Amazon Holiday

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Star Trek

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: The beginnings of Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the USS Enterprise crew from before they had a famous television series, or as is the case with this new cast, an inevitable film franchise. This Star Trek movie is so special, it doesn't even need a number.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Leonard Nimoy, Eric Bana, Bruce Greenwood, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Ben Cross, Winona Ryder, Tyler Perry, Chris Hemsworth, Jennifer Morrison, Rachel Nichols, Faran Tahir

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketGo! I have a long history of hating Star Trek. First it was a source of fights with college roommates about what was or was not allowed to be cluttering the air of our living room, via the television airwaves. Then, as luck would have it, my first job out of college was as a director's assistant on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager-- a job that forced me to watch endless episodes of those series, and worse, to have to read boring scripts, geeked out with techno-babble beyond my comprehension-- and that's not to mention the constant dodging of Trekkies who had-- to my misfortune-- asked, "So what do you do?"... Well the years have passed, and this movie has none of the old, stiff tone of the television shows. It's fun, and vivacious, and thrilling, despite the fact that I still only understood about two-thirds of what they were talking about with their trans-thrusters and their parallax beams.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: Surprisingly, quite a bit. And even more so if you're in the know.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: I almost cried twice, and one of the times was in the first act, so that's unusual, but the reasons James T. Kirk is given, as to why he should join Starfleet Academy, are deeply moving.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Anyone who can reinvigorate this tired old series deserves an award for something.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Chris Pine is Brad Pitt: The Next Generation (TNG for those on the inside). He's sexy, charismatic, and he even has those little pockmarks on his face. But the whole cast is fantastic and well defined, each building on and amplifying what their predecessors brought to the table in the 1960s. We will look back on this film as the one that launched a lot of young actors into the A-list.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: In a lot of ways, it is the look of this film that sells it to the non-Trekkie audience. It is modern, and big, but still true to the standard angles so often highlighted on the Starship's Bridge, like the whip pan from the Captain's chair to the Flight Engineer, or the side angle, slow pans and push ins of two shots and three shots, as the crew looks dramatically at some disaster on a screen. I'm sure it's deliberate on J.J. Abrams' part, but having been on the bridge of several of those ships, I can tell you that it's also because there are very few places to put a camera on those sets, especially if you want to capture anything that looks dynamic. Oh God, I'm having flashbacks!

Q: How is the story/script?

A: I love time travel! It keeps your mind in a constant state of jumble, so you almost don't notice the wormholes in the plot, or care, for that matter, about how many incredible coincidences it takes for this story to work itself out. And anyway, the characters are so well developed, and the dialogue is so snappy, that I have to assume it all makes sense.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A: The area that requires the biggest suspension of disbelief and has probably not been mentioned by anybody else is this: How many times can Kirk hang off the edge of a cliff by just his fingers and not fall? Do it once, and I'll give you a pass, but in this movie it happens about 4 times. Maybe it's an inside joke I don't know about, but all I kept thinking was, "Not only is it rare to manage to catch yourself mid-flight that way, when gravity is pulling you downward, but it's nearly impossible to lift yourself up from that position using only the strength of your own arms." Try it if you don't believe me. I can't do it, and I was a trained gymnast.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: http://www.moviefone.com/movie/star-trek/29301/trailers

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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice review. Sounds like you're more of a Trekkie than you claim.

Kenny Wyland said...

As a professional geek throughout most of my life, I enjoyed myself some Star Trek. However, I really grew tired of the series during TNG. All of the characters were perfect. No one had any flaws. They were all brilliant scientists and never did anything self-sabotaging or made mistakes. Except for Barkley who did ALL the character flaws possible jammed into one guy. I watched DS9 a bit, Voyager was the same old crap I thought and Enterprise was painful to watch. Painful. When I heard there was a new Star Trek movie coming out I said, "Meh." Then I saw the preview. This cast is SUCH a good choice that it brought me back to the table.

I totally agree with your review. It's a great flick. The plot has a bit of a cheesy quality to it, but that IS the essence of the old series. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Sulu, Chekov, Uhura, Scotty... all BRILLIANTLY cast and performed!

Monique Elisabeth said...

@Anonymous: If one can be a Trekkie without liking any of the series, and without having seen any of the movies besides this one, then yes, I am a Trekkie.

@Kenny: I felt the same way when I saw the trailers. I was dead set against going to this movie when I heard about it (and I see almost everything!), but the trailer looked like something completely different and much more modern, so I went.

Farzan said...

Just saw the movie and thought it was great. Gave it a B- in my review and thought it was the best summer flick released so far.

Monique Elisabeth said...

If you liked it, why didn't you give it a better grade? B- isn't a good grade at all. You are a tough teacher!

Kenny Wyland said...

Yeah, I'd agree with Monique on that. In a rough fashion, I would imagine great=A, good=B, ok=C. :)

Reel Whore said...

I had a good time watching Star Trek. It wasn't until afterwards as I crafted my review that I started to "notice the wormholes in the plot." Now those bug me to no end. Eventually I will have to see it again to see how it affects my opinion.

Still, as far as popcorn-munching thrill rides go, you won't be disappointed by the new direction