powerful score. The casting of actors who have a sense of comedic timing was also a very smart move. Pine and Quinto did a fine job. Their chemistry together make them a great duo. Karl Urban had moments it looked like he was directly channeling DeForest Kelly and Leonard Nimoy is Obiwanesque as the older Spock. The movie itself is paced much faster so the action feels more like Star Wars than Trek which I found to be a good thing. Overall, the movie was fun and left me feeling good.

There were a few things that I didn’t like so much. For starters the enterprise bridge feels more like an Apple store than a ships command center. The engineering room was frankly a disappointment compared to the previous designs. It looked like a school boiler room. Neither issue wrecked the movie for me. But considering the quality of the exterior effects I found this very noticeable.

The story on a whole was pretty compelling but I just couldn’t buy Kirk going from dropout bar brawler to captain in just three years. The way they went from Kirks board of inquiry to everyone reporting for duty felt very much like it came right out of Starship Troopers. I groaned when Pike made him first officer just moments after he was suspended and caught aboard the Enterprise. I realize the need to restart with younger actors but now you have a 28 year old captain and a 17 year old navigator? Now that’s believable!

The best Trek episodes as well as the movies have a strong connection to literature. Good Trek scripts aren’t always strong in science but they feel smart. It isn’t just about space battles…it’s true space opera with strong dramatic elements. “Wrath of Khan” for example echoes Mobey Dick. The characters have humorous moments but there is still serious core. I realize Abrams who claims to be a big Star Wars fan didn’t want this movie to take itself too seriously for the benefit of non trek movie goers. I couldn’t agree him more. But without those classical underpinnings Trek loses its substance. Even Star Wars with all its action and humorous one liners has moments that feel like a greek tragedy. Take away the substance and and what you have left is Starship Troopers meets Lost in Space!

Overall, I think this is a very promising begininng…eh re beginning. They’ve managed to recondition an old classic and give it new life. Hopefully, they won’t pimp it out so much they forget why it was a classic in the first place.

304. Bloons - May 10, 2009

@273

Well, if you watched the film you saw Kirk offer a rescue.

Picard had the chance to destroy the Borg – with ‘Hugh’ but didn’t…

But then Next Gen was never considered as cool as TOS.

305. Darron Steele - May 10, 2009

This was fraud. It was not a prequel to the Star Trek I watched growing up.

Rather, it was an attempt to rewrite the story line, wipe away the real Star Trek, and make a `new Star Trek’ with the same characters — sort of — and an entirely different universe.

Most unsatisfactory is
a) non-existence of Vulcan,
b) the removal of Spock’s mother,
c) an emotional Mr. Spock.

I thought the people who did the real Star Trek did it right the first time. A classic like Star Trek should be treated with respect.

The alterations demonstrate just how arrogant these Hollywood producers have, and how little they respect what what ought to be respected.

306. Alicia Norman - May 10, 2009

I saw it–I loved it—-OMG all across the board–and I agree wholeheartedly with this free.

307. Alicia Norman - May 10, 2009

Oops–meant to say *review not free.

Also agree with 252 the movie was fun and kitschy and doesn’t deserve to be slammed just because purist want to cry that Shatner isn’t in it–Star Trek was never Shakespearean in scope or acting–it was a sci fi TV series and one that was a bit of a parody of itself true be told.

I think the film kept the heart and spirit of the original even in the midst of the changes which were, in reality, quite minimal–we got the same crew with the same personalities and the same ship–everyone was just younger.

355. A more emotional Spock-heck yah! LOVED IT. Besides, he was still a YOUNG MAN–the more stoic Spock could have come much later as he grew older and had more life altering experiences. Out heroes are made not formed from the cradle.

In fact , all of these primary characters were young versions–they were more foolhardy and not as seasoned or grounded as the characters we grew to know and love because of their youth which is what breathed new life into the franchise.

I also think they will grow into their roles and in time, become as associated with the ST mythology as Picard from TNG…

I loved the fresh take–the new look–the feel–the storyline–the visual effects–the ability to romance a new crowd and enchant the old guard who was willing to give it a chance ad not rely in rigid rules…smart, smart, smart..

Indeed–this was a Star trek that will bring on a new beginning and perhaps rev up interest in the Start Trek franchise we adore–this is a good thing.

308. Alan - May 15, 2009

Stupid Plot. Nero having gone back in time could have provided his people the red matter to keep their sun from going nova in the future. This would have saved his people and made the entire movie plot unnessary. He and his wife/child would have lived on in the future. This would have made much more sense than avenging his planets distruction. They have done away with forty-five plus years of Star Trek lore and merchandising. I believe this will ultimately be seen as a bad marketing decision.

309. Shaggy - June 10, 2009

This movie is the epitome of what is wrong with hollywood. It was saved by the bell in space. Kirk was Zach, Spock was Slater, and Bones was screech. The villains were rejects from a Korn video. Just really bad.

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