14 October 2011

Star Trek (2009)

So, in a move that could have been either the greatest move known to man, or the biggest flop known to man, a director by the name of JJ Abrams (you know, LOST, Alias, etc) was tapped to bring fresh life to the franchise known as Star Trek.

I remember first hearing about this, and being slightly less than enthused.  A prequel?  Well, ok, but we just had that with Enterprise.  And we all know how that worked out.

But as time went on and more and more details of the movie came to light, the more (cautiously) excited I became.

And then I saw the first teaser.  You know, the one that showed shots of the Enterprise being built, the one with the original December 2008 release date? At that point, I started to feel ok with it. Then the first full trailer came out.

I was hooked.

I've always been a fan of the darker side of Star Trek. I always had a problem with the shiny happy, TOS and TNG, and to a point DS9, but once the Dominion War started, I was loving every moment of it. But this is not a discussion of those shows.

So as time goes on, and the trailers get more and more awesome, I could not wait for the release.

And now the time has arrived. From the first shot I was hooked. I was really digging the way the film was shot, the way space was space. Up was not up, and down was not down. When an unfortunate crewman was sucked into the vacuum of space, sound stopped. The lens flares got to be a bit much, but its a trifling.

So, we see the birth of Kirk as Kirk's dad pilot's the Kelvin into Shinzon's ship, then we fast forward a couple of years and see young Kirk driving a 60's muscle car and listening to...Beastie Boys. To me that was probably the most jarring bit of the film. It just did not fit. So this part establishes Kirk as a rebel, do his own thing type person.

But lets not forget young Spock. On Vulcan he is busy getting teased by his fellow classmates. A very logical choice of course. Smacks a bit of emotion, teasing a fellow student. But they are students, so we let it pass.

Eventually we see two life changing moments for our two stalward heroes. Pike recruits Kirk to Starfleet, and Spock gives a emotionless middle finger to the Vuclan Science Academy, and goes to join Starfleet.

So the stage is set.  I'm not going to go into too much greater detail, as I don't want to spoil anything.  Kirk and Spock have finally assembled the crew that we know and love so much.  In the end, the good guys win and the bad guys loose.  And I loved every moment of it.

A few gentle criticisms...

Lens flares - a bit much, but not that big of a deal as I managed to ignore the majority of them

Size - As bad ass as the newest design of the Enterprise looked, there were some size and scale issues.  Shuttle bay to bridge in only a few bars of the score?  I think not.

Layout - Where was Uhuru working with those giant steam pipe things?  Kind of a random place for a comms officer.  Med bay and bridge, etc seemed really close to.

Fan boy praise...

Visuals - loved them all.  The movie was shot epically and that only helped the power of the film.

Music - Bloody hell.  Some of the best film music I've ever heard.

So, if you like Star Trek, see this movie.  If you don't like Star Trek, see this movie.  This is more than a Star Trek movie, its a good sci-fi movie.

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