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J.J. Abrams reboot/prequel to the "Star Trek" film franchise.

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This is Not My Kirk

  • Feb 27, 2011
How is it that a film that has been so anticipated, has had so much money and hype devoted to it ends up on the screen with a continuity error in the first half-hour?

I refer to the scene in which McCoy is sneaking Kirk onto the shuttle to the Enterprise: Kirk enters the shuttle wearing a red cadet's uniform and then appears on the Enterprise wearing a black uniform.

I won't even go into McCoy's breaking the 'do no harm' mantra of the medical profession...

Yes, I'm probably the only person on the planet who is not entirely thrilled with this new take on the franchise and am probably guilty of being overly nit-picky, but I am watching this movie through a long lens. And being deliberately anal about it, since it strikes me that just about everyone else has been so dazzled by the whole thing that no one else is going to.

Issues: the ST universe may be all nice-nice, but I find it entirely unbelievable that Kirk would be sent to the Academy on the very day he decides to sign up. With a record. Following a barroom brawl.

And I find it impossible to accept a chain of command that promotes a cadet - one who is in the dock for 'cheating', to be promoted to First Officer when the Captain is abandoning the ship.

The flurry of replacements -Uhuru because of exceptional hearing(!), Sulu because we need an inept driver at the helm for comic relief, Kirk, Spock to Captain, all in one frenetic scene, serves the purpose of putting all of our main characters front and center, but it breaks the bounds of believability.

As does Nero's drilling a hole into Vulcan: what idiots at Star Fleet command have committed their ENTIRE force to a different sector - so much so that long range sensors failed to pick up Nero's ship until after it was already attacking Vulcan? So much so that we need to press all of the cadets into service? Whoever is in charge at Star Fleet needs to be courts martialed.

And Pike - obviously given his command because he does things just like the Admirals at Star Fleet: an entire planet - one of the founders of the Federation - puts out a distress call and he warps the entire rump fleet into an ambush - one he personally avoids because of the ineptitude of his pilot. Anyone ever heard of doing recon first? Or how about just calling up Vulcan and asking them what's going on. Oh, that's right - the planet drill is interfering with all communications and transporters. OK.  Anyone ever heard of an unmanned probe?

The ridiculousness of the transporter scenes is just about the point at which this movie lost me. Chekov can rescue Sulu and Kirk - but not Spock's mom. Sulu and Kirk are falling at terminal velocity and being buffeted about - Chekov's genius can compensate for that - yet he's incapable of dealing with someone who just fell off a rock - someone he already had a "lock" on.

Nice homage here to the 2001 light show scene, btw.

And like - what's up with Orion slave girls being admitted to the Academy? Not that I have any objection, but can you just imagine the work that has to go in to making it possible for all the male students of other species to remain focused on their studies? Do they wear nose filters to block out the pheremones, or do they just materialize saltpeter into all of their meals?

Moving on to more serious matters: Nero comes from the future to avenge his people - but he's surprised when he reads the hull identity of the Enterprise...?

Oh, and the scene where Kirk defeats the legendary Kobayashi Maru scenario? I guess he missed the class that explained that eating whilst the ship is under violent manuevering and possible combat wasn't a good idea. Pine was way too flip in that scene - out of character even: a ne'r do well, self-destructive and anti-social type does not broadcast their practical jokes. He'd play it for all its worth, most likely feigning confusion and indecisiveness (at least until his software patch clicked in).

And that brings up the question: are Star Fleet's computer systems THAT vulnerable to hacking? This does not speak well at all for Spock's abilities, does it? You'd think someone as repressed and anal-retentive as a half-Vulcan, half-human who was teased almost to death would be running tests and minutely examining code before each and every play. But then doing so wouldn't allow the plot device of Kirk getting away with his cheat, would it?

Which reminds me: the Vulcans put their students in pits? PITS?!? The visual was nice, but now I'm really wondering about Vulcan society, parenting and the psychological make-up of the entire race.

Not to worry though: the logicians of the Star Trek universe turned out to be so penny wise and pound foolish that they A: let Star Fleet remove all ships from its sector; B: obviously did not man the planetary sensing systems; C: have invested not one thin dime in planetary defense and D: resort to communing in underground warrens whilst their planet is being raped, rather than, at the very least, rocketing their babies to Earth for eventual discovery and succor by the Kent family.

Vulcan does not possess a single spaceship of its own? They posses nothing that could have been used to attack the drill?

Abrams has turned the Vulcans into an entire race of victims - a far cry from their original position as founders of the Federation.

Ok. Enough with how stupid and obviously ineffectual the Vulcans really are - how 'bout them sexy outerspace costumes, huh?

Yes, I know the original Trek was famous for its mini-skirts in space chic, but failure to address reality in a science fiction show 40 some odd years old does not excuse this current film from correcting the issue.

Skirts do not work in space. You may lose your artificial gravity (like, fer instance, when the Borg are taking over your ship and you need to disconnect the main sensor array) and at that point everyone on board will know the answer to the age old question - boxers, briefs, thongs or jungle. They'll also know whether those Orion women are natural greens all over...

Nakedidity in space I can logically accept: controlled environment, clothes only really needed for protection; I can accept functional coveralls - or even skintight suits (as perpetually worn spacesuit undergarments) but skirts? No. Skorts maybe, but who would want to put such a fashion abomination into a multi-million dollar film?

Gee - Uhura must really spike on that empathy meter, huh? Transferring the 'I have sex with aliens all the time' mystique to a female crew member is a refreshing take, I'll admit - but there's no way that Spock would be receptive. Its not time for P'on Far (or whatever you call the Vulcan rutting season).

Nope. Don't buy this one either. Now if they had really wanted to push the envelope, Uhura - upon discovering Kirk in her stateroom with the roommate would have peeled off, jumped into the sack with the Orion chic and frustrated Kirk in an entirely different way.

Spock is no Holmes. They can't figure out where Nero comes from. Their lack of imagination somehow substitutes for eliminating the possible. Therefore Nero must come from the future. How about Nero looks like a Romulan, and claims to be a Romulan, but is really a member of a previously unknown species? Seems to me that this would be a far more probable answer - especially considering that so far as we (and the ST crew) know, time travel IS impossible.

Abrams just had to go and throw a torture scene in there didn't he? Yeah, I know. Every single form of technology has advanced far beyond our comprehension by the Star Trek era - except for the science of extracting information from unwilling subjects.

My favorite 'illogicality' tho is this exchange between Spock and Kirk. Spock (captain pro tem) argues for gathering the fleet to deal with Nero. Kirk says "you say he is from the future and he knows what is going to happen. The logical thing to do is to be unpredictable."

Ummm. Yah. Except that your unpredictability is part of Nero's future and would be the very thing that he'd be prepared for. In fact, nothing you can do will end up being something Nero doesn't know about (disregarding the earlier break regarding not knowing what ship had just warped in...) - so you may as well just pack it in, go on home, hook up with John Connor and start sending Terminators into the past in a vain attempt to alter the timeline.

Spock's answer - that Nero has created an alternate reality - also creates a situation in which nothing done in the film matters. The original time-line is intact - no Nero, no destroyed Vulcan. The Enterprise crew would better spend their time in efforts to figure out how to pop on over to their original time-line, rather than trying to 'fix' the one they are now in.


Spock is marooned in Vulcan system by Nero so that he can watch Vulcan being destroyed. He sits there, doing nothing, for who knows how long. In fact, he waits until Kirk shows up to remark that there's a Federation base a few kilometers away...

I am beginning to think that the entire point of JJ's movie was to utterly destroy, once and for all, the Spock/Vulcan mythos.

We're talking about a guy who wades into a warp core to save his friend. Needs of the many and all that rot.

Putting Scotty into a giant habittrail was not very nice either.

The final, frenetic fight scenes defy all logic; not even in the worst moment of the original series did Kirk display such poor tactical capabilities. Illogic rears its head numerous times: if Scotty can beam two people onto Nero's ship - why not a legion of red shirts?

And I guess Nero and crew forgot all about shields when the Enterprise miraculously appears 'behind' them - probably forgivable considering Nero's mania, but bothersome nonetheless.

Once again Star Fleet displays such an utter disregard for basic (naval) strategy that I suppose the only truly logical conclusion one can come to is that the Federation deserves to be wiped out by fiends from the future. It was bad enough that Vulcan possessed no local forces or planetary defenses, unforgivable that Earth does not.

(You'd think Star Fleet would have just a bit more control over its cadets. Watching them all run out of the buildings to wonder at Nero's drill made me laugh. Typical monkeys - run TOWARDS the fire instead of away from it...)

And once more back to the time paradoxes. Why is the bad guy's memory of the past always the flawed memory? Perhaps the only 'logical' conclusion is that alternate realities are being spun off left and right and we just happened to be lucky enough to be in the 'right' one - the one where Nero is vengeful but stupid - not the other one where he remembers his history (might even have it recorded in a computer somewhere, maybe) and manuevers around all of the grandstanding by a grounded cadet who's somehow been put in charge of the only Starship that can foil his plans - after the cadet commits mutiny against his captain.

(For that matter, why is it that the Enterprise alone can continuously do what fleets of starships can not? I know its a blessed ship and all, but...)

You know, if I were Spock, I'd give in to my emotional side and display just a tiny bit of piss-offedness about having the guy who mutinied against me promoted over me...on the other hand, if not doing so meant that I could spend more time helping Uhura repopulate Vulcan II, maybe I'd just keep my mouth shut.

And finally, back to alternate realities. Seems to me that if time-line threatening aliens can appear out of the future and change the entire course of history (one that's been set in concrete by geeks and fans alike for the past 40 years) it would have been just as easy to invest 70 million bucks in gerontology research and put Shatner, Nimoy and all of the others back up onto the screen as their younger selves.

And no, I don't buy Abrams' explanations about it being impossible to have put Shatner into this one; Nero dwells in the past so much, it would have been easy as pie to write in a single flashback scene featuring the real Kirk. No, Bill was kept out so that the most dominating personality of the franchise's entire history could eventually be eradicated. JJ was right - there's no way possible to establish Pine as the new Kirk without ignoring Shatner - but Pine's got a ton of movies ahead of him (TV show too?), and I can see no reason to have cut Shatner out of what would most definitely have been his last Trek film other than because Abrams could.

Did I like it? Yes. About as much as I like any "re-imagining"; it will be successful, it will give new life to the franchise, it will allow a new generation to experience some of the things my generation did.

But its not Star Trek. It's Alternate Star Trek, and I for one am not going to buy the 'new' map of Federation space, the new trading cards, engineering diagrams, posters, model kits and etc that will inevitably be dumped onto the market. I've already got my program book signed by the cast. I'll let the next generation have their fun with their new heroes and hope that a few of them remember that there was an original series back in grandpas time.

What did you think of this review?

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November 03, 2011
Dude you know this film takes place in an Alternate timeline Right? The Narada goes back in time and Destroys the Kelvin causing history to go off into a new direction. Kirk grows up without his father and becomes what he was in the movie. ...................
November 03, 2011
Yes. And it is a stupid timeline that makes absolutely no sense. Spock couldn't walk a few hundred yards to the base? Kirk has to beam aboard an alien vessel - by himself to do hand to hand combat? Everyone except the people we care about can be rescued with the transporter? The Federation is so strategically ignorant that they'd leave their two prime worlds completed unprotected? Thank goodness I live in the 'alternate' reality where Star Trek was only a tv show....Seriously, if we were going for an'alternate' that would provide a new back story to freshen up the franchise, there's no place better to go than Mirror, Mirror. At least that one made sense - made more interesting characters, provided qa reasonable explanation for mini-skirts in space and gave us Spock with a goatee. This Trek will never make it. The franchise - except in re-runs, is dead. Get over it.
May 10, 2011
Now see you made me reduce my rating of the film from a 3 to a 2. LOL It lived down to my expectations from the trailer from the very beginning so I wasn't trying to nit-pick. I expected it to be a turn off your brain and go with the flow kind of picture. That way it wasn't quite as bad as I was expecting. But Red Matter, PULEEZ! But then you write a review that tends to make me think about it. NOW THAT IS JUST NOT ENTERTAINMENT! LOL
February 27, 2011
How refreshing to find someone else who wasn't at all impressed with this film.
February 27, 2011
thanks. if they really wanted to "re-boot" ST, they should have started with the alternate universe from Mirror, Mirror
March 02, 2011
Definitely agree with you there. Excellent review!
More Star Trek (2009) reviews
review by . March 23, 2013
What was your first impression? Very negative        Plot summary? A new cast of the characters having the same name is introduced with a new storyline. Kirk and Spock forge a friendship under fire.        What's the bottom line?      There are some bad moments that will turn off many long-term Star Trek fans but if that happens, watch it a few more times and concentrate on the relationships between the main characters. 
review by . December 12, 2010
Let's just be clear, I am not a trekkie nor have I ever been a trekkie, and this film did not make me a trekkie, but that didn't stop me from enjoying this reboot of the franchise. The acting was great, the special effects were great, the story was great, and I recently found out that this was the only Star Trek film to win an Oscar (best makeup). It did tend to drag/ be too talky and sometimes hard to follow in some scenes, but for the most part, the movie worked.      …
review by . May 03, 2009
Star Trek Poster
Just as a warning, this review is going to be very spoilerific, so if you hate spoilers don't read this, but I just can't help myself. Now then, may I just say that this might be the BEST Star Trek Film ever?! And that's not comparing it to The Wrath of Khan or First Contact. This Trek film stand alone among all of the other ones. When J.J. Abrams set off to make a Trek film that was accessible to both non-fans and fans, he apparently knew just what he was doing. This film was also an ensemble piece. …
review by . August 26, 2010
To be honest, I didn't think it could be done. I'm one of those old-time fans. I grew up on episodes of Star Trek in syndication. I cheered the return of the original cast to the movies. I followed closely -- at times more with a sense of loyalty than enthusiasm -- the various series set within the Next Generation, and I even stepped back in time to the early days of Enterprise. But when Hollywood chatter turned to rebooting the saga from the start, placing new actors in the roles of …
review by . December 07, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
I was never a big Star Trek fan.  I had moments where I watched the original and where I watched Next Generation but for the most part I found the series to be well... boring.  Some of it was the science fiction stuff, others was because sometimes it seemed as though Star Trek could never get to the point.  That's not to say I hated Star Trek or couldn't stand it.  There were certain episodes of the original series that I rather enjoyed.  Some parts of …
review by . May 25, 2009
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"…To BOLDLY go where No Man had Gone Before.".. …or something like that. The immortal tagline of the operatic TV franchise that had gone on for many generations. First off, let me tell you that I am a casual fan and more of a "Next Generation" kind'a guy, although my favorite Star Trek movie is still "The Wrath of Khan". After the failed box-office outings of recent ‘Star Trek" films ("Nemesis" for one) and the less than dominating …
review by . December 02, 2009
Quite Possibly the Best Home Video Release of All Time!
The Blu-ray for J.J. Abram's Star Trek is just plain cool!  There's really no other word to describe it.  What makes Trek on Blu-ray so cool?  Well obviously the movie itself and then the endless amount of awesome special features the second disc has to offer.  There are some people who don't really care for special features, but having watched them all, I can tell you that you're going to want to sit down and watch all of them!  While most DVD and Blu-ray releases come …
review by . September 10, 2010
I grew up with "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Since I didn't have cable, I rarely got the chance to watch the original Star Trek series. As I grew older, however, I got to watch TOS and found myself preferring it to TNG. It didn't matter how many new incarnations of Star Trek hit the television or the big screen, so long as no one messed with the original characters and the actors who portrayed them, I was fine. Then comes along J.J. Abrams. I have to admit that I followed the developments of …
review by . May 07, 2009
Honestly speaking, Star Trek is something I had never gotten into, though that slightly changed when an online friend of mine kept posting episode commentaries on the original TV series she was rewatching..     Of course, when I saw the trailer for the new movie in the cinemas, and seeing how amazing Zachary Quinto looked as Spock(I personally love Quinto), I knew it was a movie I had to see. The fact that J.J. Abrams was directing was a bonus.     After watching …
review by . August 08, 2010
Pros: Everything.     Cons: Only if you're a hardcore Trekkie that will pick everything apart (lighten up will you?).     The Bottom Line: It's a good time.  You should go watch it.  You know you want to.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals no details about the movie''s plot. Usually I don't feel like I missed out on seeing a movie in theatres.  Sometimes I think, "Darn, that would have been fun to see on the big screen," …
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About this movie


 Star Trek
tells the story of James T. Kirk, Spock and the rest of the Enterprise crew, following their time together at Starfleet Academy as well as their first mission together.

  • Chris Pine as James T. Kirk
  • Zachery Quinto as Spock
  • Leonard Nimoy as Spock Prime
  • Bruce Greenwood as Captn. Christopher Pike
  • Karl Urban as Leonard "Bones" McCoy
  • Zoe Saldana as Uhura
  • Simon Pegg as Scotty
  • John Cho as Hikaru Sulu
  • Anton Yelchin as Pavel Chekov
  • Eric Bana as Nero
  • Ben Cross as Sarek
  • Winona Ryder as Amanda Grayson

J.J. Abrams Star Trek represents the first time in sixteen years since Leonard Nimoy has played the character of Spock.

Originally, Star Trek was slated for a Christmas 2008 release, but it was decided that the film would fair better as a summer blockbuster.  It would also allow for more media coverage as well as more time to work on the films visual effects.

This Film also represents the last time that Majel Barrett Roddenberry played the voice of the Enterprise Computer.  She died shortly after she had finished her work on the film.

J.J. Abrams' 2009 feature film was billed as "not your father'sStar Trek," but your father will probably love it anyway. And what's not to love? It has enough action, emotional impact, humor, and sheer fun for any moviegoer, and Trekkers will enjoy plenty of insider references and a cast that seems ideally suited to portray the characters we know they'll become later. Both a ...
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Director: J.J. Abrams
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Release Date: May 8th 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman
DVD Release Date: Unknown
Runtime: 126 minutes
Studio: Paramount Pictures, Bad Robot
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