Star Trek movie poster

Enjoyable prequel, thirty years after the same-named debut of the series on the big screen. The chaotic and incoherent prologue might somewhat smother the emotional punch of the birth of James Tiberius Kirk at the same moment as his father’s death, but the reintroduction of the old familiar characters — the assembly of the changeless crew for the maiden voyage of the U.S.S. Enterprise — can’t help but be fun for initiates. Chris Pine’s Kirk, sounding as though modelled on no weightier a prototype than Christian Slater, starts out an obnoxious punk and fails to advance very far beyond that. Zachary Quinto’s Spock, on the other hand, has some big ears to fill and fills them fully, achieving that elusive goal of undemonstrative intensity. If it’s fair to say that the film, rather than stand on its own, benefits from the groundwork of its forerunners — if it safely and securely goes where others have gone before — it would also be fair to object that the speedy evolution of special effects since the last Star Trek outing, seven years previous, serves to render the “ensuing” adventures anticlimactic. Topping what came before — a petty enough creative impulse in the first place — is in effect topping what came “after.” That may not constitute disrespect, but it constitutes disproportion. Director J.J. Abrams’s preference for the rambling Steadicam and the trembling closeup reveals him further to be a man of trend as opposed to a man of tradition. With its gigantic hands-of-Freddy-Krueger enemy spaceship, its Mad Max-y tattooed heathens, and its gratuitous CG monsters, the film is, by the standards of the franchise, skimpy on ideas, apart from a bit of time-travel abracadabra that enables Spock to be two places and two ages at once. Which is to say, enables Leonard Nimoy to play a part. Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Simon Pegg, Eric Bana. 2009.

Duncan Shepherd

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Comments

thefleetsin May 7, 2009 @ 5:09 p.m.

Yes, only select individuals were admitted. You'll probably have to wait and purchase a ticket.

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SDaniels May 7, 2009 @ 10:52 p.m.

Looks like the pun got checked at the door, jhutt. :)

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thefleetsin May 1, 2009 @ 11:25 a.m.

WOW! Saw Star Trek last week and again last night at an advanced screening. This movie is about as close to perfect as one gets. From start to finish, I was on the edge of my seat. The script is very engaging and the latest CG is out of this world. I am a HUGE fan of the ORIGINAL Star Trek television series and never got into anything after that. Quite frankly, the 'continuation' of Star Trek was a very shameless attempt to capitalize on the perfect chemistry between William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. Fans of the original Star Trek will be completely engrossed and satisfied with this reboot. The movie goes waaaay back to boy Spock and kid Kirk and lets you see what events made them who they are. Opening weekend will be $100,000,000.00 or I'll eat my 4-Day pass for this years Comic-Con!!!

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M. E. May 1, 2009 @ 8:01 p.m.

Great review!

But how did the "advanced" screening work? Did they check I.Q. at the door?

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richinsd May 8, 2009 @ 2:49 p.m.

The Future not only "Begins" with the New Star Trek movie but I predict it's the start of another long run. My first take was "they did their homework". That is so important in the making of any movie. If you do your homework you will get an "A" or 5 Stars, ditto.

The young Kirk played by Chris Pine was quite incredible, not to mention all the other cast members all starting out at a young age, what a movie. The only slightly older actor Karl Urban played the part of Leonard "Bones" McCoy, who was older in the original TV series, thus reflected in this new movie. Karl is from Doom and Lord of the Rings fame.

We are almost talking about kids, where Chekov is 17, played by Anton Yelchin who is actually 20, so that's pretty close, I've always loved Anton in his entire young career and he is in fact an immigrant from Russia. Then the perfectly chosen Spock who is played by Zachary Quinto (where did they find this guy?) wow!, the young Spock couldn't have been better. At 32 he looks remarkably young; this is a good thing for this part. Sulu is also well casted and played by John Cho from Harold & Kumar fame among other movies. I really liked Bruce Greenwood’s roll as Captain Christopher Pike, very well placed roll. I can’t leave out Captain Robau of the Enterprise played by Faran Tahir, San Diego’s own. Then there’s Uhura played by Zoe Seldana who was quite romantic with Spock that might have shocked some hardcore Trekies.

Scotty’s role is played by Simon Pegg the hot headed British actor and does the perfect job of Scotty. If you are the slightest Star Trek fan you won’t be disappointed. JJ Abrams directed this one which should bring him up the ladder in directing. I almost forgot you will love Leonard Nimoy playing the future Spock. This movie just makes you happy that’s all I can say about it.

I’ve seen it twice now and will worth it.

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Alan Segal May 11, 2009 @ 12:40 p.m.

Was in line opening day for a 10am showing of the new "Star Trek" movie; a immensely entertaining and well made, prequel to all the old Star Trek movies and TV shows. When I checked out the others in line, mostly males from the not so far away galaxy of couch potatos, not one was in costume? But after seeing the film it made sense because this movie is about the origins of the characters, Kirk, Spock, Dr McCoy, Uhura,Chekov and Sulu, before the Trekies in costume existed. This will make sense to you when you come out of the back hole theatre after seeing future Spock tell current Spock to "Live long and Prosper".

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Alan Segal May 11, 2009 @ 1:21 p.m.

I was in line opening day for a 10am showing of the immensely entertaining and fresh,"Star Trek" prequal.I was surrounded in line by the mostly male, inhabitants of the not so distant galaxy, couch potato, but none of them were in their Trekkie costumes? This version, the best yet "Star Trek", is about the origins of all the familar characters, Kirk, Spock, Dr McCoy, Sulu, Uhura, and Chekov and how they all ended up on the initial, thrilling, adventure of the Enterprise. After seeing the film and exiting the theatre's black hole of time travel where current Spock tells future Spock to "live long and prosper", the lack of costumes made sense for this was the beginning of it all.

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Gian Ghio May 11, 2009 @ 11:06 p.m.

The Star Trek people decided to take their turn at the “Origins” trend that has pervaded the cinema industry the past few years and come up with their own “prequel.” I am not much of a Star Trek fan however I found this adaptation to be both watchable and enjoyable. There were enough amazing visual effects, large explosions, and fighting scenes to keep the casual movie watcher entertained; and plenty space terminology, warp speed “Mr Sulu” references, and “Beam us up Scottie” lines to satisfy the diehard Star Trek fan. The new cast of Star Trek is a good one and all of the original characters are still intact. Zachary Quinto did a really nice job as Spock but I couldn’t keep from thinking when he was going to grab somebody and cut their head open with his finger. Those of you who watch Heroes know what I’m talking about. I liked how Leonard Nimoy was incorporated into the storyline as well, however it was a little distracting because of the fact that he played Spock in earlier films but under different storylines. The writers went keen to make the ship look more modernized and less like a set but they couldn’t do away with the cheesy pull-over sweaters. You would think that if the Star Fleet was spending so much money on their ships, then they could afford to outfit their officers with decent clothes. Overall, a great effort and I look forward to future movies with the new cast.

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robnly May 17, 2009 @ 8:39 p.m.

Finally had the time to catch Star Trek this weekend. Being somewhat of a fan of the original series I knew this movie was not going to be the continued adventures of the USS Enterprise like Star Treks 1-4 where and definitely planned on seeing it once I saw the trailer. I would not classify this movie as a "prequel" since it is more of the first in a series. I am not sure you could classify it as a "remake" either as the original was a TV Show. This is more of a "this is the way the story begun" that many of us may be familiar with. There are no Tribbles causing trouble, but you will find the gorgeous Captain Kirk, the "D*mn it Spock!" of Bones, that brogue of Scotty, and of course Spock's Vulcan Mind Meld. The technology on the Enterprise as compared to the original is indescribable. I believe this film may spur some of the generation, who have never seen a re-run of the TV show on some late night cable channel, to become Techno-Trekkies. At the very least this will be a great way for the Trekkies of yesterday to bond with their sons who think they are weird and now may think they are cool. Definitely worth the ticket and popcorn.

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Mango June 16, 2009 @ 5:53 p.m.

It’s been more than two hours since I saw the new Star Trek movie and I’m still tingling. To use a phrase from the movie, I think I’ve been “emotionally compromised”, but in the best way. I had mixed feelings going into this movie. Although I’m no Trek expert (Trexpert?), I still have pretty high geek standards when it comes to any new Star Trek productions. This movie surpassed all of my expectations, despite the fact that Patrick Stewart and William Shatner were nowhere in site. While I was driving home, still in Star Trek la la land, I realized that because of the way in which this new movie’s plot played out, the producers left ample opportunity for multiple prequels that could feature Shatner and Stewart and hopefully more of the fabulous Leonard Nimoy. The possibilities make me giddy just thinking about it. I have no idea where they found the cast members for this new movie; they were all superb, but Zachary Quinto made this movie for me. Not only was he extremely handsome, but you really could believe that he was Spock or Nimoy or both. That may sound weird and I realize that all of this is just a movie, but these characters have meant so much to so many people over the years, that sometimes the line between the characters being portrayed and the actual actors gets blurred. The original Star Trek actors, themselves, are beloved to the fans. Most of the new Star Trek movie actors do not look exactly like the original cast members from the TV series, although Quinto’s characterization was uncanny. But each of them had mannerisms or voice qualities that captured the essence of the originals. Instead of detracting from the believability, their characterizations just made me think more fondly about the original cast, especially the ones who have passed away. I got a little weepy near the end. The special effects in this movie were terrific without being cheesy, and the Romulan ship, which looked like a sharp metal flying citron fruit, was spectacular. I thought it was ironic, but nice, that the producers added in a little romance between Spock and Uhura, considering that the first televised interracial kiss, which happened to have been between William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols, caused quite a political stir back then. In this movie, Spock and Uhura are a sweet, perfect pairing. I had only one teeny, tiny complaint with this movie. The character of Chekov, played wonderfully by Anton Yelchin, had blonde curly hair instead of the Monkees inspired Davy Jones “mop top” haircut donned by Walter Koenig on the TV show. On a final note, if they do make any more Star Trek prequels, I would love to see our beloved President, Barack Obama, play the father of, or the time traveling Prime of Tuvok (Tim Russ) from Voyager. Ever notice how much they look and sound alike? Obama could play a Vulcan. He’s so logical and calm under pressure.

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Jay Allen Sanford Sept. 6, 2009 @ 9:49 p.m.

I'm not a big fan of the original series (Next Gen is much better), but there were some fun movie moments in the recast restart that caught the funny vibe of a lot of the 60s episodes. But the rest of the movie was indistinguishable from any number of mediocre sci-fi films, with nothing Trek-like about it, least of all the actors playing the original cast characters.

Only the guy from Heroes playing Spock seems to grasp his predecessor's work (probably because Nimoy is in the movie too, and probably coached him on-set), other than a couple of quick moments from the guy now playing chief engineer Scotty (who should have had a larger role in the movie) –

Funny about the guy who played Bones - he seemed more like the character as written in the better Trek novels than like his TV predecessor. Since the books tend to add a lot more character fine tuning than TOS, in a way the new guy is a better Bones than DeKelley - the new guy certainly brings a lot more instant- personality than De did when debuting on the air in Trek's Man Trap/salt vampire ep, one of George Clayton Johnson's poorer stories (tho he had very little info about the show when he wrote it). It took awhile for DeKelley to get into his full grumpy southern doc groove -

It may seem silly, but I have a huge problem with Scotty being portrayed in the new movie as someone who would have used Captain Archer's pet beagle Porthos (from the Star Trek: Enterprise series) in a transporter experiment that resulted in Porthos being left in transporter limbo somewhere in space.

Well, at least the same thing happens to Scotty himself in the original non-altered timeline, where Scotty rematerialized years later on Picard's ship. But I take great exception to the notion of him not only endangering (and losing) Archer's beloved (and famous) dog, needlessly (any living creature would have worked - or rather, NOT worked), but then Scotty seems to find this a funny tale to tell. I find this intolerable, matter how young and rash he may have been at the time ----

I've never thought much of most Trek fan fiction, but now I have an idea for a "Return of Porthos" story that would sure as Hell teach that alternate timeline Scotty an ass-biting lesson or three ---

Shabby way to treat one of the few pets ever seen or referenced in the Trek universe(s), other than the Shelat Spock grew up with, Phlox's medicinal animals, Data's cat Spot (his Ode to Spot below) and, I guess, tribbles -----

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antigeekess Sept. 8, 2009 @ 12:40 a.m.

JayAllen, SuperTrekkie, Blogger Extraordinaire: It seems that you've left off something -- (Something crucial, if you care).

So now I will amend that crucial thing that you forgot, By posting Data's masterwork --

The lovely "Ode To Spot:"

Felis catus is your taxonomic nomenclature,
An endothermic quadruped, carnivorous by nature;
Your visual, olfactory, and auditory senses
Contribute to your hunting skills and natural defenses.

I find myself intrigued by your subvocal oscillations,
A singular development of cat communications
That obviates your basic hedonistic predilection
For a rhythmic stroking of your fur to demonstrate affection.

A tail is quite essential for your acrobatic talents;
You would not be so agile if you lacked its counterbalance.
And when not being utilized to aid in locomotion,
It often serves to illustrate the state of your emotion.

O Spot, the complex levels of behavior you display
Connote a fairly well-developed cognitive array.
And though you are not sentient, Spot, and do not comprehend,
I nonetheless consider you a true and valued friend.

http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Ode_to_Spot

"DeKelley?" Come on, now...

;)

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SDaniels Sept. 8, 2009 @ 3:44 p.m.

...and tribbles were first anthropomorphized, then considered nothing but trouble!

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Jay Allen Sanford Sept. 24, 2009 @ 11:24 p.m.

Thanks for posting Data's ode to his Felis catus endothermic quadruped - ran out of word space and I forgot to go back and post the ode separately. The other notable pet in the Trek universe that I forgot to mention is Gary Seven's cat Isis, from the original series ep "Assignment Earth," which was actually a failed pilot for a Trek spin-off series. Tho Isis was actually more partner than pet - the Famous Former Neighbors comic about the actor who played Gary Seven, Robert Lansing, has a scene on the Enterprise bridge. If you look very carefully, you can see poor Isis floating in space outside the ship, wearing a space helmet and pawing at a window to get in... http://www.sandiegoreader.com/photos/galleries/famous-former-neighbors

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MarkScha Dec. 21, 2009 @ 6:55 a.m.

I decided to hold off on watching "Star Trek" until I could see it on pay-per-view, mainly because the trailer at the local multiplex was TOO LOUD. I saw the original series as a small child in a small town; on occaison, I watched "Next Generation" or the other TV series, and saw all the movies. I enjoyed this prequel, but believe it needed less fighting and more character development.


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