Sunday, May 10, 2009

Movie Review - Star Trek

For my at-home vacation, my husband and I were originally going to see both Wolverine and Star Trek. We decided to only see one movie, and Star Trek won without much debate. I like Hugh Jackman and all, but the idea of so much violence didn't appeal to me. And wherever there's Wolverine, there's violence. We'll probably get the DVD. After a trial rental.

So anyway, we caught the 9:45 AM showing of Star Trek this morning (Friday--this post will take me a few days to write).

Star Trek was my first exposure to science fiction. Sometime during the Nixon Administration, they started showing the reruns on TV and I didn't want to miss anything, including the opening. And so, that's when I started watching the news, because Star Trek was on just after the 6 o'clock news. Along with the drama of Watergate, I got to watch such classics as For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky (which was my all-time favorite), along with The Trouble with Tribbles, The Doomsday Machine, and too many others to list.

I really can't go into a plot synopsis because . . . well, even if I told you why, it would give away the premise behind the movie. Instead, I'll give a general two thumbs up (two of my own thumbs, that is) and stress that the story is entirely fresh. Expect nothing that is familiar except the characters.

I'll also go over each character and give you my impressions. That's a lot more fun, anyway.

James T. Kirk
Chris Pine played a very solid Kirk without attempting to emulate William Shatner's portrayal too closely. The producers appeared to be very careful not to make Jim a pretty boy. He's rough-and tumble, just as Kirk ought to be, and very likable. And he doesn't get the girl! He spends most of the movie either bloody, scarred-up or both. Check him out in this image with Spock. He looks like this--or much worse--throughout the movie.

Zachary Quinto did an extremely faithful portrayal of Spock. In fact, he did a better job playing Spock than did Leonard Nimoy, but I think he was trying to be true to the Spock from the TV series rather than the softer Spock from the movies. And look at what a pretty face he has! Altogether a stunningly faithful portrayal. It must have benefited Quinto to have Nimoy on hand.

Dr. Leonard McCoy
Karl Urban's portrayal of Bones was my hands-down favorite. When he yelled, "I'm a doctor, Jim, not a ___!" the entire theater applauded. Not only is he simply adorable as an actor (the above picture doesn't do him justice), he was absolutely true to DeForest Kelly's style. It was almost a homage. And I loved that he called Jim "kid". It kind of reminded me of Harrison Ford as Han Solo.
Montgomery Scott
Simon Pegg was pretty adorable as Scotty, too. He showed up at about the time I was beginning to think they scratched Mr. Scott's part from the script. The accent was perfect and the producers did not make him the Highland Hunk that I feared. And his pet is great!

I wasn't thrilled with Zoe Saldana's portrayal of Uhura. She's beautiful and all, and a capable actress, but she just didn't seem to have Uhura down at all. Her Uhrua was rather fiery and passionate, and I recall Uhura as being calm, serene and almost mystical. Part of the problem was the way her part was written, I'm sure. And what was with the romance between her and . . . well, I'd better not say.

Pavel Chekov
Anton Yelchin played a very fun Pavel Chekov. As in Star Trek IV, they played with Chekov's accent ( who could forget "nuclear wessel") and he was comic relief as well. He didn't have a huge part, but it was fun and faithful, and he got to save the day in at least one way, and he was so cute I just wanted to pinch his cheek.
Hikaru Sulu
John Cho played a solid and dependable Sulu. He got to kick some butt at one point with a nifty collapsable sword. And he saves Kirk's life with said sword. Like Chekov, he didn't get a lot of screen time, but he did a great job with the voice.

What about the rest? Some Star Trek tropes make it into the movie, such as The Guy in Red Who Always Dies, the weird spaceships, and the time travel. It was fun and reasonably intelligent, and most certainly leaves the option open for future episodes. It inspired a Star Trek Oldie weekend, and we even got my daughter hooked. We will certainly buy the DVD. This is a must-see for Star Trek fans, especially fans like myself who didn't really get into any of the other series. And as per a recent spoof on The Onion, it is also something that people will actually want to watch, whether you are a lifelong fan or not.

Trekkies Bash New Star Trek Film As 'Fun, Watchable'


Rick said...

Loved the film and highly recommended go ahead and watch it folks.

bloggeratf said...

totally loved it as well. great take on it.

Maria Zannini said...

I agree with you about Uhura. Did that girl have nothing else to do on that ship but chase after you know who?

There were a lot of plot holes that annoyed me, but it IS Star Trek and they do like to stretch the realm of believability.

What they did do absolutely right though was keeping the characters the same yet using a brilliant plot ploy to make them different too. (Obviously since it would be a spoiler, I won't mention the plot device here.)

It was a highly effective direction and the most intelligent thing they did to revitalize the franchise.

Despite the obvious plot holes, we'll still buy the dvd because we did like catching all the references to past shows.

My favorite character was McCoy too. It truly was a homage, all the while building on the character too. Well done.

ediFanoB said...

I loved the film and highly recommend it. I've seen all Star Trek movies so far and this one is really refreshing the Star Trek universe.

Tia Nevitt said...

What would a Star Trek movie be without a light-year sized plothole?

Donna said...

Just watched Star Trek this afternoon, and I absolutely enjoyed this movie. My husband, who believe it or not, has never watched even one episode of Star Trek, liked the movie. The only reason he went was because it's Mother's Day.

You write up is dead on and I feel the same about Uhura, but the rest of the characters spot on. When the DVD comes out, I will definitely being it.

Karen W. said...

I loved the movie and agree with your comments. I loved seeing the beginning of the Kirk/Spock relationship and the burgeoning friendship, and I loved the portrayal of Scotty. :)

Not to pick nits, but Leonard's last name is spelled N-I-M-O-Y with an "i." Sorry, but I'm a bit fan of his and the Spock character, so it jumped out at me.

Karen W. said...

And now I'm spelling things wrong! That's BIG fan of his, not bit. Changes the whole meaning. Ha!

Tia Nevitt said...

Drat! I checked everyone's name but his. I corrected the post.

Kimber Li said...

Great review, Tia! Now, I just have to see if I can go before or after giving birth. I love seeing big movies first in the theater with my Heroic Hubby and a large bucket of popcorn.

Tia Nevitt said...

Thanks, Kimber. I hope you get to see it--it's a real treat.

Tracy Falbe said...

I saw Star Trek last night. It was a really good movie. I was actually a little exhausted after seeing it. All the actors were marvelous and completely owned their roles as the classic characters: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, Uhura, and Chekov. And Captain Pike was great too. Action packed, exciting, and with a good script too. It was emotional. It was funny. Can't wait to see again.

K. said...

I can't wait to see this!!! I loved your character rundown, too, Tia.

And, OMG, I LOVE Karl Urban ever since his days as Ceasar (and Cupid) on Xena. :D

Lisa said...

Thanks for the review - (Do you watch Heros?) I had read that the writing was quite different and that I wasn't impressed when I learned about Uhura's character - sigh!)
I'm excited because the best drive in ever, Mendon Drive In is playing both Wolverine AND Star Trek on the SAME screen - woo hoo.

I'm hoping to go this Friday - just need to make sure that I have a nap first so I can stay awake for both of them! ( I fell asleep once when Gladiators was playing)

This drive in has delicious food, friendly wonderful staff, clean restrooms, all for 20 per car load!
Tia - just a 15 so hour drive for you :-)

Tia Nevitt said...

Lisa, so you'll be seeing them one after another? A perfect movie-going experience!

Thanks everyone! This review was a lot of fun to write.

Lisa said...

Yes star trek is first

Raven said...

Saw Star Trek today and really enjoyed it. I've watched Star Trek eps in the past and liked them, although I haven't seen all that many, so I think I probably missed most of the references. I see what you mean about revitalizing the franchise, though. Smart move. A lot of non-Star Trek fans are seeing this movie, too. So here's hoping for more!

Tia Nevitt said...

So am I! In the meantime, I'll be waiting for that DVD.

Adele said...

I loved Simon Pegg as Scotty but I thought his accent was pretty rubbish, quite funny though. Fab film overall can't wait for this one on DVD