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Star Trek (Three-Disc Edition) (2009)

Blu-ray and Science Fiction & Fantasy movie directed by J.J. Abrams

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The Resurrection Of Star Trek

  • Sep 13, 2009
Rating:
+5
In order to get big rewards in life you have to take big risks. If there is one thing that the Star Trek universe hasn't done in 20-25 years its take risks. The franchise has suffered greatly for it, continuing to follow a formulaic approach that has made the franchise stale, predictable, and for quite a while... DEAD. Not sick, not on life support, but D-E-A-D.

Those days are over.

The 11th feature presentation is quite simply the first GREAT Star Trek movie ever made. While others in the series have been enjoyable, there was no definitive movie that stood out, nothing that could be pointed to as something unique, something special, something that takes RISKS.

What you get here is the biggest risk that has ever been taken in the Star Trek universe in its 40+ years of existence.

I will not ruin this risk but if you are a fan of the movies at all you will know it when you see it. Being a long time fan of Star Trek (I am a Next Generation first and foremost) and having seen the trailer numerous times I figured out what was going to happen about 20 minutes before it did but that didn't stop the shock when I witnessed this awesome writing decision played out on the big screen. The strongest of Star Trek lovers (especially TOS people) will no doubt have a lot of outrage at this risk but it was the right move to make. The Star Trek franchise needed to be shaken up, it needed something fresh and it needed a movie to shock and awe the audience.

Man did it ever deliver.

This movie is an absolute JOY to experience. Spock was always my favorite TOS personality as he probably was for most fans, but I never felt the connection to this cast that I did to Picard, Data, Worf and the Next Gen cast so I really didn't care what changes they made (and there is another major change that involves 2 characters that you never have experienced before in TOS history) if they were for the better. In all cases these were for the better and executed with near-perfection by JJ Abrams (who might later be revered on the same level as Gene Rodenberry if this re-visioning [this is much more than a simple reboot] succeeds like I think it will).

Since I don't like getting too deep into spoilers with reviews instead of focusing on the story (try your best to stay ignorant as possible of the story so its fresher when you see the film) I will instead focus on the characters we know so well (and some we don't).


True To The Character We Know

Spock (played by Zachary Quinto) - Even though Kirk (ahhem William Shatner) was advertised as the lead of TOS, the real centerpiece was Spock. The work here by Quinto is beyond exceptional and complements the amazing work done by Leonard Nimoy the past 40 years. Quinto plays the character as well as you could imagine and the real special thing in this movie is that finally (FINALLY) the half human side of Spock is heavily examined. It is a major part of the movie and no doubt will continue to be focused on in future films. Spock is no more or less important to the crew and story as he always has been. Other actors could do lesser work (they didn't) but the movie franchise will only succeed as well as Quinto acts. The character is in the best of hands.

Bones (played by Karl Urban) - The gem of the entire movie without question. Karl Urban takes the difficult role of playing not only Bones but Bones played by DeForest Kelley and is he ever amazing. It's a complete joy to watch his character on the screen. Urban doesn't need to do anything different in future films. You can tell how hard he worked to keep the Bones character as he has always been and he hits a home run out of the park. Wonderful wonderful wonderful

Scotty (played by Simon Pegg) - We don't meet Scotty until far into the movie but Pegg does a great job doing James Doohan. Since Scotty was always kind of the "middle" character on the show where he wasn't wasted but wasn't the tops (Spock, Kirk, Bones) all Pegg had to do was do a good Scotty and hopefully the script-writers would give him more to do. This is the case here.


Revisions And Improvements Made

Kirk (played by Chris Pine) - No longer do we get the ultra womanizing, overacting of Kirk/William Shatner but we get instead a focus on the risk-taking side of Kirk and this is the Kirk that I could truly learn to love. Over and over again we see why Kirk in Star Trek canon is revered so much and his take no prisoners approach is put on the front burner all throughout this film. Pine is confident and does a fantastic job. I don't care how revered Shatner is, the writers got it right with this re-visioning of Kirk and it's thumbs up all the way.

Sulu (played by John Cho) - Not much to say here. Cho was fine but nothing amazing in his performance. Sulu fights a little bit but hopefully more focus can be made on him in the future, no problems here but nothing jumps out.

Uhura (played by Zoe Saldana) - As a communications officer her role is MUCH better in this re-visioning. She is given more intelligent input by the script-writers but the one major canon change of Uhura (which I can't go into detail in this review) I am still trying to determine how I feel about. Her mod is the 2nd biggest risk/mod taken in the movie.


Complete Rewrite

Chekov (played by Anton Yeltin) - Except for being Russian and making fun of his thick accent this is a completely new character and man was this a serious improvement. Instead of the bumbling doofus that really doesn't do anything now Chekov is a ultra-young uber-intelligent officer that plays pivotal parts in the movie. Yes this was a serious canon change but I can't imagine how any fan wouldn't approve because now you have a real character you can be emotionally attached to.


New Characters

Nero (played by Eric Bana) - Bana instantly becomes one of the main villains in Star Trek lore and in my opinion because of events in the movie he now becomes THE single villain in Star Trek history. I wish Nero could have been on the screen more but with only 2 hours and so many people to get on the screen I think the right balance was struck.


Old Friends


XXX - You will know who this is when you see them. I have no complaints other than one voice-over part where the narration seems a bit droll and uninspired but I also think this is because of the circumstance how they are speaking. This old friend was a +++ to the movie and not just a ploy to get people in the seats. A welcome addition to the movie and plot.


Intangibles

Bridge - The new bridge is the most gorgeous bridge you will ever see. Some say it looks 'too sexy' or 'too bright' but THIS is how the bridge should have always looked. Please please please don't change it for the future films. You have already achieved the perfect look.

Score - The one downside of the movie. The 3rd trailer featured some of the most gorgeous background score ever and my hopes were very high. The score that is featured in the movie is serviceable but doesn't inspire. I was disappointed with the end result. It's alright but it could have been so much more.



IMO 'Star Trek' achieves what only 1 Star Trek movie (IV - The Voyage Home) came close to doing and that is being a successful film to the general public, not just Star Trek fans in general. This is the quickest 2 hours you will spend this summer and an absolute joy. I can see several movies being made with this cast and I hope several are made. The events of this film make for a realistic approach to the original cast working anew in these new revisions. As the movie ended I wished I could move ahead 2-3 years in time to see the next chapter and the next and the next.

Everyone likes to rank the movies in order and I knew 1 hour in this was EASILY (note I don't even flinch when I say EASILY EASILY EASILY) the greatest Star Trek movie ever made. You know a movie succeeds when a character or a movie itself feels like candy for the brain (last year Heath Ledgers Joker was the ultimate 'candy') and this is some yummy candy.

If you are a Star Trek fan go see it and try to have an open mind for what you will see. Many will be fine with the changes made. For the ones that aren't would you rather have changes and new Star Trek movies or the same old same old that had ruined the franchise for so long (kudos to Rick Berman as the official murderer of ST)??? If you are just a person that loves movies you (yes YOU) can even enjoy Star Trek as this movie has been produced not just for the Trekkie but the every day Joe and Jane.

***** HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION

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Wiki

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 prequel and a reboot,Star Trekintroduces us to James T. Kirk (Chris Pine ofThe Princess Diaries 2), a sharp but aimless young man who's prodded by a Starfleet captain, Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood), to enlist and make a difference. At the Academy, Kirk runs afoul of a Vulcan commander named Spock (Zachary Quinto ofHeroes), but their conflict has to take a back seat when Starfleet, including its new ship, theEnterprise, has to answer an emergency call from Vulcan. What follows is a stirring tale of genocide and revenge launched by a Romulan (Eric Bana) with a particular interest in Spock, and we get to see the familiar crew come together, including McCoy (Karl Urban), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Sulu (John Cho), Chekhov (Anton Yelchin), and Scottie (Simon Pegg).

The action and visuals make for a spectacular Big-Screen Movie, though the plot by Abrams and his writers, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (who worked together on Transformers and with Abrams on Alias and Mission Impossible III), and his producers (fellow Losties Damon Lindeloff and Bryan Burk) can be a bit of a mind-bender (no surprise there for Lost ...

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Details

Director: J.J. Abrams
Genre: Blu-ray, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
DVD Release Date: November 17, 2009
Runtime: 126 minutes
Studio: Paramount
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