Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Star Trek

Here we go.
Above all, the original Star Trek was a show about relationships. At the core of every story a moral nerve is struck and tested . The pace being driven by interesting characters all alone in the eerie solitude of deep space. By remaining true to this formula JJ Abrams has been able to deliver on expectations in this thoroughly enjoyable prequel. Some reviewers are calling it the best prequel ever. Well without opposing arguments (and yes I am opening it up here) I can’t think of a better one, (except perhaps Batman Begins). This new kick at an old premise hits the mark where prequels like the three newest instalments of Star Wars couldn’t. This of course might have a lot to do with acting, directing and casting.

I’m not one to give out any plot spoilers or details that would take away from your experience. So I will not do that here (or ever), and I will urge the other reviewers on our site and those that comment on the reviews to respect the same. In fact, if I see spoilers I will edit them out. My sole goal is to try and direct you to the movies that are good and keep you clear of the bad ones. I might gives expose glimpses of the film's artistic flavours and such, so that you can assess them with your preference and make up your own mind. I’ll concentrate on story, acting, directing, pace, visuals and other intangibles such as entertainment value/watchability.

To start with this movie has great pace. I was thoroughly interested and engaged the whole time. There were no overindulgent preaching, set-up scenes, added characters (save for possibly one, you guess, think innocuous JarJar Binks) or unnecessary monologues. You will not be forced to endure obvious branding for aftermarket action figures or board games. Instead the quality and success of the movie will certainly earn it that marketability. I heard Burger King was the lucky chain to get the drinking glass rights. Note to self, Burger King has a good history of picking quality movies to sponsor. They scooped up the early Star War flicks and stayed clear of the newer ones.

The story is intriguing and sports an ultra-cool cool villain, played by Eric Bana (recognized the face but couldn’t place him until the credits rolled). I think Nero (Bana) would describe his actions as ‘justice’, and who’s to argue with that. This makes him slightly likeable. As an effective villain, he actually has a motive for being nasty. Wow back-story can really make a movie, and this whole movie cleverly entertains you while serving up the necessary back-story.

Chris Pine’s portrayal of James T Kirk is the strongest part of a strong movie. I am and will always be a William Shatner fan, but this guy makes the transition look easy. He has the mannerisms and source characteristics down. The driving bravado we have all come to love is present in every scene, all without the lame attempts to imitate his predecessor. Pine brings the cool back to the captain’s chair. Some would argue that Spock is the most interesting character in the Star Trek series, however it is Kirk that is the point man and all the personality showcasing revolves around how he feeds off of the supporting casts’ quirks and eccentricities. Bringing us back decades, we get to experience Pine, like Shatner make it believable how he orchestrates a talented yet seemingly misdirected crew into great astral feats. This gives the audience a reassuring feeling that under the direction of Kirk, all is possible. Let’s also mention that Kirk handles every situation the way we all wish we had the guts to do. And attracts the most beautiful interplanetary women, while exercising superior out of the box strategies and owning the strength of many men. Shall I go on? Well Pine as Kirk seems convincing in all these areas, while still adding his own personal touch to the Kirk persona. You’ll have to see it to fully understand.

Spock is the most unique character in TV history and this instalment finely casts it with Heroes look alike Zachary Quinto. Christ they could have revealed that Spock’s real name is Zachary Quinto and not have missed a beat. As the plot dictates, Zachary brought his own style into the Spock character giving us a little more emotion than the Nimoy Spock.
Leonard Nimoy himself was not out of place while delivering a swan song of reason in his plot crucial role. There was a moment when he may have been out of place, but to not spoil anything I’ll let you guess and decide for yourself.

The rest of the cast was soundly cast, and provided the customary comic tension that their characters did in the television series. They did not define the plot but rather helped move it along, giving us the occasional laugh. The laughs are genuine here. While they all of the film's supporting cast seemed to feel at home in their roles the standout was clearly Simon Pegg as Scotty. His comic timing was genius and every nuance and facial expression brought crowd reaction.

To sum it up there was a high probability for ‘camp’ in a remake of this classic, however my feeling is that the upgrades and dedication to the source characters is as good of a passing of the torch as an audience could expect.
See this movie.

2 comments:

  1. I was very impressed with this addition to the franchise and not at all concerned as some die hards were, at some of the deviances from the TOS. Excellent acting excellent script. My only complaint was the shaky camera. I know, i know, people who watch cooking shows love to feel like they are in the kitchen with the cook, but since there is no way one should assume you are on the enterprise, the shaky effect was dorky.

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  2. I really enjoyed the movie, and I was really impressed with the acting and character portrayals. They all brought their own to the characters, especially Pine as James T. Kirk, without being over the top, or imitating as one might be tempted to do, which would so not have worked. I grew up watching the original t.v serious, enjoying it a great deal,but never was fanatic about it. I was really happy with the character driven plot of this prequel and can certainly live with the deviances from the original. I think a whole new generation of Star Trek followers (who may not ever see the originals) has been born from this movie.

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